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Seeking advice on new Kindle/ereader/something else?

I had done a search and only turn up topics from 2012. So...here's the story. I've got a Kindle 3 eReader that I've had since 2011 which seems to be on it's last legs. I want to get a new ~something~ but I am not sure what. Price point is not a huge consideration. When I travel to Europe I have been taking my Kindle, my Android phone for wifi functions and to communicate when I am in the US, an MP3 player for audio books and paper guidebooks and maps. I don't need GPS or any kind of mapping functions and I would not be watching movies. I am not particularly technologically ept although I am not inept either, lol. I do have knowledge deficit!

I've looked at the basic Kindle, the Kindle Paperwhite and the Kindle Fire online seeing good and awful reviews for all. My SIL has an iPad but I'm not sold on it and vaguely have noticed other tablets when I cruise by the display at Costco. I have hundreds of books in my Kindle library so need to be able to use that platform.

Any advice for what I should be looking at? Good/bad experiences with Kindle Fire or Paperwhite? Should I jump to an iPad or another tablet?

Thanks for any forthcoming advice!

Posted by
11 posts

I have a kindle paper white and an iPad mini. If I want to read 9 out of 10 times I go to my kindle. Less eye strain, lighter and works wonderfully in the dark when I read in bed and the battery lasts forever between charges. The iPad mini is great for watching movies, games, and surfing the Internet. I do have my kindle app on the iPad and do read books on it. The kindle app is great and with whisper sync you can start where you left off on your kindle. It really comes down to usage...are you looking for a media consumption device or something just the basic e reader functionality. If the later you won't be disappointed with the kindle paper white.

One last thought...the kindle paper white is $119 and sometimes on sale for $99. If you drop it, lose it etc...you'll be bummed but not heartbroken. If you drop the iPad or lose it or it gets stolen that will ruin your day and you will be out several hundred dollars.

Posted by
31037 posts

Pam,

As you're already using a Kindle, the most logical solution would be to buy another Kindle so that you can continue using the Library you've accumulated. I'm more familiar with Apple products and therefore would probably buy an iPad if I was in the market for a tablet. I'm familiar with the OS and may be able to use some of the books and app's that I'm presently using on my iPhone.

However, I have looked at the Kindle Fire and was quite impressed with the capabilities. If I were to buy a Kindle, that's likely the one I'd choose.

Good luck with your choice!

Posted by
663 posts

I have a kindle fire but the rest of my family uses the basic kindle. My battery dies first by a very wide margin.

Posted by
7736 posts

Thanks to all of you!

Garrisonju and Ken, I have been waffling back and forth between the Paperwhite and the Fire. I like the idea of the battery lasting longer in the Paperwhite but like the increased function (I think) of the Fire.

Ray, I've got an older Samsung 3 so for me (old and impatient) the screen is too small to read on but thanks for the thought.

Posted by
40 posts

I don't know much about other readers, but I love my Kindle. I have an older one (first one with wifi) and read all my books on it. I also have a Kindle Fire HD and I like it, but always go back to my original Kindle. It is so much easier on my eyes and easy to carry. It's great to have 4 or 5 books on my Kindle ready for reading when I travel or are at home.

Posted by
11 posts

@ray

The kindle app is available for iOS and android so you can access your kindle library from any device.

Posted by
7736 posts

eef, sorry I did not see your post when I posted last time, good to know about the battery life. That is one of the concerns I had based on reviews.

Travelove, also good to know about ease of reading on the old Kindle. Mine is now taking about 18-24 hours to charge and the charge is not lasting more than a week and a half (used to get a month) so I am pretty sure it is trying to go toes up.

Posted by
162 posts

I have the Kindle Fire and I swear by it. With everything it does, its seems like it was made for travel--takes great pictures and video, and has plenty of storage for books and music. Mine doesn't have its own hotspot, but free ones are easily found most everywhere, making it great for looking up restaurants, attractions, and whatnot on the go. I don't have a problem with it staying charged even on the longest days of sightseeing. Check it out.

Posted by
607 posts

For what it's worth, there is a Kindle app for the iPad mini that lets you access your Kindle library.

Posted by
1855 posts

Hi Pam. My kids label me "somewhat technologically challenged" so I get what you're saying! I take my iPad mini and my iPhone on my travels and together they take care of my relatively simple needs. I use the Kindle app on the mini and it has options for print size and background color like the kindles. It also does the wifi and Internet stuff I need. And (with earbuds) it's also handy for listening to the RS audio app downloads during the tour bus times. It's a good size for me (small), lightweight and suits me just fine. Of course, there's the cost consideration. Hard to choose when there are so many options!

Posted by
11158 posts

Whatever you buy, see if you can get something with either a high memory capacity or the ability to add a micro-SD card to increase the memory. This way, you can put all your music on the new device, so you don't have to bring a separate MP3 player. Or, if you want, you can get a memory card for your Samsung Galaxy S3 (I see it can take up to 64 GB card, which will hold a LOT of music). These micro-SD cards are not expensive - I just bought a 64 GB one for about $35, and a 32 GB one is only about $17.

Yes, you can get Kindle apps for almost any device (iPod, iPad, iPhone, Android, Windows desktop, Windows phone, BlackBerry, and more). But, as you say, readability will vary on each, so, like shoes, what works for someone else may not work for you.

Posted by
1068 posts

When I travel I prefer the old Kindle or my newer Kindle fire and leave the paperwhite reader at home. As someone mentioned above, my old Kindle is getting a tad buggy but the big issue is battery life is way down hence the Fire. With the aps on my phone and Kindle I can do lots of things like have an extra flashlight, have several alarm clocks, read books, play games, check currency converters, take notes etc. etc. As they are light, I take them both. While I much prefer the reader for books, it is a uni-tasker which just doesn't cut it for travel.

Posted by
4448 posts

I have a basic kindle and an Ipad mini and both come with me when I travel.

I prefer the basic kindle for reading novels. For travel guides, I prefer the Ipad mini with kindle app as the pages and maps are easier to follow.

Posted by
327 posts

Hi Pam,

If you just want something for your books, consider a Kindle paperwhite. It's lighter than an iPad, not as bright, and so easier on the eyes. And it lasts a LONG time on a single charge...maybe a week? And that's if you read daily. Bring your charger but you'll only need to charge it once on a 2-week trip.

If you don't mind reading on a phone, you could skip an additional device and download the Kindle app for your Android phone. It depends on how comfortable that is for you.

I love carrying 5 or more novels with me on my paperwhite!

(We did buy a Kindle version of a Rick Steves guidebook on the paperwhite, but that was cumbersome. Hard to find the maps. And I like jotting notes in the guidebook. It's one time I prefer an actual paper book.)

Have a great trip!!

Posted by
2006 posts

Hi Pam,
I'll bring my mini iPad on Wednesday so you can check it out, see if you like it. I've had it for a year now and can't imagine life and travel without it!

Posted by
4356 posts

...but now that the newest 'full-size' iPad is smaller than before, I now recommend them over the iPad Minis. Always. Lurve mine! (no offense, Darcy!!!)

...but if you anticipate reading in any sunlight, then it's gotta be the Kindle. Gotta be. You can always also use your Kindle app on your phone ;-) The Paperwhite weighs the same as the (new) iPad Minis do, and as I'm sure you've already researched, the Paperwhite gives you the built-in nightlight. Sweet.

I love my iPad. But if all I want is a reader, I love my Kindle Keyboard reader...as long as it lasts. In addition to that, I've inherited a Paperwhite With Special Offers. Beats seeing the same 4 rotating screens over and over ;-) And $20 less.

[And if you read in bed and have fallen asleep and (nearly) dropped your Kindle on your face, you'll definitely want the Paperwhite ;-) Not that I know from experience...]

As for the 5* and 1* reviews, there will be lemons :-( The numbers are on your side, but if you get a lemon...my dealings with the Kindle Help Desk have been very satisfactory.

Posted by
93 posts

Today is a good day to buy a Kindle Fire. There is a one day sale going on with the Kindle Fire priced at $79.

Posted by
7736 posts

Wow, thanks for all the help. I hesitate about the iPad because that is probably more than I want. I did get the Staples coupon in the mail today for $100 off the Air 2 or Mini 3. Darcy, I will take a look at yours on Wednesday if you don't mind. We will do it before I start on my sweet potato fries do I don't get greasy fingerprints all over it, lol!

Thanks for the tip on the sale today on the Kindle Fire. I see the 7 is $20 cheaper than the 6 today and it looks like it is 1.5 or so ounces heavier at 11.9. Paperwhite is not on sale today and comes in at 7+ oz. iPad Air 2 is 15.4 oz. iPad Mini is 11.7.

And yes, Eileen, I laughed out loud because dropping it on my face is a real possibility.

Ray, what is it about the Paperwhite that makes you leave it at home?

I am sure I don't want to read on my phone. I read a lot and read fairly quickly so it just seems like a pain in the neck with not enough text on the screen. That is just a guess as I have not tried it.

Harold, I do like that you suggest this is like shoes and that one brand/style/size does not fit all. I guess that is why so many people have both/several!

I have done an unofficial tally on the suggestions on this thread, unofficial as some people suggested 2 different things. It looks like 2 suggest the original Kindle, 3 for the Paperwhite, 3 for the Fire, 4 for the iPad Mini and 2 for an iPad.

I think I will head in to town today to Staples to look at the iPads and I think the local one has Kindles as well but will not buy today.

...and I do have to laugh at those who have 5 or 6 books on their Kindles. I, ummm, hate to admit this but I have hundreds on mine. Never can tell when you might want to go back and reread something!

Really, I so appreciate everyone's input!

Posted by
1064 posts

One thing I really like about the Kindle Paperwhite, in addition to long battery life, is that I can take it anywhere without being dependent on either wifi or data charges to read books I have downloaded. I need wifi, of course, to purchase new books, but that is not a concern when traveling. If I load the app onto an iPad Mini, would I be able to use it the same way without having to look for wifi access or risking data charges?

Posted by
2347 posts

Put another vote for the Paperwhite up on the board. You already know that guide and reference books are harder to use on a Kindle. But for reading novels in the dark, on a plane, in a park, or on a train...

Posted by
1064 posts

I guess the answer to my question is "no."

Posted by
4356 posts

Roy, if you've downloaded your books to your tablet/phone, you can read them offline (on the airplane, etc.).

Pam, it sounds like you're really looking for an e-reader. While I can - and often do - read on my iPad and iPhone 6+, if I'm 'seriously reading' I want my Kindle e-reader. I can hold it with my fingertips on one corner, and when if it falls on my face...or on the floor...or gets otherwise banged-up (bed frame, patio furniture, car keys in purse, etc.) were not talking about my very expensive iPad screen. I don't get the eye strain with my Kindle e-reader like I do with my iPad and iPhone. And that screen glare...nonexistent on the Kindle e-reader.

And I don't need to pile on about the battery life.

But...why do you not use your phone for the MP3 stuff? Not that kind of phone?

[And also get an iPad ;-) Just not as THE e-reader...but for all of the other things you need to be online for...like posting on forums...booking Rick Steves' Tours...the important things. And get the 128 GB. Just do it.]

Posted by
7736 posts

Good grief, Eileen. I think you are reading my mind! I am not sure why I am not using my phone that-a-way just have always had an MP3 player loaded with all my trashy Regency Romance audiobooks. I did not know I could get a new chip-whatever as Harold suggested. I will check to see when my contract is up, may be able to upgrade soon and could do it then. I will check Darcy's mini out tomorrow at lunch and have the Staples coupon until the 25th. I am still thinking the paperwhite, though! Maybe both.

Thanks all!

Posted by
11158 posts

"I did not know I could get a new chip-whatever as Harold suggested."

Only some phones and tablets have the ability to add a memory card to increase storage. That's why I suggested that since Pam was in the market for a new device, she specifically look for that feature. Apple products NEVER have it; whatever size you buy is the size you've got. Samsung Galaxy S phones always used to have it - until the new S6, which got rid of that feature (a very big reason I just bought an S5, which has it).

A lot of people who have the ability to add storage capacity to their device are not aware of it. And as I posted, the prices for memory cards have really come down, so it's easy to really enhance your device for very little money.

Check the specs for your device before buying a memory card, to make sure you get one that will work. For instance, the Galaxy S5 takes a card up to 128 GB, but the S4 only takes up to 64 GB; older devices may have even lower limits.

If you do want a device that doesn't have the ability to add storage later, it's important to buy the size you need, not only for current use, but for anticipated later use. And when calculating, think of how extra memory can mean streamlining devices - like my example of not needing a separate MP3 player.

Posted by
31037 posts

Pam,

The newest edition of Consumer Reports has a good report on the various small tablets, and the Kindle Fire seemed to be rated quite well.

Posted by
7736 posts

Thank you all for enabling me!

I am sort of surprised but I went with an iPadMini. I met up with Darcy for lunch yesterday and looked at hers, then did some price comparison at Costco and Staples, really the only choices for electronics in a 4-county area. I did not see Harold's post before I left home yesterday so I am glad I opted for the 32g Mini at Costco over the 16g at Staples. I did download the Kindle App and got that set up. I also realized that as a novice birder there are some terrific apps I've seen in use on some birding trips, so this would be an advantage over the Paperwhite. Thanks to the person upthread who pointed out that a multi function device is sometimes better on a trip.

Last night as I was reading in bed I was thinking of Eileen and did not drop it on my face, lol!

I very much appreciate all the info and opinions everyone expressed. It was helpful in my being able to clarify my needs and helped me to make the final decision.

Posted by
31037 posts

Pam,

It's great to hear that you've found a tablet for travels. I believe you'll be happy with the iPad (of course, keep in mind this is coming from an Apple aficionado). Buying a 32GB model was a good decision! Whenever I'm asked, I always suggest buying as much memory as one can afford as it inevitably gets used (my iPhone is 64 GB).

Posted by
1855 posts

I applaud your decision, Pam. My iPad Mini goes on all my trips with me. I love it and I bet you will enjoy using your new, favorite acquisition.

Posted by
1406 posts

I took my KIndle Fire to Europe and my wife took her iPad. Guess what? They both do the same thing!

Since I now have both a Kindle and an Android tablet (don't ask), my advice would be to go Android (or Apple) unless you are Amazon Prime and very heavily invested in their products, because that's what Kindles are really for.