The Good Slimmer, more compact design than previous Kindle; improved screen with higher contrast and faster page turns; native PDF support; large library of hundreds of thousands of e-books, newspapers, magazines, and blogs via Amazon's familiar online store; Wi-Fi access to Amazon's online store; built-in keyboard for notes; with 4GB (3.3 usable) of internal memory, it's capable of storing 3,500 electronic books; eight fonts available, including two new extra-large sizes; excellent battery life; displays image files, and plays MP3 and AAC audio.
The Bad No expansion slot for adding more memory; no support for EPUB book files; no protective carrying case included; battery is sealed into the device and isn't removable.
The Bottom Line The third-generation Kindle's winning combination of noteworthy upgrades--an improved screen, better battery life, lighter weight, and lower price--vaults it to the top of the e-book reader category.
Amazon Kindle (3G)
Editors' note (October 3, 2011): With the announcement ofnew Kindle models for 2011, we have lowered the rating of this productfrom 8.3 to 7.3 and removed the Editors' Choice designation originallyawarded in August 2010. Potential buyers of this product (now known asthe Kindle Keyboard) should instead strongly consider its 2011replacement model, the KindleTouch, which offers a touch screen. See Kindlevs. Nook vs. iPad: Which e-book reader should you buy? formore information.
Editors' note: As of May 2011, the Wi-Fi Kindle reviewed here is available in two versions: the original $139 version and a $114 ad-supported version known as the Kindle with Special Offers. Because the ads are non-invasive--limited only to the screensaver and main menu screen--there is little disadvantage to buying that cheaper model. Also of note: as of September 21, 2011, Amazon has added the ability for the Kindle to .
Just as Apple's iPod wasn't the first MP3 player, Amazon wasn't the first company on the block to release an e-book reader; NuvoMedia's RocketBook and the early Sony Readers both beat the Kindle to market. But it's hard to argue that the online retailer's Kindle isn't the iPod of the e-book reader market. The Kindle has helped usher the e-book reader from gadget curiosity to a burgeoning mass market device, all in less than three short years. And now, amid a much more competitive market, Amazon is debuting the third-generation Kindle.