The Amazon Kindle 2019 is priced at Rs 7,999
It offers 4 adjustable LEDs on the display for varying brightness
There's 4GB memory on the device allowing you to store hundreds of ebooks
My first experience with the Amazon Kindle was in 2010, when I got myself a Kindle Keyboard 3G from the US. A friend who was studying there had bought it locally, and then brought it along when he was visiting family. I still remember opening the plain-Jane cardboard packaging. It was something I’d never seen before. The thrill of e-ink from back then still lingers on. While writing this review of the latest Amazon Kindle 2019, I couldn’t help but recall that it’s been nine years already. Towards the end of March, Amazon launched an all new Kindle. The company calls it the Amazon Kindle 2019. The price of the device is Rs 7,999. Here’s my review of the newest Kindle in the market.
Hardware and build
The Kindle 2019 is familiar in design and build. However, this time, there are four adjustable LEDs on the front. This offers a better reading experience compared to earlier versions. With capacitive touch, the Kindle prevents accidental swipes. However, don’t expect it to behave the same way as your smartphone.
The onboard 4GB of storage helps you store thousands of e-books. Considering e-ink is known to be optimally engineered for power consumption, you could easily last a couple of weekends on a single charge, if not more! The Kindle 2019 supports public and private Wi-Fi networks and hotspots that work over the typical 802.11b/g/n standards with additional support for encryption standards such as WEP, WPA and WPA2.
The latest Kindle is available in Black or White. There’s also a cover available for Rs 1,499. In addition, there’s a free two-year Device Total Protection plan worth Rs 1,199.
The highlight of the latest Kindle 2019 is undoubtedly the display. Now depending on whether you have or haven’t used a Kindle before, there’s just one way to put this. Amazon hasn’t changed around the device. What works continues to stay.
That said, the four LEDs can be of great help. Although I personally differ to that rationale. And I say that because I’d rather read from my smartphone if I need a backlit screen. To me, an ebook reader must add convenience of mobility and obviate carrying a heavy pile of books. Although that’s the obvious, who wouldn’t mind a dictionary thrown in? And then, you can annotate and share snippets of text on social media! We all love to read a paragraph and share 10 tweets about it, don’t we? Most ebook readers on the market will allow you to do that. Those are features that work. And it’s wise on Amazon’s part not to mess around with that.
Although I believe to the contrary, the market probably warrants the addition of a backlight. And that seems to drive the decision to add a backlight to the Kindle 2019. My preference for natural paper-like response and reading experience is why I have always loved the non-touch non-backlit Kindle Keyboard. To me, that is how an ebook reader should always be! Alas we live in a digital world, but technology should never let the core habit of reading be altered. To me, that’s letting yourself loose like no one’s watching, tuned away from the world, without notifications.
Should you buy one?
As much as I hate the idea of a backlit display that is touch-enabled, the industry has changed. And in all likelihood that means consumers prefer it that way. The reason for my dislike is that it inherently results in a glossy finish that ceases to resemble paper. If sometime in the future, technology enables a paper-like texture that is matte or better still grungy or relatively rough, it would mimic paper in the true sense. Till then, we got to settle for the second best experience to paper. And with that as reference, the Kindle does offer you that.
Since I’m again not a big proponent of the higher end Kindle readers, the Kindle 2019 is a product worth buying if you want to stay away from your smartphone to read.