To be or not to be - a Kindle owner - that is the question

Good morning everyone. My birthday is coming up soon and it has been suggested that Henry might like to buy me a Kindle, so would appreciate any suggestions, or advice. What else is out there? What is a Kindle Fire? Would I be better off stumping up for an iPad (or other make) that can also be used as a reader?

Thanks in advance.

Win a Kindle Fire HD with SFN

From the Uk get 3G free so if you use skype and email the overheads are low.

Function wise it is every bit as good as an iPad and a lot cheaper. There are lots of reviews and comparisons so that is the best way to go for independant advice.

Hi there, I don't very often comment on posts and being an avid reader (especially when on holiday or its too hot to work ;)) had to respond - I bought my standard Kindle about 2 years ago and I wouldn't be without it now. Its light and half the books I read are free from Amazon so all good there ;).

Sometimes I wished that I held back and waited for the Kindle White - but ho hum hindsight is a wonderful thing..

Hi Al and thanks for that. My main problem indeed is the "horses for courses" - I can't decide which race and which horse!

I am going to take Nick's advice and wait for the Acer Iconia to be released - wait for the reviews and then look at the whole question again. I could be sneaky and buy it for Henry - his birthday is 21st June - knowing he'll probably never use it. :-)

I'm a great believer in horses for courses and would be inclined to buy a dedicated e-reader if your main use will be ... well, reading books. I've been using a Kobo for a couple of years and find it excellent. The choice of books and prices are pretty much the same as Kindle but they're a lot more flexible when it comes to format. They also handle PDFs.

The main advantages of an e-reader over other devices are, as others have said, long battery life, e-ink, which I suspect must be easier on the eyes for long-term viewing than a screen that's constantly refreshing, and size. My Kobo Touch fits a treat into most of the pockets of the splendid chasseur's jacket I bought many years ago at Gamme Vert and is perfect for travel. Kobo "apps" are available for many other devices and work well on my netbook, Archos tablet and desktop PC, although the reading experience is better on the Kobo itself.

When you're reading a "proper" book, you turn a light on at night. It's the same with an e-reader. I find this much easier on the eyes than backlit devices. It's also worth remembering that Kobo seems to have more flexible regional restrictions and you should be able to download their books wherever you are, although I confess I've yet to put this to the test.

Good luck in your search through the technological minefield and happy reading.

Al Rogers

I'm also looking for a suitable tablet, and also partly for similar reasons as Sheila: birthday anniversary.
I found this Chinese machine with good looking specifications and especially interesting price:
Ainol Novo 9 Spark

It does lack Bluetooth and GPS, but currently I don't see any absolute necessity for those.

Norman, don't know if it will help you with your problem but take a look at which should take you to the Smashwords free Style Guide. Its downloadable and I must say it contains a lot of very useful guidance about text, photographs and other items.


I have an ipad and just downloaded the kindle app (free) for iPad, and so far am loving it. I take my ipad everywhere when travelling and it fits into my handbag, and thats not that big, that way i get plus of having all my other can't live without access with me. Just a personal choice thats all. I could have stuck with ibooks, but the amazon family etc is much bigger, some of the choices available for kindle in amazon are not available in ibooks.

Thanks Roger.

I just tried the downloaded .mobi programme with one of our books and it was a total disaster. Everything was there but the formatting was all over the place - HUGE pictures and tiny text just about sums it up.

I think we are going to need some Professional help on this. Hey-ho and off we go (again).

Norman, I first published my first eBook 'A Mole in the Hand' on for the very simple reason they convert every book into all formats, and distribute to retailers like Barnes & Noble, Apple iBookstore, etc.. If you download from Smashwords you decide on which format you want - obviously .epub or .mobi being the predominant formats. Later I also published on Amazon for Kindle to extend the range of availability. Amazon treat Smashwords as a small competitor, and clearly are not interested in other retailers.

Thanks for that offer indeed ;-)



Roger, how did you provide your book for downloading - did you rovide a format for Kindle or did they format it? Ditto re. ePub?

Plus if a book is supplied as a CD (ours are far too large to upload) can the buyer format the PDF file for his or her own use, or must we supply either alternate formats or does the buyer transpose from CD to pad, telephone or whatever himself?

Any advice appreciated. I am the Editor and main writer of our books( but am not a techie, and we are still small enough to need it! You will see we produce Art & Design books plus Marketing ones, and are not publishers of fiction, so need to produce large format (A4) full-colour eBooks for a multiplicity of units. Printed versions of our books weigh in between 2-3kg to give you some idea.

Nick, you are angel! Thanks so much for checking this out for me. Coincidentally, I have two Acer laptops. I need to replace the Acer Aspire 8530G soon, but have never seen an equivalent laptop yet on the market.

I will definitely chase up the Iconia A1-810.

Bottle of blanquette with your name on it if you are ever near us in Lagrasse (Aude).

Thanks again.

Sheila, I have just come across this new Android tablet from Acer that has very similar specs to the iPad mini, but for a lot less money. They won't be available for two months , but it will save you money, and give you what you require.

Thought this might help.

Acer Iconia A1-810



If you need the two cameras then the iPad is definitely a good way to go. I think the truth is , they are all good devices, and you won't go far wrong with any of them. I have used my iPad for video skype, and it works well.



Thanks Nick. I was more than drifting towards Nexus 7 but read a review that suggests it only has one camera, so would be no use for Skype. Budget is important but will have a look at iPad Mini and check prices.

You can also install Google Chrome browser on your Kindle HD, and it supports flash on all other platforms, but you will need to check it comes with it built in for that platform. It's a good browser none the less.

Howto install Google Chrome on kindle HD



Lots of good comments, so I will quickly just add my thoughts. I have an iPad, Kindle paperwhite, Google Chromebook and Google Nexus 4. As this suggests, I can't live with just one tool to fit all jobs. When I wish to write, blog or add an extended post, like now I use either my Google Chromebook or my iPad with a bluetooth keyboard. When I wish to read a novel - no pictures or graphics I always use the kindle, it is very light and great in all light condiitions - perfect for trains, tubes, buses , holidays etc.

When I want to read magazines or technical books, I switch to the iPad, and if I'm on the road and nowhere near WIFI, I use my Google Nexus 4, but only for short periods. I'm not sure I would recommend it for long periods of reading, though.

I fully expect to get a Google Nexus 7 when the new ones come out in July, as I like the idea of 4G on the move.

Basically Brian hit the nail on the head early on, define as much as possible the requirements, and if you are only going to buy one device, get the one that fits the most needs. Sheila, I think you are coming to the best conclusion for your needs, and either a Google Nexus 7 or Amazon Kindle HD will do the job. I personally think the Google offers a little more and is not so tied to just one company, as you can read books from lots of people, not just Amazon.

If you want to spend more cash then an iPad mini would be ok, but would not offer anything more really over the other two, except in your case compatibility with your iPhone exeperience.



Glad you posted this learning a lot about my kindle fire!

I will have a play at trying to get flash to work again. thank you both for the heads up.

However i should say Brian that Kindle Fire Hd won't use google play. I have dolphin as a browser but haven't managed the flash player bit. Perhaps I should delete and try again but not until later today. Mondays are my admin days and I'm very behind and must get some real work done!!!