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Conclusions

The Kindle with Special Offers is an excellent e-reader. The size, weight, and form factor are all excellent for reading. The E Ink Pearl screen is crisp and clear and easy on the eyes. Those with vision difficulties will like the wide selection of typefaces and sizes. Those who like to read at the beach or in the park will also like it for its great readability in bright sunlight.

The USD 114 price of this Kindle with Special Offers makes it very attractive. The ads appearing as the screen saver and on the home page do not interfere with the reading of a book or with the management of the device. In fact, they are not intrusive, and some of them are really special offers that are quite appealing.

This device is easy to setup and very easy to use. Even purchasing books is effortless. While the navigation system has been much improved, it cannot hold up to the touch screens found on other readers. We expect that Amazon will debut a touch screen Kindle in the near future. However, it may be priced higher. So as of now, we find the Kindle with Special Offers the best e-book reader at an affordable price.

We liked the ability to bookmark and annotate the reading material and even found the ability to share bookmarks and passages quite impressive. We also like the fact that this Kindle supports audio books and speech-to-text and has decent speakers and a headphone port.

While we hail the ability to support PDFs, Amazon needs to add better sizing of PDFs for the screen. Another drawback is that the non-user-replaceable battery will shorten the longevity of the device. Yet perhaps, the low price will offset that.

Strong Points

  • Excellent form factor
  • Excellent screen details
  • Easy to buy books
  • Over 900,000 books available
  • Free previews of many books
  • Fast page turning
  • Supports bookmarks, notes, and annotations
  • Can share passages on Facebook and Twitter
  • Very easy setup
  • Stores about 3,500 books
  • Eight font sizes
  • Excellent battery life
  • Plays music
  • Text-to-speech
  • Plays audio books
  • Excellent price
  • Great in sunlight
  • Easy on the eyes
  • Support for PDFs
  • Headphone jack
  • Excellent cover available
  • Sponsored ads are tasteful and unobtrusive

Weak Points

  • No touch screen
  • No color
  • No support for EPUB book files
  • Battery not user-replaceable
  • Web browser very rudimentary
  • PDFs need better sizing
  • You cannot change the size of the type in the Kindle Store
  • Covers are over-priced
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Sandy Berger, respected computer authority, journalist, media guest, speaker, and author, has more than three decades of experience as a computer and technology expert. Her eight books include: How to Have a Meaningful Relationship with Your Computer, Your Official Grown-up’s Guide to AOL and the Internet, Cyber Savers –Tips & Tricks for Today’s Drowning Computer Users, Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to Better Living through Technology, Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to the Internet, Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to Gadgets & Gizmos, Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to Online Health & Wellness, and Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to Online Travel. Sandy’s newspaper column, magazine articles, feature stories, product reviews, and computer tips can be found at her website, Compu-KISS.