General Question

JLeslie's avatar

Any opinions about the Kindle Keyboard?

Asked by JLeslie (61643points) August 1st, 2012

I’m thinking about this for my aunt, because I am afraid the touch screen might be annoying? I have never used a kindle. She didn’t really like my iPad, because if you touch the screen by mistake it does something, plus she didn’t get the hang of tapping the screen well. But, the Kindle with the keyboard looks like it has a smaller screen, and so I wonder if she makes the font a little bigger if she will be constantly changing pages?

As I said, I have no experience with Kindles, so any info is appreciated.


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37 Answers

harple's avatar

You can also have a kindle that isn’t touch screen and that doesn’t have a keyboard – perhaps that would be the ideal solution? See it here.

flutherother's avatar

I have a Kindle but it doesn’t have a touch screen. It has a keyboard which is tricky to use but you very rarely have to use it. I have set my font size so it reads like a paperback book but is easier to hold than a paperback as you don’t have to hold the pages open and it always lies perfectly flat. If you are considering getting a Kindle I would also get the case that goes with it.

Trillian's avatar

Get her a DX. It’s more expensive but has a bigger screen. Also has a keyboard.

Aethelflaed's avatar

There’s really no way to not constantly be changing pages while reading on the Kindle.

I almost never use the keyboard. Shopping for new books is easier to do on my computer and have sent to my Kindle, and it’s not a good platform for reading books you want to take notes on. It’s a smaller screen on the Kindle than the iPad, but I like that, because the iPad is really too heavy and large for me to read comfortably on it, especially without pillow support. The Kindle is really easy to read one-handed, which I like.

laurenkem's avatar

I have a Kindle Fire, and I hate the touchscreen! I wish I had a keyboard on mine, but alas. My fingers must be big or something, because when I try to hit a key on the touchscreen, I almost always hit the one above it or next to it. Very annoying.

GracieT's avatar

I have an iPad, so I’m used to a touch screen, but I very much dislike my kindle. It is supposed to work the same way, but it really doesn’t. The screen is so sensitive that merely breathing on it I can go forward or backward by breathing on it, instead of purposefully touching the part of the screen you need. It also has ended my time with a book by closing it or taking me to the back page. I simply do not like my kindle, and prefer my iPad.

JLeslie's avatar

Thanks everybody! Very helpful. :)

GracieT's avatar

I obviously don’t look at my answers before I hit answer. I forget which question it was or who asked it but someone once talked about the answers we wrote, and if we were ashamed of any of them. I’m not ashamed about my answers, but I am about my careless typing!

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I have the simplest Kindle you can get, and I love it. I thought long and hard about getting the Kindle Keyboard instead. I also dislike touchscreens.

I decided on the cheaper Kindle, because I shop for books on my computer and not on the Kindle itself. I buy a book on Amazon, and the next time I start up my Kindle, it’s automatically downloaded onto it. Simple.

GracieT's avatar

My Kindle also is the cheapest, because all I need it for is reading. I still hate typing on it. I have to make sure I send new books from Amazon to my iPad instead of my kindle.

Bellatrix's avatar

I have a Kindle and it also doesn’t have a touch screen. Like @Aethelflaed I rarely ever use the keyboard. I buy books online using my laptop and have them sent to my Kindle. I also don’t use the Kindle to take notes. I guess you have to think about how and why your aunt will use a Kindle to see if it is going to work for her. I use mine only to read novels and occasionally text books I need to take away or need very quickly.

JLeslie's avatar

She doesn’t have a computer, but I guess I could do it for her on my computer. I just hate for her to be dependent on that, she is dependent in so many ways now and it makes me feel badly. I recently learned the kindle had free 3g, she doesn’t have wifi, so that was extremely appealing, so I am deciding between the midpriced options that have free 3g.

I am mostly buying it so she can use it for library books.

I am pretty sure I am going to order the one with the keyboard. You all helped me feel good about my original inclination.

laurenkem's avatar

I had the original Kindle, and loved it! However, it was eventually stolen out of my car. My father bought me the newest Kindle (thinking he was doing me a favor getting the Fire), and I absolutely hate it.

All I wanted to do was read books (sheesh)

zensky's avatar

I looked at the Keyboard version and it looks like somethintg I’d get. I hate touch.

the100thmonkey's avatar

I have a Kindle Keyboard 3G and I love it.

Notes are easy, in my experience (I sometimes have to make a lot), and the battery life is superb. The integrated browser is useful if you’re in a pinch (checking email when your phone dies, for example).

It’s not a tablet, though, so it doesn’t handle PDFs very well. Moreover, I wouldn’t be happy if I had to handle managing the content without a PC to sideload books and other documents. YMMV, though.

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Buttonstc's avatar

Have you considered getting one of the iPad cases which has a keyboard attached also? If. the aversion to writing with the touch screen is the main stumbling block, I’m assuming the physical keyboard would solve that. Plus, I’m assuming that the iPad is as goof proof as the iPhone. A simple press of the home button brings you back to where you started.

The only reason I ask is because. once she gets acquainted with the iPad, she will discover so many extra things she can do independently other than reading books. Because the. operating system is so intuitive and apps so easy to download, she may discover so many more thongs to do than she ever thought possible.

So many people have commented upon that specific thing after having their iPad for awhile.

I still remember the same sense of discovery after getting my iPhone. It was pretty amazing. And since she doesn’t have a computer, this would-be the next best thing and open up a whole new world to her.

JLeslie's avatar

@Buttonstc I’m not considering the iPad because it is heavier, doesn’t have free 3g, and I think it will be more complicated in general, and more expensive. I don’t kow if the library books can be downloaded onto iPad either? But, thanks for the suggestion.

JLeslie's avatar

Do the kindles that have web have free 3g also like the keyboard? You can surf the web for free, not just books, but like an ipad?

Buttonstc's avatar

I don’t think that any Kindles come with free 3G access. At least I’ve never heard of such.

There’s a difference between 3G or Wifi CAPABILITY and free access to such.

In order to use 3G it has to be on a network owned by some company and many (but not all) of the tablets being sold nowadays are in conjunction with a data plan for which you are charged monthly and you can use it wherever you can access the company signal.

In this regard, it’s no different from cell phones which utilize a data plan for the web access part of their functioning.

Obviously not all tablets are able to be used as telephones but for web data it’s basically the same thing.

What most people with tablets do is to utilize the wifi to access either their home/office wifi network or that which is provided free by so many businesses nowadays as well as public libraries or universities.

For example, I use both my iPhone and Acer tablet (as well as my laptop) at home on our wifi from Comcast.

If a data plan were not required by ATT in conjunction, I wouldn’t bother paying for a data plan so seldom do I use the 3G when I’m away from home.

And I could most likely substitute with all the free wifi all over the place.

flutherother's avatar

@Buttonstc My Kindle has free 3G. It doesn’t really work for surfing the web as the KIndle isn’t designed for that but you can download books wherever you are.

JLeslie's avatar

@flutherother That’s the way I understood it for the one I purchased for my aunt. But, then I got wondering about the kindle fire? That one uses the web like an ipad I thought.

Buttonstc's avatar


OK. Thanks for that clarification. I assume you’re Kindle is not the Kindle Fire which is designed for web, right ?

So basically Kindles have 3G access ONLY for the limited purpose of downloading books?

And would that include books from sources other than Amazon (like public libraries etc.)? Or is it only Amazon books?

JLeslie's avatar

@Buttonstc I hope it is for the library. Great question. I mostly bought it for the library access.

Buttonstc's avatar

My hunch is that it’s for Amazon content only. But I could be wrong.

In addition to the library, there are several other web sources with free books available to download. I really doubt Amazon would be willing to cover that.

It’s good that you’re thoroughly researching this prior to purchase. Avoids nasty little surprises later :)

JLeslie's avatar

@flutherother It doesn’t cost anything to download the free books does it? Does it matter the source? Amazon, public library etc?

@Buttonstc I already bought it, but had these second thoughts. She should have it next week.

flutherother's avatar

As far as I know it only works for Amazon content. I can also email my own word documents to my Kindle. Free books are entirely free and there are some good titles on Amazon.

JLeslie's avatar

@flutherother Well, the NY public library supposedly works with Kindle, so I am hopeful it will be free.

flutherother's avatar

@JLeslie That is a major bonus.

Bellatrix's avatar

I can’t download library books to my Kindle (yet). I always assumed this was because I am in Australia rather than the US. It would be worth checking whether other library content (apart from the NY library) is available for download to Kindle’s @JLeslie if your aunt might want to access other libraries.

JLeslie's avatar

@Bellatrix That is my aunt’s library.

Bellatrix's avatar

Yes, I get that but does she travel at all and/or is she likely to want to use a different library? I have access to about six different library systems where I am. They don’t all work the same way. If she is never likely to want a book from another library, it won’t matter but for me, I use various libraries (not that it matters to me really because I can’t use my Kindle at all for library books).

Buttonstc's avatar

Why can’t you use your kindle for library books?

Bellatrix's avatar

For some reason they aren’t compatible with our library system. This is the information on the library website. No idea why not. I hadn’t even thought of using the library to get ebooks until a few weeks ago. I haven’t gone further than checking the library websites.

JLeslie's avatar

@Bellatrix No, she doesn’t travel. She is is disabled. Right now she uses the mail away from the public library, I hope this will be better.

JLeslie's avatar

Just wondering, do the Kindles scroll down, or do the pages “turn.” Does it vary depending on which Kindle it is?

Bellatrix's avatar

You press a button and the next page comes up. Well that’s what happens on mine.

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