Are Kindle E-Readers Worth It?

Will it make a big difference vs a LCD mobile phone? if so, which would you recommend? I have a budget of around $200 which only gives me the option between the base model 4GB or the Paperwhite 8GB/32GB. I can see that the paper-white has waterproofing and more storage, but does it have anything else to make it worth it?. Also if anyone here has the base model, could you let me know if you have accidentally spilled some water on it and whether the kindle survived or not?
note : I would be buying from JB-HiFi or Officeworks

TL;DR : Anyone who went from a mobile phone/tablet to a Kindle, was it worth it? and which would you recommend to buy? budget $200 rough

Comments

  • +4 votes

    I just bought the basic 6inch 2020 model for $124 from OW. Second one in 5 years, well worth if you really like reading. Super awesome with kindle unlimited for bookbugs like me.

    Mobile or tabs have reflective screen wuth lots of glare, even with blue screen filters.

    I can't say the same for the expensive models mate tbh.

    For me, all my annual certification prepararion is served by kindle. And moreover you can claim it during tax reporting.

    • +1 vote

      Do you mean 2019 model? that's the one I'm looking at too since it's cheapest. I was wondering if you have any problems with the storage on that one and whether you have ever spilled a bit of water on it.

      • +1 vote

        Yep 2019 lol.
        Water spill, yes but going strong (just 2 weeks old though).

        Storage is ok as i am used to that man. And i dont BUY too many books and use borrow option from kindle unlimited. So i am not qualified to answer the storage issue i guess.

        • +2 votes

          Other good thing is to keep kids busy during breaks man. Buy/borrow few story books and you are done.

          But dont make them read forcefully, never works. Make it like a perk for them to use kindle.

          To answer your original question: it is worth every single f×××××× penny mate. For me basic version is fine but everyone to their taste.

        • +1 vote

          The storage on them is awesome if your not reading comics (graphic novels). If your just getting novels, there practically unlimted.

          Things you may not realise about kindles (or eReaders in general) asides from the obvious:

          1. Your local library often will loan you digital copies of books for free

          2. Kindles aren't very friendly when it comes to book formats. For example, alot of novella (and other free books) come in either .mobi format (or .az3) and .epub. Unfortunately, kindles don't read .epubs. You can convert them between formats, but again, this requires a pc and a little know how.

          3. The kindle will go flat in a month wether you use it or not even if you disable the wifi (which is a good idea if you want the battery to last).

          4. The modern kindles don't have buttons on the side to flip pages, you gotta swipe or tap the screen (not a big deal, but will be for some who don't like touching the screen)

          5. All new kindles come with backlight however using this feature in bed defeats the scientifically backed reason reading in bed before sleep is good - use an external light.

          6. The waterproof edition is totally worth it.

          7. I love my kindle way to much.

          8. Get a Magnetic Case if you want to protect the thing and have it turn on to the last whenever you open it - exactly like a real book.

  • +7 votes

    If you read a lot, definitely. E-ink is miles better than an LCD screen for reading for long durations.

    The fact that the Paperwhite comes with built in book light and is waterproof made it an easy choice.

    • +2 votes

      The base model has a light too now. From what I can see the biggest differences is the waterproofing, storage and the design. I'll mostly be reading indoors so I don't know whether the extra $ for the paperwhite is worth it.

  • +8 votes

    Definitely if you read a lot or if you travel and like to read.

    I've had Kindles for 10 years now and would heartily recommend it.

    E-ink is much better to read off than an LCD. It doesn't give eye strain like an LCD does.

    Get a paperwhite, they are worth it. Better rest, just nicer. I've had my paperwhite for 6 years now as well, they last very well.

    I have a neoprene case for mine. I've had that for 10 years now.

    There are a heap of legal free books out there. Check the free Kindle releases. Also Gutenberg and whatnot.

    What's not good with Kindles is reading pdfs that are not exactly the right size.

    •  

      What are the exact differences between the paperwhite and standard? because from the amazon page it's not very clear. I can see storage, waterproofness and there's a different design. (sorry for asking so many questions).

      •  

        This has decent info.

        https://www.techradar.com/au/news/amazon-kindle-vs-kindle-pa...

        This big thing in my mind is the resolution difference. The denser pixels on the paperwhite look quite a bit better. To me it feels like they are easier on the eye with higher res.

        Another thing about Kindles - the battery life is staggering. Every other gizmo I own has to be charged regularly. A Kindle can go maybe 5-10 books on one charge if you keep the backlight dim and put it into flight mode whenever you're not using WiFi.

    •  

      Everything sien said.

      And especially great for traveling. You can take a lot of books for very little weight in your bag.

      •  

        I will almost exclusively be using it indoors. I'm sold, and I will defo buy one, just can't decide between base model and paperwhite 8gb.

        •  

          I have an old 4th gen base model and the 2017 Oasis. Both are great. The paperwhite seems to be the most popular.

          Concerning storage, if you're reading novels, they take up little space, at most a couple of MB. You don't need much storage for an e-reader.

  • +2 votes

    I had an original Paperwhite that I got in 2012. I now have a 2018 Paperwhite that I only got a few weeks ago as a birthday present.

    My original PW lasted nearly 8 years! The battery was slowly requiring charging more and more often, but other than that, it still works great. It might sound like a high price of nearly $200, but they do last and don't need an updated model every 12-24 months like phones. Whack a $12 eBay case on it and you're laughing. I went through 2 cheap cases in those 8 years, by the way, and I promptly ordered another cheapie for my new PW.

    Buy one, get yourself a year subscription of Kindle Unlimited, and I think you'll be very happy. There are other free methods of getting ebooks too, if you are that way inclined.

    •  

      Can I import pdf and other formats from my computer into the kindle or is it amazon books only?

      •  

        You will get personalised email address where yoy can send pdf via email. Amazon will TRY to format it nicely, meh not really, to be read on kindle.

        Sending richtext, word doc works a charm though.

        You can use free online websites to convert pdf directly to amazon format and send to kindle by connecting to pc.

        •  

          How hard is it to convert epub/mobi to kindle format using software? also is it possible that software like that could get taken down by amazon?

          •  

            @Lolno234: Apologies mate but I hardly use that conversion by myself. I either buy the books or borrow (mostly).

            But in principle, i dont see why the convertors be blocked, no one owes amazon sh×× and amazon cant block websites.

            Mobile apps on the otherhabd are easy to be blocked by reporting.

          • +4 votes

            @Lolno234: https://calibre-ebook.com

            Calibre is the go to software for covering ebooks. It's open source, a little confusing to use, but ok once you get your head around it. You may need to use a plugin for converting from Amazon's newest format. It's been a while since I used this.

      • +13 votes

        Look into downloading Calibre. Wonderful free program, great for organising & syncing your books to Kindle. Kindles native format is MOBI & I’ve found Calibre great at converting other popular formats such as PDF & EPUB with no loss in quality.

        •  

          Wait kindle's native format is mobi? does that I mean I can directly transfer Mobi without using said software? google says it's KDP so I'm confused

          •  

            @Lolno234: I could be wrong that’s what I always thought, anyways the 100 novels on my Kindle I all converted to MOBI & it works. I always assumed that was the native format?

            • +1 vote

              @dscott85: Kindle's format is azw and more recently azw3.
              It support other though not elegently.

              • +2 votes

                @Ash SA: Just looked into it a little apparently “AZW is a digital ebook file format developed by Amazon for its Kindle devices. The format was adopted from MobiPocket eBook MOBI file format and DRM protection was applied for their usage on Kindle devices only”.

                So from what I understand it seems like the AZW format is pretty much MOBI (whose developers were bought out by Amazon) with DRM added. Which is probably why in my experience MOBI files display well on Kindle.

              • +1 vote

                @Ash SA: Mobi is the original native format for Kindles. Azw is only supported on Gen 4 kindles and later.

          •  

            @Lolno234:

            does that I mean I can directly transfer Mobi without using said software?
            Correct.

            Mobi was the native format for early Kindles - up to Gen 3. Newer Kindles still support mobi for backwards compatibility, even though Amazon started providing ebooks in azw and azw3 for those devices.

          •  

            @Lolno234: All Kindle's read MOBI files and yes you can directly transfer them to the Kindle like moving files onto a usb drive. AZW and AZW3 are Amazons proprietary form of MOBI with extra bells and whistles like better handling of metadata and more support for DRM (the main reason it exists). All of those formats can be transfered easily. The other main format in ebooks you'll come across is EPUB (apple's format of choice) the Kindle won't read it and you'll need someting to convert it.

            As the others have said Calibre is a great program and makes it easy to manage an ebook library and has great conversion tools for different formats although it can be a little tricky to convert at times based on how the original ebook is handled.

  • +1 vote

    I have had a kindle for years, they last very well, and the storage is vast. I have an old 2Gb model and hundreds of books. No need for more storage, or waterproofing unless you read in the bath or pool.
    Consider secondhand too - they are cheap.

  • +1 vote

    Thank you guys for all the help. I've decided on the base model and will buy it tomorrow from JB/Officeworks.

  •  

    I’ll echo what others have said Kindle batteries last much longer than traditional tablets. They’re also much lighter than tablets & some books too if you have neck issues & reading from the screen is so much more comfortable than from a PC, tablet or laptop. You’ll really notice the difference if you like to read for a stretch.

  • -1 vote

    If you read a book once a year, don't buy it. lol

  • +5 votes

    Absolutely no doubt, I have a Kobo and love it to death. Had another E-reader before that for about 5 years.

    • +1 vote

      I have a kobo as well as I didn't want to be locked into the Amazon ecosystem. Mainly read paper at home but whenever I'm travelling the kobo is great.

  • +10 votes

    I would stongly recommend a getting a kobo reader over a kindle, so you aren't forced to buy everything through Amazon. Kobo uses the epub format, so once you download it, you own it forever. Plus there are a lot more completely free books out there on the interwebs in epub format.

    • +1 vote

      I don't plan on buying many books anyway as I have a lot of them in epub/mobi format already, but I can still convert those and use them with my kindle? I am getting the base kindle at $124. Idk anything about e-readers but I can see that the cheapest kobo is around the price of the kindle paperwhite. As long as there are methods to convert those formats into kindle format I should be fine no?

      • +3 votes

        https://calibre-ebook.com/ is great to convert ebooks between formats

        •  

          Yup that's what I'm planning on using. Decided on the base kindle purely based on the price and will probably pick it up today. Although in the case of downloading books online, I found a lot of them directly in the kindle format which is very handy.

          •  

            @Lolno234: E-readers are great for novel and story book type content and not for technical textbooks IMO. I love my Kindle for this

            •  

              @ggop: I'll be reading pretty much only novels and nothing else. Maybe some short stories but mostly long novels that are text only, so I think it should be good.

      • +2 votes

        Kobo HD can read mobi and epub. Calibre is a great tool though for transfering the books to the device and will do conversions too.

    • +1 vote

      I have over 100 books on my Kindle, not one purchased from Amazon (not because I hate Amazon, I buy stuff from them fairly regularly; but because I dislike DRM/restricted use content).

      Most of my books are bought in ePub format, but as I stated earlier convert within seconds with Calibre to MOBI files which my Kindle (now two years old) displays as well as any book I’d normally read.

      Basically my point is your not restricted to purchasing from Amazon.

      •  

        I'm surprised to hear that because in my experience converting from mobi to epub you more than often end up with messy formatting and lost functionality (although I've never found a book not in epub format, but I can't say the same for mobi). If epub to mobi consistently works well then I guess Amazon is playing their cards right in allowing conversions in but not out of their format.

    • -2 votes

      What? People still pay for books once getting an eReader? That kinda defeats a lot of the purpose of having one…

  • +7 votes

    Kobo is better IMO… support pocket app and more libraries eborrowing.

    • -3 votes

      They do the job I guess but Kindle is better. I don't eborrow or any of that stuff though.

  •  

    If you pirate even a handful of books, then it pays for itself. Assuming you wouldnt. have been able to tolerate reading off your phone screen in the first place. It's a good product, makes Kobo look like krap. Use the application for PC and Mac called "send to kindle", to send your legally obtained pirated books straight to your kindle.

  • +1 vote

    I would get a second hand one from gumtree. Any old one will do, probably $30 to $40 off you wait around. Make sure it has charge though, one I bought would not charge and changing the battery etc made no difference. I found the new paper white too small and annoying to keep swiping the screen to turn the page. If you get any older model they have buttons on the sides, like the current oasis. Much better for me even though no light. The best model to get for me is the a4 size dx model, brilliant to read but obviously not as portable as the smaller models. I don't know why Amazon don't make an a4 reader again, I'm sure there would be a big market….as long as the buttons are included. Not having a built in light is the biggest disadvantage of older models but I personally feel it is made up for by better navigation with the buttons. I know the Oasis have these but I am not prepared to pay the extra.

  • +4 votes

    My daughter has a Kindle Paperwhite and loves it. I have a Kobo Clara HD and enjoy reading from it immensely. I can highly recommend the Kobo Clara,especially as it has a cover which makes it easy to read in bed.I also like its having two different coloured sets of lights. The brown lights start working in the evening and don't keep you awake as the white lights do.The Kobo Clara supports 12 different formats, including the Kindle MOBI. I suggest you read reviews which compare these two readers. What I read in such reviews made me decide on the Kobo and not the Kindle.

  •  

    Kindle Paperwhite is the go mate - one of my favourite possessions. I used to read on an LCD tablet and I can quite literally say this has caused my eyesight to degenerate. e-ink is just so much better. You can get cheap cases for them off ebay for ~$10 that do the job. Just download the free Calibre app so you can easily manage your books on your kindle and convert any files from other formats to MOBI. Kindles are just so superior to normal paper books it isn't funny.

  •  

    short answer, yes

  •  

    I got the Kindle Paperwhite a few months ago (Gumtree - brand new condition seller had used it for a few hours then decided to sell it). Paperwhite 8GB Wi-Fi with original packaging/charging cable. Ended up getting it for $50!

    In terms of books, you can download them online (use a free online converter for file format as applicable) then use the 'Send to kindle' free computer program from Amazon to sync (via Wi-Fi) that file to your Kindle! https://www.amazon.com/gp/sendtokindle

    I am very happy with the product!

    • +1 vote

      Man you got lucky there is nothing close to a deal on gumtree near me. $50 for a paperwhite is a steal.

      • +1 vote

        Send to Kindle is a godsend, and they don't even advertise it!!

        •  

          Yeah, it came up when I was researching online as I had originally plugged it in via USB cable then found this amazing official solution from Amazon!

      •  

        Yeah was about 30 mins drive each way but worth it!

  • +4 votes

    Did enjoy my Kindle but switched to Kobo and much happier with that. Integrates with Overdrive much easier so able to borrow books quickly, so haven't needed to buy a book since the switch. The screen colours and display options were better, and the free books display better on it too.

  •  

    Paperwhite is awesome. Can read in bright sunshine or in dark room without disturbing partner’s sleep.

  • -1 vote

    Personally I found 6 inch which Kindle uses to be too small.

    I would really like to see some decent a4 sized e readers

  • +1 vote

    Paperwhite ftw! I read loads of light novels, I just download pdf's or whatever and convert using Calibre. Much better than reading on phone (gets tiring on the eyes)

    • +1 vote

      Man everyone is saying paperwhite when I've already decided to get the base model. I don't know if I will regret it or not.

      • +1 vote

        I think the new base is about the same as the old paperwhite. the new paperwhite has a sharper screen and waterproofing

        Most of these recommendations would be based on the old paperwhite, so no worries. It's a great device that you are getting (the equivalent of)

        I have an old paperwhite, but happened to be overseas during a decent sale and picked up a new one just because (gave the old one to mum). The new screen is a bit nicer, but no big deal. At regular prices it's hard to justify the difference now that they both have lights, which is more important, and makes the base great value. Only thing better would be an old paperwhite off gumtree for cheap.

        Also the new base model is much smaller, which is a bonus.
        Get a fake leather cover for it, the $5 ones on aliexpress can be surprisingly nice.

  • +2 votes

    definitely worth it, mine is a good 6 years old and still going strong, I think it was one of the first paperwhite models.

    The kindle deals are fantastic, every day they pick around 4-5 books and put them on offer for 99p. Also every month they have monthly offers too where they pick a hundred or so for 99p, and every Sunday they pick an author and put a load of their books for 99p too, so there is always opportunities for cheap reads. I've had heaps of good stuff for 99p like 2001 Space odyssey, about 10 discworld novels, some Sanderson stuff, 1984, heaps of scifi / fantasy.

    (I say prices in GBP cos I brought mine over from UK and it's still registered there, but I assume the same deals are available for AU)

  • +1 vote

    I have had two Kindles over the last 10 years and they're good.
    BUT I've just recently got into using my local library's ebook service and sadly because Amazon are greedy f**ks they don't allow you to download borrowed ebooks onto their Kindle devices. A lot of the non Kindle e-ink readers do so if you're after a more cost effective way of reading I'd suggest researching some of the other options so you're not in the Amazon Kindle store walled garden.

  •  

    Probably more than a decade ago, I was certain (colour) e-ink screens would be the new standard for laptops. I had a vision that instead of working in an office, everyone that had a "sit in front of a computer all day" job would be working wherever they wanted to and mostly outside.

    Also predicted, among many other things, that by now we'd have giant roll up tv screens, and they'd be shipped direct from the factory.

    Yeah, my predictions are shit.

  • +6 votes

    Hi guys, I just bought the Kindle Paperwhite 8GB in-store. Thank you for all the help and advice you have given me.

  •  

    As others have said use calibre you can get books from anywhere and convert to suit your device.
    You can even use your library overdrive accounts from your PC convert into calibre onto your Kindle. That is skirting the line as you are not borrowing then.

    Using the PC an calibre can be a little annoying but it's only every few months as you can easily fit 100s of novels on your Kindle.

  •  

    I don’t regret buying mine at all. Can carry hundreds of books with u anytime anywhere, in 1 small package. You end up reading more because you have the device on you. It’s not bulky like a book.

  • +1 vote

    if money is tight also go to your local library and see what ebook readers they support and range of books - some local libaries also loan out ereaders ..also lots of epub and mobi clasic books around the internet. I still prefer print material but ereaders are good for holidays and daily commute

  •  

    I have the paperwhite too and it's great. Really good and a big difference on how it doesn't strain the eyes.

  •  

    My paperwhite was purchased from amazon back in July 2018 for around ~$120, I think it was some ozbargain deal posted. I’m loving the free ebooks, although I need to filter out about 10 ebooks before I get a good one. Amazon unlimited is good for better books, sometimes they offer 3 months for free. In 2019 I read and reviewed around 115 ebooks. I’ve current have 540 ebooks saved and wonder how much more I can add.

  •  

    Compared to an actual book? Not as nice but very convenient. Compared to a tablet? There's no competition - it's clearly superior. I would opt for the smaller paperwhite model, unless you're some kind of weirdo that reads a huge number of books at the same time then you won't need more than the 8gb, but the e-ink screens, light form factor and great battery life make them far and above the better choice compared to a tablet.

  •  

    Can't articulate well enough how much I love my Kindle, one of the best devices I've bought and I've had 3 over the years (orignal black and white I upgraded, to the old paperwhite, and then the paperwhite I upgraded to the most recent paperwhite for the reverse colours function) convenience and accesibility is great and I load it up with tons of books, plus all my old Kindle's are still being used by family members.

    I'd recommend the current paperwhite for a little extra you get the higher pixel density resulting in a clearer display and the white background is nice and crisp, one of my current favourite features on the new gen with the paperwhite is the ability to invert black and white making the kindle have a black background with white text to read at night and not disturb my partner with the extra light.

    • +1 vote

      Can't articulate well enough how much I love my Kindle

      Perhaps reading the kindle a bit more may help with this? ;)

  •  

    I love my kindle

    I have worn out 2 over the years and am now all into my third one..

    I catch public transport to work and read and it makes the trip fly

  •  

    Yes, the new kindle waterproof paperwhite is excellent, also got the genuine black leather case for my birthday, so nice and way better than the cheaper cases. Got given a few paperback books for xmas, much prefer the kindle.

  •  

    I have a Kobo not a Kindle, but I have to agree that the ereader experience is much more pleasant than reading on a phone or a tablet.

    I don't know if Kindle has it, but Kobo lets you log into into Overdrive with your library account right on the device, so it makes borrowing free ebooks as easy as possible. I really like that aspect.

    I probably wouldn't bother with a waterproof device unless you read a lot in the bath/pool/jacuzzi/etc.

  •  

    I got a Kobo, decided that because of SD card support. If you get a train/bus to work its great.

  •  

    I've loved having a Kindle Paperwhite. Awesome to read books on in bed (or anywhere!)

  •  

    Highly recommend a kindle

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