Hardware & Design
The 2011 Kindle does away with the physical keyboard for a virtual but cuts down in overall size and is near paper-thin. It comes with a 6 inch e-ink display, 2 GB of internal storage, Wi-Fi for syncing your books, physical buttons for back, home, menu, and to pull up the virtual keyboard. The directional pad in the center is also your action button. On each side of the bezel there is page turning buttons. On the bottom is a micro USB port and the power button. Simplistic hardware design with a rock solid build and very pocketable.
Software and Usability
The Kindle users a simple interface and easy to read e-ink display. All of your eBooks are on the main screen and just clicking on one will open up the book and you can use the page buttons on the sides to change pages in the book. You can search through each book as well and you can make annotations and bookmark pages. You can use the Kindle store to download new eBooks, newspapers and magazines. You can rent and borrow books from your local library that supports it. Since this model is the $79 model its ad-supported with special offers at the bottom of the main page and when you kindle goes into sleep mode it will show an ad screen saver. You can get one that is not ad-supported for $109.
They have included an experimental browser which makes web pages looks like newspapers on the e-ink display.I’m not sure if it using some of the technology seen in the Amazon Silk browser for the Kindle Fire. Battery is phenomenal and what you would expect from the Kindle you can go weeks to a month without needing to charge it.
The new 2011 Kindle is what you would expect to see from Amazon in a e-reader. Its simple, straight forward and build well. The browser could be an interesting add-on when it becomes final and while a physical keyboard would be easier to type on you don’t really miss it that much and with such the large display you end up wanting to touch the screen instead. The new Kindle is a no-brainer to grab at this price and quality.