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Review: Amazon Kindle Reader

There are two versions of Amazon's third generation Kindle Reader - the Wi-Fi only model at £111 in the UK and the Amazon 3G model which has Wi-Fi plus 3G but is more expensive at £152 in the UK. The 3G model gives you internet access in over 100 countries without needing a Wi-Fi hotspot.

The Kindle's rubberised backing makes it easy to hold and forward and back buttons are placed comfortably on both sides of the screen. Some users might prefer the physical QWERTY keyboard of the Kindle to a touchscreen keyboard but if you're an iPod or iPhone user you might find it more annoying.

The six inch screen has E-Ink Pearl display, which makes it a comfortable size for reading and glare-free. High contrast makes the text stand out from an easy-on-the-eye white background without the glare that you get from a computer screen. With a resolution of 600 x 800 pixels, the text is sharp and you can increase or decrease the font size by selecting from the eight font sizes when you click on the keyboard's 'Aa' button. The screen displays 16 shades of grey, as illustrated by the screensaver images when the Kindle is in sleep mode.

The five-way navigation control is a simple square with the four sides used to navigate up, down, right and left and 'select' by pressing the centre.

When reading, open the menu to search for a word or phrase in the book, add a bookmark, add a note or highlight text. You can also check the menu for popular highlights from the book that you're reading - quotes that other readers have highlighted. If you highlight a quote from the book, it's saved in 'My Clippings' in the Kindle's Home menu, which is great for saving favourite quotes - or you can share the quote  on your favourite social network by following the prompt when you select the text.

The experimental browser shows web pages in black and white. Flash is not supported so video content won't show. JavaScript is enabled by default in the Kindle's settings so interactive content like online shopping is straightforward.

The experimental MP3 player allows you to copy MP3 files from your computer to the Kindle's music folder. With four gigabytes of internal memory, more than 3000 books can be stored on the Kindle, bearing in mind that music files will also take up some space.

The experimental text-to-speech feature is functional but not enjoyable. Listening to your ebook on the Kindle is nothing like listening to an audio book.

Kindle accessories include a range of covers, skins, envelopes and clip-on reading lights at varying prices. The lighted leather cover is the most expensive, available in a rainbow of seven colours with or without a built-in reading light. Some Kindle users have had issues with the non-lighted leather cover's metal hooks causing the device inside to freeze or reboot itself. There have been no issues with the lighted leather cover.

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