Kindle issues Part 2

In a previous post, I mentioned a couple of issues I had with the Kindle. On my holiday in New Zealand, I did have one issue with the Kindle. Not everyone knows that the Kindle has a web browser. When you go to settings you won’t see anything called web browser. They call it Experimental because it is, well, experimental. The UK Kindles used to offer 3G browsing but no more. You can only browse using Wi-Fi. I took both my Viliv N5 and my Kindle to New Zealand. The latter, of course, was primarily for reading books, with the intention of using the Viliv for web browsing. Unfortunately, the Viliv uses crappy old Windows (© Microsoft) so it did at times have difficult connecting to WiFi. I then reverted to the Kindle.

Advantages of the Kindle over the Viliv:

1. It connected far more often and far easier to WiFi than the Viliv.
2. The type face was bigger.

Advantages of the Viliv over the Kindle

1. It had a keyboard. Typing with a virtual keyboard is a pain.
2. When it worked, it was faster.
3. When it worked, it did not freeze and had no difficulty with more complex websites.

General problems with the Kindle as a web browser.

1. It was slow.
2. It froze.
3. Google at times did not like it, saying that it was using an outdated version of Safari.
4. It was monochrome.
5. Difficult to move around the screen.
6. On some sites, it put an outline box over part of the screen. Only by playing around did I realise this was a zoom function.
7. The main problem was that it used a huge amount of battery and, annoyingly, seemed to temporarily hinder recharging. On more than one occasion, after using the web but having switched off WiFi, it did not recharge. On some occasions, it seemed to be recharge but the light did not change colour and the batter icon seemed to suggest it had not charged. Only by unplugging and plugging in again did the light turn green and the battery icon update.

To be fair, it is not intended as a web browser and Amazon had said it was experimental and it was a useful addition, particularly if you have no ready access to anything else. For reading email and basic stuff, it is useful. I hope that a more sophisticated, less battery-using browser will soon come.

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