REVIEW: Is the Amazon Kindle an ideal caravan gadget?

The Kindle Wi-Fi (right) was launched earlier this year
The Kindle Wi-Fi (right) was launched earlier this year

Thursday, 08, Dec 2011 02:24

by Chris Jefferies

For many, taking a caravan holiday is all about escaping the stresses and hassles that come with modern life, so laptops, televisions and other such technological fripperies are often left behind.

Yet despite this, there are many reasons why it might be worth ditching your bulky book collection and investing in an Amazon Kindle.

The Kindle is an e-reader, which means that you can read several books digitally from one device. Put simply - it is to books what an MP3 player is to CDs.

This month at Caravan Times we have been comparing the two most recent models to see if they could catch on with the hard-nosed caravanning public.

What's it all about then?

The Amazon Kindle was launched in America four years ago, but only made it to the UK in 2009. Its success has lead to Amazon announcing last year that e-books are now more popular than paperback books.

One of the main reasons that Kindles have become so popular is their low-maintenance style. Unlike power-hungry smartphones, a Kindle only needs to be charged once per month.

This is made possible as the device uses electronic ink instead of a backlit screen, which also means less strain on your eyes and eliminates any glare than can be caused by direct sunlight.

All of these things obviously translate well into the context of a caravan holiday - you don't need to take a charger with you and as it weighs in at just 247g, it is hardly going to make a dent on your payload limit.

There's no monthly contract or download limit to have to worry about either, and there's enough room to store more than 1,000 books on this little tablet.

The main thing we've noticed though is how unobtrusive the Kindle is to read. Just pick your novel and flick through the pages with your thumb on the side buttons and it feels just like reading a book.

You can easily forget that you're using a space-age gadget - it's just a seamless way of reading lots of books on the move and it feels as natural as anything.

Decisions, decisions

Amazon offers two different versions of the Kindle - the Wi-Fi and the 3G version - which can both serve a useful purpose, depending on what you want to use them for.

We would recommend the cheaper Wi-Fi only version, especially if you regularly stay on larger service camp sites, as it is lighter by a third, and it is small enough and thin enough to fit into your coat pocket.

Prices start at around £90 for the Kindle Wi-Fi, but if you want to get your hands on one for free, then be sure to cast your vote in the Caravan Times 2011 Readers' Poll.

There are several runners-up prizes to be won as well, and the lucky winner will be announced on Friday 16th December.

Comments - What do you think?
Related stories

COMPETITION: Vote for your 2011 Caravan of the Year and win a Kindle

This year's poll is bigger and better than ever

In our biggest ever giveaway, CaravanTimes is offering a range of exciting Christmas presents to readers who vote in our annual poll

TV presenter's custom-made Bailey Ranger gets Whale heating upgrade

Rowland Rivron talks to Bailey about his heating needs

After falling in love with caravanning while filming a BBC documentary, TV presenter Rowland Rivron commissioned an exclusive Bailey Ranger for his family to take on holiday to the south of France

Thetford offers customers a free drainage solution for C250 caravan toilets

Following a number of reports of broken pumps on the C250 CWE cassette toilet, Thetford has designed a new drainage solution which prevents the problem and is offering it free to anyone with the toilet model

The Ideal Christmas Gifts For Us Caravan Folk

We've solved your Christmas woes

This time of year should be about giving and making those around you happy, but in reality it's a bit stressful. Trying to find the right gift before the big day all while trying to wrangle the family to get together for a massive Christmas dinner. So to help ease the stress and tension of gift buying here are some items that should go down a treat Christmas morning.

TRIBUTE TESTING BLOG WEEK 3: A Question of Driving

The Auto-Trail Tribute has a 115hp Fiat engine

In Week 3 of our long term test, we look at what it is like to drive the Auto-Trail Tribute 670. In this review, I will look at different common driving questions followed by a brief summary for anyone who is a novice and also a summary for the more experienced.

FEATURE: CaravanTimes continues with its long term testing of the AutoTrail Tribute

Van conversion motorhomes have always been popular for the short breakers

In the second blog of our long term test of the Auto-Trail Tribute 670, we look at how the Tribute performs for the short getaway, that weekend reprieve or the impromptu break.

FEATURE: CaravanTimes introduces long term tests with the AutoTrail Tribute

We will be living with, in and around these leisure vehicles for long periods of time, throughout the year.

Here, at CaravanTimes we have reviewed literally thousands of caravans and motorhomes over the years. We have been involved in challenges, events and press junkets and now is the time to take it to the next level with long term reviews.