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?
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