Reviews eBook Readers

Old Kindle Versus Kindle 4

The new Kindle 4 come with an incredible $79 price tag. Many new Kindle 3 owners start to think to return the Kindle 3, buy Kindle 4 and save some money for others accessories like cases … But is this a good decision? Is the new Kindle 4 better than Kindle 3 or at least the same but at a better price? Let’s run our usual eight round comparison review: old Kindle 3 Versus Kindle 4.

Note: I talk here about Kindle 4 no touch, for Kindle 4 Touch please read Kindle Touch Versus Kindle 3 review.

kindle3 versus kindle4
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kKindle 4 has no keyboard as Kindle 3 but Kindle 4 is lighter than Kindle 3. You should decide what it is more important to you: keyboard or portability?

Round 1. Display: Kindle 3 Vs Kindle 4
Round 2. Storage: Kindle 3 Vs Kindle 4
Round 3. Portability: Kindle 3 Vs Kindle 4
Round 4. Autonomy: Kindle 3 Vs Kindle 4
Round 5. Books: Kindle 3 Vs Kindle 4
Round 6. Interface: Kindle 3 Vs Kindle 4
Round 7. Connectivity: Kindle 3 Vs Kindle 4
Round 8. General experience: Kindle 3 Vs Kindle 4
Final round:My conclusion

Display: Kindle 3 Vs Kindle 4
No points in this round because the display is the same for Kindle 4 and Kindle 3: 6 inch, E Ink display, 600×800 pixel resolution.

Storage: Kindle 3 Vs Kindle 4
As the flash storage price goes down, the Amazon cut the storage size in Kindle 4… So, Kindle 4 come with 2GB but only 1.25GB available for ebooks. As no card reader available in Kindle 4 there are no way to expand your Kindle 4 storage. Kindle 4 – Kindle 3: 0-1.

Portability: Kindle 3 Vs Kindle 4
Kindle 4 is lighter and smaller: 30% lighter, less than 6 ounces and 18% smaller body. Complete data in the table. I add the Nook and Kindle Touch in table to have a better comparison. Kindle 4 – Kindle 3: 1-1.

Kindle 4 Kindle 3 Kindle touch Nook
Weight: 5.98oz (170 grams) 8.50oz (240grams) 7.5oz (213 grams) 7.48oz (212 grams)
Height: 6.5in (166mm) 7.5in (190mm) 6.8in (172mm) 6.5in (165mm)
Width: 4.5in (114mm) 4.8in (122mm) 4.7in (120mm) 5.0in (127mm)
Depth: 0.34in (8.7mm) 0.335in (8.5mm) 0.40in (10.1mm) 0.47in (11mm)

Kindle 3 with keyboard, Kindle Touch and Kindle 4 no touch
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Kindle 3 with keyboard, Kindle Touch and Kindle 4 no touch

Autonomy: Kindle 3 Vs Kindle 4
Battery life is a very important feature for an ebook reader portable device. So, Amazon cut the Kindle 4 autonomy at half than Kindle 3. So, battery life is 2-4 weeks for Kindle 4 vs 1-2 months for old Kindle 3.
Kindle 4 – Kindle 3: 1-2

Books: Kindle 3 Vs Kindle 4
You will buy and download the books in the same well known Kindle way. The problem is to search in Amazon store without keyboard or touch screen. Typing on virtual keyboard using the 5-way controller is not easy. After 2-3 attempts you will move to your PC to buy books for your Kindle 4…
Kindle 4 – Kindle 3: 1-3 I’m a little scared about the score after this round. Moreover, interface round coming next and Kindle 4 has no keyboard and no touch…

Interface: Kindle 3 Vs Kindle 4
The main interface has no change for Kindle 4 but the access to menu or various items with the 5-way controller requires patience from user. Kindle 3 get one more point and we have now Kindle 4 – Kindle 3: 1-4

Connectivity: Kindle 3 Vs Kindle 4
Kindle 4 feature only WiFi and there are no option for 3G. For Kindle 3 we can choose WiFi or WiFi + 3G. Again Kindle 3 collect one point. Kindle 4 – Kindle 3: 1-5.

General experience: Kindle 3 Vs Kindle 4
Kindle 4 feature the experimental browser but you can imagine your self try to use 5-way controller to type URLs? No way!
You like audio books? Forget about audio books if you plan to buy Kindle 4 as it has no speakers or audio jack.
My final score: Kindle 4 – Kindle 3: 1-6.

My conclusion
I think Amazon set a price point for Kindle 4 and cut a lot of feature from it. So, if you are looking for a simple ebook reader with a very good price tag Kindle 4 is your best choice. If you are demanding for an ebook reader full of great future you should consider Kindle Touch or Nook.

Buy Kindle 4 at Amazon US
Buy Kindle 4 at Amazon UK.

Old Kindle Versus Kindle 4, reviewed by David Stephan on 2011-10-01T13:25:04+00:00 rating 9.0 out of 10
  1. Reply Tom October 2, 2011 at 7:06 pm

    You took the comparison chart that can be found on the amazon page for the kindle and added words around it to make it harder to compare.

  2. Reply Brian October 3, 2011 at 1:08 am

    This is an excellent comparison between the models. I have just the kindle 4 (no touch). I find it ultra portable and it fits in my back pocket nicely.

    I got the one with special ads. The ads don’t bother me one bit!

  3. Reply Angie October 3, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    Many thanks for this comparison……as Santa is giving me an Audible subscription for Christmas I am delighted that I didn’t buy Kindle 4 – phew ,

  4. Reply Tarit October 5, 2011 at 11:02 am

    Thanks for this review. Now I will sleep better at night not worrying if I’m missing out on the new Kindle. What will make me buy a new one is when they invent the E ink in color, so I can read comics and see photographs from books without the backlight. Currently images are the weakest part of any Kindle. The new Kindle Fire didn’t get around that issue because it uses backlight.

  5. Reply CINDY November 14, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    Thanks for the easy to read comparison! I own the Kindle 3 and was considering a new 4 for my daughter, but now I think I will stick with the 3 for practicality, ease of user interface, and battery life/storage capability.

  6. Reply spottedpufferfish November 15, 2011 at 7:32 am

    What about page turning speed? How does the Kindle 4 compare with the Kindle keyboard?

  7. Reply Howie November 29, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    Page turning is better on Kindle 4 but unless you are reading 28 point text and turning every other moment, it hardly matters. Compared to turning the pages of a book, any electronic turning is superior.

    I have a Kindle 3, my wife a Kindle 4 which has impressed me, smaller size and absence of a keyboard you hardly use (browsing on a Kindle is unbearably painful. I’ve done it when there was no alternative but more than once gave up in despair).

    I was about to order a Kindle 4 for my son and decided I’d look at the specs. The more I looked the more attractive the old Kindle 3 became, particularly now that prices on it have dropped. I’ll end up getting a 3 for my son.

  8. Reply Giiobatta65 December 14, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    I have a Kindle 4, its amazing, cheap price, so light I fear to break it 🙂
    however battery life s**** badly: with no WiFi it can barely reach five day to a week if you are a “serious” reader (ie: at least one hour per day)
    one or two days with WiFi on but I dont care about it
    2 week is a bit optimistic…

  9. Reply Kindle fan December 26, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    Thanks for comparsion!
    I’m not going to buy a ‘regular’ Kindle (the Kindle 3 I already got is prefect for me), however I’m planning on getting a Kindle fire soon 🙂

  10. Reply Roscent January 12, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    Are you sure about the chart? It’s said that kindle 3 is the lightest of them all, even compared to kindle 4.

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