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    $139.00
    1. Kindle Wireless Reading Device,
    $189.00
    2. Kindle 3G Wireless Reading Device,
    $34.99
    3. Kindle Leather Cover, Black (Fits
    $59.99
    4. Kindle Lighted Leather Cover,
    $278.98
    5. Apple iPod touch 32 GB (4th Generation)
    $210.00
    6. Apple iPod touch 8 GB (4th Generation)
    $189.00
    7. Kindle 3G Wireless Reading Device,
    $59.99
    8. Kindle Lighted Leather Cover,
    $7.99
    9. AmazonBasics High-Speed HDMI Cable
    $19.99
    10. Scotch Thermal Laminator 15.5
    $24.73
    11. Garmin Portable Friction Mount
    $7.99
    12. Caselogic TBC-302 Ultra Compact
    $9.99
    13. AmazonBasics High-Speed HDMI Cable
    $9.99
    14. Scotch(TM) Thermal Laminating
    $99.00
    15. Apple TV MC572LL/A (2010)
    $79.99
    16. LG BD530 1080p Network Blu-ray
    $44.99
    17. Apple iPod shuffle 2 GB Silver
    $79.99
    18. Roku XD Streaming Player 1080p
    $228.54
    19. Apple iPod classic 160 GB Black
    $59.99
    20. Kindle Lighted Leather Cover,

    1. Kindle Wireless Reading Device, Wi-Fi, Graphite, 6" Display with New E Ink Pearl Technology
    Electronics
    list price: $139.00 -- our price: $139.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B002Y27P3M
    Manufacturer: Amazon.com
    Sales Rank: 2
    Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    The all-new Kindle has a new electronic-ink screen with 50 percent better contrast than any other e-reader, a new sleek design with a 21 percent smaller body while still keeping the same 6-inch-size reading area, and a 17 percent lighter weight at just 8.5 ounces.The new Kindle also offers 20 percent faster page turns, up to one month of battery life, double the storage to 3,500 books, built-in Wi-Fi, a graphite color option and more—all for only $139. ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars Kindle vs. Nook (updated 12/1/2010), August 28, 2010
    If you're trying to choose between a Nook and a Kindle, perhaps I can help. My wife and I have owned a Nook (the original one, not the new Nook Color), a Kindle 2, and a Kindle DX. When Amazon announced the Kindle 3 this summer, we pre-ordered two Kindle 3's: the wi-fi only model in graphite, and the wi-fi + 3G model in white. They arrived in late August and we have used them very regularly since then. For us, Kindle is better than Nook, but Nook is a good device with its own advantages that I will discuss below. I'll end this review with a few words about the Nook Color.

    First, reasons why we prefer the Kindle:

    * Speed

    In our experience, the Kindle is very zippy compared to the Nook. Page refresh speed (the time it takes a new page to appear after you push the page-turn button) was WAY quicker on Kindle 2 than on Nook, and it's quicker yet on Kindle 3. Yet, I read a whole book on the Nook and didn't find the slower page refresh to be annoying - you get used to it, and it's not a problem.

    For me, the more important speed difference concerns navigation - moving the cursor around the screen, for example to pick a book from your library, or to jump to a chapter by selecting it in the table of contents. On Kindle, you do this by pushing a 5-way rocker button, and the cursor moves very quickly. On Nook, you do this by activating the color LCD touchscreen (which normally shuts off when not in use, to conserve battery). A "virtual rocker button" appears on the screen, and you touch it to move the cursor. Unfortunately, the Nook cursor moves very sluggishly. This might not be a big deal to you, but it really got annoying to me, especially since my wife's Kindle was so quick and responsive.

    In November 2010, Nook got a software upgrade that increases page refresh speed and makes navigation more responsive. I returned my Nook months ago, so I cannot tell you if the Nook's performance is now equal to the Kindle's, but Nook owners in the comments section have convinced me that the software update improves the experience of using the Nook. If performance is a big factor in your decision, visit a Best Buy and compare Kindle and Nook side by side.

    * Screen contrast

    You've seen Amazon's claims that the Kindle 3 e-ink has 50% better contrast than Kindle 2 or other e-ink devices. I have no way of precisely measuring the improvement in contrast, but I can tell you that the Kindle 3 display definitely has more contrast than Kindle 2 or Nook. The difference is noticeable, and important: more screen contrast means less eyestrain when reading in poorly lit rooms.

    In well-lit rooms, the Nook and Kindle 2 have enough contrast to allow for comfortable reading. But I often read in low-light conditions, like in bed at night, or in a poorly lit room. In these situations, reading on Nook or Kindle 2 was a bit uncomfortable and often gave me a mild headache. When I got the Kindle 3, the extra contrast was immediately noticeable, and made it more comfortable to read under less-than-ideal lighting conditions. (If you go with a Nook, just make sure you have a good reading lamp nearby.)

    * Battery life

    The Nook's color LCD touch screen drains its battery quickly - I could never get more than 5 days out of a charge. The Kindle 2 had longer battery life than the Nook, and Kindle 3 has even longer life: in the 3 months since we received our Kindle 3's, we typically get 3 weeks of battery life between charges. (We keep wireless off about half the time to save battery power.)

    * Weight

    Nook weighs about 3 ounces more than the new Kindle, and you can really feel the difference. Without a case, Nook is still light enough to hold in one hand for long reading sessions without fatigue. But in a case, Nook is a heavy sucker. The new Kindle 3 is so light, even in a case, we find it comfortable holding in one hand for long reading sessions.

    Reasons some people might prefer the Nook:

    * In-store experience

    If you need help with your nook, you can take it to any barnes and noble and get a real human to help. You can take your nook into the coffee shop section of your local B&N store and read any book for free for up to one hour per day. When you take your nook to B&N, some in-store special deals and the occasional free book pop up on your screen.

    * User-replaceable battery

    Rechargeable batteries eventually lose their ability to hold a charge. Nook's battery is user-replaceable and relatively inexpensive. To replace Kindle's battery, Amazon wants you to ship your Kindle to Amazon, and they will ship you back a DIFFERENT Kindle than the one you sent (it's the same model, for example if you send a white Kindle 3, you get a white Kindle 3 back, but you get a "refurbished" one, NOT the exact one you sent them). I don't like this at all.

    However, several people have posted comments here that have eased my concerns. Someone looked up statistics on the Kindle's battery and did some simple calculations to show that it should last for 3 or more years. Before that happens, I will surely have upgraded to a newer Kindle model by then. Also, someone found some companies that sell Kindle batteries at reasonable cost and have how-to videos that demonstrate how we can replace the battery ourselves. Doing this would void the Kindle's warranty, but the battery will probably not fail until long after the warranty expires.

    * ePub

    Nook uses the ePub format, a widely used open format. Amazon uses a proprietary ebook format. Many libraries will "lend" ebooks in the ePub format, which works with nook but not kindle. However, a free and reputable program called Calibre allows you to translate ebooks from one format to another - it supports many formats, including ePub and Kindle. The only catch is that it doesn't work with copy-protected ebooks, so you can't, for example, buy a Kindle book (which is copy protected) and translate it to ePub so you can read it on a Nook.

    * lending e-books to friends

    Nook owners can "loan" ebooks they purchased to other nook owners for up to two weeks. You can't do this with kindle - yet. Amazon has announced it will soon add this lending feature to all kindles (via a software update that will be available to people who already own kindles).

    * Nook's color LCD touchscreen

    This could be a pro or con, depending on your preferences. It makes nook hipper and less drab than kindle. Some people enjoy using the color LCD to view their library or navigate. I did, at first. But after two weeks of use, and comparisons with my wife's kindle, I found the dedicated buttons of the kindle easier and far quicker to use than the nook's color touchscreen. I also found the bright light from the color screen distracting when I was trying to read a book or newspaper (though when not in use, it shuts off after a minute or so to conserve battery).

    * expandable capacity

    Nook comes with 2GB of internal memory. If you need more capacity, you can insert a microSD card to add up to 16GB more memory. Kindle comes with 4GB of internal memory - twice as much as Nook - but there's no way to expand that. Kindle doesn't accept memory cards of any type. If you mainly use your device to read ebooks and newspapers, this shouldn't be an issue. I have over 100 books on my Kindle, and I've used only a tiny fraction of the memory. Once Kindle's memory fills up, just delete books you don't need immediate access to; you can always restore them later, in seconds, for free.

    A few other notes:

    Kindle and Nook have other features, such as an MP3 player and a web browser, but I caution you to have low expectations for these features. The MP3 player on the Kindle is like the first-generation iPod shuffle - you can't see what song is playing, and you can't navigate to other songs on your device. I don't like the browser on either device; e-ink is just not a good technology for surfing the web; it's slower and clunkier than LCD screen technology, so even the browser on an Android phone or iPod touch is more enjoyable to use. However, some commenters have more favorable views of either device's browser, and you might, too.

    * PDF support

    Kindle and Nook both handle PDF files, but in different ways. When you put a PDF file on your nook, nook converts it into an ebook-like file, then you can adjust the font size, and the text and pagination will adjust just like with any ebook. But you cannot see the original PDF file in the native format in which it was created. Kindle 3 and Kindle DX have native support for PDF files. You can see PDF files just as they would appear on your computer. You can also convert PDF files to an ebook-like format, and then Kindle handles them just the way the Nook handles them - text and pagination adjust when you change the font size. Unfortunately, some symbols, equations, and graphics get lost or mangled in the translation - even when viewing PDF files in their native format on the Kindle. Moreover, the small screen size of the Kindle 3 and the Nook is not great for PDF files, most of which are designed for a larger page size. You can zoom and pan, but this is cumbersome and tiresome. Thanks to commenters who suggested viewing PDF files in landscape mode on the Kindle (I don't know if you can do this on Nook); this way, you can see the entire top half of the page without panning, and then scroll down to the bottom half. This works a little better.

    SUMMARY:

    Nook and Kindle each offer their own advantages. We like the nook's user-replaceable battery, compatibility with ePub format, and in-store experience. But we strongly prefer Kindle 3 because its performance is zippier, its higher-contrast screen is easier to read, and it's smaller and lighter so it is more portable and more comfortable to hold in one hand for long reading sessions.

    * Nook Color

    Everything I wrote about the Nook in this review applies to the original Nook (which continues to be available), not the new Nook Color. To me, the Nook Color is in a different product category than the Kindle or original Nook. Nook Color has an LCD screen, like an iPad or most computer monitors. Reading on a computer screen for long periods of time is not comfortable for me - it causes fatigue and headaches. The e-ink Kindle is very comfortable for long reading sessions. So I'll take a pass on the Nook Color. But it will probably be great for others, especially people who want to watch movies, surf the web and play games on their e-reader, and don't mind the extra cost, weight, or lack of 3G. I've seen and played with a Nook Color at my local B&N, and it is a very attractive device. I'm looking forward to reading user reviews of the Nook Color when people start getting them. If you get one, please post a comment to let us know how you like it.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Worth the money. Not perfect, but very very good for start to finish novels in good light, August 31, 2010
    I woke up to a nice surprise this morning: a new kindle as a gift. I have an iPad and a Kindle DX, but I guess someone heard my complaints of them being too heavy and difficult to do extended-reading on. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love my iPad and DX, but this new generation of Kindle is perfect for reading outside and for long periods of time. The iPad gets completely washed out in sunlight and often irritates my eyes staring at it for more than a couple of hours. The DX was my go-to device for those extended/outdoor reading periods, but now I have a new friend for reading novels. Instead of a replacement, this one seems more like a companion to the other devices and is a different class. The iPad works great for web browsing, shopping, productivity, games, etc while the Kindle falls short in those areas. The Kindle works great for reading novels, where the iPad falls short. For those that love to do extended-reading of magazines, newspapers, research articles, etc, I find that the DX is the go-to device.

    Without a doubt, the size and weight of the new kindle is the biggest draw for me. It's smaller than the last edition by a significant margin. I've played around with the Kindle 2 and was impressed, but now looking at the size of the new Kindle, I'm blown away. It's the absolute perfect size. Smaller would be unmanageable and larger wouldn't feel nearly as good. This is a device that you can hold up, read, and just forget that it's there. Compared to other e-readers I've tried, it's much smaller and much lighter.

    One of my biggest complaints about the previous generation Kindles and the DX is the speed. It sometimes takes a while after you push `next page' for it to actually change. In addition, the web browsing feature was so slow and clunky that it is really unusable in my opinion. Two additions to the new Kindle have helped attenuate these issues. First, the pages do flip quicker (albeit, still slow in my opinion), and the addition of wifi has allowed faster connection for wireless activities (much better than only relying on 3G). I still can't see myself using the Kindle as an internet browsing tool or really doing much online aside from purchasing reading material, but the faster connection at least opens up the possibility - something that would only frustrate me on previous editions.

    The new Kindle also offers a better contrast than previous editions and it looks fantastic compared to every other e-reader I have seen. I have no trouble seeing the screen in dim light or in bright sunlight - it really opens up the ability to read almost anywhere you are. Of course, you'll still need a separate light for extremely dark areas.

    Another big addition to the Kindle 3 is that it offers double the storage compared to Kindle 2. I've never had a problem with the amount of storage since I can't possibly see myself filling up that much space (I don't put mp3's on it), but perhaps in the future, if certain applications or media files are put on the kindle, it could have been a problem. The additional space in the new model is definitely a welcome addition, but bringing back the memory card slot that was included on Kindle 1 would have been an even more welcome addition in my opinion.

    Among e-readers, I definitely recommend the Kindle 3 if not just because it has a better size/form-factor, contrast, battery life, and speed compared to every other e-reader I have tried. On top of that, you get the wonderful amazon buying experience and selection for all your literature and can keep your kindle library intact between whatever other device you want to download a Kindle application onto.

    The question of whether you need a Kindle vs another type of device for reading becomes a little more tricky and really comes down to what you want to use it for.

    Do you want a device to read novels on, perhaps read outside, and have something very light that you almost forget it's there? Buy the Kindle.

    Do you want something to lie in bed with for short periods of time while surfing the web? I might suggest going with the iPad, a different tablet, or a netbook.

    Do you already have a Kindle 1 or 2? That's a tough one.... I don't think the new edition has enough `new' to it to warrant the upgrade in my mind, but some might value the new size and wifi capabilities even more-so than I do. For me, the new Kindle was a welcome addition to my family of devices since I didn't have anything anywhere near its form factor and convenience.

    Should you get 3G + Wifi or just Wifi? I think this question can be answered simply by asking yourself if you travel a lot. Being able to buy books and access wireless content on the road is an indispensable option and well worth the extra money in my mind. Keeping the device mainly at home or near wifi hotspots really negates the need for 3G though.

    Overall, I have to give the Kindle a 5 star rating because it does what it was designed to do very well, and in my opinion better than any of the competition. While the new features and capabilities aren't game-changing and truly outstanding, it is smaller, more capable, and better than any other e-reader out there. If you want `one device to handle it all', this isn't the place to look, but If you want a fantastic device solely for reading books, this is what you want.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A hesistant buyer rejoices on his choice, September 2, 2010
    When I first unboxed the new K3, I was slightly disappointed. The new 5-way appeared to be harder to used than the little joystick of the K2. I have to say, though, two days later, I'm liking it much better. Since I'm getting used to it so quickly, I think in another day I won't know the difference.

    The size is absolutely perfect. In the Amazon cover, it is exactly like reading from a paperback book. It's noticeably lighter and easier to hold for reading, even with arthritis in my hands. The page turn buttons are wonderful. Almost no noise, and you don't have to push them as hard. It should make it much easier for those with weak or disabled hands. I also like have next page and previous buttons on both sides. I didn't think it would make a difference to me, but it really does.

    I tried a couple of times to connect the WiFi, but didn't get it to work. Today I had more time so I thought I'd try to puzzle through it. But when I navigated to the wireless menu, it had somehow figured out how to connect on its own. The browser is MUCH faster, and it made buying a book a breeze.

    I haven't had it long enough to comment on the extended battery life. But I was honestly fine with the more than 10 days I always got with K2.

    And the FONTS! My word what a difference! I can practically read in the dark! I've been able to reduce the font size from 4 to 2. Combine sharper contrast with better fonts and it's an unbeatable combo.

    The ONLY thing I would change if I could is to move the Menu button, and especially the Back button. I'm having a little trouble navigating with the down arrow because I hit Back. But I'm starting to get the hang of it.

    All in all, I think Amazon hit it out of the park with the K3!

    5-0 out of 5 stars K3 Even Better than its Predecessor, August 28, 2010
    It's no longer necessary to write about how desirable the Kindle is (or, for that matter, e-readers generally). Books and text and reading are with us to stay; only paper is becoming unnecessary. What we can discuss is how well a device performs its intended task(s), and how it compares to its competition on an absolute basis and for the price.

    My wife and I share a last gen 6" Kindle and just received a new 6" display K3. I know, Amazon doesn't call it that, but how else can users refer to it? In twenty words or less, it is an improvement over an already excellent product. Smaller, but not too small to be held comfortably. Same size display, but sharper and crisper, better contrast. Easy to use, somewhat smaller keyboard that takes a little, but very little, getting used to. It took me a few hours to stop accidentally pressing some neighboring keys, but now using the keyboard is second nature. And the page turning buttons are silent, but have sufficient tactile feedback, excellent feel.

    I found it very easy to duplicate our library from our older Kindle to our new K3, and to activate our home wifi. I don't like to say I "transferred" our books because that could be understood to mean they were taken from our old Kindle to our new one. I say "duplicate" because they reside on both Kindles. The instruction manual is detailed and somewhat lengthy, but very understandable. (It's 200 pages, but don't let that scare you; it's easy to find the parts you need, and you will never need more than a few pages at one time.) The manual is published on the device, as in the past, and can also be downloaded to your computer as a pdf file so you can read the instructions from your computer as you apply them to the K3.

    If you have wifi at home, which we do, when you are in range of a wifi that you have activated in your K3, it automatically uses that wifi, instead of connecting to the 3G AT&T network, assuming, of course, you have a 3G+wifi K3. It works faster on my home wifi than on the 3G network, so much so that if I had really thought it through before I bought it, or if I were to buy another, I would probably go wifi only and save $50. The only reasons to get the 3G+wifi model would seem to be if you don't have reliable access to wifi or if you travel a good deal to places that don't have a lot of wifi access, but do have AT&T connectivity AND you have need to download books or periodicals on a regular basis or without delay while you are away from home or office. If you can plan ahead and stock up on a few good books, and you have reliable access to wifi, such as at home/office, McDonalds or Starbucks, I suggest you think twice about whether you want the 3G+wifi K3, or the wifi only.

    Each K3 has its own email address and you can send documents to it, including Word and pdf docs, and photos. Of course, the photos are B&W, but very detailed and clear. The K3 permits surfing the web, although I haven't used it much for that purpose and, other than saying it works, I hesitate to pass judgment on how well I think someone who uses it for web browsing would like it.

    I can't compare it to other dedicated e-readers because I haven't used them. People seem to be interested in how I think it compares to the iPad, which I don't own but have "played with" somewhat extensively at the Apple Store. My assessment is that there is no comparison. The iPad will do much more, but as an e-reader I think the K3 is superior. I don't need color for reading text, the K3 is a fraction of the cost, and its smaller size makes it much more convenient to tote around. However, what kills the iPad as an e-reader, as far as I am concerned, is its weight. I suspect most of us are the same in this regard, but I tend to read for an hour or two at a stretch. A pound and a half doesn't sound too heavy, but I held an iPad for five minutes, literally, and my hands ached. It is simply too heavy to use as a book reading device, while the K3 is light as a feather. For reading, a cheaper and significantly lighter K3 as a dedicated e-reader is, IMHO, the way to go (compared to an iPad). BTW, a recent (in Aug. 2010) report from Taiwan said Apple in making a 6" iPod, which, depending on size and weight, could change the equation. It will be interesting to see how the e-reader market develops. I said I can't compare the K3 to other competitors, and I won't, but I can say I am completely satisfied with Amazon as an e-book seller. I've only had a few occasions to need support (on my old Kindle), but that has also been entirely satisfactory.

    Bottom line: my wife and I both like the K3 very much and recommend it to anyone considering buying an e-reader. I don't think you will regret buying one, with or without the free 3G.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Kindle vs. Nook (updated 12/1/2010), August 28, 2010
    If you're trying to choose between a Nook and a Kindle, perhaps I can help. My wife and I have owned a Nook (the original one, not the new Nook Color), a Kindle 2, and a Kindle DX. When Amazon announced the Kindle 3 this summer, we pre-ordered two Kindle 3's: the wi-fi only model in graphite, and the wi-fi + 3G model in white. They arrived in late August and we have used them very regularly since then. For us, Kindle is better than Nook, but Nook is a good device with its own advantages that I will discuss below. I'll end this review with a few words about the Nook Color.

    First, reasons why we prefer the Kindle:

    * Speed

    In our experience, the Kindle is very zippy compared to the Nook. Page refresh speed (the time it takes a new page to appear after you push the page-turn button) was WAY quicker on Kindle 2 than on Nook, and it's quicker yet on Kindle 3. Yet, I read a whole book on the Nook and didn't find the slower page refresh to be annoying - you get used to it, and it's not a problem.

    For me, the more important speed difference concerns navigation - moving the cursor around the screen, for example to pick a book from your library, or to jump to a chapter by selecting it in the table of contents. On Kindle, you do this by pushing a 5-way rocker button, and the cursor moves very quickly. On Nook, you do this by activating the color LCD touchscreen (which normally shuts off when not in use, to conserve battery). A "virtual rocker button" appears on the screen, and you touch it to move the cursor. Unfortunately, the Nook cursor moves very sluggishly. This might not be a big deal to you, but it really got annoying to me, especially since my wife's Kindle was so quick and responsive.

    In November 2010, Nook got a software upgrade that increases page refresh speed and makes navigation more responsive. I returned my Nook months ago, so I cannot tell you if the Nook's performance is now equal to the Kindle's, but Nook owners in the comments section have convinced me that the software update improves the experience of using the Nook. If performance is a big factor in your decision, visit a Best Buy and compare Kindle and Nook side by side.

    * Screen contrast

    You've seen Amazon's claims that the Kindle 3 e-ink has 50% better contrast than Kindle 2 or other e-ink devices. I have no way of precisely measuring the improvement in contrast, but I can tell you that the Kindle 3 display definitely has more contrast than Kindle 2 or Nook. The difference is noticeable, and important: more screen contrast means less eyestrain when reading in poorly lit rooms.

    In well-lit rooms, the Nook and Kindle 2 have enough contrast to allow for comfortable reading. But I often read in low-light conditions, like in bed at night, or in a poorly lit room. In these situations, reading on Nook or Kindle 2 was a bit uncomfortable and often gave me a mild headache. When I got the Kindle 3, the extra contrast was immediately noticeable, and made it more comfortable to read under less-than-ideal lighting conditions. (If you go with a Nook, just make sure you have a good reading lamp nearby.)

    * Battery life

    The Nook's color LCD touch screen drains its battery quickly - I could never get more than 5 days out of a charge. The Kindle 2 had longer battery life than the Nook, and Kindle 3 has even longer life: in the 3 months since we received our Kindle 3's, we typically get 3 weeks of battery life between charges. (We keep wireless off about half the time to save battery power.)

    * Weight

    Nook weighs about 3 ounces more than the new Kindle, and you can really feel the difference. Without a case, Nook is still light enough to hold in one hand for long reading sessions without fatigue. But in a case, Nook is a heavy sucker. The new Kindle 3 is so light, even in a case, we find it comfortable holding in one hand for long reading sessions.

    Reasons some people might prefer the Nook:

    * In-store experience

    If you need help with your nook, you can take it to any barnes and noble and get a real human to help. You can take your nook into the coffee shop section of your local B&N store and read any book for free for up to one hour per day. When you take your nook to B&N, some in-store special deals and the occasional free book pop up on your screen.

    * User-replaceable battery

    Rechargeable batteries eventually lose their ability to hold a charge. Nook's battery is user-replaceable and relatively inexpensive. To replace Kindle's battery, Amazon wants you to ship your Kindle to Amazon, and they will ship you back a DIFFERENT Kindle than the one you sent (it's the same model, for example if you send a white Kindle 3, you get a white Kindle 3 back, but you get a "refurbished" one, NOT the exact one you sent them). I don't like this at all.

    However, several people have posted comments here that have eased my concerns. Someone looked up statistics on the Kindle's battery and did some simple calculations to show that it should last for 3 or more years. Before that happens, I will surely have upgraded to a newer Kindle model by then. Also, someone found some companies that sell Kindle batteries at reasonable cost and have how-to videos that demonstrate how we can replace the battery ourselves. Doing this would void the Kindle's warranty, but the battery will probably not fail until long after the warranty expires.

    * ePub

    Nook uses the ePub format, a widely used open format. Amazon uses a proprietary ebook format. Many libraries will "lend" ebooks in the ePub format, which works with nook but not kindle. However, a free and reputable program called Calibre allows you to translate ebooks from one format to another - it supports many formats, including ePub and Kindle. The only catch is that it doesn't work with copy-protected ebooks, so you can't, for example, buy a Kindle book (which is copy protected) and translate it to ePub so you can read it on a Nook.

    * lending e-books to friends

    Nook owners can "loan" ebooks they purchased to other nook owners for up to two weeks. You can't do this with kindle - yet. Amazon has announced it will soon add this lending feature to all kindles (via a software update that will be available to people who already own kindles).

    * Nook's color LCD touchscreen

    This could be a pro or con, depending on your preferences. It makes nook hipper and less drab than kindle. Some people enjoy using the color LCD to view their library or navigate. I did, at first. But after two weeks of use, and comparisons with my wife's kindle, I found the dedicated buttons of the kindle easier and far quicker to use than the nook's color touchscreen. I also found the bright light from the color screen distracting when I was trying to read a book or newspaper (though when not in use, it shuts off after a minute or so to conserve battery).

    * expandable capacity

    Nook comes with 2GB of internal memory. If you need more capacity, you can insert a microSD card to add up to 16GB more memory. Kindle comes with 4GB of internal memory - twice as much as Nook - but there's no way to expand that. Kindle doesn't accept memory cards of any type. If you mainly use your device to read ebooks and newspapers, this shouldn't be an issue. I have over 100 books on my Kindle, and I've used only a tiny fraction of the memory. Once Kindle's memory fills up, just delete books you don't need immediate access to; you can always restore them later, in seconds, for free.

    A few other notes:

    Kindle and Nook have other features, such as an MP3 player and a web browser, but I caution you to have low expectations for these features. The MP3 player on the Kindle is like the first-generation iPod shuffle - you can't see what song is playing, and you can't navigate to other songs on your device. I don't like the browser on either device; e-ink is just not a good technology for surfing the web; it's slower and clunkier than LCD screen technology, so even the browser on an Android phone or iPod touch is more enjoyable to use. However, some commenters have more favorable views of either device's browser, and you might, too.

    * PDF support

    Kindle and Nook both handle PDF files, but in different ways. When you put a PDF file on your nook, nook converts it into an ebook-like file, then you can adjust the font size, and the text and pagination will adjust just like with any ebook. But you cannot see the original PDF file in the native format in which it was created. Kindle 3 and Kindle DX have native support for PDF files. You can see PDF files just as they would appear on your computer. You can also convert PDF files to an ebook-like format, and then Kindle handles them just the way the Nook handles them - text and pagination adjust when you change the font size. Unfortunately, some symbols, equations, and graphics get lost or mangled in the translation - even when viewing PDF files in their native format on the Kindle. Moreover, the small screen size of the Kindle 3 and the Nook is not great for PDF files, most of which are designed for a larger page size. You can zoom and pan, but this is cumbersome and tiresome. Thanks to commenters who suggested viewing PDF files in landscape mode on the Kindle (I don't know if you can do this on Nook); this way, you can see the entire top half of the page without panning, and then scroll down to the bottom half. This works a little better.

    SUMMARY:

    Nook and Kindle each offer their own advantages. We like the nook's user-replaceable battery, compatibility with ePub format, and in-store experience. But we strongly prefer Kindle 3 because its performance is zippier, its higher-contrast screen is easier to read, and it's smaller and lighter so it is more portable and more comfortable to hold in one hand for long reading sessions.

    * Nook Color

    Everything I wrote about the Nook in this review applies to the original Nook (which continues to be available), not the new Nook Color. To me, the Nook Color is in a different product category than the Kindle or original Nook. Nook Color has an LCD screen, like an iPad or most computer monitors. Reading on a computer screen for long periods of time is not comfortable for me - it causes fatigue and headaches. The e-ink Kindle is very comfortable for long reading sessions. So I'll take a pass on the Nook Color. But it will probably be great for others, especially people who want to watch movies, surf the web and play games on their e-reader, and don't mind the extra cost, weight, or lack of 3G. I've seen and played with a Nook Color at my local B&N, and it is a very attractive device. I'm looking forward to reading user reviews of the Nook Color when people start getting them. If you get one, please post a comment to let us know how you like it.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Worth the money. Not perfect, but very very good for start to finish novels in good light, August 31, 2010
    The Kindle is my first e-ink reader. I own an iPad, an iPhone, and have owned a Windows-based phone in the past that I used as an ereader.

    My overall impression of the device is good.

    The good:
    I'd honestly rather read linear (read from page one to the end, one page at a time) fiction from it than a book, because I can't always get comfortable with a book. Hardcovers are sometimes a bit heavy, and paperbacks don't always lie open easily. The Kindle is incredibly light and thin. I can hold it in one hand easily. The page turn buttons are conveniently located. Page-turns aren't instant, but they're probably quicker than turning a physical page in a printed book (there are just a lot more page-turns unless you choose a small font). The contrast is better than other ereaders I've seen. There is zero eye strain in good light. My eyesight isn't the greatest and I like being able to increase the font size and read without glasses. I love being able to browse the Kindle store and read samples before deciding to purchase. The "experimental" browser is surprisingly usable, but isn't great. It is useful for browsing wikipedia and blogs. The biggest drawback to the browser is the awkward pointer navigation, using the 5-way pad. It syncs your furthest read page over the internet so you can pick up where you left off using your iPhone or iPad.

    The so-so:
    The kindle store could use more categories and sorting options. You can't sort by "top rated," and there is no category for "alternate histories," for example. Finding a very-specific type of fiction relies on keyword searches, which don't do a great job. The wifi sometimes doesn't connect before it times-out. You rarely need the wifi, but it is annoying if you change a setting, answer "OK" to the prompt to connect, and the thing tells you it failed to connect two seconds later (the exact moment it indicates that it did finally connect, then you need to go back to update the setting again). Most settings don't require a connection, but it is a minor annoyance. Most of your time will be spent reading, and of course your books are stored on the device and a connection is not required. Part of me wishes I'd bought the 3G model, because the browser is good enough that having lifetime free 3G wireless would be worth the extra money. Magazines don't look very good and are not very easy to navigate. There is minor glare in some lighting conditions, mostly when a lamp is positioned behind the reader's head.

    The bad:
    The contrast is fair to poor in dim light. It is much easier to read a printed page in dim light. In good light, contrast is on par with a pulp paperback. In dim light it feels almost like reading from an old Palm Pilot (resolution is better than an old Palm, but contrast is bad in dim light). The screen is small enough that the frequency of page turns is pretty high. Even in good light, the light gray background is less pleasant than the eggshell background of a printed page. You must tell it to sync before you switch it off, if you expect the feature allowing you to pick up where you left off using other devices to work correctly. The copy protection prevents you from using the files on anything other than Kindle software or devices.

    Vs iPad:
    IPad is a lot better for magazines, reference materials, and illustrated materials. Kindle is worlds better for reading novels. IPad is pretty heavy, making it more difficult to hold in your hand or carry with you everywhere. Kindle is much more portable and easier to hold. IPad has some amazing children's books and magazines, which take advantage of its multimedia features. IPad is unreadable in sunlight and glare is bad in bright light. Kindle is as good as a printed page in bright light. Ipad serves as a creative tool, a computing tool, a gaming tool, and a communication tool. Kindle is only a novel machine. I don't regret buying either one of them. An iPad won't replace books, but a Kindle can, if the book is text-only.

    I highly recommend this device at its new low price if you are a frequent reader of novels. I love my kindle. Just don't expect it to be more than it is. Leave the magazines and such to the tablet computers.

    4-0 out of 5 stars I Wanted a Dedicated E-Reader, and That's What I Got, September 7, 2010
    I'm a first-time Kindle owner, so I have nothing to "compare" the latest Kindle to. I don't own a Nook. I don't own an iPad (and, in any case, that's comparing apples to oranges). I don't have a Sony e-reader. '

    This will be a short, simple review.

    I received my Kindle about a week ago and haven't been able to put it down.

    Things I like about my Kindle?
    1. The e-ink display is amazing.
    2. Using the 5-way controller is simple and effective.
    3. Page turn speeds are faster than I thought they would be.
    4. It's lightweight, even with the attached cover (I have an Amazon cover with a built-in light)
    5. Page-turning buttons are quiet and well-placed.
    6. Recharge time is fast.
    7. I can order a book and start reading it in less than 60 seconds. Nice!
    8. Portability... I can take 3,000 books with me when I travel for work and not require additional suitcases or baggage fees.

    Things I'm not too keen on?
    1. Buttons are too close together and are laid out oddly.
    2. Lack of individual number buttons is frustrating.
    3. Power button on the bottom? Not a bad thing. Just an odd thing. (Same for the headphone input). I usually rest the "bottom" of a book on my lap when I read.

    Things I hope change in the future?
    1. How books are organized... When I put a book in a collection (which is actually a "tag"), it still appears in the main list. It's not actually "moved", it's merely associated.
    2. The look of the main screen. I'd like "folders" or some other way to display "collections".
    3. Ability to create personal "screen savers."
    4. E-book pricing, though Amazon has little control over this. Still, most titles are the same price as or less than their hardback/paperback counterparts. (And I'm not opposed to paying more for convenience and portability).

    Things that don't bother me regarding other reviews?
    1. The browser is experimental. Amazon has created a dedicated e-reader, and it's meant to be used to read. Period. Not browse the web. If you want to browse the web, get a computer -- not an e-reader.
    2. The Kindle is not an mP3 player, either. Yes, it's nice to have some classical music playing in the background while I read, but I don't need to see the title of the song, album art, etc. (And you can skip from track to track on the Kindle using shortcut keys).
    3. Lack of a "color" or "touch" screen.

    In summary, for $139, I'm quite thrilled with my purchase and have arleady read multiple books on it. In fact, I think I've read more in the past week than I've read in the past month.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Not the perfect "do-it-all" device, but very close to being the perfect e-reading device!, August 26, 2010
    I woke up to a nice surprise this morning: a new kindle as a gift. I have an iPad and a Kindle DX, but I guess someone heard my complaints of them being too heavy and difficult to do extended-reading on. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love my iPad and DX, but this new generation of Kindle is perfect for reading outside and for long periods of time. The iPad gets completely washed out in sunlight and often irritates my eyes staring at it for more than a couple of hours. The DX was my go-to device for those extended/outdoor reading periods, but now I have a new friend for reading novels. Instead of a replacement, this one seems more like a companion to the other devices and is a different class. The iPad works great for web browsing, shopping, productivity, games, etc while the Kindle falls short in those areas. The Kindle works great for reading novels, where the iPad falls short. For those that love to do extended-reading of magazines, newspapers, research articles, etc, I find that the DX is the go-to device.

    Without a doubt, the size and weight of the new kindle is the biggest draw for me. It's smaller than the last edition by a significant margin. I've played around with the Kindle 2 and was impressed, but now looking at the size of the new Kindle, I'm blown away. It's the absolute perfect size. Smaller would be unmanageable and larger wouldn't feel nearly as good. This is a device that you can hold up, read, and just forget that it's there. Compared to other e-readers I've tried, it's much smaller and much lighter.

    One of my biggest complaints about the previous generation Kindles and the DX is the speed. It sometimes takes a while after you push `next page' for it to actually change. In addition, the web browsing feature was so slow and clunky that it is really unusable in my opinion. Two additions to the new Kindle have helped attenuate these issues. First, the pages do flip quicker (albeit, still slow in my opinion), and the addition of wifi has allowed faster connection for wireless activities (much better than only relying on 3G). I still can't see myself using the Kindle as an internet browsing tool or really doing much online aside from purchasing reading material, but the faster connection at least opens up the possibility - something that would only frustrate me on previous editions.

    The new Kindle also offers a better contrast than previous editions and it looks fantastic compared to every other e-reader I have seen. I have no trouble seeing the screen in dim light or in bright sunlight - it really opens up the ability to read almost anywhere you are. Of course, you'll still need a separate light for extremely dark areas.

    Another big addition to the Kindle 3 is that it offers double the storage compared to Kindle 2. I've never had a problem with the amount of storage since I can't possibly see myself filling up that much space (I don't put mp3's on it), but perhaps in the future, if certain applications or media files are put on the kindle, it could have been a problem. The additional space in the new model is definitely a welcome addition, but bringing back the memory card slot that was included on Kindle 1 would have been an even more welcome addition in my opinion.

    Among e-readers, I definitely recommend the Kindle 3 if not just because it has a better size/form-factor, contrast, battery life, and speed compared to every other e-reader I have tried. On top of that, you get the wonderful amazon buying experience and selection for all your literature and can keep your kindle library intact between whatever other device you want to download a Kindle application onto.

    The question of whether you need a Kindle vs another type of device for reading becomes a little more tricky and really comes down to what you want to use it for.

    Do you want a device to read novels on, perhaps read outside, and have something very light that you almost forget it's there? Buy the Kindle.

    Do you want something to lie in bed with for short periods of time while surfing the web? I might suggest going with the iPad, a different tablet, or a netbook.

    Do you already have a Kindle 1 or 2? That's a tough one.... I don't think the new edition has enough `new' to it to warrant the upgrade in my mind, but some might value the new size and wifi capabilities even more-so than I do. For me, the new Kindle was a welcome addition to my family of devices since I didn't have anything anywhere near its form factor and convenience.

    Should you get 3G + Wifi or just Wifi? I think this question can be answered simply by asking yourself if you travel a lot. Being able to buy books and access wireless content on the road is an indispensable option and well worth the extra money in my mind. Keeping the device mainly at home or near wifi hotspots really negates the need for 3G though.

    Overall, I have to give the Kindle a 5 star rating because it does what it was designed to do very well, and in my opinion better than any of the competition. While the new features and capabilities aren't game-changing and truly outstanding, it is smaller, more capable, and better than any other e-reader out there. If you want `one device to handle it all', this isn't the place to look, but If you want a fantastic device solely for reading books, this is what you want.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A hesistant buyer rejoices on his choice, September 2, 2010
    I researched the purchase of a Kindle for a long time. I couldn't decide whether or not it was worth buying a dedicated e-reader. Boy am I glad I made this purchase. The downside to Amazon's online selling of Kindle 3 is that the customers don't get to see it in person. It is much better in person. This may sound stupid, but when I got my new Kindle, I thought there was a stuck-on overlay on the screen containing a diagram of the unit's buttons, etc. I actually tried to peel it off. Doh! The e-ink on this unit is THAT good. I didn't realize that I was staring at the actual display. I also didn't realize that no power is required until the display changes. (thus the great battery life) I do a lot of reading, but was facing the prospect of reading less or buying large type books because of my variable and deteriorating eyesight. The new Kindle has been a godsend. Now, I can decide the size of type I need depending on my level of fatigue among other things. The weight and ergonomics are very good. For someone, like me, with neuropathy in his hands, it is extremely easy to manage and enjoyable to own. To me, it is easier to read than print books. The ease of navigation is great as is the speed. The battery life, so far, has been extraordinary. It easily connected to our home Wi-Fi, which by design does not broadcast an SSID. It downloads books so fast that I almost thought they were not completely received. I did not buy the 3G version because of the price difference and the fact that there is no coverage where I live. If you are not constantly traveling, I don't see the need to spend the extra bucks, but that is a matter of personal choice. For those who have no Wi-Fi at home, remember that you can always download the material to your computer and transfer it via USB. Just today I was watching an interview with Tony Blair on TV. He was talking about his new book, which sounded interesting. I picked up the Kindle and downloaded a free sample before the interview was over. I have only read the preface so far, but will probably buy the book. Now THAT is a great way to buy a book! I haven't used online browsing extensively yet, but find it reasonable for what the device is. This is primarily a book reader, not a laptop or notebook. They are great for what they do, but can't match the e-ink display, or the light weight. For those of you worrying about the wait for the new Kindle, let me end with, "It is worth the wait" This new Kindle is all about the quality of experience. There are many format choices for electronic reading. If you want the best experience, go with the Kindle.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Solid Improvements! Check out my video review!, August 27, 2010
    I just received my new Kindle, and my early impressions are very positive - it's definitely a solid step up from the previous generation Kindle. Check out my video review to see/hear more!

    UPDATE 9/7/2010: Hey guys - based on the comments received there are definitely some questions that people are interested in that I didn't touch on in my video review - so I wanted to take some time to answer some of those questions here. Hopefully this is helpful!

    Q: Is the Kindle 3 backlit? If not, then how do you see it at night?

    A: The Kindle 3 is not backlit. For the Kindle 2 I used a leather case with a reading light clipped to it. For the Kindle 3 Amazon produced a leather case that has a built-in reading light. I've been using it since day 1 and I love it. I made a video review for that also if you want to check it out:

    http://www.amazon.com/review/R27V1SXQSI9M86/

    Q: How well does the new joystick control work?

    A: The new Kindle replaces the old five-way navigation joystick with a center button surrounded by a thin 4-way directional control. After messing around with both of these approaches, I don't really have a strong personal preference one way or another - they both work fine for me.

    If you have big hands then I can definitely see having a bit of trouble getting used to the new joystick. The directional control is very thin, and if you're going to have trouble with any button on the Kindle... that's definitely going to be the one.

    Q: How is viewing PDFs on the Kindle 3? Are they easy to upload onto the Kindle?

    A: Uploading PDFs to the Kindle is very easy. You just connect your Kindle to your computer via USB cable and then drag and drop the PDFs. Totally simple. Viewing them is pretty decent, but the major problem is that most PDFs aren't designed for a 6 inch screen. You might have to do a lot of zooming and panning to see the content you want. If you plan on viewing a ton of PDFs, then you may want to check out the Kindle DX Wireless Reading Device, Free 3G, 9.7" Display, Graphite, 3G Works Globally  Latest Generation.

    Q: How well does the text-to-speech work?

    A: It's ok. You definitely won't mistake it for a professionally produced audiobook, but it doesn't sound as bad as you may think it will. Also note that text-to-speech is not available for every book. You can see on the product page for each Kindle book if text-to-speech is enabled or not.

    5-0 out of 5 stars K3 is perfect, August 28, 2010
    When I first unboxed the new K3, I was slightly disappointed. The new 5-way appeared to be harder to used than the little joystick of the K2. I have to say, though, two days later, I'm liking it much better. Since I'm getting used to it so quickly, I think in another day I won't know the difference.

    The size is absolutely perfect. In the Amazon cover, it is exactly like reading from a paperback book. It's noticeably lighter and easier to hold for reading, even with arthritis in my hands. The page turn buttons are wonderful. Almost no noise, and you don't have to push them as hard. It should make it much easier for those with weak or disabled hands. I also like have next page and previous buttons on both sides. I didn't think it would make a difference to me, but it really does.

    I tried a couple of times to connect the WiFi, but didn't get it to work. Today I had more time so I thought I'd try to puzzle through it. But when I navigated to the wireless menu, it had somehow figured out how to connect on its own. The browser is MUCH faster, and it made buying a book a breeze.

    I haven't had it long enough to comment on the extended battery life. But I was honestly fine with the more than 10 days I always got with K2.

    And the FONTS! My word what a difference! I can practically read in the dark! I've been able to reduce the font size from 4 to 2. Combine sharper contrast with better fonts and it's an unbeatable combo.

    The ONLY thing I would change if I could is to move the Menu button, and especially the Back button. I'm having a little trouble navigating with the down arrow because I hit Back. But I'm starting to get the hang of it.

    All in all, I think Amazon hit it out of the park with the K3!

    5-0 out of 5 stars K3 Even Better than its Predecessor, August 28, 2010
    It's no longer necessary to write about how desirable the Kindle is (or, for that matter, e-readers generally). Books and text and reading are with us to stay; only paper is becoming unnecessary. What we can discuss is how well a device performs its intended task(s), and how it compares to its competition on an absolute basis and for the price.

    My wife and I share a last gen 6" Kindle and just received a new 6" display K3. I know, Amazon doesn't call it that, but how else can users refer to it? In twenty words or less, it is an improvement over an already excellent product. Smaller, but not too small to be held comfortably. Same size display, but sharper and crisper, better contrast. Easy to use, somewhat smaller keyboard that takes a little, but very little, getting used to. It took me a few hours to stop accidentally pressing some neighboring keys, but now using the keyboard is second nature. And the page turning buttons are silent, but have sufficient tactile feedback, excellent feel.

    I found it very easy to duplicate our library from our older Kindle to our new K3, and to activate our home wifi. I don't like to say I "transferred" our books because that could be understood to mean they were taken from our old Kindle to our new one. I say "duplicate" because they reside on both Kindles. The instruction manual is detailed and somewhat lengthy, but very understandable. (It's 200 pages, but don't let that scare you; it's easy to find the parts you need, and you will never need more than a few pages at one time.) The manual is published on the device, as in the past, and can also be downloaded to your computer as a pdf file so you can read the instructions from your computer as you apply them to the K3.

    If you have wifi at home, which we do, when you are in range of a wifi that you have activated in your K3, it automatically uses that wifi, instead of connecting to the 3G AT&T network, assuming, of course, you have a 3G+wifi K3. It works faster on my home wifi than on the 3G network, so much so that if I had really thought it through before I bought it, or if I were to buy another, I would probably go wifi only and save $50. The only reasons to get the 3G+wifi model would seem to be if you don't have reliable access to wifi or if you travel a good deal to places that don't have a lot of wifi access, but do have AT&T connectivity AND you have need to download books or periodicals on a regular basis or without delay while you are away from home or office. If you can plan ahead and stock up on a few good books, and you have reliable access to wifi, such as at home/office, McDonalds or Starbucks, I suggest you think twice about whether you want the 3G+wifi K3, or the wifi only.

    Each K3 has its own email address and you can send documents to it, including Word and pdf docs, and photos. Of course, the photos are B&W, but very detailed and clear. The K3 permits surfing the web, although I haven't used it much for that purpose and, other than saying it works, I hesitate to pass judgment on how well I think someone who uses it for web browsing would like it.

    I can't compare it to other dedicated e-readers because I haven't used them. People seem to be interested in how I think it compares to the iPad, which I don't own but have "played with" somewhat extensively at the Apple Store. My assessment is that there is no comparison. The iPad will do much more, but as an e-reader I think the K3 is superior. I don't need color for reading text, the K3 is a fraction of the cost, and its smaller size makes it much more convenient to tote around. However, what kills the iPad as an e-reader, as far as I am concerned, is its weight. I suspect most of us are the same in this regard, but I tend to read for an hour or two at a stretch. A pound and a half doesn't sound too heavy, but I held an iPad for five minutes, literally, and my hands ached. It is simply too heavy to use as a book reading device, while the K3 is light as a feather. For reading, a cheaper and significantly lighter K3 as a dedicated e-reader is, IMHO, the way to go (compared to an iPad). BTW, a recent (in Aug. 2010) report from Taiwan said Apple in making a 6" iPod, which, depending on size and weight, could change the equation. It will be interesting to see how the e-reader market develops. I said I can't compare the K3 to other competitors, and I won't, but I can say I am completely satisfied with Amazon as an e-book seller. I've only had a few occasions to need support (on my old Kindle), but that has also been entirely satisfactory.

    Bottom line: my wife and I both like the K3 very much and recommend it to anyone considering buying an e-reader. I don't think you will regret buying one, with or without the free 3G.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Quality control problems, September 7, 2010
    First, the good stuff. Kindle 3 has a very readable high contrast screen. The form factor is small and light enough to be a book replacement. Purchasing and downloading content is simple and convenient.

    However, I had a series of problems which eventually led me to return my Kindle.

    After unpacking and charging my Kindle 3, it refused to connect to my wireless network. I have a variety of other devices ranging from a Nintendo Wii to an iPod Touch and two computers that work just fine on my wireless network, but the Kindle couldn't connect after many attempts. I eventually gave up and turned it off. When I turned it back on several hours later, it had mysteriously connected to my WiFi network with the exact same settings that did not work earlier. I have noticed that several other users have ran into the same problem.

    The next problem I noticed was that something was rolling around inside the casing. This is obviously not a good sign. Then, my Kindle 3 started freezing. The first freeze happened while using the experimental browser. As this is an "experimental" application, I wasn't too concerned. After a power reset, the Kindle came back up. The second freeze happened while playing Shuffled Row, which is a good game. After this freeze, my Kindle refused to reboot after many power reset attempts. (Yes, I did try keeping the power switch in the "turn-on" position for up to 30 seconds as suggested by the manual.) I eventually gave up and put it down. However, after a few minutes, the Kindle started to reboot itself. The was another freeze while reading a book, which was fixed with a power reset. I tried to contact Amazon for service, but it looks like the only way to get Kindle customer service is through a phone call.

    And then my Kindle froze again while reading a book. This time, nothing would reset the kindle. When this last freeze happened, the battery was charged about 75%. At this point, there was no option but to return the kindle. There are some comments among the negative reviews here that the usual Amazon.com return process does not work. In my case, I was able to follow the regular Amazon return process and print a return label. So my Kindle is back to Amazon after less than a week of use.

    Judging from other reviews that had similar experiences as mine, Amazon appears to have a specific quality control problem with this latest version of the Kindle. People may be more tolerant of the reliability other electronic gadgets, however, it is unacceptable for a product that is primarily intended to replace paper books to have issues like freezing and/or rebooting. After all, I never had a "paper" book freeze or reboot on me so far. Receiving a product with defects that should have been caught during testing before shipping pretty much destroys the "Kindle experience".

    UPDATE (October 31, 2010): Since I do like the Kindle concept, after reading about the improvement in stability with the latest software upgrades, I purchased another Kindle WiFi. Everything was great for almost two weeks, no crashes. However, yesterday, the second Kindle also ended up with a frozen screen. After following through the instructions on Amazon's Kindle troubleshooting page and talking to the customer service, there was no way to get the Kindle out of the frozen state, so this one is also going back. The fact that this situation can happen to the same customer twice in a matter of few months indicates either a serious quality control problem or component reliability problem.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Details on working with PDF, Wi-fi vs 3G, Starbucks, Audio books, MP3 and other things, August 27, 2010
    NOTE: Amazon limits the video size and duration, so I targeted what I thought were some key points.
    I check comments, so leave one if you have any questions not covered in the video or below and I'll try and answer.

    First off I love this device!!
    Like ipods are the king of MP3 players, this is the king of ebook readers in my opinion.

    I've been looking at this thing for at least 7+ hrs today and my eyes don't feel tired at all.

    If you want. . .
    * a low cost eBook reader
    * that allows you to read books
    * looks great
    * easy to setup
    * easy to hold/carry
    * easy on the eyes (no getting tired eyes from a glaring screen)
    . . . then look no further than this product!



    **Adding updates as I find other feature behaviors**

    - The comic I converted to PDF when emailed to my kindle email address the conversion process didn't like it too much. Better to not use the conversion process for those types of PDFs. Other PDF's converted just fine.
    - Emailing PDF = the conversion process seems to cut off the cover page each time
    - Emailing and having amazon convert is fast. I like it!
    - You can plug the kindle into the USB, then "eject" it from the OS. This allows you to continue to charge the kindle and read it at the same time. You could also just plug it into an electrical socket and read from it too.
    - If you stop/pause your MP3 music it will start all the way back at track #1. This is not an MP3 player. It also plays the most recently added track first
    - 10 minutes it goes into sleep mode, but if you leave Wi-fi on = drains your battery quicker. Better to turn Wi-fi off when not using it
    - Buy a case to protect it and get yourself a light for times when you don't have enough light to read by. This is not a cell-phone screen, meaning you can't read it in the dark. The screen very much simulates paper in this case.
    - Manual even states...you cannot connect the Wi-fi to a corporate wi-fi. Most companies require VPN of some sort, which is not supported here.
    - Loaded a 25Mb PDF and when when trying to search I get the following error message, ""your search can not be completed as this item has not been indexed. Please try again later." Found forum posts that said give the Kindle at least 10 minutes to complete indexing the file. . .longer if file if big. Sure enough, about 30 minutes later I tried again and was able to search this large PDF.

    8/29/10 update:
    - Just got back from Starbucks
    * Turned wi-fi on
    * Menu > Settings > Wifi Settings and selected the attwifi network option
    * Home > Menu > Experimental > Launch browser
    * zoom in on the terms & agreement checkbox and use the spacebar to check the box
    * click continue button and you are on the internet at the coffee shop!!

    9/3/10 update:
    - A week later, I haven't charged the unit nor shut it down, I've only put it into sleep mode. Battery indicator is still more than 80% full. Nice!
    - Someone pointed me towards "Calibre" a free conversion utility. Totally supports the Kindle 3 and converts to PDF, ePub, Mobi, etc. Works great and you can have the program send the converted document directly to your device via USB or email. The program also acts as your own "backup" by creating a document library on your hard drive that can be sorted, metadata updated, etc. It's very cool!

    9/5/10 update:
    - I kept getting unconverted PDFs (PDFs copied directly to unit via USB vs. sending to email for conversion) would result in the unit restarting when trying to access the PDF. Found forums that said you need to reset the unit. Slide & hold the power button for 15 seconds. Let it take the 20 seconds to reboot. This worked for me.

    9/10/10 update:
    Comments discussion & answers on the following:
    - Annotating PDFs, then accessing these notes for later review on a laptop/desktop
    - Is there an auto-scrolling for PDFs? = No
    - What its like to have the kindle "read" back to you? = robotic voice that ignores punctuation
    - More info on document conversion, including sending emails to the kindle for conversion?
    - The ability to access Gmail from the kindle? = yes, works fine though a bit slow on wi-fi

    9/19/10 update:
    - Check out the comments for my answer to, "Should I buy 3G or is wifi good enough?" = need to buy a book on the run, then get 3G. If you can wait till you get home or a coffee shop, then wi-fi works fine.

    9/24/10 update:
    Comments discussion & answers on the following:
    - Exactly how does an Audible audio book work with the Kindle?
    - Possible causes for why MP3 music is not recognized by the device?

    10/2/10 update:
    Comments discussion & answers on the following:
    - Can you play Audible audio books while at the same time reading along? = for all intents and purposes, no
    - How easy is it to register a new/used K3 to a different owner? = easy as pie

    10/23/10 update:
    Comments discussion & answers on the following:
    - Can you change out the battery yourself? = no
    - Can you share your documents with other kindle users? = legally only if both devices are under the same user account

    12/7/10 update:
    Comments discussion & answers on the following:
    - Can a color document show up as color on the kindle? = No, doc will be converted to greyscale
    - Able to support textbooks? = Yes, if in a supported document type
    - Should I pay the extra $50 for 3G in order to more easily access websites? = Up to you...many sites have mobile versions that load great on wi-fi. NOTE: still doesn't support sites that use Java
    - Will I have 3G coverage in my rural area? = Amazon gives a disclaimer in their FAQ that 3G connection is not guaranteed in some areas
    - Should I get the K3 for my 10 year old? = I personally feel this is a great device for any age reader. . .and gives the parent control/visibility to what is being read
    Read more


    2. Kindle 3G Wireless Reading Device, Free 3G + Wi-Fi, 3G Works Globally, Graphite, 6" Display with New E Ink Pearl Technology
    Electronics
    list price: $189.00 -- our price: $189.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B002FQJT3Q
    Manufacturer: Amazon.com
    Sales Rank: 1
    Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    The all-new Kindle has a new electronic-ink screen with 50 percent better contrast than any other e-reader, a new sleek design with a 21 percent smaller body while still keeping the same 6-inch-size reading area, and a 15 percent lighter weight at just 8.7 ounces.The new Kindle also offers 20 percent faster page turns, up to one month of battery life, double the storage to 3,500 books, built-in Wi-Fi, a graphite color option and more—all for only $189, and still with free 3G wireless—no monthly bills or annual contracts. ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars Kindle vs. Nook (updated 12/1/2010), August 28, 2010
    If you're trying to choose between a Nook and a Kindle, perhaps I can help. My wife and I have owned a Nook (the original one, not the new Nook Color), a Kindle 2, and a Kindle DX. When Amazon announced the Kindle 3 this summer, we pre-ordered two Kindle 3's: the wi-fi only model in graphite, and the wi-fi + 3G model in white. They arrived in late August and we have used them very regularly since then. For us, Kindle is better than Nook, but Nook is a good device with its own advantages that I will discuss below. I'll end this review with a few words about the Nook Color.

    First, reasons why we prefer the Kindle:

    * Speed

    In our experience, the Kindle is very zippy compared to the Nook. Page refresh speed (the time it takes a new page to appear after you push the page-turn button) was WAY quicker on Kindle 2 than on Nook, and it's quicker yet on Kindle 3. Yet, I read a whole book on the Nook and didn't find the slower page refresh to be annoying - you get used to it, and it's not a problem.

    For me, the more important speed difference concerns navigation - moving the cursor around the screen, for example to pick a book from your library, or to jump to a chapter by selecting it in the table of contents. On Kindle, you do this by pushing a 5-way rocker button, and the cursor moves very quickly. On Nook, you do this by activating the color LCD touchscreen (which normally shuts off when not in use, to conserve battery). A "virtual rocker button" appears on the screen, and you touch it to move the cursor. Unfortunately, the Nook cursor moves very sluggishly. This might not be a big deal to you, but it really got annoying to me, especially since my wife's Kindle was so quick and responsive.

    In November 2010, Nook got a software upgrade that increases page refresh speed and makes navigation more responsive. I returned my Nook months ago, so I cannot tell you if the Nook's performance is now equal to the Kindle's, but Nook owners in the comments section have convinced me that the software update improves the experience of using the Nook. If performance is a big factor in your decision, visit a Best Buy and compare Kindle and Nook side by side.

    * Screen contrast

    You've seen Amazon's claims that the Kindle 3 e-ink has 50% better contrast than Kindle 2 or other e-ink devices. I have no way of precisely measuring the improvement in contrast, but I can tell you that the Kindle 3 display definitely has more contrast than Kindle 2 or Nook. The difference is noticeable, and important: more screen contrast means less eyestrain when reading in poorly lit rooms.

    In well-lit rooms, the Nook and Kindle 2 have enough contrast to allow for comfortable reading. But I often read in low-light conditions, like in bed at night, or in a poorly lit room. In these situations, reading on Nook or Kindle 2 was a bit uncomfortable and often gave me a mild headache. When I got the Kindle 3, the extra contrast was immediately noticeable, and made it more comfortable to read under less-than-ideal lighting conditions. (If you go with a Nook, just make sure you have a good reading lamp nearby.)

    * Battery life

    The Nook's color LCD touch screen drains its battery quickly - I could never get more than 5 days out of a charge. The Kindle 2 had longer battery life than the Nook, and Kindle 3 has even longer life: in the 3 months since we received our Kindle 3's, we typically get 3 weeks of battery life between charges. (We keep wireless off about half the time to save battery power.)

    * Weight

    Nook weighs about 3 ounces more than the new Kindle, and you can really feel the difference. Without a case, Nook is still light enough to hold in one hand for long reading sessions without fatigue. But in a case, Nook is a heavy sucker. The new Kindle 3 is so light, even in a case, we find it comfortable holding in one hand for long reading sessions.

    Reasons some people might prefer the Nook:

    * In-store experience

    If you need help with your nook, you can take it to any barnes and noble and get a real human to help. You can take your nook into the coffee shop section of your local B&N store and read any book for free for up to one hour per day. When you take your nook to B&N, some in-store special deals and the occasional free book pop up on your screen.

    * User-replaceable battery

    Rechargeable batteries eventually lose their ability to hold a charge. Nook's battery is user-replaceable and relatively inexpensive. To replace Kindle's battery, Amazon wants you to ship your Kindle to Amazon, and they will ship you back a DIFFERENT Kindle than the one you sent (it's the same model, for example if you send a white Kindle 3, you get a white Kindle 3 back, but you get a "refurbished" one, NOT the exact one you sent them). I don't like this at all.

    However, several people have posted comments here that have eased my concerns. Someone looked up statistics on the Kindle's battery and did some simple calculations to show that it should last for 3 or more years. Before that happens, I will surely have upgraded to a newer Kindle model by then. Also, someone found some companies that sell Kindle batteries at reasonable cost and have how-to videos that demonstrate how we can replace the battery ourselves. Doing this would void the Kindle's warranty, but the battery will probably not fail until long after the warranty expires.

    * ePub

    Nook uses the ePub format, a widely used open format. Amazon uses a proprietary ebook format. Many libraries will "lend" ebooks in the ePub format, which works with nook but not kindle. However, a free and reputable program called Calibre allows you to translate ebooks from one format to another - it supports many formats, including ePub and Kindle. The only catch is that it doesn't work with copy-protected ebooks, so you can't, for example, buy a Kindle book (which is copy protected) and translate it to ePub so you can read it on a Nook.

    * lending e-books to friends

    Nook owners can "loan" ebooks they purchased to other nook owners for up to two weeks. You can't do this with kindle - yet. Amazon has announced it will soon add this lending feature to all kindles (via a software update that will be available to people who already own kindles).

    * Nook's color LCD touchscreen

    This could be a pro or con, depending on your preferences. It makes nook hipper and less drab than kindle. Some people enjoy using the color LCD to view their library or navigate. I did, at first. But after two weeks of use, and comparisons with my wife's kindle, I found the dedicated buttons of the kindle easier and far quicker to use than the nook's color touchscreen. I also found the bright light from the color screen distracting when I was trying to read a book or newspaper (though when not in use, it shuts off after a minute or so to conserve battery).

    * expandable capacity

    Nook comes with 2GB of internal memory. If you need more capacity, you can insert a microSD card to add up to 16GB more memory. Kindle comes with 4GB of internal memory - twice as much as Nook - but there's no way to expand that. Kindle doesn't accept memory cards of any type. If you mainly use your device to read ebooks and newspapers, this shouldn't be an issue. I have over 100 books on my Kindle, and I've used only a tiny fraction of the memory. Once Kindle's memory fills up, just delete books you don't need immediate access to; you can always restore them later, in seconds, for free.

    A few other notes:

    Kindle and Nook have other features, such as an MP3 player and a web browser, but I caution you to have low expectations for these features. The MP3 player on the Kindle is like the first-generation iPod shuffle - you can't see what song is playing, and you can't navigate to other songs on your device. I don't like the browser on either device; e-ink is just not a good technology for surfing the web; it's slower and clunkier than LCD screen technology, so even the browser on an Android phone or iPod touch is more enjoyable to use. However, some commenters have more favorable views of either device's browser, and you might, too.

    * PDF support

    Kindle and Nook both handle PDF files, but in different ways. When you put a PDF file on your nook, nook converts it into an ebook-like file, then you can adjust the font size, and the text and pagination will adjust just like with any ebook. But you cannot see the original PDF file in the native format in which it was created. Kindle 3 and Kindle DX have native support for PDF files. You can see PDF files just as they would appear on your computer. You can also convert PDF files to an ebook-like format, and then Kindle handles them just the way the Nook handles them - text and pagination adjust when you change the font size. Unfortunately, some symbols, equations, and graphics get lost or mangled in the translation - even when viewing PDF files in their native format on the Kindle. Moreover, the small screen size of the Kindle 3 and the Nook is not great for PDF files, most of which are designed for a larger page size. You can zoom and pan, but this is cumbersome and tiresome. Thanks to commenters who suggested viewing PDF files in landscape mode on the Kindle (I don't know if you can do this on Nook); this way, you can see the entire top half of the page without panning, and then scroll down to the bottom half. This works a little better.

    SUMMARY:

    Nook and Kindle each offer their own advantages. We like the nook's user-replaceable battery, compatibility with ePub format, and in-store experience. But we strongly prefer Kindle 3 because its performance is zippier, its higher-contrast screen is easier to read, and it's smaller and lighter so it is more portable and more comfortable to hold in one hand for long reading sessions.

    * Nook Color

    Everything I wrote about the Nook in this review applies to the original Nook (which continues to be available), not the new Nook Color. To me, the Nook Color is in a different product category than the Kindle or original Nook. Nook Color has an LCD screen, like an iPad or most computer monitors. Reading on a computer screen for long periods of time is not comfortable for me - it causes fatigue and headaches. The e-ink Kindle is very comfortable for long reading sessions. So I'll take a pass on the Nook Color. But it will probably be great for others, especially people who want to watch movies, surf the web and play games on their e-reader, and don't mind the extra cost, weight, or lack of 3G. I've seen and played with a Nook Color at my local B&N, and it is a very attractive device. I'm looking forward to reading user reviews of the Nook Color when people start getting them. If you get one, please post a comment to let us know how you like it.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Worth the money. Not perfect, but very very good for start to finish novels in good light, August 31, 2010
    The Kindle is my first e-ink reader. I own an iPad, an iPhone, and have owned a Windows-based phone in the past that I used as an ereader.

    My overall impression of the device is good.

    The good:
    I'd honestly rather read linear (read from page one to the end, one page at a time) fiction from it than a book, because I can't always get comfortable with a book. Hardcovers are sometimes a bit heavy, and paperbacks don't always lie open easily. The Kindle is incredibly light and thin. I can hold it in one hand easily. The page turn buttons are conveniently located. Page-turns aren't instant, but they're probably quicker than turning a physical page in a printed book (there are just a lot more page-turns unless you choose a small font). The contrast is better than other ereaders I've seen. There is zero eye strain in good light. My eyesight isn't the greatest and I like being able to increase the font size and read without glasses. I love being able to browse the Kindle store and read samples before deciding to purchase. The "experimental" browser is surprisingly usable, but isn't great. It is useful for browsing wikipedia and blogs. The biggest drawback to the browser is the awkward pointer navigation, using the 5-way pad. It syncs your furthest read page over the internet so you can pick up where you left off using your iPhone or iPad.

    The so-so:
    The kindle store could use more categories and sorting options. You can't sort by "top rated," and there is no category for "alternate histories," for example. Finding a very-specific type of fiction relies on keyword searches, which don't do a great job. The wifi sometimes doesn't connect before it times-out. You rarely need the wifi, but it is annoying if you change a setting, answer "OK" to the prompt to connect, and the thing tells you it failed to connect two seconds later (the exact moment it indicates that it did finally connect, then you need to go back to update the setting again). Most settings don't require a connection, but it is a minor annoyance. Most of your time will be spent reading, and of course your books are stored on the device and a connection is not required. Part of me wishes I'd bought the 3G model, because the browser is good enough that having lifetime free 3G wireless would be worth the extra money. Magazines don't look very good and are not very easy to navigate. There is minor glare in some lighting conditions, mostly when a lamp is positioned behind the reader's head.

    The bad:
    The contrast is fair to poor in dim light. It is much easier to read a printed page in dim light. In good light, contrast is on par with a pulp paperback. In dim light it feels almost like reading from an old Palm Pilot (resolution is better than an old Palm, but contrast is bad in dim light). The screen is small enough that the frequency of page turns is pretty high. Even in good light, the light gray background is less pleasant than the eggshell background of a printed page. You must tell it to sync before you switch it off, if you expect the feature allowing you to pick up where you left off using other devices to work correctly. The copy protection prevents you from using the files on anything other than Kindle software or devices.

    Vs iPad:
    IPad is a lot better for magazines, reference materials, and illustrated materials. Kindle is worlds better for reading novels. IPad is pretty heavy, making it more difficult to hold in your hand or carry with you everywhere. Kindle is much more portable and easier to hold. IPad has some amazing children's books and magazines, which take advantage of its multimedia features. IPad is unreadable in sunlight and glare is bad in bright light. Kindle is as good as a printed page in bright light. Ipad serves as a creative tool, a computing tool, a gaming tool, and a communication tool. Kindle is only a novel machine. I don't regret buying either one of them. An iPad won't replace books, but a Kindle can, if the book is text-only.

    I highly recommend this device at its new low price if you are a frequent reader of novels. I love my kindle. Just don't expect it to be more than it is. Leave the magazines and such to the tablet computers.

    4-0 out of 5 stars I Wanted a Dedicated E-Reader, and That's What I Got, September 7, 2010
    I'm a first-time Kindle owner, so I have nothing to "compare" the latest Kindle to. I don't own a Nook. I don't own an iPad (and, in any case, that's comparing apples to oranges). I don't have a Sony e-reader. '

    This will be a short, simple review.

    I received my Kindle about a week ago and haven't been able to put it down.

    Things I like about my Kindle?
    1. The e-ink display is amazing.
    2. Using the 5-way controller is simple and effective.
    3. Page turn speeds are faster than I thought they would be.
    4. It's lightweight, even with the attached cover (I have an Amazon cover with a built-in light)
    5. Page-turning buttons are quiet and well-placed.
    6. Recharge time is fast.
    7. I can order a book and start reading it in less than 60 seconds. Nice!
    8. Portability... I can take 3,000 books with me when I travel for work and not require additional suitcases or baggage fees.

    Things I'm not too keen on?
    1. Buttons are too close together and are laid out oddly.
    2. Lack of individual number buttons is frustrating.
    3. Power button on the bottom? Not a bad thing. Just an odd thing. (Same for the headphone input). I usually rest the "bottom" of a book on my lap when I read.

    Things I hope change in the future?
    1. How books are organized... When I put a book in a collection (which is actually a "tag"), it still appears in the main list. It's not actually "moved", it's merely associated.
    2. The look of the main screen. I'd like "folders" or some other way to display "collections".
    3. Ability to create personal "screen savers."
    4. E-book pricing, though Amazon has little control over this. Still, most titles are the same price as or less than their hardback/paperback counterparts. (And I'm not opposed to paying more for convenience and portability).

    Things that don't bother me regarding other reviews?
    1. The browser is experimental. Amazon has created a dedicated e-reader, and it's meant to be used to read. Period. Not browse the web. If you want to browse the web, get a computer -- not an e-reader.
    2. The Kindle is not an mP3 player, either. Yes, it's nice to have some classical music playing in the background while I read, but I don't need to see the title of the song, album art, etc. (And you can skip from track to track on the Kindle using shortcut keys).
    3. Lack of a "color" or "touch" screen.

    In summary, for $139, I'm quite thrilled with my purchase and have arleady read multiple books on it. In fact, I think I've read more in the past week than I've read in the past month.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Not the perfect "do-it-all" device, but very close to being the perfect e-reading device!, August 26, 2010
    I woke up to a nice surprise this morning: a new kindle as a gift. I have an iPad and a Kindle DX, but I guess someone heard my complaints of them being too heavy and difficult to do extended-reading on. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love my iPad and DX, but this new generation of Kindle is perfect for reading outside and for long periods of time. The iPad gets completely washed out in sunlight and often irritates my eyes staring at it for more than a couple of hours. The DX was my go-to device for those extended/outdoor reading periods, but now I have a new friend for reading novels. Instead of a replacement, this one seems more like a companion to the other devices and is a different class. The iPad works great for web browsing, shopping, productivity, games, etc while the Kindle falls short in those areas. The Kindle works great for reading novels, where the iPad falls short. For those that love to do extended-reading of magazines, newspapers, research articles, etc, I find that the DX is the go-to device.

    Without a doubt, the size and weight of the new kindle is the biggest draw for me. It's smaller than the last edition by a significant margin. I've played around with the Kindle 2 and was impressed, but now looking at the size of the new Kindle, I'm blown away. It's the absolute perfect size. Smaller would be unmanageable and larger wouldn't feel nearly as good. This is a device that you can hold up, read, and just forget that it's there. Compared to other e-readers I've tried, it's much smaller and much lighter.

    One of my biggest complaints about the previous generation Kindles and the DX is the speed. It sometimes takes a while after you push `next page' for it to actually change. In addition, the web browsing feature was so slow and clunky that it is really unusable in my opinion. Two additions to the new Kindle have helped attenuate these issues. First, the pages do flip quicker (albeit, still slow in my opinion), and the addition of wifi has allowed faster connection for wireless activities (much better than only relying on 3G). I still can't see myself using the Kindle as an internet browsing tool or really doing much online aside from purchasing reading material, but the faster connection at least opens up the possibility - something that would only frustrate me on previous editions.

    The new Kindle also offers a better contrast than previous editions and it looks fantastic compared to every other e-reader I have seen. I have no trouble seeing the screen in dim light or in bright sunlight - it really opens up the ability to read almost anywhere you are. Of course, you'll still need a separate light for extremely dark areas.

    Another big addition to the Kindle 3 is that it offers double the storage compared to Kindle 2. I've never had a problem with the amount of storage since I can't possibly see myself filling up that much space (I don't put mp3's on it), but perhaps in the future, if certain applications or media files are put on the kindle, it could have been a problem. The additional space in the new model is definitely a welcome addition, but bringing back the memory card slot that was included on Kindle 1 would have been an even more welcome addition in my opinion.

    Among e-readers, I definitely recommend the Kindle 3 if not just because it has a better size/form-factor, contrast, battery life, and speed compared to every other e-reader I have tried. On top of that, you get the wonderful amazon buying experience and selection for all your literature and can keep your kindle library intact between whatever other device you want to download a Kindle application onto.

    The question of whether you need a Kindle vs another type of device for reading becomes a little more tricky and really comes down to what you want to use it for.

    Do you want a device to read novels on, perhaps read outside, and have something very light that you almost forget it's there? Buy the Kindle.

    Do you want something to lie in bed with for short periods of time while surfing the web? I might suggest going with the iPad, a different tablet, or a netbook.

    Do you already have a Kindle 1 or 2? That's a tough one.... I don't think the new edition has enough `new' to it to warrant the upgrade in my mind, but some might value the new size and wifi capabilities even more-so than I do. For me, the new Kindle was a welcome addition to my family of devices since I didn't have anything anywhere near its form factor and convenience.

    Should you get 3G + Wifi or just Wifi? I think this question can be answered simply by asking yourself if you travel a lot. Being able to buy books and access wireless content on the road is an indispensable option and well worth the extra money in my mind. Keeping the device mainly at home or near wifi hotspots really negates the need for 3G though.

    Overall, I have to give the Kindle a 5 star rating because it does what it was designed to do very well, and in my opinion better than any of the competition. While the new features and capabilities aren't game-changing and truly outstanding, it is smaller, more capable, and better than any other e-reader out there. If you want `one device to handle it all', this isn't the place to look, but If you want a fantastic device solely for reading books, this is what you want.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A hesistant buyer rejoices on his choice, September 2, 2010
    I researched the purchase of a Kindle for a long time. I couldn't decide whether or not it was worth buying a dedicated e-reader. Boy am I glad I made this purchase. The downside to Amazon's online selling of Kindle 3 is that the customers don't get to see it in person. It is much better in person. This may sound stupid, but when I got my new Kindle, I thought there was a stuck-on overlay on the screen containing a diagram of the unit's buttons, etc. I actually tried to peel it off. Doh! The e-ink on this unit is THAT good. I didn't realize that I was staring at the actual display. I also didn't realize that no power is required until the display changes. (thus the great battery life) I do a lot of reading, but was facing the prospect of reading less or buying large type books because of my variable and deteriorating eyesight. The new Kindle has been a godsend. Now, I can decide the size of type I need depending on my level of fatigue among other things. The weight and ergonomics are very good. For someone, like me, with neuropathy in his hands, it is extremely easy to manage and enjoyable to own. To me, it is easier to read than print books. The ease of navigation is great as is the speed. The battery life, so far, has been extraordinary. It easily connected to our home Wi-Fi, which by design does not broadcast an SSID. It downloads books so fast that I almost thought they were not completely received. I did not buy the 3G version because of the price difference and the fact that there is no coverage where I live. If you are not constantly traveling, I don't see the need to spend the extra bucks, but that is a matter of personal choice. For those who have no Wi-Fi at home, remember that you can always download the material to your computer and transfer it via USB. Just today I was watching an interview with Tony Blair on TV. He was talking about his new book, which sounded interesting. I picked up the Kindle and downloaded a free sample before the interview was over. I have only read the preface so far, but will probably buy the book. Now THAT is a great way to buy a book! I haven't used online browsing extensively yet, but find it reasonable for what the device is. This is primarily a book reader, not a laptop or notebook. They are great for what they do, but can't match the e-ink display, or the light weight. For those of you worrying about the wait for the new Kindle, let me end with, "It is worth the wait" This new Kindle is all about the quality of experience. There are many format choices for electronic reading. If you want the best experience, go with the Kindle.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Solid Improvements! Check out my video review!, August 27, 2010
    I just received my new Kindle, and my early impressions are very positive - it's definitely a solid step up from the previous generation Kindle. Check out my video review to see/hear more!

    UPDATE 9/7/2010: Hey guys - based on the comments received there are definitely some questions that people are interested in that I didn't touch on in my video review - so I wanted to take some time to answer some of those questions here. Hopefully this is helpful!

    Q: Is the Kindle 3 backlit? If not, then how do you see it at night?

    A: The Kindle 3 is not backlit. For the Kindle 2 I used a leather case with a reading light clipped to it. For the Kindle 3 Amazon produced a leather case that has a built-in reading light. I've been using it since day 1 and I love it. I made a video review for that also if you want to check it out:

    http://www.amazon.com/review/R27V1SXQSI9M86/

    Q: How well does the new joystick control work?

    A: The new Kindle replaces the old five-way navigation joystick with a center button surrounded by a thin 4-way directional control. After messing around with both of these approaches, I don't really have a strong personal preference one way or another - they both work fine for me.

    If you have big hands then I can definitely see having a bit of trouble getting used to the new joystick. The directional control is very thin, and if you're going to have trouble with any button on the Kindle... that's definitely going to be the one.

    Q: How is viewing PDFs on the Kindle 3? Are they easy to upload onto the Kindle?

    A: Uploading PDFs to the Kindle is very easy. You just connect your Kindle to your computer via USB cable and then drag and drop the PDFs. Totally simple. Viewing them is pretty decent, but the major problem is that most PDFs aren't designed for a 6 inch screen. You might have to do a lot of zooming and panning to see the content you want. If you plan on viewing a ton of PDFs, then you may want to check out the Kindle DX Wireless Reading Device, Free 3G, 9.7" Display, Graphite, 3G Works Globally  Latest Generation.

    Q: How well does the text-to-speech work?

    A: It's ok. You definitely won't mistake it for a professionally produced audiobook, but it doesn't sound as bad as you may think it will. Also note that text-to-speech is not available for every book. You can see on the product page for each Kindle book if text-to-speech is enabled or not.

    5-0 out of 5 stars K3 is perfect, August 28, 2010
    When I first unboxed the new K3, I was slightly disappointed. The new 5-way appeared to be harder to used than the little joystick of the K2. I have to say, though, two days later, I'm liking it much better. Since I'm getting used to it so quickly, I think in another day I won't know the difference.

    The size is absolutely perfect. In the Amazon cover, it is exactly like reading from a paperback book. It's noticeably lighter and easier to hold for reading, even with arthritis in my hands. The page turn buttons are wonderful. Almost no noise, and you don't have to push them as hard. It should make it much easier for those with weak or disabled hands. I also like have next page and previous buttons on both sides. I didn't think it would make a difference to me, but it really does.

    I tried a couple of times to connect the WiFi, but didn't get it to work. Today I had more time so I thought I'd try to puzzle through it. But when I navigated to the wireless menu, it had somehow figured out how to connect on its own. The browser is MUCH faster, and it made buying a book a breeze.

    I haven't had it long enough to comment on the extended battery life. But I was honestly fine with the more than 10 days I always got with K2.

    And the FONTS! My word what a difference! I can practically read in the dark! I've been able to reduce the font size from 4 to 2. Combine sharper contrast with better fonts and it's an unbeatable combo.

    The ONLY thing I would change if I could is to move the Menu button, and especially the Back button. I'm having a little trouble navigating with the down arrow because I hit Back. But I'm starting to get the hang of it.

    All in all, I think Amazon hit it out of the park with the K3!

    5-0 out of 5 stars K3 Even Better than its Predecessor, August 28, 2010
    It's no longer necessary to write about how desirable the Kindle is (or, for that matter, e-readers generally). Books and text and reading are with us to stay; only paper is becoming unnecessary. What we can discuss is how well a device performs its intended task(s), and how it compares to its competition on an absolute basis and for the price.

    My wife and I share a last gen 6" Kindle and just received a new 6" display K3. I know, Amazon doesn't call it that, but how else can users refer to it? In twenty words or less, it is an improvement over an already excellent product. Smaller, but not too small to be held comfortably. Same size display, but sharper and crisper, better contrast. Easy to use, somewhat smaller keyboard that takes a little, but very little, getting used to. It took me a few hours to stop accidentally pressing some neighboring keys, but now using the keyboard is second nature. And the page turning buttons are silent, but have sufficient tactile feedback, excellent feel.

    I found it very easy to duplicate our library from our older Kindle to our new K3, and to activate our home wifi. I don't like to say I "transferred" our books because that could be understood to mean they were taken from our old Kindle to our new one. I say "duplicate" because they reside on both Kindles. The instruction manual is detailed and somewhat lengthy, but very understandable. (It's 200 pages, but don't let that scare you; it's easy to find the parts you need, and you will never need more than a few pages at one time.) The manual is published on the device, as in the past, and can also be downloaded to your computer as a pdf file so you can read the instructions from your computer as you apply them to the K3.

    If you have wifi at home, which we do, when you are in range of a wifi that you have activated in your K3, it automatically uses that wifi, instead of connecting to the 3G AT&T network, assuming, of course, you have a 3G+wifi K3. It works faster on my home wifi than on the 3G network, so much so that if I had really thought it through before I bought it, or if I were to buy another, I would probably go wifi only and save $50. The only reasons to get the 3G+wifi model would seem to be if you don't have reliable access to wifi or if you travel a good deal to places that don't have a lot of wifi access, but do have AT&T connectivity AND you have need to download books or periodicals on a regular basis or without delay while you are away from home or office. If you can plan ahead and stock up on a few good books, and you have reliable access to wifi, such as at home/office, McDonalds or Starbucks, I suggest you think twice about whether you want the 3G+wifi K3, or the wifi only.

    Each K3 has its own email address and you can send documents to it, including Word and pdf docs, and photos. Of course, the photos are B&W, but very detailed and clear. The K3 permits surfing the web, although I haven't used it much for that purpose and, other than saying it works, I hesitate to pass judgment on how well I think someone who uses it for web browsing would like it.

    I can't compare it to other dedicated e-readers because I haven't used them. People seem to be interested in how I think it compares to the iPad, which I don't own but have "played with" somewhat extensively at the Apple Store. My assessment is that there is no comparison. The iPad will do much more, but as an e-reader I think the K3 is superior. I don't need color for reading text, the K3 is a fraction of the cost, and its smaller size makes it much more convenient to tote around. However, what kills the iPad as an e-reader, as far as I am concerned, is its weight. I suspect most of us are the same in this regard, but I tend to read for an hour or two at a stretch. A pound and a half doesn't sound too heavy, but I held an iPad for five minutes, literally, and my hands ached. It is simply too heavy to use as a book reading device, while the K3 is light as a feather. For reading, a cheaper and significantly lighter K3 as a dedicated e-reader is, IMHO, the way to go (compared to an iPad). BTW, a recent (in Aug. 2010) report from Taiwan said Apple in making a 6" iPod, which, depending on size and weight, could change the equation. It will be interesting to see how the e-reader market develops. I said I can't compare the K3 to other competitors, and I won't, but I can say I am completely satisfied with Amazon as an e-book seller. I've only had a few occasions to need support (on my old Kindle), but that has also been entirely satisfactory.

    Bottom line: my wife and I both like the K3 very much and recommend it to anyone considering buying an e-reader. I don't think you will regret buying one, with or without the free 3G.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Quality control problems, September 7, 2010
    First, the good stuff. Kindle 3 has a very readable high contrast screen. The form factor is small and light enough to be a book replacement. Purchasing and downloading content is simple and convenient.

    However, I had a series of problems which eventually led me to return my Kindle.

    After unpacking and charging my Kindle 3, it refused to connect to my wireless network. I have a variety of other devices ranging from a Nintendo Wii to an iPod Touch and two computers that work just fine on my wireless network, but the Kindle couldn't connect after many attempts. I eventually gave up and turned it off. When I turned it back on several hours later, it had mysteriously connected to my WiFi network with the exact same settings that did not work earlier. I have noticed that several other users have ran into the same problem.

    The next problem I noticed was that something was rolling around inside the casing. This is obviously not a good sign. Then, my Kindle 3 started freezing. The first freeze happened while using the experimental browser. As this is an "experimental" application, I wasn't too concerned. After a power reset, the Kindle came back up. The second freeze happened while playing Shuffled Row, which is a good game. After this freeze, my Kindle refused to reboot after many power reset attempts. (Yes, I did try keeping the power switch in the "turn-on" position for up to 30 seconds as suggested by the manual.) I eventually gave up and put it down. However, after a few minutes, the Kindle started to reboot itself. The was another freeze while reading a book, which was fixed with a power reset. I tried to contact Amazon for service, but it looks like the only way to get Kindle customer service is through a phone call.

    And then my Kindle froze again while reading a book. This time, nothing would reset the kindle. When this last freeze happened, the battery was charged about 75%. At this point, there was no option but to return the kindle. There are some comments among the negative reviews here that the usual Amazon.com return process does not work. In my case, I was able to follow the regular Amazon return process and print a return label. So my Kindle is back to Amazon after less than a week of use.

    Judging from other reviews that had similar experiences as mine, Amazon appears to have a specific quality control problem with this latest version of the Kindle. People may be more tolerant of the reliability other electronic gadgets, however, it is unacceptable for a product that is primarily intended to replace paper books to have issues like freezing and/or rebooting. After all, I never had a "paper" book freeze or reboot on me so far. Receiving a product with defects that should have been caught during testing before shipping pretty much destroys the "Kindle experience".

    UPDATE (October 31, 2010): Since I do like the Kindle concept, after reading about the improvement in stability with the latest software upgrades, I purchased another Kindle WiFi. Everything was great for almost two weeks, no crashes. However, yesterday, the second Kindle also ended up with a frozen screen. After following through the instructions on Amazon's Kindle troubleshooting page and talking to the customer service, there was no way to get the Kindle out of the frozen state, so this one is also going back. The fact that this situation can happen to the same customer twice in a matter of few months indicates either a serious quality control problem or component reliability problem.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Details on working with PDF, Wi-fi vs 3G, Starbucks, Audio books, MP3 and other things, August 27, 2010
    NOTE: Amazon limits the video size and duration, so I targeted what I thought were some key points.
    I check comments, so leave one if you have any questions not covered in the video or below and I'll try and answer.

    First off I love this device!!
    Like ipods are the king of MP3 players, this is the king of ebook readers in my opinion.

    I've been looking at this thing for at least 7+ hrs today and my eyes don't feel tired at all.

    If you want. . .
    * a low cost eBook reader
    * that allows you to read books
    * looks great
    * easy to setup
    * easy to hold/carry
    * easy on the eyes (no getting tired eyes from a glaring screen)
    . . . then look no further than this product!



    **Adding updates as I find other feature behaviors**

    - The comic I converted to PDF when emailed to my kindle email address the conversion process didn't like it too much. Better to not use the conversion process for those types of PDFs. Other PDF's converted just fine.
    - Emailing PDF = the conversion process seems to cut off the cover page each time
    - Emailing and having amazon convert is fast. I like it!
    - You can plug the kindle into the USB, then "eject" it from the OS. This allows you to continue to charge the kindle and read it at the same time. You could also just plug it into an electrical socket and read from it too.
    - If you stop/pause your MP3 music it will start all the way back at track #1. This is not an MP3 player. It also plays the most recently added track first
    - 10 minutes it goes into sleep mode, but if you leave Wi-fi on = drains your battery quicker. Better to turn Wi-fi off when not using it
    - Buy a case to protect it and get yourself a light for times when you don't have enough light to read by. This is not a cell-phone screen, meaning you can't read it in the dark. The screen very much simulates paper in this case.
    - Manual even states...you cannot connect the Wi-fi to a corporate wi-fi. Most companies require VPN of some sort, which is not supported here.
    - Loaded a 25Mb PDF and when when trying to search I get the following error message, ""your search can not be completed as this item has not been indexed. Please try again later." Found forum posts that said give the Kindle at least 10 minutes to complete indexing the file. . .longer if file if big. Sure enough, about 30 minutes later I tried again and was able to search this large PDF.

    8/29/10 update:
    - Just got back from Starbucks
    * Turned wi-fi on
    * Menu > Settings > Wifi Settings and selected the attwifi network option
    * Home > Menu > Experimental > Launch browser
    * zoom in on the terms & agreement checkbox and use the spacebar to check the box
    * click continue button and you are on the internet at the coffee shop!!

    9/3/10 update:
    - A week later, I haven't charged the unit nor shut it down, I've only put it into sleep mode. Battery indicator is still more than 80% full. Nice!
    - Someone pointed me towards "Calibre" a free conversion utility. Totally supports the Kindle 3 and converts to PDF, ePub, Mobi, etc. Works great and you can have the program send the converted document directly to your device via USB or email. The program also acts as your own "backup" by creating a document library on your hard drive that can be sorted, metadata updated, etc. It's very cool!

    9/5/10 update:
    - I kept getting unconverted PDFs (PDFs copied directly to unit via USB vs. sending to email for conversion) would result in the unit restarting when trying to access the PDF. Found forums that said you need to reset the unit. Slide & hold the power button for 15 seconds. Let it take the 20 seconds to reboot. This worked for me.

    9/10/10 update:
    Comments discussion & answers on the following:
    - Annotating PDFs, then accessing these notes for later review on a laptop/desktop
    - Is there an auto-scrolling for PDFs? = No
    - What its like to have the kindle "read" back to you? = robotic voice that ignores punctuation
    - More info on document conversion, including sending emails to the kindle for conversion?
    - The ability to access Gmail from the kindle? = yes, works fine though a bit slow on wi-fi

    9/19/10 update:
    - Check out the comments for my answer to, "Should I buy 3G or is wifi good enough?" = need to buy a book on the run, then get 3G. If you can wait till you get home or a coffee shop, then wi-fi works fine.

    9/24/10 update:
    Comments discussion & answers on the following:
    - Exactly how does an Audible audio book work with the Kindle?
    - Possible causes for why MP3 music is not recognized by the device?

    10/2/10 update:
    Comments discussion & answers on the following:
    - Can you play Audible audio books while at the same time reading along? = for all intents and purposes, no
    - How easy is it to register a new/used K3 to a different owner? = easy as pie

    10/23/10 update:
    Comments discussion & answers on the following:
    - Can you change out the battery yourself? = no
    - Can you share your documents with other kindle users? = legally only if both devices are under the same user account

    12/7/10 update:
    Comments discussion & answers on the following:
    - Can a color document show up as color on the kindle? = No, doc will be converted to greyscale
    - Able to support textbooks? = Yes, if in a supported document type
    - Should I pay the extra $50 for 3G in order to more easily access websites? = Up to you...many sites have mobile versions that load great on wi-fi. NOTE: still doesn't support sites that use Java
    - Will I have 3G coverage in my rural area? = Amazon gives a disclaimer in their FAQ that 3G connection is not guaranteed in some areas
    - Should I get the K3 for my 10 year old? = I personally feel this is a great device for any age reader. . .and gives the parent control/visibility to what is being read

    5-0 out of 5 stars Kindle vs. Nook (updated 12/1/2010), August 28, 2010
    If you're trying to choose between a Nook and a Kindle, perhaps I can help. My wife and I have owned a Nook (the original one, not the new Nook Color), a Kindle 2, and a Kindle DX. When Amazon announced the Kindle 3 this summer, we pre-ordered two Kindle 3's: the wi-fi only model in graphite, and the wi-fi + 3G model in white. They arrived in late August and we have used them very regularly since then. For us, Kindle is better than Nook, but Nook is a good device with its own advantages that I will discuss below. I'll end this review with a few words about the Nook Color.

    First, reasons why we prefer the Kindle:

    * Speed

    In our experience, the Kindle is very zippy compared to the Nook. Page refresh speed (the time it takes a new page to appear after you push the page-turn button) was WAY quicker on Kindle 2 than on Nook, and it's quicker yet on Kindle 3. Yet, I read a whole book on the Nook and didn't find the slower page refresh to be annoying - you get used to it, and it's not a problem.

    For me, the more important speed difference concerns navigation - moving the cursor around the screen, for example to pick a book from your library, or to jump to a chapter by selecting it in the table of contents. On Kindle, you do this by pushing a 5-way rocker button, and the cursor moves very quickly. On Nook, you do this by activating the color LCD touchscreen (which normally shuts off when not in use, to conserve battery). A "virtual rocker button" appears on the screen, and you touch it to move the cursor. Unfortunately, the Nook cursor moves very sluggishly. This might not be a big deal to you, but it really got annoying to me, especially since my wife's Kindle was so quick and responsive.

    In November 2010, Nook got a software upgrade that increases page refresh speed and makes navigation more responsive. I returned my Nook months ago, so I cannot tell you if the Nook's performance is now equal to the Kindle's, but Nook owners in the comments section have convinced me that the software update improves the experience of using the Nook. If performance is a big factor in your decision, visit a Best Buy and compare Kindle and Nook side by side.

    * Screen contrast

    You've seen Amazon's claims that the Kindle 3 e-ink has 50% better contrast than Kindle 2 or other e-ink devices. I have no way of precisely measuring the improvement in contrast, but I can tell you that the Kindle 3 display definitely has more contrast than Kindle 2 or Nook. The difference is noticeable, and important: more screen contrast means less eyestrain when reading in poorly lit rooms.

    In well-lit rooms, the Nook and Kindle 2 have enough contrast to allow for comfortable reading. But I often read in low-light conditions, like in bed at night, or in a poorly lit room. In these situations, reading on Nook or Kindle 2 was a bit uncomfortable and often gave me a mild headache. When I got the Kindle 3, the extra contrast was immediately noticeable, and made it more comfortable to read under less-than-ideal lighting conditions. (If you go with a Nook, just make sure you have a good reading lamp nearby.)

    * Battery life

    The Nook's color LCD touch screen drains its battery quickly - I could never get more than 5 days out of a charge. The Kindle 2 had longer battery life than the Nook, and Kindle 3 has even longer life: in the 3 months since we received our Kindle 3's, we typically get 3 weeks of battery life between charges. (We keep wireless off about half the time to save battery power.)

    * Weight

    Nook weighs about 3 ounces more than the new Kindle, and you can really feel the difference. Without a case, Nook is still light enough to hold in one hand for long reading sessions without fatigue. But in a case, Nook is a heavy sucker. The new Kindle 3 is so light, even in a case, we find it comfortable holding in one hand for long reading sessions.

    Reasons some people might prefer the Nook:

    * In-store experience

    If you need help with your nook, you can take it to any barnes and noble and get a real human to help. You can take your nook into the coffee shop section of your local B&N store and read any book for free for up to one hour per day. When you take your nook to B&N, some in-store special deals and the occasional free book pop up on your screen.

    * User-replaceable battery

    Rechargeable batteries eventually lose their ability to hold a charge. Nook's battery is user-replaceable and relatively inexpensive. To replace Kindle's battery, Amazon wants you to ship your Kindle to Amazon, and they will ship you back a DIFFERENT Kindle than the one you sent (it's the same model, for example if you send a white Kindle 3, you get a white Kindle 3 back, but you get a "refurbished" one, NOT the exact one you sent them). I don't like this at all.

    However, several people have posted comments here that have eased my concerns. Someone looked up statistics on the Kindle's battery and did some simple calculations to show that it should last for 3 or more years. Before that happens, I will surely have upgraded to a newer Kindle model by then. Also, someone found some companies that sell Kindle batteries at reasonable cost and have how-to videos that demonstrate how we can replace the battery ourselves. Doing this would void the Kindle's warranty, but the battery will probably not fail until long after the warranty expires.

    * ePub

    Nook uses the ePub format, a widely used open format. Amazon uses a proprietary ebook format. Many libraries will "lend" ebooks in the ePub format, which works with nook but not kindle. However, a free and reputable program called Calibre allows you to translate ebooks from one format to another - it supports many formats, including ePub and Kindle. The only catch is that it doesn't work with copy-protected ebooks, so you can't, for example, buy a Kindle book (which is copy protected) and translate it to ePub so you can read it on a Nook.

    * lending e-books to friends

    Nook owners can "loan" ebooks they purchased to other nook owners for up to two weeks. You can't do this with kindle - yet. Amazon has announced it will soon add this lending feature to all kindles (via a software update that will be available to people who already own kindles).

    * Nook's color LCD touchscreen

    This could be a pro or con, depending on your preferences. It makes nook hipper and less drab than kindle. Some people enjoy using the color LCD to view their library or navigate. I did, at first. But after two weeks of use, and comparisons with my wife's kindle, I found the dedicated buttons of the kindle easier and far quicker to use than the nook's color touchscreen. I also found the bright light from the color screen distracting when I was trying to read a book or newspaper (though when not in use, it shuts off after a minute or so to conserve battery).

    * expandable capacity

    Nook comes with 2GB of internal memory. If you need more capacity, you can insert a microSD card to add up to 16GB more memory. Kindle comes with 4GB of internal memory - twice as much as Nook - but there's no way to expand that. Kindle doesn't accept memory cards of any type. If you mainly use your device to read ebooks and newspapers, this shouldn't be an issue. I have over 100 books on my Kindle, and I've used only a tiny fraction of the memory. Once Kindle's memory fills up, just delete books you don't need immediate access to; you can always restore them later, in seconds, for free.

    A few other notes:

    Kindle and Nook have other features, such as an MP3 player and a web browser, but I caution you to have low expectations for these features. The MP3 player on the Kindle is like the first-generation iPod shuffle - you can't see what song is playing, and you can't navigate to other songs on your device. I don't like the browser on either device; e-ink is just not a good technology for surfing the web; it's slower and clunkier than LCD screen technology, so even the browser on an Android phone or iPod touch is more enjoyable to use. However, some commenters have more favorable views of either device's browser, and you might, too.

    * PDF support

    Kindle and Nook both handle PDF files, but in different ways. When you put a PDF file on your nook, nook converts it into an ebook-like file, then you can adjust the font size, and the text and pagination will adjust just like with any ebook. But you cannot see the original PDF file in the native format in which it was created. Kindle 3 and Kindle DX have native support for PDF files. You can see PDF files just as they would appear on your computer. You can also convert PDF files to an ebook-like format, and then Kindle handles them just the way the Nook handles them - text and pagination adjust when you change the font size. Unfortunately, some symbols, equations, and graphics get lost or mangled in the translation - even when viewing PDF files in their native format on the Kindle. Moreover, the small screen size of the Kindle 3 and the Nook is not great for PDF files, most of which are designed for a larger page size. You can zoom and pan, but this is cumbersome and tiresome. Thanks to commenters who suggested viewing PDF files in landscape mode on the Kindle (I don't know if you can do this on Nook); this way, you can see the entire top half of the page without panning, and then scroll down to the bottom half. This works a little better.

    SUMMARY:

    Nook and Kindle each offer their own advantages. We like the nook's user-replaceable battery, compatibility with ePub format, and in-store experience. But we strongly prefer Kindle 3 because its performance is zippier, its higher-contrast screen is easier to read, and it's smaller and lighter so it is more portable and more comfortable to hold in one hand for long reading sessions.

    * Nook Color

    Everything I wrote about the Nook in this review applies to the original Nook (which continues to be available), not the new Nook Color. To me, the Nook Color is in a different product category than the Kindle or original Nook. Nook Color has an LCD screen, like an iPad or most computer monitors. Reading on a computer screen for long periods of time is not comfortable for me - it causes fatigue and headaches. The e-ink Kindle is very comfortable for long reading sessions. So I'll take a pass on the Nook Color. But it will probably be great for others, especially people who want to watch movies, surf the web and play games on their e-reader, and don't mind the extra cost, weight, or lack of 3G. I've seen and played with a Nook Color at my local B&N, and it is a very attractive device. I'm looking forward to reading user reviews of the Nook Color when people start getting them. If you get one, please post a comment to let us know how you like it.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Worth the money. Not perfect, but very very good for start to finish novels in good light, August 31, 2010
    The Kindle is my first e-ink reader. I own an iPad, an iPhone, and have owned a Windows-based phone in the past that I used as an ereader.

    My overall impression of the device is good.

    The good:
    I'd honestly rather read linear (read from page one to the end, one page at a time) fiction from it than a book, because I can't always get comfortable with a book. Hardcovers are sometimes a bit heavy, and paperbacks don't always lie open easily. The Kindle is incredibly light and thin. I can hold it in one hand easily. The page turn buttons are conveniently located. Page-turns aren't instant, but they're probably quicker than turning a physical page in a printed book (there are just a lot more page-turns unless you choose a small font). The contrast is better than other ereaders I've seen. There is zero eye strain in good light. My eyesight isn't the greatest and I like being able to increase the font size and read without glasses. I love being able to browse the Kindle store and read samples before deciding to purchase. The "experimental" browser is surprisingly usable, but isn't great. It is useful for browsing wikipedia and blogs. The biggest drawback to the browser is the awkward pointer navigation, using the 5-way pad. It syncs your furthest read page over the internet so you can pick up where you left off using your iPhone or iPad.

    The so-so:
    The kindle store could use more categories and sorting options. You can't sort by "top rated," and there is no category for "alternate histories," for example. Finding a very-specific type of fiction relies on keyword searches, which don't do a great job. The wifi sometimes doesn't connect before it times-out. You rarely need the wifi, but it is annoying if you change a setting, answer "OK" to the prompt to connect, and the thing tells you it failed to connect two seconds later (the exact moment it indicates that it did finally connect, then you need to go back to update the setting again). Most settings don't require a connection, but it is a minor annoyance. Most of your time will be spent reading, and of course your books are stored on the device and a connection is not required. Part of me wishes I'd bought the 3G model, because the browser is good enough that having lifetime free 3G wireless would be worth the extra money. Magazines don't look very good and are not very easy to navigate. There is minor glare in some lighting conditions, mostly when a lamp is positioned behind the reader's head.

    The bad:
    The contrast is fair to poor in dim light. It is much easier to read a printed page in dim light. In good light, contrast is on par with a pulp paperback. In dim light it feels almost like reading from an old Palm Pilot (resolution is better than an old Palm, but contrast is bad in dim light). The screen is small enough that the frequency of page turns is pretty high. Even in good light, the light gray background is less pleasant than the eggshell background of a printed page. You must tell it to sync before you switch it off, if you expect the feature allowing you to pick up where you left off using other devices to work correctly. The copy protection prevents you from using the files on anything other than Kindle software or devices.

    Vs iPad:
    IPad is a lot better for magazines, reference materials, and illustrated materials. Kindle is worlds better for reading novels. IPad is pretty heavy, making it more difficult to hold in your hand or carry with you everywhere. Kindle is much more portable and easier to hold. IPad has some amazing children's books and magazines, which take advantage of its multimedia features. IPad is unreadable in sunlight and glare is bad in bright light. Kindle is as good as a printed page in bright light. Ipad serves as a creative tool, a computing tool, a gaming tool, and a communication tool. Kindle is only a novel machine. I don't regret buying either one of them. An iPad won't replace books, but a Kindle can, if the book is text-only.

    I highly recommend this device at its new low price if you are a frequent reader of novels. I love my kindle. Just don't expect it to be more than it is. Leave the magazines and such to the tablet computers.

    4-0 out of 5 stars I Wanted a Dedicated E-Reader, and That's What I Got, September 7, 2010
    I'm a first-time Kindle owner, so I have nothing to "compare" the latest Kindle to. I don't own a Nook. I don't own an iPad (and, in any case, that's comparing apples to oranges). I don't have a Sony e-reader. '

    This will be a short, simple review.

    I received my Kindle about a week ago and haven't been able to put it down.

    Things I like about my Kindle?
    1. The e-ink display is amazing.
    2. Using the 5-way controller is simple and effective.
    3. Page turn speeds are faster than I thought they would be.
    4. It's lightweight, even with the attached cover (I have an Amazon cover with a built-in light)
    5. Page-turning buttons are quiet and well-placed.
    6. Recharge time is fast.
    7. I can order a book and start reading it in less than 60 seconds. Nice!
    8. Portability... I can take 3,000 books with me when I travel for work and not require additional suitcases or baggage fees.

    Things I'm not too keen on?
    1. Buttons are too close together and are laid out oddly.
    2. Lack of individual number buttons is frustrating.
    3. Power button on the bottom? Not a bad thing. Just an odd thing. (Same for the headphone input). I usually rest the "bottom" of a book on my lap when I read.

    Things I hope change in the future?
    1. How books are organized... When I put a book in a collection (which is actually a "tag"), it still appears in the main list. It's not actually "moved", it's merely associated.
    2. The look of the main screen. I'd like "folders" or some other way to display "collections".
    3. Ability to create personal "screen savers."
    4. E-book pricing, though Amazon has little control over this. Still, most titles are the same price as or less than their hardback/paperback counterparts. (And I'm not opposed to paying more for convenience and portability).

    Things that don't bother me regarding other reviews?
    1. The browser is experimental. Amazon has created a dedicated e-reader, and it's meant to be used to read. Period. Not browse the web. If you want to browse the web, get a computer -- not an e-reader.
    2. The Kindle is not an mP3 player, either. Yes, it's nice to have some classical music playing in the background while I read, but I don't need to see the title of the song, album art, etc. (And you can skip from track to track on the Kindle using shortcut keys).
    3. Lack of a "color" or "touch" screen.

    In summary, for $139, I'm quite thrilled with my purchase and have arleady read multiple books on it. In fact, I think I've read more in the past week than I've read in the past month.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Not the perfect "do-it-all" device, but very close to being the perfect e-reading device!, August 26, 2010
    I woke up to a nice surprise this morning: a new kindle as a gift. I have an iPad and a Kindle DX, but I guess someone heard my complaints of them being too heavy and difficult to do extended-reading on. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love my iPad and DX, but this new generation of Kindle is perfect for reading outside and for long periods of time. The iPad gets completely washed out in sunlight and often irritates my eyes staring at it for more than a couple of hours. The DX was my go-to device for those extended/outdoor reading periods, but now I have a new friend for reading novels. Instead of a replacement, this one seems more like a companion to the other devices and is a different class. The iPad works great for web browsing, shopping, productivity, games, etc while the Kindle falls short in those areas. The Kindle works great for reading novels, where the iPad falls short. For those that love to do extended-reading of magazines, newspapers, research articles, etc, I find that the DX is the go-to device.

    Without a doubt, the size and weight of the new kindle is the biggest draw for me. It's smaller than the last edition by a significant margin. I've played around with the Kindle 2 and was impressed, but now looking at the size of the new Kindle, I'm blown away. It's the absolute perfect size. Smaller would be unmanageable and larger wouldn't feel nearly as good. This is a device that you can hold up, read, and just forget that it's there. Compared to other e-readers I've tried, it's much smaller and much lighter.

    One of my biggest complaints about the previous generation Kindles and the DX is the speed. It sometimes takes a while after you push `next page' for it to actually change. In addition, the web browsing feature was so slow and clunky that it is really unusable in my opinion. Two additions to the new Kindle have helped attenuate these issues. First, the pages do flip quicker (albeit, still slow in my opinion), and the addition of wifi has allowed faster connection for wireless activities (much better than only relying on 3G). I still can't see myself using the Kindle as an internet browsing tool or really doing much online aside from purchasing reading material, but the faster connection at least opens up the possibility - something that would only frustrate me on previous editions.

    The new Kindle also offers a better contrast than previous editions and it looks fantastic compared to every other e-reader I have seen. I have no trouble seeing the screen in dim light or in bright sunlight - it really opens up the ability to read almost anywhere you are. Of course, you'll still need a separate light for extremely dark areas.

    Another big addition to the Kindle 3 is that it offers double the storage compared to Kindle 2. I've never had a problem with the amount of storage since I can't possibly see myself filling up that much space (I don't put mp3's on it), but perhaps in the future, if certain applications or media files are put on the kindle, it could have been a problem. The additional space in the new model is definitely a welcome addition, but bringing back the memory card slot that was included on Kindle 1 would have been an even more welcome addition in my opinion.

    Among e-readers, I definitely recommend the Kindle 3 if not just because it has a better size/form-factor, contrast, battery life, and speed compared to every other e-reader I have tried. On top of that, you get the wonderful amazon buying experience and selection for all your literature and can keep your kindle library intact between whatever other device you want to download a Kindle application onto.

    The question of whether you need a Kindle vs another type of device for reading becomes a little more tricky and really comes down to what you want to use it for.

    Do you want a device to read novels on, perhaps read outside, and have something very light that you almost forget it's there? Buy the Kindle.

    Do you want something to lie in bed with for short periods of time while surfing the web? I might suggest going with the iPad, a different tablet, or a netbook.

    Do you already have a Kindle 1 or 2? That's a tough one.... I don't think the new edition has enough `new' to it to warrant the upgrade in my mind, but some might value the new size and wifi capabilities even more-so than I do. For me, the new Kindle was a welcome addition to my family of devices since I didn't have anything anywhere near its form factor and convenience.

    Should you get 3G + Wifi or just Wifi? I think this question can be answered simply by asking yourself if you travel a lot. Being able to buy books and access wireless content on the road is an indispensable option and well worth the extra money in my mind. Keeping the device mainly at home or near wifi hotspots really negates the need for 3G though.

    Overall, I have to give the Kindle a 5 star rating because it does what it was designed to do very well, and in my opinion better than any of the competition. While the new features and capabilities aren't game-changing and truly outstanding, it is smaller, more capable, and better than any other e-reader out there. If you want `one device to handle it all', this isn't the place to look, but If you want a fantastic device solely for reading books, this is what you want.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A hesistant buyer rejoices on his choice, September 2, 2010
    I researched the purchase of a Kindle for a long time. I couldn't decide whether or not it was worth buying a dedicated e-reader. Boy am I glad I made this purchase. The downside to Amazon's online selling of Kindle 3 is that the customers don't get to see it in person. It is much better in person. This may sound stupid, but when I got my new Kindle, I thought there was a stuck-on overlay on the screen containing a diagram of the unit's buttons, etc. I actually tried to peel it off. Doh! The e-ink on this unit is THAT good. I didn't realize that I was staring at the actual display. I also didn't realize that no power is required until the display changes. (thus the great battery life) I do a lot of reading, but was facing the prospect of reading less or buying large type books because of my variable and deteriorating eyesight. The new Kindle has been a godsend. Now, I can decide the size of type I need depending on my level of fatigue among other things. The weight and ergonomics are very good. For someone, like me, with neuropathy in his hands, it is extremely easy to manage and enjoyable to own. To me, it is easier to read than print books. The ease of navigation is great as is the speed. The battery life, so far, has been extraordinary. It easily connected to our home Wi-Fi, which by design does not broadcast an SSID. It downloads books so fast that I almost thought they were not completely received. I did not buy the 3G version because of the price difference and the fact that there is no coverage where I live. If you are not constantly traveling, I don't see the need to spend the extra bucks, but that is a matter of personal choice. For those who have no Wi-Fi at home, remember that you can always download the material to your computer and transfer it via USB. Just today I was watching an interview with Tony Blair on TV. He was talking about his new book, which sounded interesting. I picked up the Kindle and downloaded a free sample before the interview was over. I have only read the preface so far, but will probably buy the book. Now THAT is a great way to buy a book! I haven't used online browsing extensively yet, but find it reasonable for what the device is. This is primarily a book reader, not a laptop or notebook. They are great for what they do, but can't match the e-ink display, or the light weight. For those of you worrying about the wait for the new Kindle, let me end with, "It is worth the wait" This new Kindle is all about the quality of experience. There are many format choices for electronic reading. If you want the best experience, go with the Kindle.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Solid Improvements! Check out my video review!, August 27, 2010
    I just received my new Kindle, and my early impressions are very positive - it's definitely a solid step up from the previous generation Kindle. Check out my video review to see/hear more!

    UPDATE 9/7/2010: Hey guys - based on the comments received there are definitely some questions that people are interested in that I didn't touch on in my video review - so I wanted to take some time to answer some of those questions here. Hopefully this is helpful!

    Q: Is the Kindle 3 backlit? If not, then how do you see it at night?

    A: The Kindle 3 is not backlit. For the Kindle 2 I used a leather case with a reading light clipped to it. For the Kindle 3 Amazon produced a leather case that has a built-in reading light. I've been using it since day 1 and I love it. I made a video review for that also if you want to check it out:

    http://www.amazon.com/review/R27V1SXQSI9M86/

    Q: How well does the new joystick control work?

    A: The new Kindle replaces the old five-way navigation joystick with a center button surrounded by a thin 4-way directional control. After messing around with both of these approaches, I don't really have a strong personal preference one way or another - they both work fine for me.

    If you have big hands then I can definitely see having a bit of trouble getting used to the new joystick. The directional control is very thin, and if you're going to have trouble with any button on the Kindle... that's definitely going to be the one.

    Q: How is viewing PDFs on the Kindle 3? Are they easy to upload onto the Kindle?

    A: Uploading PDFs to the Kindle is very easy. You just connect your Kindle to your computer via USB cable and then drag and drop the PDFs. Totally simple. Viewing them is pretty decent, but the major problem is that most PDFs aren't designed for a 6 inch screen. You might have to do a lot of zooming and panning to see the content you want. If you plan on viewing a ton of PDFs, then you may want to check out the Kindle DX Wireless Reading Device, Free 3G, 9.7" Display, Graphite, 3G Works Globally  Latest Generation.

    Q: How well does the text-to-speech work?

    A: It's ok. You definitely won't mistake it for a professionally produced audiobook, but it doesn't sound as bad as you may think it will. Also note that text-to-speech is not available for every book. You can see on the product page for each Kindle book if text-to-speech is enabled or not.

    5-0 out of 5 stars K3 is perfect, August 28, 2010
    When I first unboxed the new K3, I was slightly disappointed. The new 5-way appeared to be harder to used than the little joystick of the K2. I have to say, though, two days later, I'm liking it much better. Since I'm getting used to it so quickly, I think in another day I won't know the difference.

    The size is absolutely perfect. In the Amazon cover, it is exactly like reading from a paperback book. It's noticeably lighter and easier to hold for reading, even with arthritis in my hands. The page turn buttons are wonderful. Almost no noise, and you don't have to push them as hard. It should make it much easier for those with weak or disabled hands. I also like have next page and previous buttons on both sides. I didn't think it would make a difference to me, but it really does.

    I tried a couple of times to connect the WiFi, but didn't get it to work. Today I had more time so I thought I'd try to puzzle through it. But when I navigated to the wireless menu, it had somehow figured out how to connect on its own. The browser is MUCH faster, and it made buying a book a breeze.

    I haven't had it long enough to comment on the extended battery life. But I was honestly fine with the more than 10 days I always got with K2.

    And the FONTS! My word what a difference! I can practically read in the dark! I've been able to reduce the font size from 4 to 2. Combine sharper contrast with better fonts and it's an unbeatable combo.

    The ONLY thing I would change if I could is to move the Menu button, and especially the Back button. I'm having a little trouble navigating with the down arrow because I hit Back. But I'm starting to get the hang of it.

    All in all, I think Amazon hit it out of the park with the K3!

    5-0 out of 5 stars K3 Even Better than its Predecessor, August 28, 2010
    It's no longer necessary to write about how desirable the Kindle is (or, for that matter, e-readers generally). Books and text and reading are with us to stay; only paper is becoming unnecessary. What we can discuss is how well a device performs its intended task(s), and how it compares to its competition on an absolute basis and for the price.

    My wife and I share a last gen 6" Kindle and just received a new 6" display K3. I know, Amazon doesn't call it that, but how else can users refer to it? In twenty words or less, it is an improvement over an already excellent product. Smaller, but not too small to be held comfortably. Same size display, but sharper and crisper, better contrast. Easy to use, somewhat smaller keyboard that takes a little, but very little, getting used to. It took me a few hours to stop accidentally pressing some neighboring keys, but now using the keyboard is second nature. And the page turning buttons are silent, but have sufficient tactile feedback, excellent feel.

    I found it very easy to duplicate our library from our older Kindle to our new K3, and to activate our home wifi. I don't like to say I "transferred" our books because that could be understood to mean they were taken from our old Kindle to our new one. I say "duplicate" because they reside on both Kindles. The instruction manual is detailed and somewhat lengthy, but very understandable. (It's 200 pages, but don't let that scare you; it's easy to find the parts you need, and you will never need more than a few pages at one time.) The manual is published on the device, as in the past, and can also be downloaded to your computer as a pdf file so you can read the instructions from your computer as you apply them to the K3.

    If you have wifi at home, which we do, when you are in range of a wifi that you have activated in your K3, it automatically uses that wifi, instead of connecting to the 3G AT&T network, assuming, of course, you have a 3G+wifi K3. It works faster on my home wifi than on the 3G network, so much so that if I had really thought it through before I bought it, or if I were to buy another, I would probably go wifi only and save $50. The only reasons to get the 3G+wifi model would seem to be if you don't have reliable access to wifi or if you travel a good deal to places that don't have a lot of wifi access, but do have AT&T connectivity AND you have need to download books or periodicals on a regular basis or without delay while you are away from home or office. If you can plan ahead and stock up on a few good books, and you have reliable access to wifi, such as at home/office, McDonalds or Starbucks, I suggest you think twice about whether you want the 3G+wifi K3, or the wifi only.

    Each K3 has its own email address and you can send documents to it, including Word and pdf docs, and photos. Of course, the photos are B&W, but very detailed and clear. The K3 permits surfing the web, although I haven't used it much for that purpose and, other than saying it works, I hesitate to pass judgment on how well I think someone who uses it for web browsing would like it.

    I can't compare it to other dedicated e-readers because I haven't used them. People seem to be interested in how I think it compares to the iPad, which I don't own but have "played with" somewhat extensively at the Apple Store. My assessment is that there is no comparison. The iPad will do much more, but as an e-reader I think the K3 is superior. I don't need color for reading text, the K3 is a fraction of the cost, and its smaller size makes it much more convenient to tote around. However, what kills the iPad as an e-reader, as far as I am concerned, is its weight. I suspect most of us are the same in this regard, but I tend to read for an hour or two at a stretch. A pound and a half doesn't sound too heavy, but I held an iPad for five minutes, literally, and my hands ached. It is simply too heavy to use as a book reading device, while the K3 is light as a feather. For reading, a cheaper and significantly lighter K3 as a dedicated e-reader is, IMHO, the way to go (compared to an iPad). BTW, a recent (in Aug. 2010) report from Taiwan said Apple in making a 6" iPod, which, depending on size and weight, could change the equation. It will be interesting to see how the e-reader market develops. I said I can't compare the K3 to other competitors, and I won't, but I can say I am completely satisfied with Amazon as an e-book seller. I've only had a few occasions to need support (on my old Kindle), but that has also been entirely satisfactory.

    Bottom line: my wife and I both like the K3 very much and recommend it to anyone considering buying an e-reader. I don't think you will regret buying one, with or without the free 3G.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Quality control problems, September 7, 2010
    First, the good stuff. Kindle 3 has a very readable high contrast screen. The form factor is small and light enough to be a book replacement. Purchasing and downloading content is simple and convenient.

    However, I had a series of problems which eventually led me to return my Kindle.

    After unpacking and charging my Kindle 3, it refused to connect to my wireless network. I have a variety of other devices ranging from a Nintendo Wii to an iPod Touch and two computers that work just fine on my wireless network, but the Kindle couldn't connect after many attempts. I eventually gave up and turned it off. When I turned it back on several hours later, it had mysteriously connected to my WiFi network with the exact same settings that did not work earlier. I have noticed that several other users have ran into the same problem.

    The next problem I noticed was that something was rolling around inside the casing. This is obviously not a good sign. Then, my Kindle 3 started freezing. The first freeze happened while using the experimental browser. As this is an "experimental" application, I wasn't too concerned. After a power reset, the Kindle came back up. The second freeze happened while playing Shuffled Row, which is a good game. After this freeze, my Kindle refused to reboot after many power reset attempts. (Yes, I did try keeping the power switch in the "turn-on" position for up to 30 seconds as suggested by the manual.) I eventually gave up and put it down. However, after a few minutes, the Kindle started to reboot itself. The was another freeze while reading a book, which was fixed with a power reset. I tried to contact Amazon for service, but it looks like the only way to get Kindle customer service is through a phone call.

    And then my Kindle froze again while reading a book. This time, nothing would reset the kindle. When this last freeze happened, the battery was charged about 75%. At this point, there was no option but to return the kindle. There are some comments among the negative reviews here that the usual Amazon.com return process does not work. In my case, I was able to follow the regular Amazon return process and print a return label. So my Kindle is back to Amazon after less than a week of use.

    Judging from other reviews that had similar experiences as mine, Amazon appears to have a specific quality control problem with this latest version of the Kindle. People may be more tolerant of the reliability other electronic gadgets, however, it is unacceptable for a product that is primarily intended to replace paper books to have issues like freezing and/or rebooting. After all, I never had a "paper" book freeze or reboot on me so far. Receiving a product with defects that should have been caught during testing before shipping pretty much destroys the "Kindle experience".

    UPDATE (October 31, 2010): Since I do like the Kindle concept, after reading about the improvement in stability with the latest software upgrades, I purchased another Kindle WiFi. Everything was great for almost two weeks, no crashes. However, yesterday, the second Kindle also ended up with a frozen screen. After following through the instructions on Amazon's Kindle troubleshooting page and talking to the customer service, there was no way to get the Kindle out of the frozen state, so this one is also going back. The fact that this situation can happen to the same customer twice in a matter of few months indicates either a serious quality control problem or component reliability problem.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Details on working with PDF, Wi-fi vs 3G, Starbucks, Audio books, MP3 and other things, August 27, 2010
    NOTE: Amazon limits the video size and duration, so I targeted what I thought were some key points.
    I check comments, so leave one if you have any questions not covered in the video or below and I'll try and answer.

    First off I love this device!!
    Like ipods are the king of MP3 players, this is the king of ebook readers in my opinion.

    I've been looking at this thing for at least 7+ hrs today and my eyes don't feel tired at all.

    If you want. . .
    * a low cost eBook reader
    * that allows you to read books
    * looks great
    * easy to setup
    * easy to hold/carry
    * easy on the eyes (no getting tired eyes from a glaring screen)
    . . . then look no further than this product!



    **Adding updates as I find other feature behaviors**

    - The comic I converted to PDF when emailed to my kindle email address the conversion process didn't like it too much. Better to not use the conversion process for those types of PDFs. Other PDF's converted just fine.
    - Emailing PDF = the conversion process seems to cut off the cover page each time
    - Emailing and having amazon convert is fast. I like it!
    - You can plug the kindle into the USB, then "eject" it from the OS. This allows you to continue to charge the kindle and read it at the same time. You could also just plug it into an electrical socket and read from it too.
    - If you stop/pause your MP3 music it will start all the way back at track #1. This is not an MP3 player. It also plays the most recently added track first
    - 10 minutes it goes into sleep mode, but if you leave Wi-fi on = drains your battery quicker. Better to turn Wi-fi off when not using it
    - Buy a case to protect it and get yourself a light for times when you don't have enough light to read by. This is not a cell-phone screen, meaning you can't read it in the dark. The screen very much simulates paper in this case.
    - Manual even states...you cannot connect the Wi-fi to a corporate wi-fi. Most companies require VPN of some sort, which is not supported here.
    - Loaded a 25Mb PDF and when when trying to search I get the following error message, ""your search can not be completed as this item has not been indexed. Please try again later." Found forum posts that said give the Kindle at least 10 minutes to complete indexing the file. . .longer if file if big. Sure enough, about 30 minutes later I tried again and was able to search this large PDF.

    8/29/10 update:
    - Just got back from Starbucks
    * Turned wi-fi on
    * Menu > Settings > Wifi Settings and selected the attwifi network option
    * Home > Menu > Experimental > Launch browser
    * zoom in on the terms & agreement checkbox and use the spacebar to check the box
    * click continue button and you are on the internet at the coffee shop!!

    9/3/10 update:
    - A week later, I haven't charged the unit nor shut it down, I've only put it into sleep mode. Battery indicator is still more than 80% full. Nice!
    - Someone pointed me towards "Calibre" a free conversion utility. Totally supports the Kindle 3 and converts to PDF, ePub, Mobi, etc. Works great and you can have the program send the converted document directly to your device via USB or email. The program also acts as your own "backup" by creating a document library on your hard drive that can be sorted, metadata updated, etc. It's very cool!

    9/5/10 update:
    - I kept getting unconverted PDFs (PDFs copied directly to unit via USB vs. sending to email for conversion) would result in the unit restarting when trying to access the PDF. Found forums that said you need to reset the unit. Slide & hold the power button for 15 seconds. Let it take the 20 seconds to reboot. This worked for me.

    9/10/10 update:
    Comments discussion & answers on the following:
    - Annotating PDFs, then accessing these notes for later review on a laptop/desktop
    - Is there an auto-scrolling for PDFs? = No
    - What its like to have the kindle "read" back to you? = robotic voice that ignores punctuation
    - More info on document conversion, including sending emails to the kindle for conversion?
    - The ability to access Gmail from the kindle? = yes, works fine though a bit slow on wi-fi

    9/19/10 update:
    - Check out the comments for my answer to, "Should I buy 3G or is wifi good enough?" = need to buy a book on the run, then get 3G. If you can wait till you get home or a coffee shop, then wi-fi works fine.

    9/24/10 update:
    Comments discussion & answers on the following:
    - Exactly how does an Audible audio book work with the Kindle?
    - Possible causes for why MP3 music is not recognized by the device?

    10/2/10 update:
    Comments discussion & answers on the following:
    - Can you play Audible audio books while at the same time reading along? = for all intents and purposes, no
    - How easy is it to register a new/used K3 to a different owner? = easy as pie

    10/23/10 update:
    Comments discussion & answers on the following:
    - Can you change out the battery yourself? = no
    - Can you share your documents with other kindle users? = legally only if both devices are under the same user account

    12/7/10 update:
    Comments discussion & answers on the following:
    - Can a color document show up as color on the kindle? = No, doc will be converted to greyscale
    - Able to support textbooks? = Yes, if in a supported document type
    - Should I pay the extra $50 for 3G in order to more easily access websites? = Up to you...many sites have mobile versions that load great on wi-fi. NOTE: still doesn't support sites that use Java
    - Will I have 3G coverage in my rural area? = Amazon gives a disclaimer in their FAQ that 3G connection is not guaranteed in some areas
    - Should I get the K3 for my 10 year old? = I personally feel this is a great device for any age reader. . .and gives the parent control/visibility to what is being read
    Read more


    3. Kindle Leather Cover, Black (Fits 6" Display, Latest Generation Kindle)
    Accessory
    -- our price: $34.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B003DZ163E
    Manufacturer: Amazon Digital Services, Inc
    Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Amazon.com Amazon's Kindle Leather Cover

    This leather cover offers optimal protection for your Kindle. Contoured, pebble-grain leather keeps your Kindle safe and secure, while the soft, charcoal-gray, microfiber interior protects the screen from scratches.

    Lightweight, this cover is perfect for taking Kindle wherever you go, and is designed to fold back, so you can read comfortably with just one hand.


    Secure Your Kindle

    Our patent-pending hinge system secures Kindle in place. An elastic strap keeps the cover firmly closed for maximum screen protection. Simply attach Kindle to the hinge, apply the strap, and rest assured it will stay securely in place even when you're on the go.


    Secure your Kindle in four easy steps
    Secure your Kindle in four easy steps


    Read Comfortably with One Hand


    Reading with the cover on, you can easily access Kindle's navigation features and power switch, while the rounded edges offer a perfect fit in your hands. The cover is designed to fold back, so you can read comfortably with just one hand.


    On the Go

    This lightweight, compact cover is perfect for taking Kindle wherever you go. The sleek leather ensures the ultimate fit and protection, without adding bulk or weight.



    Amazon’s official Kindle cover features contoured, pebble-grain leather available in 7 different colors.

     

     

    Read comfortably with Amazon’s protective leather Kindle cover.




    Read easily with one hand.



    Protect your Kindle on the go.

     

    ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars Cover Band, August 28, 2010
    Have a good scale and have now seen all cover colors, so here's data to help you pick. VERY well made cover.

    Weights are for the cover only, not including the Kindle:
    Cover without light -- 170 grams or 6 ounces
    Cover WITH light -- 240 grams or 8-1/2 ounces
    Only you know whether the 2-1/2 ounce difference in weight is worth carrying all the time to have a light always at hand.

    The most accurate depiction of the cover colors is the photograph at the bottom of the sales page.
    Burnt Orange -- same shade as a basketball
    Burgundy Red -- closer to a vibrant brick red as it has no purple overtone
    Steel Blue -- pure grey blue which shows well on web page
    Hot Pink -- deeper shade than it appears anywhere but photograph
    Green -- picture a Granny Smith apple
    Brown -- very deep brown, not a chocolate color

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great cover for my first kindle, August 26, 2010
    After reading the reviews I was concerned that the light might be an issue since several folks commented that it doesn't shine evenly on the page. But I wanted something that would allow me to read in bed without disturbing my husband and the clip on lights are a pain to fuss with and are way too bright I think. Anyway, the light on the cover is just fine. Yes, it is a little dimmer at the bottom of the page but still quite readable. It is not one of those intensely bright lights that you have to kind of avert your gaze from. And it will not disturb anyone else trying to sleep.It kind of reminds me of my childhood days of reading a book under the covers with a flashlight except that you don't feel like you're going to suffocate.

    The second thing that some people didn't like was the added weight of this cover. The added weight is what I really like. The Kindle itself is so thin and light....for me TOO light. It feels so fragile and un-book-like. The cover gives it that little bit of heft that turns it into a book. I especially like to bend the cover all the way back and hold it either in both hands or in my left hand while I eat popcorn and drink champagne cocktails with my right.

    This is just one woman's opinion but I think can assure you that the light is adequate and very handy. And the weight is not a burden and may make it more of a normal reading experience for you as it does for me. Hope this helps if you are on the fence.

    4-0 out of 5 stars I'm returning my Cole Haan cover for this one, but..., September 2, 2010
    I'll admit it - I'm a bit of an accessories snob. I had the Cole Haan Hand-Stained Pebble Grain Leather Kindle Cover with Hinge (Fits 6" Display, 2nd Generation Kindle), Saddle Tan for my K2, and I originally purchased the Cole Haan Hand-Woven Leather Kindle Cover with Hinge (Fits 6" Display, Latest Generation Kindle), Whiskey for my new K3. The new Cole Haan case is not meeting my needs, so I decided to give the Amazon cover a try.

    My new red cover just arrived today. The color is very nice - more brick red than burgundy. I immediately noticed that it was much smaller and sleeker than the Cole Haan cover. The Kindle fits just inside the cover, and there is not a lot of excess around the edges. I noticed that many reviewers are complaining about the weight/bulk, but for me this was an improvement over the Cole Haan covers. The strap is a nice feature as well, although I'm wondering how long it will hold up after reading some of the other negative reviews.

    The biggest con for me is that the leather doesn't feel as nice as I would like it to. Perhaps I shouldn't be comparing it to the incredibly buttery-soft leather that Cole Haan uses, but it's hard to ignore the difference. This leather is harder and reminds me of a plastic substance. I'm not saying it's bad, it's just not super lush. If I had never seen the Cole Haan cover, I would likely not even be commenting on this in such detail!

    Overall, this cover is perfectly fine. If you're super picky about the quality of the leather, you may not like it. If you can get over that detail, I think this cover will do the trick.


    1-0 out of 5 stars Lovely looking product that doesn't hold up, September 28, 2010
    I am very pleased with this cover. It is very protective, a nice shade of blue and very compact. It does fold over. I know some people don't realize this. The leather is stiff at first but it will fold over and soften after a few days. I had the official cover for kindle 2 and they have made some improvements. The leather is a better quality, they now offer a choice of colors and the spine doesn't feel like it will fall apart. Overall having the elastic is nice as well as it makes it more secure. I like that it makes the kindle feel more like a book and the hinge system is really nice. I like the clean look and won't be buying any cover that puts corner straps on the device. My one con is it weighs 5.7 ounces and while that is not heavy it really could be more like 4 ounces as they probably make the cover heavier than it really needs to be and still be protective.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Kindle 3 Cover - Video Review, August 27, 2010
    Video review of Kindle 3 cover. The app on the iPad is "Cheez Pro Clock" showing FAILblog - I thought it rather appropriate given the UPS FAILure to deliver on a weekend leaving me without a Kindle 3 to use with the case!

    Overall 4 stars. It feels slightly more sturdy and a little less cheap than the Kindle 2 cover. I took one star off because it still has the potential flaw of having nothing to keep the kindle in place at the right, and because I'd prefer a slightly more soft feel to the outside.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Cover Band, August 28, 2010
    I have to hand it to the designers at Amazon. If nothing else, they listen to our comments and react.

    The cover is fabulous. It's a piece of nice leather lined with quality padding and soft felt. It folds all the way back without any difficulty, making reading with one hand a breeze. The band helps to show which way the Kindle inside is facing, and keeps the reader from opening the cover the wrong way, which damaged many K2's. The corners are softly rounded, adding to the comfort and ease of use.

    The patent-pending hinge is a work of genius. None of the Kindle is obstructed by bands or elastic straps. It securely locks the Kindle in place, leaving the whole device exposed.

    I have to remark on the quality leather. Even my wife, who over-criticizes almost everyting, was very impressed with the fine-grade pebble-grain leather and actually had nice things to say after opening and inspecting it. If you knew my wife, you would know the value of this comment.

    Unlike some other readers out there, Kindle makes available a custom-designed cover that works in concert with the device. I'm satisfied with the cover (and the Kindle3) and give it my highest recommendation.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Objective info that may be helpful - light or not, colors, September 4, 2010
    Have a good scale and have now seen all cover colors, so here's data to help you pick. VERY well made cover.

    Weights are for the cover only, not including the Kindle:
    Cover without light -- 170 grams or 6 ounces
    Cover WITH light -- 240 grams or 8-1/2 ounces
    Only you know whether the 2-1/2 ounce difference in weight is worth carrying all the time to have a light always at hand.

    The most accurate depiction of the cover colors is the photograph at the bottom of the sales page.
    Burnt Orange -- same shade as a basketball
    Burgundy Red -- closer to a vibrant brick red as it has no purple overtone
    Steel Blue -- pure grey blue which shows well on web page
    Hot Pink -- deeper shade than it appears anywhere but photograph
    Green -- picture a Granny Smith apple
    Brown -- very deep brown, not a chocolate color

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great cover for my first kindle, August 26, 2010
    I ended up going with the black leather cover to match the Kindle Wireless Reading Device, Wi-Fi, 6" Display, Graphite - Latest Generation that I bought. The cover itself feels like it's made out of decent leather and gives me the impression that it will protect my Kindle while it's in my backpack or being casually tossed around the house.

    The cover itself is easy to install. It took under a minute and once it was on, it wasn't really noticeable, more so than a hardcover bookcover is noticeable after a while when you read a book. It folds over fine behind the Kindle.

    I'm happy with this cover. Sure, I could have bought a cheaper neoprene one but I wanted something that made me feel good about an e-reader. It may sound weird, but I like it from an aesthetics standpoint. It makes me feel like I've got a proper book in my hands instead of a toy or a gadget.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Well designed, provides good protective padding, August 26, 2010
    My Kindle 3 and cover arrived today. The cover is fairly similar to the Kindle 2 cover design, but with an elastic strap that can be used to hold the cover closed, or to hold the cover behind the Kindle when you are reading.

    I bought the cover mostly to protect my Kindle when I'm traveling. The cover front and back are both tough and well padded, with a soft felt lining and look like they should provide good protection. The overall appearance is reasonably elegant.

    The cover clips on easily and securely. The Kindle 3 has two small slots on the left side and two clips on the cover latch into these slots. You can slide the top clip down to unlatch and release the Kindle.

    I have somewhat mixed feelings about the elastic strap. I know some people like to be able to securely close the cover, but for me it's mostly an unnecessary extra step. I will try it for a while: it looks easy enough to snip off if it becomes a nuisance. (Update in October: I'm getting used to it. I use the strap to hold the cover folded back when I am reading and I find that sliding my hand under the strap is a very comfortable way to hold the Kindle.)

    The Kindle 3 + cover total around 0.7" thickness. So the cover is roughly doubling the Kindle's natural 0.335" thickness. But since I want protective padding, this seems like a price I need to pay!

    The cover weighs 5.5 ounces. (The Kindle 3 by itself is 8.5 ounces.)

    Overall, I'm very happy with the cover.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Rather shoddy material and construction for the price, August 31, 2010
    On the first day of use, after only using the securing band a couple of times, the band suddenly snapped from the top of the cover. It turns out that it was only flimsily glued to a slot on the top edge. Some superglue fixed this, but it really should not have been necessary.

    The cover holds the Kindle snugly, however, it's a bit misaligned: the lower right side of the Kindle is more exposed than the upper right side.

    All in all, I'd still have purchased it (though perhaps in a different color -- black was the only one available when the pre-order process began), but had third party covers been updated for the 3rd generation Kindle (e.g. the Moleskine) this product would probably have been priced more affordably.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Glad I went ahead and got it...., September 4, 2010
    After reading the reviews I was concerned that the light might be an issue since several folks commented that it doesn't shine evenly on the page. But I wanted something that would allow me to read in bed without disturbing my husband and the clip on lights are a pain to fuss with and are way too bright I think. Anyway, the light on the cover is just fine. Yes, it is a little dimmer at the bottom of the page but still quite readable. It is not one of those intensely bright lights that you have to kind of avert your gaze from. And it will not disturb anyone else trying to sleep.It kind of reminds me of my childhood days of reading a book under the covers with a flashlight except that you don't feel like you're going to suffocate.

    The second thing that some people didn't like was the added weight of this cover. The added weight is what I really like. The Kindle itself is so thin and light....for me TOO light. It feels so fragile and un-book-like. The cover gives it that little bit of heft that turns it into a book. I especially like to bend the cover all the way back and hold it either in both hands or in my left hand while I eat popcorn and drink champagne cocktails with my right.

    This is just one woman's opinion but I think can assure you that the light is adequate and very handy. And the weight is not a burden and may make it more of a normal reading experience for you as it does for me. Hope this helps if you are on the fence.

    4-0 out of 5 stars I'm returning my Cole Haan cover for this one, but..., September 2, 2010
    I'll admit it - I'm a bit of an accessories snob. I had the Cole Haan Hand-Stained Pebble Grain Leather Kindle Cover with Hinge (Fits 6" Display, 2nd Generation Kindle), Saddle Tan for my K2, and I originally purchased the Cole Haan Hand-Woven Leather Kindle Cover with Hinge (Fits 6" Display, Latest Generation Kindle), Whiskey for my new K3. The new Cole Haan case is not meeting my needs, so I decided to give the Amazon cover a try.

    My new red cover just arrived today. The color is very nice - more brick red than burgundy. I immediately noticed that it was much smaller and sleeker than the Cole Haan cover. The Kindle fits just inside the cover, and there is not a lot of excess around the edges. I noticed that many reviewers are complaining about the weight/bulk, but for me this was an improvement over the Cole Haan covers. The strap is a nice feature as well, although I'm wondering how long it will hold up after reading some of the other negative reviews.

    The biggest con for me is that the leather doesn't feel as nice as I would like it to. Perhaps I shouldn't be comparing it to the incredibly buttery-soft leather that Cole Haan uses, but it's hard to ignore the difference. This leather is harder and reminds me of a plastic substance. I'm not saying it's bad, it's just not super lush. If I had never seen the Cole Haan cover, I would likely not even be commenting on this in such detail!

    Overall, this cover is perfectly fine. If you're super picky about the quality of the leather, you may not like it. If you can get over that detail, I think this cover will do the trick.


    1-0 out of 5 stars Lovely looking product that doesn't hold up, September 28, 2010
    I got this on Saturday. It broke today (Tuesday). The tabs that hold the kindle in the cover are not very sturdy. I don't think I put undue pressure on the kindle. But the top tab broke off, requiring the use of needle nose pliers to extract the broken piece from the kindle. I expect a product I pay $35 for to last longer than three days. I'm very disappointed.

    In looking at it, perhaps it is really a design issue and not a quality issue.

    Honestly, I did find the cover cumbersome when using the keypad. If you are using the keypad frequently, you might want to consider a sleeve. I will not replace this with another book type cover.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great cover, September 3, 2010
    I am very pleased with this cover. It is very protective, a nice shade of blue and very compact. It does fold over. I know some people don't realize this. The leather is stiff at first but it will fold over and soften after a few days. I had the official cover for kindle 2 and they have made some improvements. The leather is a better quality, they now offer a choice of colors and the spine doesn't feel like it will fall apart. Overall having the elastic is nice as well as it makes it more secure. I like that it makes the kindle feel more like a book and the hinge system is really nice. I like the clean look and won't be buying any cover that puts corner straps on the device. My one con is it weighs 5.7 ounces and while that is not heavy it really could be more like 4 ounces as they probably make the cover heavier than it really needs to be and still be protective.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Kindle 3 Cover - Video Review, August 27, 2010
    Video review of Kindle 3 cover. The app on the iPad is "Cheez Pro Clock" showing FAILblog - I thought it rather appropriate given the UPS FAILure to deliver on a weekend leaving me without a Kindle 3 to use with the case!

    Overall 4 stars. It feels slightly more sturdy and a little less cheap than the Kindle 2 cover. I took one star off because it still has the potential flaw of having nothing to keep the kindle in place at the right, and because I'd prefer a slightly more soft feel to the outside. Read more


    4. Kindle Lighted Leather Cover, Black (Fits 6" Display, Latest Generation Kindle)
    Accessory
    -- our price: $59.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B003DZ165W
    Manufacturer: Amazon Digital Services, Inc
    Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Amazon.comAmazon's Kindle Lighted Leather Cover

    Our new design seamlessly incorporates a reading light into the cover, so you can carry your Kindle wherever you go and always have a reading light with you. Simply pull the light out to illuminate Kindle when you need it, and slide it away to be invisible when you don't. And since the light draws its power from Kindle, no batteries are needed.

    The contoured, pebble-grain leather (available in 7 different colors) keeps your Kindle safe and secure, while the soft charcoal microfiber interior protects the screen from scratches. The cover is designed to fold back, so you can read comfortably with just one hand.


    The built-in, retractable LED light pulls out to illuminate Kindle, and slides away when not in use.


    Never Be Without a Light

    Our all-new Kindle cover features an integrated, retractable LED reading light that lets you read comfortably anytime, anywhere. The high-quality LED light illuminates Kindle's paper-like display, adding brightness without adding glare.

    A permanent part of the cover, the reading light is located in the top right-hand corner of the back cover. When needed, simply pull the light out and it automatically illuminates, eliminating the need for a separate power switch. To turn the light off, slide it back in to the corner of the cover.

    Since the light is powered by Kindle's battery, no batteries are needed.

     

    How It Works

    In addition to securing Kindle in place, our new hinge system conducts electricity from Kindle's battery to the reading light - when Kindle is attached to the hinge, an electrical connection is formed that powers the light.

    The cover's hinge points are gold-plated, to ensure a reliable electrical connection. Gold is used because of its ability to make good electrical contact even with low force, and for its corrosion resistance.


    Secure Your Kindle in Four Easy Steps


    Read Comfortably with One Hand


    Reading with the cover on, you can easily access Kindle's navigation features and power switch, while the rounded edges offer a perfect fit in your hands. The cover is designed to fold back, so you can read comfortably with just one hand. And the retractable reading light is easily accessible with the cover open or folded back.


    On the Go

    This compact cover is perfect for taking Kindle wherever you go. The sleek leather ensures the ultimate fit and protection, without adding bulk or weight. Our patent-pending hinge system secures Kindle in place, and an elastic strap keeps the cover firmly closed for maximum screen protection. Simply attach Kindle to the hinge, apply the strap, and rest assured it will stay securely in place even when you're on the go.

    You'll never be without a reading light, and since the light draws its power from Kindle, no batteries are needed.



    Amazon’s official Kindle lighted cover features contoured, pebble-grain leather available in 7 different colors.

     

     

    Read Kindle easily in the dark with Amazon's revolutionary, all-new lighted leather cover.



    The hinge points are gold-plated to ensure a reliable electrical connection. No batteries required.


    Read easily with one hand, with or without the light on.


    Protect your Kindle on the go, and never be without a reading light

     

    ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars Good Quality K3 Cover with Handy Light
    I bought the burnt orange color cover so I can spot my Kindle where ever I leave it easily--and hopefully not misplace it! The cover is good quality leather, and even with the cover on, I can slip the K3 into my small purse without squeezing it in--something I could not do with my coverless Kindle 2.

    I think for an easy purchase without having to buy a separate book light, the Kindle 3 lighted cover is a good choice. The light worked _great_ reading in bed last night. I could see all of the lighted screen just fine with the upper right corner a bit brighter. See the pics I loaded to customer images for the lighted cover to see the light in action in a dark room, and what the cover looks light from the back.

    Pluses: Built in light that slips securely out of the way, no batteries to replace, better clips/fit than past covers that connect to Kindle, adequate to light the entire screen, no looking for a booklight, no clipping a booklight to my Kindle and scratching or damaging it, the book light LEDs point down towards the screen, so no bright lights in your eyes.

    Minuses: The cover's weight doubles the weight of the Kindle 3 in your hand, the book light stays in one corner and doesn't move around the Kindle, uses more Kindle battery life (it's powered by the Kindle 3 -- and I noticed a definite drain on the battery from using the light)

    UPDATE: I used the Kindle light for a couple days now, and the battery life goes down noticeably as you use the light (esp. if you keep the wireless "On"). Last night I read with the light for about 2 hours after a full charge and today the battery looks down about 15%. At that rate of use (with no wireless constantly "On" and regular reading in the daylight), I estimate the battery will need charging after approx. 1 week.

    If the overall cover+Kindle weight is an issue for you--more than protecting your Kindle and the handy light--then this cover is not for you.

    Kindle Lighted Leather Cover alone = 233 grams or 8.2 oz

    Kindle Lighted Leather Cover + Kindle 3 = 447 grams or 15.75 oz. (almost 1 lb.)

    Thickness: Kindle cover + Kindle 3 = 3/4 inch

    Cover Measurements (with Kindle inside):

    Front: 7 3/4" x 5 1/8" (closer to 3/16")
    Back: SAME as front
    Spine: 7/8"
    Open side (to the right) with Kindle inside: 3/4"

    I have to say I'm getting used to the weight with the cover as I use it. The piece of mind of extra Kindle protection, plus a handy light whenever you need it, is worth the trade off for me. '

    November 20th UPDATE:

    **Still love the cover** and having the light handy without having to think about needing a light _is better than ever_. One thing however, is that the hooks to connect the cover are not sturdy enough, IMO, to take the cover on and off often. The Kindle "wiggles" a bit on the connectors, and be careful not to pull the Kindle forward or up off the back of the cover to avoid bending or breaking the metal connectors. Despite this, I am very happy with this cover after using it almost 3 months now.

    5-0 out of 5 stars My Favorite Kindle Case Yet
    Have a good scale and have now seen all cover colors, so here's data to help you pick. VERY well made cover.

    Weights are for the cover only, not including the Kindle:
    Cover without light -- 170 grams or 6 ounces
    Cover WITH light -- 240 grams or 8-1/2 ounces
    Only you know whether the 2-1/2 ounce difference in weight is worth carrying all the time to have a light always at hand.

    The most accurate depiction of the cover colors is the photograph at the bottom of the sales page.
    Burnt Orange -- same shade as a basketball
    Burgundy Red -- closer to a vibrant brick red as it has no purple overtone
    Steel Blue -- pure grey blue which shows well on web page
    Hot Pink -- deeper shade than it appears anywhere but photograph
    Green -- picture a Granny Smith apple
    Brown -- very deep brown, not a chocolate color

    5-0 out of 5 stars Good Quality K3 Cover with Handy Light
    I bought the burnt orange color cover so I can spot my Kindle where ever I leave it easily--and hopefully not misplace it! The cover is good quality leather, and even with the cover on, I can slip the K3 into my small purse without squeezing it in--something I could not do with my coverless Kindle 2.

    I think for an easy purchase without having to buy a separate book light, the Kindle 3 lighted cover is a good choice. The light worked _great_ reading in bed last night. I could see all of the lighted screen just fine with the upper right corner a bit brighter. See the pics I loaded to customer images for the lighted cover to see the light in action in a dark room, and what the cover looks light from the back.

    Pluses: Built in light that slips securely out of the way, no batteries to replace, better clips/fit than past covers that connect to Kindle, adequate to light the entire screen, no looking for a booklight, no clipping a booklight to my Kindle and scratching or damaging it, the book light LEDs point down towards the screen, so no bright lights in your eyes.

    Minuses: The cover's weight doubles the weight of the Kindle 3 in your hand, the book light stays in one corner and doesn't move around the Kindle, uses more Kindle battery life (it's powered by the Kindle 3 -- and I noticed a definite drain on the battery from using the light)

    UPDATE: I used the Kindle light for a couple days now, and the battery life goes down noticeably as you use the light (esp. if you keep the wireless "On"). Last night I read with the light for about 2 hours after a full charge and today the battery looks down about 15%. At that rate of use (with no wireless constantly "On" and regular reading in the daylight), I estimate the battery will need charging after approx. 1 week.

    If the overall cover+Kindle weight is an issue for you--more than protecting your Kindle and the handy light--then this cover is not for you.

    Kindle Lighted Leather Cover alone = 233 grams or 8.2 oz

    Kindle Lighted Leather Cover + Kindle 3 = 447 grams or 15.75 oz. (almost 1 lb.)

    Thickness: Kindle cover + Kindle 3 = 3/4 inch

    Cover Measurements (with Kindle inside):

    Front: 7 3/4" x 5 1/8" (closer to 3/16")
    Back: SAME as front
    Spine: 7/8"
    Open side (to the right) with Kindle inside: 3/4"

    I have to say I'm getting used to the weight with the cover as I use it. The piece of mind of extra Kindle protection, plus a handy light whenever you need it, is worth the trade off for me. '

    November 20th UPDATE:

    **Still love the cover** and having the light handy without having to think about needing a light _is better than ever_. One thing however, is that the hooks to connect the cover are not sturdy enough, IMO, to take the cover on and off often. The Kindle "wiggles" a bit on the connectors, and be careful not to pull the Kindle forward or up off the back of the cover to avoid bending or breaking the metal connectors. Despite this, I am very happy with this cover after using it almost 3 months now.

    5-0 out of 5 stars My Favorite Kindle Case Yet
    I read in bed every single night, so having my Kindle be able to read in the dark is very important to me. With my Kindle 2 I used a mighty bright light, and with my Kindle 3 I've been using this Lighted Leather cover - and I love it!

    Check out my video review for a size comparison of this case against my Kindle 2 and also an actual hardcover and softcover book, and then a lights out comparison of the Mighty Bright vs Lighted Leather cover.

    Sorry for the shaky camera, it's the best I could do with one hand!

    If you're interested in seeing a video review of the Kindle 3 itself, check out the one I did one here:

    http://www.amazon.com/review/R21YU59NMOGKUR

    5-0 out of 5 stars Lighted Leather Case - Two Important Concerns
    I've noticed that like myself customers have been concerned primarily with two things regarding the new lighted case from amazon. These are: 1)The weight and 2) The uneven lighting. My review will briefly discuss these two things.

    1)The Weight - The lighted leather case is a nice weight, sturdy and comfortable to hold. In ounces it is about the weight of the kindle itself however don't let that concern you. With the case on it feels like a medium sized paperback, however it is far much more comfortable to hold. It's easy to hold the case open like a book (nice for couch and table type reading) or to fold the front back and close it with the bungee so that the bungee doesn't hang around (this is good for bedtime reading).Closing the front back with bungee keeps the case folded in position and you don't have to worry about it bothering you. BTW THIS CASE FOLDS BACK 100% - Very comfortable. In sum very comfortable to read with the case and very sturdy.

    2) The uneven lighting - Amazon's pictures don't do this case justice. The light hits the ENTIRE screen. Yes if you look closely it's brighter in the top right corner then in the bottom left but Amazon's pics make it look the top is lighted while the bottom is dark. There is good light all over the screen. Trust me I'm fussy about these things - the lighting will not bother you, your entire screen will be lighted and it is extremely pleasant to read in the dark.

    *Final Thoughts - Great case, good quality, works well, kindle feels very secure and protected (I would feel comfortable slipping this case into my backpack or suitcase and I think it would sustain some mild impact). Lastly hinges are a non-issue, casing of the kindle will not get damaged with normal or even slightly aggressive use. You could damage the kindle by trying to pull the back of the case but you'd have to really force it to cause any sort of damage to your kindle. The hinges work fine and should not be a concern to any case user.

    Update 1st December 2010:

    Have now been using the case for 3 months. Leather still looks impeccable. Some people expressed concern that the bungee cord might loosen with use. I have not experienced any loosening so far. Quality of the product has proven outstanding. I've occasionally spilled or messed the cover, just a wipe with a damp cloth has cleaned it up, and the case looks like new. Have to admit I enjoy the feel of the case in my hand, there's just something great about taking your kindle to a coffee shop in this case, it just looks and feels so classy. Also with regard to the hinges: I have had no scratches on my kindle or any other issues, so I remain convinced that the hinges are a non issue.

    3-0 out of 5 stars For those that REALLY care, it's not worth the money.
    I've been an avid Kindle user since Kindle 1, and I take my lights VERY seriously.

    The problem is that the new Kindle 3 cover+light does not evenly light the screen. This results in a very bright top right corner, including the top right of the frame of the Kindle 3. And while the light doesn't glare off the screen, it does glare off my graphite Kindle 3's top right corner, making for constant distraction while reading. The light then gets fainter and fainter in a diagonal line from the top right to bottom left. It's not very fun, unfortunately.

    Now, for convenience, this new cover is fantastic. I have the non-lighted one and the one with the light, and the weight difference isn't very much, and the bulk difference is truly negligible, so kudos to Amazon for this.

    That said, I simply cannot recommend this cover unless you don't mind an incredibly uneven light. I will stick to my Mighty Bright. Yes, it's an addition to the Kindle, but I know that when I sit down to read, I want the pages to "disappear" as I become immersed in my reading. It's very hard for them to do so when the light is so incredibly awkward and uneven, constantly distracting. I'm happy to spend a few extra seconds clipping my light to the back of my Kindle so I can spend hours enjoying my book. That simply wasn't possible with the Kindle Lighted Leather Cover.

    3 stars out of 5.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Compact and well made
    For a folio type case, this looks and feels great and works very well. It does add significantly to the weight but that seems a predictable consequence of using leather, making it stiff enough to offer real protection, and building in a light.

    Attaching Kindle is very simple using the directions on the product page. Make sure you heed the warning to work at it until ALL the gold is covered, which tells you Kindle is securely attached. Removing is quite simple: Slide down the top hook and rotate Kindle right off. I'm using a fingertip to do it rather than a fingernail. It's quick and easy enough to attach and detach Kindle that I won't have any difficulty switching to "naked" reading at will.

    The cord seems to me strong enough for its purpose, but only time will tell. When the cover is closed, the cord is buried in a "channel" in the front cover so should not normally be subjected to much stress and strain. I did remove the little "flag" attached to the cord. Even without using fingernails, it's easy to open the cord up. Others have posted about the cord being in the way during reading, especially when holding Kindle and case in "open book" form. I put the cord between Kindle and the back cover, solving the issue to my own satisfaction. YMMV.

    I don't think I'll use the "book style" reading position much. I'll "break the spine" as I did with my K2's case and read with the front cover folded flat against the back. It feels good like that, but when I have good light and will be reading a while I expect I'll do as I did with my K2: Remove Kindle from the case and read "naked." Still, even brand new, the leather folds flat easily and it's comfortable to hold and read.

    The light seems to me to be well placed. I don't get any glare in any of my normal reading positions, so don't have a practical issue with its lack of adjustability. One very nice feature, particularly since it's powered by Kindle's battery, is that it turns off when Kindle turns off. So if you fall asleep reading, your light won't just keep running. I find it a bit stiff to pull out, but I expect it will ease in time. Also maybe stiff is good, as you don't want it just lolling out on its own while you've got it stowed away. Still, folks with difficulty applying much force with their fingers could find this an issue.

    I bought this unseen, intending to return it if it didn't work well. It won't be going back. I may in fact buy another case for travel, as by design this folio style case is open on three sides. In some situations I would want more dust and bang protection, but I still give five stars because this is an unavoidable consequence of this style of design.

    5-0 out of 5 stars well worth it
    This is a comparison between mighty bright and the kindle cover light. NOTE: the bottom left of the kindle is the part that receives the less light because it is the farthest away. The light still shines well enough to read the bottom left of the kindle , but the light distribution is not even.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Exceeded my expectations
    I was hesitant to buy this cover mostly due to the pictures in its listing, which seem to show a light that doesn't even extend to the opposite corner. The fact that I have not been impressed with the Amazon's Kindle covers in the past didn't help. I went ahead and purchased it because the cover I wanted isn't available yet and I don't like to take my Kindle out and about without a cover. Now I am glad that I went ahead and bought it.

    PROS:

    1. The light is much better than I thought it would be. Using it in a darkened room I found that the light did the job very well. In a pitch black room, it performs even better. While the screen corner opposite the light is a bit dimmer than other areas, there is no problem reading the page at all.

    2. The light gets its power from the Kindle itself, through the gold-plated hinges which attach it to the cover, so batteries are a thing of the past. When your Kindle goes to sleep, the light will go out as well. It will also turn off when you slide it back into the case.

    3. The cover is slim, well-fitted and very easy to attach and detach using the hinges. The inside has good padding. The leather outer surface has a nice pebbled texture with the exception of a smooth area along the edge of the front. While stiff enough to protect the reader, the cover is slight flexible and the front easily folds behind when reading so you can hold your Kindle with one hand if you like.

    4. A great plus is that the cover has an elastic cord that fits into a groove on the front of it. This holds your cover closed (unlike the original Kindle 2 cover that would flop open in your purse & let things slide into it) and easily distinguishes the front from the back--important as many owners of the Kindle 2 cover accidentally opened it from the back, which could cause cracking along the Kindle's spine.


    CONS:

    I haven't found any, really. The light Is a bit hard (stiff) to pull out of the cover, but then you wouldn't want it to be flopping out when you don't want to use it so that is more of a Pro than a Con.

    The one concern I do have is about pulling the light in and out--I wonder if whatever wiring or conductor that is used to get the power from the hinges to the light will eventually break. But that is something to find out down the road. Right now, the more I use this cover, the more I like it.

    4-0 out of 5 stars From the bungee cord thingy to the pull-out light, a solid choice for the Kindle
    I ordered this cover because it was the only real game in town at the time. To let you know where I come from with this review... I purchased the 2nd generation Kindle back in March of 2009 with the Amazon cover. Didn't like that one, it actually cracked my mother's Kindle that I purchased shortly thereafter (Amazon replaced it, although it was probably from her opening the wrong side, doesn't matter, this isn't about Amazon great customer service). When that happened, we immediately went looking for a new cover and fell in love with the M-Edge Prodigy with light. Unfortunately, M-Edge isn't offering that for the 3rd generation Kindle, they changed it to have a nylon strap instead of leather and aren't utilizing the hinge technology for the light, which I think is genius and a terrible error on their part. I'm telling you this so you know that I ordered this new Amazon Lighted Cover with a WHOLE LOT of trepidation.

    When deciding on the color, I didn't want black (I wanted purple, but Amazon doesn't offer that *boo*hiss*) and the green was backordered slightly, didn't like the other colors so I decided to get the orange. It looked interesting and since I live in Austin, some UT fan would buy it off me if I hated it, I was sure. It came in and it's the perfect burnt orange color. It might be slightly too tan colored, but it's not vibrant orange by any means. A great almost pumpkin pie color actually.

    So... what did I think of the cover itself?

    I slid the Kindle in there and pulled the light out and... nothing happened. I spent a good 3 to 5 minutes pulling the light out and pushing it back in, looking for a switch, something, anything. I finally gave up and turned the Kindle on and... yeah, the light came on. DUH! It works only if the Kindle is on. This is actually GREAT because I fall asleep reading a good deal and the light will go off when the Kindle goes to sleep after 15 minutes or so. I felt stupid, but at least I didn't call customer service and have them giggle in the background and the stupid lady that can't work the cover, eh?

    ANYWAY... the Kindle slides in easily and the light works great. There is no glare at all because the LED lights are directed down the arm of the light so there's no "direct" light hitting the screen, it just flows down. It is brighter in the upper right than in the lower left because of that, but it's more than adequate. The light is NOT adjustable but you shouldn't need to adjust it either. I have found it really is a genius way of handling it.

    The case itself is not too thick. In fact when I first picked up the case, I thought I had the wrong one because it looked too slim to have a light in there, but it's there. It is a little hard to pull the light out, but I guess the alternative is having it be too easy, right? I really wish they had included corner straps though. I read laying in bed and I worry it's going to flop open and crack the Kindle. I do realize this is probably unfounded and they fixed that flaw, but because I'm paranoid, I did put two small circles of velcro to the back of the Kindle and the cover so it couldn't accidentally bend the hinge system or crack the case. I'm aware this is insane overkill type stuff, so feel free to snicker... I'll wait... done? Okay, onward...

    Now, back to reality... the chance of you opening the Kindle from the wrong side is basically zero. You have to unwrap it using this bungee cord thingy (yes, that's the technical term here, folks). It has a little leather tag on it that says "Amazon Kindle". The tag is a little annoying because I fold the cover back and use the cord to hold it and keep hitting the tag with my hand no matter where I put. I'm thinking of cutting it off. *shrug*

    It does, of course, add some weight to the Kindle. The case, with Kindle and velcro circles weighs 15.5 oz on my postal scale. There's been some discussion if this is "too heavy" but I must say that I don't think so. I read with it folded back and the bungee cord thingy wrapped around the back. I have weak hands that keep me from reading hard backs and large paperback books. I think it's more of the force of holding the book open than the weight, so it's not been an issue at all for me. I also read with it propped up somewhere usually.

    My favorite part is that with the new slim and sleek design of the Kindle and this slim and sleek cover (with a light, no less!) it really is a great size to grab and go, toss in my purse, in the car or my bedside. My other favorite (it's a tie) is the light. It runs off power from the Kindle itself so I'm never without a light. I don't have to find a battery somewhere when it burns out. Amazon knocked it out of the park as far as I'm concerned. I'm taking off a star just for the few little niggle things I mentioned before. After over a week of use though, this is the cover I'm recommending to friends/family at this time.

    Well worth it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Data to compare colors and weights, with and without light
    Have a good scale and have now seen all cover colors, so here's data to help you pick. VERY well made cover.

    Weights are for the cover only, not including the Kindle:
    Cover without light -- 170 grams or 6 ounces
    Cover WITH light -- 240 grams or 8-1/2 ounces
    Only you know whether the 2-1/2 ounce difference in weight is worth carrying all the time to have a light always at hand.

    The most accurate depiction of the cover colors is the photograph at the bottom of the sales page.
    Burnt Orange -- same shade as a basketball
    Burgundy Red -- closer to a vibrant brick red as it has no purple overtone
    Steel Blue -- pure grey blue which shows well on web page
    Hot Pink -- deeper shade than it appears anywhere but photograph
    Green -- picture a Granny Smith apple
    Brown -- very deep brown, not a chocolate color

    4-0 out of 5 stars (4.5 stars) Very good, and not THAT heavy!
    I bought two of these (burgundy for my wife's graphite kindle and green for my white kindle).

    The colors are gorgeous, and exactly as shown in the pictures Amazon has here.

    The look and feel of the leather is very good and should more than satisfy most folks. If you're willing to spend more for even better leather, you'll soon be able to get high-end leather cases from designers like Cole-Haan. (If you're interested, look up their Kindle 2 cases here at Amazon and you're get an idea of what they're likely to offer for Kindle 3).

    We love the design. We've had no trouble hooking our kindles in and out of the case. We love that the light is built in and we will never need to replace its battery. The cover folds completely flat around the back, and the elastic band keeps it there, then it's easy and quite comfortable to hold in one hand for long reading sessions.

    A few reviews here complain about the weight of this case. I disagree. It is not heavy compared to other cases of this type (folio-style hard shell leather cases). My wife and I were up reading for hours last night, holding our kindles, cases on, in one hand, with no fatigue. (We're such an old married couple, that's how exciting our Friday nights are!) I used to have a nook with the same type of case (minus the light), and it was noticeably heavier. If you want something lighter, consider a neoprene sleeve or cloth case.

    My only qualm about the Amazon lighted case is the uneven distribution of light on the screen - very bright in the upper right corner, dim in the lower left corner. It seems this doesn't bother most people here, but it bothers me a bit, enough to knock half a star off my review, but not enough to make me hesitate to recommend this case.

    Some folks complain about the price. It is high, to be sure. But, you'd pay about the same if you bought a good leather case and a separate light. Then you'd have to worry about remembering to pack the light when you travel, making sure it has fresh batteries, making sure you don't lose it, etc etc. For me, the convenience of the built-in light is well worth the price.

    And there's something intangible but very very nice about keeping our kindles in these gorgeous, almost luxuriously nice cases. They are definitely eye-catching and lust-worthy. Read more


    5. Apple iPod touch 32 GB (4th Generation) NEWEST MODEL
    Electronics
    list price: $299.00 -- our price: $278.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B001FA1O18
    Manufacturer: Apple Computer
    Sales Rank: 4
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Amazon.com Product Description

    See friends while you talk to them with FaceTime. Shoot, edit, and share stunning HD video. Play games against friends, or unknown foes, with the new Game Center. And do it all on the Retina display--the highest-resolution screen on any mobile device. It makes graphics and text look even more amazing. The new iPod touch. It's state-of-the-art fun.

    Introducing the new iPod touch. Now with FaceTime, Retina display, HD video recording, and Game Center. Click to enlarge.

    Advanced engineering at play.

    Pioneering technology built into iPod touch is how you're able to flick, tap, and pinch. It's what makes a racing game feel so real. It's why you're able to see a friend crack up at your jokes from across the globe. And it's the reason iPod touch is the most incredible iPod you'll ever own.

    Looks can be amazing.
    iPod touch has an all-new design that makes it the thinnest, lightest, most amazing iPod touch ever. Holding one is all the proof you need. With its curved design, iPod touch is now a mere 7.2 millimeters thin. Its engineered-glass front and stainless steel back feel sleek and smooth in your hand. Turn it on, and you're instantly blown away by the brilliant Retina display. iPod touch is the perfect combination of stunning design and revolutionary technology--brilliant from the outside in.

    Retina display. A blast from the future.
    There are lots of reasons you won't want to take your eyes off the new iPod touch. The 960-by-640 backlit LCD display, for one. It packs 326 pixels per inch, making it the highest-resolution iPod screen ever. To achieve this, Apple engineers developed pixels so small--a mere 78 micrometers across--that the human eye can't distinguish individual pixels. Even though you can't see them, you'll definitely notice the difference. Text is remarkably sharp, and graphics are incredibly vivid.

    Apple A4 processor. More power to you.
    The Apple A4 chip is behind, or rather underneath, all the fun you can have on iPod touch. Apple engineers designed the A4 chip to be a remarkably powerful yet remarkably power-efficient mobile processor. With it, iPod touch can easily perform complex jobs such as multitasking, editing video, and placing FaceTime calls. All while maximizing battery life. And fun.

    Gyro + Accelerometer. Smooth moves.
    iPod touch just learned some new moves. It now includes a built-in three-axis gyroscope. When paired with the accelerometer, the gyro makes iPod touch capable of advanced motion sensing such as user acceleration, full 3D attitude, and rotation rate. Translation: more motion gestures and greater precision for an even better gaming experience.

    Two cameras. Double the fun.
    iPod touch captures video with two built-in cameras. It shoots amazing HD 720p video from the back camera. And with its advanced backside illumination sensor, it captures beautiful footage even in low-light settings. All while the built-in microphone records conversations, music, or any audio at the same time. And on the front of the iPod touch, the built-in camera is perfect for making FaceTime calls and shooting self-portraits. It's surprising how much fun can fit into something so small.

    Multi-Touch. Control at your fingertips.
    When you put your finger on the iPod touch, how does it just start doing what you want it to do? It's a chain reaction, really. The Multi-Touch display layers a protective shield over a capacitive panel that senses your touch using electrical fields. It then transmits that information to the Retina display below it. So you can glide through albums with Cover Flow, flick through photos and enlarge them with a pinch, zoom in and out on a section of a web page, and control game elements precisely.

    FaceTime comes to iPod touch. Don't just say hello. Smile.

    Tap for a more instant instant message.
    Take "LOL" to the next level and actually see friends laughing out loud. Or bring "XOXO" to life when you blow someone a kiss from miles away. FaceTime on iPod touch makes it possible. FaceTime works right out of the box--just enter your Apple ID and email address. Or create a new email account just for FaceTime. Using FaceTime is as easy as it gets. Say you want to start a video call with your best friend over Wi-Fi. Just tap the FaceTime app and find her entry to start the call. An invitation pops up on her iPod touch or iPhone 4 screen asking if she wants to join you. When she accepts, FaceTime begins. It's all perfectly seamless. And it works in both portrait and landscape. See how much fun you can have.

    See friends while you talk with FaceTime, or play games against friends or unknown foes with Game Center.

    Two cameras make either side its fun side.
    iPod touch has two built-in cameras, one on the front above the display and one on the back. The front camera has been tuned for FaceTime. It has just the right field of view and focal length to focus on your face at arm's length. So it always presents you in the best possible light. Which is particularly handy when you're talking to someone who's more than just a friend.

    The back camera. See and share.
    So your roommate had to work late and couldn't make it to the concert. You can share the encore with a FaceTime call. As the band takes the stage and starts playing one of her all-time favorite songs, just tap a button. And before the lead singer can belt out his first note, iPod touch switches to the back camera and to the sure-to-be-legendary performance. Another tap switches to the front camera and to you. Simple, fast, and fun.

    HD video recording comes to iPod touch. Ready, and action.

    Built-in editing gives video a fun-tuning.
    No need to wait until you're back at your computer to edit video. With basic editing built into iPod touch, you can get right down to business. Just drag to select start and end points on a filmstrip. Keep only the parts of the video you want, and turn it into something you and your friends will watch again and again.

    Make mini blockbusters in just a few taps with iMovie on iPod touch. Say you're on an amazing road trip, and you want to create a video postcard of everything you've seen and done. Just use the iMovie app--pick it up in the App Store for just $4.99. Built for iPod touch, iMovie lets you combine and edit video clips, give them that extra something with dynamic themes and transitions, add music and photos, and share your finished movies with the world.

    Make a movie. Starring you.
    The next time you venture out on, say, an amazing hike, don't just tell your friends about it. Show them. In addition to the high-definition camera on the back, iPod touch has a VGA-quality camera on the front--above the display--that lets you see yourself on the display while you record. It's perfect for turning the camera on yourself. No more guessing if you're in the frame or accidentally cropping yourself out altogether. So get ready for your close-up.

    Shoot what you want. Share where you want. Ever find yourself in the middle of typing an email when you see something that words just can't describe? Just launch the camera and record on the fly. Then upload your HD movie directly to YouTube. Or select some video from the Camera Roll and attach it to a new email message, ready to send. Posting to your Facebook page or blog is also just a tap away. And you can easily sync all the video you shoot on iPod touch back to your Mac or PC.

    Point and shoot.
    An awesome view. A decked-out cupcake. Your dog looking unbearably cute. If you want to take a quick photo to upload to your Facebook page, either camera on iPod touch can also capture stills. Just tap on the screen to adjust exposure. Then post to Facebook and let the comments begin.

    The new Game Center app on iPod touch lets you expand your social gaming network--exponentially.

    Game Center. Way more than two can play that game.

    Gamers rejoice. Game Center is here.
    The new Game Center app on iPod touch lets you expand your social gaming network. Exponentially. All anyone needs to play is an iPod touch or iPhone running iOS 4.1. With iOS 4.1, you'll see a Game Center app on your Home screen. Just tap it and sign in with your Apple ID, and you're good to go. You can create a different nickname that will be visible to friends and the gaming community. You can also assign several email addresses to the Game Center app, making it easy for more friends to find you. Download any games you see by tapping links in Game Center. Games can be started right in the Game Center app. And the best part: Once you sign in to Game Center, you're always connected. Until you decide to sign out.

    Friends. Soon to be opponents.
    Bring your friends along for the ride. Or match. Or mission. Once you're signed in to the Game Center app, you can invite someone by sending a friend request using their nickname or email address. Your friends show up in a separate Friends list in the Game Center app. Tap on a friend's name, and you can see what games they've been playing. You can also check out pending friend requests you receive, and add as you see fit.

    Leaderboards and achievements. Score some bragging rights.
    Take a look at leaderboards and see how your score ranks against your friends, as well as all players of each game. You can also compare game achievements with your friends. Check out leaderboards and achievements in the Game Center app and in each individual game app. Let the smack talk begin.

    Meet your match.
    Say you want to get a multiplayer game going. Auto-match will prioritize your friends if they happen to be looking for an auto-match, too. Otherwise, it will set you up with a soon-to-be-friend from anywhere around the world. You can also choose to invite friends and have auto-match fill the number of players needed for a game.

    Music. Let your fingers do the rocking.

    Cover Flow. A work of album art.
    What a song does for your ears, Cover Flow on iPod touch does for your eyes and fingers. Turn iPod touch on its side and glide through your music by album art with the flick of your finger. Tap an album cover to flip it over and display a track list. Tap again to start the music.

    Genius playlists. From one great song comes an even greater playlist.
    Say you're listening to a song you really love and want to hear other tracks that go great with it. Genius uses that song to find other songs in your library and makes a Genius playlist for you. Listen to the playlist right away, save it for later, or even refresh it and give it another go. Count on Genius to create a playlist you wouldn't have thought of yourself.

    Genius Mixes. The ultimate mix-master.
    Genius acts as your personal DJ. All you do is sync iPod touch to iTunes, and Genius automatically searches your library to find songs that sound great together. Then it creates multiple mixes you'll love. These mixes are like channels programmed entirely with your music. It's a great way to rediscover songs you haven't heard in forever--and some you even forgot you had.

    Let your fingers do the rocking.

    Shake to Shuffle. And rock 'n' roll with it.
    Shake things up a bit. Musically speaking, that is. The next time you're listening to your tunes, turn on Shake to Shuffle, then give iPod touch a shake to shuffle to a different song in your music library. It's just another way iPod touch keeps your music feeling fresh.

    iTunes. That's entertainment.
    Feed your iPod touch songs and music videos from your iTunes library on your computer. Or buy and download new music on your iPod touch when you access iTunes over Wi-Fi. Songs you purchase on iPod touch transfer to your Mac or PC the next time you connect iPod touch to your computer. And now with iTunes Ping, you can follow friends to find out what music they're listening to, buying, and recommending. Or catch up with your favorite artists and see if they're playing near you.

    Bluetooth. No strings attached.
    iPod touch includes support for Bluetooth wireless technology. So you can pair wireless stereo headphones with it. Keep your iPod in your bag or charging on your desk across the room and still listen to your music.

    Movies + TV shows. Take the show, or movie, on the road.

    The big screen. On the small screen.
    With iPod touch, movie nights can happen anytime of day, anywhere you are. Carry hours of video with you and watch them on the amazing 3.5-inch color widescreen Retina display. Shop the iTunes Store and choose from thousands of movies, TV shows, and video podcasts to fill your iPod touch. From Hollywood blockbusters to indie favorites, there's something for everyone. Download and watch movies with a few taps. Prefer TV shows? Get a single episode or an entire season's worth all at once. With iPod touch, you can travel far and widescreen.

    Control how you watch.
    While watching your video, tap the display to bring up onscreen controls. You can play or pause, view by chapter, and adjust the volume. Or use the volume controls on the left side of the iPod touch. Want to switch between widescreen and full screen? Simply tap the display twice. It's just like your TV remote. Except you never have to fight over it.

    iTunes. Keep yourself entertained.
    Need some entertainment for your next flight or road trip? With iTunes on your iPod touch and a Wi-Fi connection, you can buy movies and TV shows on the fly. You can also rent shows for just $0.99 an episode, in case you're not sure if one is a keeper. And of course, you can also purchase movies and TV shows on your Mac or PC, then sync them to your iPod touch. Popcorn not included.

    Visit your favorite websites. All you need is your iPod touch and Wi-Fi.

    Available as a free download, iBooks is an amazing eBook reader and a great place to buy books.

    And plenty more ...

    • App Store
      Download apps directly to iPod touch.

    • iTunes
      Create an iTunes Store account and shop over Wi-Fi anytime.

    • iBooks
      Available as a free download, iBooks is an amazing eBook reader and a great place to buy books.

    • iMovie
      Edit video, add themes and music, and share your movies. Available in the App Store for just $4.99.

    • Mail
      Send email and view attachments from your Gmail, MobileMe, or other email account.

    • Safari Web Browser
      Visit your favorite websites. All you need is your iPod touch and Wi-Fi.

    • Photos
      Take your photos with you. Share them in an email. Make your favorite your wallpaper.

    • Home Screen
      Customize the arrangement of your apps across multiple Home screens in iTunes.

    • Voice Control
      Control music playback on iPod touch using spoken commands.

    • Maps
      Find restaurants, concert venues, or any place you need to go, and see how to get there with Maps.

    • YouTube
      Watch the latest viral video sensation and access your favorite videos.

    • Nike + iPod
      Achieve your fitness goals with built-in Nike + iPod support on iPod touch.

    • Voice Memos
      Record notes, random thoughts, a friend's impersonation, or any audio you want.

    • Accessibility
      iPod touch comes with screen-reading technology and other accessibility features.

    What's in the Box

    32 GB iPod touch, earphones, dock connector to USB cable, and quick start guide.

    1 ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Lines Between iPod Touch and iPhone Have Started to Blur, September 7, 2010
    Can you get by with an 8gb Touch?

    Yep, based on my experience with a 3rd gen 32 gb, and on my recent local purchase of the 4th gen (this current model) in 8 gb capacity.

    When using the old 32 gb, I found out that I barely used its greater storage capacity. (I don't haul around a lot of music or videos - I just transfer what I want to listen to/watch for each road trip or listening/viewing cycle using iTunes). Apps, I discovered, don't take up much space, even games and books don't take up much space, unless you want to haul substantially more of your whole collection with you. Amazon's Kindle app is esp. device friendly, since you can archive books you've finished back to Amazon instead of keeping them on the device. iTunes is a great way to manage what content you want to store on your home computer - which becomes a sort of large "docking device" - and what you want "to go."

    As a netbook substitute, storage isn't even that important. I can check my bank balance, transfer funds and execute orders on a brokerage account, listen to radio on Pandora or Slacker, watch music videos (and a lot more ) on YouTube, Skype, stream Netflix, and do a whole lot of other stuff on the 8 gb just fine.

    In fact in hindsight the only real reason for me getting the 32 gb version in the older edition was to get the faster processor. But in the current generation, all the hardware on the 8 gb edition matches the hardware on the larger versions, save the the "hard disk" space.

    The Touch was initially marketed as a music player with a cool touch screen. It is now marketed as a game machine, but the truth is, with the new higher resolution screen, it is a mini-iPad. Yes, you have to zoom to read some web content, but reading a book is MUCH crisper on this unit than on the last generation, thanks to the better screen, and watching videos is MUCH better, esp. Netflix streaming videos. It's a toss up as to whether watching videos on this, with no stutter and perfectly crisp, is better than watching an occasionally stuttering, less crisp, but much larger video on a netbook.

    The 8gb makes a nice intersection on my personal "cheapness" and "minimalist" curves. The price doesn't get into nose-bleed territory where I start to wonder whether a netbook would makes more sense, and it's inexpensive enough to subject to the toils of daily wear and tear - keeping it handy in an outside day pack pocket, instead of more safely stowed deep inside the pack.

    Plus, if I ever DO get a hankering to carry more than two or three lossless encoded albums and more than two to three hours of video at a time, I can turn this over to my kids for game and Netflix streaming use.

    ***Best accessory ever: ClassicReader Three-pair Valu-Pac, +3.00

    The screen on this new generation of iPod Touches is very, very sharp, but in order to enjoy all that sharpness, you need to bring the screen really close to your eyes (assuming you don't have presbyopia and can focus close) OR simply carry a pair of cheap reading glasses as an "accessory" to the super sharp 4th generation screens. This lets you actually read the tiny type on the NY Times website, actually see the richness of colors and depth of detail on a video. So even if you don't need reading glasses for magazine reading, CONSIDER trying a pair of STRONG reading glasses (2.0 or 3.0) to magnify the 3.5" display screen. It's so good for videos you might be able to get by without an iPad (which has the same resolution, NOT more) for personal video viewing. Strong reading glasses make high-def YouTube videos POP for me.


    ******Update on usage: I broke down and bought a 32 gb for the extra storage, loaded it up with videos (training videos) to watch, and then discovered I hardly ever need them. I carry the 8gb (this one) around all the time, keeping the more expensive 32 gb at home, and my main road uses via all the modern hotspots are checking email, Facebook, reading websites and, oddly enough, reading BOOKS. The video playback capability was the "driving factor" in getting this, but in real life the "connected" web aspect turns out to be much more important to me. Apps like Skype, Simple Note etc. take up very little "drive" space. So the main reason for getting larger capacity is if you want a serious music or video player. If I am on the road and want some video to watch, the YouTube app on the Touch is superb; I also added Netflix and Hulu+ (plus I keep an hour or two of training videos on this unit and a couple of gigs of music). For music, I added the Slacker and Pandora apps. // For a while I was using my older 3rd gen Touch to read books too, so save the battery on the 8gb 4th gen. I thought there wasn't much difference in screen sharpness. Turns out Kindle wasn't (apparently) optimized for the new Retina screen. I have been trying iBooks and currently it seems much sharper. Also even at a (possibly) lower rez, the crispness of this 4th gen is much easier on my eyes. YES the Touch makes a GREAT e-book reader! // Finally, if you love gaming on a Touch - and this is really taking off! - the 8gb is more than up to the task, gaming apps don't eat up a lot of the Touch's memory.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Actual Owner of iPod Touch 4G, September 8, 2010
    I've been using an old Iphone 2.5g as my "ipod touch" for about the last year or so. I switched to Sprint for the cheaper rates so no more iphone coverage. Well, since the old phone is not compatible with IOS4.0 and since this new device is seemed truly "next-generation," I decided to take the plunge. I hate the lack of space on my old iphone (8Gb) so I splurged for the 64. Here's a few things I noticed right out of the gate:

    1) The screen resolution is phenomenal. The lighting sucks. It has a nasty angle of view. If you look dead at the center of the screen with a black screen "on," you can see slight brightness variances from corner to corner. Not terrible, but I had expected better. After researching it a bit, this is apparently because Apple "cheaped-out" and did not include the IPS style of lighting that they used on the Iphone 4. Oh well, still a great screen though.

    2) Size: The device is amazingly thin. This is both good and bad. The buttons are kind of hard to mash as they are located on the heavily beveled edges of the device. It's not bad, but, you do need to have a good grip on the device when screwing around with volume or power. It is super light and fits well in my hand though. But, as weird as it seems, i do hate how the apple logo feels under my finger. Feels like I have super glue or something on my finger tips... strange

    3) Speed: The speed of the device is great. This is comparing it directly to my old iPhone though. It blows it out of the water. I don't have to really wait on anything. I do wish the browser was better though. On my old phone, when I'd scroll too fast on a large page, i'd get the checkerboard effect. I hoped this was no longer an issue with the new A4 chip. Again, after researching it, I found that the iPod touch has half the RAM of the new iPhone 4. Guess that would explain it.

    4) Camera: The camera is crap. It's low res and has poor low light performance. It's cool for impressing Grandma with the Face Time app, but that's about it. Don't leave home without a good cell phone camera (or a Nikon/Canon!)

    5) Minor quibbles: I miss my vibrate/loudness switch. Sucks not being able to instantly mute the device when i want it quiet. I also wish the speaker were more full. I am glad that Apple included a speaker at least, but, for it to be useful as a Face Time device for Grandma, the speaker really needs to be made louder/fuller.

    in a nutshell, it's a great device, but it is the Kmart special of the new Iphone 4 in pretty much every way. Why did I give it 4 stars when I'm so harsh on it? Because, no other device even comes close. Apple has managed to make the Ipod Touch feel magic in every way.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Lines Between iPod Touch and iPhone Have Started to Blur, September 7, 2010
    Having had a chance to spend a little time with a review model gives me a chance to share the experience with you a bit early (before my own arrives). I'll take you hands-on with the new model, plus I'll share from my past two years of iPod touch ownership altogether, especially for those who haven't yet owned (or been owned by) one of these mobile gems.

    I've also hidden a treasure trove of info on how you can legitimately download tons of quality apps for free. First though, let's quickly cover what's new.

    + Faster 1GHz A4 Processor - to keep up with the high demands of multitasking
    + Ultra high resolution "Retina display" - packs a 960 x 640 resolution at 326 pixels per inch
    + 15% larger battery - 3.44 Whr/930 mAh plays 7 hrs of video & 40 hrs of audio
    + Rear-facing camera - supports 960 x 720 sized photos (0.6 megapixels), plus 720p HD videos
    + Front-facing VGA-quality camera - VGA-quality is a resolution of 640 x 480 (0.3 megapixels)
    + 3-Axis Gyroscope - allows for higher precision and more motion gestures
    + Wireless N - Connect faster and go farther than ever, with this WiFi device (requires a router with 802.11n)
    + Built in microphone - but Apple reverted back to using the remote- and mic-less earphones
    + Game Center - Apple's own social gaming platform
    + Sleep/Power Button - it's been moved to the right, but not improved beyond that
    + Thinner, lighter than ever
    * Note - Memory remains at the same 256MB despite several unconfirmed sources touting 512MB. There's also no vibrate module.

    Unlike last year's iPod touch update, this one's a complete overhaul to the entire line. Last year, the new models didn't change in appearance. On the inside, faster processors and double-memory were added to the 32GB & 64GB models, but the 8GB got left out. Not this time. Buying the new 8GB iPod touch indeed gets you all the new goodies. You'll also pay thirty bucks more than before, so consider buying the 32GB model instead. You'll get 400% of the storage capacity for only 23% more coin!


    ===== Background =====

    I'm a mobile app developer who's created a few apps and games for the iPhone, iPod Touch and now iPad. I was initially drawn to the iPod touch because of the popularity and capabilities of its mobile Web browsing--I was primarily a Web developer at the time and no other device could surf the Web so well. After I got one, I was hooked. I racked up over a hundred bucks in app purchases within the first month, and before long, I found myself learning how do develop native apps for the device.

    Indeed, if you have never had an iPod touch before, you're in for a real treat. Of course, if you have, then you know first hand: it's is worth its weight in gold--no, in platinum. And now, with the latest generation, it may even be worth its weight rare gem stones! I digress.


    ===== Out With the Old =====

    The iPod touch is frequently called an iPhone without the phone. However, until now there have been several other features also missing in the iPod touch besides the phone: a camera, GPS, magnetometer (compass), and some newer amenities from the iPhone 4: front-facing camera, high resolution "Retina display" as it has been dubbed, and the powerful 1GHz A4 processor--indeed a necessity to keep up with multitasking.

    That all changes, now. The 4th gen iPod touch brings with it some new features and amenities, some of which have been anticipated by iPod touch fans and developers alike, including myself, for several generations of the device. From a developer's perspective, the more hardware features we can get our hands on, the better and more innovative apps we can create, and the more users that can download, use and enjoy them.


    ===== In With the New =====

    The striking new design of the latest iPod touch is definitely a looker. Apple has made it even thinner (and I thought it was already too thin before) complete with a beautiful chrome back. While the super thin design is certainly attractive, I've found it slightly difficult to keep it well-gripped in your hands. The usual chrome back looks great too, but it's scratch-insistent. Yes, it's incredibly easy to scratch it all up, even after the first few days. For these two reasons, definitely get yourself a silicone skin (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0042GVG5G?tag=1pod-20&ie=UTF8) alongside your new touch!

    For ages, the feature topping everyone's wishlist for the iPod touch has been a camera. Check! It handles HD video too--bonus! Granted, its not the 5 megapixel camera that the iPhone 4 sports, but again, the new iPod touch is thinner than ever, making it a miracle that we even got a camera in the first place, let alone two! Yes, Apple went the extra mile so we could make video calls with our iPhone toting friends, via their FaceTime app. Brilliant! So, having not had any camera on the iPod touch before, and now having TWO cameras on it, we can't really complain can we? Nah.

    I'll have details on the quality both cameras later, but what excites me even moreso is the new much-higher resolution screen--dubbed "Retina display". You may not think much of it if you haven't used an iPhone or iPod touch before, nor have an older model nearby to compare it to, but for those that have and/or do, the difference is clear! (pun intended)

    Where this really comes in handy is in browsing the Web and reading non-mobile-formatted PDF e-books. Now, I can see things so much clearer at the default zoom level (which shows the full width of a Web page or document). My vision isn't spectacular by any means, I just don't mind seeing things smaller on the screen. It allows me to see more content without having to scroll. Indeed, the Retina display was the #1 feature I never knew I wanted (until I saw it in the iPhone 4 that is).

    Other newness includes: 15% larger battery, HD video recording and editing, built-in mic, wireless-n for nearly double the WiFi connection speed and distance, Game Center: Apple's new social gaming platform (which seems to be Apple's attempt to kill-off third party social gaming platforms like OpenFeint and Plus+), 3-axis gyroscope sensor, which complements the existing accelerometer sensor, both of which handle the rotating, swinging and other motion gestures of the device (previously, rotation were roughly calculated from accelerometer data), and new placement of the sleep/power button on the right (but still as difficult as ever to press).

    Features still missing include: 512MB of memory, vibration, 5 MP quality camera + flash (iPhone apps now support using LED flash as a flashlight, like Android does), magnetometer (compass), and the GPS. I'd happily trade the thinness of the latest iPod touch to have the GPS. WiFi based location is often inaccurate, and the GPS doesn't need a WiFi or cellular connection, it just needs to see the satellites in the sky.


    ===== iOS vs Android =====

    So far, Apple has cornered the market of multitouch mobile devices that aren't phones, but things are slowly changing. Currently, the two hottest mobile and smartphone operating systems out there right now are Apple's iOS (formerly: iPhone OS) and Google's Android. Of course, iOS is popular because it runs on not only the iPhone, but also on the iPod touch and now on the ipad as well. Plus, it has garnered support from scores of app developers who've gotten behind Apple's slew of high-demand devices.

    The iPod touch has really made iOS what it is today. It does a lot of what the iPhone does, without a contract, or carrier exclusivity, as is the case with the iPhone and the iPad (WiFi+3G models). So if it weren't for the iPod touch, a lot of the market share Apple now has in the industry would have been stifled by their carrier exclusivity. I think Apple will see the light soon, but that's another discussion.

    Enter Android. Google has held a different stance on their mobile OS. It isn't tied to a select few devices, and it's open source, so it can be further developed by manufacturers who use it. Indeed, several mobile device manufacturers have now latched onto Android as a foundation for numerous devices. Wireless carriers that have been unable to carry the iPhone have also taken a liking to it. Now, tons of Android devices have been released, and there's no end in sight. Manufacturers have also seen the iPad's potential and now they want a piece of that pie, too. So, expect to see a lot more Android tablets and media-centric non-phone devices soon. The competition is heating up.

    But not everything with Android, nor with iOS, is perfect. I own an EVO 4G, one of the most popular Android devices currently available. I've also used an iPod touch almost every day for nearly two years, so I'm pretty qualified to share my experience with each platform. Both certainly have their share of unique offerings, and neither of them are without flaws. For this reason, and because of the increasing competition between the two, I plan to dispel some of their key differences for you at various points in this review.


    ===== So What Can the iPod Touch Actually Do? =====

    Well, what can't it do?

    The iPod touch is like a magical little box, only it's flat. While it cannot cook your breakfast, yet (I'm sure someone is already working on that), it can indeed do some pretty extraordinary things. It's an amazing catch-all device that can provide hours of entertainment, give you the power of the Web in your hand, and it can even replicate the functionality of countless one-off products. Developers have been creating apps that take advantage of special hardware of the iPod touch to emulate some other product for less, and sometimes even for free.

    Even expensive products have seen cheap iOS based clone apps. For just 99 cents, you can snag a special alarm clock app that monitors your sleep cycle and wakes you up when you're in an ideal state of wakefulness. I spent 350 bucks on an aXbo
    (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0014RDSSY?tag=1pod-20&ie=UTF8) a few years ago, who's functionality is easily replicated by several "sleep phase" alarm clock apps in the app store. When you do the math there, you see that it's easily a no brainer: buy yourself an iPod touch now!

    I've listed more apps like this in the comments!

    Plus, with the support of such a strong community of app and game developers, there's never a drought of fresh new apps and games. There's always something to do with the iPod touch, and I guarantee you'll never be bored with it. I honestly cannot say the same thing about Android, though I also tote my EVO 4G around with me. I do admit that the EVO's mobile hotspot comes in incredibly handy for providing the iPod touch with a WiFi connection while I'm on the go).

    Now, with the proper resources, you can legitimately download thousands of high quality apps for free. I do it all the time and it is perfectly legal. See, Apple allows developers to temporarily put their apps on sale (and even drop the price to free). Usually they do this to get you to write some rave reviews for their apps. The secret to success is having the resources to help you spot these special app sales--so you know when and where to get them during their sometimes extremely-limited-time promotions.

    In hopes of making this the most helpful review on Amazon for the iPod touch, here's how to obtain these special promotional-sale apps:

    There are several resources you can use, both on the Web and on the iPod touch itself. I prefer to use the app called BargainBin that lists all apps that recently went on sale or dropped to free. It also supports watch lists with push notifications, and can alert you whenever an app you're interested in goes on sale. It's a phenomenal little gem, and it has gotten me a ton of apps and saved me a fortune! It also has a companion website that lists the same apps (Google: App Advice). There's also a website called AppShopper (Google it) that lists apps with recent price drops and new apps as well, and you can filter just the free products or just the sale products. The two sites don't always list the same apps. Sometimes one will miss something that the other will catch, so it's good to keep track of them both. Check them daily if possible. Several apps are duds, but you'll come across some really great ones from time to time. They'll all add up!


    ===== Web Browsing =====

    Alongside spending lots of money on all those wonderful apps in the App Store, Web browsing is one of the most popular uses for the iPod touch. Browsing the Web with mobile Safari was my original attraction to the device. The experience hasn't changed too drastically in the past two years (since the days of iOS 2), and while it's still very powerful, there are some definite flaws. And no, I'm not talking about Flash. Just minor usability issues I'd like to see overcome, but first let's look at the positives.

    Mobile Safari has a smart approach to zooming in on content. Double-tap on a paragraph of text or an image to cinch that content right up to the edges of the screen. The downside: some sites aren't mobile-friendly, so zooming in on a really wide block of text can leave you with tiny text. You can zoom further manually, by using the "unpinch" multi-touch gesture, but because the browser doesn't have an option to reflow the text to the screen width, you have to scroll left and right, as well as up and down, just to read the text. Android's browser doesn't feature smart zoom, but it does reflow the text to fit the screen when zoomed in. It's a nice feature, and Apple should add it as a preference for Safari.

    Browser history can also vanish after a few days, and browser windows get overwritten by links from other pages sometimes (usually when I've hit the maximum of eight windows). Also yet to be seen is support for doing common things like searching for text on a page, or bookmarking a link by tapping and holding. That would be invaluable for adding bookmarklets--bookmark based scripts that help overcome browser shortcomings.

    Flash is also a great debate, one I won't get into. I will just say that all is not as it seems with the Flash-support-touting Android platform. Flash does work, but it is buggy because Flash doesn't play well with touch interfaces. Flash based video players don't work right, and I even run Android 2.2, which is supposed to have the "full Flash experience". It doesn't, trust me. So you're not missing much by not having Flash on the iPod touch!

    Indeed, we can just hope and pray that Web developers and Flash-fiends see the light and start replacing Flash content with technologies like HTML5's canvas element, which is poised to take on a lot of Flash's most popular abilities.


    ===== Media =====

    Despite all the incredible things the iPod touch can do, audio and video are still one of the iPod touch's greatest strengths. And with the incredible resolution of the new iPod touch's retina display, to say that videos now appear much sharper, more vivid and highly-defined is definitely an understatement. Yes, videos were great before, but now they frickin' rock!

    Just make sure your videos are at least 960 x 640. If you've owned an older iPod touch and used video conversion software to scale down your media to fit the old 320 x 480 screen resolution, definitely change your conversion settings, or look for a software update to support the new higher-resolution display.

    For those interested in watching live TV on the go (over WiFi), Sling Media's SlingPlayer app, paired with one of their Slingbox devices is a phenomenal and freeing experience, especially considering your alternate choices for watching live TV on the go are pretty much nil up to this point.

    On top of that, Netflix's recently released iPod touch version of their media streaming app has also been a much-welcomed addition to my ever-growing collection of apps. Netflix videos stream quickly, and even moving the play position back and forth in the timeline, the movie starts playing very quickly without much time rebuffering the video.


    ===== Photos =====

    The latest iPod touch is also a game-changer for photography and video recording on an iPod touch. It's not mind-blowing by any means, but we went from having no camera right to having two cameras on the device. I probably would not be so thrilled with just a new back camera. I merely would have sighed, mumbling "finally" under my my breath (unless it were 5 megapixels). But despite the less-than-one megapixel quality of the rear-facing camera, I was taken aback by the rather decent quality, especially in low-light environments. Check the comments for links to sample photos!

    Between that and the ability to connect with other iPhone and iPod touch toting friends via Apple's FaceTime app, yes... it's a game changer. Granted, I have been wanting front facing cameras on mobile devices ever since mobile devices started having cameras period. I got the first of such devices when my EVO 4G arrived in June, but as they say: the more the merrier. Friends, welcome to the future we've been dreaming of. Video killed the audio call!

    The quality of my test calls were pretty good. Of course, it was over WiFi, but it proves the cameras are decent. You can switch from using the front camera to using the rear camera, too, in case something was going on in front of you that you wanted to share. Just tap the "camera swap" button in the bottom right corner of the screen. FaceTime also rotates along with the iPod when flipped on its side, nice.

    HD video recording is the other half of the aforementioned game-changing equation. I didn't expect to see ANY video recording, considering the original iPhone camera was originally just a camera. But it's here, complete with HD quality (yes, the quality is indeed desirable), plus basic video editing support, as well as support for Apple's brilliant "iMovie" app: an advanced video editing studio right on your iPod touch. It's just five bucks on the App Store.


    ===== E-Reading =====

    The iPad has been making waves in the genre of media reading for several months now, but that hasn't exactly been the same story for any generation of the iPod touch so far. Granted, it's not exactly marketed as an eReader like its iPad counterpart, but there are some really great apps out there for media reading on it, so there's no reason not to use it to read digital media. The obstacle to doing that, for me at least, has been the limited screen resolution, and so that may all potentially start to change, now that Apple has brought the Retina display to the iPod touch.

    The 163 pixels per inch screens of past iPod touches were still pretty great, just not ideal for tiny text. For comparison, LCD monitors typically only have 96 pixels per inch, and CRT monitors only have 72 pixels per inch. TV's are even worse than that. What this means for you is that the iPod touch display has always been sharper than your own computer monitor.

    However, despite being able to display content at a higher quality, I still found that in a lot of eBooks, especially PDFs that weren't mobile-formatted, the text was just not clear enough to be readable when zoomed out. However, zooming in meant having to constantly scroll side-to-side while reading. The app "Good Reader" helped ease that pain by doing the left-right & vertical scrolling for you with just a tap of the screen, as well as offering an additional view that re-flows the text to fit on the screen at a large enough size.

    However, with the Retina display, all text and content in the aforementioned "zoomed out" state now appears extremely clear. That is a wonderful thing, so long as you don't mind reading tiny text.

    Could you still benefit from having an iPad too? Perhaps. After all, it does have unique qualities that set it apart from the iPod touch, as my in depth iPad review portrays (http://www.amazon.com/review/R16U71KO7POLA2?tag=1pod-20&ie=UTF8). But unless you specifically see the need for one of those unique qualities, then no, you probably don't need both.


    ===== Gaming =====

    If you're like me, you probably don't have time for games. Regardless, it may still be high-time to let the kid within you roam free from time to time, as I do. The iPod touch has made it possible. In fact, it is so easy, there's no excuse not to enjoy yourself. My favorite games are the racing games and, when I have a bit more time, strategy games.

    With the iPhone and iPod Touch having taken on a clear role as a gaming console that has been as revolutionary for mobile gaming as the Wii was for living-room gaming, it goes without saying that the iPod touch is, and will continue to be, one of the best platforms for gaming. It's simple, convenient, and pretty much instant. Whenever you have a few moments of free time, wherever you're, just turn it on, find your game, and bam! You're gaming. Simple as that.


    ===== Productivity =====

    Productivity carries numerous definitions. Usually its "getting something done" though some people tend to believe that it's the ability to focus without being distracted, which I see as one of the iPod touch's strengths, at least for me, primarily because the screen is small enough to force you to focus on the task at hand.

    In the context of software though, Apple's own suite of productivity apps for the office, collectively called "iWork", has been further refined for the iPhone and iPod touch. Because of the aforementioned "focus factor" of the iPod touch, I have found myself to be surprisingly productive when working on documents with it. There are three apps in all: Pages allows you to work on word processing documents. Numbers allows you to work on spreadsheets. Keynote lets you work on presentations and slideshows (including PowerPoint files).

    So far, I've found these apps to be highly useful when I have work to do, but don't feel like being at the computer to do it. Another great app for that is "iTeleport" which let's me at my computer remotely, when iWork won't work (meaning I'm not working on office documents). Log Me In Ignition is another similar app that is slightly easier to set up, but a bit slower than iTeleport, when you're just working over the same WiFi connection as the remote computer.

    Furthermore, there's a whole category of iPod touch apps in the App Store specifically dedicated to productivity. Some of my favorite productivity apps include: Bento (info management), Things (project management), iTeleport (remote computing), and GoodReader (best PDF reader around). Search for them in the App Store.


    ===== Email, IM and Social Networking =====

    The iPod touch has been, and continues to be an exceptional communication-machine. Whether it's reading or composing email, keeping in touch via instant messenger, or managing your life via social networks, you've got plenty of options here.

    Instant messaging is easy with platforms such as AIM, Yahoo, Gtalk, MSN, Skype and apps that handle multiple platforms: IM+, Fring, Nimbuzz, BeejiveIM and Fuse Messenger. Finally, multitasking means you can truly remain connected to your IM platforms of choice, instead of relying on apps to keep you signed remotely, then push new-message notifications to your device. This is a much welcome addition to the new iPod touch.

    As well, there are plenty of apps to help you browse and update your status on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, etc. Within the iOS development community, Twitter apps have often been a laughing stock, simply because there are so many out there on the App Store. They're almost as rampant as "fart" apps. So to say you've got countless options as far as social networking apps are concerned is probably a pretty accurate statement.

    For email, you need not look any further than Apple's native "Mail" app. Even if you're using Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, or Apple's own MobileMe, setup is a snap. It even supports Microsoft Exchange, often useful for corporate email setups. As well, any other email accounts that support POP3 or IMAP connection types will work with the Mail app too. Plus, new to the iPod touch with iOS 4 is the option to use a unified inbox--handy for those already used to that behavior on Mac OS X.


    ===== Downloading Apps and Games =====

    Downloading apps on your iPod touch couldn't be easier. Once you set up your iTunes account with a credit card, all you need to do is find the app you want, tap the download button (usually it says the price rather than "download", which then changes to "buy" after you tap it), then tap again to confirm. Voila, you just bought an app. Behind the scenes, Apple then charges your card the amount of the app plus tax, while you're already off enjoying your new purchase. This ease of access is a blessing and a curse, because you can easily empty your wallet if you're not carefully considering each purchase.

    All apps in the App Store range in price from Free and 99 cents on up, always incrementing in whole dollar amounts (1.99, 2.99, 3.99, etc). The maximum price for an app is set to $999.99, of which there are only eight currently priced so outrageously. And don't even think of toying with them. Apple does not allow refunds on apps you have purchased--all sales are final!

    Contrast that with Android's more complex Android Market, and you'll find several more steps, especially for paid apps. For one, there're no fixed pricing tiers, and secondly, they allow multiple currency pricing, which only confuses its users. The good developers do keep their pricing similar to iOS apps, with the 99 cent base plus $1 increments, but I often see apps priced at �0.55 or 0.79 or $1 or �2.95 ...it's quite disorienting and unstructured. They have also set their price cap at $200, so you can't accidentally run up a $1000 charge on just one app--you'll need at least 5 apps for that. ;)

    Meanwhile, to actually buy an app on Android, you must tap the BUY button, confirm that you want to buy the app, then get redirected to a Google Checkout link, where you must setup your Google Checkout account or choose an existing payment method if you already have an account set up. Once you confirm the purchase yet again, THEN you can finally download the app.

    Google also makes selling apps a bit more complicated for developers than Apple, but I won't get into that. I'm just stressing how absolutely simple Apple makes the app buying and selling process. Contrary to Apple however, Google does allow users to "return" purchased Android apps within 24 hours for a full refund. That's nice.


    ===== Technical Specifications =====

    Since Amazon's product descriptions tend to be lacking, I like to include all the technical jargon geeks have come to expect when researching new gadgets. Feel free to breeze on through!

    In the box
    + iPod touch
    + Earphones
    + Dock Connector to USB Cable (for sync and charging)
    + Quick Start guide

    Size and weight
    + Height: 4.4 inches (111.0 mm)
    + Width: 2.3 inches (58.9 mm)
    + Depth: 0.28 inch (7.2 mm)
    + Weight: 3.56 ounces (101 grams)

    Capacity
    + 8GB, 32GB or 64GB flash drive/SSD

    Wireless
    + 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi (802.11n 2.4GHz only)
    + Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
    + Maps-location based service
    + Nike + iPod support built in

    Display
    + Multi-Touch display
    + 3.5-inch (diagonal) widescreen
    + 960-by-640-pixel resolution at 326 pixels per inch

    Cameras, photos, and video
    + Video recording, HD (720p) up to 30 frames per second with audio; still photos (960 x 720) with back camera
    + VGA-quality photos and video up to 30 frames per second with the front camera
    + Tap to control exposure for video or stills
    + Photo and video geo tagging over Wi-Fi

    TV and video
    + H.264 video up to 720p, 30 frames per second, Main Profile level 3.1 with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats
    + MPEG-4 video, up to 2.5 Mbps, 640 by 480 pixels, 30 frames per second, Simple Profile with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps per channel, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats
    + Motion JPEG (M-JPEG) up to 35 Mbps, 1280 by 720 pixels, 30 frames per second, audio in ulaw, PCM stereo audio in .avi file format
    + Support for 1024 by 768 pixels with Dock Connector to VGA Adapter; 576p and 480p with Apple Component AV Cable; 576i and 480i with Apple Composite AV Cable (cables sold separately)

    Audio
    + Frequency response: 20Hz to 20,000Hz
    + Audio formats supported: AAC (8 to 320 Kbps), Protected AAC (from iTunes Store), HE-AAC, MP3 (8 to 320 Kbps), MP3 VBR, Audible (formats 2, 3, 4, Audible Enhanced Audio, AAX, and AAX+), Apple Lossless, AIFF, and WAV
    + User-configurable maximum volume limit with parental lock
    + Earbud headphones included in box

    Earphones
    + Frequency response: 20Hz to 20,000Hz
    + Impedance: 32 ohms

    Input and output
    + 30-pin dock connector
    + 3.5-mm stereo headphone minijack
    + Built-in speaker
    + Microphone
    + External buttons and controls

    Sensors
    + Three-axis gyro
    + Accelerometer
    + Ambient light sensor (for proximity detection)

    Battery, power and playback time
    + Built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery
    + USB sync cable is also used for charging
    + Fast charge in about 2 hours (80% capacity)
    + Full charge in about 4 hours.
    + Music playback time: Up to 40 hours when fully charged
    + Video playback time: Up to 7 hours when fully charged

    System requirements
    + USB 2.0
    + iTunes 10 or later
    + Mac: Mac OS X v10.5.8 or later
    + PC: Windows 7, Vista, or XP (SP3 or later)


    ===== Praise =====

    + Apple continues its trend of creating the best multi-touch experience around. Android doesn't even come close.
    + The Retina Display - Phenomenal! Kudos for bringing it to the iPod touch as well as the iPhone. Now try it with IPS technology Apple!
    + Wireless-N, finally! - Faster and farther-reaching WiFi connections (if your router supports 802.11n)
    + High performance 1GHz A4 processor - provides all the power of the iPhone 4, a win for gaming and multitasking.
    + Multitasks like a dream with iOS 4 and the powerful processor, despite the same 256MB of memory as the third generation touch.
    + Rear camera - It's not the 5 megapixel iPhone 4 camera, but I definitely can't complain here. It shoots great photos, especially in low-light without flash, plus it can do HD video.
    + Front facing camera - What a pleasant surprise! Now it just needs to work with Skype.


    ===== Dissappointments =====

    + No GPS - IP based location just doesn't cut it at times. GPS has no subscription fee or contract to use. GPS chips are costly, but tons of high cost GPS apps are in the App Store now to offset that cost for Apple.
    + 256MB memory - iFixit has confirmed this disappointing flaw, putting to rest all the rumors of 512MB still littering several reviews.
    + Still no 120GB model - Useful for higher res videos that look great on the Retina display.
    + No USB 3.0 or wireless sync - Sync'ing can be slow or inconvenient over the cable.
    + Thinner design - I was hoping for a more squared design, like the iPhone 4, as it is easier to grip, handle and press the power button.
    + Power button - Yes, it hasn't changed much. It's been moved to the right side on this model, but it's still the tiny, hard-to-press button it's has always been, and if you take lots of screenshots like I do (by pressing power+home simultaneously) half the time you end up closing your app because the power button didn't work right.


    ===== The Bottom Line =====

    It is absolutely clear: Apple has definitely blurred the lines between iPhone and iPod touch with its 4th generation of both devices. Since it has no contract or carrier exclusivity, this phenomenal device will continue to shine its light in the otherwise dark voids of the smartphone market where the iPhone cannot go, even without the phone. That's just smart!

    Given all my tips, I think you'll find the iPod touch to be an extraordinarily useful, possibly even highly addictive device, with a price tag that is well worth it, especially the 32GB model. With all the things that the iPod touch can do, it will undoubtedly enhance your life and change the way you interact with the Web. It might even make a gamer out of you if it hasn't already, it sure did for me!

    I hope you've found my hands-on review helpful. I do actively participate in any discussions via the comments, so feel free to drop me a line, or ask me any questions as well. :)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Using the 8 gb version as a netbook substitute...., September 19, 2010
    Can you get by with an 8gb Touch?

    Yep, based on my experience with a 3rd gen 32 gb, and on my recent local purchase of the 4th gen (this current model) in 8 gb capacity.

    When using the old 32 gb, I found out that I barely used its greater storage capacity. (I don't haul around a lot of music or videos - I just transfer what I want to listen to/watch for each road trip or listening/viewing cycle using iTunes). Apps, I discovered, don't take up much space, even games and books don't take up much space, unless you want to haul substantially more of your whole collection with you. Amazon's Kindle app is esp. device friendly, since you can archive books you've finished back to Amazon instead of keeping them on the device. iTunes is a great way to manage what content you want to store on your home computer - which becomes a sort of large "docking device" - and what you want "to go."

    As a netbook substitute, storage isn't even that important. I can check my bank balance, transfer funds and execute orders on a brokerage account, listen to radio on Pandora or Slacker, watch music videos (and a lot more ) on YouTube, Skype, stream Netflix, and do a whole lot of other stuff on the 8 gb just fine.

    In fact in hindsight the only real reason for me getting the 32 gb version in the older edition was to get the faster processor. But in the current generation, all the hardware on the 8 gb edition matches the hardware on the larger versions, save the the "hard disk" space.

    The Touch was initially marketed as a music player with a cool touch screen. It is now marketed as a game machine, but the truth is, with the new higher resolution screen, it is a mini-iPad. Yes, you have to zoom to read some web content, but reading a book is MUCH crisper on this unit than on the last generation, thanks to the better screen, and watching videos is MUCH better, esp. Netflix streaming videos. It's a toss up as to whether watching videos on this, with no stutter and perfectly crisp, is better than watching an occasionally stuttering, less crisp, but much larger video on a netbook.

    The 8gb makes a nice intersection on my personal "cheapness" and "minimalist" curves. The price doesn't get into nose-bleed territory where I start to wonder whether a netbook would makes more sense, and it's inexpensive enough to subject to the toils of daily wear and tear - keeping it handy in an outside day pack pocket, instead of more safely stowed deep inside the pack.

    Plus, if I ever DO get a hankering to carry more than two or three lossless encoded albums and more than two to three hours of video at a time, I can turn this over to my kids for game and Netflix streaming use.

    ***Best accessory ever: ClassicReader Three-pair Valu-Pac, +3.00

    The screen on this new generation of iPod Touches is very, very sharp, but in order to enjoy all that sharpness, you need to bring the screen really close to your eyes (assuming you don't have presbyopia and can focus close) OR simply carry a pair of cheap reading glasses as an "accessory" to the super sharp 4th generation screens. This lets you actually read the tiny type on the NY Times website, actually see the richness of colors and depth of detail on a video. So even if you don't need reading glasses for magazine reading, CONSIDER trying a pair of STRONG reading glasses (2.0 or 3.0) to magnify the 3.5" display screen. It's so good for videos you might be able to get by without an iPad (which has the same resolution, NOT more) for personal video viewing. Strong reading glasses make high-def YouTube videos POP for me.


    ******Update on usage: I broke down and bought a 32 gb for the extra storage, loaded it up with videos (training videos) to watch, and then discovered I hardly ever need them. I carry the 8gb (this one) around all the time, keeping the more expensive 32 gb at home, and my main road uses via all the modern hotspots are checking email, Facebook, reading websites and, oddly enough, reading BOOKS. The video playback capability was the "driving factor" in getting this, but in real life the "connected" web aspect turns out to be much more important to me. Apps like Skype, Simple Note etc. take up very little "drive" space. So the main reason for getting larger capacity is if you want a serious music or video player. If I am on the road and want some video to watch, the YouTube app on the Touch is superb; I also added Netflix and Hulu+ (plus I keep an hour or two of training videos on this unit and a couple of gigs of music). For music, I added the Slacker and Pandora apps. // For a while I was using my older 3rd gen Touch to read books too, so save the battery on the 8gb 4th gen. I thought there wasn't much difference in screen sharpness. Turns out Kindle wasn't (apparently) optimized for the new Retina screen. I have been trying iBooks and currently it seems much sharper. Also even at a (possibly) lower rez, the crispness of this 4th gen is much easier on my eyes. YES the Touch makes a GREAT e-book reader! // Finally, if you love gaming on a Touch - and this is really taking off! - the 8gb is more than up to the task, gaming apps don't eat up a lot of the Touch's memory.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Actual Owner of iPod Touch 4G, September 8, 2010
    Alright, so Best Buy got the 32GB iPod Touch 4G in stock so I drove an hour to go get one. I was not disappointed. I will run through the features I have come across so far.

    Body: Aside from moving the sleep button to the right and making the back of the device slimmer and more flat, not much has changed. Yes, the chrome back is still there erg! It was so pretty for the first 30 seconds.

    Ram: The Ram on the iPod Touch is only 256 MB, so do not believe the talk of 512 MB, it is simply not true.

    Wireless: Fully supports A/B/G/N

    Vibration: There is no vibration, so do not expect that.

    Multitasking: Works real well and very smooth transition

    Display: While the display on the iPod is not IPS like the iPhone do not think it suffers in anyway. This display is so beautiful and crisp to look at. I cannot even distinguish the pixels, and text on a website is like you are reading out of a book, it's so refreshing. I played a digital copy of "UP" on here and the colors practically jump off the screen, very nice. Apple's icons are so much more vivid and sharp, while 3rd party developer icons who have yet to make an upgrade for the new displays shows what a step up this new screen has to offer.

    Speaker: I am not sure of the quality of the speaker on the 3G iPod Touch, but on my 2G iPod Touch it was very tinny and I only used it for game sound. Here on the 4G there is a new spot on the bottom left for the speaker and it has risen in clarity. Music is very listenable and clear, however nothing replaces a good set of earbuds, but when you're in a jam, you won't be gritting your teeth with this speaker.

    Processor: The new Apple processor is a sure win for this device. Everything loads very fast and switching from one screen to another is very swift and smooth. Crash Bandicoot finally has a nice framerate to play with on this iPod and for once I did not regret buying that game.

    Front Camera: This is the camera that is primarily used for Facetime. It's resolution is at 640 X 480. After taking a few pictures with it, you will notice how it is really not for taking stills, but works fine for videochatting (which I have not tried, but did run some video tests with it). Obviously Facetime will work better in well lit areas, but then again, doesn't any camera?

    Rear Camera: Again stills are just so so. What really bugs me is when you go to take a picture, you see how crisp the preview is, then you take the picture and you can see it blur. The tap to focus works nice for adjusting exposure and well lit photos look very decent on the display. It's when you upload them to your computer when you notice how not so decent they actually are. While this may be a negative for many people, if you are like me, you want to just upload photos with this device to FaceBook and capture funny moments with the video camera. If I want to take a really awesome picture, I'll pull out my DSLR, but for me this iPod's capabilities are more than adequate for my quick shooting of certain events. The video captures quite nicely, while not superb like an actual HD camcorder does enough for me for again, capturing fun moments. Don't worry, you don't cringe while watching the video, it's more than adequate and produces vibrant colors and a fast framerate. Some may complain on this, and believe me those reviews will be here shortly, but then again why not buy an HD Camcorder that is made for HD content? (I'm not ignorant to HD quality either, I'm a huge fan of it. I run a 3D 65'' 1080p display with Blu-ray and Dolby Tru-HD decoding surround sound system)

    Microphone: Testing out Skype my friend told me I was coming in loud and clear. I also played back a video I made on the iPod on my computer and the microphone captures top notch audio. Very crisp and clear, I was quite pleased.

    Battery: While I haven't tested out Apple's claims of 40 hr. of music, let's be honest who really does that? I'm sure Apple's claims are quite credible in their battery life depending on how the device is used.

    One note I should also make, my iPod Touch 2G accessories, (car charger, wall charger) work with my iPod touch 4G. Apple sometimes changes stuff like the charging pin on the iPod's to make a person have to buy new accessories. Anybody remember when the iPod Video A/V cables had the Audio and Video switched around so people couldn't use their cables with the iPod? Well they could, they just had to switch the audio and video cables in the port around. Anyways, away from this funny piece of marketing history.

    Is the new iPod worth it? For me, upgrading from the 2G Touch, yes! The display is brilliant, the speed of the processor amazing, video quality is very much enjoyable and the rear camera is excellent for taking quick fun shots. If I had one word to describe this iPod, it would be fun! You can't handle one of these without feeling like a joyous kid, (I'm 22) and the business aspect is still there and quite useful. I would highly recommend this iPod Touch as a worthy upgrade to any generation of the iPod Touch you may own and if you don't own one, there has never been a more perfect time to go out and get one! Don't hesitate to leave a comment here if you have a question for an actual owner. I'll do what I can!


    5-0 out of 5 stars This thing rocks!, September 8, 2010
    *This review is from someone who never owned any Apple products before, married, healthcare professional, blackberry and palm TX owner (yeah I know, belongs in a museum), I was looking for a handheld internet browser by wifi, no monthly fees for 2 years, with camera, video, and apps that i can use for my work, and put in my pocket and it led me to this device. This is therefore a completely un-technical, layman's review.

    1. Delivery time: I was supposed to receive this September 10-14 with the regular shipping, but I got it today, maybe because I ordered it as soon as Steve Jobs finished presenting, so this deserves more than 5 stars!

    2. Dimensions/looks: I actually prefer the "handling" of the bigger and heavier 3rd gen that I borrowed, its all smudge now without any cover, but boy! this is the most beautiful handheld device that I ever held, 4 stars for being smaller and lighter and smudgy.

    3. Display: The retina display is amazing! Like reading from a glossy magazine, and yes you cannot see the pixels! 5 stars!

    4. Wifi: Sync with ATT wifi - no problem, wifi in gym - no problem, monthly fees - no problem! 5 stars!

    5. Internet Browsing: Hard to type in the addresses initially, but pages loads super fast (the longest was within thress-onethousand - all news channels), surfed the web with no problems,make pages bigger or smaller... this gets 5 stars as well.

    6. Speed (Processor): this thing is super fast, web pages load within 3 seconds, downloading apps within 30 secs, youtube in a flash, the email attachment that opened in 1 minute in my computer took only 10 seconds! 5 stars indeed!

    7. Camera: very grainy, will not use it for any important event, only for quick-I-need-a-camera moments, it will not replace my dSLR, but since it wasnt there in the previous gen, and I only use my dSLR and nothing else, this camera is still a bonus it gets 4 stars.

    8. Apps for work/"work": I already downloaded 4 very useful apps for work for free! plus 5 other free games for me and my 3 year old kid, the fact that I can now have apps without an iphone/ipad is great, the fact that its free is sweet! 5 stars!

    8. Video: 720p HD! And I bought a Vado HD that does nothing else! Quality is up to par! 5 stars!

    Overall, I have a device that surfs the net very very fast, manages my email, has a camera, great HD videocam, great free apps for work, that looks beautiful, and is great to look at, that I got 1 week early, what more can I ask for?!!! Worth every penny and deserves 5 stars!

    And it stores and plays music too?! And has facetime?! And maps?! I feel like I paid for a Toyota and got a Lexus!

    Will buy another one for my kid so she doesnt have to borrow mine!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A definite improvement over the previous generation., October 11, 2010
    I know what you're thinking while looking at these reviews: "Should I save fifty bucks and get the 3rd Generation iPod touch, or is the 4th Gen really worth the new price?"

    I am happy to report that the improvements made from 3rd to 4th generation are worth your attention.

    * Size/Shape: The new model is thinner and more narrow, but slightly taller/longer. What this translates to in real-world usage is that the device is slightly less bulky in your pocket once you put a case on it, but that it's a tiny bit harder to grip without a case, if you have big hands. Of course, since Apple continues to put that scratch-magnet shiny back on the iPod touch (PLEASE, Apple, STOP IT! Give us brushed aluminum or something!) you will probably need a case, so the thinness is a good thing.

    * Microphone: No, you don't get the headphones with the in-line microphone anymore, but you do get a microphone built into the iPod touch. While most people focus on the Face Time, Skype, or other social uses for a microphone and lament the loss of one on the headphones, as someone who doesn't care about VOIP, I find the built-in microphone a lot better for my purposes. I use it for voice commands in the iPod ("Play artist 'The Beatles'") and for dictation (Dragon's free app is awesome) and voice memos. It also functions well for video recording. I don't miss the in-line earbud microphone at all.

    * Video Recording/Photos: While the iPod touch won't replace a top-line video camera, and most definitely won't replace a decent digital camera, it works as a "I happen to have it in my pocket" substitute on both counts. I don't take a lot of photos, so the lower resolution on the camera doesn't bother me. The video, however, is quite nice, and replaces my Flip Mino HD without a hitch. Just remember to reserve some storage space if you intend to record videos.

    * Retina Display: Wow. You have to see it to understand why it's a big deal. You don't notice it as much in the main screen, but when you get into text displays you really see the difference. Everything is crisp, there's almost no pixelization and nothing is "fuzzy". Games that support it look gorgeous. It really is worth it if you intend to use the iPod touch to do any reading, web browsing, or gaming.

    * iOS 4: I love the OS changes they made since I owned a 3rd generation iPod touch. The ability to group apps into folders/groups is about the best thing they did since the iPod touch debuted. The ability to do multitasking is very handy, too. The Gmail integration is much better now that it supports IMAP, and the contacts are much more friendly to Windows users since they started providing decent support for Google Contacts. WiFi signals seem to be stronger, and the battery life is excellent. All told, the little changes make a big difference.

    * Video Playback: Now that they've increased the screen resolution to 960x640, videos are not as limited. This means that if you have a collection of 720p m4v/mp4 videos already, they'll work with the iPod touch. You won't need to downscale them to make them work. This also means that if you choose to output to a HDTV screen, you'll get your full 720p video in all its glory. This is a great feature for media hounds like myself. If only Apple made a 1TB iPod touch..!

    * Improved buttons: While the buttons are no longer metal (they're now plastic or polycarbonate), they are much better-designed in terms of placement. The volume toggle has been turned into two separate buttons for up and down, and they work quite well when you're not looking at the device (like when it's in your pocket). The standby/power button is smaller and to the right of the top of the device, and it, too is easy to find and use when the device is out of view. Response from the buttons is nice, with a good clicky tactile feedback. They seem sturdy and yet they're small enough to be unobtrusive and not be pressed accidentally.

    * Speaker: They went from using the whole back panel as a speaker board to putting in a little speaker in the device at the bottom. This has the effect of making things sound a little better, but not without some problems (see below).

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    THE CONS

    * The new size means you will probably need a new case and screen protector. Old ones won't fit. Some exceptions exist (some slip-cases, for example) but anything that was an exact fit for the previous models is too big for the current model.

    * No in-line microphone on the earbuds. This is not a problem for me, but for social networking types, this will be something they miss.

    * Speed is, at this point, no better than the previous model in most cases, and sometimes slower in apps that have yet to update some features. This will no doubt change, but right now expect no major boost in speed or power with the upgrade to 4th Gen.

    * Still camera is low resolution. As I noted above, it's not a crippling issue for me, as I don't take lots of photos and the video camera is so nice, but if you're a shutterbug looking for an alternate digital camera, you may be a little let-down by the current generation. You're probably better off with an iPhone 4 or waiting for the 5th Gen iPod touch and crossing your fingers.

    * Dock connector doesn't sit flush with the device. It looks weird at first, but when you connect to the docking cable, the connector doesn't seem to go in all the way if you look at it from the back of the iPod touch. This is, apparently, by design. I can't say I like it, but this is the sacrifice you get with thinner devices. Apple didn't want to give up the tapered design, but they didn't want to redesign the dock connection, either. The compromise was to make the connector do what it currently does. This is not really a big deal, as it works fine and feels secure, but it does make you wonder how some third-party docks and devices will work with the current generation.

    * Speaker gets blocked easily. I know this is more of a critique of App design than iPod design, but the iPod touch's speaker being in the bottom corner causes me to end up covering the speaker when I turn the device sideways (to the left) to play a game. Smart Apps make it possible to tilt the screen any direction, but some are set on making you tilt to the left, which leads to the speaker blockage. Again, no big deal, but it makes me wonder why Apple doesn't just put the speaker on the side of the device instead of on the bottom. There's little chance you'd block it on a sideways/widescreen App in that case.

    * Stupid shiny back: I mentioned this earlier, but WHY, Apple? Why do you keep putting this horrible shiny back on the iPod touch? It was terrible back on the classics, and it's terrible now. Give us something that doesn't get scratched from the slightest touch, and something that isn't slippery! Brushed aluminum, rubberized metal, or anything else would be preferable to this stupid shiny back-plate. This, for me, is the iPod touch's #1 bad feature.

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    SUMMARY

    In my opinion the newer model is worth the new price. You get a lot of extra features and the best screen on any iPod to date, and the microphone being built-in becomes a must-have feature after you realize how convenient it is to not have to hook up the earbuds in order to record something. So here's the rundown on whether or not you should upgrade from 3rd Gen to 4th Gen:

    * If you're a reader: YES. The Retina Display makes reading books and comics much easier on the eyes (although I still prefer e-ink for long stretches or reading outdoors).

    * If you're a gamer: YES. The Retina Display, better speaker, and new gyroscope/accelerometer make gaming better.

    * If you're a social networking freak: YES. The video camera, still camera, built-in microphone, and Face Time are a social networking fan's wet dream.

    * If you're looking for a PDA: NO. It doesn't really matter unless you want to take advantage of the video camera for business meetings, or have bad eyes and want your address book to look more crisp. You could probably get by with the 3rd Gen, but honestly, you're probably already using iPhone 4 so this is a non-issue.

    * If you're looking for a portable web browser and mail client: YES. If you're on the Internet a lot, you'll appreciate the Retina Display and better WiFi reception from 802.11n.

    * If you just want to play music: NO. Don't bother to upgrade because the music/iPod functions aren't all that different from the previous generation, unless you want the convenience of the built-in microphone for voice commands.

    * If you just want to play videos: YES. The higher resolution and Retina Diplay make videos much better, and the ability to output 720p is a great feature for videophiles.


    Final verdict: For most users, the newer model is a much better value. Apple improved the iPod touch enough this time around to make it worth grabbing the 4th Gen, even if you do end up paying a little more for it than a clearance-model 3rd Gen.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A joy to use, September 14, 2010
    I wanted an iPhone 4 as soon as it came out; I already had a 2G iPod Touch and loved it. But I can't commit to the contract right now and the full price (outside of contract) version is really beyond my budget. So I made a conscious decision to wait for the iPod Touch, aware that it would probably be a compromise. I pre-ordered it from Apple before it came out in stores. I was expecting to be less happy about some aspects (such as the camera), but knew I'd get used to those, and would probably love the improvements compared to the 2G iPod Touch. I wasn't disappointed. After only a couple of days use I definitely like it a lot.

    The screen is glorious. It's so much easier on the eye than the old display. Yes it's not IPS (although this not obvious outside of steep viewing angles). It seems darker than the old display; this is probably because of the higher pixel density. It also has more of a blue tint (a cooler color temperature) but I've heard this is also true of the iPhone. But I got used to these things and it's a joy to look at every time. In spite of the better battery, I think the display sucks more juice, since you have to have it at a brighter setting than before to get the same perceived brightness.

    General performance is very smooth. It's definitely faster than previous versions. Things still crash occasionally but that's true of any computer. The bugs from my 2G Touch that appeared after I upgraded to iOS 4.1, that caused Pandora and other audio apps to be unusable, are thankfully gone, as far as I can tell (I since seem to have resolved this issue on the 2G Touch by restoring to factory settings and upgrading to iOS 4.2). Heavy content (such as pdfs and large web pages) can slow it down but this is also true of the iPad.

    You have to be careful to get good battery life. The battery has been upgraded so you supposedly get 40 hours of audio rather than 30 h. But if you're new to multitasking, you have to realise that you're going to pay for it in battery life unless you're careful. For example, you can have Skype running in the background and it will receive calls and messages, even if the iPod is locked in your pocket, which is great. However, this makes use of the 'Voice over IP' iOS service, which Skype is constantly running in the background. I think Pandora might do something similar (albeit with a different service). So your battery will drain noticeably (I saw 5-10% drain per hour using iStat with Skype and Pandora backgrounded and the iPod locked). Most apps you see in the multitasking bar do not use these services; Apple calls them 'recently used' apps for a reason; they mostly aren't running.

    The volume and power buttons take a bit of getting used to but I ended up preferring them. They feel more solid and have a more definite click to them.

    Seriously, for what it is, the back camera is not that bad in spite of the 0.7 MP resolution. In bright daylight it's surprisingly good. It just gets more grainy at night. But they're still quite possible; in a fancier camera you might have to manually increase the exposure time. Don't knock it just because of the pixel count, it's a pretty good camera; my 2 MP camera phone is not that much better. And for taking pics as a record of a fun moment that you can then upload directly to Facebook, I love it, and I use it a lot. That functionality is a big step up from the old iPod Touch, so I'm OK with the low resolution; it's a lot better than no camera at all. And I've managed to get it to read barcodes with apps like the AT&T code scanner. Also, Apple's HDR is not available but I think there are 3rd party apps that will do that.

    The speaker is nicer than the old iPod Touch but it could definitely be louder. I tried using it like a phone (with Skype) and it's not really practical; you really need headphones unless there's minimal background noise. But if you're on your own in a room, it's actually fine. Listening to the radio (with ooTunes), it could easily get to a similar level to my clock radio so it was fine.

    So, as a pocket computer the 4G Touch rocks. With the retina display and cameras, this feels like a mature product. You might like to wait for possible improvements (such as the camera) in the next version, but as it stands it's still a joy to use. And given you'd have to pay at least another $400 to get the extra features on the iPhone, I think it's a pretty good deal.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Better In Every Way, September 2, 2010
    ---------------------------------Overview------------------------------------------------

    The latest iPod Touch from Apple improves on the previous generation in nearly every single way. It does all this without increasing the price one cent (except the 8GB version which increased in price by $30 and is now no longer a hardware generation behind). Bottom line, the iPod Touch continues to be an irresistible device that has no peer on the market right now. Think back even three years and people would simply be amazed at everything the latest iPod Touch can do for only $229. Games in every category, some of which have graphics superior to the PSP or Nintendo DS, news and weather apps, streaming video from your computer or from services like Netflix and Hulu, exercise and weight loss apps, the list goes on and on (and on). While we are starting to see some Android based tablets enter the market, there is nothing in the portable market that comes close to what the iPod can do.

    If you really have some problems with some of the iPod Touch's shortcomings (like the camera) and you want access to the Apple App store, you may want to consider just buckling down and getting an iPhone 4 (if you can afford it). However, once you consider the value proposition of the iPhone 4 (total cost of ownership over two year contract $75-85 x 24 + $299) vs. the iPod Touch at $299, you start to understand that some of these drawbacks are not so bad.

    ---------------------------------CHANGES-------------------------------------------------

    Compared to the previous (and well loved) iPod Touch this device:

    - replaces the previous processor with the more powerful A4 processor. Expect smooth and fast operation with support for even the most graphically intense iPod Touch games. All other applications will run at top speed, although not dramatically faster than the previous generation.
    - is now even thinner. The Ipod Touch is now shockingly thin.
    - added a microphone so you don't need a headset to talk to people or use voice control
    - doubled the amount of ram so multi-tasking should be a breeze
    - has longer battery life | extended audio life by 10 hours (from 30 to 40 hours) and video by 1 hour (from 6 to 7 hours).
    - weighs less
    - has TWO additional cameras (front facing for video and self-portraits and back for HD video) - the front camera is VGA quality (640x480) and the back camera is a 720P (1280x720) sensor (when used to take pictures that resolution is reduced to 960x720). Samples of the HD video show that this feature was not just "tacked on" and actually looks very good compared to some HD video available on other pocket devices (like the EVO 4G).
    - 4 times as many pixels on the screen - Apple is calling this a "retina display" because it has the same dpi (dots per inch) as the iPhone 4. However, the iPod Touch is not using the same IPS display found in the iPhone 4 which means the viewing angles aren't as good. I doubt most users will notice the difference here.
    - adds the gyroscope for extra precision with motion based apps (mostly gaming)
    - adds support for the faster Wireless "N" standard, which should help when streaming video to your phone or using Facetime to make a video call
    - adds a vibrator for alerts, force feedback in gaming, and notifications for voice calling

    Cons:

    - speaker still sucks - I let my two year watch videos on my iPhone. Thus a crappy speaker is a deal breaker for me because she is too small to use headphones. You can blame the extreme thinness on this one. There simply isn't enough depth to put an iPhone quality speaker in. If I didn't have a two year old I wouldn't consider this a big deal because I rarely use this function otherwise.
    - no 5MP camera or LED flash - This is going to be a deal breaker for some who saw the iPhone 4 and started salivating at the thought of the possibility of the same high quality sensor in the iPod Touch. Read my thoughts below for more on this one.
    - No GPS chip - you're still stuck with using WiFi signals to determine location, a la the original iPhone. Maybe Garmin or Tom Tom paid them money not to include this feature.


    ---------------------------Thoughts and Conclusions------------------------------------

    Yes, I wanted the camera sensor from the iPhone 4 as well, but the unfortunate reality is that sensor wouldn't fit in the old iPod Touch body and this one is even slimmer! In order to fit the iPhone 4 camera sensor into the iPod Touch, Apple would have had to make this device significantly thicker, which loses one of the big advantages the Touch has had over the iPhone, its size. I might have been willing to make the tradeoff, but obviously Apple wasn't.

    Keep in mind that the larger sensor (and LED Flash) adds to the cost of the device as well. Apple added a significant number of features to the iPod Touch and kept the price exactly the same. Something's gotta give here. The 32GB iPhone 4 sells for $700! (AT&T pays Apple the difference when you buy one on contract). I'm sure if people were willing to spend $400 more than the $299 the 32GB iPod Touch sells for they would have a mind blowing sensor in there. I'm actually surprised at how much of the functionality of the iPhone the iPod Touch now replicates, given the huge gap in cost.

    Appreciate the fact that you can now record HD video and do video calling over WiFi for the same price as the last model. Or don't buy it. Consider how much you can do on this device compared to other portable gadgets, like the pocket sized Flip Video Camera, which costs more than $100+ and does nothing other than video, or even the ZUNE HD, which is a great device, but lacks compatibility with the hundreds of thousands of Apps that turn the iPod Touch into a pocket computer.

    I'm waiting for something to come along to blow away the iPod Touch, but that device just doesn't exist. All things considered, this device is a 4.5/5, which I round up to 5 because Amazon doesn't do half stars. This device won't be for everyone, but then again, no device is. For a great majority of users, this is product is nothing short of gadget heaven.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Great display but terrible rear camera, September 1, 2010
    My wife and I have the 3rd generation iPod Touch and are very happy with them. The one thing that I have been missing/wanting is having a built in camera. I recently saw the photos taken by a friend's iPhone and was blown away by how good they were. Almost all reviews have said the iPhone built in 5MP camera is excellent. Like many others I watched Steve Jobs present the new iPod line today and was very excited to hear that it had all the features I was looking for. Retina display - awesome. Front and rear cameras - yes! Finally.

    I was all set to order 2 from Amazon the minute Amazon had them listed. But .. while looking thru the Apple website I came across the specs for the rear facing camera. It is only .7 megapixels. Less than 1 megapixel. What? I thought that can't be right. I contacted Apple and the rep, who had gotten many such calls it seemed, confirmed that the iPod touch has a very different camera (.7 MP vs the iPhone's 5 MP) . Bummer. I looked around and found a hands on review of it .... and they said the sensor itself, besides being lower MP, is also not nearly as good as the one in the iPhone. Not terrible but certainly not good and no where in the same league as the one in the iPhone.

    The camera was one of the 2 main things people asked for. The other being the Retina display. My assumption is that Apple didn't want to affect iPhone sales and purposely dummied down the camera. Shame on them. They want us to pay $240 to $400 for an iPod with a terrible camera.

    I first predicted that w/ the Retina display and the camera that this would be a smashing success, a huge seller coming into the holiday season. I suspect when people get them and see how bad the photos are, they'll be returning them to Apple. Or like myself, not upgrading.

    I realize this review should be for a product I own, but I felt it was important for people to know about the camera before they ordered it. If photos aren't a big deal, and you'll only email them or post them on facebook, then .7 MP is probably fine. If you want to print any of the photos you take, or even have room to crop the photo, you won't get enough resolution to do that.

    That being said, the Retina display does look awesome, but is it worth the extra dollars over the price of the 3G model? Only you can decide that.

    I hope this helps all of you make a wise decision about your purchase.

    08 Sept 2010 Update
    Hello everyone. First, I am glad that my raising the above issues helped many of you. Second, for those who lashed out at me, perhaps you should take a look at why you get so angry at a stranger who simply encouraged you to look and think before you buy.

    Here's an update.[...] has posted a hands on review of the new iPod Touch. You may want to google it or go to their site to read it.

    In summary:
    1. Retina display is darker and not nearly as good as the one in the iPhone. "Definitely not an iPhone w/o the contract".
    2. HD Video is actually pretty good
    3. Size is a lot smaller than the 3g, bad if you have normal or large hands, ok for teens and those w/ small hands.
    4. Photo quality is much worse than the iPhone. And their posted photos show how much worse. Forget trying to print them and I'd argue not even good for the web based on their samples. No focus or zoom capability either, you can only adjust brightness.

    There you go. We are staying w/ our 3g models, there isn't enough here to justify taking a huge loss selling them and buying these new models. And given that the camera and retina display aren't nearly the quality of the iPhone, this is certainly a release we'll sit out.

    I hope this has helped.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wafer thin, 2 Cameras, better Wifi and better sound!, September 18, 2010
    I got my 64G Touch 4G last week -- I finally got my wish, the Touch gets not one, but two cameras! That makes up for last year's disappointing 3G release.

    First impressions: wow, this is so thin and small -- makes my 3rd gen look a bit like a bulky oaf in comparison. Second impression: hey, this doesn't look like my iPhone 4 at all!

    A bit about me: I'm an MP3 diehard fanatic, I own or have owned almost every MP3 player of note. To name a few: iPod Touch 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th gen, iPod Classic, iPod Nano, Zune HD, Archos Android, 5, 605, 604, and so forth. I have a broad basis for comparison as I write my review.

    Down to brass tacks then, what do I love about my new Touch:

    1) Retina display -- Wow! That's a lot of pixels in a small space, the crispness and clarity of text and video is simply awesome.
    2) Slim form factor -- this is thinner and narrower than last years model. Its compact, easily fits in a pocket, while still having a little weight to give that quality feel.
    3) iTunes and the App Store -- still one of Apple's strongest features. iTunes continues to be the best interface for music, video and app purchases. While Zune Marketplace and Android are strong contenders, they aren't quite there yet.
    4) Easy upgrades -- the iOS upgrade system is as smooth as it gets, just plug it into iTunes and it happens smoothly and seamlessly.
    5) Dedicated power and volume buttons.
    6) Cool user interface -- possibly the best user interface although Zune and Android are also strong.
    7) Apps -- without question the Apps are the Touch and iPhone strongest feature, the most Apps and the best Apps.
    8) Accessories, accessories -- you just can't beat the easy availability and diversity of accessories available for iPod Touch. Its good to be at the top!
    9) Multitasking (or multi-what?) -- finally we have multitasking on an MP3 player! Ok, maybe I'm just a geek and nobody else cares... just a little tip: double click your home button to see what has been running in the background and sucking up your battery!
    10) External speaker -- improved quality since 3rd gen. Nice when you don't want to put on headphones to listen to a podcast or something.
    11) Cameras -- the only MP3 player I've ever had that can do facetime, take pictures, and record videos!
    12) Improved Wifi -- connects easily to my WPA secured U-Verse router, my 3rd gen can't do it. Makes this a good "small iPad" if that's what you're looking for.
    13) Improved sound -- its getting pretty good now, still not the best available but definitely better than 3rd gen was. I would say the sound quality has moved from 3 star to 4 stars now.

    And then the things I don't love so much:
    1) Where is the Dedicated play button??? Does anybody else think that this is like the most important thing for an MP3 player? Makes it hard to pause the music when somebody comes up and wants to talk to you. The trick I found is to unplug the headphones which pauses the music automatically!
    2) Removable battery? -- I'm just going to keep saying this til somebody at Apple hears me. It costs like $100 to get the battery replaced which is ridiculous.
    3) A/V docking station? -- Again, why doesn't Apple have a decent docking station? Both Zune and Archos have very nice docks for their products.

    All in all, my issues with the iPod Touch are pretty trivial. It continues to be the best all around MP3 player type unit available today -- hence the 5 stars. With the addition of Retina display, cameras, faster CPU, better sound and wifi, and slimmer packaging the Touch is still the one to beat.

    Note: If what you really care about is sound quality I would recommend the Sony Walkman X. If you want something that sounds great on big speakers, has a bigger screen, and a high capacity hard drive, then I recommend the Archos 5 with Android.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great device, screen is not what you think, almost too thin, September 12, 2010
    I've been using an old Iphone 2.5g as my "ipod touch" for about the last year or so. I switched to Sprint for the cheaper rates so no more iphone coverage. Well, since the old phone is not compatible with IOS4.0 and since this new device is seemed truly "next-generation," I decided to take the plunge. I hate the lack of space on my old iphone (8Gb) so I splurged for the 64. Here's a few things I noticed right out of the gate:

    1) The screen resolution is phenomenal. The lighting sucks. It has a nasty angle of view. If you look dead at the center of the screen with a black screen "on," you can see slight brightness variances from corner to corner. Not terrible, but I had expected better. After researching it a bit, this is apparently because Apple "cheaped-out" and did not include the IPS style of lighting that they used on the Iphone 4. Oh well, still a great screen though.

    2) Size: The device is amazingly thin. This is both good and bad. The buttons are kind of hard to mash as they are located on the heavily beveled edges of the device. It's not bad, but, you do need to have a good grip on the device when screwing around with volume or power. It is super light and fits well in my hand though. But, as weird as it seems, i do hate how the apple logo feels under my finger. Feels like I have super glue or something on my finger tips... strange

    3) Speed: The speed of the device is great. This is comparing it directly to my old iPhone though. It blows it out of the water. I don't have to really wait on anything. I do wish the browser was better though. On my old phone, when I'd scroll too fast on a large page, i'd get the checkerboard effect. I hoped this was no longer an issue with the new A4 chip. Again, after researching it, I found that the iPod touch has half the RAM of the new iPhone 4. Guess that would explain it.

    4) Camera: The camera is crap. It's low res and has poor low light performance. It's cool for impressing Grandma with the Face Time app, but that's about it. Don't leave home without a good cell phone camera (or a Nikon/Canon!)

    5) Minor quibbles: I miss my vibrate/loudness switch. Sucks not being able to instantly mute the device when i want it quiet. I also wish the speaker were more full. I am glad that Apple included a speaker at least, but, for it to be useful as a Face Time device for Grandma, the speaker really needs to be made louder/fuller.

    in a nutshell, it's a great device, but it is the Kmart special of the new Iphone 4 in pretty much every way. Why did I give it 4 stars when I'm so harsh on it? Because, no other device even comes close. Apple has managed to make the Ipod Touch feel magic in every way. Read more


    6. Apple iPod touch 8 GB (4th Generation) NEWEST MODEL
    Electronics
    list price: $229.00 -- our price: $210.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B001FA1O0O
    Manufacturer: Apple Computer
    Sales Rank: 5
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Amazon.com Product Description

    See friends while you talk to them with FaceTime. Shoot, edit, and share stunning HD video. Play games against friends, or unknown foes, with the new Game Center. And do it all on the Retina display--the highest-resolution screen on any mobile device. It makes graphics and text look even more amazing. The new iPod touch. It's state-of-the-art fun.

    Introducing the new iPod touch. Now with FaceTime, Retina display, HD video recording, and Game Center. Click to enlarge.

    Advanced engineering at play.

    Pioneering technology built into iPod touch is how you're able to flick, tap, and pinch. It's what makes a racing game feel so real. It's why you're able to see a friend crack up at your jokes from across the globe. And it's the reason iPod touch is the most incredible iPod you'll ever own.

    Looks can be amazing.
    iPod touch has an all-new design that makes it the thinnest, lightest, most amazing iPod touch ever. Holding one is all the proof you need. With its curved design, iPod touch is now a mere 7.2 millimeters thin. Its engineered-glass front and stainless steel back feel sleek and smooth in your hand. Turn it on, and you're instantly blown away by the brilliant Retina display. iPod touch is the perfect combination of stunning design and revolutionary technology--brilliant from the outside in.

    Retina display. A blast from the future.
    There are lots of reasons you won't want to take your eyes off the new iPod touch. The 960-by-640 backlit LCD display, for one. It packs 326 pixels per inch, making it the highest-resolution iPod screen ever. To achieve this, Apple engineers developed pixels so small--a mere 78 micrometers across--that the human eye can't distinguish individual pixels. Even though you can't see them, you'll definitely notice the difference. Text is remarkably sharp, and graphics are incredibly vivid.

    Apple A4 processor. More power to you.
    The Apple A4 chip is behind, or rather underneath, all the fun you can have on iPod touch. Apple engineers designed the A4 chip to be a remarkably powerful yet remarkably power-efficient mobile processor. With it, iPod touch can easily perform complex jobs such as multitasking, editing video, and placing FaceTime calls. All while maximizing battery life. And fun.

    Gyro + Accelerometer. Smooth moves.
    iPod touch just learned some new moves. It now includes a built-in three-axis gyroscope. When paired with the accelerometer, the gyro makes iPod touch capable of advanced motion sensing such as user acceleration, full 3D attitude, and rotation rate. Translation: more motion gestures and greater precision for an even better gaming experience.

    Two cameras. Double the fun.
    iPod touch captures video with two built-in cameras. It shoots amazing HD 720p video from the back camera. And with its advanced backside illumination sensor, it captures beautiful footage even in low-light settings. All while the built-in microphone records conversations, music, or any audio at the same time. And on the front of the iPod touch, the built-in camera is perfect for making FaceTime calls and shooting self-portraits. It's surprising how much fun can fit into something so small.

    Multi-Touch. Control at your fingertips.
    When you put your finger on the iPod touch, how does it just start doing what you want it to do? It's a chain reaction, really. The Multi-Touch display layers a protective shield over a capacitive panel that senses your touch using electrical fields. It then transmits that information to the Retina display below it. So you can glide through albums with Cover Flow, flick through photos and enlarge them with a pinch, zoom in and out on a section of a web page, and control game elements precisely.

    FaceTime comes to iPod touch. Don't just say hello. Smile.

    Tap for a more instant instant message.
    Take "LOL" to the next level and actually see friends laughing out loud. Or bring "XOXO" to life when you blow someone a kiss from miles away. FaceTime on iPod touch makes it possible. FaceTime works right out of the box--just enter your Apple ID and email address. Or create a new email account just for FaceTime. Using FaceTime is as easy as it gets. Say you want to start a video call with your best friend over Wi-Fi. Just tap the FaceTime app and find her entry to start the call. An invitation pops up on her iPod touch or iPhone 4 screen asking if she wants to join you. When she accepts, FaceTime begins. It's all perfectly seamless. And it works in both portrait and landscape. See how much fun you can have.

    See friends while you talk with FaceTime, or play games against friends or unknown foes with Game Center.

    Two cameras make either side its fun side.
    iPod touch has two built-in cameras, one on the front above the display and one on the back. The front camera has been tuned for FaceTime. It has just the right field of view and focal length to focus on your face at arm's length. So it always presents you in the best possible light. Which is particularly handy when you're talking to someone who's more than just a friend.

    The back camera. See and share.
    So your roommate had to work late and couldn't make it to the concert. You can share the encore with a FaceTime call. As the band takes the stage and starts playing one of her all-time favorite songs, just tap a button. And before the lead singer can belt out his first note, iPod touch switches to the back camera and to the sure-to-be-legendary performance. Another tap switches to the front camera and to you. Simple, fast, and fun.

    HD video recording comes to iPod touch. Ready, and action.

    Built-in editing gives video a fun-tuning.
    No need to wait until you're back at your computer to edit video. With basic editing built into iPod touch, you can get right down to business. Just drag to select start and end points on a filmstrip. Keep only the parts of the video you want, and turn it into something you and your friends will watch again and again.

    Make mini blockbusters in just a few taps with iMovie on iPod touch. Say you're on an amazing road trip, and you want to create a video postcard of everything you've seen and done. Just use the iMovie app--pick it up in the App Store for just $4.99. Built for iPod touch, iMovie lets you combine and edit video clips, give them that extra something with dynamic themes and transitions, add music and photos, and share your finished movies with the world.

    Make a movie. Starring you.
    The next time you venture out on, say, an amazing hike, don't just tell your friends about it. Show them. In addition to the high-definition camera on the back, iPod touch has a VGA-quality camera on the front--above the display--that lets you see yourself on the display while you record. It's perfect for turning the camera on yourself. No more guessing if you're in the frame or accidentally cropping yourself out altogether. So get ready for your close-up.

    Shoot what you want. Share where you want. Ever find yourself in the middle of typing an email when you see something that words just can't describe? Just launch the camera and record on the fly. Then upload your HD movie directly to YouTube. Or select some video from the Camera Roll and attach it to a new email message, ready to send. Posting to your Facebook page or blog is also just a tap away. And you can easily sync all the video you shoot on iPod touch back to your Mac or PC.

    Point and shoot.
    An awesome view. A decked-out cupcake. Your dog looking unbearably cute. If you want to take a quick photo to upload to your Facebook page, either camera on iPod touch can also capture stills. Just tap on the screen to adjust exposure. Then post to Facebook and let the comments begin.

    The new Game Center app on iPod touch lets you expand your social gaming network--exponentially.

    Game Center. Way more than two can play that game.

    Gamers rejoice. Game Center is here.
    The new Game Center app on iPod touch lets you expand your social gaming network. Exponentially. All anyone needs to play is an iPod touch or iPhone running iOS 4.1. With iOS 4.1, you'll see a Game Center app on your Home screen. Just tap it and sign in with your Apple ID, and you're good to go. You can create a different nickname that will be visible to friends and the gaming community. You can also assign several email addresses to the Game Center app, making it easy for more friends to find you. Download any games you see by tapping links in Game Center. Games can be started right in the Game Center app. And the best part: Once you sign in to Game Center, you're always connected. Until you decide to sign out.

    Friends. Soon to be opponents.
    Bring your friends along for the ride. Or match. Or mission. Once you're signed in to the Game Center app, you can invite someone by sending a friend request using their nickname or email address. Your friends show up in a separate Friends list in the Game Center app. Tap on a friend's name, and you can see what games they've been playing. You can also check out pending friend requests you receive, and add as you see fit.

    Leaderboards and achievements. Score some bragging rights.
    Take a look at leaderboards and see how your score ranks against your friends, as well as all players of each game. You can also compare game achievements with your friends. Check out leaderboards and achievements in the Game Center app and in each individual game app. Let the smack talk begin.

    Meet your match.
    Say you want to get a multiplayer game going. Auto-match will prioritize your friends if they happen to be looking for an auto-match, too. Otherwise, it will set you up with a soon-to-be-friend from anywhere around the world. You can also choose to invite friends and have auto-match fill the number of players needed for a game.

    Music. Let your fingers do the rocking.

    Cover Flow. A work of album art.
    What a song does for your ears, Cover Flow on iPod touch does for your eyes and fingers. Turn iPod touch on its side and glide through your music by album art with the flick of your finger. Tap an album cover to flip it over and display a track list. Tap again to start the music.

    Genius playlists. From one great song comes an even greater playlist.
    Say you're listening to a song you really love and want to hear other tracks that go great with it. Genius uses that song to find other songs in your library and makes a Genius playlist for you. Listen to the playlist right away, save it for later, or even refresh it and give it another go. Count on Genius to create a playlist you wouldn't have thought of yourself.

    Genius Mixes. The ultimate mix-master.
    Genius acts as your personal DJ. All you do is sync iPod touch to iTunes, and Genius automatically searches your library to find songs that sound great together. Then it creates multiple mixes you'll love. These mixes are like channels programmed entirely with your music. It's a great way to rediscover songs you haven't heard in forever--and some you even forgot you had.

    Let your fingers do the rocking.

    Shake to Shuffle. And rock 'n' roll with it.
    Shake things up a bit. Musically speaking, that is. The next time you're listening to your tunes, turn on Shake to Shuffle, then give iPod touch a shake to shuffle to a different song in your music library. It's just another way iPod touch keeps your music feeling fresh.

    iTunes. That's entertainment.
    Feed your iPod touch songs and music videos from your iTunes library on your computer. Or buy and download new music on your iPod touch when you access iTunes over Wi-Fi. Songs you purchase on iPod touch transfer to your Mac or PC the next time you connect iPod touch to your computer. And now with iTunes Ping, you can follow friends to find out what music they're listening to, buying, and recommending. Or catch up with your favorite artists and see if they're playing near you.

    Bluetooth. No strings attached.
    iPod touch includes support for Bluetooth wireless technology. So you can pair wireless stereo headphones with it. Keep your iPod in your bag or charging on your desk across the room and still listen to your music.

    Movies + TV shows. Take the show, or movie, on the road.

    The big screen. On the small screen.
    With iPod touch, movie nights can happen anytime of day, anywhere you are. Carry hours of video with you and watch them on the amazing 3.5-inch color widescreen Retina display. Shop the iTunes Store and choose from thousands of movies, TV shows, and video podcasts to fill your iPod touch. From Hollywood blockbusters to indie favorites, there's something for everyone. Download and watch movies with a few taps. Prefer TV shows? Get a single episode or an entire season's worth all at once. With iPod touch, you can travel far and widescreen.

    Control how you watch.
    While watching your video, tap the display to bring up onscreen controls. You can play or pause, view by chapter, and adjust the volume. Or use the volume controls on the left side of the iPod touch. Want to switch between widescreen and full screen? Simply tap the display twice. It's just like your TV remote. Except you never have to fight over it.

    iTunes. Keep yourself entertained.
    Need some entertainment for your next flight or road trip? With iTunes on your iPod touch and a Wi-Fi connection, you can buy movies and TV shows on the fly. You can also rent shows for just $0.99 an episode, in case you're not sure if one is a keeper. And of course, you can also purchase movies and TV shows on your Mac or PC, then sync them to your iPod touch. Popcorn not included.

    Visit your favorite websites. All you need is your iPod touch and Wi-Fi.

    Available as a free download, iBooks is an amazing eBook reader and a great place to buy books.

    And plenty more ...

    • App Store
      Download apps directly to iPod touch.

    • iTunes
      Create an iTunes Store account and shop over Wi-Fi anytime.

    • iBooks
      Available as a free download, iBooks is an amazing eBook reader and a great place to buy books.

    • iMovie
      Edit video, add themes and music, and share your movies. Available in the App Store for just $4.99.

    • Mail
      Send email and view attachments from your Gmail, MobileMe, or other email account.

    • Safari Web Browser
      Visit your favorite websites. All you need is your iPod touch and Wi-Fi.

    • Photos
      Take your photos with you. Share them in an email. Make your favorite your wallpaper.

    • Home Screen
      Customize the arrangement of your apps across multiple Home screens in iTunes.

    • Voice Control
      Control music playback on iPod touch using spoken commands.

    • Maps
      Find restaurants, concert venues, or any place you need to go, and see how to get there with Maps.

    • YouTube
      Watch the latest viral video sensation and access your favorite videos.

    • Nike + iPod
      Achieve your fitness goals with built-in Nike + iPod support on iPod touch.

    • Voice Memos
      Record notes, random thoughts, a friend's impersonation, or any audio you want.

    • Accessibility
      iPod touch comes with screen-reading technology and other accessibility features.

    What's in the Box

    8 GB iPod touch, earphones, dock connector to USB cable, and quick start guide.

    1 ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Lines Between iPod Touch and iPhone Have Started to Blur, September 7, 2010
    Having had a chance to spend a little time with a review model gives me a chance to share the experience with you a bit early (before my own arrives). I'll take you hands-on with the new model, plus I'll share from my past two years of iPod touch ownership altogether, especially for those who haven't yet owned (or been owned by) one of these mobile gems.

    I've also hidden a treasure trove of info on how you can legitimately download tons of quality apps for free. First though, let's quickly cover what's new.

    + Faster 1GHz A4 Processor - to keep up with the high demands of multitasking
    + Ultra high resolution "Retina display" - packs a 960 x 640 resolution at 326 pixels per inch
    + 15% larger battery - 3.44 Whr/930 mAh plays 7 hrs of video & 40 hrs of audio
    + Rear-facing camera - supports 960 x 720 sized photos (0.6 megapixels), plus 720p HD videos
    + Front-facing VGA-quality camera - VGA-quality is a resolution of 640 x 480 (0.3 megapixels)
    + 3-Axis Gyroscope - allows for higher precision and more motion gestures
    + Wireless N - Connect faster and go farther than ever, with this WiFi device (requires a router with 802.11n)
    + Built in microphone - but Apple reverted back to using the remote- and mic-less earphones
    + Game Center - Apple's own social gaming platform
    + Sleep/Power Button - it's been moved to the right, but not improved beyond that
    + Thinner, lighter than ever
    * Note - Memory remains at the same 256MB despite several unconfirmed sources touting 512MB. There's also no vibrate module.

    Unlike last year's iPod touch update, this one's a complete overhaul to the entire line. Last year, the new models didn't change in appearance. On the inside, faster processors and double-memory were added to the 32GB & 64GB models, but the 8GB got left out. Not this time. Buying the new 8GB iPod touch indeed gets you all the new goodies. You'll also pay thirty bucks more than before, so consider buying the 32GB model instead. You'll get 400% of the storage capacity for only 23% more coin!


    ===== Background =====

    I'm a mobile app developer who's created a few apps and games for the iPhone, iPod Touch and now iPad. I was initially drawn to the iPod touch because of the popularity and capabilities of its mobile Web browsing--I was primarily a Web developer at the time and no other device could surf the Web so well. After I got one, I was hooked. I racked up over a hundred bucks in app purchases within the first month, and before long, I found myself learning how do develop native apps for the device.

    Indeed, if you have never had an iPod touch before, you're in for a real treat. Of course, if you have, then you know first hand: it's is worth its weight in gold--no, in platinum. And now, with the latest generation, it may even be worth its weight rare gem stones! I digress.


    ===== Out With the Old =====

    The iPod touch is frequently called an iPhone without the phone. However, until now there have been several other features also missing in the iPod touch besides the phone: a camera, GPS, magnetometer (compass), and some newer amenities from the iPhone 4: front-facing camera, high resolution "Retina display" as it has been dubbed, and the powerful 1GHz A4 processor--indeed a necessity to keep up with multitasking.

    That all changes, now. The 4th gen iPod touch brings with it some new features and amenities, some of which have been anticipated by iPod touch fans and developers alike, including myself, for several generations of the device. From a developer's perspective, the more hardware features we can get our hands on, the better and more innovative apps we can create, and the more users that can download, use and enjoy them.


    ===== In With the New =====

    The striking new design of the latest iPod touch is definitely a looker. Apple has made it even thinner (and I thought it was already too thin before) complete with a beautiful chrome back. While the super thin design is certainly attractive, I've found it slightly difficult to keep it well-gripped in your hands. The usual chrome back looks great too, but it's scratch-insistent. Yes, it's incredibly easy to scratch it all up, even after the first few days. For these two reasons, definitely get yourself a silicone skin (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0042GVG5G?tag=1pod-20&ie=UTF8) alongside your new touch!

    For ages, the feature topping everyone's wishlist for the iPod touch has been a camera. Check! It handles HD video too--bonus! Granted, its not the 5 megapixel camera that the iPhone 4 sports, but again, the new iPod touch is thinner than ever, making it a miracle that we even got a camera in the first place, let alone two! Yes, Apple went the extra mile so we could make video calls with our iPhone toting friends, via their FaceTime app. Brilliant! So, having not had any camera on the iPod touch before, and now having TWO cameras on it, we can't really complain can we? Nah.

    I'll have details on the quality both cameras later, but what excites me even moreso is the new much-higher resolution screen--dubbed "Retina display". You may not think much of it if you haven't used an iPhone or iPod touch before, nor have an older model nearby to compare it to, but for those that have and/or do, the difference is clear! (pun intended)

    Where this really comes in handy is in browsing the Web and reading non-mobile-formatted PDF e-books. Now, I can see things so much clearer at the default zoom level (which shows the full width of a Web page or document). My vision isn't spectacular by any means, I just don't mind seeing things smaller on the screen. It allows me to see more content without having to scroll. Indeed, the Retina display was the #1 feature I never knew I wanted (until I saw it in the iPhone 4 that is).

    Other newness includes: 15% larger battery, HD video recording and editing, built-in mic, wireless-n for nearly double the WiFi connection speed and distance, Game Center: Apple's new social gaming platform (which seems to be Apple's attempt to kill-off third party social gaming platforms like OpenFeint and Plus+), 3-axis gyroscope sensor, which complements the existing accelerometer sensor, both of which handle the rotating, swinging and other motion gestures of the device (previously, rotation were roughly calculated from accelerometer data), and new placement of the sleep/power button on the right (but still as difficult as ever to press).

    Features still missing include: 512MB of memory, vibration, 5 MP quality camera + flash (iPhone apps now support using LED flash as a flashlight, like Android does), magnetometer (compass), and the GPS. I'd happily trade the thinness of the latest iPod touch to have the GPS. WiFi based location is often inaccurate, and the GPS doesn't need a WiFi or cellular connection, it just needs to see the satellites in the sky.


    ===== iOS vs Android =====

    So far, Apple has cornered the market of multitouch mobile devices that aren't phones, but things are slowly changing. Currently, the two hottest mobile and smartphone operating systems out there right now are Apple's iOS (formerly: iPhone OS) and Google's Android. Of course, iOS is popular because it runs on not only the iPhone, but also on the iPod touch and now on the ipad as well. Plus, it has garnered support from scores of app developers who've gotten behind Apple's slew of high-demand devices.

    The iPod touch has really made iOS what it is today. It does a lot of what the iPhone does, without a contract, or carrier exclusivity, as is the case with the iPhone and the iPad (WiFi+3G models). So if it weren't for the iPod touch, a lot of the market share Apple now has in the industry would have been stifled by their carrier exclusivity. I think Apple will see the light soon, but that's another discussion.

    Enter Android. Google has held a different stance on their mobile OS. It isn't tied to a select few devices, and it's open source, so it can be further developed by manufacturers who use it. Indeed, several mobile device manufacturers have now latched onto Android as a foundation for numerous devices. Wireless carriers that have been unable to carry the iPhone have also taken a liking to it. Now, tons of Android devices have been released, and there's no end in sight. Manufacturers have also seen the iPad's potential and now they want a piece of that pie, too. So, expect to see a lot more Android tablets and media-centric non-phone devices soon. The competition is heating up.

    But not everything with Android, nor with iOS, is perfect. I own an EVO 4G, one of the most popular Android devices currently available. I've also used an iPod touch almost every day for nearly two years, so I'm pretty qualified to share my experience with each platform. Both certainly have their share of unique offerings, and neither of them are without flaws. For this reason, and because of the increasing competition between the two, I plan to dispel some of their key differences for you at various points in this review.


    ===== So What Can the iPod Touch Actually Do? =====

    Well, what can't it do?

    The iPod touch is like a magical little box, only it's flat. While it cannot cook your breakfast, yet (I'm sure someone is already working on that), it can indeed do some pretty extraordinary things. It's an amazing catch-all device that can provide hours of entertainment, give you the power of the Web in your hand, and it can even replicate the functionality of countless one-off products. Developers have been creating apps that take advantage of special hardware of the iPod touch to emulate some other product for less, and sometimes even for free.

    Even expensive products have seen cheap iOS based clone apps. For just 99 cents, you can snag a special alarm clock app that monitors your sleep cycle and wakes you up when you're in an ideal state of wakefulness. I spent 350 bucks on an aXbo
    (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0014RDSSY?tag=1pod-20&ie=UTF8) a few years ago, who's functionality is easily replicated by several "sleep phase" alarm clock apps in the app store. When you do the math there, you see that it's easily a no brainer: buy yourself an iPod touch now!

    I've listed more apps like this in the comments!

    Plus, with the support of such a strong community of app and game developers, there's never a drought of fresh new apps and games. There's always something to do with the iPod touch, and I guarantee you'll never be bored with it. I honestly cannot say the same thing about Android, though I also tote my EVO 4G around with me. I do admit that the EVO's mobile hotspot comes in incredibly handy for providing the iPod touch with a WiFi connection while I'm on the go).

    Now, with the proper resources, you can legitimately download thousands of high quality apps for free. I do it all the time and it is perfectly legal. See, Apple allows developers to temporarily put their apps on sale (and even drop the price to free). Usually they do this to get you to write some rave reviews for their apps. The secret to success is having the resources to help you spot these special app sales--so you know when and where to get them during their sometimes extremely-limited-time promotions.

    In hopes of making this the most helpful review on Amazon for the iPod touch, here's how to obtain these special promotional-sale apps:

    There are several resources you can use, both on the Web and on the iPod touch itself. I prefer to use the app called BargainBin that lists all apps that recently went on sale or dropped to free. It also supports watch lists with push notifications, and can alert you whenever an app you're interested in goes on sale. It's a phenomenal little gem, and it has gotten me a ton of apps and saved me a fortune! It also has a companion website that lists the same apps (Google: App Advice). There's also a website called AppShopper (Google it) that lists apps with recent price drops and new apps as well, and you can filter just the free products or just the sale products. The two sites don't always list the same apps. Sometimes one will miss something that the other will catch, so it's good to keep track of them both. Check them daily if possible. Several apps are duds, but you'll come across some really great ones from time to time. They'll all add up!


    ===== Web Browsing =====

    Alongside spending lots of money on all those wonderful apps in the App Store, Web browsing is one of the most popular uses for the iPod touch. Browsing the Web with mobile Safari was my original attraction to the device. The experience hasn't changed too drastically in the past two years (since the days of iOS 2), and while it's still very powerful, there are some definite flaws. And no, I'm not talking about Flash. Just minor usability issues I'd like to see overcome, but first let's look at the positives.

    Mobile Safari has a smart approach to zooming in on content. Double-tap on a paragraph of text or an image to cinch that content right up to the edges of the screen. The downside: some sites aren't mobile-friendly, so zooming in on a really wide block of text can leave you with tiny text. You can zoom further manually, by using the "unpinch" multi-touch gesture, but because the browser doesn't have an option to reflow the text to the screen width, you have to scroll left and right, as well as up and down, just to read the text. Android's browser doesn't feature smart zoom, but it does reflow the text to fit the screen when zoomed in. It's a nice feature, and Apple should add it as a preference for Safari.

    Browser history can also vanish after a few days, and browser windows get overwritten by links from other pages sometimes (usually when I've hit the maximum of eight windows). Also yet to be seen is support for doing common things like searching for text on a page, or bookmarking a link by tapping and holding. That would be invaluable for adding bookmarklets--bookmark based scripts that help overcome browser shortcomings.

    Flash is also a great debate, one I won't get into. I will just say that all is not as it seems with the Flash-support-touting Android platform. Flash does work, but it is buggy because Flash doesn't play well with touch interfaces. Flash based video players don't work right, and I even run Android 2.2, which is supposed to have the "full Flash experience". It doesn't, trust me. So you're not missing much by not having Flash on the iPod touch!

    Indeed, we can just hope and pray that Web developers and Flash-fiends see the light and start replacing Flash content with technologies like HTML5's canvas element, which is poised to take on a lot of Flash's most popular abilities.


    ===== Media =====

    Despite all the incredible things the iPod touch can do, audio and video are still one of the iPod touch's greatest strengths. And with the incredible resolution of the new iPod touch's retina display, to say that videos now appear much sharper, more vivid and highly-defined is definitely an understatement. Yes, videos were great before, but now they frickin' rock!

    Just make sure your videos are at least 960 x 640. If you've owned an older iPod touch and used video conversion software to scale down your media to fit the old 320 x 480 screen resolution, definitely change your conversion settings, or look for a software update to support the new higher-resolution display.

    For those interested in watching live TV on the go (over WiFi), Sling Media's SlingPlayer app, paired with one of their Slingbox devices is a phenomenal and freeing experience, especially considering your alternate choices for watching live TV on the go are pretty much nil up to this point.

    On top of that, Netflix's recently released iPod touch version of their media streaming app has also been a much-welcomed addition to my ever-growing collection of apps. Netflix videos stream quickly, and even moving the play position back and forth in the timeline, the movie starts playing very quickly without much time rebuffering the video.


    ===== Photos =====

    The latest iPod touch is also a game-changer for photography and video recording on an iPod touch. It's not mind-blowing by any means, but we went from having no camera right to having two cameras on the device. I probably would not be so thrilled with just a new back camera. I merely would have sighed, mumbling "finally" under my my breath (unless it were 5 megapixels). But despite the less-than-one megapixel quality of the rear-facing camera, I was taken aback by the rather decent quality, especially in low-light environments. Check the comments for links to sample photos!

    Between that and the ability to connect with other iPhone and iPod touch toting friends via Apple's FaceTime app, yes... it's a game changer. Granted, I have been wanting front facing cameras on mobile devices ever since mobile devices started having cameras period. I got the first of such devices when my EVO 4G arrived in June, but as they say: the more the merrier. Friends, welcome to the future we've been dreaming of. Video killed the audio call!

    The quality of my test calls were pretty good. Of course, it was over WiFi, but it proves the cameras are decent. You can switch from using the front camera to using the rear camera, too, in case something was going on in front of you that you wanted to share. Just tap the "camera swap" button in the bottom right corner of the screen. FaceTime also rotates along with the iPod when flipped on its side, nice.

    HD video recording is the other half of the aforementioned game-changing equation. I didn't expect to see ANY video recording, considering the original iPhone camera was originally just a camera. But it's here, complete with HD quality (yes, the quality is indeed desirable), plus basic video editing support, as well as support for Apple's brilliant "iMovie" app: an advanced video editing studio right on your iPod touch. It's just five bucks on the App Store.


    ===== E-Reading =====

    The iPad has been making waves in the genre of media reading for several months now, but that hasn't exactly been the same story for any generation of the iPod touch so far. Granted, it's not exactly marketed as an eReader like its iPad counterpart, but there are some really great apps out there for media reading on it, so there's no reason not to use it to read digital media. The obstacle to doing that, for me at least, has been the limited screen resolution, and so that may all potentially start to change, now that Apple has brought the Retina display to the iPod touch.

    The 163 pixels per inch screens of past iPod touches were still pretty great, just not ideal for tiny text. For comparison, LCD monitors typically only have 96 pixels per inch, and CRT monitors only have 72 pixels per inch. TV's are even worse than that. What this means for you is that the iPod touch display has always been sharper than your own computer monitor.

    However, despite being able to display content at a higher quality, I still found that in a lot of eBooks, especially PDFs that weren't mobile-formatted, the text was just not clear enough to be readable when zoomed out. However, zooming in meant having to constantly scroll side-to-side while reading. The app "Good Reader" helped ease that pain by doing the left-right & vertical scrolling for you with just a tap of the screen, as well as offering an additional view that re-flows the text to fit on the screen at a large enough size.

    However, with the Retina display, all text and content in the aforementioned "zoomed out" state now appears extremely clear. That is a wonderful thing, so long as you don't mind reading tiny text.

    Could you still benefit from having an iPad too? Perhaps. After all, it does have unique qualities that set it apart from the iPod touch, as my in depth iPad review portrays (http://www.amazon.com/review/R16U71KO7POLA2?tag=1pod-20&ie=UTF8). But unless you specifically see the need for one of those unique qualities, then no, you probably don't need both.


    ===== Gaming =====

    If you're like me, you probably don't have time for games. Regardless, it may still be high-time to let the kid within you roam free from time to time, as I do. The iPod touch has made it possible. In fact, it is so easy, there's no excuse not to enjoy yourself. My favorite games are the racing games and, when I have a bit more time, strategy games.

    With the iPhone and iPod Touch having taken on a clear role as a gaming console that has been as revolutionary for mobile gaming as the Wii was for living-room gaming, it goes without saying that the iPod touch is, and will continue to be, one of the best platforms for gaming. It's simple, convenient, and pretty much instant. Whenever you have a few moments of free time, wherever you're, just turn it on, find your game, and bam! You're gaming. Simple as that.


    ===== Productivity =====

    Productivity carries numerous definitions. Usually its "getting something done" though some people tend to believe that it's the ability to focus without being distracted, which I see as one of the iPod touch's strengths, at least for me, primarily because the screen is small enough to force you to focus on the task at hand.

    In the context of software though, Apple's own suite of productivity apps for the office, collectively called "iWork", has been further refined for the iPhone and iPod touch. Because of the aforementioned "focus factor" of the iPod touch, I have found myself to be surprisingly productive when working on documents with it. There are three apps in all: Pages allows you to work on word processing documents. Numbers allows you to work on spreadsheets. Keynote lets you work on presentations and slideshows (including PowerPoint files).

    So far, I've found these apps to be highly useful when I have work to do, but don't feel like being at the computer to do it. Another great app for that is "iTeleport" which let's me at my computer remotely, when iWork won't work (meaning I'm not working on office documents). Log Me In Ignition is another similar app that is slightly easier to set up, but a bit slower than iTeleport, when you're just working over the same WiFi connection as the remote computer.

    Furthermore, there's a whole category of iPod touch apps in the App Store specifically dedicated to productivity. Some of my favorite productivity apps include: Bento (info management), Things (project management), iTeleport (remote computing), and GoodReader (best PDF reader around). Search for them in the App Store.


    ===== Email, IM and Social Networking =====

    The iPod touch has been, and continues to be an exceptional communication-machine. Whether it's reading or composing email, keeping in touch via instant messenger, or managing your life via social networks, you've got plenty of options here.

    Instant messaging is easy with platforms such as AIM, Yahoo, Gtalk, MSN, Skype and apps that handle multiple platforms: IM+, Fring, Nimbuzz, BeejiveIM and Fuse Messenger. Finally, multitasking means you can truly remain connected to your IM platforms of choice, instead of relying on apps to keep you signed remotely, then push new-message notifications to your device. This is a much welcome addition to the new iPod touch.

    As well, there are plenty of apps to help you browse and update your status on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, etc. Within the iOS development community, Twitter apps have often been a laughing stock, simply because there are so many out there on the App Store. They're almost as rampant as "fart" apps. So to say you've got countless options as far as social networking apps are concerned is probably a pretty accurate statement.

    For email, you need not look any further than Apple's native "Mail" app. Even if you're using Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, or Apple's own MobileMe, setup is a snap. It even supports Microsoft Exchange, often useful for corporate email setups. As well, any other email accounts that support POP3 or IMAP connection types will work with the Mail app too. Plus, new to the iPod touch with iOS 4 is the option to use a unified inbox--handy for those already used to that behavior on Mac OS X.


    ===== Downloading Apps and Games =====

    Downloading apps on your iPod touch couldn't be easier. Once you set up your iTunes account with a credit card, all you need to do is find the app you want, tap the download button (usually it says the price rather than "download", which then changes to "buy" after you tap it), then tap again to confirm. Voila, you just bought an app. Behind the scenes, Apple then charges your card the amount of the app plus tax, while you're already off enjoying your new purchase. This ease of access is a blessing and a curse, because you can easily empty your wallet if you're not carefully considering each purchase.

    All apps in the App Store range in price from Free and 99 cents on up, always incrementing in whole dollar amounts (1.99, 2.99, 3.99, etc). The maximum price for an app is set to $999.99, of which there are only eight currently priced so outrageously. And don't even think of toying with them. Apple does not allow refunds on apps you have purchased--all sales are final!

    Contrast that with Android's more complex Android Market, and you'll find several more steps, especially for paid apps. For one, there're no fixed pricing tiers, and secondly, they allow multiple currency pricing, which only confuses its users. The good developers do keep their pricing similar to iOS apps, with the 99 cent base plus $1 increments, but I often see apps priced at �0.55 or 0.79 or $1 or �2.95 ...it's quite disorienting and unstructured. They have also set their price cap at $200, so you can't accidentally run up a $1000 charge on just one app--you'll need at least 5 apps for that. ;)

    Meanwhile, to actually buy an app on Android, you must tap the BUY button, confirm that you want to buy the app, then get redirected to a Google Checkout link, where you must setup your Google Checkout account or choose an existing payment method if you already have an account set up. Once you confirm the purchase yet again, THEN you can finally download the app.

    Google also makes selling apps a bit more complicated for developers than Apple, but I won't get into that. I'm just stressing how absolutely simple Apple makes the app buying and selling process. Contrary to Apple however, Google does allow users to "return" purchased Android apps within 24 hours for a full refund. That's nice.


    ===== Technical Specifications =====

    Since Amazon's product descriptions tend to be lacking, I like to include all the technical jargon geeks have come to expect when researching new gadgets. Feel free to breeze on through!

    In the box
    + iPod touch
    + Earphones
    + Dock Connector to USB Cable (for sync and charging)
    + Quick Start guide

    Size and weight
    + Height: 4.4 inches (111.0 mm)
    + Width: 2.3 inches (58.9 mm)
    + Depth: 0.28 inch (7.2 mm)
    + Weight: 3.56 ounces (101 grams)

    Capacity
    + 8GB, 32GB or 64GB flash drive/SSD

    Wireless
    + 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi (802.11n 2.4GHz only)
    + Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
    + Maps-location based service
    + Nike + iPod support built in

    Display
    + Multi-Touch display
    + 3.5-inch (diagonal) widescreen
    + 960-by-640-pixel resolution at 326 pixels per inch

    Cameras, photos, and video
    + Video recording, HD (720p) up to 30 frames per second with audio; still photos (960 x 720) with back camera
    + VGA-quality photos and video up to 30 frames per second with the front camera
    + Tap to control exposure for video or stills
    + Photo and video geo tagging over Wi-Fi

    TV and video
    + H.264 video up to 720p, 30 frames per second, Main Profile level 3.1 with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats
    + MPEG-4 video, up to 2.5 Mbps, 640 by 480 pixels, 30 frames per second, Simple Profile with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps per channel, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats
    + Motion JPEG (M-JPEG) up to 35 Mbps, 1280 by 720 pixels, 30 frames per second, audio in ulaw, PCM stereo audio in .avi file format
    + Support for 1024 by 768 pixels with Dock Connector to VGA Adapter; 576p and 480p with Apple Component AV Cable; 576i and 480i with Apple Composite AV Cable (cables sold separately)

    Audio
    + Frequency response: 20Hz to 20,000Hz
    + Audio formats supported: AAC (8 to 320 Kbps), Protected AAC (from iTunes Store), HE-AAC, MP3 (8 to 320 Kbps), MP3 VBR, Audible (formats 2, 3, 4, Audible Enhanced Audio, AAX, and AAX+), Apple Lossless, AIFF, and WAV
    + User-configurable maximum volume limit with parental lock
    + Earbud headphones included in box

    Earphones
    + Frequency response: 20Hz to 20,000Hz
    + Impedance: 32 ohms

    Input and output
    + 30-pin dock connector
    + 3.5-mm stereo headphone minijack
    + Built-in speaker
    + Microphone
    + External buttons and controls

    Sensors
    + Three-axis gyro
    + Accelerometer
    + Ambient light sensor (for proximity detection)

    Battery, power and playback time
    + Built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery
    + USB sync cable is also used for charging
    + Fast charge in about 2 hours (80% capacity)
    + Full charge in about 4 hours.
    + Music playback time: Up to 40 hours when fully charged
    + Video playback time: Up to 7 hours when fully charged

    System requirements
    + USB 2.0
    + iTunes 10 or later
    + Mac: Mac OS X v10.5.8 or later
    + PC: Windows 7, Vista, or XP (SP3 or later)


    ===== Praise =====

    + Apple continues its trend of creating the best multi-touch experience around. Android doesn't even come close.
    + The Retina Display - Phenomenal! Kudos for bringing it to the iPod touch as well as the iPhone. Now try it with IPS technology Apple!
    + Wireless-N, finally! - Faster and farther-reaching WiFi connections (if your router supports 802.11n)
    + High performance 1GHz A4 processor - provides all the power of the iPhone 4, a win for gaming and multitasking.
    + Multitasks like a dream with iOS 4 and the powerful processor, despite the same 256MB of memory as the third generation touch.
    + Rear camera - It's not the 5 megapixel iPhone 4 camera, but I definitely can't complain here. It shoots great photos, especially in low-light without flash, plus it can do HD video.
    + Front facing camera - What a pleasant surprise! Now it just needs to work with Skype.


    ===== Dissappointments =====

    + No GPS - IP based location just doesn't cut it at times. GPS has no subscription fee or contract to use. GPS chips are costly, but tons of high cost GPS apps are in the App Store now to offset that cost for Apple.
    + 256MB memory - iFixit has confirmed this disappointing flaw, putting to rest all the rumors of 512MB still littering several reviews.
    + Still no 120GB model - Useful for higher res videos that look great on the Retina display.
    + No USB 3.0 or wireless sync - Sync'ing can be slow or inconvenient over the cable.
    + Thinner design - I was hoping for a more squared design, like the iPhone 4, as it is easier to grip, handle and press the power button.
    + Power button - Yes, it hasn't changed much. It's been moved to the right side on this model, but it's still the tiny, hard-to-press button it's has always been, and if you take lots of screenshots like I do (by pressing power+home simultaneously) half the time you end up closing your app because the power button didn't work right.


    ===== The Bottom Line =====

    It is absolutely clear: Apple has definitely blurred the lines between iPhone and iPod touch with its 4th generation of both devices. Since it has no contract or carrier exclusivity, this phenomenal device will continue to shine its light in the otherwise dark voids of the smartphone market where the iPhone cannot go, even without the phone. That's just smart!

    Given all my tips, I think you'll find the iPod touch to be an extraordinarily useful, possibly even highly addictive device, with a price tag that is well worth it, especially the 32GB model. With all the things that the iPod touch can do, it will undoubtedly enhance your life and change the way you interact with the Web. It might even make a gamer out of you if it hasn't already, it sure did for me!

    I hope you've found my hands-on review helpful. I do actively participate in any discussions via the comments, so feel free to drop me a line, or ask me any questions as well. :)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Using the 8 gb version as a netbook substitute...., September 19, 2010
    Alright, so Best Buy got the 32GB iPod Touch 4G in stock so I drove an hour to go get one. I was not disappointed. I will run through the features I have come across so far.

    Body: Aside from moving the sleep button to the right and making the back of the device slimmer and more flat, not much has changed. Yes, the chrome back is still there erg! It was so pretty for the first 30 seconds.

    Ram: The Ram on the iPod Touch is only 256 MB, so do not believe the talk of 512 MB, it is simply not true.

    Wireless: Fully supports A/B/G/N

    Vibration: There is no vibration, so do not expect that.

    Multitasking: Works real well and very smooth transition

    Display: While the display on the iPod is not IPS like the iPhone do not think it suffers in anyway. This display is so beautiful and crisp to look at. I cannot even distinguish the pixels, and text on a website is like you are reading out of a book, it's so refreshing. I played a digital copy of "UP" on here and the colors practically jump off the screen, very nice. Apple's icons are so much more vivid and sharp, while 3rd party developer icons who have yet to make an upgrade for the new displays shows what a step up this new screen has to offer.

    Speaker: I am not sure of the quality of the speaker on the 3G iPod Touch, but on my 2G iPod Touch it was very tinny and I only used it for game sound. Here on the 4G there is a new spot on the bottom left for the speaker and it has risen in clarity. Music is very listenable and clear, however nothing replaces a good set of earbuds, but when you're in a jam, you won't be gritting your teeth with this speaker.

    Processor: The new Apple processor is a sure win for this device. Everything loads very fast and switching from one screen to another is very swift and smooth. Crash Bandicoot finally has a nice framerate to play with on this iPod and for once I did not regret buying that game.

    Front Camera: This is the camera that is primarily used for Facetime. It's resolution is at 640 X 480. After taking a few pictures with it, you will notice how it is really not for taking stills, but works fine for videochatting (which I have not tried, but did run some video tests with it). Obviously Facetime will work better in well lit areas, but then again, doesn't any camera?

    Rear Camera: Again stills are just so so. What really bugs me is when you go to take a picture, you see how crisp the preview is, then you take the picture and you can see it blur. The tap to focus works nice for adjusting exposure and well lit photos look very decent on the display. It's when you upload them to your computer when you notice how not so decent they actually are. While this may be a negative for many people, if you are like me, you want to just upload photos with this device to FaceBook and capture funny moments with the video camera. If I want to take a really awesome picture, I'll pull out my DSLR, but for me this iPod's capabilities are more than adequate for my quick shooting of certain events. The video captures quite nicely, while not superb like an actual HD camcorder does enough for me for again, capturing fun moments. Don't worry, you don't cringe while watching the video, it's more than adequate and produces vibrant colors and a fast framerate. Some may complain on this, and believe me those reviews will be here shortly, but then again why not buy an HD Camcorder that is made for HD content? (I'm not ignorant to HD quality either, I'm a huge fan of it. I run a 3D 65'' 1080p display with Blu-ray and Dolby Tru-HD decoding surround sound system)

    Microphone: Testing out Skype my friend told me I was coming in loud and clear. I also played back a video I made on the iPod on my computer and the microphone captures top notch audio. Very crisp and clear, I was quite pleased.

    Battery: While I haven't tested out Apple's claims of 40 hr. of music, let's be honest who really does that? I'm sure Apple's claims are quite credible in their battery life depending on how the device is used.

    One note I should also make, my iPod Touch 2G accessories, (car charger, wall charger) work with my iPod touch 4G. Apple sometimes changes stuff like the charging pin on the iPod's to make a person have to buy new accessories. Anybody remember when the iPod Video A/V cables had the Audio and Video switched around so people couldn't use their cables with the iPod? Well they could, they just had to switch the audio and video cables in the port around. Anyways, away from this funny piece of marketing history.

    Is the new iPod worth it? For me, upgrading from the 2G Touch, yes! The display is brilliant, the speed of the processor amazing, video quality is very much enjoyable and the rear camera is excellent for taking quick fun shots. If I had one word to describe this iPod, it would be fun! You can't handle one of these without feeling like a joyous kid, (I'm 22) and the business aspect is still there and quite useful. I would highly recommend this iPod Touch as a worthy upgrade to any generation of the iPod Touch you may own and if you don't own one, there has never been a more perfect time to go out and get one! Don't hesitate to leave a comment here if you have a question for an actual owner. I'll do what I can!


    5-0 out of 5 stars This thing rocks!, September 8, 2010
    *This review is from someone who never owned any Apple products before, married, healthcare professional, blackberry and palm TX owner (yeah I know, belongs in a museum), I was looking for a handheld internet browser by wifi, no monthly fees for 2 years, with camera, video, and apps that i can use for my work, and put in my pocket and it led me to this device. This is therefore a completely un-technical, layman's review.

    1. Delivery time: I was supposed to receive this September 10-14 with the regular shipping, but I got it today, maybe because I ordered it as soon as Steve Jobs finished presenting, so this deserves more than 5 stars!

    2. Dimensions/looks: I actually prefer the "handling" of the bigger and heavier 3rd gen that I borrowed, its all smudge now without any cover, but boy! this is the most beautiful handheld device that I ever held, 4 stars for being smaller and lighter and smudgy.

    3. Display: The retina display is amazing! Like reading from a glossy magazine, and yes you cannot see the pixels! 5 stars!

    4. Wifi: Sync with ATT wifi - no problem, wifi in gym - no problem, monthly fees - no problem! 5 stars!

    5. Internet Browsing: Hard to type in the addresses initially, but pages loads super fast (the longest was within thress-onethousand - all news channels), surfed the web with no problems,make pages bigger or smaller... this gets 5 stars as well.

    6. Speed (Processor): this thing is super fast, web pages load within 3 seconds, downloading apps within 30 secs, youtube in a flash, the email attachment that opened in 1 minute in my computer took only 10 seconds! 5 stars indeed!

    7. Camera: very grainy, will not use it for any important event, only for quick-I-need-a-camera moments, it will not replace my dSLR, but since it wasnt there in the previous gen, and I only use my dSLR and nothing else, this camera is still a bonus it gets 4 stars.

    8. Apps for work/"work": I already downloaded 4 very useful apps for work for free! plus 5 other free games for me and my 3 year old kid, the fact that I can now have apps without an iphone/ipad is great, the fact that its free is sweet! 5 stars!

    8. Video: 720p HD! And I bought a Vado HD that does nothing else! Quality is up to par! 5 stars!

    Overall, I have a device that surfs the net very very fast, manages my email, has a camera, great HD videocam, great free apps for work, that looks beautiful, and is great to look at, that I got 1 week early, what more can I ask for?!!! Worth every penny and deserves 5 stars!

    And it stores and plays music too?! And has facetime?! And maps?! I feel like I paid for a Toyota and got a Lexus!

    Will buy another one for my kid so she doesnt have to borrow mine!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A definite improvement over the previous generation., October 11, 2010
    I know what you're thinking while looking at these reviews: "Should I save fifty bucks and get the 3rd Generation iPod touch, or is the 4th Gen really worth the new price?"

    I am happy to report that the improvements made from 3rd to 4th generation are worth your attention.

    * Size/Shape: The new model is thinner and more narrow, but slightly taller/longer. What this translates to in real-world usage is that the device is slightly less bulky in your pocket once you put a case on it, but that it's a tiny bit harder to grip without a case, if you have big hands. Of course, since Apple continues to put that scratch-magnet shiny back on the iPod touch (PLEASE, Apple, STOP IT! Give us brushed aluminum or something!) you will probably need a case, so the thinness is a good thing.

    * Microphone: No, you don't get the headphones with the in-line microphone anymore, but you do get a microphone built into the iPod touch. While most people focus on the Face Time, Skype, or other social uses for a microphone and lament the loss of one on the headphones, as someone who doesn't care about VOIP, I find the built-in microphone a lot better for my purposes. I use it for voice commands in the iPod ("Play artist 'The Beatles'") and for dictation (Dragon's free app is awesome) and voice memos. It also functions well for video recording. I don't miss the in-line earbud microphone at all.

    * Video Recording/Photos: While the iPod touch won't replace a top-line video camera, and most definitely won't replace a decent digital camera, it works as a "I happen to have it in my pocket" substitute on both counts. I don't take a lot of photos, so the lower resolution on the camera doesn't bother me. The video, however, is quite nice, and replaces my Flip Mino HD without a hitch. Just remember to reserve some storage space if you intend to record videos.

    * Retina Display: Wow. You have to see it to understand why it's a big deal. You don't notice it as much in the main screen, but when you get into text displays you really see the difference. Everything is crisp, there's almost no pixelization and nothing is "fuzzy". Games that support it look gorgeous. It really is worth it if you intend to use the iPod touch to do any reading, web browsing, or gaming.

    * iOS 4: I love the OS changes they made since I owned a 3rd generation iPod touch. The ability to group apps into folders/groups is about the best thing they did since the iPod touch debuted. The ability to do multitasking is very handy, too. The Gmail integration is much better now that it supports IMAP, and the contacts are much more friendly to Windows users since they started providing decent support for Google Contacts. WiFi signals seem to be stronger, and the battery life is excellent. All told, the little changes make a big difference.

    * Video Playback: Now that they've increased the screen resolution to 960x640, videos are not as limited. This means that if you have a collection of 720p m4v/mp4 videos already, they'll work with the iPod touch. You won't need to downscale them to make them work. This also means that if you choose to output to a HDTV screen, you'll get your full 720p video in all its glory. This is a great feature for media hounds like myself. If only Apple made a 1TB iPod touch..!

    * Improved buttons: While the buttons are no longer metal (they're now plastic or polycarbonate), they are much better-designed in terms of placement. The volume toggle has been turned into two separate buttons for up and down, and they work quite well when you're not looking at the device (like when it's in your pocket). The standby/power button is smaller and to the right of the top of the device, and it, too is easy to find and use when the device is out of view. Response from the buttons is nice, with a good clicky tactile feedback. They seem sturdy and yet they're small enough to be unobtrusive and not be pressed accidentally.

    * Speaker: They went from using the whole back panel as a speaker board to putting in a little speaker in the device at the bottom. This has the effect of making things sound a little better, but not without some problems (see below).

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    THE CONS

    * The new size means you will probably need a new case and screen protector. Old ones won't fit. Some exceptions exist (some slip-cases, for example) but anything that was an exact fit for the previous models is too big for the current model.

    * No in-line microphone on the earbuds. This is not a problem for me, but for social networking types, this will be something they miss.

    * Speed is, at this point, no better than the previous model in most cases, and sometimes slower in apps that have yet to update some features. This will no doubt change, but right now expect no major boost in speed or power with the upgrade to 4th Gen.

    * Still camera is low resolution. As I noted above, it's not a crippling issue for me, as I don't take lots of photos and the video camera is so nice, but if you're a shutterbug looking for an alternate digital camera, you may be a little let-down by the current generation. You're probably better off with an iPhone 4 or waiting for the 5th Gen iPod touch and crossing your fingers.

    * Dock connector doesn't sit flush with the device. It looks weird at first, but when you connect to the docking cable, the connector doesn't seem to go in all the way if you look at it from the back of the iPod touch. This is, apparently, by design. I can't say I like it, but this is the sacrifice you get with thinner devices. Apple didn't want to give up the tapered design, but they didn't want to redesign the dock connection, either. The compromise was to make the connector do what it currently does. This is not really a big deal, as it works fine and feels secure, but it does make you wonder how some third-party docks and devices will work with the current generation.

    * Speaker gets blocked easily. I know this is more of a critique of App design than iPod design, but the iPod touch's speaker being in the bottom corner causes me to end up covering the speaker when I turn the device sideways (to the left) to play a game. Smart Apps make it possible to tilt the screen any direction, but some are set on making you tilt to the left, which leads to the speaker blockage. Again, no big deal, but it makes me wonder why Apple doesn't just put the speaker on the side of the device instead of on the bottom. There's little chance you'd block it on a sideways/widescreen App in that case.

    * Stupid shiny back: I mentioned this earlier, but WHY, Apple? Why do you keep putting this horrible shiny back on the iPod touch? It was terrible back on the classics, and it's terrible now. Give us something that doesn't get scratched from the slightest touch, and something that isn't slippery! Brushed aluminum, rubberized metal, or anything else would be preferable to this stupid shiny back-plate. This, for me, is the iPod touch's #1 bad feature.

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    SUMMARY

    In my opinion the newer model is worth the new price. You get a lot of extra features and the best screen on any iPod to date, and the microphone being built-in becomes a must-have feature after you realize how convenient it is to not have to hook up the earbuds in order to record something. So here's the rundown on whether or not you should upgrade from 3rd Gen to 4th Gen:

    * If you're a reader: YES. The Retina Display makes reading books and comics much easier on the eyes (although I still prefer e-ink for long stretches or reading outdoors).

    * If you're a gamer: YES. The Retina Display, better speaker, and new gyroscope/accelerometer make gaming better.

    * If you're a social networking freak: YES. The video camera, still camera, built-in microphone, and Face Time are a social networking fan's wet dream.

    * If you're looking for a PDA: NO. It doesn't really matter unless you want to take advantage of the video camera for business meetings, or have bad eyes and want your address book to look more crisp. You could probably get by with the 3rd Gen, but honestly, you're probably already using iPhone 4 so this is a non-issue.

    * If you're looking for a portable web browser and mail client: YES. If you're on the Internet a lot, you'll appreciate the Retina Display and better WiFi reception from 802.11n.

    * If you just want to play music: NO. Don't bother to upgrade because the music/iPod functions aren't all that different from the previous generation, unless you want the convenience of the built-in microphone for voice commands.

    * If you just want to play videos: YES. The higher resolution and Retina Diplay make videos much better, and the ability to output 720p is a great feature for videophiles.


    Final verdict: For most users, the newer model is a much better value. Apple improved the iPod touch enough this time around to make it worth grabbing the 4th Gen, even if you do end up paying a little more for it than a clearance-model 3rd Gen.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A joy to use, September 14, 2010
    I wanted an iPhone 4 as soon as it came out; I already had a 2G iPod Touch and loved it. But I can't commit to the contract right now and the full price (outside of contract) version is really beyond my budget. So I made a conscious decision to wait for the iPod Touch, aware that it would probably be a compromise. I pre-ordered it from Apple before it came out in stores. I was expecting to be less happy about some aspects (such as the camera), but knew I'd get used to those, and would probably love the improvements compared to the 2G iPod Touch. I wasn't disappointed. After only a couple of days use I definitely like it a lot.

    The screen is glorious. It's so much easier on the eye than the old display. Yes it's not IPS (although this not obvious outside of steep viewing angles). It seems darker than the old display; this is probably because of the higher pixel density. It also has more of a blue tint (a cooler color temperature) but I've heard this is also true of the iPhone. But I got used to these things and it's a joy to look at every time. In spite of the better battery, I think the display sucks more juice, since you have to have it at a brighter setting than before to get the same perceived brightness.

    General performance is very smooth. It's definitely faster than previous versions. Things still crash occasionally but that's true of any computer. The bugs from my 2G Touch that appeared after I upgraded to iOS 4.1, that caused Pandora and other audio apps to be unusable, are thankfully gone, as far as I can tell (I since seem to have resolved this issue on the 2G Touch by restoring to factory settings and upgrading to iOS 4.2). Heavy content (such as pdfs and large web pages) can slow it down but this is also true of the iPad.

    You have to be careful to get good battery life. The battery has been upgraded so you supposedly get 40 hours of audio rather than 30 h. But if you're new to multitasking, you have to realise that you're going to pay for it in battery life unless you're careful. For example, you can have Skype running in the background and it will receive calls and messages, even if the iPod is locked in your pocket, which is great. However, this makes use of the 'Voice over IP' iOS service, which Skype is constantly running in the background. I think Pandora might do something similar (albeit with a different service). So your battery will drain noticeably (I saw 5-10% drain per hour using iStat with Skype and Pandora backgrounded and the iPod locked). Most apps you see in the multitasking bar do not use these services; Apple calls them 'recently used' apps for a reason; they mostly aren't running.

    The volume and power buttons take a bit of getting used to but I ended up preferring them. They feel more solid and have a more definite click to them.

    Seriously, for what it is, the back camera is not that bad in spite of the 0.7 MP resolution. In bright daylight it's surprisingly good. It just gets more grainy at night. But they're still quite possible; in a fancier camera you might have to manually increase the exposure time. Don't knock it just because of the pixel count, it's a pretty good camera; my 2 MP camera phone is not that much better. And for taking pics as a record of a fun moment that you can then upload directly to Facebook, I love it, and I use it a lot. That functionality is a big step up from the old iPod Touch, so I'm OK with the low resolution; it's a lot better than no camera at all. And I've managed to get it to read barcodes with apps like the AT&T code scanner. Also, Apple's HDR is not available but I think there are 3rd party apps that will do that.

    The speaker is nicer than the old iPod Touch but it could definitely be louder. I tried using it like a phone (with Skype) and it's not really practical; you really need headphones unless there's minimal background noise. But if you're on your own in a room, it's actually fine. Listening to the radio (with ooTunes), it could easily get to a similar level to my clock radio so it was fine.

    So, as a pocket computer the 4G Touch rocks. With the retina display and cameras, this feels like a mature product. You might like to wait for possible improvements (such as the camera) in the next version, but as it stands it's still a joy to use. And given you'd have to pay at least another $400 to get the extra features on the iPhone, I think it's a pretty good deal.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Better In Every Way, September 2, 2010
    ---------------------------------Overview------------------------------------------------

    The latest iPod Touch from Apple improves on the previous generation in nearly every single way. It does all this without increasing the price one cent (except the 8GB version which increased in price by $30 and is now no longer a hardware generation behind). Bottom line, the iPod Touch continues to be an irresistible device that has no peer on the market right now. Think back even three years and people would simply be amazed at everything the latest iPod Touch can do for only $229. Games in every category, some of which have graphics superior to the PSP or Nintendo DS, news and weather apps, streaming video from your computer or from services like Netflix and Hulu, exercise and weight loss apps, the list goes on and on (and on). While we are starting to see some Android based tablets enter the market, there is nothing in the portable market that comes close to what the iPod can do.

    If you really have some problems with some of the iPod Touch's shortcomings (like the camera) and you want access to the Apple App store, you may want to consider just buckling down and getting an iPhone 4 (if you can afford it). However, once you consider the value proposition of the iPhone 4 (total cost of ownership over two year contract $75-85 x 24 + $299) vs. the iPod Touch at $299, you start to understand that some of these drawbacks are not so bad.

    ---------------------------------CHANGES-------------------------------------------------

    Compared to the previous (and well loved) iPod Touch this device:

    - replaces the previous processor with the more powerful A4 processor. Expect smooth and fast operation with support for even the most graphically intense iPod Touch games. All other applications will run at top speed, although not dramatically faster than the previous generation.
    - is now even thinner. The Ipod Touch is now shockingly thin.
    - added a microphone so you don't need a headset to talk to people or use voice control
    - doubled the amount of ram so multi-tasking should be a breeze
    - has longer battery life | extended audio life by 10 hours (from 30 to 40 hours) and video by 1 hour (from 6 to 7 hours).
    - weighs less
    - has TWO additional cameras (front facing for video and self-portraits and back for HD video) - the front camera is VGA quality (640x480) and the back camera is a 720P (1280x720) sensor (when used to take pictures that resolution is reduced to 960x720). Samples of the HD video show that this feature was not just "tacked on" and actually looks very good compared to some HD video available on other pocket devices (like the EVO 4G).
    - 4 times as many pixels on the screen - Apple is calling this a "retina display" because it has the same dpi (dots per inch) as the iPhone 4. However, the iPod Touch is not using the same IPS display found in the iPhone 4 which means the viewing angles aren't as good. I doubt most users will notice the difference here.
    - adds the gyroscope for extra precision with motion based apps (mostly gaming)
    - adds support for the faster Wireless "N" standard, which should help when streaming video to your phone or using Facetime to make a video call
    - adds a vibrator for alerts, force feedback in gaming, and notifications for voice calling

    Cons:

    - speaker still sucks - I let my two year watch videos on my iPhone. Thus a crappy speaker is a deal breaker for me because she is too small to use headphones. You can blame the extreme thinness on this one. There simply isn't enough depth to put an iPhone quality speaker in. If I didn't have a two year old I wouldn't consider this a big deal because I rarely use this function otherwise.
    - no 5MP camera or LED flash - This is going to be a deal breaker for some who saw the iPhone 4 and started salivating at the thought of the possibility of the same high quality sensor in the iPod Touch. Read my thoughts below for more on this one.
    - No GPS chip - you're still stuck with using WiFi signals to determine location, a la the original iPhone. Maybe Garmin or Tom Tom paid them money not to include this feature.


    ---------------------------Thoughts and Conclusions------------------------------------

    Yes, I wanted the camera sensor from the iPhone 4 as well, but the unfortunate reality is that sensor wouldn't fit in the old iPod Touch body and this one is even slimmer! In order to fit the iPhone 4 camera sensor into the iPod Touch, Apple would have had to make this device significantly thicker, which loses one of the big advantages the Touch has had over the iPhone, its size. I might have been willing to make the tradeoff, but obviously Apple wasn't.

    Keep in mind that the larger sensor (and LED Flash) adds to the cost of the device as well. Apple added a significant number of features to the iPod Touch and kept the price exactly the same. Something's gotta give here. The 32GB iPhone 4 sells for $700! (AT&T pays Apple the difference when you buy one on contract). I'm sure if people were willing to spend $400 more than the $299 the 32GB iPod Touch sells for they would have a mind blowing sensor in there. I'm actually surprised at how much of the functionality of the iPhone the iPod Touch now replicates, given the huge gap in cost.

    Appreciate the fact that you can now record HD video and do video calling over WiFi for the same price as the last model. Or don't buy it. Consider how much you can do on this device compared to other portable gadgets, like the pocket sized Flip Video Camera, which costs more than $100+ and does nothing other than video, or even the ZUNE HD, which is a great device, but lacks compatibility with the hundreds of thousands of Apps that turn the iPod Touch into a pocket computer.

    I'm waiting for something to come along to blow away the iPod Touch, but that device just doesn't exist. All things considered, this device is a 4.5/5, which I round up to 5 because Amazon doesn't do half stars. This device won't be for everyone, but then again, no device is. For a great majority of users, this is product is nothing short of gadget heaven.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Great display but terrible rear camera, September 1, 2010
    My wife and I have the 3rd generation iPod Touch and are very happy with them. The one thing that I have been missing/wanting is having a built in camera. I recently saw the photos taken by a friend's iPhone and was blown away by how good they were. Almost all reviews have said the iPhone built in 5MP camera is excellent. Like many others I watched Steve Jobs present the new iPod line today and was very excited to hear that it had all the features I was looking for. Retina display - awesome. Front and rear cameras - yes! Finally.

    I was all set to order 2 from Amazon the minute Amazon had them listed. But .. while looking thru the Apple website I came across the specs for the rear facing camera. It is only .7 megapixels. Less than 1 megapixel. What? I thought that can't be right. I contacted Apple and the rep, who had gotten many such calls it seemed, confirmed that the iPod touch has a very different camera (.7 MP vs the iPhone's 5 MP) . Bummer. I looked around and found a hands on review of it .... and they said the sensor itself, besides being lower MP, is also not nearly as good as the one in the iPhone. Not terrible but certainly not good and no where in the same league as the one in the iPhone.

    The camera was one of the 2 main things people asked for. The other being the Retina display. My assumption is that Apple didn't want to affect iPhone sales and purposely dummied down the camera. Shame on them. They want us to pay $240 to $400 for an iPod with a terrible camera.

    I first predicted that w/ the Retina display and the camera that this would be a smashing success, a huge seller coming into the holiday season. I suspect when people get them and see how bad the photos are, they'll be returning them to Apple. Or like myself, not upgrading.

    I realize this review should be for a product I own, but I felt it was important for people to know about the camera before they ordered it. If photos aren't a big deal, and you'll only email them or post them on facebook, then .7 MP is probably fine. If you want to print any of the photos you take, or even have room to crop the photo, you won't get enough resolution to do that.

    That being said, the Retina display does look awesome, but is it worth the extra dollars over the price of the 3G model? Only you can decide that.

    I hope this helps all of you make a wise decision about your purchase.

    08 Sept 2010 Update
    Hello everyone. First, I am glad that my raising the above issues helped many of you. Second, for those who lashed out at me, perhaps you should take a look at why you get so angry at a stranger who simply encouraged you to look and think before you buy.

    Here's an update.[...] has posted a hands on review of the new iPod Touch. You may want to google it or go to their site to read it.

    In summary:
    1. Retina display is darker and not nearly as good as the one in the iPhone. "Definitely not an iPhone w/o the contract".
    2. HD Video is actually pretty good
    3. Size is a lot smaller than the 3g, bad if you have normal or large hands, ok for teens and those w/ small hands.
    4. Photo quality is much worse than the iPhone. And their posted photos show how much worse. Forget trying to print them and I'd argue not even good for the web based on their samples. No focus or zoom capability either, you can only adjust brightness.

    There you go. We are staying w/ our 3g models, there isn't enough here to justify taking a huge loss selling them and buying these new models. And given that the camera and retina display aren't nearly the quality of the iPhone, this is certainly a release we'll sit out.

    I hope this has helped.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wafer thin, 2 Cameras, better Wifi and better sound!, September 18, 2010
    I got my 64G Touch 4G last week -- I finally got my wish, the Touch gets not one, but two cameras! That makes up for last year's disappointing 3G release.

    First impressions: wow, this is so thin and small -- makes my 3rd gen look a bit like a bulky oaf in comparison. Second impression: hey, this doesn't look like my iPhone 4 at all!

    A bit about me: I'm an MP3 diehard fanatic, I own or have owned almost every MP3 player of note. To name a few: iPod Touch 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th gen, iPod Classic, iPod Nano, Zune HD, Archos Android, 5, 605, 604, and so forth. I have a broad basis for comparison as I write my review.

    Down to brass tacks then, what do I love about my new Touch:

    1) Retina display -- Wow! That's a lot of pixels in a small space, the crispness and clarity of text and video is simply awesome.
    2) Slim form factor -- this is thinner and narrower than last years model. Its compact, easily fits in a pocket, while still having a little weight to give that quality feel.
    3) iTunes and the App Store -- still one of Apple's strongest features. iTunes continues to be the best interface for music, video and app purchases. While Zune Marketplace and Android are strong contenders, they aren't quite there yet.
    4) Easy upgrades -- the iOS upgrade system is as smooth as it gets, just plug it into iTunes and it happens smoothly and seamlessly.
    5) Dedicated power and volume buttons.
    6) Cool user interface -- possibly the best user interface although Zune and Android are also strong.
    7) Apps -- without question the Apps are the Touch and iPhone strongest feature, the most Apps and the best Apps.
    8) Accessories, accessories -- you just can't beat the easy availability and diversity of accessories available for iPod Touch. Its good to be at the top!
    9) Multitasking (or multi-what?) -- finally we have multitasking on an MP3 player! Ok, maybe I'm just a geek and nobody else cares... just a little tip: double click your home button to see what has been running in the background and sucking up your battery!
    10) External speaker -- improved quality since 3rd gen. Nice when you don't want to put on headphones to listen to a podcast or something.
    11) Cameras -- the only MP3 player I've ever had that can do facetime, take pictures, and record videos!
    12) Improved Wifi -- connects easily to my WPA secured U-Verse router, my 3rd gen can't do it. Makes this a good "small iPad" if that's what you're looking for.
    13) Improved sound -- its getting pretty good now, still not the best available but definitely better than 3rd gen was. I would say the sound quality has moved from 3 star to 4 stars now.

    And then the things I don't love so much:
    1) Where is the Dedicated play button??? Does anybody else think that this is like the most important thing for an MP3 player? Makes it hard to pause the music when somebody comes up and wants to talk to you. The trick I found is to unplug the headphones which pauses the music automatically!
    2) Removable battery? -- I'm just going to keep saying this til somebody at Apple hears me. It costs like $100 to get the battery replaced which is ridiculous.
    3) A/V docking station? -- Again, why doesn't Apple have a decent docking station? Both Zune and Archos have very nice docks for their products.

    All in all, my issues with the iPod Touch are pretty trivial. It continues to be the best all around MP3 player type unit available today -- hence the 5 stars. With the addition of Retina display, cameras, faster CPU, better sound and wifi, and slimmer packaging the Touch is still the one to beat.

    Note: If what you really care about is sound quality I would recommend the Sony Walkman X. If you want something that sounds great on big speakers, has a bigger screen, and a high capacity hard drive, then I recommend the Archos 5 with Android.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great device, screen is not what you think, almost too thin, September 12, 2010
    I've been using an old Iphone 2.5g as my "ipod touch" for about the last year or so. I switched to Sprint for the cheaper rates so no more iphone coverage. Well, since the old phone is not compatible with IOS4.0 and since this new device is seemed truly "next-generation," I decided to take the plunge. I hate the lack of space on my old iphone (8Gb) so I splurged for the 64. Here's a few things I noticed right out of the gate:

    1) The screen resolution is phenomenal. The lighting sucks. It has a nasty angle of view. If you look dead at the center of the screen with a black screen "on," you can see slight brightness variances from corner to corner. Not terrible, but I had expected better. After researching it a bit, this is apparently because Apple "cheaped-out" and did not include the IPS style of lighting that they used on the Iphone 4. Oh well, still a great screen though.

    2) Size: The device is amazingly thin. This is both good and bad. The buttons are kind of hard to mash as they are located on the heavily beveled edges of the device. It's not bad, but, you do need to have a good grip on the device when screwing around with volume or power. It is super light and fits well in my hand though. But, as weird as it seems, i do hate how the apple logo feels under my finger. Feels like I have super glue or something on my finger tips... strange

    3) Speed: The speed of the device is great. This is comparing it directly to my old iPhone though. It blows it out of the water. I don't have to really wait on anything. I do wish the browser was better though. On my old phone, when I'd scroll too fast on a large page, i'd get the checkerboard effect. I hoped this was no longer an issue with the new A4 chip. Again, after researching it, I found that the iPod touch has half the RAM of the new iPhone 4. Guess that would explain it.

    4) Camera: The camera is crap. It's low res and has poor low light performance. It's cool for impressing Grandma with the Face Time app, but that's about it. Don't leave home without a good cell phone camera (or a Nikon/Canon!)

    5) Minor quibbles: I miss my vibrate/loudness switch. Sucks not being able to instantly mute the device when i want it quiet. I also wish the speaker were more full. I am glad that Apple included a speaker at least, but, for it to be useful as a Face Time device for Grandma, the speaker really needs to be made louder/fuller.

    in a nutshell, it's a great device, but it is the Kmart special of the new Iphone 4 in pretty much every way. Why did I give it 4 stars when I'm so harsh on it? Because, no other device even comes close. Apple has managed to make the Ipod Touch feel magic in every way.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Lines Between iPod Touch and iPhone Have Started to Blur, September 7, 2010
    Having had a chance to spend a little time with a review model gives me a chance to share the experience with you a bit early (before my own arrives). I'll take you hands-on with the new model, plus I'll share from my past two years of iPod touch ownership altogether, especially for those who haven't yet owned (or been owned by) one of these mobile gems.

    I've also hidden a treasure trove of info on how you can legitimately download tons of quality apps for free. First though, let's quickly cover what's new.

    + Faster 1GHz A4 Processor - to keep up with the high demands of multitasking
    + Ultra high resolution "Retina display" - packs a 960 x 640 resolution at 326 pixels per inch
    + 15% larger battery - 3.44 Whr/930 mAh plays 7 hrs of video & 40 hrs of audio
    + Rear-facing camera - supports 960 x 720 sized photos (0.6 megapixels), plus 720p HD videos
    + Front-facing VGA-quality camera - VGA-quality is a resolution of 640 x 480 (0.3 megapixels)
    + 3-Axis Gyroscope - allows for higher precision and more motion gestures
    + Wireless N - Connect faster and go farther than ever, with this WiFi device (requires a router with 802.11n)
    + Built in microphone - but Apple reverted back to using the remote- and mic-less earphones
    + Game Center - Apple's own social gaming platform
    + Sleep/Power Button - it's been moved to the right, but not improved beyond that
    + Thinner, lighter than ever
    * Note - Memory remains at the same 256MB despite several unconfirmed sources touting 512MB. There's also no vibrate module.

    Unlike last year's iPod touch update, this one's a complete overhaul to the entire line. Last year, the new models didn't change in appearance. On the inside, faster processors and double-memory were added to the 32GB & 64GB models, but the 8GB got left out. Not this time. Buying the new 8GB iPod touch indeed gets you all the new goodies. You'll also pay thirty bucks more than before, so consider buying the 32GB model instead. You'll get 400% of the storage capacity for only 23% more coin!


    ===== Background =====

    I'm a mobile app developer who's created a few apps and games for the iPhone, iPod Touch and now iPad. I was initially drawn to the iPod touch because of the popularity and capabilities of its mobile Web browsing--I was primarily a Web developer at the time and no other device could surf the Web so well. After I got one, I was hooked. I racked up over a hundred bucks in app purchases within the first month, and before long, I found myself learning how do develop native apps for the device.

    Indeed, if you have never had an iPod touch before, you're in for a real treat. Of course, if you have, then you know first hand: it's is worth its weight in gold--no, in platinum. And now, with the latest generation, it may even be worth its weight rare gem stones! I digress.


    ===== Out With the Old =====

    The iPod touch is frequently called an iPhone without the phone. However, until now there have been several other features also missing in the iPod touch besides the phone: a camera, GPS, magnetometer (compass), and some newer amenities from the iPhone 4: front-facing camera, high resolution "Retina display" as it has been dubbed, and the powerful 1GHz A4 processor--indeed a necessity to keep up with multitasking.

    That all changes, now. The 4th gen iPod touch brings with it some new features and amenities, some of which have been anticipated by iPod touch fans and developers alike, including myself, for several generations of the device. From a developer's perspective, the more hardware features we can get our hands on, the better and more innovative apps we can create, and the more users that can download, use and enjoy them.


    ===== In With the New =====

    The striking new design of the latest iPod touch is definitely a looker. Apple has made it even thinner (and I thought it was already too thin before) complete with a beautiful chrome back. While the super thin design is certainly attractive, I've found it slightly difficult to keep it well-gripped in your hands. The usual chrome back looks great too, but it's scratch-insistent. Yes, it's incredibly easy to scratch it all up, even after the first few days. For these two reasons, definitely get yourself a silicone skin (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0042GVG5G?tag=1pod-20&ie=UTF8) alongside your new touch!

    For ages, the feature topping everyone's wishlist for the iPod touch has been a camera. Check! It handles HD video too--bonus! Granted, its not the 5 megapixel camera that the iPhone 4 sports, but again, the new iPod touch is thinner than ever, making it a miracle that we even got a camera in the first place, let alone two! Yes, Apple went the extra mile so we could make video calls with our iPhone toting friends, via their FaceTime app. Brilliant! So, having not had any camera on the iPod touch before, and now having TWO cameras on it, we can't really complain can we? Nah.

    I'll have details on the quality both cameras later, but what excites me even moreso is the new much-higher resolution screen--dubbed "Retina display". You may not think much of it if you haven't used an iPhone or iPod touch before, nor have an older model nearby to compare it to, but for those that have and/or do, the difference is clear! (pun intended)

    Where this really comes in handy is in browsing the Web and reading non-mobile-formatted PDF e-books. Now, I can see things so much clearer at the default zoom level (which shows the full width of a Web page or document). My vision isn't spectacular by any means, I just don't mind seeing things smaller on the screen. It allows me to see more content without having to scroll. Indeed, the Retina display was the #1 feature I never knew I wanted (until I saw it in the iPhone 4 that is).

    Other newness includes: 15% larger battery, HD video recording and editing, built-in mic, wireless-n for nearly double the WiFi connection speed and distance, Game Center: Apple's new social gaming platform (which seems to be Apple's attempt to kill-off third party social gaming platforms like OpenFeint and Plus+), 3-axis gyroscope sensor, which complements the existing accelerometer sensor, both of which handle the rotating, swinging and other motion gestures of the device (previously, rotation were roughly calculated from accelerometer data), and new placement of the sleep/power button on the right (but still as difficult as ever to press).

    Features still missing include: 512MB of memory, vibration, 5 MP quality camera + flash (iPhone apps now support using LED flash as a flashlight, like Android does), magnetometer (compass), and the GPS. I'd happily trade the thinness of the latest iPod touch to have the GPS. WiFi based location is often inaccurate, and the GPS doesn't need a WiFi or cellular connection, it just needs to see the satellites in the sky.


    ===== iOS vs Android =====

    So far, Apple has cornered the market of multitouch mobile devices that aren't phones, but things are slowly changing. Currently, the two hottest mobile and smartphone operating systems out there right now are Apple's iOS (formerly: iPhone OS) and Google's Android. Of course, iOS is popular because it runs on not only the iPhone, but also on the iPod touch and now on the ipad as well. Plus, it has garnered support from scores of app developers who've gotten behind Apple's slew of high-demand devices.

    The iPod touch has really made iOS what it is today. It does a lot of what the iPhone does, without a contract, or carrier exclusivity, as is the case with the iPhone and the iPad (WiFi+3G models). So if it weren't for the iPod touch, a lot of the market share Apple now has in the industry would have been stifled by their carrier exclusivity. I think Apple will see the light soon, but that's another discussion.

    Enter Android. Google has held a different stance on their mobile OS. It isn't tied to a select few devices, and it's open source, so it can be further developed by manufacturers who use it. Indeed, several mobile device manufacturers have now latched onto Android as a foundation for numerous devices. Wireless carriers that have been unable to carry the iPhone have also taken a liking to it. Now, tons of Android devices have been released, and there's no end in sight. Manufacturers have also seen the iPad's potential and now they want a piece of that pie, too. So, expect to see a lot more Android tablets and media-centric non-phone devices soon. The competition is heating up.

    But not everything with Android, nor with iOS, is perfect. I own an EVO 4G, one of the most popular Android devices currently available. I've also used an iPod touch almost every day for nearly two years, so I'm pretty qualified to share my experience with each platform. Both certainly have their share of unique offerings, and neither of them are without flaws. For this reason, and because of the increasing competition between the two, I plan to dispel some of their key differences for you at various points in this review.


    ===== So What Can the iPod Touch Actually Do? =====

    Well, what can't it do?

    The iPod touch is like a magical little box, only it's flat. While it cannot cook your breakfast, yet (I'm sure someone is already working on that), it can indeed do some pretty extraordinary things. It's an amazing catch-all device that can provide hours of entertainment, give you the power of the Web in your hand, and it can even replicate the functionality of countless one-off products. Developers have been creating apps that take advantage of special hardware of the iPod touch to emulate some other product for less, and sometimes even for free.

    Even expensive products have seen cheap iOS based clone apps. For just 99 cents, you can snag a special alarm clock app that monitors your sleep cycle and wakes you up when you're in an ideal state of wakefulness. I spent 350 bucks on an aXbo
    (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0014RDSSY?tag=1pod-20&ie=UTF8) a few years ago, who's functionality is easily replicated by several "sleep phase" alarm clock apps in the app store. When you do the math there, you see that it's easily a no brainer: buy yourself an iPod touch now!

    I've listed more apps like this in the comments!

    Plus, with the support of such a strong community of app and game developers, there's never a drought of fresh new apps and games. There's always something to do with the iPod touch, and I guarantee you'll never be bored with it. I honestly cannot say the same thing about Android, though I also tote my EVO 4G around with me. I do admit that the EVO's mobile hotspot comes in incredibly handy for providing the iPod touch with a WiFi connection while I'm on the go).

    Now, with the proper resources, you can legitimately download thousands of high quality apps for free. I do it all the time and it is perfectly legal. See, Apple allows developers to temporarily put their apps on sale (and even drop the price to free). Usually they do this to get you to write some rave reviews for their apps. The secret to success is having the resources to help you spot these special app sales--so you know when and where to get them during their sometimes extremely-limited-time promotions.

    In hopes of making this the most helpful review on Amazon for the iPod touch, here's how to obtain these special promotional-sale apps:

    There are several resources you can use, both on the Web and on the iPod touch itself. I prefer to use the app called BargainBin that lists all apps that recently went on sale or dropped to free. It also supports watch lists with push notifications, and can alert you whenever an app you're interested in goes on sale. It's a phenomenal little gem, and it has gotten me a ton of apps and saved me a fortune! It also has a companion website that lists the same apps (Google: App Advice). There's also a website called AppShopper (Google it) that lists apps with recent price drops and new apps as well, and you can filter just the free products or just the sale products. The two sites don't always list the same apps. Sometimes one will miss something that the other will catch, so it's good to keep track of them both. Check them daily if possible. Several apps are duds, but you'll come across some really great ones from time to time. They'll all add up!


    ===== Web Browsing =====

    Alongside spending lots of money on all those wonderful apps in the App Store, Web browsing is one of the most popular uses for the iPod touch. Browsing the Web with mobile Safari was my original attraction to the device. The experience hasn't changed too drastically in the past two years (since the days of iOS 2), and while it's still very powerful, there are some definite flaws. And no, I'm not talking about Flash. Just minor usability issues I'd like to see overcome, but first let's look at the positives.

    Mobile Safari has a smart approach to zooming in on content. Double-tap on a paragraph of text or an image to cinch that content right up to the edges of the screen. The downside: some sites aren't mobile-friendly, so zooming in on a really wide block of text can leave you with tiny text. You can zoom further manually, by using the "unpinch" multi-touch gesture, but because the browser doesn't have an option to reflow the text to the screen width, you have to scroll left and right, as well as up and down, just to read the text. Android's browser doesn't feature smart zoom, but it does reflow the text to fit the screen when zoomed in. It's a nice feature, and Apple should add it as a preference for Safari.

    Browser history can also vanish after a few days, and browser windows get overwritten by links from other pages sometimes (usually when I've hit the maximum of eight windows). Also yet to be seen is support for doing common things like searching for text on a page, or bookmarking a link by tapping and holding. That would be invaluable for adding bookmarklets--bookmark based scripts that help overcome browser shortcomings.

    Flash is also a great debate, one I won't get into. I will just say that all is not as it seems with the Flash-support-touting Android platform. Flash does work, but it is buggy because Flash doesn't play well with touch interfaces. Flash based video players don't work right, and I even run Android 2.2, which is supposed to have the "full Flash experience". It doesn't, trust me. So you're not missing much by not having Flash on the iPod touch!

    Indeed, we can just hope and pray that Web developers and Flash-fiends see the light and start replacing Flash content with technologies like HTML5's canvas element, which is poised to take on a lot of Flash's most popular abilities.


    ===== Media =====

    Despite all the incredible things the iPod touch can do, audio and video are still one of the iPod touch's greatest strengths. And with the incredible resolution of the new iPod touch's retina display, to say that videos now appear much sharper, more vivid and highly-defined is definitely an understatement. Yes, videos were great before, but now they frickin' rock!

    Just make sure your videos are at least 960 x 640. If you've owned an older iPod touch and used video conversion software to scale down your media to fit the old 320 x 480 screen resolution, definitely change your conversion settings, or look for a software update to support the new higher-resolution display.

    For those interested in watching live TV on the go (over WiFi), Sling Media's SlingPlayer app, paired with one of their Slingbox devices is a phenomenal and freeing experience, especially considering your alternate choices for watching live TV on the go are pretty much nil up to this point.

    On top of that, Netflix's recently released iPod touch version of their media streaming app has also been a much-welcomed addition to my ever-growing collection of apps. Netflix videos stream quickly, and even moving the play position back and forth in the timeline, the movie starts playing very quickly without much time rebuffering the video.


    ===== Photos =====

    The latest iPod touch is also a game-changer for photography and video recording on an iPod touch. It's not mind-blowing by any means, but we went from having no camera right to having two cameras on the device. I probably would not be so thrilled with just a new back camera. I merely would have sighed, mumbling "finally" under my my breath (unless it were 5 megapixels). But despite the less-than-one megapixel quality of the rear-facing camera, I was taken aback by the rather decent quality, especially in low-light environments. Check the comments for links to sample photos!

    Between that and the ability to connect with other iPhone and iPod touch toting friends via Apple's FaceTime app, yes... it's a game changer. Granted, I have been wanting front facing cameras on mobile devices ever since mobile devices started having cameras period. I got the first of such devices when my EVO 4G arrived in June, but as they say: the more the merrier. Friends, welcome to the future we've been dreaming of. Video killed the audio call!

    The quality of my test calls were pretty good. Of course, it was over WiFi, but it proves the cameras are decent. You can switch from using the front camera to using the rear camera, too, in case something was going on in front of you that you wanted to share. Just tap the "camera swap" button in the bottom right corner of the screen. FaceTime also rotates along with the iPod when flipped on its side, nice.

    HD video recording is the other half of the aforementioned game-changing equation. I didn't expect to see ANY video recording, considering the original iPhone camera was originally just a camera. But it's here, complete with HD quality (yes, the quality is indeed desirable), plus basic video editing support, as well as support for Apple's brilliant "iMovie" app: an advanced video editing studio right on your iPod touch. It's just five bucks on the App Store.


    ===== E-Reading =====

    The iPad has been making waves in the genre of media reading for several months now, but that hasn't exactly been the same story for any generation of the iPod touch so far. Granted, it's not exactly marketed as an eReader like its iPad counterpart, but there are some really great apps out there for media reading on it, so there's no reason not to use it to read digital media. The obstacle to doing that, for me at least, has been the limited screen resolution, and so that may all potentially start to change, now that Apple has brought the Retina display to the iPod touch.

    The 163 pixels per inch screens of past iPod touches were still pretty great, just not ideal for tiny text. For comparison, LCD monitors typically only have 96 pixels per inch, and CRT monitors only have 72 pixels per inch. TV's are even worse than that. What this means for you is that the iPod touch display has always been sharper than your own computer monitor.

    However, despite being able to display content at a higher quality, I still found that in a lot of eBooks, especially PDFs that weren't mobile-formatted, the text was just not clear enough to be readable when zoomed out. However, zooming in meant having to constantly scroll side-to-side while reading. The app "Good Reader" helped ease that pain by doing the left-right & vertical scrolling for you with just a tap of the screen, as well as offering an additional view that re-flows the text to fit on the screen at a large enough size.

    However, with the Retina display, all text and content in the aforementioned "zoomed out" state now appears extremely clear. That is a wonderful thing, so long as you don't mind reading tiny text.

    Could you still benefit from having an iPad too? Perhaps. After all, it does have unique qualities that set it apart from the iPod touch, as my in depth iPad review portrays (http://www.amazon.com/review/R16U71KO7POLA2?tag=1pod-20&ie=UTF8). But unless you specifically see the need for one of those unique qualities, then no, you probably don't need both.


    ===== Gaming =====

    If you're like me, you probably don't have time for games. Regardless, it may still be high-time to let the kid within you roam free from time to time, as I do. The iPod touch has made it possible. In fact, it is so easy, there's no excuse not to enjoy yourself. My favorite games are the racing games and, when I have a bit more time, strategy games.

    With the iPhone and iPod Touch having taken on a clear role as a gaming console that has been as revolutionary for mobile gaming as the Wii was for living-room gaming, it goes without saying that the iPod touch is, and will continue to be, one of the best platforms for gaming. It's simple, convenient, and pretty much instant. Whenever you have a few moments of free time, wherever you're, just turn it on, find your game, and bam! You're gaming. Simple as that.


    ===== Productivity =====

    Productivity carries numerous definitions. Usually its "getting something done" though some people tend to believe that it's the ability to focus without being distracted, which I see as one of the iPod touch's strengths, at least for me, primarily because the screen is small enough to force you to focus on the task at hand.

    In the context of software though, Apple's own suite of productivity apps for the office, collectively called "iWork", has been further refined for the iPhone and iPod touch. Because of the aforementioned "focus factor" of the iPod touch, I have found myself to be surprisingly productive when working on documents with it. There are three apps in all: Pages allows you to work on word processing documents. Numbers allows you to work on spreadsheets. Keynote lets you work on presentations and slideshows (including PowerPoint files).

    So far, I've found these apps to be highly useful when I have work to do, but don't feel like being at the computer to do it. Another great app for that is "iTeleport" which let's me at my computer remotely, when iWork won't work (meaning I'm not working on office documents). Log Me In Ignition is another similar app that is slightly easier to set up, but a bit slower than iTeleport, when you're just working over the same WiFi connection as the remote computer.

    Furthermore, there's a whole category of iPod touch apps in the App Store specifically dedicated to productivity. Some of my favorite productivity apps include: Bento (info management), Things (project management), iTeleport (remote computing), and GoodReader (best PDF reader around). Search for them in the App Store.


    ===== Email, IM and Social Networking =====

    The iPod touch has been, and continues to be an exceptional communication-machine. Whether it's reading or composing email, keeping in touch via instant messenger, or managing your life via social networks, you've got plenty of options here.

    Instant messaging is easy with platforms such as AIM, Yahoo, Gtalk, MSN, Skype and apps that handle multiple platforms: IM+, Fring, Nimbuzz, BeejiveIM and Fuse Messenger. Finally, multitasking means you can truly remain connected to your IM platforms of choice, instead of relying on apps to keep you signed remotely, then push new-message notifications to your device. This is a much welcome addition to the new iPod touch.

    As well, there are plenty of apps to help you browse and update your status on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, etc. Within the iOS development community, Twitter apps have often been a laughing stock, simply because there are so many out there on the App Store. They're almost as rampant as "fart" apps. So to say you've got countless options as far as social networking apps are concerned is probably a pretty accurate statement.

    For email, you need not look any further than Apple's native "Mail" app. Even if you're using Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, or Apple's own MobileMe, setup is a snap. It even supports Microsoft Exchange, often useful for corporate email setups. As well, any other email accounts that support POP3 or IMAP connection types will work with the Mail app too. Plus, new to the iPod touch with iOS 4 is the option to use a unified inbox--handy for those already used to that behavior on Mac OS X.


    ===== Downloading Apps and Games =====

    Downloading apps on your iPod touch couldn't be easier. Once you set up your iTunes account with a credit card, all you need to do is find the app you want, tap the download button (usually it says the price rather than "download", which then changes to "buy" after you tap it), then tap again to confirm. Voila, you just bought an app. Behind the scenes, Apple then charges your card the amount of the app plus tax, while you're already off enjoying your new purchase. This ease of access is a blessing and a curse, because you can easily empty your wallet if you're not carefully considering each purchase.

    All apps in the App Store range in price from Free and 99 cents on up, always incrementing in whole dollar amounts (1.99, 2.99, 3.99, etc). The maximum price for an app is set to $999.99, of which there are only eight currently priced so outrageously. And don't even think of toying with them. Apple does not allow refunds on apps you have purchased--all sales are final!

    Contrast that with Android's more complex Android Market, and you'll find several more steps, especially for paid apps. For one, there're no fixed pricing tiers, and secondly, they allow multiple currency pricing, which only confuses its users. The good developers do keep their pricing similar to iOS apps, with the 99 cent base plus $1 increments, but I often see apps priced at �0.55 or 0.79 or $1 or �2.95 ...it's quite disorienting and unstructured. They have also set their price cap at $200, so you can't accidentally run up a $1000 charge on just one app--you'll need at least 5 apps for that. ;)

    Meanwhile, to actually buy an app on Android, you must tap the BUY button, confirm that you want to buy the app, then get redirected to a Google Checkout link, where you must setup your Google Checkout account or choose an existing payment method if you already have an account set up. Once you confirm the purchase yet again, THEN you can finally download the app.

    Google also makes selling apps a bit more complicated for developers than Apple, but I won't get into that. I'm just stressing how absolutely simple Apple makes the app buying and selling process. Contrary to Apple however, Google does allow users to "return" purchased Android apps within 24 hours for a full refund. That's nice.


    ===== Technical Specifications =====

    Since Amazon's product descriptions tend to be lacking, I like to include all the technical jargon geeks have come to expect when researching new gadgets. Feel free to breeze on through!

    In the box
    + iPod touch
    + Earphones
    + Dock Connector to USB Cable (for sync and charging)
    + Quick Start guide

    Size and weight
    + Height: 4.4 inches (111.0 mm)
    + Width: 2.3 inches (58.9 mm)
    + Depth: 0.28 inch (7.2 mm)
    + Weight: 3.56 ounces (101 grams)

    Capacity
    + 8GB, 32GB or 64GB flash drive/SSD

    Wireless
    + 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi (802.11n 2.4GHz only)
    + Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
    + Maps-location based service
    + Nike + iPod support built in

    Display
    + Multi-Touch display
    + 3.5-inch (diagonal) widescreen
    + 960-by-640-pixel resolution at 326 pixels per inch

    Cameras, photos, and video
    + Video recording, HD (720p) up to 30 frames per second with audio; still photos (960 x 720) with back camera
    + VGA-quality photos and video up to 30 frames per second with the front camera
    + Tap to control exposure for video or stills
    + Photo and video geo tagging over Wi-Fi

    TV and video
    + H.264 video up to 720p, 30 frames per second, Main Profile level 3.1 with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats
    + MPEG-4 video, up to 2.5 Mbps, 640 by 480 pixels, 30 frames per second, Simple Profile with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps per channel, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats
    + Motion JPEG (M-JPEG) up to 35 Mbps, 1280 by 720 pixels, 30 frames per second, audio in ulaw, PCM stereo audio in .avi file format
    + Support for 1024 by 768 pixels with Dock Connector to VGA Adapter; 576p and 480p with Apple Component AV Cable; 576i and 480i with Apple Composite AV Cable (cables sold separately)

    Audio
    + Frequency response: 20Hz to 20,000Hz
    + Audio formats supported: AAC (8 to 320 Kbps), Protected AAC (from iTunes Store), HE-AAC, MP3 (8 to 320 Kbps), MP3 VBR, Audible (formats 2, 3, 4, Audible Enhanced Audio, AAX, and AAX+), Apple Lossless, AIFF, and WAV
    + User-configurable maximum volume limit with parental lock
    + Earbud headphones included in box

    Earphones
    + Frequency response: 20Hz to 20,000Hz
    + Impedance: 32 ohms

    Input and output
    + 30-pin dock connector
    + 3.5-mm stereo headphone minijack
    + Built-in speaker
    + Microphone
    + External buttons and controls

    Sensors
    + Three-axis gyro
    + Accelerometer
    + Ambient light sensor (for proximity detection)

    Battery, power and playback time
    + Built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery
    + USB sync cable is also used for charging
    + Fast charge in about 2 hours (80% capacity)
    + Full charge in about 4 hours.
    + Music playback time: Up to 40 hours when fully charged
    + Video playback time: Up to 7 hours when fully charged

    System requirements
    + USB 2.0
    + iTunes 10 or later
    + Mac: Mac OS X v10.5.8 or later
    + PC: Windows 7, Vista, or XP (SP3 or later)


    ===== Praise =====

    + Apple continues its trend of creating the best multi-touch experience around. Android doesn't even come close.
    + The Retina Display - Phenomenal! Kudos for bringing it to the iPod touch as well as the iPhone. Now try it with IPS technology Apple!
    + Wireless-N, finally! - Faster and farther-reaching WiFi connections (if your router supports 802.11n)
    + High performance 1GHz A4 processor - provides all the power of the iPhone 4, a win for gaming and multitasking.
    + Multitasks like a dream with iOS 4 and the powerful processor, despite the same 256MB of memory as the third generation touch.
    + Rear camera - It's not the 5 megapixel iPhone 4 camera, but I definitely can't complain here. It shoots great photos, especially in low-light without flash, plus it can do HD video.
    + Front facing camera - What a pleasant surprise! Now it just needs to work with Skype.


    ===== Dissappointments =====

    + No GPS - IP based location just doesn't cut it at times. GPS has no subscription fee or contract to use. GPS chips are costly, but tons of high cost GPS apps are in the App Store now to offset that cost for Apple.
    + 256MB memory - iFixit has confirmed this disappointing flaw, putting to rest all the rumors of 512MB still littering several reviews.
    + Still no 120GB model - Useful for higher res videos that look great on the Retina display.
    + No USB 3.0 or wireless sync - Sync'ing can be slow or inconvenient over the cable.
    + Thinner design - I was hoping for a more squared design, like the iPhone 4, as it is easier to grip, handle and press the power button.
    + Power button - Yes, it hasn't changed much. It's been moved to the right side on this model, but it's still the tiny, hard-to-press button it's has always been, and if you take lots of screenshots like I do (by pressing power+home simultaneously) half the time you end up closing your app because the power button didn't work right.


    ===== The Bottom Line =====

    It is absolutely clear: Apple has definitely blurred the lines between iPhone and iPod touch with its 4th generation of both devices. Since it has no contract or carrier exclusivity, this phenomenal device will continue to shine its light in the otherwise dark voids of the smartphone market where the iPhone cannot go, even without the phone. That's just smart!

    Given all my tips, I think you'll find the iPod touch to be an extraordinarily useful, possibly even highly addictive device, with a price tag that is well worth it, especially the 32GB model. With all the things that the iPod touch can do, it will undoubtedly enhance your life and change the way you interact with the Web. It might even make a gamer out of you if it hasn't already, it sure did for me!

    I hope you've found my hands-on review helpful. I do actively participate in any discussions via the comments, so feel free to drop me a line, or ask me any questions as well. :)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Using the 8 gb version as a netbook substitute...., September 19, 2010
    Can you get by with an 8gb Touch?

    Yep, based on my experience with a 3rd gen 32 gb, and on my recent local purchase of the 4th gen (this current model) in 8 gb capacity.

    When using the old 32 gb, I found out that I barely used its greater storage capacity. (I don't haul around a lot of music or videos - I just transfer what I want to listen to/watch for each road trip or listening/viewing cycle using iTunes). Apps, I discovered, don't take up much space, even games and books don't take up much space, unless you want to haul substantially more of your whole collection with you. Amazon's Kindle app is esp. device friendly, since you can archive books you've finished back to Amazon instead of keeping them on the device. iTunes is a great way to manage what content you want to store on your home computer - which becomes a sort of large "docking device" - and what you want "to go."

    As a netbook substitute, storage isn't even that important. I can check my bank balance, transfer funds and execute orders on a brokerage account, listen to radio on Pandora or Slacker, watch music videos (and a lot more ) on YouTube, Skype, stream Netflix, and do a whole lot of other stuff on the 8 gb just fine.

    In fact in hindsight the only real reason for me getting the 32 gb version in the older edition was to get the faster processor. But in the current generation, all the hardware on the 8 gb edition matches the hardware on the larger versions, save the the "hard disk" space.

    The Touch was initially marketed as a music player with a cool touch screen. It is now marketed as a game machine, but the truth is, with the new higher resolution screen, it is a mini-iPad. Yes, you have to zoom to read some web content, but reading a book is MUCH crisper on this unit than on the last generation, thanks to the better screen, and watching videos is MUCH better, esp. Netflix streaming videos. It's a toss up as to whether watching videos on this, with no stutter and perfectly crisp, is better than watching an occasionally stuttering, less crisp, but much larger video on a netbook.

    The 8gb makes a nice intersection on my personal "cheapness" and "minimalist" curves. The price doesn't get into nose-bleed territory where I start to wonder whether a netbook would makes more sense, and it's inexpensive enough to subject to the toils of daily wear and tear - keeping it handy in an outside day pack pocket, instead of more safely stowed deep inside the pack.

    Plus, if I ever DO get a hankering to carry more than two or three lossless encoded albums and more than two to three hours of video at a time, I can turn this over to my kids for game and Netflix streaming use.

    ***Best accessory ever: ClassicReader Three-pair Valu-Pac, +3.00

    The screen on this new generation of iPod Touches is very, very sharp, but in order to enjoy all that sharpness, you need to bring the screen really close to your eyes (assuming you don't have presbyopia and can focus close) OR simply carry a pair of cheap reading glasses as an "accessory" to the super sharp 4th generation screens. This lets you actually read the tiny type on the NY Times website, actually see the richness of colors and depth of detail on a video. So even if you don't need reading glasses for magazine reading, CONSIDER trying a pair of STRONG reading glasses (2.0 or 3.0) to magnify the 3.5" display screen. It's so good for videos you might be able to get by without an iPad (which has the same resolution, NOT more) for personal video viewing. Strong reading glasses make high-def YouTube videos POP for me.


    ******Update on usage: I broke down and bought a 32 gb for the extra storage, loaded it up with videos (training videos) to watch, and then discovered I hardly ever need them. I carry the 8gb (this one) around all the time, keeping the more expensive 32 gb at home, and my main road uses via all the modern hotspots are checking email, Facebook, reading websites and, oddly enough, reading BOOKS. The video playback capability was the "driving factor" in getting this, but in real life the "connected" web aspect turns out to be much more important to me. Apps like Skype, Simple Note etc. take up very little "drive" space. So the main reason for getting larger capacity is if you want a serious music or video player. If I am on the road and want some video to watch, the YouTube app on the Touch is superb; I also added Netflix and Hulu+ (plus I keep an hour or two of training videos on this unit and a couple of gigs of music). For music, I added the Slacker and Pandora apps. // For a while I was using my older 3rd gen Touch to read books too, so save the battery on the 8gb 4th gen. I thought there wasn't much difference in screen sharpness. Turns out Kindle wasn't (apparently) optimized for the new Retina screen. I have been trying iBooks and currently it seems much sharper. Also even at a (possibly) lower rez, the crispness of this 4th gen is much easier on my eyes. YES the Touch makes a GREAT e-book reader! // Finally, if you love gaming on a Touch - and this is really taking off! - the 8gb is more than up to the task, gaming apps don't eat up a lot of the Touch's memory.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Actual Owner of iPod Touch 4G, September 8, 2010
    Alright, so Best Buy got the 32GB iPod Touch 4G in stock so I drove an hour to go get one. I was not disappointed. I will run through the features I have come across so far.

    Body: Aside from moving the sleep button to the right and making the back of the device slimmer and more flat, not much has changed. Yes, the chrome back is still there erg! It was so pretty for the first 30 seconds.

    Ram: The Ram on the iPod Touch is only 256 MB, so do not believe the talk of 512 MB, it is simply not true.

    Wireless: Fully supports A/B/G/N

    Vibration: There is no vibration, so do not expect that.

    Multitasking: Works real well and very smooth transition

    Display: While the display on the iPod is not IPS like the iPhone do not think it suffers in anyway. This display is so beautiful and crisp to look at. I cannot even distinguish the pixels, and text on a website is like you are reading out of a book, it's so refreshing. I played a digital copy of "UP" on here and the colors practically jump off the screen, very nice. Apple's icons are so much more vivid and sharp, while 3rd party developer icons who have yet to make an upgrade for the new displays shows what a step up this new screen has to offer.

    Speaker: I am not sure of the quality of the speaker on the 3G iPod Touch, but on my 2G iPod Touch it was very tinny and I only used it for game sound. Here on the 4G there is a new spot on the bottom left for the speaker and it has risen in clarity. Music is very listenable and clear, however nothing replaces a good set of earbuds, but when you're in a jam, you won't be gritting your teeth with this speaker.

    Processor: The new Apple processor is a sure win for this device. Everything loads very fast and switching from one screen to another is very swift and smooth. Crash Bandicoot finally has a nice framerate to play with on this iPod and for once I did not regret buying that game.

    Front Camera: This is the camera that is primarily used for Facetime. It's resolution is at 640 X 480. After taking a few pictures with it, you will notice how it is really not for taking stills, but works fine for videochatting (which I have not tried, but did run some video tests with it). Obviously Facetime will work better in well lit areas, but then again, doesn't any camera?

    Rear Camera: Again stills are just so so. What really bugs me is when you go to take a picture, you see how crisp the preview is, then you take the picture and you can see it blur. The tap to focus works nice for adjusting exposure and well lit photos look very decent on the display. It's when you upload them to your computer when you notice how not so decent they actually are. While this may be a negative for many people, if you are like me, you want to just upload photos with this device to FaceBook and capture funny moments with the video camera. If I want to take a really awesome picture, I'll pull out my DSLR, but for me this iPod's capabilities are more than adequate for my quick shooting of certain events. The video captures quite nicely, while not superb like an actual HD camcorder does enough for me for again, capturing fun moments. Don't worry, you don't cringe while watching the video, it's more than adequate and produces vibrant colors and a fast framerate. Some may complain on this, and believe me those reviews will be here shortly, but then again why not buy an HD Camcorder that is made for HD content? (I'm not ignorant to HD quality either, I'm a huge fan of it. I run a 3D 65'' 1080p display with Blu-ray and Dolby Tru-HD decoding surround sound system)

    Microphone: Testing out Skype my friend told me I was coming in loud and clear. I also played back a video I made on the iPod on my computer and the microphone captures top notch audio. Very crisp and clear, I was quite pleased.

    Battery: While I haven't tested out Apple's claims of 40 hr. of music, let's be honest who really does that? I'm sure Apple's claims are quite credible in their battery life depending on how the device is used.

    One note I should also make, my iPod Touch 2G accessories, (car charger, wall charger) work with my iPod touch 4G. Apple sometimes changes stuff like the charging pin on the iPod's to make a person have to buy new accessories. Anybody remember when the iPod Video A/V cables had the Audio and Video switched around so people couldn't use their cables with the iPod? Well they could, they just had to switch the audio and video cables in the port around. Anyways, away from this funny piece of marketing history.

    Is the new iPod worth it? For me, upgrading from the 2G Touch, yes! The display is brilliant, the speed of the processor amazing, video quality is very much enjoyable and the rear camera is excellent for taking quick fun shots. If I had one word to describe this iPod, it would be fun! You can't handle one of these without feeling like a joyous kid, (I'm 22) and the business aspect is still there and quite useful. I would highly recommend this iPod Touch as a worthy upgrade to any generation of the iPod Touch you may own and if you don't own one, there has never been a more perfect time to go out and get one! Don't hesitate to leave a comment here if you have a question for an actual owner. I'll do what I can!


    5-0 out of 5 stars This thing rocks!, September 8, 2010
    *This review is from someone who never owned any Apple products before, married, healthcare professional, blackberry and palm TX owner (yeah I know, belongs in a museum), I was looking for a handheld internet browser by wifi, no monthly fees for 2 years, with camera, video, and apps that i can use for my work, and put in my pocket and it led me to this device. This is therefore a completely un-technical, layman's review.

    1. Delivery time: I was supposed to receive this September 10-14 with the regular shipping, but I got it today, maybe because I ordered it as soon as Steve Jobs finished presenting, so this deserves more than 5 stars!

    2. Dimensions/looks: I actually prefer the "handling" of the bigger and heavier 3rd gen that I borrowed, its all smudge now without any cover, but boy! this is the most beautiful handheld device that I ever held, 4 stars for being smaller and lighter and smudgy.

    3. Display: The retina display is amazing! Like reading from a glossy magazine, and yes you cannot see the pixels! 5 stars!

    4. Wifi: Sync with ATT wifi - no problem, wifi in gym - no problem, monthly fees - no problem! 5 stars!

    5. Internet Browsing: Hard to type in the addresses initially, but pages loads super fast (the longest was within thress-onethousand - all news channels), surfed the web with no problems,make pages bigger or smaller... this gets 5 stars as well.

    6. Speed (Processor): this thing is super fast, web pages load within 3 seconds, downloading apps within 30 secs, youtube in a flash, the email attachment that opened in 1 minute in my computer took only 10 seconds! 5 stars indeed!

    7. Camera: very grainy, will not use it for any important event, only for quick-I-need-a-camera moments, it will not replace my dSLR, but since it wasnt there in the previous gen, and I only use my dSLR and nothing else, this camera is still a bonus it gets 4 stars.

    8. Apps for work/"work": I already downloaded 4 very useful apps for work for free! plus 5 other free games for me and my 3 year old kid, the fact that I can now have apps without an iphone/ipad is great, the fact that its free is sweet! 5 stars!

    8. Video: 720p HD! And I bought a Vado HD that does nothing else! Quality is up to par! 5 stars!

    Overall, I have a device that surfs the net very very fast, manages my email, has a camera, great HD videocam, great free apps for work, that looks beautiful, and is great to look at, that I got 1 week early, what more can I ask for?!!! Worth every penny and deserves 5 stars!

    And it stores and plays music too?! And has facetime?! And maps?! I feel like I paid for a Toyota and got a Lexus!

    Will buy another one for my kid so she doesnt have to borrow mine!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A definite improvement over the previous generation., October 11, 2010
    I know what you're thinking while looking at these reviews: "Should I save fifty bucks and get the 3rd Generation iPod touch, or is the 4th Gen really worth the new price?"

    I am happy to report that the improvements made from 3rd to 4th generation are worth your attention.

    * Size/Shape: The new model is thinner and more narrow, but slightly taller/longer. What this translates to in real-world usage is that the device is slightly less bulky in your pocket once you put a case on it, but that it's a tiny bit harder to grip without a case, if you have big hands. Of course, since Apple continues to put that scratch-magnet shiny back on the iPod touch (PLEASE, Apple, STOP IT! Give us brushed aluminum or something!) you will probably need a case, so the thinness is a good thing.

    * Microphone: No, you don't get the headphones with the in-line microphone anymore, but you do get a microphone built into the iPod touch. While most people focus on the Face Time, Skype, or other social uses for a microphone and lament the loss of one on the headphones, as someone who doesn't care about VOIP, I find the built-in microphone a lot better for my purposes. I use it for voice commands in the iPod ("Play artist 'The Beatles'") and for dictation (Dragon's free app is awesome) and voice memos. It also functions well for video recording. I don't miss the in-line earbud microphone at all.

    * Video Recording/Photos: While the iPod touch won't replace a top-line video camera, and most definitely won't replace a decent digital camera, it works as a "I happen to have it in my pocket" substitute on both counts. I don't take a lot of photos, so the lower resolution on the camera doesn't bother me. The video, however, is quite nice, and replaces my Flip Mino HD without a hitch. Just remember to reserve some storage space if you intend to record videos.

    * Retina Display: Wow. You have to see it to understand why it's a big deal. You don't notice it as much in the main screen, but when you get into text displays you really see the difference. Everything is crisp, there's almost no pixelization and nothing is "fuzzy". Games that support it look gorgeous. It really is worth it if you intend to use the iPod touch to do any reading, web browsing, or gaming.

    * iOS 4: I love the OS changes they made since I owned a 3rd generation iPod touch. The ability to group apps into folders/groups is about the best thing they did since the iPod touch debuted. The ability to do multitasking is very handy, too. The Gmail integration is much better now that it supports IMAP, and the contacts are much more friendly to Windows users since they started providing decent support for Google Contacts. WiFi signals seem to be stronger, and the battery life is excellent. All told, the little changes make a big difference.

    * Video Playback: Now that they've increased the screen resolution to 960x640, videos are not as limited. This means that if you have a collection of 720p m4v/mp4 videos already, they'll work with the iPod touch. You won't need to downscale them to make them work. This also means that if you choose to output to a HDTV screen, you'll get your full 720p video in all its glory. This is a great feature for media hounds like myself. If only Apple made a 1TB iPod touch..!

    * Improved buttons: While the buttons are no longer metal (they're now plastic or polycarbonate), they are much better-designed in terms of placement. The volume toggle has been turned into two separate buttons for up and down, and they work quite well when you're not looking at the device (like when it's in your pocket). The standby/power button is smaller and to the right of the top of the device, and it, too is easy to find and use when the device is out of view. Response from the buttons is nice, with a good clicky tactile feedback. They seem sturdy and yet they're small enough to be unobtrusive and not be pressed accidentally.

    * Speaker: They went from using the whole back panel as a speaker board to putting in a little speaker in the device at the bottom. This has the effect of making things sound a little better, but not without some problems (see below).

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    THE CONS

    * The new size means you will probably need a new case and screen protector. Old ones won't fit. Some exceptions exist (some slip-cases, for example) but anything that was an exact fit for the previous models is too big for the current model.

    * No in-line microphone on the earbuds. This is not a problem for me, but for social networking types, this will be something they miss.

    * Speed is, at this point, no better than the previous model in most cases, and sometimes slower in apps that have yet to update some features. This will no doubt change, but right now expect no major boost in speed or power with the upgrade to 4th Gen.

    * Still camera is low resolution. As I noted above, it's not a crippling issue for me, as I don't take lots of photos and the video camera is so nice, but if you're a shutterbug looking for an alternate digital camera, you may be a little let-down by the current generation. You're probably better off with an iPhone 4 or waiting for the 5th Gen iPod touch and crossing your fingers.

    * Dock connector doesn't sit flush with the device. It looks weird at first, but when you connect to the docking cable, the connector doesn't seem to go in all the way if you look at it from the back of the iPod touch. This is, apparently, by design. I can't say I like it, but this is the sacrifice you get with thinner devices. Apple didn't want to give up the tapered design, but they didn't want to redesign the dock connection, either. The compromise was to make the connector do what it currently does. This is not really a big deal, as it works fine and feels secure, but it does make you wonder how some third-party docks and devices will work with the current generation.

    * Speaker gets blocked easily. I know this is more of a critique of App design than iPod design, but the iPod touch's speaker being in the bottom corner causes me to end up covering the speaker when I turn the device sideways (to the left) to play a game. Smart Apps make it possible to tilt the screen any direction, but some are set on making you tilt to the left, which leads to the speaker blockage. Again, no big deal, but it makes me wonder why Apple doesn't just put the speaker on the side of the device instead of on the bottom. There's little chance you'd block it on a sideways/widescreen App in that case.

    * Stupid shiny back: I mentioned this earlier, but WHY, Apple? Why do you keep putting this horrible shiny back on the iPod touch? It was terrible back on the classics, and it's terrible now. Give us something that doesn't get scratched from the slightest touch, and something that isn't slippery! Brushed aluminum, rubberized metal, or anything else would be preferable to this stupid shiny back-plate. This, for me, is the iPod touch's #1 bad feature.

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    SUMMARY

    In my opinion the newer model is worth the new price. You get a lot of extra features and the best screen on any iPod to date, and the microphone being built-in becomes a must-have feature after you realize how convenient it is to not have to hook up the earbuds in order to record something. So here's the rundown on whether or not you should upgrade from 3rd Gen to 4th Gen:

    * If you're a reader: YES. The Retina Display makes reading books and comics much easier on the eyes (although I still prefer e-ink for long stretches or reading outdoors).

    * If you're a gamer: YES. The Retina Display, better speaker, and new gyroscope/accelerometer make gaming better.

    * If you're a social networking freak: YES. The video camera, still camera, built-in microphone, and Face Time are a social networking fan's wet dream.

    * If you're looking for a PDA: NO. It doesn't really matter unless you want to take advantage of the video camera for business meetings, or have bad eyes and want your address book to look more crisp. You could probably get by with the 3rd Gen, but honestly, you're probably already using iPhone 4 so this is a non-issue.

    * If you're looking for a portable web browser and mail client: YES. If you're on the Internet a lot, you'll appreciate the Retina Display and better WiFi reception from 802.11n.

    * If you just want to play music: NO. Don't bother to upgrade because the music/iPod functions aren't all that different from the previous generation, unless you want the convenience of the built-in microphone for voice commands.

    * If you just want to play videos: YES. The higher resolution and Retina Diplay make videos much better, and the ability to output 720p is a great feature for videophiles.


    Final verdict: For most users, the newer model is a much better value. Apple improved the iPod touch enough this time around to make it worth grabbing the 4th Gen, even if you do end up paying a little more for it than a clearance-model 3rd Gen.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A joy to use, September 14, 2010
    I wanted an iPhone 4 as soon as it came out; I already had a 2G iPod Touch and loved it. But I can't commit to the contract right now and the full price (outside of contract) version is really beyond my budget. So I made a conscious decision to wait for the iPod Touch, aware that it would probably be a compromise. I pre-ordered it from Apple before it came out in stores. I was expecting to be less happy about some aspects (such as the camera), but knew I'd get used to those, and would probably love the improvements compared to the 2G iPod Touch. I wasn't disappointed. After only a couple of days use I definitely like it a lot.

    The screen is glorious. It's so much easier on the eye than the old display. Yes it's not IPS (although this not obvious outside of steep viewing angles). It seems darker than the old display; this is probably because of the higher pixel density. It also has more of a blue tint (a cooler color temperature) but I've heard this is also true of the iPhone. But I got used to these things and it's a joy to look at every time. In spite of the better battery, I think the display sucks more juice, since you have to have it at a brighter setting than before to get the same perceived brightness.

    General performance is very smooth. It's definitely faster than previous versions. Things still crash occasionally but that's true of any computer. The bugs from my 2G Touch that appeared after I upgraded to iOS 4.1, that caused Pandora and other audio apps to be unusable, are thankfully gone, as far as I can tell (I since seem to have resolved this issue on the 2G Touch by restoring to factory settings and upgrading to iOS 4.2). Heavy content (such as pdfs and large web pages) can slow it down but this is also true of the iPad.

    You have to be careful to get good battery life. The battery has been upgraded so you supposedly get 40 hours of audio rather than 30 h. But if you're new to multitasking, you have to realise that you're going to pay for it in battery life unless you're careful. For example, you can have Skype running in the background and it will receive calls and messages, even if the iPod is locked in your pocket, which is great. However, this makes use of the 'Voice over IP' iOS service, which Skype is constantly running in the background. I think Pandora might do something similar (albeit with a different service). So your battery will drain noticeably (I saw 5-10% drain per hour using iStat with Skype and Pandora backgrounded and the iPod locked). Most apps you see in the multitasking bar do not use these services; Apple calls them 'recently used' apps for a reason; they mostly aren't running.

    The volume and power buttons take a bit of getting used to but I ended up preferring them. They feel more solid and have a more definite click to them.

    Seriously, for what it is, the back camera is not that bad in spite of the 0.7 MP resolution. In bright daylight it's surprisingly good. It just gets more grainy at night. But they're still quite possible; in a fancier camera you might have to manually increase the exposure time. Don't knock it just because of the pixel count, it's a pretty good camera; my 2 MP camera phone is not that much better. And for taking pics as a record of a fun moment that you can then upload directly to Facebook, I love it, and I use it a lot. That functionality is a big step up from the old iPod Touch, so I'm OK with the low resolution; it's a lot better than no camera at all. And I've managed to get it to read barcodes with apps like the AT&T code scanner. Also, Apple's HDR is not available but I think there are 3rd party apps that will do that.

    The speaker is nicer than the old iPod Touch but it could definitely be louder. I tried using it like a phone (with Skype) and it's not really practical; you really need headphones unless there's minimal background noise. But if you're on your own in a room, it's actually fine. Listening to the radio (with ooTunes), it could easily get to a similar level to my clock radio so it was fine.

    So, as a pocket computer the 4G Touch rocks. With the retina display and cameras, this feels like a mature product. You might like to wait for possible improvements (such as the camera) in the next version, but as it stands it's still a joy to use. And given you'd have to pay at least another $400 to get the extra features on the iPhone, I think it's a pretty good deal.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Better In Every Way, September 2, 2010
    ---------------------------------Overview------------------------------------------------

    The latest iPod Touch from Apple improves on the previous generation in nearly every single way. It does all this without increasing the price one cent (except the 8GB version which increased in price by $30 and is now no longer a hardware generation behind). Bottom line, the iPod Touch continues to be an irresistible device that has no peer on the market right now. Think back even three years and people would simply be amazed at everything the latest iPod Touch can do for only $229. Games in every category, some of which have graphics superior to the PSP or Nintendo DS, news and weather apps, streaming video from your computer or from services like Netflix and Hulu, exercise and weight loss apps, the list goes on and on (and on). While we are starting to see some Android based tablets enter the market, there is nothing in the portable market that comes close to what the iPod can do.

    If you really have some problems with some of the iPod Touch's shortcomings (like the camera) and you want access to the Apple App store, you may want to consider just buckling down and getting an iPhone 4 (if you can afford it). However, once you consider the value proposition of the iPhone 4 (total cost of ownership over two year contract $75-85 x 24 + $299) vs. the iPod Touch at $299, you start to understand that some of these drawbacks are not so bad.

    ---------------------------------CHANGES-------------------------------------------------

    Compared to the previous (and well loved) iPod Touch this device:

    - replaces the previous processor with the more powerful A4 processor. Expect smooth and fast operation with support for even the most graphically intense iPod Touch games. All other applications will run at top speed, although not dramatically faster than the previous generation.
    - is now even thinner. The Ipod Touch is now shockingly thin.
    - added a microphone so you don't need a headset to talk to people or use voice control
    - doubled the amount of ram so multi-tasking should be a breeze
    - has longer battery life | extended audio life by 10 hours (from 30 to 40 hours) and video by 1 hour (from 6 to 7 hours).
    - weighs less
    - has TWO additional cameras (front facing for video and self-portraits and back for HD video) - the front camera is VGA quality (640x480) and the back camera is a 720P (1280x720) sensor (when used to take pictures that resolution is reduced to 960x720). Samples of the HD video show that this feature was not just "tacked on" and actually looks very good compared to some HD video available on other pocket devices (like the EVO 4G).
    - 4 times as many pixels on the screen - Apple is calling this a "retina display" because it has the same dpi (dots per inch) as the iPhone 4. However, the iPod Touch is not using the same IPS display found in the iPhone 4 which means the viewing angles aren't as good. I doubt most users will notice the difference here.
    - adds the gyroscope for extra precision with motion based apps (mostly gaming)
    - adds support for the faster Wireless "N" standard, which should help when streaming video to your phone or using Facetime to make a video call
    - adds a vibrator for alerts, force feedback in gaming, and notifications for voice calling

    Cons:

    - speaker still sucks - I let my two year watch videos on my iPhone. Thus a crappy speaker is a deal breaker for me because she is too small to use headphones. You can blame the extreme thinness on this one. There simply isn't enough depth to put an iPhone quality speaker in. If I didn't have a two year old I wouldn't consider this a big deal because I rarely use this function otherwise.
    - no 5MP camera or LED flash - This is going to be a deal breaker for some who saw the iPhone 4 and started salivating at the thought of the possibility of the same high quality sensor in the iPod Touch. Read my thoughts below for more on this one.
    - No GPS chip - you're still stuck with using WiFi signals to determine location, a la the original iPhone. Maybe Garmin or Tom Tom paid them money not to include this feature.


    ---------------------------Thoughts and Conclusions------------------------------------

    Yes, I wanted the camera sensor from the iPhone 4 as well, but the unfortunate reality is that sensor wouldn't fit in the old iPod Touch body and this one is even slimmer! In order to fit the iPhone 4 camera sensor into the iPod Touch, Apple would have had to make this device significantly thicker, which loses one of the big advantages the Touch has had over the iPhone, its size. I might have been willing to make the tradeoff, but obviously Apple wasn't.

    Keep in mind that the larger sensor (and LED Flash) adds to the cost of the device as well. Apple added a significant number of features to the iPod Touch and kept the price exactly the same. Something's gotta give here. The 32GB iPhone 4 sells for $700! (AT&T pays Apple the difference when you buy one on contract). I'm sure if people were willing to spend $400 more than the $299 the 32GB iPod Touch sells for they would have a mind blowing sensor in there. I'm actually surprised at how much of the functionality of the iPhone the iPod Touch now replicates, given the huge gap in cost.

    Appreciate the fact that you can now record HD video and do video calling over WiFi for the same price as the last model. Or don't buy it. Consider how much you can do on this device compared to other portable gadgets, like the pocket sized Flip Video Camera, which costs more than $100+ and does nothing other than video, or even the ZUNE HD, which is a great device, but lacks compatibility with the hundreds of thousands of Apps that turn the iPod Touch into a pocket computer.

    I'm waiting for something to come along to blow away the iPod Touch, but that device just doesn't exist. All things considered, this device is a 4.5/5, which I round up to 5 because Amazon doesn't do half stars. This device won't be for everyone, but then again, no device is. For a great majority of users, this is product is nothing short of gadget heaven.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Great display but terrible rear camera, September 1, 2010
    My wife and I have the 3rd generation iPod Touch and are very happy with them. The one thing that I have been missing/wanting is having a built in camera. I recently saw the photos taken by a friend's iPhone and was blown away by how good they were. Almost all reviews have said the iPhone built in 5MP camera is excellent. Like many others I watched Steve Jobs present the new iPod line today and was very excited to hear that it had all the features I was looking for. Retina display - awesome. Front and rear cameras - yes! Finally.

    I was all set to order 2 from Amazon the minute Amazon had them listed. But .. while looking thru the Apple website I came across the specs for the rear facing camera. It is only .7 megapixels. Less than 1 megapixel. What? I thought that can't be right. I contacted Apple and the rep, who had gotten many such calls it seemed, confirmed that the iPod touch has a very different camera (.7 MP vs the iPhone's 5 MP) . Bummer. I looked around and found a hands on review of it .... and they said the sensor itself, besides being lower MP, is also not nearly as good as the one in the iPhone. Not terrible but certainly not good and no where in the same league as the one in the iPhone.

    The camera was one of the 2 main things people asked for. The other being the Retina display. My assumption is that Apple didn't want to affect iPhone sales and purposely dummied down the camera. Shame on them. They want us to pay $240 to $400 for an iPod with a terrible camera.

    I first predicted that w/ the Retina display and the camera that this would be a smashing success, a huge seller coming into the holiday season. I suspect when people get them and see how bad the photos are, they'll be returning them to Apple. Or like myself, not upgrading.

    I realize this review should be for a product I own, but I felt it was important for people to know about the camera before they ordered it. If photos aren't a big deal, and you'll only email them or post them on facebook, then .7 MP is probably fine. If you want to print any of the photos you take, or even have room to crop the photo, you won't get enough resolution to do that.

    That being said, the Retina display does look awesome, but is it worth the extra dollars over the price of the 3G model? Only you can decide that.

    I hope this helps all of you make a wise decision about your purchase.

    08 Sept 2010 Update
    Hello everyone. First, I am glad that my raising the above issues helped many of you. Second, for those who lashed out at me, perhaps you should take a look at why you get so angry at a stranger who simply encouraged you to look and think before you buy.

    Here's an update.[...] has posted a hands on review of the new iPod Touch. You may want to google it or go to their site to read it.

    In summary:
    1. Retina display is darker and not nearly as good as the one in the iPhone. "Definitely not an iPhone w/o the contract".
    2. HD Video is actually pretty good
    3. Size is a lot smaller than the 3g, bad if you have normal or large hands, ok for teens and those w/ small hands.
    4. Photo quality is much worse than the iPhone. And their posted photos show how much worse. Forget trying to print them and I'd argue not even good for the web based on their samples. No focus or zoom capability either, you can only adjust brightness.

    There you go. We are staying w/ our 3g models, there isn't enough here to justify taking a huge loss selling them and buying these new models. And given that the camera and retina display aren't nearly the quality of the iPhone, this is certainly a release we'll sit out.

    I hope this has helped.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wafer thin, 2 Cameras, better Wifi and better sound!, September 18, 2010
    I got my 64G Touch 4G last week -- I finally got my wish, the Touch gets not one, but two cameras! That makes up for last year's disappointing 3G release.

    First impressions: wow, this is so thin and small -- makes my 3rd gen look a bit like a bulky oaf in comparison. Second impression: hey, this doesn't look like my iPhone 4 at all!

    A bit about me: I'm an MP3 diehard fanatic, I own or have owned almost every MP3 player of note. To name a few: iPod Touch 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th gen, iPod Classic, iPod Nano, Zune HD, Archos Android, 5, 605, 604, and so forth. I have a broad basis for comparison as I write my review.

    Down to brass tacks then, what do I love about my new Touch:

    1) Retina display -- Wow! That's a lot of pixels in a small space, the crispness and clarity of text and video is simply awesome.
    2) Slim form factor -- this is thinner and narrower than last years model. Its compact, easily fits in a pocket, while still having a little weight to give that quality feel.
    3) iTunes and the App Store -- still one of Apple's strongest features. iTunes continues to be the best interface for music, video and app purchases. While Zune Marketplace and Android are strong contenders, they aren't quite there yet.
    4) Easy upgrades -- the iOS upgrade system is as smooth as it gets, just plug it into iTunes and it happens smoothly and seamlessly.
    5) Dedicated power and volume buttons.
    6) Cool user interface -- possibly the best user interface although Zune and Android are also strong.
    7) Apps -- without question the Apps are the Touch and iPhone strongest feature, the most Apps and the best Apps.
    8) Accessories, accessories -- you just can't beat the easy availability and diversity of accessories available for iPod Touch. Its good to be at the top!
    9) Multitasking (or multi-what?) -- finally we have multitasking on an MP3 player! Ok, maybe I'm just a geek and nobody else cares... just a little tip: double click your home button to see what has been running in the background and sucking up your battery!
    10) External speaker -- improved quality since 3rd gen. Nice when you don't want to put on headphones to listen to a podcast or something.
    11) Cameras -- the only MP3 player I've ever had that can do facetime, take pictures, and record videos!
    12) Improved Wifi -- connects easily to my WPA secured U-Verse router, my 3rd gen can't do it. Makes this a good "small iPad" if that's what you're looking for.
    13) Improved sound -- its getting pretty good now, still not the best available but definitely better than 3rd gen was. I would say the sound quality has moved from 3 star to 4 stars now.

    And then the things I don't love so much:
    1) Where is the Dedicated play button??? Does anybody else think that this is like the most important thing for an MP3 player? Makes it hard to pause the music when somebody comes up and wants to talk to you. The trick I found is to unplug the headphones which pauses the music automatically!
    2) Removable battery? -- I'm just going to keep saying this til somebody at Apple hears me. It costs like $100 to get the battery replaced which is ridiculous.
    3) A/V docking station? -- Again, why doesn't Apple have a decent docking station? Both Zune and Archos have very nice docks for their products.

    All in all, my issues with the iPod Touch are pretty trivial. It continues to be the best all around MP3 player type unit available today -- hence the 5 stars. With the addition of Retina display, cameras, faster CPU, better sound and wifi, and slimmer packaging the Touch is still the one to beat.

    Note: If what you really care about is sound quality I would recommend the Sony Walkman X. If you want something that sounds great on big speakers, has a bigger screen, and a high capacity hard drive, then I recommend the Archos 5 with Android.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great device, screen is not what you think, almost too thin, September 12, 2010
    I've been using an old Iphone 2.5g as my "ipod touch" for about the last year or so. I switched to Sprint for the cheaper rates so no more iphone coverage. Well, since the old phone is not compatible with IOS4.0 and since this new device is seemed truly "next-generation," I decided to take the plunge. I hate the lack of space on my old iphone (8Gb) so I splurged for the 64. Here's a few things I noticed right out of the gate:

    1) The screen resolution is phenomenal. The lighting sucks. It has a nasty angle of view. If you look dead at the center of the screen with a black screen "on," you can see slight brightness variances from corner to corner. Not terrible, but I had expected better. After researching it a bit, this is apparently because Apple "cheaped-out" and did not include the IPS style of lighting that they used on the Iphone 4. Oh well, still a great screen though.

    2) Size: The device is amazingly thin. This is both good and bad. The buttons are kind of hard to mash as they are located on the heavily beveled edges of the device. It's not bad, but, you do need to have a good grip on the device when screwing around with volume or power. It is super light and fits well in my hand though. But, as weird as it seems, i do hate how the apple logo feels under my finger. Feels like I have super glue or something on my finger tips... strange

    3) Speed: The speed of the device is great. This is comparing it directly to my old iPhone though. It blows it out of the water. I don't have to really wait on anything. I do wish the browser was better though. On my old phone, when I'd scroll too fast on a large page, i'd get the checkerboard effect. I hoped this was no longer an issue with the new A4 chip. Again, after researching it, I found that the iPod touch has half the RAM of the new iPhone 4. Guess that would explain it.

    4) Camera: The camera is crap. It's low res and has poor low light performance. It's cool for impressing Grandma with the Face Time app, but that's about it. Don't leave home without a good cell phone camera (or a Nikon/Canon!)

    5) Minor quibbles: I miss my vibrate/loudness switch. Sucks not being able to instantly mute the device when i want it quiet. I also wish the speaker were more full. I am glad that Apple included a speaker at least, but, for it to be useful as a Face Time device for Grandma, the speaker really needs to be made louder/fuller.

    in a nutshell, it's a great device, but it is the Kmart special of the new Iphone 4 in pretty much every way. Why did I give it 4 stars when I'm so harsh on it? Because, no other device even comes close. Apple has managed to make the Ipod Touch feel magic in every way. Read more


    7. Kindle 3G Wireless Reading Device, Free 3G + Wi-Fi, 3G Works Globally, White, 6" Display with New E Ink Pearl Technology
    Electronics
    list price: $189.00 -- our price: $189.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B002LVUX1W
    Manufacturer: Amazon.com
    Sales Rank: 3
    Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    The all-new Kindle has a new electronic-ink screen with 50 percent better contrast than any other e-reader, a new sleek design with a 21 percent smaller body while still keeping the same 6-inch-size reading area, and a 15 percent lighter weight at just 8.7 ounces.  The new Kindle also offers 20 percent faster page turns, up to one month of battery life, double the storage to 3,500 books, built-in Wi-Fi, a graphite color option and more—all for only $189, and still with free 3G wireless—no monthly bills or annual contracts.

    ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars Kindle vs. Nook (updated 12/1/2010)
    If you're trying to choose between a Nook and a Kindle, perhaps I can help. My wife and I have owned a Nook (the original one, not the new Nook Color), a Kindle 2, and a Kindle DX. When Amazon announced the Kindle 3 this summer, we pre-ordered two Kindle 3's: the wi-fi only model in graphite, and the wi-fi + 3G model in white. They arrived in late August and we have used them very regularly since then. For us, Kindle is better than Nook, but Nook is a good device with its own advantages that I will discuss below. I'll end this review with a few words about the Nook Color.

    First, reasons why we prefer the Kindle:

    * Speed

    In our experience, the Kindle is very zippy compared to the Nook. Page refresh speed (the time it takes a new page to appear after you push the page-turn button) was WAY quicker on Kindle 2 than on Nook, and it's quicker yet on Kindle 3. Yet, I read a whole book on the Nook and didn't find the slower page refresh to be annoying - you get used to it, and it's not a problem.

    For me, the more important speed difference concerns navigation - moving the cursor around the screen, for example to pick a book from your library, or to jump to a chapter by selecting it in the table of contents. On Kindle, you do this by pushing a 5-way rocker button, and the cursor moves very quickly. On Nook, you do this by activating the color LCD touchscreen (which normally shuts off when not in use, to conserve battery). A "virtual rocker button" appears on the screen, and you touch it to move the cursor. Unfortunately, the Nook cursor moves very sluggishly. This might not be a big deal to you, but it really got annoying to me, especially since my wife's Kindle was so quick and responsive.

    In November 2010, Nook got a software upgrade that increases page refresh speed and makes navigation more responsive. I returned my Nook months ago, so I cannot tell you if the Nook's performance is now equal to the Kindle's, but Nook owners in the comments section have convinced me that the software update improves the experience of using the Nook. If performance is a big factor in your decision, visit a Best Buy and compare Kindle and Nook side by side.

    * Screen contrast

    You've seen Amazon's claims that the Kindle 3 e-ink has 50% better contrast than Kindle 2 or other e-ink devices. I have no way of precisely measuring the improvement in contrast, but I can tell you that the Kindle 3 display definitely has more contrast than Kindle 2 or Nook. The difference is noticeable, and important: more screen contrast means less eyestrain when reading in poorly lit rooms.

    In well-lit rooms, the Nook and Kindle 2 have enough contrast to allow for comfortable reading. But I often read in low-light conditions, like in bed at night, or in a poorly lit room. In these situations, reading on Nook or Kindle 2 was a bit uncomfortable and often gave me a mild headache. When I got the Kindle 3, the extra contrast was immediately noticeable, and made it more comfortable to read under less-than-ideal lighting conditions. (If you go with a Nook, just make sure you have a good reading lamp nearby.)

    * Battery life

    The Nook's color LCD touch screen drains its battery quickly - I could never get more than 5 days out of a charge. The Kindle 2 had longer battery life than the Nook, and Kindle 3 has even longer life: in the 3 months since we received our Kindle 3's, we typically get 3 weeks of battery life between charges. (We keep wireless off about half the time to save battery power.)

    * Weight

    Nook weighs about 3 ounces more than the new Kindle, and you can really feel the difference. Without a case, Nook is still light enough to hold in one hand for long reading sessions without fatigue. But in a case, Nook is a heavy sucker. The new Kindle 3 is so light, even in a case, we find it comfortable holding in one hand for long reading sessions.

    Reasons some people might prefer the Nook:

    * In-store experience

    If you need help with your nook, you can take it to any barnes and noble and get a real human to help. You can take your nook into the coffee shop section of your local B&N store and read any book for free for up to one hour per day. When you take your nook to B&N, some in-store special deals and the occasional free book pop up on your screen.

    * User-replaceable battery

    Rechargeable batteries eventually lose their ability to hold a charge. Nook's battery is user-replaceable and relatively inexpensive. To replace Kindle's battery, Amazon wants you to ship your Kindle to Amazon, and they will ship you back a DIFFERENT Kindle than the one you sent (it's the same model, for example if you send a white Kindle 3, you get a white Kindle 3 back, but you get a "refurbished" one, NOT the exact one you sent them). I don't like this at all.

    However, several people have posted comments here that have eased my concerns. Someone looked up statistics on the Kindle's battery and did some simple calculations to show that it should last for 3 or more years. Before that happens, I will surely have upgraded to a newer Kindle model by then. Also, someone found some companies that sell Kindle batteries at reasonable cost and have how-to videos that demonstrate how we can replace the battery ourselves. Doing this would void the Kindle's warranty, but the battery will probably not fail until long after the warranty expires.

    * ePub

    Nook uses the ePub format, a widely used open format. Amazon uses a proprietary ebook format. Many libraries will "lend" ebooks in the ePub format, which works with nook but not kindle. However, a free and reputable program called Calibre allows you to translate ebooks from one format to another - it supports many formats, including ePub and Kindle. The only catch is that it doesn't work with copy-protected ebooks, so you can't, for example, buy a Kindle book (which is copy protected) and translate it to ePub so you can read it on a Nook.

    * lending e-books to friends

    Nook owners can "loan" ebooks they purchased to other nook owners for up to two weeks. You can't do this with kindle - yet. Amazon has announced it will soon add this lending feature to all kindles (via a software update that will be available to people who already own kindles).

    * Nook's color LCD touchscreen

    This could be a pro or con, depending on your preferences. It makes nook hipper and less drab than kindle. Some people enjoy using the color LCD to view their library or navigate. I did, at first. But after two weeks of use, and comparisons with my wife's kindle, I found the dedicated buttons of the kindle easier and far quicker to use than the nook's color touchscreen. I also found the bright light from the color screen distracting when I was trying to read a book or newspaper (though when not in use, it shuts off after a minute or so to conserve battery).

    * expandable capacity

    Nook comes with 2GB of internal memory. If you need more capacity, you can insert a microSD card to add up to 16GB more memory. Kindle comes with 4GB of internal memory - twice as much as Nook - but there's no way to expand that. Kindle doesn't accept memory cards of any type. If you mainly use your device to read ebooks and newspapers, this shouldn't be an issue. I have over 100 books on my Kindle, and I've used only a tiny fraction of the memory. Once Kindle's memory fills up, just delete books you don't need immediate access to; you can always restore them later, in seconds, for free.

    A few other notes:

    Kindle and Nook have other features, such as an MP3 player and a web browser, but I caution you to have low expectations for these features. The MP3 player on the Kindle is like the first-generation iPod shuffle - you can't see what song is playing, and you can't navigate to other songs on your device. I don't like the browser on either device; e-ink is just not a good technology for surfing the web; it's slower and clunkier than LCD screen technology, so even the browser on an Android phone or iPod touch is more enjoyable to use. However, some commenters have more favorable views of either device's browser, and you might, too.

    * PDF support

    Kindle and Nook both handle PDF files, but in different ways. When you put a PDF file on your nook, nook converts it into an ebook-like file, then you can adjust the font size, and the text and pagination will adjust just like with any ebook. But you cannot see the original PDF file in the native format in which it was created. Kindle 3 and Kindle DX have native support for PDF files. You can see PDF files just as they would appear on your computer. You can also convert PDF files to an ebook-like format, and then Kindle handles them just the way the Nook handles them - text and pagination adjust when you change the font size. Unfortunately, some symbols, equations, and graphics get lost or mangled in the translation - even when viewing PDF files in their native format on the Kindle. Moreover, the small screen size of the Kindle 3 and the Nook is not great for PDF files, most of which are designed for a larger page size. You can zoom and pan, but this is cumbersome and tiresome. Thanks to commenters who suggested viewing PDF files in landscape mode on the Kindle (I don't know if you can do this on Nook); this way, you can see the entire top half of the page without panning, and then scroll down to the bottom half. This works a little better.

    SUMMARY:

    Nook and Kindle each offer their own advantages. We like the nook's user-replaceable battery, compatibility with ePub format, and in-store experience. But we strongly prefer Kindle 3 because its performance is zippier, its higher-contrast screen is easier to read, and it's smaller and lighter so it is more portable and more comfortable to hold in one hand for long reading sessions.

    * Nook Color

    Everything I wrote about the Nook in this review applies to the original Nook (which continues to be available), not the new Nook Color. To me, the Nook Color is in a different product category than the Kindle or original Nook. Nook Color has an LCD screen, like an iPad or most computer monitors. Reading on a computer screen for long periods of time is not comfortable for me - it causes fatigue and headaches. The e-ink Kindle is very comfortable for long reading sessions. So I'll take a pass on the Nook Color. But it will probably be great for others, especially people who want to watch movies, surf the web and play games on their e-reader, and don't mind the extra cost, weight, or lack of 3G. I've seen and played with a Nook Color at my local B&N, and it is a very attractive device. I'm looking forward to reading user reviews of the Nook Color when people start getting them. If you get one, please post a comment to let us know how you like it.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Worth the money. Not perfect, but very very good for start to finish novels in good light
    The Kindle is my first e-ink reader. I own an iPad, an iPhone, and have owned a Windows-based phone in the past that I used as an ereader.

    My overall impression of the device is good.

    The good:
    I'd honestly rather read linear (read from page one to the end, one page at a time) fiction from it than a book, because I can't always get comfortable with a book. Hardcovers are sometimes a bit heavy, and paperbacks don't always lie open easily. The Kindle is incredibly light and thin. I can hold it in one hand easily. The page turn buttons are conveniently located. Page-turns aren't instant, but they're probably quicker than turning a physical page in a printed book (there are just a lot more page-turns unless you choose a small font). The contrast is better than other ereaders I've seen. There is zero eye strain in good light. My eyesight isn't the greatest and I like being able to increase the font size and read without glasses. I love being able to browse the Kindle store and read samples before deciding to purchase. The "experimental" browser is surprisingly usable, but isn't great. It is useful for browsing wikipedia and blogs. The biggest drawback to the browser is the awkward pointer navigation, using the 5-way pad. It syncs your furthest read page over the internet so you can pick up where you left off using your iPhone or iPad.

    The so-so:
    The kindle store could use more categories and sorting options. You can't sort by "top rated," and there is no category for "alternate histories," for example. Finding a very-specific type of fiction relies on keyword searches, which don't do a great job. The wifi sometimes doesn't connect before it times-out. You rarely need the wifi, but it is annoying if you change a setting, answer "OK" to the prompt to connect, and the thing tells you it failed to connect two seconds later (the exact moment it indicates that it did finally connect, then you need to go back to update the setting again). Most settings don't require a connection, but it is a minor annoyance. Most of your time will be spent reading, and of course your books are stored on the device and a connection is not required. Part of me wishes I'd bought the 3G model, because the browser is good enough that having lifetime free 3G wireless would be worth the extra money. Magazines don't look very good and are not very easy to navigate. There is minor glare in some lighting conditions, mostly when a lamp is positioned behind the reader's head.

    The bad:
    The contrast is fair to poor in dim light. It is much easier to read a printed page in dim light. In good light, contrast is on par with a pulp paperback. In dim light it feels almost like reading from an old Palm Pilot (resolution is better than an old Palm, but contrast is bad in dim light). The screen is small enough that the frequency of page turns is pretty high. Even in good light, the light gray background is less pleasant than the eggshell background of a printed page. You must tell it to sync before you switch it off, if you expect the feature allowing you to pick up where you left off using other devices to work correctly. The copy protection prevents you from using the files on anything other than Kindle software or devices.

    Vs iPad:
    IPad is a lot better for magazines, reference materials, and illustrated materials. Kindle is worlds better for reading novels. IPad is pretty heavy, making it more difficult to hold in your hand or carry with you everywhere. Kindle is much more portable and easier to hold. IPad has some amazing children's books and magazines, which take advantage of its multimedia features. IPad is unreadable in sunlight and glare is bad in bright light. Kindle is as good as a printed page in bright light. Ipad serves as a creative tool, a computing tool, a gaming tool, and a communication tool. Kindle is only a novel machine. I don't regret buying either one of them. An iPad won't replace books, but a Kindle can, if the book is text-only.

    I highly recommend this device at its new low price if you are a frequent reader of novels. I love my kindle. Just don't expect it to be more than it is. Leave the magazines and such to the tablet computers.

    4-0 out of 5 stars I Wanted a Dedicated E-Reader, and That's What I Got
    I'm a first-time Kindle owner, so I have nothing to "compare" the latest Kindle to. I don't own a Nook. I don't own an iPad (and, in any case, that's comparing apples to oranges). I don't have a Sony e-reader. '

    This will be a short, simple review.

    I received my Kindle about a week ago and haven't been able to put it down.

    Things I like about my Kindle?
    1. The e-ink display is amazing.
    2. Using the 5-way controller is simple and effective.
    3. Page turn speeds are faster than I thought they would be.
    4. It's lightweight, even with the attached cover (I have an Amazon cover with a built-in light)
    5. Page-turning buttons are quiet and well-placed.
    6. Recharge time is fast.
    7. I can order a book and start reading it in less than 60 seconds. Nice!
    8. Portability... I can take 3,000 books with me when I travel for work and not require additional suitcases or baggage fees.

    Things I'm not too keen on?
    1. Buttons are too close together and are laid out oddly.
    2. Lack of individual number buttons is frustrating.
    3. Power button on the bottom? Not a bad thing. Just an odd thing. (Same for the headphone input). I usually rest the "bottom" of a book on my lap when I read.

    Things I hope change in the future?
    1. How books are organized... When I put a book in a collection (which is actually a "tag"), it still appears in the main list. It's not actually "moved", it's merely associated.
    2. The look of the main screen. I'd like "folders" or some other way to display "collections".
    3. Ability to create personal "screen savers."
    4. E-book pricing, though Amazon has little control over this. Still, most titles are the same price as or less than their hardback/paperback counterparts. (And I'm not opposed to paying more for convenience and portability).

    Things that don't bother me regarding other reviews?
    1. The browser is experimental. Amazon has created a dedicated e-reader, and it's meant to be used to read. Period. Not browse the web. If you want to browse the web, get a computer -- not an e-reader.
    2. The Kindle is not an mP3 player, either. Yes, it's nice to have some classical music playing in the background while I read, but I don't need to see the title of the song, album art, etc. (And you can skip from track to track on the Kindle using shortcut keys).
    3. Lack of a "color" or "touch" screen.

    In summary, for $139, I'm quite thrilled with my purchase and have arleady read multiple books on it. In fact, I think I've read more in the past week than I've read in the past month.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Not the perfect "do-it-all" device, but very close to being the perfect e-reading device!
    I woke up to a nice surprise this morning: a new kindle as a gift. I have an iPad and a Kindle DX, but I guess someone heard my complaints of them being too heavy and difficult to do extended-reading on. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love my iPad and DX, but this new generation of Kindle is perfect for reading outside and for long periods of time. The iPad gets completely washed out in sunlight and often irritates my eyes staring at it for more than a couple of hours. The DX was my go-to device for those extended/outdoor reading periods, but now I have a new friend for reading novels. Instead of a replacement, this one seems more like a companion to the other devices and is a different class. The iPad works great for web browsing, shopping, productivity, games, etc while the Kindle falls short in those areas. The Kindle works great for reading novels, where the iPad falls short. For those that love to do extended-reading of magazines, newspapers, research articles, etc, I find that the DX is the go-to device.

    Without a doubt, the size and weight of the new kindle is the biggest draw for me. It's smaller than the last edition by a significant margin. I've played around with the Kindle 2 and was impressed, but now looking at the size of the new Kindle, I'm blown away. It's the absolute perfect size. Smaller would be unmanageable and larger wouldn't feel nearly as good. This is a device that you can hold up, read, and just forget that it's there. Compared to other e-readers I've tried, it's much smaller and much lighter.

    One of my biggest complaints about the previous generation Kindles and the DX is the speed. It sometimes takes a while after you push `next page' for it to actually change. In addition, the web browsing feature was so slow and clunky that it is really unusable in my opinion. Two additions to the new Kindle have helped attenuate these issues. First, the pages do flip quicker (albeit, still slow in my opinion), and the addition of wifi has allowed faster connection for wireless activities (much better than only relying on 3G). I still can't see myself using the Kindle as an internet browsing tool or really doing much online aside from purchasing reading material, but the faster connection at least opens up the possibility - something that would only frustrate me on previous editions.

    The new Kindle also offers a better contrast than previous editions and it looks fantastic compared to every other e-reader I have seen. I have no trouble seeing the screen in dim light or in bright sunlight - it really opens up the ability to read almost anywhere you are. Of course, you'll still need a separate light for extremely dark areas.

    Another big addition to the Kindle 3 is that it offers double the storage compared to Kindle 2. I've never had a problem with the amount of storage since I can't possibly see myself filling up that much space (I don't put mp3's on it), but perhaps in the future, if certain applications or media files are put on the kindle, it could have been a problem. The additional space in the new model is definitely a welcome addition, but bringing back the memory card slot that was included on Kindle 1 would have been an even more welcome addition in my opinion.

    Among e-readers, I definitely recommend the Kindle 3 if not just because it has a better size/form-factor, contrast, battery life, and speed compared to every other e-reader I have tried. On top of that, you get the wonderful amazon buying experience and selection for all your literature and can keep your kindle library intact between whatever other device you want to download a Kindle application onto.

    The question of whether you need a Kindle vs another type of device for reading becomes a little more tricky and really comes down to what you want to use it for.

    Do you want a device to read novels on, perhaps read outside, and have something very light that you almost forget it's there? Buy the Kindle.

    Do you want something to lie in bed with for short periods of time while surfing the web? I might suggest going with the iPad, a different tablet, or a netbook.

    Do you already have a Kindle 1 or 2? That's a tough one.... I don't think the new edition has enough `new' to it to warrant the upgrade in my mind, but some might value the new size and wifi capabilities even more-so than I do. For me, the new Kindle was a welcome addition to my family of devices since I didn't have anything anywhere near its form factor and convenience.

    Should you get 3G + Wifi or just Wifi? I think this question can be answered simply by asking yourself if you travel a lot. Being able to buy books and access wireless content on the road is an indispensable option and well worth the extra money in my mind. Keeping the device mainly at home or near wifi hotspots really negates the need for 3G though.

    Overall, I have to give the Kindle a 5 star rating because it does what it was designed to do very well, and in my opinion better than any of the competition. While the new features and capabilities aren't game-changing and truly outstanding, it is smaller, more capable, and better than any other e-reader out there. If you want `one device to handle it all', this isn't the place to look, but If you want a fantastic device solely for reading books, this is what you want.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A hesistant buyer rejoices on his choice
    I researched the purchase of a Kindle for a long time. I couldn't decide whether or not it was worth buying a dedicated e-reader. Boy am I glad I made this purchase. The downside to Amazon's online selling of Kindle 3 is that the customers don't get to see it in person. It is much better in person. This may sound stupid, but when I got my new Kindle, I thought there was a stuck-on overlay on the screen containing a diagram of the unit's buttons, etc. I actually tried to peel it off. Doh! The e-ink on this unit is THAT good. I didn't realize that I was staring at the actual display. I also didn't realize that no power is required until the display changes. (thus the great battery life) I do a lot of reading, but was facing the prospect of reading less or buying large type books because of my variable and deteriorating eyesight. The new Kindle has been a godsend. Now, I can decide the size of type I need depending on my level of fatigue among other things. The weight and ergonomics are very good. For someone, like me, with neuropathy in his hands, it is extremely easy to manage and enjoyable to own. To me, it is easier to read than print books. The ease of navigation is great as is the speed. The battery life, so far, has been extraordinary. It easily connected to our home Wi-Fi, which by design does not broadcast an SSID. It downloads books so fast that I almost thought they were not completely received. I did not buy the 3G version because of the price difference and the fact that there is no coverage where I live. If you are not constantly traveling, I don't see the need to spend the extra bucks, but that is a matter of personal choice. For those who have no Wi-Fi at home, remember that you can always download the material to your computer and transfer it via USB. Just today I was watching an interview with Tony Blair on TV. He was talking about his new book, which sounded interesting. I picked up the Kindle and downloaded a free sample before the interview was over. I have only read the preface so far, but will probably buy the book. Now THAT is a great way to buy a book! I haven't used online browsing extensively yet, but find it reasonable for what the device is. This is primarily a book reader, not a laptop or notebook. They are great for what they do, but can't match the e-ink display, or the light weight. For those of you worrying about the wait for the new Kindle, let me end with, "It is worth the wait" This new Kindle is all about the quality of experience. There are many format choices for electronic reading. If you want the best experience, go with the Kindle.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Solid Improvements! Check out my video review!
    I just received my new Kindle, and my early impressions are very positive - it's definitely a solid step up from the previous generation Kindle. Check out my video review to see/hear more!

    UPDATE 9/7/2010: Hey guys - based on the comments received there are definitely some questions that people are interested in that I didn't touch on in my video review - so I wanted to take some time to answer some of those questions here. Hopefully this is helpful!

    Q: Is the Kindle 3 backlit? If not, then how do you see it at night?

    A: The Kindle 3 is not backlit. For the Kindle 2 I used a leather case with a reading light clipped to it. For the Kindle 3 Amazon produced a leather case that has a built-in reading light. I've been using it since day 1 and I love it. I made a video review for that also if you want to check it out:

    http://www.amazon.com/review/R27V1SXQSI9M86/

    Q: How well does the new joystick control work?

    A: The new Kindle replaces the old five-way navigation joystick with a center button surrounded by a thin 4-way directional control. After messing around with both of these approaches, I don't really have a strong personal preference one way or another - they both work fine for me.

    If you have big hands then I can definitely see having a bit of trouble getting used to the new joystick. The directional control is very thin, and if you're going to have trouble with any button on the Kindle... that's definitely going to be the one.

    Q: How is viewing PDFs on the Kindle 3? Are they easy to upload onto the Kindle?

    A: Uploading PDFs to the Kindle is very easy. You just connect your Kindle to your computer via USB cable and then drag and drop the PDFs. Totally simple. Viewing them is pretty decent, but the major problem is that most PDFs aren't designed for a 6 inch screen. You might have to do a lot of zooming and panning to see the content you want. If you plan on viewing a ton of PDFs, then you may want to check out the Kindle DX Wireless Reading Device, Free 3G, 9.7" Display, Graphite, 3G Works Globally  Latest Generation.

    Q: How well does the text-to-speech work?

    A: It's ok. You definitely won't mistake it for a professionally produced audiobook, but it doesn't sound as bad as you may think it will. Also note that text-to-speech is not available for every book. You can see on the product page for each Kindle book if text-to-speech is enabled or not.

    5-0 out of 5 stars K3 is perfect
    When I first unboxed the new K3, I was slightly disappointed. The new 5-way appeared to be harder to used than the little joystick of the K2. I have to say, though, two days later, I'm liking it much better. Since I'm getting used to it so quickly, I think in another day I won't know the difference.

    The size is absolutely perfect. In the Amazon cover, it is exactly like reading from a paperback book. It's noticeably lighter and easier to hold for reading, even with arthritis in my hands. The page turn buttons are wonderful. Almost no noise, and you don't have to push them as hard. It should make it much easier for those with weak or disabled hands. I also like have next page and previous buttons on both sides. I didn't think it would make a difference to me, but it really does.

    I tried a couple of times to connect the WiFi, but didn't get it to work. Today I had more time so I thought I'd try to puzzle through it. But when I navigated to the wireless menu, it had somehow figured out how to connect on its own. The browser is MUCH faster, and it made buying a book a breeze.

    I haven't had it long enough to comment on the extended battery life. But I was honestly fine with the more than 10 days I always got with K2.

    And the FONTS! My word what a difference! I can practically read in the dark! I've been able to reduce the font size from 4 to 2. Combine sharper contrast with better fonts and it's an unbeatable combo.

    The ONLY thing I would change if I could is to move the Menu button, and especially the Back button. I'm having a little trouble navigating with the down arrow because I hit Back. But I'm starting to get the hang of it.

    All in all, I think Amazon hit it out of the park with the K3!

    5-0 out of 5 stars K3 Even Better than its Predecessor
    It's no longer necessary to write about how desirable the Kindle is (or, for that matter, e-readers generally). Books and text and reading are with us to stay; only paper is becoming unnecessary. What we can discuss is how well a device performs its intended task(s), and how it compares to its competition on an absolute basis and for the price.

    My wife and I share a last gen 6" Kindle and just received a new 6" display K3. I know, Amazon doesn't call it that, but how else can users refer to it? In twenty words or less, it is an improvement over an already excellent product. Smaller, but not too small to be held comfortably. Same size display, but sharper and crisper, better contrast. Easy to use, somewhat smaller keyboard that takes a little, but very little, getting used to. It took me a few hours to stop accidentally pressing some neighboring keys, but now using the keyboard is second nature. And the page turning buttons are silent, but have sufficient tactile feedback, excellent feel.

    I found it very easy to duplicate our library from our older Kindle to our new K3, and to activate our home wifi. I don't like to say I "transferred" our books because that could be understood to mean they were taken from our old Kindle to our new one. I say "duplicate" because they reside on both Kindles. The instruction manual is detailed and somewhat lengthy, but very understandable. (It's 200 pages, but don't let that scare you; it's easy to find the parts you need, and you will never need more than a few pages at one time.) The manual is published on the device, as in the past, and can also be downloaded to your computer as a pdf file so you can read the instructions from your computer as you apply them to the K3.

    If you have wifi at home, which we do, when you are in range of a wifi that you have activated in your K3, it automatically uses that wifi, instead of connecting to the 3G AT&T network, assuming, of course, you have a 3G+wifi K3. It works faster on my home wifi than on the 3G network, so much so that if I had really thought it through before I bought it, or if I were to buy another, I would probably go wifi only and save $50. The only reasons to get the 3G+wifi model would seem to be if you don't have reliable access to wifi or if you travel a good deal to places that don't have a lot of wifi access, but do have AT&T connectivity AND you have need to download books or periodicals on a regular basis or without delay while you are away from home or office. If you can plan ahead and stock up on a few good books, and you have reliable access to wifi, such as at home/office, McDonalds or Starbucks, I suggest you think twice about whether you want the 3G+wifi K3, or the wifi only.

    Each K3 has its own email address and you can send documents to it, including Word and pdf docs, and photos. Of course, the photos are B&W, but very detailed and clear. The K3 permits surfing the web, although I haven't used it much for that purpose and, other than saying it works, I hesitate to pass judgment on how well I think someone who uses it for web browsing would like it.

    I can't compare it to other dedicated e-readers because I haven't used them. People seem to be interested in how I think it compares to the iPad, which I don't own but have "played with" somewhat extensively at the Apple Store. My assessment is that there is no comparison. The iPad will do much more, but as an e-reader I think the K3 is superior. I don't need color for reading text, the K3 is a fraction of the cost, and its smaller size makes it much more convenient to tote around. However, what kills the iPad as an e-reader, as far as I am concerned, is its weight. I suspect most of us are the same in this regard, but I tend to read for an hour or two at a stretch. A pound and a half doesn't sound too heavy, but I held an iPad for five minutes, literally, and my hands ached. It is simply too heavy to use as a book reading device, while the K3 is light as a feather. For reading, a cheaper and significantly lighter K3 as a dedicated e-reader is, IMHO, the way to go (compared to an iPad). BTW, a recent (in Aug. 2010) report from Taiwan said Apple in making a 6" iPod, which, depending on size and weight, could change the equation. It will be interesting to see how the e-reader market develops. I said I can't compare the K3 to other competitors, and I won't, but I can say I am completely satisfied with Amazon as an e-book seller. I've only had a few occasions to need support (on my old Kindle), but that has also been entirely satisfactory.

    Bottom line: my wife and I both like the K3 very much and recommend it to anyone considering buying an e-reader. I don't think you will regret buying one, with or without the free 3G.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Quality control problems
    First, the good stuff. Kindle 3 has a very readable high contrast screen. The form factor is small and light enough to be a book replacement. Purchasing and downloading content is simple and convenient.

    However, I had a series of problems which eventually led me to return my Kindle.

    After unpacking and charging my Kindle 3, it refused to connect to my wireless network. I have a variety of other devices ranging from a Nintendo Wii to an iPod Touch and two computers that work just fine on my wireless network, but the Kindle couldn't connect after many attempts. I eventually gave up and turned it off. When I turned it back on several hours later, it had mysteriously connected to my WiFi network with the exact same settings that did not work earlier. I have noticed that several other users have ran into the same problem.

    The next problem I noticed was that something was rolling around inside the casing. This is obviously not a good sign. Then, my Kindle 3 started freezing. The first freeze happened while using the experimental browser. As this is an "experimental" application, I wasn't too concerned. After a power reset, the Kindle came back up. The second freeze happened while playing Shuffled Row, which is a good game. After this freeze, my Kindle refused to reboot after many power reset attempts. (Yes, I did try keeping the power switch in the "turn-on" position for up to 30 seconds as suggested by the manual.) I eventually gave up and put it down. However, after a few minutes, the Kindle started to reboot itself. The was another freeze while reading a book, which was fixed with a power reset. I tried to contact Amazon for service, but it looks like the only way to get Kindle customer service is through a phone call.

    And then my Kindle froze again while reading a book. This time, nothing would reset the kindle. When this last freeze happened, the battery was charged about 75%. At this point, there was no option but to return the kindle. There are some comments among the negative reviews here that the usual Amazon.com return process does not work. In my case, I was able to follow the regular Amazon return process and print a return label. So my Kindle is back to Amazon after less than a week of use.

    Judging from other reviews that had similar experiences as mine, Amazon appears to have a specific quality control problem with this latest version of the Kindle. People may be more tolerant of the reliability other electronic gadgets, however, it is unacceptable for a product that is primarily intended to replace paper books to have issues like freezing and/or rebooting. After all, I never had a "paper" book freeze or reboot on me so far. Receiving a product with defects that should have been caught during testing before shipping pretty much destroys the "Kindle experience".

    UPDATE (October 31, 2010): Since I do like the Kindle concept, after reading about the improvement in stability with the latest software upgrades, I purchased another Kindle WiFi. Everything was great for almost two weeks, no crashes. However, yesterday, the second Kindle also ended up with a frozen screen. After following through the instructions on Amazon's Kindle troubleshooting page and talking to the customer service, there was no way to get the Kindle out of the frozen state, so this one is also going back. The fact that this situation can happen to the same customer twice in a matter of few months indicates either a serious quality control problem or component reliability problem.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Details on working with PDF, Wi-fi vs 3G, Starbucks, Audio books, MP3 and other things
    NOTE: Amazon limits the video size and duration, so I targeted what I thought were some key points.
    I check comments, so leave one if you have any questions not covered in the video or below and I'll try and answer.

    First off I love this device!!
    Like ipods are the king of MP3 players, this is the king of ebook readers in my opinion.

    I've been looking at this thing for at least 7+ hrs today and my eyes don't feel tired at all.

    If you want. . .
    * a low cost eBook reader
    * that allows you to read books
    * looks great
    * easy to setup
    * easy to hold/carry
    * easy on the eyes (no getting tired eyes from a glaring screen)
    . . . then look no further than this product!



    **Adding updates as I find other feature behaviors**

    - The comic I converted to PDF when emailed to my kindle email address the conversion process didn't like it too much. Better to not use the conversion process for those types of PDFs. Other PDF's converted just fine.
    - Emailing PDF = the conversion process seems to cut off the cover page each time
    - Emailing and having amazon convert is fast. I like it!
    - You can plug the kindle into the USB, then "eject" it from the OS. This allows you to continue to charge the kindle and read it at the same time. You could also just plug it into an electrical socket and read from it too.
    - If you stop/pause your MP3 music it will start all the way back at track #1. This is not an MP3 player. It also plays the most recently added track first
    - 10 minutes it goes into sleep mode, but if you leave Wi-fi on = drains your battery quicker. Better to turn Wi-fi off when not using it
    - Buy a case to protect it and get yourself a light for times when you don't have enough light to read by. This is not a cell-phone screen, meaning you can't read it in the dark. The screen very much simulates paper in this case.
    - Manual even states...you cannot connect the Wi-fi to a corporate wi-fi. Most companies require VPN of some sort, which is not supported here.
    - Loaded a 25Mb PDF and when when trying to search I get the following error message, ""your search can not be completed as this item has not been indexed. Please try again later." Found forum posts that said give the Kindle at least 10 minutes to complete indexing the file. . .longer if file if big. Sure enough, about 30 minutes later I tried again and was able to search this large PDF.

    8/29/10 update:
    - Just got back from Starbucks
    * Turned wi-fi on
    * Menu > Settings > Wifi Settings and selected the attwifi network option
    * Home > Menu > Experimental > Launch browser
    * zoom in on the terms & agreement checkbox and use the spacebar to check the box
    * click continue button and you are on the internet at the coffee shop!!

    9/3/10 update:
    - A week later, I haven't charged the unit nor shut it down, I've only put it into sleep mode. Battery indicator is still more than 80% full. Nice!
    - Someone pointed me towards "Calibre" a free conversion utility. Totally supports the Kindle 3 and converts to PDF, ePub, Mobi, etc. Works great and you can have the program send the converted document directly to your device via USB or email. The program also acts as your own "backup" by creating a document library on your hard drive that can be sorted, metadata updated, etc. It's very cool!

    9/5/10 update:
    - I kept getting unconverted PDFs (PDFs copied directly to unit via USB vs. sending to email for conversion) would result in the unit restarting when trying to access the PDF. Found forums that said you need to reset the unit. Slide & hold the power button for 15 seconds. Let it take the 20 seconds to reboot. This worked for me.

    9/10/10 update:
    Comments discussion & answers on the following:
    - Annotating PDFs, then accessing these notes for later review on a laptop/desktop
    - Is there an auto-scrolling for PDFs? = No
    - What its like to have the kindle "read" back to you? = robotic voice that ignores punctuation
    - More info on document conversion, including sending emails to the kindle for conversion?
    - The ability to access Gmail from the kindle? = yes, works fine though a bit slow on wi-fi

    9/19/10 update:
    - Check out the comments for my answer to, "Should I buy 3G or is wifi good enough?" = need to buy a book on the run, then get 3G. If you can wait till you get home or a coffee shop, then wi-fi works fine.

    9/24/10 update:
    Comments discussion & answers on the following:
    - Exactly how does an Audible audio book work with the Kindle?
    - Possible causes for why MP3 music is not recognized by the device?

    10/2/10 update:
    Comments discussion & answers on the following:
    - Can you play Audible audio books while at the same time reading along? = for all intents and purposes, no
    - How easy is it to register a new/used K3 to a different owner? = easy as pie

    10/23/10 update:
    Comments discussion & answers on the following:
    - Can you change out the battery yourself? = no
    - Can you share your documents with other kindle users? = legally only if both devices are under the same user account

    12/7/10 update:
    Comments discussion & answers on the following:
    - Can a color document show up as color on the kindle? = No, doc will be converted to greyscale
    - Able to support textbooks? = Yes, if in a supported document type
    - Should I pay the extra $50 for 3G in order to more easily access websites? = Up to you...many sites have mobile versions that load great on wi-fi. NOTE: still doesn't support sites that use Java
    - Will I have 3G coverage in my rural area? = Amazon gives a disclaimer in their FAQ that 3G connection is not guaranteed in some areas
    - Should I get the K3 for my 10 year old? = I personally feel this is a great device for any age reader. . .and gives the parent control/visibility to what is being read

    5-0 out of 5 stars Kindle vs. Nook (updated 12/1/2010)
    If you're trying to choose between a Nook and a Kindle, perhaps I can help. My wife and I have owned a Nook (the original one, not the new Nook Color), a Kindle 2, and a Kindle DX. When Amazon announced the Kindle 3 this summer, we pre-ordered two Kindle 3's: the wi-fi only model in graphite, and the wi-fi + 3G model in white. They arrived in late August and we have used them very regularly since then. For us, Kindle is better than Nook, but Nook is a good device with its own advantages that I will discuss below. I'll end this review with a few words about the Nook Color.

    First, reasons why we prefer the Kindle:

    * Speed

    In our experience, the Kindle is very zippy compared to the Nook. Page refresh speed (the time it takes a new page to appear after you push the page-turn button) was WAY quicker on Kindle 2 than on Nook, and it's quicker yet on Kindle 3. Yet, I read a whole book on the Nook and didn't find the slower page refresh to be annoying - you get used to it, and it's not a problem.

    For me, the more important speed difference concerns navigation - moving the cursor around the screen, for example to pick a book from your library, or to jump to a chapter by selecting it in the table of contents. On Kindle, you do this by pushing a 5-way rocker button, and the cursor moves very quickly. On Nook, you do this by activating the color LCD touchscreen (which normally shuts off when not in use, to conserve battery). A "virtual rocker button" appears on the screen, and you touch it to move the cursor. Unfortunately, the Nook cursor moves very sluggishly. This might not be a big deal to you, but it really got annoying to me, especially since my wife's Kindle was so quick and responsive.

    In November 2010, Nook got a software upgrade that increases page refresh speed and makes navigation more responsive. I returned my Nook months ago, so I cannot tell you if the Nook's performance is now equal to the Kindle's, but Nook owners in the comments section have convinced me that the software update improves the experience of using the Nook. If performance is a big factor in your decision, visit a Best Buy and compare Kindle and Nook side by side.

    * Screen contrast

    You've seen Amazon's claims that the Kindle 3 e-ink has 50% better contrast than Kindle 2 or other e-ink devices. I have no way of precisely measuring the improvement in contrast, but I can tell you that the Kindle 3 display definitely has more contrast than Kindle 2 or Nook. The difference is noticeable, and important: more screen contrast means less eyestrain when reading in poorly lit rooms.

    In well-lit rooms, the Nook and Kindle 2 have enough contrast to allow for comfortable reading. But I often read in low-light conditions, like in bed at night, or in a poorly lit room. In these situations, reading on Nook or Kindle 2 was a bit uncomfortable and often gave me a mild headache. When I got the Kindle 3, the extra contrast was immediately noticeable, and made it more comfortable to read under less-than-ideal lighting conditions. (If you go with a Nook, just make sure you have a good reading lamp nearby.)

    * Battery life

    The Nook's color LCD touch screen drains its battery quickly - I could never get more than 5 days out of a charge. The Kindle 2 had longer battery life than the Nook, and Kindle 3 has even longer life: in the 3 months since we received our Kindle 3's, we typically get 3 weeks of battery life between charges. (We keep wireless off about half the time to save battery power.)

    * Weight

    Nook weighs about 3 ounces more than the new Kindle, and you can really feel the difference. Without a case, Nook is still light enough to hold in one hand for long reading sessions without fatigue. But in a case, Nook is a heavy sucker. The new Kindle 3 is so light, even in a case, we find it comfortable holding in one hand for long reading sessions.

    Reasons some people might prefer the Nook:

    * In-store experience

    If you need help with your nook, you can take it to any barnes and noble and get a real human to help. You can take your nook into the coffee shop section of your local B&N store and read any book for free for up to one hour per day. When you take your nook to B&N, some in-store special deals and the occasional free book pop up on your screen.

    * User-replaceable battery

    Rechargeable batteries eventually lose their ability to hold a charge. Nook's battery is user-replaceable and relatively inexpensive. To replace Kindle's battery, Amazon wants you to ship your Kindle to Amazon, and they will ship you back a DIFFERENT Kindle than the one you sent (it's the same model, for example if you send a white Kindle 3, you get a white Kindle 3 back, but you get a "refurbished" one, NOT the exact one you sent them). I don't like this at all.

    However, several people have posted comments here that have eased my concerns. Someone looked up statistics on the Kindle's battery and did some simple calculations to show that it should last for 3 or more years. Before that happens, I will surely have upgraded to a newer Kindle model by then. Also, someone found some companies that sell Kindle batteries at reasonable cost and have how-to videos that demonstrate how we can replace the battery ourselves. Doing this would void the Kindle's warranty, but the battery will probably not fail until long after the warranty expires.

    * ePub

    Nook uses the ePub format, a widely used open format. Amazon uses a proprietary ebook format. Many libraries will "lend" ebooks in the ePub format, which works with nook but not kindle. However, a free and reputable program called Calibre allows you to translate ebooks from one format to another - it supports many formats, including ePub and Kindle. The only catch is that it doesn't work with copy-protected ebooks, so you can't, for example, buy a Kindle book (which is copy protected) and translate it to ePub so you can read it on a Nook.

    * lending e-books to friends

    Nook owners can "loan" ebooks they purchased to other nook owners for up to two weeks. You can't do this with kindle - yet. Amazon has announced it will soon add this lending feature to all kindles (via a software update that will be available to people who already own kindles).

    * Nook's color LCD touchscreen

    This could be a pro or con, depending on your preferences. It makes nook hipper and less drab than kindle. Some people enjoy using the color LCD to view their library or navigate. I did, at first. But after two weeks of use, and comparisons with my wife's kindle, I found the dedicated buttons of the kindle easier and far quicker to use than the nook's color touchscreen. I also found the bright light from the color screen distracting when I was trying to read a book or newspaper (though when not in use, it shuts off after a minute or so to conserve battery).

    * expandable capacity

    Nook comes with 2GB of internal memory. If you need more capacity, you can insert a microSD card to add up to 16GB more memory. Kindle comes with 4GB of internal memory - twice as much as Nook - but there's no way to expand that. Kindle doesn't accept memory cards of any type. If you mainly use your device to read ebooks and newspapers, this shouldn't be an issue. I have over 100 books on my Kindle, and I've used only a tiny fraction of the memory. Once Kindle's memory fills up, just delete books you don't need immediate access to; you can always restore them later, in seconds, for free.

    A few other notes:

    Kindle and Nook have other features, such as an MP3 player and a web browser, but I caution you to have low expectations for these features. The MP3 player on the Kindle is like the first-generation iPod shuffle - you can't see what song is playing, and you can't navigate to other songs on your device. I don't like the browser on either device; e-ink is just not a good technology for surfing the web; it's slower and clunkier than LCD screen technology, so even the browser on an Android phone or iPod touch is more enjoyable to use. However, some commenters have more favorable views of either device's browser, and you might, too.

    * PDF support

    Kindle and Nook both handle PDF files, but in different ways. When you put a PDF file on your nook, nook converts it into an ebook-like file, then you can adjust the font size, and the text and pagination will adjust just like with any ebook. But you cannot see the original PDF file in the native format in which it was created. Kindle 3 and Kindle DX have native support for PDF files. You can see PDF files just as they would appear on your computer. You can also convert PDF files to an ebook-like format, and then Kindle handles them just the way the Nook handles them - text and pagination adjust when you change the font size. Unfortunately, some symbols, equations, and graphics get lost or mangled in the translation - even when viewing PDF files in their native format on the Kindle. Moreover, the small screen size of the Kindle 3 and the Nook is not great for PDF files, most of which are designed for a larger page size. You can zoom and pan, but this is cumbersome and tiresome. Thanks to commenters who suggested viewing PDF files in landscape mode on the Kindle (I don't know if you can do this on Nook); this way, you can see the entire top half of the page without panning, and then scroll down to the bottom half. This works a little better.

    SUMMARY:

    Nook and Kindle each offer their own advantages. We like the nook's user-replaceable battery, compatibility with ePub format, and in-store experience. But we strongly prefer Kindle 3 because its performance is zippier, its higher-contrast screen is easier to read, and it's smaller and lighter so it is more portable and more comfortable to hold in one hand for long reading sessions.

    * Nook Color

    Everything I wrote about the Nook in this review applies to the original Nook (which continues to be available), not the new Nook Color. To me, the Nook Color is in a different product category than the Kindle or original Nook. Nook Color has an LCD screen, like an iPad or most computer monitors. Reading on a computer screen for long periods of time is not comfortable for me - it causes fatigue and headaches. The e-ink Kindle is very comfortable for long reading sessions. So I'll take a pass on the Nook Color. But it will probably be great for others, especially people who want to watch movies, surf the web and play games on their e-reader, and don't mind the extra cost, weight, or lack of 3G. I've seen and played with a Nook Color at my local B&N, and it is a very attractive device. I'm looking forward to reading user reviews of the Nook Color when people start getting them. If you get one, please post a comment to let us know how you like it.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Worth the money. Not perfect, but very very good for start to finish novels in good light
    The Kindle is my first e-ink reader. I own an iPad, an iPhone, and have owned a Windows-based phone in the past that I used as an ereader.

    My overall impression of the device is good.

    The good:
    I'd honestly rather read linear (read from page one to the end, one page at a time) fiction from it than a book, because I can't always get comfortable with a book. Hardcovers are sometimes a bit heavy, and paperbacks don't always lie open easily. The Kindle is incredibly light and thin. I can hold it in one hand easily. The page turn buttons are conveniently located. Page-turns aren't instant, but they're probably quicker than turning a physical page in a printed book (there are just a lot more page-turns unless you choose a small font). The contrast is better than other ereaders I've seen. There is zero eye strain in good light. My eyesight isn't the greatest and I like being able to increase the font size and read without glasses. I love being able to browse the Kindle store and read samples before deciding to purchase. The "experimental" browser is surprisingly usable, but isn't great. It is useful for browsing wikipedia and blogs. The biggest drawback to the browser is the awkward pointer navigation, using the 5-way pad. It syncs your furthest read page over the internet so you can pick up where you left off using your iPhone or iPad.

    The so-so:
    The kindle store could use more categories and sorting options. You can't sort by "top rated," and there is no category for "alternate histories," for example. Finding a very-specific type of fiction relies on keyword searches, which don't do a great job. The wifi sometimes doesn't connect before it times-out. You rarely need the wifi, but it is annoying if you change a setting, answer "OK" to the prompt to connect, and the thing tells you it failed to connect two seconds later (the exact moment it indicates that it did finally connect, then you need to go back to update the setting again). Most settings don't require a connection, but it is a minor annoyance. Most of your time will be spent reading, and of course your books are stored on the device and a connection is not required. Part of me wishes I'd bought the 3G model, because the browser is good enough that having lifetime free 3G wireless would be worth the extra money. Magazines don't look very good and are not very easy to navigate. There is minor glare in some lighting conditions, mostly when a lamp is positioned behind the reader's head.

    The bad:
    The contrast is fair to poor in dim light. It is much easier to read a printed page in dim light. In good light, contrast is on par with a pulp paperback. In dim light it feels almost like reading from an old Palm Pilot (resolution is better than an old Palm, but contrast is bad in dim light). The screen is small enough that the frequency of page turns is pretty high. Even in good light, the light gray background is less pleasant than the eggshell background of a printed page. You must tell it to sync before you switch it off, if you expect the feature allowing you to pick up where you left off using other devices to work correctly. The copy protection prevents you from using the files on anything other than Kindle software or devices.

    Vs iPad:
    IPad is a lot better for magazines, reference materials, and illustrated materials. Kindle is worlds better for reading novels. IPad is pretty heavy, making it more difficult to hold in your hand or carry with you everywhere. Kindle is much more portable and easier to hold. IPad has some amazing children's books and magazines, which take advantage of its multimedia features. IPad is unreadable in sunlight and glare is bad in bright light. Kindle is as good as a printed page in bright light. Ipad serves as a creative tool, a computing tool, a gaming tool, and a communication tool. Kindle is only a novel machine. I don't regret buying either one of them. An iPad won't replace books, but a Kindle can, if the book is text-only.

    I highly recommend this device at its new low price if you are a frequent reader of novels. I love my kindle. Just don't expect it to be more than it is. Leave the magazines and such to the tablet computers.

    4-0 out of 5 stars I Wanted a Dedicated E-Reader, and That's What I Got
    I'm a first-time Kindle owner, so I have nothing to "compare" the latest Kindle to. I don't own a Nook. I don't own an iPad (and, in any case, that's comparing apples to oranges). I don't have a Sony e-reader. '

    This will be a short, simple review.

    I received my Kindle about a week ago and haven't been able to put it down.

    Things I like about my Kindle?
    1. The e-ink display is amazing.
    2. Using the 5-way controller is simple and effective.
    3. Page turn speeds are faster than I thought they would be.
    4. It's lightweight, even with the attached cover (I have an Amazon cover with a built-in light)
    5. Page-turning buttons are quiet and well-placed.
    6. Recharge time is fast.
    7. I can order a book and start reading it in less than 60 seconds. Nice!
    8. Portability... I can take 3,000 books with me when I travel for work and not require additional suitcases or baggage fees.

    Things I'm not too keen on?
    1. Buttons are too close together and are laid out oddly.
    2. Lack of individual number buttons is frustrating.
    3. Power button on the bottom? Not a bad thing. Just an odd thing. (Same for the headphone input). I usually rest the "bottom" of a book on my lap when I read.

    Things I hope change in the future?
    1. How books are organized... When I put a book in a collection (which is actually a "tag"), it still appears in the main list. It's not actually "moved", it's merely associated.
    2. The look of the main screen. I'd like "folders" or some other way to display "collections".
    3. Ability to create personal "screen savers."
    4. E-book pricing, though Amazon has little control over this. Still, most titles are the same price as or less than their hardback/paperback counterparts. (And I'm not opposed to paying more for convenience and portability).

    Things that don't bother me regarding other reviews?
    1. The browser is experimental. Amazon has created a dedicated e-reader, and it's meant to be used to read. Period. Not browse the web. If you want to browse the web, get a computer -- not an e-reader.
    2. The Kindle is not an mP3 player, either. Yes, it's nice to have some classical music playing in the background while I read, but I don't need to see the title of the song, album art, etc. (And you can skip from track to track on the Kindle using shortcut keys).
    3. Lack of a "color" or "touch" screen.

    In summary, for $139, I'm quite thrilled with my purchase and have arleady read multiple books on it. In fact, I think I've read more in the past week than I've read in the past month.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Not the perfect "do-it-all" device, but very close to being the perfect e-reading device!
    I woke up to a nice surprise this morning: a new kindle as a gift. I have an iPad and a Kindle DX, but I guess someone heard my complaints of them being too heavy and difficult to do extended-reading on. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love my iPad and DX, but this new generation of Kindle is perfect for reading outside and for long periods of time. The iPad gets completely washed out in sunlight and often irritates my eyes staring at it for more than a couple of hours. The DX was my go-to device for those extended/outdoor reading periods, but now I have a new friend for reading novels. Instead of a replacement, this one seems more like a companion to the other devices and is a different class. The iPad works great for web browsing, shopping, productivity, games, etc while the Kindle falls short in those areas. The Kindle works great for reading novels, where the iPad falls short. For those that love to do extended-reading of magazines, newspapers, research articles, etc, I find that the DX is the go-to device.

    Without a doubt, the size and weight of the new kindle is the biggest draw for me. It's smaller than the last edition by a significant margin. I've played around with the Kindle 2 and was impressed, but now looking at the size of the new Kindle, I'm blown away. It's the absolute perfect size. Smaller would be unmanageable and larger wouldn't feel nearly as good. This is a device that you can hold up, read, and just forget that it's there. Compared to other e-readers I've tried, it's much smaller and much lighter.

    One of my biggest complaints about the previous generation Kindles and the DX is the speed. It sometimes takes a while after you push `next page' for it to actually change. In addition, the web browsing feature was so slow and clunky that it is really unusable in my opinion. Two additions to the new Kindle have helped attenuate these issues. First, the pages do flip quicker (albeit, still slow in my opinion), and the addition of wifi has allowed faster connection for wireless activities (much better than only relying on 3G). I still can't see myself using the Kindle as an internet browsing tool or really doing much online aside from purchasing reading material, but the faster connection at least opens up the possibility - something that would only frustrate me on previous editions.

    The new Kindle also offers a better contrast than previous editions and it looks fantastic compared to every other e-reader I have seen. I have no trouble seeing the screen in dim light or in bright sunlight - it really opens up the ability to read almost anywhere you are. Of course, you'll still need a separate light for extremely dark areas.

    Another big addition to the Kindle 3 is that it offers double the storage compared to Kindle 2. I've never had a problem with the amount of storage since I can't possibly see myself filling up that much space (I don't put mp3's on it), but perhaps in the future, if certain applications or media files are put on the kindle, it could have been a problem. The additional space in the new model is definitely a welcome addition, but bringing back the memory card slot that was included on Kindle 1 would have been an even more welcome addition in my opinion.

    Among e-readers, I definitely recommend the Kindle 3 if not just because it has a better size/form-factor, contrast, battery life, and speed compared to every other e-reader I have tried. On top of that, you get the wonderful amazon buying experience and selection for all your literature and can keep your kindle library intact between whatever other device you want to download a Kindle application onto.

    The question of whether you need a Kindle vs another type of device for reading becomes a little more tricky and really comes down to what you want to use it for.

    Do you want a device to read novels on, perhaps read outside, and have something very light that you almost forget it's there? Buy the Kindle.

    Do you want something to lie in bed with for short periods of time while surfing the web? I might suggest going with the iPad, a different tablet, or a netbook.

    Do you already have a Kindle 1 or 2? That's a tough one.... I don't think the new edition has enough `new' to it to warrant the upgrade in my mind, but some might value the new size and wifi capabilities even more-so than I do. For me, the new Kindle was a welcome addition to my family of devices since I didn't have anything anywhere near its form factor and convenience.

    Should you get 3G + Wifi or just Wifi? I think this question can be answered simply by asking yourself if you travel a lot. Being able to buy books and access wireless content on the road is an indispensable option and well worth the extra money in my mind. Keeping the device mainly at home or near wifi hotspots really negates the need for 3G though.

    Overall, I have to give the Kindle a 5 star rating because it does what it was designed to do very well, and in my opinion better than any of the competition. While the new features and capabilities aren't game-changing and truly outstanding, it is smaller, more capable, and better than any other e-reader out there. If you want `one device to handle it all', this isn't the place to look, but If you want a fantastic device solely for reading books, this is what you want.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A hesistant buyer rejoices on his choice
    I researched the purchase of a Kindle for a long time. I couldn't decide whether or not it was worth buying a dedicated e-reader. Boy am I glad I made this purchase. The downside to Amazon's online selling of Kindle 3 is that the customers don't get to see it in person. It is much better in person. This may sound stupid, but when I got my new Kindle, I thought there was a stuck-on overlay on the screen containing a diagram of the unit's buttons, etc. I actually tried to peel it off. Doh! The e-ink on this unit is THAT good. I didn't realize that I was staring at the actual display. I also didn't realize that no power is required until the display changes. (thus the great battery life) I do a lot of reading, but was facing the prospect of reading less or buying large type books because of my variable and deteriorating eyesight. The new Kindle has been a godsend. Now, I can decide the size of type I need depending on my level of fatigue among other things. The weight and ergonomics are very good. For someone, like me, with neuropathy in his hands, it is extremely easy to manage and enjoyable to own. To me, it is easier to read than print books. The ease of navigation is great as is the speed. The battery life, so far, has been extraordinary. It easily connected to our home Wi-Fi, which by design does not broadcast an SSID. It downloads books so fast that I almost thought they were not completely received. I did not buy the 3G version because of the price difference and the fact that there is no coverage where I live. If you are not constantly traveling, I don't see the need to spend the extra bucks, but that is a matter of personal choice. For those who have no Wi-Fi at home, remember that you can always download the material to your computer and transfer it via USB. Just today I was watching an interview with Tony Blair on TV. He was talking about his new book, which sounded interesting. I picked up the Kindle and downloaded a free sample before the interview was over. I have only read the preface so far, but will probably buy the book. Now THAT is a great way to buy a book! I haven't used online browsing extensively yet, but find it reasonable for what the device is. This is primarily a book reader, not a laptop or notebook. They are great for what they do, but can't match the e-ink display, or the light weight. For those of you worrying about the wait for the new Kindle, let me end with, "It is worth the wait" This new Kindle is all about the quality of experience. There are many format choices for electronic reading. If you want the best experience, go with the Kindle.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Solid Improvements! Check out my video review!
    I just received my new Kindle, and my early impressions are very positive - it's definitely a solid step up from the previous generation Kindle. Check out my video review to see/hear more!

    UPDATE 9/7/2010: Hey guys - based on the comments received there are definitely some questions that people are interested in that I didn't touch on in my video review - so I wanted to take some time to answer some of those questions here. Hopefully this is helpful!

    Q: Is the Kindle 3 backlit? If not, then how do you see it at night?

    A: The Kindle 3 is not backlit. For the Kindle 2 I used a leather case with a reading light clipped to it. For the Kindle 3 Amazon produced a leather case that has a built-in reading light. I've been using it since day 1 and I love it. I made a video review for that also if you want to check it out:

    http://www.amazon.com/review/R27V1SXQSI9M86/

    Q: How well does the new joystick control work?

    A: The new Kindle replaces the old five-way navigation joystick with a center button surrounded by a thin 4-way directional control. After messing around with both of these approaches, I don't really have a strong personal preference one way or another - they both work fine for me.

    If you have big hands then I can definitely see having a bit of trouble getting used to the new joystick. The directional control is very thin, and if you're going to have trouble with any button on the Kindle... that's definitely going to be the one.

    Q: How is viewing PDFs on the Kindle 3? Are they easy to upload onto the Kindle?

    A: Uploading PDFs to the Kindle is very easy. You just connect your Kindle to your computer via USB cable and then drag and drop the PDFs. Totally simple. Viewing them is pretty decent, but the major problem is that most PDFs aren't designed for a 6 inch screen. You might have to do a lot of zooming and panning to see the content you want. If you plan on viewing a ton of PDFs, then you may want to check out the Kindle DX Wireless Reading Device, Free 3G, 9.7" Display, Graphite, 3G Works Globally  Latest Generation.

    Q: How well does the text-to-speech work?

    A: It's ok. You definitely won't mistake it for a professionally produced audiobook, but it doesn't sound as bad as you may think it will. Also note that text-to-speech is not available for every book. You can see on the product page for each Kindle book if text-to-speech is enabled or not.

    5-0 out of 5 stars K3 is perfect
    When I first unboxed the new K3, I was slightly disappointed. The new 5-way appeared to be harder to used than the little joystick of the K2. I have to say, though, two days later, I'm liking it much better. Since I'm getting used to it so quickly, I think in another day I won't know the difference.

    The size is absolutely perfect. In the Amazon cover, it is exactly like reading from a paperback book. It's noticeably lighter and easier to hold for reading, even with arthritis in my hands. The page turn buttons are wonderful. Almost no noise, and you don't have to push them as hard. It should make it much easier for those with weak or disabled hands. I also like have next page and previous buttons on both sides. I didn't think it would make a difference to me, but it really does.

    I tried a couple of times to connect the WiFi, but didn't get it to work. Today I had more time so I thought I'd try to puzzle through it. But when I navigated to the wireless menu, it had somehow figured out how to connect on its own. The browser is MUCH faster, and it made buying a book a breeze.

    I haven't had it long enough to comment on the extended battery life. But I was honestly fine with the more than 10 days I always got with K2.

    And the FONTS! My word what a difference! I can practically read in the dark! I've been able to reduce the font size from 4 to 2. Combine sharper contrast with better fonts and it's an unbeatable combo.

    The ONLY thing I would change if I could is to move the Menu button, and especially the Back button. I'm having a little trouble navigating with the down arrow because I hit Back. But I'm starting to get the hang of it.

    All in all, I think Amazon hit it out of the park with the K3!

    5-0 out of 5 stars K3 Even Better than its Predecessor
    It's no longer necessary to write about how desirable the Kindle is (or, for that matter, e-readers generally). Books and text and reading are with us to stay; only paper is becoming unnecessary. What we can discuss is how well a device performs its intended task(s), and how it compares to its competition on an absolute basis and for the price.

    My wife and I share a last gen 6" Kindle and just received a new 6" display K3. I know, Amazon doesn't call it that, but how else can users refer to it? In twenty words or less, it is an improvement over an already excellent product. Smaller, but not too small to be held comfortably. Same size display, but sharper and crisper, better contrast. Easy to use, somewhat smaller keyboard that takes a little, but very little, getting used to. It took me a few hours to stop accidentally pressing some neighboring keys, but now using the keyboard is second nature. And the page turning buttons are silent, but have sufficient tactile feedback, excellent feel.

    I found it very easy to duplicate our library from our older Kindle to our new K3, and to activate our home wifi. I don't like to say I "transferred" our books because that could be understood to mean they were taken from our old Kindle to our new one. I say "duplicate" because they reside on both Kindles. The instruction manual is detailed and somewhat lengthy, but very understandable. (It's 200 pages, but don't let that scare you; it's easy to find the parts you need, and you will never need more than a few pages at one time.) The manual is published on the device, as in the past, and can also be downloaded to your computer as a pdf file so you can read the instructions from your computer as you apply them to the K3.

    If you have wifi at home, which we do, when you are in range of a wifi that you have activated in your K3, it automatically uses that wifi, instead of connecting to the 3G AT&T network, assuming, of course, you have a 3G+wifi K3. It works faster on my home wifi than on the 3G network, so much so that if I had really thought it through before I bought it, or if I were to buy another, I would probably go wifi only and save $50. The only reasons to get the 3G+wifi model would seem to be if you don't have reliable access to wifi or if you travel a good deal to places that don't have a lot of wifi access, but do have AT&T connectivity AND you have need to download books or periodicals on a regular basis or without delay while you are away from home or office. If you can plan ahead and stock up on a few good books, and you have reliable access to wifi, such as at home/office, McDonalds or Starbucks, I suggest you think twice about whether you want the 3G+wifi K3, or the wifi only.

    Each K3 has its own email address and you can send documents to it, including Word and pdf docs, and photos. Of course, the photos are B&W, but very detailed and clear. The K3 permits surfing the web, although I haven't used it much for that purpose and, other than saying it works, I hesitate to pass judgment on how well I think someone who uses it for web browsing would like it.

    I can't compare it to other dedicated e-readers because I haven't used them. People seem to be interested in how I think it compares to the iPad, which I don't own but have "played with" somewhat extensively at the Apple Store. My assessment is that there is no comparison. The iPad will do much more, but as an e-reader I think the K3 is superior. I don't need color for reading text, the K3 is a fraction of the cost, and its smaller size makes it much more convenient to tote around. However, what kills the iPad as an e-reader, as far as I am concerned, is its weight. I suspect most of us are the same in this regard, but I tend to read for an hour or two at a stretch. A pound and a half doesn't sound too heavy, but I held an iPad for five minutes, literally, and my hands ached. It is simply too heavy to use as a book reading device, while the K3 is light as a feather. For reading, a cheaper and significantly lighter K3 as a dedicated e-reader is, IMHO, the way to go (compared to an iPad). BTW, a recent (in Aug. 2010) report from Taiwan said Apple in making a 6" iPod, which, depending on size and weight, could change the equation. It will be interesting to see how the e-reader market develops. I said I can't compare the K3 to other competitors, and I won't, but I can say I am completely satisfied with Amazon as an e-book seller. I've only had a few occasions to need support (on my old Kindle), but that has also been entirely satisfactory.

    Bottom line: my wife and I both like the K3 very much and recommend it to anyone considering buying an e-reader. I don't think you will regret buying one, with or without the free 3G.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Quality control problems
    First, the good stuff. Kindle 3 has a very readable high contrast screen. The form factor is small and light enough to be a book replacement. Purchasing and downloading content is simple and convenient.

    However, I had a series of problems which eventually led me to return my Kindle.

    After unpacking and charging my Kindle 3, it refused to connect to my wireless network. I have a variety of other devices ranging from a Nintendo Wii to an iPod Touch and two computers that work just fine on my wireless network, but the Kindle couldn't connect after many attempts. I eventually gave up and turned it off. When I turned it back on several hours later, it had mysteriously connected to my WiFi network with the exact same settings that did not work earlier. I have noticed that several other users have ran into the same problem.

    The next problem I noticed was that something was rolling around inside the casing. This is obviously not a good sign. Then, my Kindle 3 started freezing. The first freeze happened while using the experimental browser. As this is an "experimental" application, I wasn't too concerned. After a power reset, the Kindle came back up. The second freeze happened while playing Shuffled Row, which is a good game. After this freeze, my Kindle refused to reboot after many power reset attempts. (Yes, I did try keeping the power switch in the "turn-on" position for up to 30 seconds as suggested by the manual.) I eventually gave up and put it down. However, after a few minutes, the Kindle started to reboot itself. The was another freeze while reading a book, which was fixed with a power reset. I tried to contact Amazon for service, but it looks like the only way to get Kindle customer service is through a phone call.

    And then my Kindle froze again while reading a book. This time, nothing would reset the kindle. When this last freeze happened, the battery was charged about 75%. At this point, there was no option but to return the kindle. There are some comments among the negative reviews here that the usual Amazon.com return process does not work. In my case, I was able to follow the regular Amazon return process and print a return label. So my Kindle is back to Amazon after less than a week of use.

    Judging from other reviews that had similar experiences as mine, Amazon appears to have a specific quality control problem with this latest version of the Kindle. People may be more tolerant of the reliability other electronic gadgets, however, it is unacceptable for a product that is primarily intended to replace paper books to have issues like freezing and/or rebooting. After all, I never had a "paper" book freeze or reboot on me so far. Receiving a product with defects that should have been caught during testing before shipping pretty much destroys the "Kindle experience".

    UPDATE (October 31, 2010): Since I do like the Kindle concept, after reading about the improvement in stability with the latest software upgrades, I purchased another Kindle WiFi. Everything was great for almost two weeks, no crashes. However, yesterday, the second Kindle also ended up with a frozen screen. After following through the instructions on Amazon's Kindle troubleshooting page and talking to the customer service, there was no way to get the Kindle out of the frozen state, so this one is also going back. The fact that this situation can happen to the same customer twice in a matter of few months indicates either a serious quality control problem or component reliability problem.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Details on working with PDF, Wi-fi vs 3G, Starbucks, Audio books, MP3 and other things
    NOTE: Amazon limits the video size and duration, so I targeted what I thought were some key points.
    I check comments, so leave one if you have any questions not covered in the video or below and I'll try and answer.

    First off I love this device!!
    Like ipods are the king of MP3 players, this is the king of ebook readers in my opinion.

    I've been looking at this thing for at least 7+ hrs today and my eyes don't feel tired at all.

    If you want. . .
    * a low cost eBook reader
    * that allows you to read books
    * looks great
    * easy to setup
    * easy to hold/carry
    * easy on the eyes (no getting tired eyes from a glaring screen)
    . . . then look no further than this product!



    **Adding updates as I find other feature behaviors**

    - The comic I converted to PDF when emailed to my kindle email address the conversion process didn't like it too much. Better to not use the conversion process for those types of PDFs. Other PDF's converted just fine.
    - Emailing PDF = the conversion process seems to cut off the cover page each time
    - Emailing and having amazon convert is fast. I like it!
    - You can plug the kindle into the USB, then "eject" it from the OS. This allows you to continue to charge the kindle and read it at the same time. You could also just plug it into an electrical socket and read from it too.
    - If you stop/pause your MP3 music it will start all the way back at track #1. This is not an MP3 player. It also plays the most recently added track first
    - 10 minutes it goes into sleep mode, but if you leave Wi-fi on = drains your battery quicker. Better to turn Wi-fi off when not using it
    - Buy a case to protect it and get yourself a light for times when you don't have enough light to read by. This is not a cell-phone screen, meaning you can't read it in the dark. The screen very much simulates paper in this case.
    - Manual even states...you cannot connect the Wi-fi to a corporate wi-fi. Most companies require VPN of some sort, which is not supported here.
    - Loaded a 25Mb PDF and when when trying to search I get the following error message, ""your search can not be completed as this item has not been indexed. Please try again later." Found forum posts that said give the Kindle at least 10 minutes to complete indexing the file. . .longer if file if big. Sure enough, about 30 minutes later I tried again and was able to search this large PDF.

    8/29/10 update:
    - Just got back from Starbucks
    * Turned wi-fi on
    * Menu > Settings > Wifi Settings and selected the attwifi network option
    * Home > Menu > Experimental > Launch browser
    * zoom in on the terms & agreement checkbox and use the spacebar to check the box
    * click continue button and you are on the internet at the coffee shop!!

    9/3/10 update:
    - A week later, I haven't charged the unit nor shut it down, I've only put it into sleep mode. Battery indicator is still more than 80% full. Nice!
    - Someone pointed me towards "Calibre" a free conversion utility. Totally supports the Kindle 3 and converts to PDF, ePub, Mobi, etc. Works great and you can have the program send the converted document directly to your device via USB or email. The program also acts as your own "backup" by creating a document library on your hard drive that can be sorted, metadata updated, etc. It's very cool!

    9/5/10 update:
    - I kept getting unconverted PDFs (PDFs copied directly to unit via USB vs. sending to email for conversion) would result in the unit restarting when trying to access the PDF. Found forums that said you need to reset the unit. Slide & hold the power button for 15 seconds. Let it take the 20 seconds to reboot. This worked for me.

    9/10/10 update:
    Comments discussion & answers on the following:
    - Annotating PDFs, then accessing these notes for later review on a laptop/desktop
    - Is there an auto-scrolling for PDFs? = No
    - What its like to have the kindle "read" back to you? = robotic voice that ignores punctuation
    - More info on document conversion, including sending emails to the kindle for conversion?
    - The ability to access Gmail from the kindle? = yes, works fine though a bit slow on wi-fi

    9/19/10 update:
    - Check out the comments for my answer to, "Should I buy 3G or is wifi good enough?" = need to buy a book on the run, then get 3G. If you can wait till you get home or a coffee shop, then wi-fi works fine.

    9/24/10 update:
    Comments discussion & answers on the following:
    - Exactly how does an Audible audio book work with the Kindle?
    - Possible causes for why MP3 music is not recognized by the device?

    10/2/10 update:
    Comments discussion & answers on the following:
    - Can you play Audible audio books while at the same time reading along? = for all intents and purposes, no
    - How easy is it to register a new/used K3 to a different owner? = easy as pie

    10/23/10 update:
    Comments discussion & answers on the following:
    - Can you change out the battery yourself? = no
    - Can you share your documents with other kindle users? = legally only if both devices are under the same user account

    12/7/10 update:
    Comments discussion & answers on the following:
    - Can a color document show up as color on the kindle? = No, doc will be converted to greyscale
    - Able to support textbooks? = Yes, if in a supported document type
    - Should I pay the extra $50 for 3G in order to more easily access websites? = Up to you...many sites have mobile versions that load great on wi-fi. NOTE: still doesn't support sites that use Java
    - Will I have 3G coverage in my rural area? = Amazon gives a disclaimer in their FAQ that 3G connection is not guaranteed in some areas
    - Should I get the K3 for my 10 year old? = I personally feel this is a great device for any age reader. . .and gives the parent control/visibility to what is being read
    Read more


    8. Kindle Lighted Leather Cover, Burgundy Red (Fits 6" Display, Latest Generation Kindle)
    Accessory
    -- our price: $59.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B003DZ166Q
    Manufacturer: Amazon Digital Services, Inc
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Amazon.comAmazon's Kindle Lighted Leather Cover

    Our new design seamlessly incorporates a reading light into the cover, so you can carry your Kindle wherever you go and always have a reading light with you. Simply pull the light out to illuminate Kindle when you need it, and slide it away to be invisible when you don't. And since the light draws its power from Kindle, no batteries are needed.

    The contoured, pebble-grain leather (available in 7 different colors) keeps your Kindle safe and secure, while the soft charcoal microfiber interior protects the screen from scratches. The cover is designed to fold back, so you can read comfortably with just one hand.


    The built-in, retractable LED light pulls out to illuminate Kindle, and slides away when not in use.


    Never Be Without a Light

    Our all-new Kindle cover features an integrated, retractable LED reading light that lets you read comfortably anytime, anywhere. The high-quality LED light illuminates Kindle's paper-like display, adding brightness without adding glare.

    A permanent part of the cover, the reading light is located in the top right-hand corner of the back cover. When needed, simply pull the light out and it automatically illuminates, eliminating the need for a separate power switch. To turn the light off, slide it back in to the corner of the cover.

    Since the light is powered by Kindle's battery, no batteries are needed.

     

    How It Works

    In addition to securing Kindle in place, our new hinge system conducts electricity from Kindle's battery to the reading light - when Kindle is attached to the hinge, an electrical connection is formed that powers the light.

    The cover's hinge points are gold-plated, to ensure a reliable electrical connection. Gold is used because of its ability to make good electrical contact even with low force, and for its corrosion resistance.


    Secure Your Kindle in Four Easy Steps


    Read Comfortably with One Hand


    Reading with the cover on, you can easily access Kindle's navigation features and power switch, while the rounded edges offer a perfect fit in your hands. The cover is designed to fold back, so you can read comfortably with just one hand. And the retractable reading light is easily accessible with the cover open or folded back.


    On the Go

    This compact cover is perfect for taking Kindle wherever you go. The sleek leather ensures the ultimate fit and protection, without adding bulk or weight. Our patent-pending hinge system secures Kindle in place, and an elastic strap keeps the cover firmly closed for maximum screen protection. Simply attach Kindle to the hinge, apply the strap, and rest assured it will stay securely in place even when you're on the go.

    You'll never be without a reading light, and since the light draws its power from Kindle, no batteries are needed.



    Amazon’s official Kindle lighted cover features contoured, pebble-grain leather available in 7 different colors.

     

     

    Read Kindle easily in the dark with Amazon's revolutionary, all-new lighted leather cover.



    The hinge points are gold-plated to ensure a reliable electrical connection. No batteries required.


    Read easily with one hand, with or without the light on.


    Protect your Kindle on the go, and never be without a reading light

     

    ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars Good Quality K3 Cover with Handy Light
    I bought the burnt orange color cover so I can spot my Kindle where ever I leave it easily--and hopefully not misplace it! The cover is good quality leather, and even with the cover on, I can slip the K3 into my small purse without squeezing it in--something I could not do with my coverless Kindle 2.

    I think for an easy purchase without having to buy a separate book light, the Kindle 3 lighted cover is a good choice. The light worked _great_ reading in bed last night. I could see all of the lighted screen just fine with the upper right corner a bit brighter. See the pics I loaded to customer images for the lighted cover to see the light in action in a dark room, and what the cover looks light from the back.

    Pluses: Built in light that slips securely out of the way, no batteries to replace, better clips/fit than past covers that connect to Kindle, adequate to light the entire screen, no looking for a booklight, no clipping a booklight to my Kindle and scratching or damaging it, the book light LEDs point down towards the screen, so no bright lights in your eyes.

    Minuses: The cover's weight doubles the weight of the Kindle 3 in your hand, the book light stays in one corner and doesn't move around the Kindle, uses more Kindle battery life (it's powered by the Kindle 3 -- and I noticed a definite drain on the battery from using the light)

    UPDATE: I used the Kindle light for a couple days now, and the battery life goes down noticeably as you use the light (esp. if you keep the wireless "On"). Last night I read with the light for about 2 hours after a full charge and today the battery looks down about 15%. At that rate of use (with no wireless constantly "On" and regular reading in the daylight), I estimate the battery will need charging after approx. 1 week.

    If the overall cover+Kindle weight is an issue for you--more than protecting your Kindle and the handy light--then this cover is not for you.

    Kindle Lighted Leather Cover alone = 233 grams or 8.2 oz

    Kindle Lighted Leather Cover + Kindle 3 = 447 grams or 15.75 oz. (almost 1 lb.)

    Thickness: Kindle cover + Kindle 3 = 3/4 inch

    Cover Measurements (with Kindle inside):

    Front: 7 3/4" x 5 1/8" (closer to 3/16")
    Back: SAME as front
    Spine: 7/8"
    Open side (to the right) with Kindle inside: 3/4"

    I have to say I'm getting used to the weight with the cover as I use it. The piece of mind of extra Kindle protection, plus a handy light whenever you need it, is worth the trade off for me. '

    November 20th UPDATE:

    **Still love the cover** and having the light handy without having to think about needing a light _is better than ever_. One thing however, is that the hooks to connect the cover are not sturdy enough, IMO, to take the cover on and off often. The Kindle "wiggles" a bit on the connectors, and be careful not to pull the Kindle forward or up off the back of the cover to avoid bending or breaking the metal connectors. Despite this, I am very happy with this cover after using it almost 3 months now.

    5-0 out of 5 stars My Favorite Kindle Case Yet
    I read in bed every single night, so having my Kindle be able to read in the dark is very important to me. With my Kindle 2 I used a mighty bright light, and with my Kindle 3 I've been using this Lighted Leather cover - and I love it!

    Check out my video review for a size comparison of this case against my Kindle 2 and also an actual hardcover and softcover book, and then a lights out comparison of the Mighty Bright vs Lighted Leather cover.

    Sorry for the shaky camera, it's the best I could do with one hand!

    If you're interested in seeing a video review of the Kindle 3 itself, check out the one I did one here:

    http://www.amazon.com/review/R21YU59NMOGKUR

    5-0 out of 5 stars Lighted Leather Case - Two Important Concerns
    I've noticed that like myself customers have been concerned primarily with two things regarding the new lighted case from amazon. These are: 1)The weight and 2) The uneven lighting. My review will briefly discuss these two things.

    1)The Weight - The lighted leather case is a nice weight, sturdy and comfortable to hold. In ounces it is about the weight of the kindle itself however don't let that concern you. With the case on it feels like a medium sized paperback, however it is far much more comfortable to hold. It's easy to hold the case open like a book (nice for couch and table type reading) or to fold the front back and close it with the bungee so that the bungee doesn't hang around (this is good for bedtime reading).Closing the front back with bungee keeps the case folded in position and you don't have to worry about it bothering you. BTW THIS CASE FOLDS BACK 100% - Very comfortable. In sum very comfortable to read with the case and very sturdy.

    2) The uneven lighting - Amazon's pictures don't do this case justice. The light hits the ENTIRE screen. Yes if you look closely it's brighter in the top right corner then in the bottom left but Amazon's pics make it look the top is lighted while the bottom is dark. There is good light all over the screen. Trust me I'm fussy about these things - the lighting will not bother you, your entire screen will be lighted and it is extremely pleasant to read in the dark.

    *Final Thoughts - Great case, good quality, works well, kindle feels very secure and protected (I would feel comfortable slipping this case into my backpack or suitcase and I think it would sustain some mild impact). Lastly hinges are a non-issue, casing of the kindle will not get damaged with normal or even slightly aggressive use. You could damage the kindle by trying to pull the back of the case but you'd have to really force it to cause any sort of damage to your kindle. The hinges work fine and should not be a concern to any case user.

    Update 1st December 2010:

    Have now been using the case for 3 months. Leather still looks impeccable. Some people expressed concern that the bungee cord might loosen with use. I have not experienced any loosening so far. Quality of the product has proven outstanding. I've occasionally spilled or messed the cover, just a wipe with a damp cloth has cleaned it up, and the case looks like new. Have to admit I enjoy the feel of the case in my hand, there's just something great about taking your kindle to a coffee shop in this case, it just looks and feels so classy. Also with regard to the hinges: I have had no scratches on my kindle or any other issues, so I remain convinced that the hinges are a non issue.

    3-0 out of 5 stars For those that REALLY care, it's not worth the money.
    I've been an avid Kindle user since Kindle 1, and I take my lights VERY seriously.

    The problem is that the new Kindle 3 cover+light does not evenly light the screen. This results in a very bright top right corner, including the top right of the frame of the Kindle 3. And while the light doesn't glare off the screen, it does glare off my graphite Kindle 3's top right corner, making for constant distraction while reading. The light then gets fainter and fainter in a diagonal line from the top right to bottom left. It's not very fun, unfortunately.

    Now, for convenience, this new cover is fantastic. I have the non-lighted one and the one with the light, and the weight difference isn't very much, and the bulk difference is truly negligible, so kudos to Amazon for this.

    That said, I simply cannot recommend this cover unless you don't mind an incredibly uneven light. I will stick to my Mighty Bright. Yes, it's an addition to the Kindle, but I know that when I sit down to read, I want the pages to "disappear" as I become immersed in my reading. It's very hard for them to do so when the light is so incredibly awkward and uneven, constantly distracting. I'm happy to spend a few extra seconds clipping my light to the back of my Kindle so I can spend hours enjoying my book. That simply wasn't possible with the Kindle Lighted Leather Cover.

    3 stars out of 5.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Compact and well made
    For a folio type case, this looks and feels great and works very well. It does add significantly to the weight but that seems a predictable consequence of using leather, making it stiff enough to offer real protection, and building in a light.

    Attaching Kindle is very simple using the directions on the product page. Make sure you heed the warning to work at it until ALL the gold is covered, which tells you Kindle is securely attached. Removing is quite simple: Slide down the top hook and rotate Kindle right off. I'm using a fingertip to do it rather than a fingernail. It's quick and easy enough to attach and detach Kindle that I won't have any difficulty switching to "naked" reading at will.

    The cord seems to me strong enough for its purpose, but only time will tell. When the cover is closed, the cord is buried in a "channel" in the front cover so should not normally be subjected to much stress and strain. I did remove the little "flag" attached to the cord. Even without using fingernails, it's easy to open the cord up. Others have posted about the cord being in the way during reading, especially when holding Kindle and case in "open book" form. I put the cord between Kindle and the back cover, solving the issue to my own satisfaction. YMMV.

    I don't think I'll use the "book style" reading position much. I'll "break the spine" as I did with my K2's case and read with the front cover folded flat against the back. It feels good like that, but when I have good light and will be reading a while I expect I'll do as I did with my K2: Remove Kindle from the case and read "naked." Still, even brand new, the leather folds flat easily and it's comfortable to hold and read.

    The light seems to me to be well placed. I don't get any glare in any of my normal reading positions, so don't have a practical issue with its lack of adjustability. One very nice feature, particularly since it's powered by Kindle's battery, is that it turns off when Kindle turns off. So if you fall asleep reading, your light won't just keep running. I find it a bit stiff to pull out, but I expect it will ease in time. Also maybe stiff is good, as you don't want it just lolling out on its own while you've got it stowed away. Still, folks with difficulty applying much force with their fingers could find this an issue.

    I bought this unseen, intending to return it if it didn't work well. It won't be going back. I may in fact buy another case for travel, as by design this folio style case is open on three sides. In some situations I would want more dust and bang protection, but I still give five stars because this is an unavoidable consequence of this style of design.

    5-0 out of 5 stars well worth it
    This is a comparison between mighty bright and the kindle cover light. NOTE: the bottom left of the kindle is the part that receives the less light because it is the farthest away. The light still shines well enough to read the bottom left of the kindle , but the light distribution is not even.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Exceeded my expectations
    I was hesitant to buy this cover mostly due to the pictures in its listing, which seem to show a light that doesn't even extend to the opposite corner. The fact that I have not been impressed with the Amazon's Kindle covers in the past didn't help. I went ahead and purchased it because the cover I wanted isn't available yet and I don't like to take my Kindle out and about without a cover. Now I am glad that I went ahead and bought it.

    PROS:

    1. The light is much better than I thought it would be. Using it in a darkened room I found that the light did the job very well. In a pitch black room, it performs even better. While the screen corner opposite the light is a bit dimmer than other areas, there is no problem reading the page at all.

    2. The light gets its power from the Kindle itself, through the gold-plated hinges which attach it to the cover, so batteries are a thing of the past. When your Kindle goes to sleep, the light will go out as well. It will also turn off when you slide it back into the case.

    3. The cover is slim, well-fitted and very easy to attach and detach using the hinges. The inside has good padding. The leather outer surface has a nice pebbled texture with the exception of a smooth area along the edge of the front. While stiff enough to protect the reader, the cover is slight flexible and the front easily folds behind when reading so you can hold your Kindle with one hand if you like.

    4. A great plus is that the cover has an elastic cord that fits into a groove on the front of it. This holds your cover closed (unlike the original Kindle 2 cover that would flop open in your purse & let things slide into it) and easily distinguishes the front from the back--important as many owners of the Kindle 2 cover accidentally opened it from the back, which could cause cracking along the Kindle's spine.


    CONS:

    I haven't found any, really. The light Is a bit hard (stiff) to pull out of the cover, but then you wouldn't want it to be flopping out when you don't want to use it so that is more of a Pro than a Con.

    The one concern I do have is about pulling the light in and out--I wonder if whatever wiring or conductor that is used to get the power from the hinges to the light will eventually break. But that is something to find out down the road. Right now, the more I use this cover, the more I like it.

    4-0 out of 5 stars From the bungee cord thingy to the pull-out light, a solid choice for the Kindle
    I ordered this cover because it was the only real game in town at the time. To let you know where I come from with this review... I purchased the 2nd generation Kindle back in March of 2009 with the Amazon cover. Didn't like that one, it actually cracked my mother's Kindle that I purchased shortly thereafter (Amazon replaced it, although it was probably from her opening the wrong side, doesn't matter, this isn't about Amazon great customer service). When that happened, we immediately went looking for a new cover and fell in love with the M-Edge Prodigy with light. Unfortunately, M-Edge isn't offering that for the 3rd generation Kindle, they changed it to have a nylon strap instead of leather and aren't utilizing the hinge technology for the light, which I think is genius and a terrible error on their part. I'm telling you this so you know that I ordered this new Amazon Lighted Cover with a WHOLE LOT of trepidation.

    When deciding on the color, I didn't want black (I wanted purple, but Amazon doesn't offer that *boo*hiss*) and the green was backordered slightly, didn't like the other colors so I decided to get the orange. It looked interesting and since I live in Austin, some UT fan would buy it off me if I hated it, I was sure. It came in and it's the perfect burnt orange color. It might be slightly too tan colored, but it's not vibrant orange by any means. A great almost pumpkin pie color actually.

    So... what did I think of the cover itself?

    I slid the Kindle in there and pulled the light out and... nothing happened. I spent a good 3 to 5 minutes pulling the light out and pushing it back in, looking for a switch, something, anything. I finally gave up and turned the Kindle on and... yeah, the light came on. DUH! It works only if the Kindle is on. This is actually GREAT because I fall asleep reading a good deal and the light will go off when the Kindle goes to sleep after 15 minutes or so. I felt stupid, but at least I didn't call customer service and have them giggle in the background and the stupid lady that can't work the cover, eh?

    ANYWAY... the Kindle slides in easily and the light works great. There is no glare at all because the LED lights are directed down the arm of the light so there's no "direct" light hitting the screen, it just flows down. It is brighter in the upper right than in the lower left because of that, but it's more than adequate. The light is NOT adjustable but you shouldn't need to adjust it either. I have found it really is a genius way of handling it.

    The case itself is not too thick. In fact when I first picked up the case, I thought I had the wrong one because it looked too slim to have a light in there, but it's there. It is a little hard to pull the light out, but I guess the alternative is having it be too easy, right? I really wish they had included corner straps though. I read laying in bed and I worry it's going to flop open and crack the Kindle. I do realize this is probably unfounded and they fixed that flaw, but because I'm paranoid, I did put two small circles of velcro to the back of the Kindle and the cover so it couldn't accidentally bend the hinge system or crack the case. I'm aware this is insane overkill type stuff, so feel free to snicker... I'll wait... done? Okay, onward...

    Now, back to reality... the chance of you opening the Kindle from the wrong side is basically zero. You have to unwrap it using this bungee cord thingy (yes, that's the technical term here, folks). It has a little leather tag on it that says "Amazon Kindle". The tag is a little annoying because I fold the cover back and use the cord to hold it and keep hitting the tag with my hand no matter where I put. I'm thinking of cutting it off. *shrug*

    It does, of course, add some weight to the Kindle. The case, with Kindle and velcro circles weighs 15.5 oz on my postal scale. There's been some discussion if this is "too heavy" but I must say that I don't think so. I read with it folded back and the bungee cord thingy wrapped around the back. I have weak hands that keep me from reading hard backs and large paperback books. I think it's more of the force of holding the book open than the weight, so it's not been an issue at all for me. I also read with it propped up somewhere usually.

    My favorite part is that with the new slim and sleek design of the Kindle and this slim and sleek cover (with a light, no less!) it really is a great size to grab and go, toss in my purse, in the car or my bedside. My other favorite (it's a tie) is the light. It runs off power from the Kindle itself so I'm never without a light. I don't have to find a battery somewhere when it burns out. Amazon knocked it out of the park as far as I'm concerned. I'm taking off a star just for the few little niggle things I mentioned before. After over a week of use though, this is the cover I'm recommending to friends/family at this time.

    Well worth it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Data to compare colors and weights, with and without light
    I bought two of these (burgundy for my wife's graphite kindle and green for my white kindle).

    The colors are gorgeous, and exactly as shown in the pictures Amazon has here.

    The look and feel of the leather is very good and should more than satisfy most folks. If you're willing to spend more for even better leather, you'll soon be able to get high-end leather cases from designers like Cole-Haan. (If you're interested, look up their Kindle 2 cases here at Amazon and you're get an idea of what they're likely to offer for Kindle 3).

    We love the design. We've had no trouble hooking our kindles in and out of the case. We love that the light is built in and we will never need to replace its battery. The cover folds completely flat around the back, and the elastic band keeps it there, then it's easy and quite comfortable to hold in one hand for long reading sessions.

    A few reviews here complain about the weight of this case. I disagree. It is not heavy compared to other cases of this type (folio-style hard shell leather cases). My wife and I were up reading for hours last night, holding our kindles, cases on, in one hand, with no fatigue. (We're such an old married couple, that's how exciting our Friday nights are!) I used to have a nook with the same type of case (minus the light), and it was noticeably heavier. If you want something lighter, consider a neoprene sleeve or cloth case.

    My only qualm about the Amazon lighted case is the uneven distribution of light on the screen - very bright in the upper right corner, dim in the lower left corner. It seems this doesn't bother most people here, but it bothers me a bit, enough to knock half a star off my review, but not enough to make me hesitate to recommend this case.

    Some folks complain about the price. It is high, to be sure. But, you'd pay about the same if you bought a good leather case and a separate light. Then you'd have to worry about remembering to pack the light when you travel, making sure it has fresh batteries, making sure you don't lose it, etc etc. For me, the convenience of the built-in light is well worth the price.

    And there's something intangible but very very nice about keeping our kindles in these gorgeous, almost luxuriously nice cases. They are definitely eye-catching and lust-worthy.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Good Quality K3 Cover with Handy Light
    I bought the burnt orange color cover so I can spot my Kindle where ever I leave it easily--and hopefully not misplace it! The cover is good quality leather, and even with the cover on, I can slip the K3 into my small purse without squeezing it in--something I could not do with my coverless Kindle 2.

    I think for an easy purchase without having to buy a separate book light, the Kindle 3 lighted cover is a good choice. The light worked _great_ reading in bed last night. I could see all of the lighted screen just fine with the upper right corner a bit brighter. See the pics I loaded to customer images for the lighted cover to see the light in action in a dark room, and what the cover looks light from the back.

    Pluses: Built in light that slips securely out of the way, no batteries to replace, better clips/fit than past covers that connect to Kindle, adequate to light the entire screen, no looking for a booklight, no clipping a booklight to my Kindle and scratching or damaging it, the book light LEDs point down towards the screen, so no bright lights in your eyes.

    Minuses: The cover's weight doubles the weight of the Kindle 3 in your hand, the book light stays in one corner and doesn't move around the Kindle, uses more Kindle battery life (it's powered by the Kindle 3 -- and I noticed a definite drain on the battery from using the light)

    UPDATE: I used the Kindle light for a couple days now, and the battery life goes down noticeably as you use the light (esp. if you keep the wireless "On"). Last night I read with the light for about 2 hours after a full charge and today the battery looks down about 15%. At that rate of use (with no wireless constantly "On" and regular reading in the daylight), I estimate the battery will need charging after approx. 1 week.

    If the overall cover+Kindle weight is an issue for you--more than protecting your Kindle and the handy light--then this cover is not for you.

    Kindle Lighted Leather Cover alone = 233 grams or 8.2 oz

    Kindle Lighted Leather Cover + Kindle 3 = 447 grams or 15.75 oz. (almost 1 lb.)

    Thickness: Kindle cover + Kindle 3 = 3/4 inch

    Cover Measurements (with Kindle inside):

    Front: 7 3/4" x 5 1/8" (closer to 3/16")
    Back: SAME as front
    Spine: 7/8"
    Open side (to the right) with Kindle inside: 3/4"

    I have to say I'm getting used to the weight with the cover as I use it. The piece of mind of extra Kindle protection, plus a handy light whenever you need it, is worth the trade off for me. '

    November 20th UPDATE:

    **Still love the cover** and having the light handy without having to think about needing a light _is better than ever_. One thing however, is that the hooks to connect the cover are not sturdy enough, IMO, to take the cover on and off often. The Kindle "wiggles" a bit on the connectors, and be careful not to pull the Kindle forward or up off the back of the cover to avoid bending or breaking the metal connectors. Despite this, I am very happy with this cover after using it almost 3 months now.

    5-0 out of 5 stars My Favorite Kindle Case Yet
    I read in bed every single night, so having my Kindle be able to read in the dark is very important to me. With my Kindle 2 I used a mighty bright light, and with my Kindle 3 I've been using this Lighted Leather cover - and I love it!

    Check out my video review for a size comparison of this case against my Kindle 2 and also an actual hardcover and softcover book, and then a lights out comparison of the Mighty Bright vs Lighted Leather cover.

    Sorry for the shaky camera, it's the best I could do with one hand!

    If you're interested in seeing a video review of the Kindle 3 itself, check out the one I did one here:

    http://www.amazon.com/review/R21YU59NMOGKUR

    5-0 out of 5 stars Lighted Leather Case - Two Important Concerns
    I've noticed that like myself customers have been concerned primarily with two things regarding the new lighted case from amazon. These are: 1)The weight and 2) The uneven lighting. My review will briefly discuss these two things.

    1)The Weight - The lighted leather case is a nice weight, sturdy and comfortable to hold. In ounces it is about the weight of the kindle itself however don't let that concern you. With the case on it feels like a medium sized paperback, however it is far much more comfortable to hold. It's easy to hold the case open like a book (nice for couch and table type reading) or to fold the front back and close it with the bungee so that the bungee doesn't hang around (this is good for bedtime reading).Closing the front back with bungee keeps the case folded in position and you don't have to worry about it bothering you. BTW THIS CASE FOLDS BACK 100% - Very comfortable. In sum very comfortable to read with the case and very sturdy.

    2) The uneven lighting - Amazon's pictures don't do this case justice. The light hits the ENTIRE screen. Yes if you look closely it's brighter in the top right corner then in the bottom left but Amazon's pics make it look the top is lighted while the bottom is dark. There is good light all over the screen. Trust me I'm fussy about these things - the lighting will not bother you, your entire screen will be lighted and it is extremely pleasant to read in the dark.

    *Final Thoughts - Great case, good quality, works well, kindle feels very secure and protected (I would feel comfortable slipping this case into my backpack or suitcase and I think it would sustain some mild impact). Lastly hinges are a non-issue, casing of the kindle will not get damaged with normal or even slightly aggressive use. You could damage the kindle by trying to pull the back of the case but you'd have to really force it to cause any sort of damage to your kindle. The hinges work fine and should not be a concern to any case user.

    Update 1st December 2010:

    Have now been using the case for 3 months. Leather still looks impeccable. Some people expressed concern that the bungee cord might loosen with use. I have not experienced any loosening so far. Quality of the product has proven outstanding. I've occasionally spilled or messed the cover, just a wipe with a damp cloth has cleaned it up, and the case looks like new. Have to admit I enjoy the feel of the case in my hand, there's just something great about taking your kindle to a coffee shop in this case, it just looks and feels so classy. Also with regard to the hinges: I have had no scratches on my kindle or any other issues, so I remain convinced that the hinges are a non issue.

    3-0 out of 5 stars For those that REALLY care, it's not worth the money.
    I've been an avid Kindle user since Kindle 1, and I take my lights VERY seriously.

    The problem is that the new Kindle 3 cover+light does not evenly light the screen. This results in a very bright top right corner, including the top right of the frame of the Kindle 3. And while the light doesn't glare off the screen, it does glare off my graphite Kindle 3's top right corner, making for constant distraction while reading. The light then gets fainter and fainter in a diagonal line from the top right to bottom left. It's not very fun, unfortunately.

    Now, for convenience, this new cover is fantastic. I have the non-lighted one and the one with the light, and the weight difference isn't very much, and the bulk difference is truly negligible, so kudos to Amazon for this.

    That said, I simply cannot recommend this cover unless you don't mind an incredibly uneven light. I will stick to my Mighty Bright. Yes, it's an addition to the Kindle, but I know that when I sit down to read, I want the pages to "disappear" as I become immersed in my reading. It's very hard for them to do so when the light is so incredibly awkward and uneven, constantly distracting. I'm happy to spend a few extra seconds clipping my light to the back of my Kindle so I can spend hours enjoying my book. That simply wasn't possible with the Kindle Lighted Leather Cover.

    3 stars out of 5.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Compact and well made
    For a folio type case, this looks and feels great and works very well. It does add significantly to the weight but that seems a predictable consequence of using leather, making it stiff enough to offer real protection, and building in a light.

    Attaching Kindle is very simple using the directions on the product page. Make sure you heed the warning to work at it until ALL the gold is covered, which tells you Kindle is securely attached. Removing is quite simple: Slide down the top hook and rotate Kindle right off. I'm using a fingertip to do it rather than a fingernail. It's quick and easy enough to attach and detach Kindle that I won't have any difficulty switching to "naked" reading at will.

    The cord seems to me strong enough for its purpose, but only time will tell. When the cover is closed, the cord is buried in a "channel" in the front cover so should not normally be subjected to much stress and strain. I did remove the little "flag" attached to the cord. Even without using fingernails, it's easy to open the cord up. Others have posted about the cord being in the way during reading, especially when holding Kindle and case in "open book" form. I put the cord between Kindle and the back cover, solving the issue to my own satisfaction. YMMV.

    I don't think I'll use the "book style" reading position much. I'll "break the spine" as I did with my K2's case and read with the front cover folded flat against the back. It feels good like that, but when I have good light and will be reading a while I expect I'll do as I did with my K2: Remove Kindle from the case and read "naked." Still, even brand new, the leather folds flat easily and it's comfortable to hold and read.

    The light seems to me to be well placed. I don't get any glare in any of my normal reading positions, so don't have a practical issue with its lack of adjustability. One very nice feature, particularly since it's powered by Kindle's battery, is that it turns off when Kindle turns off. So if you fall asleep reading, your light won't just keep running. I find it a bit stiff to pull out, but I expect it will ease in time. Also maybe stiff is good, as you don't want it just lolling out on its own while you've got it stowed away. Still, folks with difficulty applying much force with their fingers could find this an issue.

    I bought this unseen, intending to return it if it didn't work well. It won't be going back. I may in fact buy another case for travel, as by design this folio style case is open on three sides. In some situations I would want more dust and bang protection, but I still give five stars because this is an unavoidable consequence of this style of design.

    5-0 out of 5 stars well worth it
    This is a comparison between mighty bright and the kindle cover light. NOTE: the bottom left of the kindle is the part that receives the less light because it is the farthest away. The light still shines well enough to read the bottom left of the kindle , but the light distribution is not even.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Exceeded my expectations
    I was hesitant to buy this cover mostly due to the pictures in its listing, which seem to show a light that doesn't even extend to the opposite corner. The fact that I have not been impressed with the Amazon's Kindle covers in the past didn't help. I went ahead and purchased it because the cover I wanted isn't available yet and I don't like to take my Kindle out and about without a cover. Now I am glad that I went ahead and bought it.

    PROS:

    1. The light is much better than I thought it would be. Using it in a darkened room I found that the light did the job very well. In a pitch black room, it performs even better. While the screen corner opposite the light is a bit dimmer than other areas, there is no problem reading the page at all.

    2. The light gets its power from the Kindle itself, through the gold-plated hinges which attach it to the cover, so batteries are a thing of the past. When your Kindle goes to sleep, the light will go out as well. It will also turn off when you slide it back into the case.

    3. The cover is slim, well-fitted and very easy to attach and detach using the hinges. The inside has good padding. The leather outer surface has a nice pebbled texture with the exception of a smooth area along the edge of the front. While stiff enough to protect the reader, the cover is slight flexible and the front easily folds behind when reading so you can hold your Kindle with one hand if you like.

    4. A great plus is that the cover has an elastic cord that fits into a groove on the front of it. This holds your cover closed (unlike the original Kindle 2 cover that would flop open in your purse & let things slide into it) and easily distinguishes the front from the back--important as many owners of the Kindle 2 cover accidentally opened it from the back, which could cause cracking along the Kindle's spine.


    CONS:

    I haven't found any, really. The light Is a bit hard (stiff) to pull out of the cover, but then you wouldn't want it to be flopping out when you don't want to use it so that is more of a Pro than a Con.

    The one concern I do have is about pulling the light in and out--I wonder if whatever wiring or conductor that is used to get the power from the hinges to the light will eventually break. But that is something to find out down the road. Right now, the more I use this cover, the more I like it.

    4-0 out of 5 stars From the bungee cord thingy to the pull-out light, a solid choice for the Kindle
    I ordered this cover because it was the only real game in town at the time. To let you know where I come from with this review... I purchased the 2nd generation Kindle back in March of 2009 with the Amazon cover. Didn't like that one, it actually cracked my mother's Kindle that I purchased shortly thereafter (Amazon replaced it, although it was probably from her opening the wrong side, doesn't matter, this isn't about Amazon great customer service). When that happened, we immediately went looking for a new cover and fell in love with the M-Edge Prodigy with light. Unfortunately, M-Edge isn't offering that for the 3rd generation Kindle, they changed it to have a nylon strap instead of leather and aren't utilizing the hinge technology for the light, which I think is genius and a terrible error on their part. I'm telling you this so you know that I ordered this new Amazon Lighted Cover with a WHOLE LOT of trepidation.

    When deciding on the color, I didn't want black (I wanted purple, but Amazon doesn't offer that *boo*hiss*) and the green was backordered slightly, didn't like the other colors so I decided to get the orange. It looked interesting and since I live in Austin, some UT fan would buy it off me if I hated it, I was sure. It came in and it's the perfect burnt orange color. It might be slightly too tan colored, but it's not vibrant orange by any means. A great almost pumpkin pie color actually.

    So... what did I think of the cover itself?

    I slid the Kindle in there and pulled the light out and... nothing happened. I spent a good 3 to 5 minutes pulling the light out and pushing it back in, looking for a switch, something, anything. I finally gave up and turned the Kindle on and... yeah, the light came on. DUH! It works only if the Kindle is on. This is actually GREAT because I fall asleep reading a good deal and the light will go off when the Kindle goes to sleep after 15 minutes or so. I felt stupid, but at least I didn't call customer service and have them giggle in the background and the stupid lady that can't work the cover, eh?

    ANYWAY... the Kindle slides in easily and the light works great. There is no glare at all because the LED lights are directed down the arm of the light so there's no "direct" light hitting the screen, it just flows down. It is brighter in the upper right than in the lower left because of that, but it's more than adequate. The light is NOT adjustable but you shouldn't need to adjust it either. I have found it really is a genius way of handling it.

    The case itself is not too thick. In fact when I first picked up the case, I thought I had the wrong one because it looked too slim to have a light in there, but it's there. It is a little hard to pull the light out, but I guess the alternative is having it be too easy, right? I really wish they had included corner straps though. I read laying in bed and I worry it's going to flop open and crack the Kindle. I do realize this is probably unfounded and they fixed that flaw, but because I'm paranoid, I did put two small circles of velcro to the back of the Kindle and the cover so it couldn't accidentally bend the hinge system or crack the case. I'm aware this is insane overkill type stuff, so feel free to snicker... I'll wait... done? Okay, onward...

    Now, back to reality... the chance of you opening the Kindle from the wrong side is basically zero. You have to unwrap it using this bungee cord thingy (yes, that's the technical term here, folks). It has a little leather tag on it that says "Amazon Kindle". The tag is a little annoying because I fold the cover back and use the cord to hold it and keep hitting the tag with my hand no matter where I put. I'm thinking of cutting it off. *shrug*

    It does, of course, add some weight to the Kindle. The case, with Kindle and velcro circles weighs 15.5 oz on my postal scale. There's been some discussion if this is "too heavy" but I must say that I don't think so. I read with it folded back and the bungee cord thingy wrapped around the back. I have weak hands that keep me from reading hard backs and large paperback books. I think it's more of the force of holding the book open than the weight, so it's not been an issue at all for me. I also read with it propped up somewhere usually.

    My favorite part is that with the new slim and sleek design of the Kindle and this slim and sleek cover (with a light, no less!) it really is a great size to grab and go, toss in my purse, in the car or my bedside. My other favorite (it's a tie) is the light. It runs off power from the Kindle itself so I'm never without a light. I don't have to find a battery somewhere when it burns out. Amazon knocked it out of the park as far as I'm concerned. I'm taking off a star just for the few little niggle things I mentioned before. After over a week of use though, this is the cover I'm recommending to friends/family at this time.

    Well worth it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Data to compare colors and weights, with and without light
    Have a good scale and have now seen all cover colors, so here's data to help you pick. VERY well made cover.

    Weights are for the cover only, not including the Kindle:
    Cover without light -- 170 grams or 6 ounces
    Cover WITH light -- 240 grams or 8-1/2 ounces
    Only you know whether the 2-1/2 ounce difference in weight is worth carrying all the time to have a light always at hand.

    The most accurate depiction of the cover colors is the photograph at the bottom of the sales page.
    Burnt Orange -- same shade as a basketball
    Burgundy Red -- closer to a vibrant brick red as it has no purple overtone
    Steel Blue -- pure grey blue which shows well on web page
    Hot Pink -- deeper shade than it appears anywhere but photograph
    Green -- picture a Granny Smith apple
    Brown -- very deep brown, not a chocolate color

    4-0 out of 5 stars (4.5 stars) Very good, and not THAT heavy!
    I bought two of these (burgundy for my wife's graphite kindle and green for my white kindle).

    The colors are gorgeous, and exactly as shown in the pictures Amazon has here.

    The look and feel of the leather is very good and should more than satisfy most folks. If you're willing to spend more for even better leather, you'll soon be able to get high-end leather cases from designers like Cole-Haan. (If you're interested, look up their Kindle 2 cases here at Amazon and you're get an idea of what they're likely to offer for Kindle 3).

    We love the design. We've had no trouble hooking our kindles in and out of the case. We love that the light is built in and we will never need to replace its battery. The cover folds completely flat around the back, and the elastic band keeps it there, then it's easy and quite comfortable to hold in one hand for long reading sessions.

    A few reviews here complain about the weight of this case. I disagree. It is not heavy compared to other cases of this type (folio-style hard shell leather cases). My wife and I were up reading for hours last night, holding our kindles, cases on, in one hand, with no fatigue. (We're such an old married couple, that's how exciting our Friday nights are!) I used to have a nook with the same type of case (minus the light), and it was noticeably heavier. If you want something lighter, consider a neoprene sleeve or cloth case.

    My only qualm about the Amazon lighted case is the uneven distribution of light on the screen - very bright in the upper right corner, dim in the lower left corner. It seems this doesn't bother most people here, but it bothers me a bit, enough to knock half a star off my review, but not enough to make me hesitate to recommend this case.

    Some folks complain about the price. It is high, to be sure. But, you'd pay about the same if you bought a good leather case and a separate light. Then you'd have to worry about remembering to pack the light when you travel, making sure it has fresh batteries, making sure you don't lose it, etc etc. For me, the convenience of the built-in light is well worth the price.

    And there's something intangible but very very nice about keeping our kindles in these gorgeous, almost luxuriously nice cases. They are definitely eye-catching and lust-worthy. Read more


    9. AmazonBasics High-Speed HDMI Cable (6.5 Feet/2.0 Meters)[Supports 3D + Audio Return Channel]
    Electronics
    -- our price: $7.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B001T9NUJE
    Manufacturer: AmazonBasics
    Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    AmazonBasics products are quality electronics accessories offered at a great value. ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great inexpensive HDMI cables, December 1, 2009
    It is a relief to find HDMI cables that are inexpensive and deliver high quality video. I paid $40 for a 4ft cable at Circuit City a year ago, and less than half that price for the 10ft cable from Amazon.

    As an electrical engineer I can tell you copper is copper. Unless Monster cable has coaxial wire for each signal line, which they don't because then the cable would be 10x larger than it is, then it's just copper wire inside a shield. There's still going to be crosstalk and capacitive coupling and all that stuff. All that "gas filled" stuff doesn't matter either. If you look at the mathematical equasions for the frequency response of an unshielded wire, you'd know none of this stuff makes any major difference.

    The biggest thing to avoid, if you can, are ferrite cores on a cable. Ferrite cores are those black blob things that overmold the cable near one or both of the connectors. Ferrite cores act as high frequency filters and may cause signal degradation. They are typically used to comply with FCC laws and other regulatory bodies' radiated emissions laws. They add cost to the cable and typically degrade performance.

    Regarding expensive cables, HDMI or otherwise, what no one asks is the most fundamental question - Why? Let's assume Monster cable isn't lying and they can provide 300 GHz bandwidth or whatever they claim. Why do you need a cable that outperforms so much? It's like owning a car that can go 1000 MPH but the speed limit is 55MPH. In my field, that's called "over-engineering" which equates to unnecessary additional cost, which is exactly the problem Amazon has solved by sourcing this simple low cost HDMI cable.

    While I'm soapboxing, gold plating isn't necessary either. Silver is the best conductor, followed by Copper, and then Gold (third best). Stainless Steel isn't far behind. The only reason gold plating is "better" is Gold does not corrode (but neither does stainless steel... they actually gold plate the stainless steel, how dumb is that?). If you are using your cables in a house where the humidity & temp is relatively constant, you should never need gold. As far as I can tell, Gold is just a gimmick to charge more for cables.

    3-0 out of 5 stars HDMI 1.4 cable lacking data channel support but still OK as an HDMI 1.3x, gets full Amazon support, October 1, 2009
    I got an email from Amazon announcing their new line of AmazonBasics cables. They said that their goal was to make a high quality cable and sell it at a very reasonable price.

    They have achieved that goal.

    I ordered two of the six foot HDMI cables and on nine foot cable for about eight bucks each.

    The cable came in a simple cardboard box with nothing but a twist tie aside from the cable (which is a good thing, I hate the plastic blister packs that cut your hands and unnecessary stuff in the box to go in the landfill).

    The cable has a solid, quality feel to it. Nothing feels cheap or chintzy.

    Connecting the cable between my TV and several compontents including my brand new Samsung Blu Ray player, the connection just worked every time.

    For comparison purposes, I bought a $50 super delux, high end, will solve all the problems in your life (according to the sales guy) HDMI cable at Radio Shack. Connecting the AmazonBasics cable to the same Blu Ray player as the fancy cable I saw **NO DIFFERENCE**!

    Looking into it I found out that HDMI is a standard that is run by an organization. In order for anyone to make an HDMI cable and put the HDMI logo on it (which the AmazonBasics cable does), the cable must be made to the HDMI organizations standards. So the group basically tells the companies how the cable must be made in order to be given the HDMI logo. The long and short of it is that cheap cable or expensive cable, it must work to the same standards in order to have the HDMI logo.

    So, super fancy $50 cable gets thrown back across the counter to Radio Shack guy for return and AmazonBasics cable gets a new home in back of my entertainment center.

    I'm now going to purchase several more of these for family and friends to have as spares since they don't know any better and will get suckered by the sales guy at best buy into buying a $50 Monster Cable HDMI cable that does nothing better than this one.

    3-0 out of 5 stars cable just ok..., April 3, 2010
    I know that retail HDMI cables are priced extremely high and thought this cable was a real bargain by comparison. But, when substituted for another cable, this one gave dropouts in video and audio with the screen going to a speckled black and white pattern. Maybe I got the only bad one....maybe not.

    I have purchased many items from Amazon over the years and have always been satisfied with price, quality and service. This is the first item that has not measured up.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great inexpensive HDMI cables, December 1, 2009
    It is a relief to find HDMI cables that are inexpensive and deliver high quality video. I paid $40 for a 4ft cable at Circuit City a year ago, and less than half that price for the 10ft cable from Amazon.

    As an electrical engineer I can tell you copper is copper. Unless Monster cable has coaxial wire for each signal line, which they don't because then the cable would be 10x larger than it is, then it's just copper wire inside a shield. There's still going to be crosstalk and capacitive coupling and all that stuff. All that "gas filled" stuff doesn't matter either. If you look at the mathematical equasions for the frequency response of an unshielded wire, you'd know none of this stuff makes any major difference.

    The biggest thing to avoid, if you can, are ferrite cores on a cable. Ferrite cores are those black blob things that overmold the cable near one or both of the connectors. Ferrite cores act as high frequency filters and may cause signal degradation. They are typically used to comply with FCC laws and other regulatory bodies' radiated emissions laws. They add cost to the cable and typically degrade performance.

    Regarding expensive cables, HDMI or otherwise, what no one asks is the most fundamental question - Why? Let's assume Monster cable isn't lying and they can provide 300 GHz bandwidth or whatever they claim. Why do you need a cable that outperforms so much? It's like owning a car that can go 1000 MPH but the speed limit is 55MPH. In my field, that's called "over-engineering" which equates to unnecessary additional cost, which is exactly the problem Amazon has solved by sourcing this simple low cost HDMI cable.

    While I'm soapboxing, gold plating isn't necessary either. Silver is the best conductor, followed by Copper, and then Gold (third best). Stainless Steel isn't far behind. The only reason gold plating is "better" is Gold does not corrode (but neither does stainless steel... they actually gold plate the stainless steel, how dumb is that?). If you are using your cables in a house where the humidity & temp is relatively constant, you should never need gold. As far as I can tell, Gold is just a gimmick to charge more for cables.

    3-0 out of 5 stars HDMI 1.4 cable lacking data channel support but still OK as an HDMI 1.3x, gets full Amazon support, October 1, 2009
    WHO NEEDS IT?

    This cable will work well with anything that supports HDMI 1.3x but it's built to comply with the higher HDMI 1.4a standard of which it is a PARTIAL implementation (no Ethernet). If what you need is a true HDMI 1.4x cable, then the one to get is that which is described as "HDMI with Internet" which adds the data channel and support for higher video resolutions.

    You may consider this product if you have TWO devices that support the HDMI 1.4 standard such as TVs, receivers or Blu-ray players. For these, the cable will carry through HD images and will allow you TV to send audio data BACK to your receiver if so connected, therefore eliminating the need for one dedicated audio cable. This specific cable will probably NOT support HDMI 1.4 Ethernet feature. You may also consider this cable if you currently need an extra HDMI 1.3 cable but you are planning to to replace your existing equipment with some HDMI 1.4-ready hardware in the near future.

    Unless either of the above is true, you will not need this cable and, given that the HDMI 1.4 standards aren't set in stone yet - this cable complies with the recently released HDMI 1.4a specs for 3D - you should be better off waiting for the dust to settle. Keep in mind that BOTH connected devices need to support the HDMI 1.4 standard for this cable to make a difference and that it is NOT possible to upgrade any existing equipment (TV, Blu-ray player) to support HDMI 1.4.


    HOW GOOD IS IT?

    On my equipment, this worked as well as any older HDMI 1.3x cable. It replaced an existing 'cheap' wire at the back of my entertainment center and, nothing unexpected happened. The picture on my TV was as beautiful as before. The cable's short length (2 meters) and its 'high speed' certification make me confident that this cable will serve me well.


    Briefly, this cable:

    - Behaves as a HDMI 1.3x 'high speed' or 'category 2' cable. If all you need is HDMI 1.3x then go for it or go for any other cheap HDMI 1.3x wire.
    - As a 'high speed' HDMI 1.4 cable, it supports video resolutions of at least 1080p including in 3D.
    - The 'data channel' (Ethernet support) is missing but it that would only work with HDMI 1.4 ready equipment so I'm not sure if it would be missed for the next couple of years.
    - The advertised audio return channel is another HDMI 1.4 feature that most currently owned equipment can't take advantage of.
    - It should support all the HDMI 1.4 extra color palettes because those are implemented by the HDMI 1.4 compliant connected equipment NOT by the cable.


    WHY 3 STARS

    A 3-star rating should be fair (and I am not factoring in the price) because this cable, while working perfectly as an HDMI 1.3x, is an incomplete HDMI 1.4 implementation. Incomplete HDMI 1.4 implementations are allowed by the HDMI consortium but there I see no advantage in purchasing a feature-crippled cable when full-featured alternatives are available. 'Niche' HDMI cables make sense form a vendor's point of view because a buyer may be willing to pay more for such an item but their marketing can only confuse and annoy the buyers. It should cost a vendor about the same to manufacture a 'universal' HDMI 1.4 wire as it does to make an incomplete (niche) product. In fact there may be economies of scale in producing 'universal' HDMI 1.4 cables only so marketing seems to be the only reason we get to see these intentionally crippled products.

    My recommendation would be NOT to buy this cable. Get the 'High-Speed with Ethernet' if you want/need HDMI 1.4 or get an HDMI 1.3x otherwise.



    END OF REVIEW

    ______________________________________________________


    What follows is the byproduct of me attempting to clarify 'HDMI 1.4' for myself and understanding this specific product's features. I thought I'd share.


    WHAT'S IN A NAME? (understanding this cable's features)

    HDMI 1.4 is a new HDMI standard adopted in 2009, backward compatible with HDMI 1.3. This cable should work with your existing equipment.
    - HIGH SPEED indicates that this cable supports resolutions of 1080p or higher and 3D video (unlike the HDMI 1.4 STANDARD cables which, believe it or not, are limited to 720p/1080i - why? nobody knows).
    - ETHERNET (NOT supported by this specific product) means that a cable supports a full-duplex 100 Mb/sec Ethernet connection - if you have 2 HDMI 1.4 ready devices and they both need an network connection, this cable will carry through the Ethernet datastream to the second device, therefore saving you the need for one extra Ethernet cable.
    - Audio Return Channel (supported) would save you the need of a dedicated audio cable between 2 HDMI 1.4 compliant devices, usually a TV that might get content directly from a USB storage device or the Ethernet and an HDMI 1.4 compliant receiver.
    - HDMI 1.4a brought HDMI in line with the recently agreed upon 3D TV industry standards but, consistent with HDMI's consortium's encouraging vendors to avoid talking about the actual version their HDMI cables are implementing, we simply don't know whether this one is HDMI 1.4 or HDMI 1.4a. Since '3D' is mentioned it's probably safe to assume HDMI 1.4a.


    THE HDMI 1.4x DIFFERENCE

    HDMI 1.4 allows for the following new features:

    - Ethernet Channel - allows for the 2 connected devices to communicate with each other and share one network connection.
    - Audio Return Channel - eliminates the need of a second cable if you want to send audio from your TV back to your receiver.
    - 3D - It's supported by HDMI 1.3x but HDMI 1.4a specifically supports all the currently agreed-upon industry standards
    - 4K resolution - good to have it but there is nothing on today's market that would take advantage of this
    - Expanded support for new color spaces - by supporting sYCC601, AdobeRGB, and AdobeYCC601 it better aligns your display with the color spaces supported by digital cameras.
    - Type D connector - the 'Micro' connector is to be used by small, portable devices with supported resolutions of up to 1080p. Be aware that there are now THREE different HDMI connectors: standard, mini and micro.


    The HDMI Consortium defines 4 broad types of HDMI 1.4 cables:

    * Standard HDMI Cable
    * High Speed HDMI Cable
    * Standard HDMI Cable with Ethernet
    * High Speed HDMI Cable with Ethernet

    Of all of the above, only the a 'High Speed HDMI Cable with Ethernet' makes sense.

    Standard cables are limited to lower-resolution displays up to (approx. 720p or 1080i). High Speed cables support higher-resolution display (e.g. 1080p). They can deliver all video content currently defined for the HDMI standard (i.e. more than two 1080p/60 video streams, including 3D). HDMI cables with Ethernet are capable of sending 100/mbps over the HDMI Ethernet Channel. Since it is not likely that many HDMI 1.4 'standard' cables will be made or sold, I suspect that the crippled 'standard' type exists only to allow for calling the cables that support 1080p 'high speed' which sounds good and high-end.

    --
    >> Brush your teeth, it's the law! <<

    5-0 out of 5 stars AmazonBasics makes a very good HDMI cable, October 11, 2009
    I got an email from Amazon announcing their new line of AmazonBasics cables. They said that their goal was to make a high quality cable and sell it at a very reasonable price.

    They have achieved that goal.

    I ordered two of the six foot HDMI cables and on nine foot cable for about eight bucks each.

    The cable came in a simple cardboard box with nothing but a twist tie aside from the cable (which is a good thing, I hate the plastic blister packs that cut your hands and unnecessary stuff in the box to go in the landfill).

    The cable has a solid, quality feel to it. Nothing feels cheap or chintzy.

    Connecting the cable between my TV and several compontents including my brand new Samsung Blu Ray player, the connection just worked every time.

    For comparison purposes, I bought a $50 super delux, high end, will solve all the problems in your life (according to the sales guy) HDMI cable at Radio Shack. Connecting the AmazonBasics cable to the same Blu Ray player as the fancy cable I saw **NO DIFFERENCE**!

    Looking into it I found out that HDMI is a standard that is run by an organization. In order for anyone to make an HDMI cable and put the HDMI logo on it (which the AmazonBasics cable does), the cable must be made to the HDMI organizations standards. So the group basically tells the companies how the cable must be made in order to be given the HDMI logo. The long and short of it is that cheap cable or expensive cable, it must work to the same standards in order to have the HDMI logo.

    So, super fancy $50 cable gets thrown back across the counter to Radio Shack guy for return and AmazonBasics cable gets a new home in back of my entertainment center.

    I'm now going to purchase several more of these for family and friends to have as spares since they don't know any better and will get suckered by the sales guy at best buy into buying a $50 Monster Cable HDMI cable that does nothing better than this one.

    3-0 out of 5 stars cable just ok..., April 3, 2010
    These cables are VERY thin/provide little shielding. It worked BUT my dvd player doesnt get signal sometimes. I switched over to a quality cable and the device gets detected everytime. My conclusion is these cables will get you by but Id pay a bit more for quality cable. Go with the MediaBridge it is twice as thick/more shield. If you are baller go w/ Monster.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Poor Quality, October 9, 2010
    I purchased this "inexpensive" HDMI cable looking to save a few dollars. When the cable arrived, I tried it in every video component I have. None of them worked with this cable. The connections were loose and flimsy. I have other "inexpensive" HDMI cables that have performed flawlessly for years. Don't waste your money or time with this product. Pay a few extra dollars and get a better cable.

    I will be a little more specific:

    When connected to my PS3, the cable caused the PS3 to flicker and eventually stop video feed to the receiver all together. Same result when connected to Apple TV. I switched the cable to the video out on my media center PC. The screen had terrible video distortion and constant flickering. Same result when used with my Dish Network Receiver.

    I have never felt compelled to leave feedback on any product purchased from Amazon in the past, but I was very dissappointed with the performance of this cable.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Limited capabilities in this cable, January 19, 2010
    HDMI cables are notorious for being expensive. I assumed the prices were over inflated just because people who were plunking big bucks for a new, big,flat screen TV would be gullible enough to take the bate and overpay. Sadly, my theory was wrong. This Amazon cable cost about half of what I paid for one of similar length at Sam's Club. It is fine as long as your are not transferring fast video over a long distance. When I use the cable to connect my laptop to the Big Screen TV, surfing the 'net poses no problem. But when I try to play a DVD through the same laptop, the screen motion becomes jerky and fast moving objects "tear apart" momentarily. When I swap out the Amazon cable for the Sam's Club version, the problems disappear. There is a physical difference in the cables. The Amazon cable is pencil thin and supple. The Sam's Club cable is thick and chunky. Obviously the Sam's Club cable has more "stuff" inside. This can only be shielding. Bottom line? For SHORT distances (less than 6' and preferably 3'), the Amazon cable is fine. But if you are transferring video, you will need the costlier thicker version. I suppose the old adage "you get what you pay for" applies here.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Great Looking Cable, Poor Quality, November 11, 2009
    I purchased 3 of these HDMI cables and only 1 worked properly . 2 of them caused intermittent connectivity. When they did work, they caused display failures like bright yellow color-shift in the entire image, or horizontal green blocks in the picture. These problems were encountered using multiple HDMI inputs on a new Panasonic TV using both an Apple TV and a Roku digital video player. Swapping out these cables for known-good cables cleared the problems. Amazon, your house brand cables are a nice idea, just poorly executed.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Too Good to be True?, January 19, 2010
    I know that retail HDMI cables are priced extremely high and thought this cable was a real bargain by comparison. But, when substituted for another cable, this one gave dropouts in video and audio with the screen going to a speckled black and white pattern. Maybe I got the only bad one....maybe not.

    I have purchased many items from Amazon over the years and have always been satisfied with price, quality and service. This is the first item that has not measured up.

    5-0 out of 5 stars High Quality, Excellent Warranty, December 22, 2009
    It seems like a review of an HDMI cable can't be written without arguing the philosophy of whether it's worth it to pay exhorbitant amounts of money for an A/V cable, or if a "cheap" cable will do the trick. Rather than reinvent the wheel I'll simply say that:

    1) This cable is about $6 (and eligible for free Prime shipping)
    2) Amazon offers a one year warranty
    3) Amazon has an excellent returns policy

    Given those items, what have you got to lose by giving this cable a try? If you aren't satisfied, return it and then spend the big bucks.

    Having said that, I use it to connect my PS3 (i.e. my BluRay player) to my HDTV and my personal experience with this cable has been positive. The cable is sturdy and feels well-made, unlike some other $6 cables I have used in the past. The picture/sound quality meets my expectations and I could discern no problems whatsoever. Overall I am pleased enough that I will purchase the same cable again in the future. I also plan to give other Amazon branded cables a try as needed.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Intermittent problems, June 19, 2010
    I bought one of these cables as part of a Christmas present, which included a Sony Blu-Ray player, for friends. Immediately they had problems with the signal. The movie would play and then the picture would go "black and white" or just fritz out. They called Sony support who suggested reversing the cable. This works better but there are still times when the cable 'needs' moved because the connections just are solid enough. I will not buy another AmazonBasics cable. It's Monster cables for me. Read more


    10. Scotch Thermal Laminator 15.5 Inches x 6.75 Inches x 3.75 Inches, 2 Roller System (TL901)
    Office Product
    list price: $80.49 -- our price: $19.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0010JEJPC
    Manufacturer: 3M Office Products
    Sales Rank: 1
    Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Scotch(TM) Thermal Laminator TL901 will laminate items up to 9 inches wide. It features a two roller system that has two temperature settings. It can be used for photographs, documents, recipes and much more.This laminator will laminate items up to 5mil thick, including popular 3mil and 5mil pouches. Businesses and families can always find a use for a laminator that is built with 3M quality and durable, intelligent construction. The Scotch(TM) TL901 laminating system laminates letter-size, legal-size, business-card size, photo-size and other papers up to 9 inches wide, your photographs and important documents along with dozens of other projects and crafts. Practical and fun, you can set it up anywhere and anytime. Protect your licenses, make luggage tags, preserve invitations, and create reusable menus, bookmarks, and gifts--you're limited only by your imagination. Plus, the Scotch(TM) TL901 laminating system is portable and lightweight (only 5.4 pounds), taking up just 9 inches of your valuable desk surface. Includes a jam release lever. What's in the Box: Laminator, two 11" x 9.4" double-sided lamination pouches, instructions, warranty information. ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great home laminator, April 1, 2009
    I purchased this laminating machine in a store, but wanted to give a definite positive review! I have had this machine running since I got it, and just love it! It's simple to use, works wonderfully and doesnt' take up a ton of space. I have a special needs toddler, who uses picture cards to communicate her needs, and this has made over 100 PECS cards for her book, and now she's even taking them to Pre-k to use them as well! Wonderful machine that is making my little one's life so much better! I am also having tons of fun using it for my small business for price lists and advertising! Great little machine!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good Laminator, September 19, 2008
    Good all-purpose laminator for the price. Needed to run through a couple of times for thicker sheets. But I am happy with the product. I laminated 75 schedule cards in a row without a breakdown. A good deal.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent customer service - great product, June 21, 2010
    This is a great little laminator, and I've used it even more than expected. But during a momentary lapse of reason, I tried to use a partial pouch - one that was not sealed on the bottom. They tell you not to do it, but I did anyway. Everything disappeared into the machine, and didn't come back out. It didn't look like I could open it up without destroying it, so I called their 800 number. They were so nice, and they sent me a mailing label to ship it back for free. They said that if they could fix it, they would do so and send it back. If they couldn't, they would send me a new one. All free of charge - which is incredible since it was my own fault for doing what they said not to do. I just got a new one in the mail. I only paid $30 for this, yet they replaced it free of charge when I messed it up. You just can't do any better than that!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Good little home machine!, December 31, 2008
    I've been using a small card size thermal laminator to make cards, bookmarks and jewelry with for a few years now. A friend of mine gave me this one for my birthday as an upgrade.
    I love it. It takes about 10 minutes to be ready and has an indicator light to show it's hot enough. A double roller system sends your document through the laminator smoothly at the right speed.
    It's built for 3mm and 5mm lamination pouches which is fine for home and home office use.
    If you do get a jam, the unit has a release button to pull out the document and unjam the machine.
    It's very simple to use, intuitive but it also is illustrated with how to feed your document in as well. You put whatever your laminating into a sleeve then put it into the paper feed in the back of the machine.
    There are 2 heat settings. One for 3mm and one for 5. It handles US Letter sized items easily.
    Possible craft uses:
    I use mine for jewelry, cutting out small images and sealing them into small pouches for less waste. After lamination, cut around the image leaving a margin of the clear laminate, use a small punch to make a hole and attach to jump ring
    bookmarks- pressed flowers make wonderful mementos of special days out
    recipe cards
    dry erase boards
    use in duct tape crafts with nice images. A couple comic book pages laminated can be taped together to make a very unique purse.
    It's a good home laminator for home office and craft use.
    Because of the 10 minute warm up time, I recommend having a few projects ready to go at a time so you can just do them all at once after the unit is heated.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Works just as expected, December 4, 2008
    This is a great laminator, works well for my use, which is occasional. I think I've used this about 3 times a week since I purchased it, and it works just as I expected it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Buy!, August 4, 2010
    I snagged this bad boy on a Lightning Deal for 20 bucks this weekend. It arrived yesterday (thank you Amazon Prime!). As soon as I got it, I set it up and used it a few times and I must say, I'm very, very impressed. This is easily worth the full price, so even more excited I got it for 20 bucks. Setup took less than a minute ... just take it out of the box and snap the feeder tray into place. That's it! Heating up took appx 5 minutes. I fed a couple items through and it is absolutely silent. I mean NO noise whatsoever when it's laminating. It autofeeds the item through and takes less than 30 seconds to spit it out the other side. The laminating looked very professional. I could not be happier with this purchase. Highly recommend!

    5-0 out of 5 stars LOVE IT!, March 24, 2009
    I did not buy this from this seller. However, I love this laminator. Most are far more costly than this one. This one is great for personal use. I laminate pictures, my daughter's art projects, etc. It does take about 3 minutes to be "ready" but for the price that is fine with me.

    5-0 out of 5 stars very good and fun, easy to use and operate, recommended, November 7, 2008
    I use it to laminate my kids art works and all those certificates, it is very to use and operate and it's fun too.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Very good little laminator, October 8, 2009
    I needed a laminator to make some ID cards for a club. After looking at a few models here and reading comments, this one looked like a good pick. So far, so good. I have only used it a couple of weeks for about 25 cards, in conjuction with the Fellowes 7 mil business card pouches. This model has a switch for 3 or 5 mil, so of course I used the 5 mil setting and it's working fine. It takes a minute or two to warm up fully, and then the cards run through in just a few seconds. I did have to prop it up a bit to give a little "gravity assist" so that the cards would drop out. I haven't run anything bigger throught it either, so can't speak to that. But for small projects this looks like a very handy device that works well. Read more


    11. Garmin Portable Friction Mount
    Electronics
    list price: $39.99 -- our price: $24.73
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B002OL2MU4
    Manufacturer: Garmin
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Portable Friction Mount ... Read more

    Reviews

    4-0 out of 5 stars Best Solution for NUVI in my Prius and my Ford: Theft Protection As Well!!, June 1, 2007
    My Prius has a rough dashboard and a windshield that slopes very sharply. Thus, the suction cup mounts are not good solutions. Fortunately, the friction mount is a great solution. It works much better than I expected. Very stable, does not slide, and lets me adjust my Nuvi to a variety of different angles. I can place the GPS anywhere on the dash or even on the center console. Also works great when transferred to my wife's Ford.

    Only downside to the device is that it has a rather large footprint, but not prohibitively large. I like the fact that I can easily use this in both of our family vehicles depending on where we need the GPS.

    UPDATE: Now that I have used this mount regularly since May, I have to say this is the best mounting solution I've found for a GPS or any other device for my car. It hasn't slid out of place once!! Given the rise in GPS units being stolen from cars, this mount allows you to easily stash your GPS Unit and mount out of sight and then put it back into position with ease.

    2009 Update: Still using this in my Prius and my wife has one too. It's held up quite well. It IS a bit bulky to store out of the way when not in use, but still a good solution. I usually remove my GPS from the mount (a simple process) and then place the mount as far under the seat as it will go. Not perfect, but the best solution I've found to date.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Well designed, May 19, 2007
    This mount works great. The selection of Garmin mounts is confusing as some are two parts and some are one. If you have a Nuvi with the included windshield mount, then this is the only part you need to buy. The included mount disassembles at the ball and socket joint and attaches to this one. I can't say it will never come off the dash if I do some really high speed maneuver, but so far it's held steady for all regular driving.

    I like that it's easy to move the mount and gps unit down to the floor when I park. Yeah a thief could still see it if they came right up to my car but at least it's not obvious from halfway across the parking lot like a windshield mount is. A thief that sees an empty windshield mount is probably going to assume (correctly) that I've just put the unit in the glove compartment.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Finally, the right mounting solution, June 16, 2007
    I have become addicted to my Garmin Nuvi 660 and used it for six months with a successful windshield mount. But now I have bought a new car. I discovered that the windshield suction mount left an ugly black ring on the window of my old car. (I assume I can get this cleaned up when I detail the car for selling.)

    So no way was I going to put one of those on my beautiful new car. I tried the Garmin dashboard mount but shied away from the "permanent" disc. I found the "temporary" disc was just not up to the job of holding this device in place -- at least on my vehicle. I found this very frustrating. I read about the Portable Friction Mount, found a Best Buy store that had it in stock and ran out to buy it.

    Though it is not terribly good looking, it does the job very well. I tried whipping around a few tight turns in parking lots and the whole thing stayed put. As another reviewer said, this lets you easily remove the thing and put it on the floor so it's not obvious. That may be more valuable than you would think. I know somebody who removed his Garmin Nuvi (and took it with him) but left the window mount in place. The car was broken into and the window mount alone was stolen. (Probably that was a pretty frustrated thief.)

    Also, this will be easy to transfer to a rental car. And it will make it easy for my wife to borrow my Nuvi. Hmmm!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Stable but here's an easy improvement, June 26, 2007
    While the friction mount on the bottom of the beanbag is pretty darn stable even with stops, starts, and turns I sometimes would find it sliding across the dash. The solution has been to use one of those little 6x4 inch mats sold at Radio Shack or Walmart for keeping cellphones on the dash. The mat is sticky on one side but leaves no marks or glue. I have not had one slide since using the mat. I even bring the mat with me in rental cars. This gives a very secure mount that is very easy to take from car to car.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Just the right mount for a Garmin Nuvi (works with all Nuvis), December 2, 2007
    The first time I tried this mount was in a rental car for a Garmin C530, and I never thought it would stay on the slightly sloping dash of the Pontiac Grand Prix but it held firm going up and down San Francisco's hilly roads. That prompted me to buy one for my car. Essentially this mount is a bean bag with a mouse pad like rubber base but its engineered to stay where you put it and not slide around unless you move it. The good thing is that it stays put even if you brake suddenly, and if you drive in bumper to bumper rush hour traffic like me every day you'll appreciate this even more!

    The advantages are:
    - No sticking on windshield. This is a BIG advantage as the windshield mount starts to come off easily after a year of usage, less if you leave it in your car while it's parked in the sun. There is nothing worse than your GPS sliding off while you're driving round a tricky bend, especially if you are new to the area. Sometimes it can be downright dangerous.
    - The windshield mount also alerts thieves that a GPS is in the car. A friction mount can be placed down under the car seat when you leave the car without needing to disconnect anything so that you're ready to go quickly when you come back to the car.
    - The other big advantage is the ability to move it around to the position you want it. If a passenger is sitting in your car you can just slide it to their side and they can input the information while you are driving. It also makes it easy to slide it closer to yourself. Since I have the Nuvi 660 I often make calls with the bluetooth feature while driving, it is easy to slide it towards me when I am speaking to someone in order to get better voice reception.

    This mount works for all Nuvis as they have the "snap the ball in the joint". If you buy any model of Nuvi then this is all you need, no other adapter parts are needed. It's also easy to switch this mount between cars or move it to a rental car when you travel. It has been the best and most useful accessory I could buy for my Nuvi 660.

    5-0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT, September 1, 2007
    I purchased the Garmin Nuvi 350 to use for work since I travel quite a bit for my job. I was hesitant about buying the friction mount because I worried that it wouldn't stay put. I'm happy to report that I was wrong.

    I recently used this friction mount with my Nuvi 350 on a long trip from NJ to Maine. Not only did it stay put exactly where I placed it on my dashboard for the entire trip, but it stayed put in a near accident. On one of the many highways we traveled, there was a car accident ahead and everyone in my lane slammed on the brakes. Now, mind you, we were all traveling at approximately 60-65 miles per hour. I'm most happy to report that we didn't collide with anyone. ---> Amazingly, the friction mount and my Nuvi didn't move an inch.

    You can buy this friction mount with complete confidence. If it didn't move in the situation I was in, it won't move with normal driving. Not only that, but it is easy to remove and stow your friction mount and Nuvi without leaving evidence that you have a GPS (now a favored target for theives).

    3-0 out of 5 stars Slides easier as it ages, December 5, 2007
    I've had this item for 3 months, and initially was very impressed with it's holding power on the dash. It's not magic - it will come off if you make a sudden turn or floor it from a stop light - but generally it stayed put, even through some *very* curvy roads in West Virginia at a "spirited" pace.

    Over time, however, it seems to have absorbed the oils or possiblly Armor-All out of the dash (leaving a distinct dry spot on the dash in the shape of the mount), which has impacted it's performance. It still generally stays put, but takes much less aggressive a maneuver to make it move. I am currently trying different cleaners to try to reclaim some of the original grip.

    As mentioned many times, the ability to remove it from the car, put it on the floor, move it to different cars, etc. is very nice. I would buy it again.

    5-0 out of 5 stars really easy to set up and use., August 15, 2007
    I justed pulled my Nuvi 660 off the window attachment, the ball just popped right out, then pushed it onto this ball. It works great, even has a lock/unlock, so you can slide the GPS out of the base easily, or lock it into place. It's easy to move the GPS to get just the right angle but it stays put once It's how I like it. I don't have too much trouble with the unit sliding around. I have a large, flat dash and if it were going anywhere, there's nothing to stop it, but it stays where I put it(I'm not a speeder and don't take turns sharper than I have to). As I live in California where I can't use the window attachment, I wish it would have come with this option. I wouldn't want to stick sticky tape on my leather dash. So far, I"m real happy with it.

    UPDATE: After a month or so driving around with this thing on my dash, I'm as happy as ever. It hasn't moved at all, over pumps, up or down really steep hills, even with the power cord pulling on it (as I have it plugged into my cigarette lighter all the time). It's light enough and small enough to move easily and tuck away, it doesn't get in the way at all when I'm driving. I think it's perfect and I love it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Works great, March 10, 2007
    Although I was skeptical, this holds onto the dash in both my Highlander and RX300. The ball attached directly to the mount that came with my Nuvi 360. No other kits were required.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Works with the Garmin Nuvi 660 -- no additional mount to purchase, June 14, 2007
    As one of the other reviewers stated, it is unclear whether certain Garmin GPS units require one or more additional parts for the portable mounts. This portable friction mount works perfectly with the Garmin Nuvi 660 -- you do need the bracket that holds the GPS unit from the suction cup mount that ships with the Nuvi 660. Just remove it and snap it on to the ball of the friction mount.

    The mount itself works perfectly -- my GPS stays put in typical California driving (which has included a few sudden braking maneuvers at rush hour). Excellent solution for those who want to be able to use the GPS in multiple vehicles.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Best Solution for NUVI in my Prius and my Ford: Theft Protection As Well!!, June 1, 2007
    My Prius has a rough dashboard and a windshield that slopes very sharply. Thus, the suction cup mounts are not good solutions. Fortunately, the friction mount is a great solution. It works much better than I expected. Very stable, does not slide, and lets me adjust my Nuvi to a variety of different angles. I can place the GPS anywhere on the dash or even on the center console. Also works great when transferred to my wife's Ford.

    Only downside to the device is that it has a rather large footprint, but not prohibitively large. I like the fact that I can easily use this in both of our family vehicles depending on where we need the GPS.

    UPDATE: Now that I have used this mount regularly since May, I have to say this is the best mounting solution I've found for a GPS or any other device for my car. It hasn't slid out of place once!! Given the rise in GPS units being stolen from cars, this mount allows you to easily stash your GPS Unit and mount out of sight and then put it back into position with ease.

    2009 Update: Still using this in my Prius and my wife has one too. It's held up quite well. It IS a bit bulky to store out of the way when not in use, but still a good solution. I usually remove my GPS from the mount (a simple process) and then place the mount as far under the seat as it will go. Not perfect, but the best solution I've found to date.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Well designed, May 19, 2007
    This mount works great. The selection of Garmin mounts is confusing as some are two parts and some are one. If you have a Nuvi with the included windshield mount, then this is the only part you need to buy. The included mount disassembles at the ball and socket joint and attaches to this one. I can't say it will never come off the dash if I do some really high speed maneuver, but so far it's held steady for all regular driving.

    I like that it's easy to move the mount and gps unit down to the floor when I park. Yeah a thief could still see it if they came right up to my car but at least it's not obvious from halfway across the parking lot like a windshield mount is. A thief that sees an empty windshield mount is probably going to assume (correctly) that I've just put the unit in the glove compartment.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Finally, the right mounting solution, June 16, 2007
    I have become addicted to my Garmin Nuvi 660 and used it for six months with a successful windshield mount. But now I have bought a new car. I discovered that the windshield suction mount left an ugly black ring on the window of my old car. (I assume I can get this cleaned up when I detail the car for selling.)

    So no way was I going to put one of those on my beautiful new car. I tried the Garmin dashboard mount but shied away from the "permanent" disc. I found the "temporary" disc was just not up to the job of holding this device in place -- at least on my vehicle. I found this very frustrating. I read about the Portable Friction Mount, found a Best Buy store that had it in stock and ran out to buy it.

    Though it is not terribly good looking, it does the job very well. I tried whipping around a few tight turns in parking lots and the whole thing stayed put. As another reviewer said, this lets you easily remove the thing and put it on the floor so it's not obvious. That may be more valuable than you would think. I know somebody who removed his Garmin Nuvi (and took it with him) but left the window mount in place. The car was broken into and the window mount alone was stolen. (Probably that was a pretty frustrated thief.)

    Also, this will be easy to transfer to a rental car. And it will make it easy for my wife to borrow my Nuvi. Hmmm!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Stable but here's an easy improvement, June 26, 2007
    While the friction mount on the bottom of the beanbag is pretty darn stable even with stops, starts, and turns I sometimes would find it sliding across the dash. The solution has been to use one of those little 6x4 inch mats sold at Radio Shack or Walmart for keeping cellphones on the dash. The mat is sticky on one side but leaves no marks or glue. I have not had one slide since using the mat. I even bring the mat with me in rental cars. This gives a very secure mount that is very easy to take from car to car.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Just the right mount for a Garmin Nuvi (works with all Nuvis), December 2, 2007
    The first time I tried this mount was in a rental car for a Garmin C530, and I never thought it would stay on the slightly sloping dash of the Pontiac Grand Prix but it held firm going up and down San Francisco's hilly roads. That prompted me to buy one for my car. Essentially this mount is a bean bag with a mouse pad like rubber base but its engineered to stay where you put it and not slide around unless you move it. The good thing is that it stays put even if you brake suddenly, and if you drive in bumper to bumper rush hour traffic like me every day you'll appreciate this even more!

    The advantages are:
    - No sticking on windshield. This is a BIG advantage as the windshield mount starts to come off easily after a year of usage, less if you leave it in your car while it's parked in the sun. There is nothing worse than your GPS sliding off while you're driving round a tricky bend, especially if you are new to the area. Sometimes it can be downright dangerous.
    - The windshield mount also alerts thieves that a GPS is in the car. A friction mount can be placed down under the car seat when you leave the car without needing to disconnect anything so that you're ready to go quickly when you come back to the car.
    - The other big advantage is the ability to move it around to the position you want it. If a passenger is sitting in your car you can just slide it to their side and they can input the information while you are driving. It also makes it easy to slide it closer to yourself. Since I have the Nuvi 660 I often make calls with the bluetooth feature while driving, it is easy to slide it towards me when I am speaking to someone in order to get better voice reception.

    This mount works for all Nuvis as they have the "snap the ball in the joint". If you buy any model of Nuvi then this is all you need, no other adapter parts are needed. It's also easy to switch this mount between cars or move it to a rental car when you travel. It has been the best and most useful accessory I could buy for my Nuvi 660.

    5-0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT, September 1, 2007
    I purchased the Garmin Nuvi 350 to use for work since I travel quite a bit for my job. I was hesitant about buying the friction mount because I worried that it wouldn't stay put. I'm happy to report that I was wrong.

    I recently used this friction mount with my Nuvi 350 on a long trip from NJ to Maine. Not only did it stay put exactly where I placed it on my dashboard for the entire trip, but it stayed put in a near accident. On one of the many highways we traveled, there was a car accident ahead and everyone in my lane slammed on the brakes. Now, mind you, we were all traveling at approximately 60-65 miles per hour. I'm most happy to report that we didn't collide with anyone. ---> Amazingly, the friction mount and my Nuvi didn't move an inch.

    You can buy this friction mount with complete confidence. If it didn't move in the situation I was in, it won't move with normal driving. Not only that, but it is easy to remove and stow your friction mount and Nuvi without leaving evidence that you have a GPS (now a favored target for theives).

    3-0 out of 5 stars Slides easier as it ages, December 5, 2007
    I've had this item for 3 months, and initially was very impressed with it's holding power on the dash. It's not magic - it will come off if you make a sudden turn or floor it from a stop light - but generally it stayed put, even through some *very* curvy roads in West Virginia at a "spirited" pace.

    Over time, however, it seems to have absorbed the oils or possiblly Armor-All out of the dash (leaving a distinct dry spot on the dash in the shape of the mount), which has impacted it's performance. It still generally stays put, but takes much less aggressive a maneuver to make it move. I am currently trying different cleaners to try to reclaim some of the original grip.

    As mentioned many times, the ability to remove it from the car, put it on the floor, move it to different cars, etc. is very nice. I would buy it again.

    5-0 out of 5 stars really easy to set up and use., August 15, 2007
    I justed pulled my Nuvi 660 off the window attachment, the ball just popped right out, then pushed it onto this ball. It works great, even has a lock/unlock, so you can slide the GPS out of the base easily, or lock it into place. It's easy to move the GPS to get just the right angle but it stays put once It's how I like it. I don't have too much trouble with the unit sliding around. I have a large, flat dash and if it were going anywhere, there's nothing to stop it, but it stays where I put it(I'm not a speeder and don't take turns sharper than I have to). As I live in California where I can't use the window attachment, I wish it would have come with this option. I wouldn't want to stick sticky tape on my leather dash. So far, I"m real happy with it.

    UPDATE: After a month or so driving around with this thing on my dash, I'm as happy as ever. It hasn't moved at all, over pumps, up or down really steep hills, even with the power cord pulling on it (as I have it plugged into my cigarette lighter all the time). It's light enough and small enough to move easily and tuck away, it doesn't get in the way at all when I'm driving. I think it's perfect and I love it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Works great, March 10, 2007
    Although I was skeptical, this holds onto the dash in both my Highlander and RX300. The ball attached directly to the mount that came with my Nuvi 360. No other kits were required.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Works with the Garmin Nuvi 660 -- no additional mount to purchase, June 14, 2007
    As one of the other reviewers stated, it is unclear whether certain Garmin GPS units require one or more additional parts for the portable mounts. This portable friction mount works perfectly with the Garmin Nuvi 660 -- you do need the bracket that holds the GPS unit from the suction cup mount that ships with the Nuvi 660. Just remove it and snap it on to the ball of the friction mount.

    The mount itself works perfectly -- my GPS stays put in typical California driving (which has included a few sudden braking maneuvers at rush hour). Excellent solution for those who want to be able to use the GPS in multiple vehicles. Read more


    12. Caselogic TBC-302 Ultra Compact Camera Case with Storage (Black)
    Electronics
    list price: $9.99 -- our price: $7.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B001V9KG0I
    Manufacturer: Case Logic
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Caselogic TBC-302 Ultra Compact Camera Case with Storage (Black) ... Read more

    Reviews

    4-0 out of 5 stars Nice snug fit for Canon S90
    This little case is the perfect size for my new Polaroid digital camera. It has a handy little zippered pocket big enough to store an extra battery and/or SD cards. It also came with a 'caribiner' type belt clip. Plus, I like that it's orange, just like my camera. The price is right too!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Nice snug fit for Canon S90
    I tried several cases for my new Canon S90 and this case had the best snug fit for the S90 without being too snug. It will provide a modest level of protection for the camera without adding unnecessary bulk. The outer pocket will hold an extra battery and/or memory card.

    5-0 out of 5 stars It saved my camera
    I recently purchased a Canon S90 to complement my 5DmkII on a safari in Tanzania. Throughout the trip I had the S90 on my belt for quick and easy access; the case isn't bulky and seemed to protect the camera well enough from the occasional knock as the land cruiser hit big bumps.

    On my last day in Tanzania I was walking through the streets of Arusha when suddenly I felt a hard tug that almost spun me around. I turned to see a man starting to flee. I started off in pursuit--concerned more about the memory card than the camera itself--but after a few steps realized the camera was still at my side, only a slight rip in the strap indicating anything had happened.

    Recommended as a sturdy carrying case with a reasonable amount of padding for impact protection (you won't want to drop it from very high or expose it to strong blows).

    4-0 out of 5 stars Nice generic, cheap case for the S90
    This case happens to be a good fit for the Canon S90. If you're hiking or are on vacation, it'll get you that crucial amount of padding plus room for 1 or 2 spare batteries and SD card. I particularly like the fact that the belt loop is fixed (not a clip), so once you put it on, you can be confident that it stays on, no matter which woods you're cutting your way through. Use a wider belt if you have one, the case wiggles a little with slim belts.

    If you're out in Metropolis though, the "outdoor factor" may be just a tad over the edge. You can remove the metal hook and cut off the bright label with sharp scissors, but it'll still look a bit too dorky for, say, the opera or sushi gathering. For such occasions, you'll do better with Canon's PSC900 Deluxe Leather Case.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Snug fit for DMC-ZS7
    I read this was a good case to get for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS7 so I ordered one at the same time I ordered my camera.

    I got them on the same day and was happy.

    I like the case, it is padded and has a little pocket in the front, but I was hoping the pocket was a little bigger. You can't really fit anything in there.. maybe a SD card, but it can't have to bulky a case and there is no way a battery will fit in there.

    As for the camera, I liked it at first, it has a snug fit and seemed perfect, but then I realized how unperfect it was. I put the wrist band on it and all the sudden it was way to hard to close, I was afraid I'd scratch it trying to get it zipped. I found a way around this by turning the camera backwards facing away from the pocket.

    Another thing I noticed and I HATED was when it was turned the right way with the wrist band on (not sure about without it.. only noticed after I put it on) is that the fit was TO tight that sometimes when zipping it up the zipper hits the on off switch and tries to turn it on.. which isn't good cuz the lense has no where to go! Again, turning it backwards seems to help with this, but I still have to be real careful when putting it up to avoid hitting it...

    I like the snug fit but at the same time I wish it was a little bit bigger, I'm afraid if I am in to big of a hurry I might accidently hit the camera with the zipper or something.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Perfect for a Canon S95
    This case has the perfect fit for a Canon S95, and the outer pocket holds a spare battery and memory card. The belt loop and carabiner are both secure.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Perfect fit in my pocket (For a Canon SD4000)
    I just purchased a Canon SD4000 and wanted a good case to secure the camera. I went with Caselogic TBC-302 and I love the fit.
    I had many different cases and every time I get frustrated of keeping the camera in the case because it doesn't fit in my pocket.
    Usually, I would just keep the case in my bag and the camera in my pocket.

    The TBC-302 size fits comfortably in a regular pair of jeans.
    Enough room for a spare battery and SD card.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Perfect size for my Polaroid Digital Camera
    This little case is the perfect size for my new Polaroid digital camera. It has a handy little zippered pocket big enough to store an extra battery and/or SD cards. It also came with a 'caribiner' type belt clip. Plus, I like that it's orange, just like my camera. The price is right too!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Perfect little case
    I bought this case to replace my old CaseLogic case because it didn't have a spare pocket to hold small accessories. This case is small and light enough so that I can carry it around all day without noticing it that much, but it is has enough room and padding so that it carries my camera (Panasonic FH20), a spare battery, and a SD card and it protects my camera if I drop it.

    I would recommend this case to anyone looking for the perfect travel case for their ultra compact camera.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Good case for Lumix
    Purchased this on advise from other reviews for the Panasonic Lumix ZS7 I purchased. Case holds the camera and an extra battery in the main section, and the memory chips in the small section. Has a loop to be attached to your belt. It is very small and a tight fit for the above, but it is perfect for what I wanted. Sturdy construction and has a little bit of padding to keep the camera secure. Perfect case for this camera and the few esstentials you need to bring along.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Caselogic TBC Camera Case
    Bought this for my new Canon PowerShot SD1400IS 14.1 MP Digital Camera with 4x Wide Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 2.7-Inch LCD (Black) and everything i.e. extra batteries x 2 camera cable and camera itself fits in there. Good product. Read more


    13. AmazonBasics High-Speed HDMI Cable (9.8 Feet/3.0 Meters) [Supports 3D + Audio Return Channel]
    Electronics
    -- our price: $9.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B001TH8UUA
    Manufacturer: AmazonBasics
    Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    AmazonBasics products are quality electronics accessories offered at a great value. ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great inexpensive HDMI cables
    WHO NEEDS IT?

    This cable will work well with anything that supports HDMI 1.3x but it's built to comply with the higher HDMI 1.4a standard of which it is a PARTIAL implementation (no Ethernet). If what you need is a true HDMI 1.4x cable, then the one to get is that which is described as "HDMI with Internet" which adds the data channel and support for higher video resolutions.

    You may consider this product if you have TWO devices that support the HDMI 1.4 standard such as TVs, receivers or Blu-ray players. For these, the cable will carry through HD images and will allow you TV to send audio data BACK to your receiver if so connected, therefore eliminating the need for one dedicated audio cable. This specific cable will probably NOT support HDMI 1.4 Ethernet feature. You may also consider this cable if you currently need an extra HDMI 1.3 cable but you are planning to to replace your existing equipment with some HDMI 1.4-ready hardware in the near future.

    Unless either of the above is true, you will not need this cable and, given that the HDMI 1.4 standards aren't set in stone yet - this cable complies with the recently released HDMI 1.4a specs for 3D - you should be better off waiting for the dust to settle. Keep in mind that BOTH connected devices need to support the HDMI 1.4 standard for this cable to make a difference and that it is NOT possible to upgrade any existing equipment (TV, Blu-ray player) to support HDMI 1.4.


    HOW GOOD IS IT?

    On my equipment, this worked as well as any older HDMI 1.3x cable. It replaced an existing 'cheap' wire at the back of my entertainment center and, nothing unexpected happened. The picture on my TV was as beautiful as before. The cable's short length (2 meters) and its 'high speed' certification make me confident that this cable will serve me well.


    Briefly, this cable:

    - Behaves as a HDMI 1.3x 'high speed' or 'category 2' cable. If all you need is HDMI 1.3x then go for it or go for any other cheap HDMI 1.3x wire.
    - As a 'high speed' HDMI 1.4 cable, it supports video resolutions of at least 1080p including in 3D.
    - The 'data channel' (Ethernet support) is missing but it that would only work with HDMI 1.4 ready equipment so I'm not sure if it would be missed for the next couple of years.
    - The advertised audio return channel is another HDMI 1.4 feature that most currently owned equipment can't take advantage of.
    - It should support all the HDMI 1.4 extra color palettes because those are implemented by the HDMI 1.4 compliant connected equipment NOT by the cable.


    WHY 3 STARS

    A 3-star rating should be fair (and I am not factoring in the price) because this cable, while working perfectly as an HDMI 1.3x, is an incomplete HDMI 1.4 implementation. Incomplete HDMI 1.4 implementations are allowed by the HDMI consortium but there I see no advantage in purchasing a feature-crippled cable when full-featured alternatives are available. 'Niche' HDMI cables make sense form a vendor's point of view because a buyer may be willing to pay more for such an item but their marketing can only confuse and annoy the buyers. It should cost a vendor about the same to manufacture a 'universal' HDMI 1.4 wire as it does to make an incomplete (niche) product. In fact there may be economies of scale in producing 'universal' HDMI 1.4 cables only so marketing seems to be the only reason we get to see these intentionally crippled products.

    My recommendation would be NOT to buy this cable. Get the 'High-Speed with Ethernet' if you want/need HDMI 1.4 or get an HDMI 1.3x otherwise.



    END OF REVIEW

    ______________________________________________________


    What follows is the byproduct of me attempting to clarify 'HDMI 1.4' for myself and understanding this specific product's features. I thought I'd share.


    WHAT'S IN A NAME? (understanding this cable's features)

    HDMI 1.4 is a new HDMI standard adopted in 2009, backward compatible with HDMI 1.3. This cable should work with your existing equipment.
    - HIGH SPEED indicates that this cable supports resolutions of 1080p or higher and 3D video (unlike the HDMI 1.4 STANDARD cables which, believe it or not, are limited to 720p/1080i - why? nobody knows).
    - ETHERNET (NOT supported by this specific product) means that a cable supports a full-duplex 100 Mb/sec Ethernet connection - if you have 2 HDMI 1.4 ready devices and they both need an network connection, this cable will carry through the Ethernet datastream to the second device, therefore saving you the need for one extra Ethernet cable.
    - Audio Return Channel (supported) would save you the need of a dedicated audio cable between 2 HDMI 1.4 compliant devices, usually a TV that might get content directly from a USB storage device or the Ethernet and an HDMI 1.4 compliant receiver.
    - HDMI 1.4a brought HDMI in line with the recently agreed upon 3D TV industry standards but, consistent with HDMI's consortium's encouraging vendors to avoid talking about the actual version their HDMI cables are implementing, we simply don't know whether this one is HDMI 1.4 or HDMI 1.4a. Since '3D' is mentioned it's probably safe to assume HDMI 1.4a.


    THE HDMI 1.4x DIFFERENCE

    HDMI 1.4 allows for the following new features:

    - Ethernet Channel - allows for the 2 connected devices to communicate with each other and share one network connection.
    - Audio Return Channel - eliminates the need of a second cable if you want to send audio from your TV back to your receiver.
    - 3D - It's supported by HDMI 1.3x but HDMI 1.4a specifically supports all the currently agreed-upon industry standards
    - 4K resolution - good to have it but there is nothing on today's market that would take advantage of this
    - Expanded support for new color spaces - by supporting sYCC601, AdobeRGB, and AdobeYCC601 it better aligns your display with the color spaces supported by digital cameras.
    - Type D connector - the 'Micro' connector is to be used by small, portable devices with supported resolutions of up to 1080p. Be aware that there are now THREE different HDMI connectors: standard, mini and micro.


    The HDMI Consortium defines 4 broad types of HDMI 1.4 cables:

    * Standard HDMI Cable
    * High Speed HDMI Cable
    * Standard HDMI Cable with Ethernet
    * High Speed HDMI Cable with Ethernet

    Of all of the above, only the a 'High Speed HDMI Cable with Ethernet' makes sense.

    Standard cables are limited to lower-resolution displays up to (approx. 720p or 1080i). High Speed cables support higher-resolution display (e.g. 1080p). They can deliver all video content currently defined for the HDMI standard (i.e. more than two 1080p/60 video streams, including 3D). HDMI cables with Ethernet are capable of sending 100/mbps over the HDMI Ethernet Channel. Since it is not likely that many HDMI 1.4 'standard' cables will be made or sold, I suspect that the crippled 'standard' type exists only to allow for calling the cables that support 1080p 'high speed' which sounds good and high-end.

    --
    >> Brush your teeth, it's the law! <<

    5-0 out of 5 stars AmazonBasics makes a very good HDMI cable
    These cables are VERY thin/provide little shielding. It worked BUT my dvd player doesnt get signal sometimes. I switched over to a quality cable and the device gets detected everytime. My conclusion is these cables will get you by but Id pay a bit more for quality cable. Go with the MediaBridge it is twice as thick/more shield. If you are baller go w/ Monster.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Poor Quality
    I purchased this "inexpensive" HDMI cable looking to save a few dollars. When the cable arrived, I tried it in every video component I have. None of them worked with this cable. The connections were loose and flimsy. I have other "inexpensive" HDMI cables that have performed flawlessly for years. Don't waste your money or time with this product. Pay a few extra dollars and get a better cable.

    I will be a little more specific:

    When connected to my PS3, the cable caused the PS3 to flicker and eventually stop video feed to the receiver all together. Same result when connected to Apple TV. I switched the cable to the video out on my media center PC. The screen had terrible video distortion and constant flickering. Same result when used with my Dish Network Receiver.

    I have never felt compelled to leave feedback on any product purchased from Amazon in the past, but I was very dissappointed with the performance of this cable.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Limited capabilities in this cable
    HDMI cables are notorious for being expensive. I assumed the prices were over inflated just because people who were plunking big bucks for a new, big,flat screen TV would be gullible enough to take the bate and overpay. Sadly, my theory was wrong. This Amazon cable cost about half of what I paid for one of similar length at Sam's Club. It is fine as long as your are not transferring fast video over a long distance. When I use the cable to connect my laptop to the Big Screen TV, surfing the 'net poses no problem. But when I try to play a DVD through the same laptop, the screen motion becomes jerky and fast moving objects "tear apart" momentarily. When I swap out the Amazon cable for the Sam's Club version, the problems disappear. There is a physical difference in the cables. The Amazon cable is pencil thin and supple. The Sam's Club cable is thick and chunky. Obviously the Sam's Club cable has more "stuff" inside. This can only be shielding. Bottom line? For SHORT distances (less than 6' and preferably 3'), the Amazon cable is fine. But if you are transferring video, you will need the costlier thicker version. I suppose the old adage "you get what you pay for" applies here.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Great Looking Cable, Poor Quality
    I purchased 3 of these HDMI cables and only 1 worked properly . 2 of them caused intermittent connectivity. When they did work, they caused display failures like bright yellow color-shift in the entire image, or horizontal green blocks in the picture. These problems were encountered using multiple HDMI inputs on a new Panasonic TV using both an Apple TV and a Roku digital video player. Swapping out these cables for known-good cables cleared the problems. Amazon, your house brand cables are a nice idea, just poorly executed.

    5-0 out of 5 stars High Quality, Excellent Warranty
    It seems like a review of an HDMI cable can't be written without arguing the philosophy of whether it's worth it to pay exhorbitant amounts of money for an A/V cable, or if a "cheap" cable will do the trick. Rather than reinvent the wheel I'll simply say that:

    1) This cable is about $6 (and eligible for free Prime shipping)
    2) Amazon offers a one year warranty
    3) Amazon has an excellent returns policy

    Given those items, what have you got to lose by giving this cable a try? If you aren't satisfied, return it and then spend the big bucks.

    Having said that, I use it to connect my PS3 (i.e. my BluRay player) to my HDTV and my personal experience with this cable has been positive. The cable is sturdy and feels well-made, unlike some other $6 cables I have used in the past. The picture/sound quality meets my expectations and I could discern no problems whatsoever. Overall I am pleased enough that I will purchase the same cable again in the future. I also plan to give other Amazon branded cables a try as needed.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Too Good to be True?
    I bought one of these cables as part of a Christmas present, which included a Sony Blu-Ray player, for friends. Immediately they had problems with the signal. The movie would play and then the picture would go "black and white" or just fritz out. They called Sony support who suggested reversing the cable. This works better but there are still times when the cable 'needs' moved because the connections just are solid enough. I will not buy another AmazonBasics cable. It's Monster cables for me.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great inexpensive HDMI cables
    It is a relief to find HDMI cables that are inexpensive and deliver high quality video. I paid $40 for a 4ft cable at Circuit City a year ago, and less than half that price for the 10ft cable from Amazon.

    As an electrical engineer I can tell you copper is copper. Unless Monster cable has coaxial wire for each signal line, which they don't because then the cable would be 10x larger than it is, then it's just copper wire inside a shield. There's still going to be crosstalk and capacitive coupling and all that stuff. All that "gas filled" stuff doesn't matter either. If you look at the mathematical equasions for the frequency response of an unshielded wire, you'd know none of this stuff makes any major difference.

    The biggest thing to avoid, if you can, are ferrite cores on a cable. Ferrite cores are those black blob things that overmold the cable near one or both of the connectors. Ferrite cores act as high frequency filters and may cause signal degradation. They are typically used to comply with FCC laws and other regulatory bodies' radiated emissions laws. They add cost to the cable and typically degrade performance.

    Regarding expensive cables, HDMI or otherwise, what no one asks is the most fundamental question - Why? Let's assume Monster cable isn't lying and they can provide 300 GHz bandwidth or whatever they claim. Why do you need a cable that outperforms so much? It's like owning a car that can go 1000 MPH but the speed limit is 55MPH. In my field, that's called "over-engineering" which equates to unnecessary additional cost, which is exactly the problem Amazon has solved by sourcing this simple low cost HDMI cable.

    While I'm soapboxing, gold plating isn't necessary either. Silver is the best conductor, followed by Copper, and then Gold (third best). Stainless Steel isn't far behind. The only reason gold plating is "better" is Gold does not corrode (but neither does stainless steel... they actually gold plate the stainless steel, how dumb is that?). If you are using your cables in a house where the humidity & temp is relatively constant, you should never need gold. As far as I can tell, Gold is just a gimmick to charge more for cables.

    3-0 out of 5 stars HDMI 1.4 cable lacking data channel support but still OK as an HDMI 1.3x, gets full Amazon support
    WHO NEEDS IT?

    This cable will work well with anything that supports HDMI 1.3x but it's built to comply with the higher HDMI 1.4a standard of which it is a PARTIAL implementation (no Ethernet). If what you need is a true HDMI 1.4x cable, then the one to get is that which is described as "HDMI with Internet" which adds the data channel and support for higher video resolutions.

    You may consider this product if you have TWO devices that support the HDMI 1.4 standard such as TVs, receivers or Blu-ray players. For these, the cable will carry through HD images and will allow you TV to send audio data BACK to your receiver if so connected, therefore eliminating the need for one dedicated audio cable. This specific cable will probably NOT support HDMI 1.4 Ethernet feature. You may also consider this cable if you currently need an extra HDMI 1.3 cable but you are planning to to replace your existing equipment with some HDMI 1.4-ready hardware in the near future.

    Unless either of the above is true, you will not need this cable and, given that the HDMI 1.4 standards aren't set in stone yet - this cable complies with the recently released HDMI 1.4a specs for 3D - you should be better off waiting for the dust to settle. Keep in mind that BOTH connected devices need to support the HDMI 1.4 standard for this cable to make a difference and that it is NOT possible to upgrade any existing equipment (TV, Blu-ray player) to support HDMI 1.4.


    HOW GOOD IS IT?

    On my equipment, this worked as well as any older HDMI 1.3x cable. It replaced an existing 'cheap' wire at the back of my entertainment center and, nothing unexpected happened. The picture on my TV was as beautiful as before. The cable's short length (2 meters) and its 'high speed' certification make me confident that this cable will serve me well.


    Briefly, this cable:

    - Behaves as a HDMI 1.3x 'high speed' or 'category 2' cable. If all you need is HDMI 1.3x then go for it or go for any other cheap HDMI 1.3x wire.
    - As a 'high speed' HDMI 1.4 cable, it supports video resolutions of at least 1080p including in 3D.
    - The 'data channel' (Ethernet support) is missing but it that would only work with HDMI 1.4 ready equipment so I'm not sure if it would be missed for the next couple of years.
    - The advertised audio return channel is another HDMI 1.4 feature that most currently owned equipment can't take advantage of.
    - It should support all the HDMI 1.4 extra color palettes because those are implemented by the HDMI 1.4 compliant connected equipment NOT by the cable.


    WHY 3 STARS

    A 3-star rating should be fair (and I am not factoring in the price) because this cable, while working perfectly as an HDMI 1.3x, is an incomplete HDMI 1.4 implementation. Incomplete HDMI 1.4 implementations are allowed by the HDMI consortium but there I see no advantage in purchasing a feature-crippled cable when full-featured alternatives are available. 'Niche' HDMI cables make sense form a vendor's point of view because a buyer may be willing to pay more for such an item but their marketing can only confuse and annoy the buyers. It should cost a vendor about the same to manufacture a 'universal' HDMI 1.4 wire as it does to make an incomplete (niche) product. In fact there may be economies of scale in producing 'universal' HDMI 1.4 cables only so marketing seems to be the only reason we get to see these intentionally crippled products.

    My recommendation would be NOT to buy this cable. Get the 'High-Speed with Ethernet' if you want/need HDMI 1.4 or get an HDMI 1.3x otherwise.



    END OF REVIEW

    ______________________________________________________


    What follows is the byproduct of me attempting to clarify 'HDMI 1.4' for myself and understanding this specific product's features. I thought I'd share.


    WHAT'S IN A NAME? (understanding this cable's features)

    HDMI 1.4 is a new HDMI standard adopted in 2009, backward compatible with HDMI 1.3. This cable should work with your existing equipment.
    - HIGH SPEED indicates that this cable supports resolutions of 1080p or higher and 3D video (unlike the HDMI 1.4 STANDARD cables which, believe it or not, are limited to 720p/1080i - why? nobody knows).
    - ETHERNET (NOT supported by this specific product) means that a cable supports a full-duplex 100 Mb/sec Ethernet connection - if you have 2 HDMI 1.4 ready devices and they both need an network connection, this cable will carry through the Ethernet datastream to the second device, therefore saving you the need for one extra Ethernet cable.
    - Audio Return Channel (supported) would save you the need of a dedicated audio cable between 2 HDMI 1.4 compliant devices, usually a TV that might get content directly from a USB storage device or the Ethernet and an HDMI 1.4 compliant receiver.
    - HDMI 1.4a brought HDMI in line with the recently agreed upon 3D TV industry standards but, consistent with HDMI's consortium's encouraging vendors to avoid talking about the actual version their HDMI cables are implementing, we simply don't know whether this one is HDMI 1.4 or HDMI 1.4a. Since '3D' is mentioned it's probably safe to assume HDMI 1.4a.


    THE HDMI 1.4x DIFFERENCE

    HDMI 1.4 allows for the following new features:

    - Ethernet Channel - allows for the 2 connected devices to communicate with each other and share one network connection.
    - Audio Return Channel - eliminates the need of a second cable if you want to send audio from your TV back to your receiver.
    - 3D - It's supported by HDMI 1.3x but HDMI 1.4a specifically supports all the currently agreed-upon industry standards
    - 4K resolution - good to have it but there is nothing on today's market that would take advantage of this
    - Expanded support for new color spaces - by supporting sYCC601, AdobeRGB, and AdobeYCC601 it better aligns your display with the color spaces supported by digital cameras.
    - Type D connector - the 'Micro' connector is to be used by small, portable devices with supported resolutions of up to 1080p. Be aware that there are now THREE different HDMI connectors: standard, mini and micro.


    The HDMI Consortium defines 4 broad types of HDMI 1.4 cables:

    * Standard HDMI Cable
    * High Speed HDMI Cable
    * Standard HDMI Cable with Ethernet
    * High Speed HDMI Cable with Ethernet

    Of all of the above, only the a 'High Speed HDMI Cable with Ethernet' makes sense.

    Standard cables are limited to lower-resolution displays up to (approx. 720p or 1080i). High Speed cables support higher-resolution display (e.g. 1080p). They can deliver all video content currently defined for the HDMI standard (i.e. more than two 1080p/60 video streams, including 3D). HDMI cables with Ethernet are capable of sending 100/mbps over the HDMI Ethernet Channel. Since it is not likely that many HDMI 1.4 'standard' cables will be made or sold, I suspect that the crippled 'standard' type exists only to allow for calling the cables that support 1080p 'high speed' which sounds good and high-end.

    --
    >> Brush your teeth, it's the law! <<

    5-0 out of 5 stars AmazonBasics makes a very good HDMI cable
    I got an email from Amazon announcing their new line of AmazonBasics cables. They said that their goal was to make a high quality cable and sell it at a very reasonable price.

    They have achieved that goal.

    I ordered two of the six foot HDMI cables and on nine foot cable for about eight bucks each.

    The cable came in a simple cardboard box with nothing but a twist tie aside from the cable (which is a good thing, I hate the plastic blister packs that cut your hands and unnecessary stuff in the box to go in the landfill).

    The cable has a solid, quality feel to it. Nothing feels cheap or chintzy.

    Connecting the cable between my TV and several compontents including my brand new Samsung Blu Ray player, the connection just worked every time.

    For comparison purposes, I bought a $50 super delux, high end, will solve all the problems in your life (according to the sales guy) HDMI cable at Radio Shack. Connecting the AmazonBasics cable to the same Blu Ray player as the fancy cable I saw **NO DIFFERENCE**!

    Looking into it I found out that HDMI is a standard that is run by an organization. In order for anyone to make an HDMI cable and put the HDMI logo on it (which the AmazonBasics cable does), the cable must be made to the HDMI organizations standards. So the group basically tells the companies how the cable must be made in order to be given the HDMI logo. The long and short of it is that cheap cable or expensive cable, it must work to the same standards in order to have the HDMI logo.

    So, super fancy $50 cable gets thrown back across the counter to Radio Shack guy for return and AmazonBasics cable gets a new home in back of my entertainment center.

    I'm now going to purchase several more of these for family and friends to have as spares since they don't know any better and will get suckered by the sales guy at best buy into buying a $50 Monster Cable HDMI cable that does nothing better than this one.

    3-0 out of 5 stars cable just ok...
    These cables are VERY thin/provide little shielding. It worked BUT my dvd player doesnt get signal sometimes. I switched over to a quality cable and the device gets detected everytime. My conclusion is these cables will get you by but Id pay a bit more for quality cable. Go with the MediaBridge it is twice as thick/more shield. If you are baller go w/ Monster.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Poor Quality
    I purchased this "inexpensive" HDMI cable looking to save a few dollars. When the cable arrived, I tried it in every video component I have. None of them worked with this cable. The connections were loose and flimsy. I have other "inexpensive" HDMI cables that have performed flawlessly for years. Don't waste your money or time with this product. Pay a few extra dollars and get a better cable.

    I will be a little more specific:

    When connected to my PS3, the cable caused the PS3 to flicker and eventually stop video feed to the receiver all together. Same result when connected to Apple TV. I switched the cable to the video out on my media center PC. The screen had terrible video distortion and constant flickering. Same result when used with my Dish Network Receiver.

    I have never felt compelled to leave feedback on any product purchased from Amazon in the past, but I was very dissappointed with the performance of this cable.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Limited capabilities in this cable
    HDMI cables are notorious for being expensive. I assumed the prices were over inflated just because people who were plunking big bucks for a new, big,flat screen TV would be gullible enough to take the bate and overpay. Sadly, my theory was wrong. This Amazon cable cost about half of what I paid for one of similar length at Sam's Club. It is fine as long as your are not transferring fast video over a long distance. When I use the cable to connect my laptop to the Big Screen TV, surfing the 'net poses no problem. But when I try to play a DVD through the same laptop, the screen motion becomes jerky and fast moving objects "tear apart" momentarily. When I swap out the Amazon cable for the Sam's Club version, the problems disappear. There is a physical difference in the cables. The Amazon cable is pencil thin and supple. The Sam's Club cable is thick and chunky. Obviously the Sam's Club cable has more "stuff" inside. This can only be shielding. Bottom line? For SHORT distances (less than 6' and preferably 3'), the Amazon cable is fine. But if you are transferring video, you will need the costlier thicker version. I suppose the old adage "you get what you pay for" applies here.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Great Looking Cable, Poor Quality
    I purchased 3 of these HDMI cables and only 1 worked properly . 2 of them caused intermittent connectivity. When they did work, they caused display failures like bright yellow color-shift in the entire image, or horizontal green blocks in the picture. These problems were encountered using multiple HDMI inputs on a new Panasonic TV using both an Apple TV and a Roku digital video player. Swapping out these cables for known-good cables cleared the problems. Amazon, your house brand cables are a nice idea, just poorly executed.

    5-0 out of 5 stars High Quality, Excellent Warranty
    It seems like a review of an HDMI cable can't be written without arguing the philosophy of whether it's worth it to pay exhorbitant amounts of money for an A/V cable, or if a "cheap" cable will do the trick. Rather than reinvent the wheel I'll simply say that:

    1) This cable is about $6 (and eligible for free Prime shipping)
    2) Amazon offers a one year warranty
    3) Amazon has an excellent returns policy

    Given those items, what have you got to lose by giving this cable a try? If you aren't satisfied, return it and then spend the big bucks.

    Having said that, I use it to connect my PS3 (i.e. my BluRay player) to my HDTV and my personal experience with this cable has been positive. The cable is sturdy and feels well-made, unlike some other $6 cables I have used in the past. The picture/sound quality meets my expectations and I could discern no problems whatsoever. Overall I am pleased enough that I will purchase the same cable again in the future. I also plan to give other Amazon branded cables a try as needed.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Too Good to be True?
    I know that retail HDMI cables are priced extremely high and thought this cable was a real bargain by comparison. But, when substituted for another cable, this one gave dropouts in video and audio with the screen going to a speckled black and white pattern. Maybe I got the only bad one....maybe not.

    I have purchased many items from Amazon over the years and have always been satisfied with price, quality and service. This is the first item that has not measured up.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Intermittent problems
    I bought one of these cables as part of a Christmas present, which included a Sony Blu-Ray player, for friends. Immediately they had problems with the signal. The movie would play and then the picture would go "black and white" or just fritz out. They called Sony support who suggested reversing the cable. This works better but there are still times when the cable 'needs' moved because the connections just are solid enough. I will not buy another AmazonBasics cable. It's Monster cables for me. Read more


    14. Scotch(TM) Thermal Laminating Pouches, 9 Inches x 11.4 Inches, 50 Pouches (TP3854-50)
    Office Product
    list price: $13.99 -- our price: $9.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0019K3LI8
    Manufacturer: 3M Office Products
    Sales Rank: 2
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    3 mil thick thermal laminating pouches for use in a thermal laminator. For Items up to 8.5 in x 11 in. ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars good quality pouches
    This product works great! The feature I love is that the laminated sheets come out cool instead of hot. It is not a bulky unit and does not require a lot of storage space. I use it and place back in its original box until I need it again. I will add that after purchasing it online I found the exact same one in walmart about $9.00 cheaper. I have no complaints about this product.

    5-0 out of 5 stars good quality pouches
    Good quality compare to other non-brand name pouches. Wish Scotch sell it in 100 per pack or something, to lower the price.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Title Says It Best.....Scotch Thermal Laminating Pouches
    If you are in the market for laminating supplies for your Scotch Thermal Laminator, this is the only product to buy; you can buy the 50 pouches or the 20 pouches. My guess is that 50 pouches are the more economic deal. If you only buy the pack of 20 pouches, you might as well go to an office supply store and have them perform the job; that way, the laminator won't sit in the box while you forget you have it. Real serious people who laminate projects keep it nearby; there are so many uses for it.
    The Thermal Laminating Pouches also come in three smaller sizes (in the event you aren't clever enough to cut through the laminated product). The sizes are for 5" by 7" photos or whatever, 4" by 6" photos, and also for ID cards. Personally, the creative person will go for the 50 Thermal Laminating Pouches and become a creative cutter, "after the laminating has been completed".
    Take a look at the previous review for the Scotch Thermal Laminator, preceding this review; they are a great match.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Scotch, a brand to trust... unlike others

    Whatever you do, make sure that the machine that uses this product doesn't need a sleeve to operate. I found that this gives the best seal for the lamination with the machines that are run through without the lamination sleeve.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Nicely priced for good quality pouches
    These pouches are very nicely priced for how many you get and the quality of the pouches. They work best in machines that you don't need to use a carrier sleeve with like the Scotch(TM) TL901 Thermal Laminator 15.5 in x 6.75 in x 3.75 in 2 roller system. They are 3 mm pouches and they seal very well, crystal clear and very shiny.
    If you're a crafter, they make a good way to protect non-dimensional paper art, to make custom dry erase boards as gifts or for yourself, or to protect recipe cards.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Worked flawlessly
    I have lamenated a dozen or more items with no bubbling nor burning. I used these with Scotch TL901 lamentator. I lamentated standard 20 wt paper as well as thicker presentation 32 wt paper. I have used these to make bookmarks and feel it provides sufficient stiffness. So far These are the only laminating pouches I have used. I believe that the laminator is just as significant as the pouches.

    I selected these pouches even though more costly than others advertised on Amazon because with Super Saver free shipping, they were a couple of bucks cheaper than the no name 5mil pouches offered which required an additional S&H which was the supplier means of adding to their profit margin. Be leery and look at total costs.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Scotch brand laminator
    This product works great! The feature I love is that the laminated sheets come out cool instead of hot. It is not a bulky unit and does not require a lot of storage space. I use it and place back in its original box until I need it again. I will add that after purchasing it online I found the exact same one in walmart about $9.00 cheaper. I have no complaints about this product.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Recommended product
    I have the scotch thermal laminator, and those pouches are the brand that goes with it, I never buy anything else, the output is hard as a sheet of glass and stays intact and never peels off. I recommend it all the way.

    5-0 out of 5 stars good quality, thick pouches
    I was looking for the 5 mil, but couldn't find them. These 3 mil pouches are pretty thick though. I've used almost half of my pack and there has been no bubbles or burning. I've not needed to run them thru a second time, either. Like others, I wish I could order larger quantities at a discount, but the product is great! I've made workbox grids for school and a chore chart and added velcro dots and the laminated pieces have held up very nicely to little 5 year old hands!

    5-0 out of 5 stars More than pleased!
    I have been more than pleased with both the Scotch laminator & pouches. They seal well, and are thicker & more durable than laminating at my local copy shop, not to mention convenient. Highly recommend.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Laminating Sheets
    These laminating sheets work very well. I am a grad student doing a lot of projects for an early childhood classroom - seems to be very durable with very little bubbling. Well worth what I paid for them. Read more


    15. Apple TV MC572LL/A (2010)
    Electronics
    list price: $99.00 -- our price: $99.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B001FA1NK0
    Manufacturer: Apple Computer
    Sales Rank: 23
    Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Apple TV has been redesigned to be small in size but big on entertainment. Rent from the largest selection of HD movies - many available the same day they come out on DVD. Watch Netflix titles instantly. Rent TV shows, commercial free in HD. And stream photos and music from your computer to your widescreen TV.

    The sleek new Apple TV has been completely retuned for your entertainment. It's 80 percent smaller than the previous generation - even with a built-in power supply. Which makes it perfect for sitting neatly on a widescreen TV stand or squeezing into a crowded media cabinet. Not only does the new Apple TV have an amazingly small footprint, it's also incredibly energy efficient. It stays cool without a fan, so it's never noisy. And when it's not filling your living room with drama, romance, and comedy, it uses less power than a night-light.Processor -Apple A4 processor Ports & Interfaces -HDMI, Optical audio, 10/100BASE-T Ethernet, Built-in IR receiver, Micro-USB (for service) Power -Built-in 6-watt universal PS Wireless -802.11n Wi-Fi (a/b/g compatible) Video Formats -H.264 video up to 720p (.m4v,. mp4,. mov file formats), MPEG-4 video up to 640x480 9(.m4v,. mp4,. mov file formats), Motion JPEG up to 1280x720 (.avi file format) Audio Formats -HE-AAC (V1), AAC, protected AAC, MP3 VBR, Audible, Apple Lossless, AIFF, WAV, Dolby Digital 5.1 surround pass-through Photo Formats -JPEG, GIF, TIFFSystem Requirements -AirPort Extreme, Wi-Fi 802.11b, g, or n wireless network (wireless video streaming requires 802.11g or 802.11n) or 10/100BASE-T Ethernet network iTunes Store account for renting movies and TV shows Netflix account for streaming Netflix content For streaming media from a Mac or PC -iTunes 10 or later; iTunes Store account for Home Sharing Remote control uses CR2032 battery
    ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars Video Review: Apple TV, so much for so little, October 10, 2010
    This is an amazing compliment to your home theater.
    So many features, yet so simple to use.
    My 7 year old son has it all figured out.

    I hope you enjoy the video.
    Let me know what you think.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Apple TV - Good Now, Potential to be Great, October 15, 2010
    I am not an Apple Afficianodo. I don't wear jeans and black turtlenecks in reverence to Steve Jobs. I don't hang out at the Apple Store and covet becoming a "genius"; however, I have to give credit where credit is due. The last few products Apple has brought out - the iPod, iPhone, iPad - have been incredible and changed the consumer electronics and media / software landscape. Apple TV is now positioned to do the same, but it will take some more time to fully realize the potential of this device.

    Apple TV effectively allows you to stream whatever is on your iTunes to your TV and home theater system. Moreover, it has built in support for Netflix, You Tube and a few other internet based media content providers. The picture quality and performance for these services are worth the price of admission. There is significant potential to advance the platform - just give it some time.

    System Overview: My Apple TV is plugged into a 60 inch Samsung 1080p LED HDTV via HDMI (video) and a Yamaha Home Theater Receiver via Toslink optical cable (audio). I have AT&T Uverse with their 802.11g Residential Gateway (combination of DSL modem and wireless router) with their Elite DSL service (6 MB per second). iTunes runs on a Dell Desktop with 4GB of memory, Intel Core 2 Duo processor and 500 GB Hard Drive operating on Windows Vista (64 bit) and secured with Norton 360 (firewall, antivirus, etc.). The network handles the Desktop, 2 iPhones, a Blackberry, an iPad, the Apple TV, 4 Laptops, a wireless Printer and a networked wired printer. The Computer / Residential Gateway are in the Den and the TV / Home Theater / Apple TV are in the family room. The two rooms are about 100 feet apart and are separated by five walls.

    Set Up: Easy as pie. It took five minutes to plug in the HDMI cable, the optical cable, the power outlet and then adding it to the wireless network. Sharing iTunes from my desktop to Apple TV took another 20 minutes, since I had to download the new version of iTunes and restart my computer and Apple TV. Apple really makes it easy - I didn't have to make any adjustments to my firewall settings to share iTunes on the desktop with Apple TV. I also downloaded the Apple Remote on my iPhone and iPad, which took another 5 minutes.

    User Interface: Apple's secret sauce is the simplicity of their products. Apple TV is no different. The menu is very simple - Movies, TV, Internet, Computer and Settings. Movies and TV are for renting content directly from iTunes within Apple TV. Internet gives you access to Netflix, You Tube, etc. Computer gives you access to iTunes on your computer. Settings allows you to change the various Apple TV options. The remote control is Apple's usual model of minimalist efficiency, with a menu button, a play / pause button and an iPod like controller. The supplied remote works well with Apple TV, but is a bit cumbersome when one has to enter data (e.g., e-mail addresses, search on YouTube or Netflix). A much better solution is downloading Apple Remote on your iPhone or iPad. It basically turns the iPhone or iPad into a big touch pad that allows you to use gestures to control the Apple TV (e.g., swipe left, swipe right, double click, etc.). Moreover, it automatically provides a keyboard when one is asked for text input (e.g., for search). Apple remote is free on the App Store.

    Netflix Streaming / Video Quality: Setting up Netflix was quick - basically just enter your e-mail address / password and you're ready to go. I watched some TV from BBC, a foreign flick and Iron Man. Each program loaded quickly - less than 30 seconds. Picture quality was good to great, depending on the source material. Picture quality was comparable to DVD for SD material(perhaps slightly better), but slightly less sharp than upconverted DVD or blue-ray. HD Programming looked like the HD on-demand programming through uVerse. There was enough of a buffer that there was no jittering, pixelation or stuttering on the streaming to the TV. Sound quality on the stream was good - I don't think they stream in 5.1, so the video stream doesn't leverage the subwoofer. Considering that I'm running a heavily taxed wireless system on 802.11g with a 100 foot distance between Apple TV and the Gateway, the picture quality and streaming performance are impressive. Having this quality of Netflix compatibility is worth the price of admission by itself.

    iTunes Streaming: I streamed some music from my Playlists from the Computer. Sound quality is good, but not great. My Yamaha CD Player sounds better, but it can only hold 5 cds. Having access to my entire library is very useful, so you lose sound quality but gain convenience. iTunes streams not only the music, but also the cover art. After a few minutes, Apple TV switches into screensaver mode and starts transmitting pictures to the TV along with the music. I also streamed some videos from my computer and the streaming was again flawless. One of the issues with Apple TV is that it only supports the Apple video standards, i.e., MP4. I had some DIVX files that I converted over to MP4 by using DVD Fab and imported them into iTunes. So if you have a library of AVI, Divx, Xvid, etc., this will require conversion of those files in order to stream from your computer.

    iTunes from within Apple TV: There is access to an iTunes store within Apple TV as well. They have a different pricing structure, in that TV shows and movies are available for rent only. They have a limited number of titles at this point - primarily BBC, ABC (since Steve Jobs sits on their Board) and Fox. CBS and NBC are not on Apple TV. Movie selection is decent - they have all the latest movies. The Apple TV selection can be easily increased by just downloading the content you want from iTunes on your desktop and then streaming it to Apple TV.

    YouTube Streaming: Surprisingly good. The HQ / HD You Tube pieces look remarkably crisp on the TV. The older content that was meant to watch on a small window on your computer looked a little pixelated, but acceptable.

    Apple has built a great platform with a lot of potential. With what is available right now - Apple TV is a pretty impressive value at $99. It is worth it just for the Netflix streaming and integration with iTunes. Since Apple TV is actually built on the same hardware (at least the processing chip) as the iPhone and iPad and has the same operating system, I wouldn't be surprised if there are "apps" that will eventually make it to Apple TV to further enhance Apple TV (e.g., ABC Streaming, Games, Amazon on Demand, etc.). There is supposed to be an upgrade to the operating system with a new version of Airplay that comes out in November, 2010. This will allow you to stream from an iPad or iPod to the Apple TV as well.

    I looked at other streaming devices (e.g., Roku, using my Panasonic Blue Ray for Netflix, etc.) and none of them had the simplicity and reliabilty that the Apple TV offers. The Wi Fi "stick" for my Blue Ray player is $80 anyway and the Netflix integration isn't anywhere nearly as robust as Apple TV. UVerse also has music and picture streaming built in using Microsoft Media Center - however, it required some network configuration and it crashes quite often. I didn't purchase a Roku, but a friend of mine has had a number of issues with streaming performance. At under $100, the Apple TV is competitively priced with other streaming options. Now just bring on the "apps".





    4-0 out of 5 stars a great box for getting media from point A, B and C to your TV, October 2, 2010
    I was looking forward to this product since it was announced early last month. I'm glad I pulled the trigger and bought it when it became available. For $99 it provides most of the functionality I was paying microsoft $50 a year for. I've become less dependent on the XBOX as a game machine, and more as a Netflix/Media Streamer since my family has grown, and not having to pay for XBOX Live was one of the driving reasons behind this purchase. The reason I say "most of the functionality" is due to it not having the codec support that the XBOX360 comes with out of the box. I've had no issues with playback of mp4 or m4v files, and I'm happy with that, but it lacks support for WMV and AVI (as far as I've experienced). This isn't exactly a deal breaker since I can re-encode any content to supported codecs with handbrake and use iTunes to take care of my video library.

    The UI is slick, the setup was somewhat easy (but would have been easier with keyboard support) and the ability to control music from my laptop and desktop is fantastic (through iTunes via the currently limited "airplay" functionality).

    I'm really happy with the YouTube, Flickr and Netflix support. They are by far the best I've seen from a media center, but I can see certain aspects being a pain if you use the included remote (there is no keyboard to speak of, and scrolling through letter to spell things out is a hassle). The remote app on iOS devices more than makes up for the lack of a keyboard since it provides added functionality (such as alpha numeric input, quick seeking and library browsing). I look forward to video support with airplay and will update this review once I get to play with that (in November?).

    One last thing - it's quiet. The thing barely makes a peep.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Unrealized Potential (so far), October 2, 2010
    PROS
    *Low Power (less than 6 watts)
    *Compact
    *Good-looking UI
    *Netflix support (unlike previous generation AppleTV)
    *Remote App for iPad/iPhone/iPod touch
    *Airplay (though basically we just have Airtunes functionality until iOS 4.2 comes out for iPad/iPhone/iPod touch).
    *Closed Captions (Content dependent)

    CONS
    *Lots of "Loading..." screens
    *No Local Storage! (must stream over Internet or via iTunes on PC/Mac using Home Sharing. I know you were trying to cut costs Apple, but why not at least allow local USB storage? I know, I know: DRM.)
    *IR Sensor inferior to previous generation AppleTV (requires more direct line of sight)
    *Lag before videos and podcasts start playing (even when located on a local computer)
    *Netflix controls are not as good as Roku. Infrequent keyframes makes it hard to rewind to an exact spot. Roku does much better (and even PS3 Netflix controls are better).
    *Podcast controls sometimes get confused (screen indicates reversing at maximum speed, but video is actually reversing at 1x)
    *Doesn't precache artwork icons (Scrolling down through a list of podcasts or Netflix movies, it loads the screen with empty icons then slowly downloads them. This happens no matter how long you wait before scrolling down. Sometimes, it never gets around to downloading certain icons. Hey Apple, how about displaying the name of the movie while you are retrieving the artwork so we can start using the interface even if all of the artwork isn't there?) [Update: there may be some precaching going on, but just not in a very intelligent manner. I have about 170 movies in my Netflix instant queue and a 1.5 Mbps DSL connection so that may contribute to the slowness displaying artwork. If you have a very fast internet connection, you will probably have minimal delay.]
    *No Pandora
    *No App support (Yet? Come on Apple, enable App support. It won't take long before we have lots of useful 3rd party apps. I'm sure Pandora would be one of the first and then NPR and local weather forecast.)
    *No 1080p - 720P only (Yes, most people don't have the bandwidth to support 1080p streaming over the internet, but someday we will. Also, it would be nice to be able to show your 1080p video you shot with your new camcorder or high-end DSLR.)
    *Rotten Tomatoes movie reviews are not available for Netflix movies.
    *Remote app could display the actual menus for faster selections.
    *Home Sharing must be activated for a specific single account. (Result: If both you and your spouse have an iTunes account you will have to choose one or the other and will only have access to media in that person's iTunes account.)

    UPDATE:
    Removed from Cons:
    "*Can't add internet radio stations to a favorites list (and there are hundreds if not thousands to scroll through)." Someone commented that you can add a radio station to your favorites by holding the center button down. I tried this and it works. Not sure how you're supposed to know this as it's not mentioned in the brief instruction book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Media Player, October 11, 2010
    I got this little box on last Friday and I could setup everything in 30 min. It's typical apple product which gives you very intuitive usage model with limitation.

    It requires only 3 connections. Power and HDMI cable. Optical cable is optional if you are fine with your TV's speakers. Since Video connection is HDMI, video quality is superb. I really like the clean and well refined UI screen. It's not fixed screen. It changes depending on your contents. Whenever I browse through menu, upper section of screen shows snapshot of what I can choose and it updates very quickly when you add new contents.

    It has built in wireless LAN so, you don't need internet cable though it has port if you want. The wireless seems better than mobile device since it could play Youtube pretty smoothly where iPad couldn't play very well. It detects available AP automatically and detects what type of security is used. Just type in password then you are good to go.

    This device comes with following features.

    1. Playing Movie and TV shows you can purchase or rent from iTune store
    2. Playing Netflix, Youtube and Flicker
    3. Playing your own contents
    4. Playing internet radio
    5. Playing photo slide shows

    #1 is very easy if your wallet is ready. Just click and browse movies then click to play.

    #2 is also very easy if you have netflix account. Just type ID and password then you have full access.

    #3 is super easy if you are familiar with iTune on desktop. Apple doesn't find all movies automatically. It doesn't make UI super complicated to support everything. Apple TV uses Home Sharing feature and grab whatever you have in your iTune library. So the only supported video format is Mpeg4/h.264. If you have videos purchased from iTune store, those are already mp4. so you don't need to do anything. If you have lots of videos in other format, you will need to convert the format. There are some tools available on the market so it won't be very difficult. Once you add your contents, it appears on apple TV instantly. Though all movies are seen on same screen in iTune SW, it's possible to define category. Then Apple TV shows category such as Comedy, Drama and so on. When you scroll through categories, left screen shows snapshot of movies you have.

    #4 it plays audio pretty well as well though there's one annoying bug. If you have songs and didn't mark in iTune, you can't play using Apple TV. You need to mark songs to play. I hope this is fixed in software update soon.

    #5 I like photo slide show very much. You can define the style of slide shows and you can decide if you want to add background music or not. If you have your friends or relatives coming, this feature is very nice to share your great moments.

    What I like about this device is typical Apple's intuitive UI. It's super easy to use. No complicated long list of hierarchy. I haven't read manual at all. And also, it supports most of the video contents you will need such as netflix and youtube. I use AT&T Uverse so I know how IPTV works but Apple TV works much better. In the first day of use, I changed my plan from U200 to U-family to save some bucks and pay for Netflix.

    Video quality is also very nice. I have lots of low quality video with lots of artifact. Those are still visible but post processing smoothes out those. For high quality video, screen is super crisp and bright.

    Also box is so small that it's hardly seen. I put close to my Harman Kardon receiver and apple TV fits very well. And it's also very easy to move around the rooms. I bought several HDMI cables so that I can move between living room, master bed rooms and others. Power consumption is so little that you don't need to bother to turn off all the time. It actually doesn't have power button.

    There's some possibility of upgrade. This device has built in strong processor, A4 to handle video decoding. Everything is implemented using software meaning, it can be easily expanded. I am not sure what's Apple's strategy but this device might have great potential. This device is too strong for the media player.

    The catch of all above feature is very good internet connection and faster desktop. If you have good internet connections, you won't notice much lags. When you play movies that are stored in your desktop, the lag depends on how fast your PC is. So, Apple TV is not standalone device. It smartly uses infra structure that are common in many of household these days. In my case, I upgraded internet speed since Netflix uses about 1.5Mbps.

    Though what Apple TV provides is nothing new and all can be done by PC or similar boxes, it just makes perfect with $99. I think it's great addition to your media system.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Love it!, October 22, 2010
    I got my Apple TV two weeks ago and I love it. It took me all of 10 minutes to set up, but I had purchased HDMI and Ethernet cables before hand. I logged onto Netflix and Youtube within minutes, and was watching streamed TV within 20 minutes.

    The design is typical Apple elegance. It's tiny and sleek. The remote is almost too small and I'm afraid of losing it. The streaming is flawless and fast.

    The only downside is the Apple content is not worth buying the device for. Pair it with Netflix and you have a large enough library to cancel your premium cable channels. The radio stations are also a nice bonus.

    Not only has it expanded my TV viewing options and allowed me to watch commercial free what I want, when I want, it has saved me a lot of money because Netflix is much cheaper than HBO, Showtime, Starz, Epix, Cinemax, etc.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Try it for yourself!.... And ignore reviews from non-owners., October 5, 2010
    Got my own Apple TV (ATV) yesterday, spent a few minutes installing, then a few hours enjoying the features. Bottom line, I think that it's a GREAT device at a good price that will fully satisfy many but not ALL users.

    1) Setup - this is simple. Took less than 10 minutes.

    2) Netflix - don't know how anyone could complain. On my 50" high-end plasma, the picture quality is very good. As good or better than standard DVD. Sure, some blu-rays are better, but I can't watch those without buying, or renting and waiting. The Roku? Give me a break, mine stuttered and skipped. When it worked.

    3) iTunes library - Played songs, albums and playlists from my iTunes library of about 400 albums instantly, with no drop-outs and good sound. This alone is worth $99, since other music streaming solutions cost well over $200, and don't have nearly as usable of an interface.

    4) Photos - Streamed 12mP photos easily, and they looked great. Even in 720p. Honestly, the limit in resolution for most images is not going to be the 720p of the ATV. Think about your computer monitor - unless you've got a professional graphics monitor, photos are going to look as good or better on your home theater monitor than through your computer screen. Sure you could burn them to a disk, watch them off a thumb drive or something (which I've done). But it's not nearly as easy or convenient.

    No, it's not perfect. I would have liked to see Hulu, Picassa and maybe internet browsing just as much as the other guy. But for $99 the ATV does a GREAT job of STREAMING music, pictures and video from your iTunes library to your home theater. And the Netflix service and interface are excellent.

    I think that some of the negative reviewers really don't get that the main point of the Apple TV is to STREAM content from your iTUNES library to your TV. The fact that it lets you stream from Netlix is an excellent additional feature, one that I think will make it pretty popular.....

    BUT - it's not supposed to be a web browser, a picassa viewer, or an email portal. That's what COMPUTERS are for. If you want to use your home theater display as a computer monitor, then go ahead and connect your computer DIRECTLY to your home theater. This is not rocket science.

    On the other hand if you have a computer with a substantial iTUNES library that's NOT NEAR your main television montitor, then this is a great and reasonably priced way to easily enjoy that content in your theater. The netflix streaming is great (at least for me), in fact I'm sure that Netflix could offer some version of the ATV along with a basic streaming-only subscription nad have a lot of happy customers watching instead of renting and waiting......

    3-0 out of 5 stars Get Roku XDS at same price instead or Roku XD for $20 cheaper, November 28, 2010
    I have purchased both Apple TV as well as Roku XDS. Both are the same price and both are quite easy to use and provide access to some great content.

    However, once we purchased Roku, my girlfriend and I no longer have use for Apple TV. Why? Here are the key reasons for us:
    1. Roku provides Hulu Plus, Apple TV does not. With Hulu Plus, you get access to lots of shows that Netlflix doesn't have available for online viewing.
    2. Roku provides Pandora, Apple TV does not. Although Apple TV does provide the AirPlay (streaming your iTunes library), Pandora is a preferable alternative for us as we are not interested in maintaining an iTunes library, and don't like to have to keep a computer on to have to access to music of interest.
    3. Roku has a brighter user interface than Apple TV: This might sound like minute issue, but both my girlfriend and I found the black background and overall darker colors in use in Apple TV to place one in a less cheerful mood. The brighter colors in Roku make it a more enjoyable experience to navigate through its menus.

    The above points are specific to my girlfriend and I. However, there are other reasons for going with Roku that we don't care much for but other may. Here are a few:
    1. Roku provides 1080p resolution support whereas Apple TV maxes out at 720p
    2. Roku arguably provides access to more pay-per-view content and for a better price through Amazon Video on Demand than Apple's more limited content selection available for rental.
    3. For sports fans, Apple TV doesn't provide access to any sports games, whereas Roku gives you access to MLB.TV, UFC and soon NHL GameCenter.
    4. Roku may not support Apple TV's AirPlay but does provide you with a way to access your iTunes library through MP3Tunes app. MP3Tunes has the added advantage of letting you store your iTunes content online and so you don't need to have your computer on to play your iTunes content. However, beyond 2GB you need to pay for MP3Tunes.
    5. If you don't care much for dualband wirless technology, wider range of video/audio outputs or playing content via USB, then you could get a Roku XD for $79.99 and all of the above-mentioned Roku advantages still apply.

    Having said all of the above, some people may still prefer Apple TV because of the Apple brand, the AirPlay feature, or iPhone remote control app. However, for us, these were not features we cared for.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Bought It For Netflix But After Getting It, Use It More For iTunes, November 15, 2010
    I'm a PC person but when it comes to MP3 players Apple is the standard--period. Using iTunes and iPods daily, I was curious to see how Apple TV would integrate into iTunes in addition to being able to add additional Netflix streaming capability to my house--which was my main objective in getting one.

    First off hooking into your music or video library is very seamless--once you enable Home Sharing. I use an Airport Express to stream to a 7.1 surround set up (using optical digital-out) and the Apple TV through HDMI sounds virtually the same for stereo music. But where it shines is the ability to pass through 5.1 surround (along with 720P resolution). The on-screen display is nothing short of ergonomic bliss and wonderful eye candy. While playing music you get a nice sized picture of your album art and the standard progress bar which alternates between the left and right sides of your screen (I'm assuming for people worried about image burn-in).

    The interface and ease of use with iTunes is so cool that I've done something I hadn't contemplated doing with iTunes, and that is turn it into a digital media server for video. It has been a hobby of mine to record OTA broadcasts of Late Night Musical Guests in 1080i 5.1 surround on my TiVo and burn them to DVD for repeated viewing. However, the technical specs of the Apple TV are such that with a little compression I can create very good copies of the TiVo source MPGs and organize them using iTunes. So with the Apple TV interface and iTunes you can watch ad hoc videos instantly on-demand or pre-assembled movie/video playlists. Of course your photos are at your beck and call as well if you like doing slide shows etc.

    The remote is very intuitive but if you have the Remote App for iPod Touch, iPhone, or iPad, it's much easier to use insofar as typing in searches. There is one other feature gained with the Remote App over the ATV remote and that is a 10-second rewind. You simply flick two fingers to the left on the iPod screen and you go back 10 seconds a pop. Very nice feature for video.

    The Netflix interface was a very pleasant surprise compared to my TiVo which is all but useless except for viewing movies that are already stacked in the Instant Queue using my PC on the Netflix website. You can search every which way you can think of, but the only bummer is you must click on a movie's thumbnail to get the synopsis. I did encounter one glitch on Netflix that didn't affect my TiVo. There was at least one Netflix title that would not stream giving me a 112 network error. For the heck of it I also tried the title on my iPod Touch and got the same error. Not sure why it only affected the Apple hardware and not the TiVo, but I'm assuming Apple and Netflix will continue to upgrade their software to make them more integrated. Otherwise the image and sound from the Apple TV have been excellent with Netflix. Very few stutters once the stream gets under way.

    [UPDATE to 112 error-12/5/10: I called Netflix support regarding the 112 error and within a few days I could stream those titles that had the error on both iPod and Apple TV. Since that time there was also an online Apple firmware upgrade to the ATV as well.]

    Since the Apple TV is so small and compact it makes it very easy to move from room to room, which is what I do now since using it to stream iTunes to my main media room.

    I'd give the Apple TV 5 stars except that it only puts out 720P and not 1080P like some of its competitors. But that notwithstanding 720P never looked or sounded so good--nor has my iTunes.



    1-0 out of 5 stars Newer is not Better, November 30, 2010
    I purchased this AppleTV to expand my home entertainment (I also have the older 40gb AppleTV Model). After receiving it and finally hooking it up, I was extremely disappointed in it compared to the older AppleTV. If you want this just for the netflix and renting movie feature this will work great. If you like to stream your movies from another computer through Itunes, this new appletv is worthless!!!!!! It takes forever to load each menu up, at one time it took over 10 min to open up a subgroup of menus (on a wired internet connection). If you have TV shows that you stream, it doesn't group them together or put them in order of seasons. (like the old version). I recently had a update that I installed and it messed up all my tv shows, prior to the update at least the shows were in order by name, after the update they are all messed up with no reason or rhyme to the ordering. So if you plan on streaming movies pay the extra money and get the older version! If you plan on using to watch your Netflix or rent movies from apple, this will work for you.
    Overall on a scale of 1-10, I give this new apple a -5
    Read more


    16. LG BD530 1080p Network Blu-ray Disc Player
    Electronics
    list price: $89.99 -- our price: $79.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00400NL02
    Manufacturer: LG
    Sales Rank: 18
    Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Experience Full HD 1080p with the BD530 Network Blu-ray Disc Player. Get superior picture quality and sound of Blu-ray technology along with direct access to internet services like YouTube, Picasa and Accuweather. ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars LG BD530 Vs Sony BDP-S370
    This Black Friday, Blu-ray player was on my agenda, I have a 46" Samsung LCD HDTV with internet options. I did not want to go for internet enabled Blu-ray player to play netflix or Picasa or Youtube as I already have it in my TV. I wanted a best to the price and awesome quality Blu-ray player which has a brilliant blu-ray as well as DVD upscale conversion for HDTV resolution.

    I bought this LG BD530 and Sony BDP-530 at the same time because Sony had the highest ranking in terms on voting on many sites including bestbuy,com. After connecting both players to my TV i used Bly-ray and it played very well on both player, I tried same Bluray disc on both player couple of times alternatively and could not see the difference. Bluray played brilliantly

    When i came to DVD playing, after couple of runs with same DVD on same TV (with same settings) I found that LG has a excellent DVD upconversion as compared to Sony, Sony pics were a little more blurr as compared to LG BD530. I tested 2 different DVD movies (lord of the rings and American beauty) to check the DVD quality and I have to admit, LG was awesome. Also somehow I felt the LG remote is much user friendly than Sony remote, but that's a matter of individuals preference.

    After carefully reading Sony's review I figured out that it;s sony blu-ray players internet abilities which took it;s rating so high and not the DVD upscale conversion qualities. If you have an old TV with no internet on it and want internet connectibility to watch netflix online, then probably Sony is your candidate. But if you have a new internet enabled TV and have a huge collection of DVD which you wanna keep it for a while and wanna enjoy over and over again, then LG is your best candidate.

    I am returning back my Sony BDP-370 player tomorrow to Bestbuy. I hope this review helps to reader.

    Santosh Gaikwad

    5-0 out of 5 stars Plays DivxHD, AVI, MKV directly from Blu Ray Disc & USB
    I have used this Blu Ray player for more than a week and it plays the following without any issues directly from Blue Ray disc as well as DVD, CD and USB:
    DivxHD (Divx HD 720p and 1080p profile that create files with Divx extension) NOTE: DivxHD Plus profile creating mkv files seems not working
    AVI ( I haven't tried all codecs but whatever I tried worked without any issues)
    MKV
    AVCHD
    I was successfully able to play couple of 720p 4.35 GB mkv files with that's encoded with H264 & DTS audio with subtitle without any issues. Subtitle worked perfectly fine.
    Files with DTS audio plays flawless directly on TV speakers without requiring any additional DTS receiver.
    Very responsive remote control.
    Played lots of MKV files of size 8GB and greater with h264 and DTS audio from an external USB drive and they all played very well. Subtitles were supported and no jitter in playback.
    MKV playback is awesome and Up-conversion works great.I can clearly see the difference between regular playback and upconversion (the files I have used were IMAX HD documentaries and Disney Pixar movies i.e. quality of the original file was good to start with).

    I tried Verbatim LTH some very cheap media from Meritline and Optical Quantam BD-R burned using IMGBURN in my LG WH10LS30 Blue Ray burner and everything worked flawless.
    I tried about 20 of dirt cheap DVD media Dynex, Teon, Playo etc. which had avi files with variety of codecs recorded about 5-6 years ago and they all played without any issues.
    Blu Ray disc loads really fast the picture quality is crystal clear. Also quality of You tube and picasa is great.
    Overall, it's great inexpensive player that played many media from various sources. It played various file formats not even supported by Philips 5982 Divx player but I still can't retire my WD Live as its picky about codecs i.e. not all mkv files plays flawless and MOV doesn't work at this point.

    UPDATE: I was successfully able to play Blu-Ray video files (m2ts) directly from hard drive via. USB connection. Menu is not supported but the files played successfully.

    4-0 out of 5 stars reasonably good media/blue ray player for under $70
    I got this at sears when it was $65, it will be on sale again, try walmart if amazon doesn't lower price. It plays all my discs and most of my multimedia files. It will not play wmv files and doesn't seem to like my AAC files (plays MP3's okay), but will play H264/mov files if you rename them as .mp4, a common trick with these cheaper players. It powers my two external portable hd's and will play one of my two pen drives, but not both. Its upscaling of 420p material from the usb side not as good as my WD or my PS3, but plays native 1080i/p files with very impressive results.
    It does have the BD live function if you want to plug a pen drive into it since it needs external storage. It has limited internet options right now, who cares about accuweather? LG updates their firmware online and my other LG equipment has seen third party hacks that improve it so I look forward to when this is hacked to provide either Netflix, or better yet Playon support.

    It did freeze on me at least once as other reviews have noted, have to pull the plug to reset it.
    Only 4 stars since it did freeze for no good reason, and I too will need to keep my WD Media player for awhile, but it this had netflix would have given it 5 stars, as for the price it just can't be beat. I will update when I have played with it a bit more, only had it the week so far.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Worth the $
    Came across this one at Walmart for $65 on Thanksgiving. Easy to set up. Just plug in what you have to and have at it. Watched Fifth Element straight away. Good quality. Played with the buttons so the 2 hour movie ended up being 2 1/2 hours. The next day I throw in Big Trouble in Little China. Tried to make adjustments during the movie, but, unfortunately the movie would not pick up where it left off. Would always go back to the beginning...showing the threatening stills from Interpol and how comments weren't the opinions of Fox, blah, blah. Kept experimenting and the same thing would happen. Didn't happen with Fifth Element. Got frustrated and gave up for the night. Next day threw in Good, Bad and Ugly. The quality of this movie is AMAZING in BRay. But, that's another story. Anyway, the same thing would happen. Can not go to SET UP without stopping the movie and starting over. Very difficult to check adjustments without waiting for the movie to start over. On regular dvd that I tried this was not a problem. My suggestion is to expect to spend a little bit of time making adjustments to get it right before you watch the whole movie.
    One other situation that I came across was a setting to audio. The 2 discs that would restart movies after adjustment would not play audio unless you fumble through the info menu and change that setting to 2 CHANNEL just to hear something. The player goes from HDMI into TV and from TV via coaxial cord out to stereo which will play dts hd. Didn't have problem with Fifth Element, but with the next 2 discs. Could be a setting I messed up but hard to tell because of the constant reset of the movies.
    Take this for what it's worth. The player still seems like a good deal for the price with a good quality picture.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best value !
    The USB port can power my Seagate USB-powered Freeagent hard drive, which is convenient. And I can confirm it can play a 15G mkv movie file. While I cannot compare the video quality with another Blu-ray or multi-media player, the quality is definity better than the video play back from a PC.

    4-0 out of 5 stars GOOD player but read my review for details.
    I bought this player (despite my future purchase of a Playstation 3) mainly because I wanted a Blu-Ray player that could play MKV files. That let's me store a ton of content on an external hard drive, high definition content, and play it "on demand" without ever having to change a disc.

    As far as MKV playback goes, it's hit and miss but for the most part MKV files work. It doesn't matter what size it is.
    For MKV files that did NOT play I (and others) pinpointed the problem: if a file is encoded with level/profile 4.2 or higher it will NOT play on this player. If you get a file that does not play, run it through MKV2VOB. It has to transcode a lot of movies which takes time but there are a few that don't need transcoding. Playback is good and depends on the speed of your external hard drive. Controlling files can be hit or miss; some let you control things such as speed/fast forward/rewind etc while others will not. I have noticed a few lockups at times.

    As far as Blu-Ray playing goes, once you get into the movie it's great. Other than that I think there are some options that were leftout of this player and its remote control that I would have liked such as title program (for discs and files).

    The main problem with this player is its frequent lockups and freezes. There is also considerable lag with the remote and sometimes it takes over a minute for the player to respond in certain menus.

    The internet connectivity is weird with this player. I have tried WB (Warner Brothers discs) and BD-Live does not work. Universal discs do work but you have to have the internet plugged in before you start the disc. If you do have it plugged in, it takes over two minutes to load up to the disc's menu.

    I will update with other things I think of but for the price I think it's a good blu-ray player. It's actually better in a few respects (MKV file playback, DVD up conversion) than its older brother the BD550. On LG's website and the manual this player is referred to as the BD551 so if that tells you something.

    UPDATE 1: As far as BD-live goes, a forum member on AVSforum found a method to get it to work. Welcome to a whole new world of commercials and unwanted trailers.

    DJPOJACK:
    "I was getting all those messages like the player needed to be hooked up to an internet connection or "coming soon"...etc..

    This is how I got BD-LIVE to work:

    -format USB thumb/drive (fat 16 or 32)
    -boot up your LG 530 (without disc and without USB inserted) so it goes to main on-screen menu..

    -go to setup
    -go to others
    -go to initialize

    NOW...insert USB drive/device

    You should notice that "BD Storage Clear" is now selectable...Select it and confirm "yes"...It will do a momentary "clear" (even though your USB drive is already empty).

    Now, you leave that USB drive in there and load any Blu-Ray movie with BD-Live, and when you run the BD-Live features, it should work....

    At least it did for me....

    If you leave the USB drive in the slot, you can eject and load different Blu-Rays and BD-Live should still work (until your USB drive is full, which then you can initialize it again!)...

    P.S. - If you format or use this USB drive on any other device, it will probably corrupt/overwrite the BD530 BD-Live data....So, it's probably best to have a dedicated drive just for the BD530 (I.E. Just leave it in the USB slot FOREVAHHHHH!)

    good luck
    -drew"

    5-0 out of 5 stars I love it.
    i bought this to view Blu Rays discs... i use my wii for netflix, so the "No Netflix" option wasnt a problem. My only complaint is that this unit does not include a HDMI cable (the box should at least mention this) .... i was lucky to have one laying around the house so it didnt bother me as much. The quality is great, the navigation is easy to follow, and the player performs flawlessly. My tv is LG as well so i get added bonuses... such as only have to use the tv remote to control the player... and if my tv is off, and i pop a disc into the player... it will automatically turn on the tv and set it to the right input for viewing a movie. I dont use it for watching computer media, or codecs... or whatever.... only blu ray movies... so im very happy with the price and the quality i have received in this player. If you want more bells and whistles then i suggest you look into a higher priced unit. =)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Player! Gotta love the USB feature!
    I am not sure what are the negative reviews on here are all about, its possible some customers may have received a defective product from LG but mine has been working great! First off let me say I am not going to complain about the player not having Netflix, Rhapsody, Facebook ect. My TV has wifi built in that allows me to access Netflix so I had no need to shell out the extra money for a fancy player that could surf the full extent of the web. Those who wanted a player like that should have looked for something else. This player clearly states that its features are limited to Youtube, Picasa, and AccuWeather. To buy it and expect otherwise is poor shopping on the consumers' part. As far as video quality, I don't own a vast collection of Blu-rays so my experience has mostly been with upconverting DVD's, which the player does an excellent job with. Unlike the Memorex I own, this player minimizes almost all of the DVD grain and blur to the point that it almost looks as good as a blu-ray. The Blu-rays I have played also have shimmered in pure 1080p HD with this player. The real attraction for me though, is the USB drive. All you have to do is pop in an external hard drive or memory stick and the player is ready to play the contents whether it be video, picture, or music. I have watched two movies this way, one MPEG4 and the other AVI, and both played without a hiccup. Some reviewers have reported freezing and locking up, but I have experienced neither with my player. I haven't updated the firmware, though, so who knows if the new updates may actually be the cause of the problems. The player does take a little time to initially boot up, but I hardly consider waiting a few seconds to be an inconvenience. Overall, the LGBD530 is a great value and a player I recommend for anyone who's looking for a solid player to watch movies on via DVD, Blu-Ray, or USB. If you want something to play your Netflix with, look elsewhere.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Plays Blu-ray movies. Simple to use.
    Plays Blu-ray movies. Simple to use. Period. Be careful of reading a bad review from people who want their blu-ray player to take them to the moon and back.If you want a simple cheap blu-ray player then this is it. If you want a radio, a computer, and blu-ray player and a robotic dog, then this is not for you. You get what you pay for. I wanted a blu-ray player. That is what this is.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Pretty decent for the money
    I'm an audiophile and added this to my collection. The bootup time is fast (for a blu-ray player) but still slower than DVD players. Watching blu-ray movies is still dependent on the blu-ray disc. Avatar is obviously quick while the Disney movies take forever because of all the Java they put in them. The overall build quality is a bit on the chintzy side but not unexpected for a player in this price range. Once you set it on your cabinet, who cares how light it is anyway? It's profile is slim so good for cabinet space. The downside is that the display is also so small that you can forget trying to use it from anything further than 2 feet away. The remote is light so it's easy to carry. I like that the remote is programmable for different brands of TV's; something even some more expensive players still don't do. I wish WiFi was built-in. Picture and sound are good, per normal blu-ray standards. The updates took over an hour but that's probably attributable to the LG networks. I like that the movie continues from where you stopped from the last time. Some manufacturers need to learn that lesson too. It can stream but the manual said that it requires that you plug in a 1GB jumpdrive; a bit disappointing as they could've easily increased the built-in memory. Overall it's a decent blu-ray player for the money ($65-$70 price range). If you want to just want to watch blu-ray movies and upscale DVD's, you'll be satisfied with this one. Read more


    17. Apple iPod shuffle 2 GB Silver (4th Generation) NEWEST MODEL
    Electronics
    list price: $49.00 -- our price: $44.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B001FA1NUK
    Manufacturer: Apple Computer
    Sales Rank: 19
    Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    The main body of the iPod shuffle is crafted from a single piece of aluminum and polished to a beautiful shine, so it feels solid, sleek, and durable. Thanks to the color choices too it's the perfect fashion accessory. Choose gleaming silver, blue, green, orange, or pink. Hundreds of songs to go Never leave a favorite tune behind. Along with up to 15 hours of battery life, iPod shuffle gives you 2GB of storage capacity, good for hundreds of songs. That's plenty of room for the essential songs of your workout or commute, multiple playlists, Genius Mixes, podcasts, and audiobooks, too. Goes anywhere. And with anything iPod shuffle isn't just portable. It's wearable, too. Clip it to your shirt, jacket, workout gear, backpack, or purse strap, and it stays put—whether you're running an errand or running around the track. Control your music with just a click It's back—the big, clickable control pad on the front of iPod shuffle. It's 18 percent larger than on previous iPod shuffle models, so it's even easier to see and use the music controls. Press the center button to play and pause. Press the outer buttons to skip forward or back and adjust volume. Click, click, click. It's music to your fingers. Play it your way Maybe you're the spontaneous type. Or maybe you prefer a little order. Just flip the shuffle switch to suit your listening style. Flip it to the left, and you'll hear your music in a refreshingly random way. Flip it to the middle, and your songs play in order. Or flip to the right to turn iPod shuffle off. Voiceover tells you what you want to hear Say you're listening to a song and want to know the title or the artist. Just press the VoiceOver button on top of your iPod shuffle, and it tells you. You can even use VoiceOver to hear the names of playlists and switch between them. If your battery needs charging, VoiceOver tells you that, too. It speaks your language It speaks your language. A French love song. A Spanish bolero. An Italian cantata. Your ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great little thing, September 10, 2010
    Just to correct some of the previous reviews...the big problem with the 3rd gen shuffle was not that it was "too small" or even that the controls were not on the unit itself, but instead were on the headphone line...the problem was if those controls got even the SLIGHTEST (and I do mean slightest) bit of moisture on them it would totally jack up the shuffle. Now, what kind of activities would most people buy the tiny shuffle mp3 player for versus a nano or standard iPod? Oh, maybe jogging or working out? And what do you do with physical activities like this? That's right, you sweat! So it doesn't take a rocket scientiest to see the problem with the 3rd gen shuffle...a problem that should have been seen before they ever even produced it. Just read all the reviews for the 3rd gen and you'll see that this was not just a minor issue, but a huge one that the majority of the users had to deal with. It is good to see they came to their sense and we can once again use the shuffle during exercise.

    5-0 out of 5 stars So ive had this thing for a month now, September 22, 2010
    The fourthApple iPod shuffle 2 GB Blue (4th Generation) NEWEST MODEL generation shuffle is a great improvement over the second generation which I loved in terms of the addition of voice-over, fast forward, etc, but why couldn't Apple have retained the same size as the 2nd generation? The 4th generation's size makes it inconvenient to attach the clip without interrupting the music selection. The only way to overcome this decided disadvantage is to clip the shuffle on before turning it on. However, I still am happy I bought it.

    Now that I've tried the Apple iPod shuffle 2 GB Blue (4th Generation)for a month, I'd like to amend my previous review by saying that this version of the shuffle is truly a remarkable engineering achievement. Even though it's capacity is only 2 GB, it's sufficient for hours of enjoyment and has great features e.g., long battery life, voice-over information about amount of battery left and title of songs being played and the artist. What more can one ask for for a reasonable pice of less than 50 bucks? I had previously commented about its too small size, but I now find this not to be the disadvantage noted.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great little thing, September 10, 2010
    I just got my new shuffle in the mail today. I needed something for running and dreadmilling when it is too snowy/icy to run outside.
    My initial impressions:

    Pros
    Great little thing (small)
    strong clip
    easy to use (hooray for buttons!)
    simple, multi-position switch on the top lets you play in order or shuffle. Voice over button is easy to use and works well.
    Easy to sync (choose playlists, genius playlists, albums, artists, podcasts, etc...)
    Looks good (see my notes about online photos at the bottom)
    Long (15h) battery life.

    EDIT: A "hold" function has been added, just hold the center button to activate and deactivate, good feature. It would be useful if I had just gotten mine, but I learned how to use it without the feature so I don't end up using hold much.

    Cons
    None. (As far am I concerned, there are cons like "no screen" and such, but if you order this to get an ipod shuffle, not a nano or other mp3 player, you will not be disappointed. I was not let down at all).

    EDIT: After some thought and use, I thought of some cons.
    $50 for 2gb is not a great price compared to other mp3 players.
    2gb might be limiting to you. This just means you have to choose or let itunes choose what music goes on there carefully.
    Because the buttons take up most of the front of the ipod, it can be hard to use the clip while it is turned on without pressing the next button.

    Conclusion:
    If you know what an ipod shuffle does, need a reasonable music player that syncs with your itunes, and don't need more. GET ONE!!! I can't imagine you will be let down.

    One last note: From all the photos online, you can't really tell, bu this is not a matte finish ipod. The finish is shiny, but not mirror-y. And actually, no one will care about this, but the top and bottom are matte silver. It looks good.

    3-0 out of 5 stars 2nd Gen is still the best, September 13, 2010
    Just ran down to the Apple store yesterday and got one, a few thoughts

    Pros:
    +Thank god the buttons are back
    +The clip has good tension
    +Voiceover is actually useful
    +Price


    Cons:
    -no hold function out of the box
    -requires iTunes 10
    -no equalizer
    -build quality is lacking
    -usb cord is short
    -Applecare costs $30

    The iPod shuffle is story with lots of twists, a tragedy, and now they are trying to restore this to it's original glory. The 2nd generation has a hold function, a long, and quality USB dock and was built like a rock. It was my favorite iPod out of the 10+ I've had over the years.

    This one is far too small, there's no room no grip it without hitting the buttons, which would be okay if there was a hold switch, but there isn't. If you want to grip this thing hard enough to open the clip then you are going to hit the control dial and change songs. The build quality is also lacking, I got it for snowboarding, and I would be very scared in a fall with the new iPod shuffle. It's too light and feels as if you can depress the body with a hard enough press.

    One thing I do like about the new shuffle is the voiceover, it's not a native ability and needs to be downloaded and synced using iTunes. Fairly straightforward; hit the dedicated button to hear what you are listening to (song name, then artist), hold it to scroll through your playlists and have them read aloud to you as you hit FF or RR, and then press it twice in quick succession to hear the battery level. What I love about it though, is that if you pause and then hit FF or RR it will call out the songs you're passing though, so you can just find one you want and then hit play. Is it that much better than listening to the first few seconds of the song?...a little, like if you want to hear a certain artist but don't know every song from them that made it onto your iPod.

    All and all it's a good little player, I'm so glad the design is back, it's priced well and exceedingly charming, but a few problems, especially the hold switch keep it from being truly great like the second generation was.
    -------
    A few updates after a week or so of usage and to elaborate on points in original review:

    Hold switch: it's definitely going to be a problem, not enough to return it but enough to negatively affect day to day usage

    Durability: the iPod took a hard fall directly on concrete, still works fine but the part where it hit the ground looks like it went through a car wreck

    iTunes 10: the hype and hatred against iTunes 10 seems to be misplaced, it's just another update, however I still don't like having to update to use the new iPods

    USB cord: would have been nice to stick with the old dock, the new cord is 3 inches long, usb on one side and 3.5mm stereo on the other, easily transported but easily lost, doesn't compliment a desk well

    Applecare: I would have gotten Applecare would it have been $20, but at $30 it's approaching doubling the overall purchase price, it would most likely be best to hold off, and if you ever break it chances are the next iPod shuffle will be out by the time you do

    Equalizer: still wish it was there, it could be easily set within iTunes. I will try and see if setting the equalizer of each individual song will help but when listening to the iPod in my car, and CD's burned using iTunes, the iPod songs have no mid range, the equalizer in the car was the same with each
    -------
    It seems the hold function has been added with a software update so everything I said about that can only apply to the out of the box firmware
    -------

    ----Last round of updates----

    The hold function works flawlessly and has alleviated much day to day headache and I'm glad they implemented it in the same way that it was before

    Build quality no longer worries me, it's solid enough for just about anything...I was mistaken because of the low weight

    There is no way to adjust the equalizer, you're stuck listening to your songs flat

    There's a few quirks with syncing and autofill. The easiest way is to sync select playlists and then they will update automatically every time you attach it to the computer, as far as I've seen there is no way to dump songs and autofill randomly, at least not easily

    Still a good price if you appreciate having an iTunes capable device like I do, really can't be beat

    I haven't managed to lose the sync cord

    Headphones and hardware with iPod remotes work with the shuffle (like Skullcandy's remotes on their 2010 headphones)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Back on track, September 9, 2010
    Just to correct some of the previous reviews...the big problem with the 3rd gen shuffle was not that it was "too small" or even that the controls were not on the unit itself, but instead were on the headphone line...the problem was if those controls got even the SLIGHTEST (and I do mean slightest) bit of moisture on them it would totally jack up the shuffle. Now, what kind of activities would most people buy the tiny shuffle mp3 player for versus a nano or standard iPod? Oh, maybe jogging or working out? And what do you do with physical activities like this? That's right, you sweat! So it doesn't take a rocket scientiest to see the problem with the 3rd gen shuffle...a problem that should have been seen before they ever even produced it. Just read all the reviews for the 3rd gen and you'll see that this was not just a minor issue, but a huge one that the majority of the users had to deal with. It is good to see they came to their sense and we can once again use the shuffle during exercise.

    5-0 out of 5 stars So ive had this thing for a month now, September 22, 2010
    So ive had my new little shuffle for almost a month now and am very proud to have bought it. I wanted to post one little review against all the criticisms that ignorant people have posted on here so here it goes..

    you pay for what you get, and even though apple is a name brand i am willing to pay the little extra for a name brand product that has few flukes. yea last years shuffle sucked big fat ones but the people have been heard and so thanks apple for bringing back the buttons! Ppl seem to forget that yea u can buy a sansa 4gb for the same price but apple is like the sony of music, and the more you pay the better quality the product is. how often do you see the little sansa players last more than a yr? if your like most americans that would be never..

    and as for those people who are moaning about itunes 10 - just download the f-ing thing..honestly..i have windows xp basic and have had no problems with anything. syncing music is not that difficult plz ppl..dont listen to the negative reviews they do not know how to set itunes correctly..if you have something b4 xp you need to upgrade already seriously! its totally not hard and there are tons of ways of doing it for free. if itunes still has problems then find a solution instead of giving up so easy. mine didnt come out of the box with perfect compatibility either SO I FIXED IT - press the help button

    as for the clip - yea u tend to press buttons while clipping it but you could have figured that out by looking at the thing before buying it. i am a marathon runner and am obsessed with my shuffle so trust me it is not that big of a deal just clip it and go back to the song if you have to (or turn it on after you clip if your SO worried about it..) are we that lazy that we cant go back to the prev song because its not convenient?

    as for being afraid to scratch the device by turning it on - dont be. it wont cuz i turn mine on with my nail all the time and still looks new, and even if it does it wont diminish the sound quality or function any different. you cant see micro scratches like those unless you try so don't worry bout it!

    the voiceover is very ez to use..just press once for description, 2x for battery, and hold for playlist...IT IS NOT HARD

    the little 3 inch or so usb connector leaves your shuffle dangling lol but yea whats the big deal about this guys? its not going anywhere

    and if your worried about whether or not you shuffle is on heres what you do - TURN IT OFF OR PLUG IN HEADPHONES - why would you leave it on ??????

    and dont get me started on "you can lose it its so small!..", if you lose this thing you dont deserve one anyway so take care of your stuff

    all in all i love my new shuffle and it is a blessing to runners or gym rats. so yea apple forgot a hold button O WELL...for 50 bucks you need to overlook the little things and learn to appreciate what is already there. Simplicity meets style, and apple has not let us down with this one. If your still upset about the shuffle go buy something else, otherwise enjoy

    5-0 out of 5 stars The New Ipod Shuffle!, September 22, 2010
    Apple iPod shuffle 2 GB Silver (4th Generation) NEWEST MODEL

    I bought the Ipod Shuffle 4th generation to replace my 5th generation 30 gb Ipod, which now has inadequate battery power. I have used the Shuffle for a few days now, since it arrived in the mail from Amazon.com. There are a few small downsides too it, that can easily be ignored. The usb cord that plugs into both the computer and ipod shuffle is about four inches long. It's also hard to clip the shuffle onto my pants without pressing a button at the same time. I don't mind these cons as long as I'm careful not to lose the short cord. I also don't mind pressing a button (usually on the face) while I clip it onto my pants, as it usually just rewinds the song a few seconds, or skips to the next song--which can easily be set back to the original song by pressing the back button.

    I really like the VoiceOver feature on the Shuffle. In a feminine monotone voice, it'll tell you what song you're listening too or what playlist you're using. And for 2gb of music, it's not bad, and holds just about as much music as I will ever need. I also like how I can put playlists on the Shuffle, which can come in handy when I want to listen to a certain genre.

    I should also mention that I chose the blue color. It's not the same color as the display picture, and is actually more of a smoky blue color--which is still a really pretty color.

    ________


    I copy and pasted the following from the Apple website for those who are confused on how to use the VoiceOver feature (Like I was). [...]
    VoiceOver

    Artist and song name:
    Press to hear current track and artist

    Multiple playlists:
    Press and hold to hear playlist menu.

    Battery status:
    Press twice to hear battery status

    5-0 out of 5 stars perfect design, but be warned -- no Nike+ iPod compatibility, September 7, 2010
    Apple has a history of being slow to admit mistakes (how many years did we suffer through those hockey-puck mice?). The third generation of iPod shuffles was a mistake. I wanted to like them. I tried them out more than once but recognized that in practice, it was better to drag around even a Sony Walkman than the buttonless, screenless oddity that was the Shuffle 3rd generation.

    So credit to Apple, they went back to the second generation model, which everybody loved, and just made it better. It looks great, it feels great, it has a nice clip. I got an early unit, which I use with Nike SHJ036 Flexible Earhook Headphone (White)s, which I find comfortable and which, crucially, have a short cord that won't hang down for me to trip over if the Shuffle is clipped somewhere on my shirt.

    The one shame of this device is that, though it is perfect for running, it is not compatible with the Nike+ iPod running kit.

    5-0 out of 5 stars a Home Run...Great Ipod!!, October 4, 2010
    I have been using my shuffle for a few weeks and I couldn't be happier with it.

    I bought the shuffle for use while exercising, I have a Touch which I had been using and was tired of having such a large device strapped to my arm with a smelly band (if you run/exercise with an armband you know what I'm talking about...eventually all bands get pretty rank). I was looking for something small and easy to use and the Shuffle fits the bill perfectly.

    It is tiny, which some reviews see as a con. I do not. As a point of reference the diameter of the click wheel is exactly the size of a quarter, and it weighs about as much. You can clip it anywhere (no band) and it stays put because it is so small and light. Depending on where you clip it (sleeve/collar/waistband) it may bounce a little while running, but a little trial and error and you will find the spot that works best for you.

    Synching is easy, which was a very pleasant surprise. I have had issues with synching multiple iPods in the past, needed to maintain separate libraries which was a huge pain. I'm not a techie, so I don't know if it's the new ITunes or the shuffle...but either way if you have an IPod now and want to add the shuffle as a second you won't have any synch issues.

    Voice over is great. No need to look at the iPod. Without breaking stride you can hit the Voice button, the voice will run through your play lists, when she says the name of the list you want to switch to you hit play and you are done. Beyond easy.

    No major frills or knock your socks off features, just a great little IPod that serves it purpose very very well. Highly recommend it for anyone who wants a little music in their ears while exercising.

    5-0 out of 5 stars remarkable engineering achievement, October 3, 2010
    The fourthApple iPod shuffle 2 GB Blue (4th Generation) NEWEST MODEL generation shuffle is a great improvement over the second generation which I loved in terms of the addition of voice-over, fast forward, etc, but why couldn't Apple have retained the same size as the 2nd generation? The 4th generation's size makes it inconvenient to attach the clip without interrupting the music selection. The only way to overcome this decided disadvantage is to clip the shuffle on before turning it on. However, I still am happy I bought it.

    Now that I've tried the Apple iPod shuffle 2 GB Blue (4th Generation)for a month, I'd like to amend my previous review by saying that this version of the shuffle is truly a remarkable engineering achievement. Even though it's capacity is only 2 GB, it's sufficient for hours of enjoyment and has great features e.g., long battery life, voice-over information about amount of battery left and title of songs being played and the artist. What more can one ask for for a reasonable pice of less than 50 bucks? I had previously commented about its too small size, but I now find this not to be the disadvantage noted.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Runner's Delight, September 16, 2010
    Heavenly...TechnoArt...suitable for the French...made for the Queen...Perfect

    My first generation iPod shuffle's battery is nearing its four-year battery lifespan, so I needed to think about a replacement. The prior 3rd generation doesn't cut it for Minnesota weather: We sweat profusely here during the summer and freeze as only as an ice fisherman could appreciate so those controls on earbud wires do not survive. This new model with the click wheel where it needs to be is the remedy. Yes!

    Love the new capacity compared my prior 512kb. Love the ability to have multiple lists and put several new albums on it and play them straight through for proper effect and to populate an iTunes genius-produced playlist when my creativity has gone amiss. Sweet! The voice-over button is fun for exacting song announcing detail and selecting playlists. I especially like the slick transition from one song to the next. What a delight. What a smooth morph to the next compared to the one-to-two second delay between songs on my 1st generation shuffle!

    The small, light size is wonderful. My 1st generation while on its lanyard around my neck could annoy me as it thumped my chest as if attempting a cardiac maneuver, which I do not need. Plus, I tried a 2nd generation and its heavier bulk could smack my hand when I was running and bruise. This is much better.

    About twice as long before battery needs a charge compared to the old shuffle. Great. Small convenient firewire for USB charging is neat compared to the bulky dockpad the 2nd generation shuffle required.

    Thank you so much for designing this! This will survive. Cool.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Much improvement over the 3rd gen shuffle., December 3, 2010
    The iPod that I currently use on a daily basis is my Apple iPod shuffle 4 GB Silver (3rd Generation) OLD MODEL. The main problem with THAT UNIT for me is that there is no other option than to use the Apple earphones, seems a greedy move by Apple. When the 4th generation came along, and I heard it had buttons I started to get excited. I would be able to use the Bose In Ear headphones with it. I don't exactly know why, but I wished the second generation shuffle would become available again. There was no hold function on the unit I tested, and the square shape wasn't something I was accustomed to.
    Here's a general list of pros & cons:
    PROS:
    -Longer battery life[15h, compared to 10h on 3rd gen, and 12h on 1st & 2nd gen]
    -BUTTONS were returned to the unit itself [not on the earphone cord]
    -Price dropped to $49, dropped by about 17%
    -Another color choice added, ORANGE

    CONS:
    -Price, $49 for 2GB, not great compared to other brands
    -No hold function, though I hear Apple might add one
    -No option for 4GB of storage anymore
    -USB cable is 45mm[about 1.8 inches] VERY SHORT
    -When the clip is pushed, it's hard not to push one of the buttons
    -Buttons slightly harder to press than other models
    -Square shape makes it harder to use when not looking.

    Thanks for reading, hope the review helped. Read more


    18. Roku XD Streaming Player 1080p
    Electronics
    list price: $79.99 -- our price: $79.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00426C56U
    Manufacturer: Roku, Inc.
    Sales Rank: 13
    Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Roku is a little box that allows you to instantly stream tons of entertainment on your TV. Watch over 100,000 movies and TV shows from Netflix, Amazon Video On Demand, and more. Listen to music on Pandora, or listen to your own iTunes playlists. Even watch major sports, news, or original Internet programming. It's all available whenever you want it. The all-new Roku XD delivers the highest quality HD video, in the smallest box, at the lowest price. No wonder Roku is the best selling streaming player ever. ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent product, October 6, 2010
    One can make a good case that with Roku you really don't need cable or satellite TV. With a $10 monthly subscription to Netflix you can get more movies than you have time for over the internet at the time that you want to see them. I doubt that one movie that TCM shows is not available this way.

    You can listen to almost any radio station in the country free, meeting your needs if you like any particular kind of music or listen to talk radio, sports, etc.

    You can watch Youtube clips on your big TV as well and can send the sound to your stereo system, home theater nowadays.

    There are lots of other specialized sites, both free and by subscription, that are available. I like Pub-D-Hub which has movies in the public domain for free, many are poor but others can be quite good, I had never seen a picture with legendary Lillian Gish before.

    Roku is a winner.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Apple TV vs. Roku XD. Fight!, October 29, 2010

    Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
    I recently bought the new Apple TV, but was curious how the Roku XD compared. After all, while I like the Apple TV, it's tied to the Apple ecosystem, for better or worse. Meanwhile the Roku offered a broader feature set, but not as much of an established brand as Apple.

    Luckily, I was able to satisfy my curiosity by getting a Roku XD, and I thought my experiences and opinions might be useful for those shopping for such internet-streaming set top boxes.

    ---------------------------------------------------------
    Quality/Content
    ---------------------------------------------------------

    My first and biggest question was, "How does the quality compare?". 1080p capability is one of Roku's biggest selling points against Apple, because the Apple TV "only" streams 720p. What I found was that it was a mixed bag. Roku has the capability to stream 1080p, but something surprising is that a huge portion of available content isn't HD to start with and doesn't take full advantage of Roku's hardware. Some content you can stream from Amazon and Netflix looks little better than VHS quality, while some looked somewhere between DVD and HD broadcast quality.

    The vast majority of Netflix, for example, is SD content including most bigger-name movies that make their way to the library. Thus, the HD capability of Roku is MOST noticeable in Amazon Video On-Demand's vast library of HD TV shows and movies.

    Amazon Video On-Demand offers everything you could find through Apple TV's store and then some, but it has a superior pricing model. You can PURCHASE TV shows for .99c vs. .99c rentals on Apple TV, and you may save a buck or two renting older movies, especially if they're SD.

    A drawback (maybe an advantage to some) to the Amazon's On-Demand store is its availability of soft-core porn, so parents be ready to tweak parental controls a little more than you'd have to with Apple TV, which limits its offerings to R-rated major studio movies.

    ---------------------------------------------------------
    Flexibility
    ---------------------------------------------------------

    The biggest selling point of the Roku in my opinion is the flexibility already established with its "channels" store, which is basically like an app store for your Roku. The big-three apps are "Amazon Video On-Demand", "Netflix" and "Hulu+ (coming soon)", but you can also choose channels from "Pandora" (if you like listening to music on your TV), or "UFC" (though the UFC channel is a bit of disappointment since they want to charge you $45 a pop to view past UFC events!).

    Apple TV doesn't currently have an app store, though one is probably coming, and it will soon pick up the ability to stream a variety of content from an iOS device via something called "AirPlay", but Roku is clearly a bit more flexible at this point.

    That said, a big feature I like about Apple TV that isn't available in Roku is the ability to view iTunes content. I like being able to watch movies on my TV then take them with me on my iPhone for my kids to watch on car trips or plane rides, and Apple has a better, more integrated ecosystem to support such capability.

    I also like watching YouTube, which I can do on my Apple TV, but not straightforwardly on the Roku as far as I can tell (EDIT: apparently there's a secret beta YouTube channel if you Google for it, but it's not highlighted in the channel store).

    ---------------------------------------------------------
    User Experience/Interface
    ---------------------------------------------------------

    I think the biggest disadvantage of Roku vs. Apple TV is in its user experience. The Roku is slightly more complicated to set up (for instance, you need to find the TV settings menu then designate that you have a 1080p TV before you can watch HD content), and the user interfaces for many features, while good, just don't match the smooth feel and responsiveness of the Apple TV. With Roku, you tend to get longish, frequent load animations when navigating between channels. Plus Roku's content suggestion features don't work quite as well as Apple TV, and with Roku you don't have an "Apple Remote"-quality iPhone app to let you control the device.

    ---------------------------------------------------------
    Conclusion
    ---------------------------------------------------------

    While Roku markets its device as higher quality than devices like the Apple TV because of "1080p", limited content and bitrate minimize any noticeable advantage. The fact is that if you REALLY care about quality, you get a Blu Ray player, not a media streamer from any manufacturer. Nevertheless, the Roku is at least as good, if not better than competing streaming devices if you're viewing the right content.

    It lacks a few of the iTunes-specific features of Apple TV, and the user experience isn't quite as good, but if you don't care about those things, the Roku is more flexible, cheaper both in purchase price and content prices, and offers more content than the Apple TV.

    Overall, the Roku XD is an EXCELLENT device that's priced to move! For $80, why not try it?

    5-0 out of 5 stars Loyal customer!, October 9, 2010
    I've owned my Roku for 10 months. I'm sorry that that one person had a bad experience. I, myself, have had great experience with their customer service. Wow, last month, when my wifi went out on my old player, the guy trouble shooted it (even though I had told him that I had already done every trouble shoot 19 times), and then he gave me the needed number to write down on the return label and mailed me a box to send it back to them for free. I didn't have to collect a bunch of paperwork and (receipts and stuff) like most other companies require for a full refund. Just the player and the remote! My brand new Roku arrived within the week.
    I have never regretted buying this player. Now it's even $40.00 less than I originally paid for it. It's a fricken steal if you ask me. Not only do you get your movies mailed to you from Netflix, but you get to watch, from the comfort of any room you decide to put the thing in, all the tv shows and kids shows and movies and free music and OMG the list goes on and on. Ren and Stimpy, 30 Rock, Lie to Me, Spongebob, on and on and on. The kids love it. When I'm bored at night, I get a huge list of choices to entertain me and I really couldn't live without this cute little tiny machine. I HIGHLY recommend!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Roku Rocks with NetFlix and Playon, December 4, 2010
    We were a longtime Dish Network customer paying $80 a month for video service. While we had no complaints about Dish, we decided this past summer to take the plunge into internet video to see if we could save some dollars. My family was shocked the day I unplugged all of the Dish receivers and sent them back to Dish Network. "What are we going to watch?" "What about my favorite shows?"

    As a 3 HDTV family and not knowing the best hardware option to use, we decided to try a selection of devices. For our main living room TV, we purchased a Roku device. For the den, we used our Wii and for the master bedroom a Sony Blu Ray Internet DVD player.

    For content, we have moved our NetFlix usage from DVDs in the mail to internet streaming. We also installed playon.tv on our PC for access to Hulu (primarily), CBS (Survivor and Amazing Race) and Comedy Channel. Both NetFlix and Playon streaming to all of the devices we use work fine. This includes the Roku via playon, despite reports that Roku pulled the plug on playon (continues to work fine to this day).

    We also purchased Comcast Basic (Limited) Cable ($14) for local news and sports. This is the plan that just uses the cable, no digital cable boxes required, allowing us to wire cable to all of our TV's. What Comcast will not tell you is with HDTV's we get full HD channels for ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, PBS, CBS, etc. without having to purchase a digital plan or rent their digital boxes.

    Comparing the Roku, Wii and Sony Internet DVD devices, we like the Roku the best of the three. In fact, we just installed a second Roku, moving the Wii back to a game system. The reason was primarily ease of use. Some of the reasons include the following:
    - Roku Remote is the simplest to use than the Wii and Sony remotes with fewer and easier to understand buttons
    - Roku provides access to NetFlix suggested titles and search. This is also available for the Wii but not the Sony Internet DVD player
    - The Roku seems to do a better job at buffering the streaming content resulting in less video interuptions

    In conclusion, we have a better video experience today than when we were paying $80 for Dish. Netflix gives us access to movies and past seasons of TV shows. Playon with Hulu gives us DVR access to all of the latest TV shows, we love the Hulu favorites Queue and the emails letting us know the latest episodes are in the queue.

    Outside of our internet connection (need 2MBPS or more) which we already had in place, our total internet video monthly fees are $12.95 for NetFlix and $14 for Basic (Limited) Comcast Cable. A great savings with a better video experience.

    5-0 out of 5 stars I don't want to oversell it ..., October 16, 2010
    ... but Roku is the greatest thing EVER in the history of the universe.

    Setup was ridiculously easy. Plug the box into an AC outlet, connect the AV cables to your TV, and switch your TV to the appropriate channel. If using a wireless router, enter the encryption key or passcode. (For WEP security, this will be 13 pairs of alphanumeric symbols.) Then follow the on-screen instructions to sync your Roku account to your Netflix account and/or your Amazon Video On Demand account, using a simple activation code.

    Within 15 minutes or less, I was searching Netflix on my TV screen and choosing things to watch. I settled on "Aliens." Picture quality was better than cable, comparable to DVD. There was no pixellation, buffering, signal breakup, or any other glitch. After a while I forgot I was watching a streaming video. Colors were bright, outlines were sharp. My Roku is hooked up to a non-state-of-the-art, non-widescreen, non-digital TV that only accepts 480i input. The image quality would undoubtedly be even better on a newer set with 1080i capabilities.

    Later that night I intended to watch syndicated reruns of "King of the Hill." But because of a dispute with Cablevision, Newscorp pulled the local Fox channel off the air. No KOTH! What to do? Luckily, there was no need to panic. Netflix has at least 9 seasons of KOTH available for streaming. I watched two episodes and found the picture quality significantly better than the local broadcast. Plus, no commercials! I may never watch KOTH on the Fox affiliate again. That's one less viewer for Fox. Well played, Newscorp!

    I haven't really looked into the various other channels that are available for Roku, which seem to vary widely in quality. New channels are being added all the time. I understand Hulu is coming soon.

    Truthfully, I could imagine ditching cable TV altogether once the selection of streaming videos becomes even better. This is the future of TV. And did I mention it's the greatest thing EVER?

    Technical caveat: I have a cable Internet connection that downloads at 12-13 Mbps. Connections slower than 5 Mbps may be less satisfactory.

    Bottom line: Buy this thing. It works as advertised, and it's just cool.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Was a great box before Firmware Update, November 8, 2010
    The Roku Auto-Updates, so there is no way to stop it. When loading a video, it will freeze up or load very slowly. Sometimes it will play and then kick back to the beginning of the video. Even some developers are complaining of broken channels and other issues. It was perfect before the update, and there is no way to rollback the firmware.
    Before buying, do yourself a favor and read the Roku forums, and Roku owners thread at avsforums.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Worth the Money!, December 1, 2010
    I'm a spartan tightwad, so for me to say that something is worth the money is high praise indeed. Roku isn't perfect, but it's a great idea and well executed.

    We have been cable/satellite free for over five years (before we bought our house, our apartment included free cable). I have never paid for premium TV, I just can't imagine doing it. When our tube TV died a few years ago, we tried to get it fixed, but they no longer make the part. So we started watching shows online. After the digital conversion last year, our remaining tiny tube TV became just a DVD watching monitor.

    Well, the holiday season of 2010 offered such spectacular deals on TVs that it turned even me, and we bought a 42" plasma for $350 because it's only 720p/60hz. As I planned on hooking up a home theatre PC (much of streaming is still standard def), I'll accept the slightly out of date technology for that great of a price.

    I looked at the Boxee Box, a Dell Zino, and laughed hysterically at the price of Google TV and internet enabled televisions and Blu Ray players. But the Roku, starting at $60... that price held my attention.

    I bought the mid level Roku for the price of the low end one, $60+ shipping, on their Black Friday sale. Shipping was fast- it was here on Monday.

    Set up is pretty simple, but you do need a computer or at least a smartphone to input the codes. Choosing the channels and inputting the codes takes ten times as long as actual hardware setup, but you can do this over time, you don't have to do it right away unless you are like me and very Type A.

    The Bad: there is still lots of content out there, for free, that Roku can't access. You'll either have to pony up the dough on Amazon's video on demand, wait for the DVD from Netflix, or plug your laptop into your computer with an HDMI cable. This is true even if you have Hulu+. For example, "Medium" moved to CBS. CBS, because they are a network run by and for old people, doesn't participate in Hulu. I can't watch Medium on my TV unless I pay for it from AVOD. Bummer, when I could watch for free on CBS.com. Same thing with Disney- if you have Disney Magic Codes, you can watch movies (as much as you want, whenever you want) online. But not on a TV, at least not through the Roku. Mr. HDMI cable has to come out, or Disney is confined to the computer screen.

    I don't need or want Roku to have a full browser, but if it did this problem would be solved. The business model behind Hulu+ would also collapse, though, so I'm not sure what the solution is.

    We are not a family of sports fans, so we don't subscribe to MLB or NHL pay channels, but we do have Netflix and Hulu+ for a grand total of $16/mo. There are tons of good, free Roku channels, especially if you bother to look for the "Private" channels, which include YouTube and HGTV.

    What is very, very good about the Roku is the price and ease of use. I would have spent an absolute minimum of $250 on a little nettop to use as an HTPC, plus more for a wireless keyboard, and it would have been a PITA to use. You'd have to open a browser and search. If I lived alone, this would not be a big deal, but we have three kids, and if I lived alone, I probably would get along with just a laptop. The primary reason we got a TV was to cuddle on the couch and watch movies. My littles would make mincemeat out of a a keyboard-as-remote. On the other hand, while you can search pretty easily with Roku remote, you don't HAVE to. You can browse. The remote and interface is so dead simple my four year old learned how to use it in about 15 minutes, despite the fact that we've never used a TV remote in this house until about a week ago. My dad could use this, hell, my husband's grandma could use it. It's that straightforward.

    Also, Kidlet is AMAZING. It's a kids' TV network that contains three channels and tons of cartoons. There are no commercials whatsoever, which are my main objection to childrens' TV. (Yeah, we get PBS OTA, too.) We discovered "Redwall" through Kidlet on Roku, something that Netflix doesn't even have, and is fantastic- we have the books on hold now at the library.

    This is the way TVs and movies are meant to be watched- when you want, no discs to scratch, no mindless channel surfing, no/few commercials, no schedule to keep, with a picture that far outstrips everything but DVD. Roku is the future.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Less than 5 Minutes to Set up - LOVE the Simple Remote, October 6, 2010
    Picked up the Roku XD to validate its use with Netflix streaming. The box showed up and it took less than 5 minutes to get running. The unit powered up, joined wifi then upgraded code from the net within minutes. After the upgrade I registered the unit in my Netflix account and started streaming. DONE! Now I will purchase two more and turn off satellite service.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Saved money on Cable bill,I LOVE ROKU!, October 12, 2010
    I had a $9 a month Netflix account which my husband and I used to watch movies on our iphones and computers. Plus we would get DVD's included in the mail. Now we just added this ROKU to our large livingroom TV and get instant movies and so much more. I just cancelled Shotime,HBO,and Cinemax. Saved lots of money because of this little box. Movies are easy to find and come on screen instantly with perfect clarity.I can even shop for Amazon items on TV using this box. I highly recommend ROKU!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Lots of choice for content, could be easier to use, nice little streaming media player!, November 18, 2010

    Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
    The Roku is a brilliant little box and once it has been setup it really works well. That said, it's not fun to setup. You have to create a Roku account, which is a combination of going to their site and setting that up, getting a number from the Roku on your TV screen, entering that in to the site and then waiting for it to activate. It's faster than it sounds, perhaps several minutes of work... it's just slightly awkward.

    Once the Roku is working (it usually restarts itself a couple times, which also take a few minutes to finish), you then go to a 'Channel Store' and decide what you want your Roku to do. Each content provider is a different channel. So, Netflix is a channel. Pandora is a channel. Amazon is a channel. Each of these requires setup. It takes time to add your channels, and then some more time to configure them the way you want. Some of this requires that you go to the website and then back to the Roku, too... this part I found to be the least fun.

    Finally, once you have the channels you want... you're ready to actually use the Roku. From there it's cake and video looks and sounds great, streams quickly on my 802.11n wireless network at home. I use an Airport Extreme, and the Roku had no issue finding and using that WiFi signal

    The remote works great, and I love the little piece of fabric they have attached to it. During setup you'll be wishing you didn't have to enter all the info with the remote, but after setup and when browsing content it works just fine.

    The interface itself is a bit dated, but completely functional and gets most channel surfing done easily.

    The biggest downfall for the Roku was that I bought a new AppleTV at the same time. Reviewing them next to each other, the Apple TV was much easier to use, the HD video was clearer and began playing a bit faster than the Roku unit, the remote is made out of solid Aluminum and feels amazingly good in the hand, and the interface is easier to navigate. All that said, the Roku has more choices like Amazon and Pandora that you just can't get on the AppleTV. CHOICE IS GOOD! As a result, for me, it's not one or the other. I use them both almost daily and I highly recommend the Roku - it's a great little machine for getting movies/tv/music to your big screen. Read more

    19. Apple iPod classic 160 GB Black (7th Generation) NEWEST MODEL
    Electronics
    list price: $245.00 -- our price: $228.54
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B001F7AHOG
    Manufacturer: Apple Computer
    Sales Rank: 16
    Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Amazon.com Product Description

    The new iPod classic comes with 160GB of storage in the same compact size, making it the take-everything-everywhere iPod. It's available in quintessential silver or striking black. iPod classic also has plenty of battery life (up to 36 hours of audio playback or 6 hours of video playback), good looks (a sleek, anodized aluminum design), and other great features (Cover Flow and Genius playlists for creating perfect playlists). You can even rent a movie from iTunes and watch it on the go.

    iPod classic is the take-everything-everywhere iPod. Click to enlarge.

    Your Top 40,000

    Meet a Musical Genius
    Say you're listening to a song you really like and want to hear other tracks that go great with it. With a few clicks, the Genius feature finds the songs in your library that go great together and makes a Genius playlist for you. You can listen to the playlist right away, save it for later, or even refresh it and give it another go. Count on Genius to create a mix you wouldn't have thought of yourself.

    Hold Everything
    iPod classic gives you 160GB of storage capacity, good for up to 40,000 songs, 200 hours of video, 25,000 photos, or any combination. And you get up to 36 hours of battery life, so you can keep on rocking for a long, long time.

    With 160GB of space, iPod classic means you can always have your entire music and movie library with you. Carry it from the living room to a party in the backyard. Or take it on a cross-country road trip and never listen to the same song twice.

    Click to Enjoy
    Finding exactly what you want to watch or listen to is easy. Use the Click Wheel to browse by album art with Cover Flow or navigate your songs and videos by playlist, artist, album, genre, and more. You can also search for specific titles and artists. Want to mix things up? Click Shuffle Songs for a different experience every time.

    Watch Movies and TV Shows
    The vivid 2.5-inch display makes video come alive. Purchase or rent movies, buy TV shows, and download video podcasts from the iTunes Store, then sync them to your iPod classic to watch anywhere, anytime.

    Available in quintessential silver or striking black. Click to enlarge.

    Play iPod Games
    Put hours of fun at your fingertips. iPod classic comes with three games--Vortex, iQuiz, and Klondike--and you can purchase games such as Cake Mania from the iTunes Store. All iPod games are designed specifically for the iPod interface.

    Share Your Photos
    iPod classic uses iTunes to sync the photos you have in iPhoto on a Mac. You can view photo slideshows complete with music and transitions on iPod classic, or play them on a TV using an optional Apple component or composite AV cable.

    Reduced Environmental Impact
    iPod classic embodies Apple's continuing environmental progress. It is designed with the following features to reduce environmental impact:

    • Arsenic-free display glass
    • BFR-free
    • Mercury-free LED-backlit display
    • PVC-free
    • Highly recyclable aluminum and stainless steel enclosure

    What's in the Box
    Apple iPod classic 160 GB Black (7th Generation), Earphones, USB 2.0 cable, Dock adapter, Quick Start guide

    1 ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars My favorite iPod to date. (A.K.A. The iPod Apple should've released in 2007.), September 16, 2009
    NOTICE: This review is for the NEW 2009 160GB iPod Classic, NOT the 2007 160GB iPod Classic!

    The new 160GB iPod Classic is easily Apple Inc.'s best iPod to date, and out of all of the iPods that I own, this is my favorite.

    First, the capacity of this iPod is simply unbeatable. I've yet to see another portable media player that can match the iPod Classic in capacity. I have a huge music library, and it's nice to be able to carry every song that I own on my person at all times. What's more, thanks to the iPod Classic's capacity, I also have room to carry a few videos with me, and some of my photos. If you don't like having to pick which songs to load onto your portable media player, the iPod Classic is the way to go.

    The second thing that I love about this iPod can be summed up in two words: it works. The 160GB iPod Classic that was introduced in 2007 was extremely buggy, had a non-responsive Clickwheel on many units, crashed frequently, and required a hit-and-miss firmware update to stop the hard drive from spinning even when the device was "off," which often lead to dead batteries. All of these problems left the 2007 160GB iPod Classic warming shelves and earning it the infamous "honor" of being the "worst selling iPod ever," according to Apple. I'm pleased to say that the new 160GB iPod Classic released earlier this month has virtually none of these problems. There's no "spinning hard drive bug," the Clickwheel is incredibly responsive, and the device isn't crash-prone. While it's true that many of these issues were fixed with last year's iPod Classic, there hasn't been a truly functional 160GB model until now. To put it bluntly, this is the iPod that Apple should've released in 2007.

    Another thing that I really like about this iPod, and the iPod Classic in general, is it's ability to double as an external hard drive. While I believe that the iPod Nano is also capable of this, the only iPod that really has enough space to function as an external hard drive is the iPod Classic. The hard drive functionality admittedly reduces the number of devices I have to carry on me at any given time. If you regularly work with large files and are considering a new iPod, the iPod Classic is the way to go, plain and simple.

    So what are the caveats? Well for starters, as with every other iPod Classic, this is a hard-drive (rather than flash-memory) based device. As a result, it has moving parts which make it unsuitable for running or any physical activity that exerts mechanical shock onto the iPod. Unless you exercise constantly with your iPod though, this really shouldn't be an issue. The only other caveat, which is more of personal taste than an actual flaw, that I can find, is that Apple has not made any cosmetic changes to this device since they introduced it in 2007. Now don't get me wrong, the point of an iPod "Classic," is to retain the "Classic" design, but after seeing how much better a black Clickwheel looks on the silver iPod Nano, I'd have thought that Apple would have given the silver iPod Classic a black Clickwheel as well. However, I admit that this is entirely my personal preference and not a "flaw" per se. I've put a quick list of pros and cons together, which can be seen below:


    Pros: Largest iPod Capacity-wise, long battery life, "Genius" feature, excellent value for your money, well-built, doubles as an external hard drive, and improvements to Cover Flow.

    Cons: Hard Drive (rather than Flash memory) based storage medium; device is cosmetically identical to the 2007 80GB model. (I still don't understand why Apple hasn't colored the Clickwheel black on the silver model to match the iPod Nano.)

    Finally, I would highly recommend this product, which is why it gets five stars from me. I don't like the iPod Nano; it's too small for my hands, and the screen is too small for my eyes. While the iPod Touch may have app store access and Wi-Fi, I find it to be a really gimmicky device, that makes for a poor portable media player, (Apple was wise to position it as a handheld game system,) and is really an "iPhone without a phone." In contrast, the iPod Classic is an excellent portable media player, it has an excellent interface, and it only costs $249 dollars. To put things in perspective, the 2009 160GB iPod Classic costs $70 dollars more than a 16GB iPod Nano, and $150 dollars less than a 64GB iPod Touch. All in all, I highly recommend this product.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great iPod, great upgrade, but you might not want to throw away you 5th Gen Ipod yet..., November 9, 2009
    I am quite new to the portable mp3 world, although I have about 250 gb of music on my computer. The only mp3 player I own is a 1 gb Samsung Pebble, which I use at the gym. This was the only mp3 player I thought I needed since both of the stereos in my vehicles have mp3 disc players. But then I started thinking...since my new Camry has an auxilary jack to hook up an mp3 device, wouldn't it be great to have one and get rid of those giant cd wallets?! The first task was to get permission from my wife to spend 250 bucks. After a little hesitation, she agreed. And then it was on to the research. Since I have such a large collection of music, the capacity of the device was number one on my list (as well as positive reviews & quality). I was pleasantly surprised to see that Apple had reissued the Classic in 160 gb form instead of the 120 gb. So after much personal debate between the Zune and the new 160 gb iPod Classic, the iPod won out.

    Although the iPod is a fantastic little device with a large capacity, the software is not without its troubles. I downloaded the most current version of iTunes (verison 9) and immediately began importing my mp3 files from my hard drive. This process can take some time, but not much longer than any other media player. I was so excited to finally have the majority of my music all on one device; and have the cover art as well (I just think that is awesome)! After loading a large chunk of my files into iTunes, I noticed that only a handful of the albums had the cover art. I attempted using the "get cover art" function, but it didn't work. My only option was to track down the cover art online, right click, save, and then add the picture to the album file in iTunes. I know that it's not such a huge deal, but when you're dealing with A LOT of music, it can become quite a pain & time consuming. I later learned that the files have to be spelled exactly like they are in iTunes. And if they didn't come from iTunes in the first place, 9 times out of 10, the album art won't come up anyway. I would like to see a function that gets the cover art from other online sources, not just iTunes; and without a strict spelling criteria. There's no reason that the way I name my "The" bands should restrict the retrieval of cover art. An example being "Animals, The" instead of "The Animals."

    So other than the minor annoyance with the cover art, the player itself is fantastic. I found the interface very user-friendly and intuitive, without much of a learning curve. Again, I am new to the world of iPod, but I can honestly say that I am very pleased. I wanted to write a review for people that have a large digital music collection that came mostly from ripping cd's to their computers. I am one of the people who still enjoy listening to an entire album, and is not satisfied by just downloading the single, so I still buy physical cd's & collect vinyl. I would definitely recommend the 160 gb iPod to any music fan with a large collection. Just remember to be patient when getting the artwork for all of those older albums. If you don't have a collection full of Taylor Swift, the Jonas Brothers, or Beyonce, iTunes just may not recognize your music!

    2-0 out of 5 stars Disappointing quality/sound, October 15, 2009
    I love the iPod but this has been a huge disappointment. The hard drive is really noisy when it changes songs, and it did not remember where it was paused in a couple of audiobooks. I assumed this was a defective one and got a new one. Amazon customer service is impeccable!
    The second iPod has a less noisy hard drive, but it reset itself for no reason in the middle of a song and then when I tried to re-sync it would not connect to iTunes. Once it finally connected, iTunes says that there is no music on the iPod and that it cannot be synched/recognized. This was after 1 day of use where it was not dropped or mistreated and never left the house. My 5th generation iPod, 3rd generation and shuffle synchronized just fine, so it's not iTunes or my Mac.

    Also, I would say the music quality is not as good as the 5th generation with video. It lacks depth on the new Classic. The size of the device and the hard drive capacity is fantastic and I really like the ability to use the genius function. I even like the slightly odd split screen. I will probably try again with another one, but this is really disappointing. My first bad experience with many years of Apple products.

    5-0 out of 5 stars My favorite iPod to date. (A.K.A. The iPod Apple should've released in 2007.), September 16, 2009
    NOTICE: This review is for the NEW 2009 160GB iPod Classic, NOT the 2007 160GB iPod Classic!

    The new 160GB iPod Classic is easily Apple Inc.'s best iPod to date, and out of all of the iPods that I own, this is my favorite.

    First, the capacity of this iPod is simply unbeatable. I've yet to see another portable media player that can match the iPod Classic in capacity. I have a huge music library, and it's nice to be able to carry every song that I own on my person at all times. What's more, thanks to the iPod Classic's capacity, I also have room to carry a few videos with me, and some of my photos. If you don't like having to pick which songs to load onto your portable media player, the iPod Classic is the way to go.

    The second thing that I love about this iPod can be summed up in two words: it works. The 160GB iPod Classic that was introduced in 2007 was extremely buggy, had a non-responsive Clickwheel on many units, crashed frequently, and required a hit-and-miss firmware update to stop the hard drive from spinning even when the device was "off," which often lead to dead batteries. All of these problems left the 2007 160GB iPod Classic warming shelves and earning it the infamous "honor" of being the "worst selling iPod ever," according to Apple. I'm pleased to say that the new 160GB iPod Classic released earlier this month has virtually none of these problems. There's no "spinning hard drive bug," the Clickwheel is incredibly responsive, and the device isn't crash-prone. While it's true that many of these issues were fixed with last year's iPod Classic, there hasn't been a truly functional 160GB model until now. To put it bluntly, this is the iPod that Apple should've released in 2007.

    Another thing that I really like about this iPod, and the iPod Classic in general, is it's ability to double as an external hard drive. While I believe that the iPod Nano is also capable of this, the only iPod that really has enough space to function as an external hard drive is the iPod Classic. The hard drive functionality admittedly reduces the number of devices I have to carry on me at any given time. If you regularly work with large files and are considering a new iPod, the iPod Classic is the way to go, plain and simple.

    So what are the caveats? Well for starters, as with every other iPod Classic, this is a hard-drive (rather than flash-memory) based device. As a result, it has moving parts which make it unsuitable for running or any physical activity that exerts mechanical shock onto the iPod. Unless you exercise constantly with your iPod though, this really shouldn't be an issue. The only other caveat, which is more of personal taste than an actual flaw, that I can find, is that Apple has not made any cosmetic changes to this device since they introduced it in 2007. Now don't get me wrong, the point of an iPod "Classic," is to retain the "Classic" design, but after seeing how much better a black Clickwheel looks on the silver iPod Nano, I'd have thought that Apple would have given the silver iPod Classic a black Clickwheel as well. However, I admit that this is entirely my personal preference and not a "flaw" per se. I've put a quick list of pros and cons together, which can be seen below:


    Pros: Largest iPod Capacity-wise, long battery life, "Genius" feature, excellent value for your money, well-built, doubles as an external hard drive, and improvements to Cover Flow.

    Cons: Hard Drive (rather than Flash memory) based storage medium; device is cosmetically identical to the 2007 80GB model. (I still don't understand why Apple hasn't colored the Clickwheel black on the silver model to match the iPod Nano.)

    Finally, I would highly recommend this product, which is why it gets five stars from me. I don't like the iPod Nano; it's too small for my hands, and the screen is too small for my eyes. While the iPod Touch may have app store access and Wi-Fi, I find it to be a really gimmicky device, that makes for a poor portable media player, (Apple was wise to position it as a handheld game system,) and is really an "iPhone without a phone." In contrast, the iPod Classic is an excellent portable media player, it has an excellent interface, and it only costs $249 dollars. To put things in perspective, the 2009 160GB iPod Classic costs $70 dollars more than a 16GB iPod Nano, and $150 dollars less than a 64GB iPod Touch. All in all, I highly recommend this product.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great iPod, great upgrade, but you might not want to throw away you 5th Gen Ipod yet..., November 9, 2009
    This is the second iPod I own. The first one was a 30 Mb 5th Generation Ipod Video.


    First, the plus.

    There are many improvements in the 7th generation comparing it to the 5th, although I think most of them were introduced with the 6th Gen. The whole Cover Flow/Genius capabilities are definetly an improvement to the previous software. The games are a nice bonus. I've only had it for three days, but I can already see that I like the new interface a lot more.

    And the disk space, I mean, WOW! The ipod is basically the same size as my 30 Gb one, but it's capacity is over 5 times bigger. I am an avid music fan, have tons of music, and my musical taste ranges from ambient to heavy metal, but I think it's going to be a long time before I fill this one up. I think this is the best feature of this iPod, and by itself, the reason you should buy it.

    There are also video capabilities, which have always been a plus, and some other stuff, but I didn't see a major difference from the previous versions.


    But then, why did I give it 4 stars? I wanted 4.5 stars, but Amazon doesn't let me do that.

    Here are the cons.

    First, as previous reviewers have stated, the sound quality seems to have downgraded from the 5th Gen iPod. The sound lacks depth, the songs sound more flat. I don't mean to say that the sound is bad, because it still has a very good sound, and I've tested it with headphones, computer speakers and my car stereo. I'm just saying that the 5th Generation iPod sounds better, and the difference is quite noticeable.

    The other thing, which might be just my iPod, because I didn't see other reviewers mentioning it, is that the click wheel seems to be less sensitive/responsive than the 5th Generation one. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it is annoying sometimes that you try so select a song or an option on the menu and the wheel doesn't respond right away.

    There's also the fact that using Cover Flow seems to make the iPod proccess slower, but then again, loading the covers of literally thousands of records is not a quick task, and you can always not use Cover Flow, so I won't hold this against the iPod.


    To sum it all up. If you have a lot of music and want to carry it all with you; if 30, 60, 80 or 120 Gb is just not enough; if this is your first iPod purchase, or if you just really, really like the new interface and games (I know I did), then I highly reccomend it, and you won't be dissapointed. To me this is definetly the best music player on the market. You will need to sit down and learn how to use iTunes, but when you do, you're just going to love this little gadget.

    However, if you have a 5th generation iPod that's working just fine, and you prefer sound quality to disk space, you might not want to buy this one. Just try to be more more picky with the songs you put on it, I guess.

    5-0 out of 5 stars New To iPod - A Review for People with Large mp3 Collections, September 15, 2009
    I am quite new to the portable mp3 world, although I have about 250 gb of music on my computer. The only mp3 player I own is a 1 gb Samsung Pebble, which I use at the gym. This was the only mp3 player I thought I needed since both of the stereos in my vehicles have mp3 disc players. But then I started thinking...since my new Camry has an auxilary jack to hook up an mp3 device, wouldn't it be great to have one and get rid of those giant cd wallets?! The first task was to get permission from my wife to spend 250 bucks. After a little hesitation, she agreed. And then it was on to the research. Since I have such a large collection of music, the capacity of the device was number one on my list (as well as positive reviews & quality). I was pleasantly surprised to see that Apple had reissued the Classic in 160 gb form instead of the 120 gb. So after much personal debate between the Zune and the new 160 gb iPod Classic, the iPod won out.

    Although the iPod is a fantastic little device with a large capacity, the software is not without its troubles. I downloaded the most current version of iTunes (verison 9) and immediately began importing my mp3 files from my hard drive. This process can take some time, but not much longer than any other media player. I was so excited to finally have the majority of my music all on one device; and have the cover art as well (I just think that is awesome)! After loading a large chunk of my files into iTunes, I noticed that only a handful of the albums had the cover art. I attempted using the "get cover art" function, but it didn't work. My only option was to track down the cover art online, right click, save, and then add the picture to the album file in iTunes. I know that it's not such a huge deal, but when you're dealing with A LOT of music, it can become quite a pain & time consuming. I later learned that the files have to be spelled exactly like they are in iTunes. And if they didn't come from iTunes in the first place, 9 times out of 10, the album art won't come up anyway. I would like to see a function that gets the cover art from other online sources, not just iTunes; and without a strict spelling criteria. There's no reason that the way I name my "The" bands should restrict the retrieval of cover art. An example being "Animals, The" instead of "The Animals."

    So other than the minor annoyance with the cover art, the player itself is fantastic. I found the interface very user-friendly and intuitive, without much of a learning curve. Again, I am new to the world of iPod, but I can honestly say that I am very pleased. I wanted to write a review for people that have a large digital music collection that came mostly from ripping cd's to their computers. I am one of the people who still enjoy listening to an entire album, and is not satisfied by just downloading the single, so I still buy physical cd's & collect vinyl. I would definitely recommend the 160 gb iPod to any music fan with a large collection. Just remember to be patient when getting the artwork for all of those older albums. If you don't have a collection full of Taylor Swift, the Jonas Brothers, or Beyonce, iTunes just may not recognize your music!

    2-0 out of 5 stars Disappointing quality/sound, October 15, 2009
    I love the iPod but this has been a huge disappointment. The hard drive is really noisy when it changes songs, and it did not remember where it was paused in a couple of audiobooks. I assumed this was a defective one and got a new one. Amazon customer service is impeccable!
    The second iPod has a less noisy hard drive, but it reset itself for no reason in the middle of a song and then when I tried to re-sync it would not connect to iTunes. Once it finally connected, iTunes says that there is no music on the iPod and that it cannot be synched/recognized. This was after 1 day of use where it was not dropped or mistreated and never left the house. My 5th generation iPod, 3rd generation and shuffle synchronized just fine, so it's not iTunes or my Mac.

    Also, I would say the music quality is not as good as the 5th generation with video. It lacks depth on the new Classic. The size of the device and the hard drive capacity is fantastic and I really like the ability to use the genius function. I even like the slightly odd split screen. I will probably try again with another one, but this is really disappointing. My first bad experience with many years of Apple products.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Almost everything I want, October 8, 2009
    I'll admit it, I've been avoiding buying an MP3 player for years. I have a 6-CD changer in the car, and I used to not drive more than 1/2 per day, so that was perfectly adequate. But, now with an auto commute of over 3.5 hours per day, I quickly realized that I needed more than 6 albums to keep me from going insane. With a music collection of several thousand albums, I wanted something with significant capacity. Having tried unsuccessfully in the past to use the MP3 player on my 3G phone with Microsoft Mobile OS, I wanted something with an easy and intuitive user interface that would actually work(!!!!). The iPod Classic with 160 GB meets these criteria handsomely.

    Already a long-term user of iTunes on my PC, loading my collection on my new iPod was easy and relatively quick. With a separately purchased connection cord, I was able to quickly and successfully (hint, hint, Microsoft) hook my new iPod up to my car's stereo, where the sound was crisp, clear, and compelling. Even after a LONG drive, remaining battery life was barely dented, and the simple touch wheel user interface meant that I could switch play lists with a minimum amount of fiddling and distraction (at stoplights).

    Admittedly, I'm not a high-end user. I don't care about cameras (video or still), I don't care about watching movies (although I might start now), and I don't care about sexy graphics. But I do care about large storage capacity, ease of use, and excellent sound quality, and the new iPod Classic has all of these in spades at a relatively reasonable price. The only thing that would make this better would be even more capacity, but realistically 160 GB is plenty for the foreseeable future.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Mixed feelings on an otherwise great device, November 5, 2009
    I have mixed feelings about the new iPod Classic. As with all iPods, it's an elegant, easy to use device that does exactly what it sets out to do. The interface is intuitive, the device is attractive, and the ergonomic design remains the best on the market.

    So why do I have mixed feelings? Some changes to the interface and general workings make no sense to me. The split-screen menu, for instance, is a pointless bells&whistles addition that only serves to clutter up menus that were once streamlined. Also, when the unit goes idle the screen displays the clock instead of the artist & song playing -- not very handy when you're shuffling a library of new tunes. And finally, I'm not sure if it's the new version of iTunes or the unit itself, but half my album covers don't want to display anymore. The first two gripes (and make no mistake, they're only minor gripes, not deal-breakers) could EASILY be rectified with an option to adjust the settings ... but Apple thought better of giving the user more options.

    HOWEVER!

    The unit itself remains an iPod through and through. It's my fourth, so needless to say I like the product. This one is slimmer than the 60GB I just got rid of, nice and light so it's not a burden in your pocket, and feels much sturdier than my nano. The new Classic has a pretty loud hard drive that may concern a new user, but in reading up on the unit that appears normal. Feels like a well-made product.

    The capacity is, of course, to die for. The 160GB this offers will be more than enough for most users, and for power users like me it's the best option available to us as far as capacity goes. It also doubles as a USB hard drive, so you can use it for data storage, too. Nice. The video playback looks great, a larger screen is a great way to store and show photos, and it even has support for a selection of decent little video games.

    Maybe best of all is the "Genius" feature. Like Pandora radio and other such services, you play a song and it will queue up other songs from your collection that fit in with the sound/genre/whatever. Really great feature when you have 160GB of music to play with.

    So misgivings aside, I really enjoy the iPod Classic. Best capacity on the market coupled with that elegant iPod interface makes this a winner.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Room to grow, September 14, 2009
    I got this new 160GB because my old 80GB had been full for a while. I wanted a 160GB so bad that a few months ago I almost broke down and got the discontinued 160GB from '07 at $500. glad I waited for Apple to release the 160GB again. I like everything about the Classic. the cover flow is really nice, not just working with album covers but photos and movies too. I love how it also shows the number of songs in library or playlist just by highlighting and not selecting. It's crazy that this is twice the hard drive space but is like 1/3 less in actual size. Guess I'll hold on to this till they come out with a 320GB

    3-0 out of 5 stars Indispensable but flawed, July 23, 2010
    I started three years ago with an ipod Classic 80gb and was overwhelmed with the ease of use and the sound quality. I planned to convert my entire music library to it ... and relatively soon had to upgrade to the 120gb, which did not match the sound quality of the 80gb but was more than acceptable. All along the way I have converted my CDs and downloaded masses of music from iTunes, Amazon and Classicsonline. For important sets (e.g, the complete Haydn symphonies), I bought the CDs as backups. Then the fated day came ... I was again out of space and needed to upgrade.

    I bought the 160gb fully aware of the reviews that stated the sound quality was problematic. Indeed, it does not have the richness of sound that the 80gb had, and the upper registers give treble new meaning. But with 120gb+ of music already, what else can I do?

    It is not bad sound; it's just not as good as before. Apple again is giving us what they want to, catering to the lowest common denominator, and not what people who value sonorities need.

    So, I shall exist with the 160gb, but after paying hundreds already I will not download any new items from iTunes, but will either buy CDs and convert them or download from the services which will allow me some time in the future to use those downloads on an MP3 player with as much space.

    A shame. Yet another once-superior product brought down by technological arrogance.

    5-0 out of 5 stars One Problem to watch out for, October 22, 2009
    I connected a Belkin Tune Talk microphone to my new ipod and spent a few hours recording at an annual event. Came home, hooked the ipod up to my Mac and my Mac immediately said it would initialize the ipod to make it work with the Mac. Of course it erased the hours of recording I had on the ipod. So, when you buy a new ipod, hook it up to your computer before you use it or you'll lose your data.

    4-0 out of 5 stars great product, as long as you don't use itunes to sync, November 4, 2009
    After using this new ipod for a few days I have noticed that some of the problems of the 6th gen ipod have been resolved, for example, the click wheel reacts a lot quicker and, so far, there aren't problems like skipping songs, however, IMO besides the new, thinner design, not much of an evolution has happened, they haven't put an option to sort the albums according to the year, and they still show you the time in big numbers and battery state instead of the song name when the screen is turned off, which is extremely dumb, since every time I want to see the name of the song I have to click so it turns on again, epic , huge FAIL apple people.

    As said on my title, if you want to make the most out of this device, don't use itunes, seriously, it's like allowing a virus in your PC, a very slow, stupid program that freezes all the time and doesn't allow you much configuration, I hate it and am glad that I have uninstalled it forever.

    I have a 147 GB music collection and have been using winamp + ml_ipod plugin with amazing results, synced all my files in just 4 hours, the plugin is completely customizable, allowing you to simply take folder.jpg or the embedded images on the mp3s to manage artwork, thus not creating the moronic itunes folder to manage artwork which is a waste of space in your PC and will make it extremely slow, also, the program won't put random cover art on your files(with itunes you may expect to see a shakira cover on a metallica song, eww!) and will let you have control of it. If you are extremely organized with tags and artwork like I am, this plugin will be your favourite program
    The plugin also comes with an option to sort albums by year and show additional information on the files you are playing.

    Apple keeps on repeating the same fails but there are alternatives if you want to like this product, winamp+ml_ipod+ipod classic is a great combination and I'm loving it.


    PS. Pardon my english.
    Read more


    20. Kindle Lighted Leather Cover, Hot Pink (Fits 6" Display, Latest Generation Kindle)
    Accessory
    -- our price: $59.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B003DZ168E
    Manufacturer: Amazon Digital Services, Inc
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Amazon.comAmazon's Kindle Lighted Leather Cover

    Our new design seamlessly incorporates a reading light into the cover, so you can carry your Kindle wherever you go and always have a reading light with you. Simply pull the light out to illuminate Kindle when you need it, and slide it away to be invisible when you don't. And since the light draws its power from Kindle, no batteries are needed.

    The contoured, pebble-grain leather (available in 7 different colors) keeps your Kindle safe and secure, while the soft charcoal microfiber interior protects the screen from scratches. The cover is designed to fold back, so you can read comfortably with just one hand.


    The built-in, retractable LED light pulls out to illuminate Kindle, and slides away when not in use.


    Never Be Without a Light

    Our all-new Kindle cover features an integrated, retractable LED reading light that lets you read comfortably anytime, anywhere. The high-quality LED light illuminates Kindle's paper-like display, adding brightness without adding glare.

    A permanent part of the cover, the reading light is located in the top right-hand corner of the back cover. When needed, simply pull the light out and it automatically illuminates, eliminating the need for a separate power switch. To turn the light off, slide it back in to the corner of the cover.

    Since the light is powered by Kindle's battery, no batteries are needed.

     

    How It Works

    In addition to securing Kindle in place, our new hinge system conducts electricity from Kindle's battery to the reading light - when Kindle is attached to the hinge, an electrical connection is formed that powers the light.

    The cover's hinge points are gold-plated, to ensure a reliable electrical connection. Gold is used because of its ability to make good electrical contact even with low force, and for its corrosion resistance.


    Secure Your Kindle in Four Easy Steps


    Read Comfortably with One Hand


    Reading with the cover on, you can easily access Kindle's navigation features and power switch, while the rounded edges offer a perfect fit in your hands. The cover is designed to fold back, so you can read comfortably with just one hand. And the retractable reading light is easily accessible with the cover open or folded back.


    On the Go

    This compact cover is perfect for taking Kindle wherever you go. The sleek leather ensures the ultimate fit and protection, without adding bulk or weight. Our patent-pending hinge system secures Kindle in place, and an elastic strap keeps the cover firmly closed for maximum screen protection. Simply attach Kindle to the hinge, apply the strap, and rest assured it will stay securely in place even when you're on the go.

    You'll never be without a reading light, and since the light draws its power from Kindle, no batteries are needed.



    Amazon’s official Kindle lighted cover features contoured, pebble-grain leather available in 7 different colors.

     

     

    Read Kindle easily in the dark with Amazon's revolutionary, all-new lighted leather cover.



    The hinge points are gold-plated to ensure a reliable electrical connection. No batteries required.


    Read easily with one hand, with or without the light on.


    Protect your Kindle on the go, and never be without a reading light

     

    ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars Good Quality K3 Cover with Handy Light
    I bought the burnt orange color cover so I can spot my Kindle where ever I leave it easily--and hopefully not misplace it! The cover is good quality leather, and even with the cover on, I can slip the K3 into my small purse without squeezing it in--something I could not do with my coverless Kindle 2.

    I think for an easy purchase without having to buy a separate book light, the Kindle 3 lighted cover is a good choice. The light worked _great_ reading in bed last night. I could see all of the lighted screen just fine with the upper right corner a bit brighter. See the pics I loaded to customer images for the lighted cover to see the light in action in a dark room, and what the cover looks light from the back.

    Pluses: Built in light that slips securely out of the way, no batteries to replace, better clips/fit than past covers that connect to Kindle, adequate to light the entire screen, no looking for a booklight, no clipping a booklight to my Kindle and scratching or damaging it, the book light LEDs point down towards the screen, so no bright lights in your eyes.

    Minuses: The cover's weight doubles the weight of the Kindle 3 in your hand, the book light stays in one corner and doesn't move around the Kindle, uses more Kindle battery life (it's powered by the Kindle 3 -- and I noticed a definite drain on the battery from using the light)

    UPDATE: I used the Kindle light for a couple days now, and the battery life goes down noticeably as you use the light (esp. if you keep the wireless "On"). Last night I read with the light for about 2 hours after a full charge and today the battery looks down about 15%. At that rate of use (with no wireless constantly "On" and regular reading in the daylight), I estimate the battery will need charging after approx. 1 week.

    If the overall cover+Kindle weight is an issue for you--more than protecting your Kindle and the handy light--then this cover is not for you.

    Kindle Lighted Leather Cover alone = 233 grams or 8.2 oz

    Kindle Lighted Leather Cover + Kindle 3 = 447 grams or 15.75 oz. (almost 1 lb.)

    Thickness: Kindle cover + Kindle 3 = 3/4 inch

    Cover Measurements (with Kindle inside):

    Front: 7 3/4" x 5 1/8" (closer to 3/16")
    Back: SAME as front
    Spine: 7/8"
    Open side (to the right) with Kindle inside: 3/4"

    I have to say I'm getting used to the weight with the cover as I use it. The piece of mind of extra Kindle protection, plus a handy light whenever you need it, is worth the trade off for me. '

    November 20th UPDATE:

    **Still love the cover** and having the light handy without having to think about needing a light _is better than ever_. One thing however, is that the hooks to connect the cover are not sturdy enough, IMO, to take the cover on and off often. The Kindle "wiggles" a bit on the connectors, and be careful not to pull the Kindle forward or up off the back of the cover to avoid bending or breaking the metal connectors. Despite this, I am very happy with this cover after using it almost 3 months now.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Lighted Leather Case - Two Important Concerns
    I've noticed that like myself customers have been concerned primarily with two things regarding the new lighted case from amazon. These are: 1)The weight and 2) The uneven lighting. My review will briefly discuss these two things.

    1)The Weight - The lighted leather case is a nice weight, sturdy and comfortable to hold. In ounces it is about the weight of the kindle itself however don't let that concern you. With the case on it feels like a medium sized paperback, however it is far much more comfortable to hold. It's easy to hold the case open like a book (nice for couch and table type reading) or to fold the front back and close it with the bungee so that the bungee doesn't hang around (this is good for bedtime reading).Closing the front back with bungee keeps the case folded in position and you don't have to worry about it bothering you. BTW THIS CASE FOLDS BACK 100% - Very comfortable. In sum very comfortable to read with the case and very sturdy.

    2) The uneven lighting - Amazon's pictures don't do this case justice. The light hits the ENTIRE screen. Yes if you look closely it's brighter in the top right corner then in the bottom left but Amazon's pics make it look the top is lighted while the bottom is dark. There is good light all over the screen. Trust me I'm fussy about these things - the lighting will not bother you, your entire screen will be lighted and it is extremely pleasant to read in the dark.

    *Final Thoughts - Great case, good quality, works well, kindle feels very secure and protected (I would feel comfortable slipping this case into my backpack or suitcase and I think it would sustain some mild impact). Lastly hinges are a non-issue, casing of the kindle will not get damaged with normal or even slightly aggressive use. You could damage the kindle by trying to pull the back of the case but you'd have to really force it to cause any sort of damage to your kindle. The hinges work fine and should not be a concern to any case user.

    Update 1st December 2010:

    Have now been using the case for 3 months. Leather still looks impeccable. Some people expressed concern that the bungee cord might loosen with use. I have not experienced any loosening so far. Quality of the product has proven outstanding. I've occasionally spilled or messed the cover, just a wipe with a damp cloth has cleaned it up, and the case looks like new. Have to admit I enjoy the feel of the case in my hand, there's just something great about taking your kindle to a coffee shop in this case, it just looks and feels so classy. Also with regard to the hinges: I have had no scratches on my kindle or any other issues, so I remain convinced that the hinges are a non issue.

    5-0 out of 5 stars My Favorite Kindle Case Yet
    I read in bed every single night, so having my Kindle be able to read in the dark is very important to me. With my Kindle 2 I used a mighty bright light, and with my Kindle 3 I've been using this Lighted Leather cover - and I love it!

    Check out my video review for a size comparison of this case against my Kindle 2 and also an actual hardcover and softcover book, and then a lights out comparison of the Mighty Bright vs Lighted Leather cover.

    Sorry for the shaky camera, it's the best I could do with one hand!

    If you're interested in seeing a video review of the Kindle 3 itself, check out the one I did one here:

    http://www.amazon.com/review/R21YU59NMOGKUR

    3-0 out of 5 stars For those that REALLY care, it's not worth the money.
    I've been an avid Kindle user since Kindle 1, and I take my lights VERY seriously.

    The problem is that the new Kindle 3 cover+light does not evenly light the screen. This results in a very bright top right corner, including the top right of the frame of the Kindle 3. And while the light doesn't glare off the screen, it does glare off my graphite Kindle 3's top right corner, making for constant distraction while reading. The light then gets fainter and fainter in a diagonal line from the top right to bottom left. It's not very fun, unfortunately.

    Now, for convenience, this new cover is fantastic. I have the non-lighted one and the one with the light, and the weight difference isn't very much, and the bulk difference is truly negligible, so kudos to Amazon for this.

    That said, I simply cannot recommend this cover unless you don't mind an incredibly uneven light. I will stick to my Mighty Bright. Yes, it's an addition to the Kindle, but I know that when I sit down to read, I want the pages to "disappear" as I become immersed in my reading. It's very hard for them to do so when the light is so incredibly awkward and uneven, constantly distracting. I'm happy to spend a few extra seconds clipping my light to the back of my Kindle so I can spend hours enjoying my book. That simply wasn't possible with the Kindle Lighted Leather Cover.

    3 stars out of 5.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Compact and well made
    For a folio type case, this looks and feels great and works very well. It does add significantly to the weight but that seems a predictable consequence of using leather, making it stiff enough to offer real protection, and building in a light.

    Attaching Kindle is very simple using the directions on the product page. Make sure you heed the warning to work at it until ALL the gold is covered, which tells you Kindle is securely attached. Removing is quite simple: Slide down the top hook and rotate Kindle right off. I'm using a fingertip to do it rather than a fingernail. It's quick and easy enough to attach and detach Kindle that I won't have any difficulty switching to "naked" reading at will.

    The cord seems to me strong enough for its purpose, but only time will tell. When the cover is closed, the cord is buried in a "channel" in the front cover so should not normally be subjected to much stress and strain. I did remove the little "flag" attached to the cord. Even without using fingernails, it's easy to open the cord up. Others have posted about the cord being in the way during reading, especially when holding Kindle and case in "open book" form. I put the cord between Kindle and the back cover, solving the issue to my own satisfaction. YMMV.

    I don't think I'll use the "book style" reading position much. I'll "break the spine" as I did with my K2's case and read with the front cover folded flat against the back. It feels good like that, but when I have good light and will be reading a while I expect I'll do as I did with my K2: Remove Kindle from the case and read "naked." Still, even brand new, the leather folds flat easily and it's comfortable to hold and read.

    The light seems to me to be well placed. I don't get any glare in any of my normal reading positions, so don't have a practical issue with its lack of adjustability. One very nice feature, particularly since it's powered by Kindle's battery, is that it turns off when Kindle turns off. So if you fall asleep reading, your light won't just keep running. I find it a bit stiff to pull out, but I expect it will ease in time. Also maybe stiff is good, as you don't want it just lolling out on its own while you've got it stowed away. Still, folks with difficulty applying much force with their fingers could find this an issue.

    I bought this unseen, intending to return it if it didn't work well. It won't be going back. I may in fact buy another case for travel, as by design this folio style case is open on three sides. In some situations I would want more dust and bang protection, but I still give five stars because this is an unavoidable consequence of this style of design.

    5-0 out of 5 stars well worth it
    This is a comparison between mighty bright and the kindle cover light. NOTE: the bottom left of the kindle is the part that receives the less light because it is the farthest away. The light still shines well enough to read the bottom left of the kindle , but the light distribution is not even.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Exceeded my expectations
    I was hesitant to buy this cover mostly due to the pictures in its listing, which seem to show a light that doesn't even extend to the opposite corner. The fact that I have not been impressed with the Amazon's Kindle covers in the past didn't help. I went ahead and purchased it because the cover I wanted isn't available yet and I don't like to take my Kindle out and about without a cover. Now I am glad that I went ahead and bought it.

    PROS:

    1. The light is much better than I thought it would be. Using it in a darkened room I found that the light did the job very well. In a pitch black room, it performs even better. While the screen corner opposite the light is a bit dimmer than other areas, there is no problem reading the page at all.

    2. The light gets its power from the Kindle itself, through the gold-plated hinges which attach it to the cover, so batteries are a thing of the past. When your Kindle goes to sleep, the light will go out as well. It will also turn off when you slide it back into the case.

    3. The cover is slim, well-fitted and very easy to attach and detach using the hinges. The inside has good padding. The leather outer surface has a nice pebbled texture with the exception of a smooth area along the edge of the front. While stiff enough to protect the reader, the cover is slight flexible and the front easily folds behind when reading so you can hold your Kindle with one hand if you like.

    4. A great plus is that the cover has an elastic cord that fits into a groove on the front of it. This holds your cover closed (unlike the original Kindle 2 cover that would flop open in your purse & let things slide into it) and easily distinguishes the front from the back--important as many owners of the Kindle 2 cover accidentally opened it from the back, which could cause cracking along the Kindle's spine.


    CONS:

    I haven't found any, really. The light Is a bit hard (stiff) to pull out of the cover, but then you wouldn't want it to be flopping out when you don't want to use it so that is more of a Pro than a Con.

    The one concern I do have is about pulling the light in and out--I wonder if whatever wiring or conductor that is used to get the power from the hinges to the light will eventually break. But that is something to find out down the road. Right now, the more I use this cover, the more I like it.

    4-0 out of 5 stars From the bungee cord thingy to the pull-out light, a solid choice for the Kindle
    I ordered this cover because it was the only real game in town at the time. To let you know where I come from with this review... I purchased the 2nd generation Kindle back in March of 2009 with the Amazon cover. Didn't like that one, it actually cracked my mother's Kindle that I purchased shortly thereafter (Amazon replaced it, although it was probably from her opening the wrong side, doesn't matter, this isn't about Amazon great customer service). When that happened, we immediately went looking for a new cover and fell in love with the M-Edge Prodigy with light. Unfortunately, M-Edge isn't offering that for the 3rd generation Kindle, they changed it to have a nylon strap instead of leather and aren't utilizing the hinge technology for the light, which I think is genius and a terrible error on their part. I'm telling you this so you know that I ordered this new Amazon Lighted Cover with a WHOLE LOT of trepidation.

    When deciding on the color, I didn't want black (I wanted purple, but Amazon doesn't offer that *boo*hiss*) and the green was backordered slightly, didn't like the other colors so I decided to get the orange. It looked interesting and since I live in Austin, some UT fan would buy it off me if I hated it, I was sure. It came in and it's the perfect burnt orange color. It might be slightly too tan colored, but it's not vibrant orange by any means. A great almost pumpkin pie color actually.

    So... what did I think of the cover itself?

    I slid the Kindle in there and pulled the light out and... nothing happened. I spent a good 3 to 5 minutes pulling the light out and pushing it back in, looking for a switch, something, anything. I finally gave up and turned the Kindle on and... yeah, the light came on. DUH! It works only if the Kindle is on. This is actually GREAT because I fall asleep reading a good deal and the light will go off when the Kindle goes to sleep after 15 minutes or so. I felt stupid, but at least I didn't call customer service and have them giggle in the background and the stupid lady that can't work the cover, eh?

    ANYWAY... the Kindle slides in easily and the light works great. There is no glare at all because the LED lights are directed down the arm of the light so there's no "direct" light hitting the screen, it just flows down. It is brighter in the upper right than in the lower left because of that, but it's more than adequate. The light is NOT adjustable but you shouldn't need to adjust it either. I have found it really is a genius way of handling it.

    The case itself is not too thick. In fact when I first picked up the case, I thought I had the wrong one because it looked too slim to have a light in there, but it's there. It is a little hard to pull the light out, but I guess the alternative is having it be too easy, right? I really wish they had included corner straps though. I read laying in bed and I worry it's going to flop open and crack the Kindle. I do realize this is probably unfounded and they fixed that flaw, but because I'm paranoid, I did put two small circles of velcro to the back of the Kindle and the cover so it couldn't accidentally bend the hinge system or crack the case. I'm aware this is insane overkill type stuff, so feel free to snicker... I'll wait... done? Okay, onward...

    Now, back to reality... the chance of you opening the Kindle from the wrong side is basically zero. You have to unwrap it using this bungee cord thingy (yes, that's the technical term here, folks). It has a little leather tag on it that says "Amazon Kindle". The tag is a little annoying because I fold the cover back and use the cord to hold it and keep hitting the tag with my hand no matter where I put. I'm thinking of cutting it off. *shrug*

    It does, of course, add some weight to the Kindle. The case, with Kindle and velcro circles weighs 15.5 oz on my postal scale. There's been some discussion if this is "too heavy" but I must say that I don't think so. I read with it folded back and the bungee cord thingy wrapped around the back. I have weak hands that keep me from reading hard backs and large paperback books. I think it's more of the force of holding the book open than the weight, so it's not been an issue at all for me. I also read with it propped up somewhere usually.

    My favorite part is that with the new slim and sleek design of the Kindle and this slim and sleek cover (with a light, no less!) it really is a great size to grab and go, toss in my purse, in the car or my bedside. My other favorite (it's a tie) is the light. It runs off power from the Kindle itself so I'm never without a light. I don't have to find a battery somewhere when it burns out. Amazon knocked it out of the park as far as I'm concerned. I'm taking off a star just for the few little niggle things I mentioned before. After over a week of use though, this is the cover I'm recommending to friends/family at this time.

    Well worth it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Data to compare colors and weights, with and without light
    Have a good scale and have now seen all cover colors, so here's data to help you pick. VERY well made cover.

    Weights are for the cover only, not including the Kindle:
    Cover without light -- 170 grams or 6 ounces
    Cover WITH light -- 240 grams or 8-1/2 ounces
    Only you know whether the 2-1/2 ounce difference in weight is worth carrying all the time to have a light always at hand.

    The most accurate depiction of the cover colors is the photograph at the bottom of the sales page.
    Burnt Orange -- same shade as a basketball
    Burgundy Red -- closer to a vibrant brick red as it has no purple overtone
    Steel Blue -- pure grey blue which shows well on web page
    Hot Pink -- deeper shade than it appears anywhere but photograph
    Green -- picture a Granny Smith apple
    Brown -- very deep brown, not a chocolate color

    4-0 out of 5 stars (4.5 stars) Very good, and not THAT heavy!
    I bought two of these (burgundy for my wife's graphite kindle and green for my white kindle).

    The colors are gorgeous, and exactly as shown in the pictures Amazon has here.

    The look and feel of the leather is very good and should more than satisfy most folks. If you're willing to spend more for even better leather, you'll soon be able to get high-end leather cases from designers like Cole-Haan. (If you're interested, look up their Kindle 2 cases here at Amazon and you're get an idea of what they're likely to offer for Kindle 3).

    We love the design. We've had no trouble hooking our kindles in and out of the case. We love that the light is built in and we will never need to replace its battery. The cover folds completely flat around the back, and the elastic band keeps it there, then it's easy and quite comfortable to hold in one hand for long reading sessions.

    A few reviews here complain about the weight of this case. I disagree. It is not heavy compared to other cases of this type (folio-style hard shell leather cases). My wife and I were up reading for hours last night, holding our kindles, cases on, in one hand, with no fatigue. (We're such an old married couple, that's how exciting our Friday nights are!) I used to have a nook with the same type of case (minus the light), and it was noticeably heavier. If you want something lighter, consider a neoprene sleeve or cloth case.

    My only qualm about the Amazon lighted case is the uneven distribution of light on the screen - very bright in the upper right corner, dim in the lower left corner. It seems this doesn't bother most people here, but it bothers me a bit, enough to knock half a star off my review, but not enough to make me hesitate to recommend this case.

    Some folks complain about the price. It is high, to be sure. But, you'd pay about the same if you bought a good leather case and a separate light. Then you'd have to worry about remembering to pack the light when you travel, making sure it has fresh batteries, making sure you don't lose it, etc etc. For me, the convenience of the built-in light is well worth the price.

    And there's something intangible but very very nice about keeping our kindles in these gorgeous, almost luxuriously nice cases. They are definitely eye-catching and lust-worthy.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Good Quality K3 Cover with Handy Light
    I bought the burnt orange color cover so I can spot my Kindle where ever I leave it easily--and hopefully not misplace it! The cover is good quality leather, and even with the cover on, I can slip the K3 into my small purse without squeezing it in--something I could not do with my coverless Kindle 2.

    I think for an easy purchase without having to buy a separate book light, the Kindle 3 lighted cover is a good choice. The light worked _great_ reading in bed last night. I could see all of the lighted screen just fine with the upper right corner a bit brighter. See the pics I loaded to customer images for the lighted cover to see the light in action in a dark room, and what the cover looks light from the back.

    Pluses: Built in light that slips securely out of the way, no batteries to replace, better clips/fit than past covers that connect to Kindle, adequate to light the entire screen, no looking for a booklight, no clipping a booklight to my Kindle and scratching or damaging it, the book light LEDs point down towards the screen, so no bright lights in your eyes.

    Minuses: The cover's weight doubles the weight of the Kindle 3 in your hand, the book light stays in one corner and doesn't move around the Kindle, uses more Kindle battery life (it's powered by the Kindle 3 -- and I noticed a definite drain on the battery from using the light)

    UPDATE: I used the Kindle light for a couple days now, and the battery life goes down noticeably as you use the light (esp. if you keep the wireless "On"). Last night I read with the light for about 2 hours after a full charge and today the battery looks down about 15%. At that rate of use (with no wireless constantly "On" and regular reading in the daylight), I estimate the battery will need charging after approx. 1 week.

    If the overall cover+Kindle weight is an issue for you--more than protecting your Kindle and the handy light--then this cover is not for you.

    Kindle Lighted Leather Cover alone = 233 grams or 8.2 oz

    Kindle Lighted Leather Cover + Kindle 3 = 447 grams or 15.75 oz. (almost 1 lb.)

    Thickness: Kindle cover + Kindle 3 = 3/4 inch

    Cover Measurements (with Kindle inside):

    Front: 7 3/4" x 5 1/8" (closer to 3/16")
    Back: SAME as front
    Spine: 7/8"
    Open side (to the right) with Kindle inside: 3/4"

    I have to say I'm getting used to the weight with the cover as I use it. The piece of mind of extra Kindle protection, plus a handy light whenever you need it, is worth the trade off for me. '

    November 20th UPDATE:

    **Still love the cover** and having the light handy without having to think about needing a light _is better than ever_. One thing however, is that the hooks to connect the cover are not sturdy enough, IMO, to take the cover on and off often. The Kindle "wiggles" a bit on the connectors, and be careful not to pull the Kindle forward or up off the back of the cover to avoid bending or breaking the metal connectors. Despite this, I am very happy with this cover after using it almost 3 months now.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Lighted Leather Case - Two Important Concerns
    I've noticed that like myself customers have been concerned primarily with two things regarding the new lighted case from amazon. These are: 1)The weight and 2) The uneven lighting. My review will briefly discuss these two things.

    1)The Weight - The lighted leather case is a nice weight, sturdy and comfortable to hold. In ounces it is about the weight of the kindle itself however don't let that concern you. With the case on it feels like a medium sized paperback, however it is far much more comfortable to hold. It's easy to hold the case open like a book (nice for couch and table type reading) or to fold the front back and close it with the bungee so that the bungee doesn't hang around (this is good for bedtime reading).Closing the front back with bungee keeps the case folded in position and you don't have to worry about it bothering you. BTW THIS CASE FOLDS BACK 100% - Very comfortable. In sum very comfortable to read with the case and very sturdy.

    2) The uneven lighting - Amazon's pictures don't do this case justice. The light hits the ENTIRE screen. Yes if you look closely it's brighter in the top right corner then in the bottom left but Amazon's pics make it look the top is lighted while the bottom is dark. There is good light all over the screen. Trust me I'm fussy about these things - the lighting will not bother you, your entire screen will be lighted and it is extremely pleasant to read in the dark.

    *Final Thoughts - Great case, good quality, works well, kindle feels very secure and protected (I would feel comfortable slipping this case into my backpack or suitcase and I think it would sustain some mild impact). Lastly hinges are a non-issue, casing of the kindle will not get damaged with normal or even slightly aggressive use. You could damage the kindle by trying to pull the back of the case but you'd have to really force it to cause any sort of damage to your kindle. The hinges work fine and should not be a concern to any case user.

    Update 1st December 2010:

    Have now been using the case for 3 months. Leather still looks impeccable. Some people expressed concern that the bungee cord might loosen with use. I have not experienced any loosening so far. Quality of the product has proven outstanding. I've occasionally spilled or messed the cover, just a wipe with a damp cloth has cleaned it up, and the case looks like new. Have to admit I enjoy the feel of the case in my hand, there's just something great about taking your kindle to a coffee shop in this case, it just looks and feels so classy. Also with regard to the hinges: I have had no scratches on my kindle or any other issues, so I remain convinced that the hinges are a non issue.

    5-0 out of 5 stars My Favorite Kindle Case Yet
    I read in bed every single night, so having my Kindle be able to read in the dark is very important to me. With my Kindle 2 I used a mighty bright light, and with my Kindle 3 I've been using this Lighted Leather cover - and I love it!

    Check out my video review for a size comparison of this case against my Kindle 2 and also an actual hardcover and softcover book, and then a lights out comparison of the Mighty Bright vs Lighted Leather cover.

    Sorry for the shaky camera, it's the best I could do with one hand!

    If you're interested in seeing a video review of the Kindle 3 itself, check out the one I did one here:

    http://www.amazon.com/review/R21YU59NMOGKUR

    3-0 out of 5 stars For those that REALLY care, it's not worth the money.
    I've been an avid Kindle user since Kindle 1, and I take my lights VERY seriously.

    The problem is that the new Kindle 3 cover+light does not evenly light the screen. This results in a very bright top right corner, including the top right of the frame of the Kindle 3. And while the light doesn't glare off the screen, it does glare off my graphite Kindle 3's top right corner, making for constant distraction while reading. The light then gets fainter and fainter in a diagonal line from the top right to bottom left. It's not very fun, unfortunately.

    Now, for convenience, this new cover is fantastic. I have the non-lighted one and the one with the light, and the weight difference isn't very much, and the bulk difference is truly negligible, so kudos to Amazon for this.

    That said, I simply cannot recommend this cover unless you don't mind an incredibly uneven light. I will stick to my Mighty Bright. Yes, it's an addition to the Kindle, but I know that when I sit down to read, I want the pages to "disappear" as I become immersed in my reading. It's very hard for them to do so when the light is so incredibly awkward and uneven, constantly distracting. I'm happy to spend a few extra seconds clipping my light to the back of my Kindle so I can spend hours enjoying my book. That simply wasn't possible with the Kindle Lighted Leather Cover.

    3 stars out of 5.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Compact and well made
    For a folio type case, this looks and feels great and works very well. It does add significantly to the weight but that seems a predictable consequence of using leather, making it stiff enough to offer real protection, and building in a light.

    Attaching Kindle is very simple using the directions on the product page. Make sure you heed the warning to work at it until ALL the gold is covered, which tells you Kindle is securely attached. Removing is quite simple: Slide down the top hook and rotate Kindle right off. I'm using a fingertip to do it rather than a fingernail. It's quick and easy enough to attach and detach Kindle that I won't have any difficulty switching to "naked" reading at will.

    The cord seems to me strong enough for its purpose, but only time will tell. When the cover is closed, the cord is buried in a "channel" in the front cover so should not normally be subjected to much stress and strain. I did remove the little "flag" attached to the cord. Even without using fingernails, it's easy to open the cord up. Others have posted about the cord being in the way during reading, especially when holding Kindle and case in "open book" form. I put the cord between Kindle and the back cover, solving the issue to my own satisfaction. YMMV.

    I don't think I'll use the "book style" reading position much. I'll "break the spine" as I did with my K2's case and read with the front cover folded flat against the back. It feels good like that, but when I have good light and will be reading a while I expect I'll do as I did with my K2: Remove Kindle from the case and read "naked." Still, even brand new, the leather folds flat easily and it's comfortable to hold and read.

    The light seems to me to be well placed. I don't get any glare in any of my normal reading positions, so don't have a practical issue with its lack of adjustability. One very nice feature, particularly since it's powered by Kindle's battery, is that it turns off when Kindle turns off. So if you fall asleep reading, your light won't just keep running. I find it a bit stiff to pull out, but I expect it will ease in time. Also maybe stiff is good, as you don't want it just lolling out on its own while you've got it stowed away. Still, folks with difficulty applying much force with their fingers could find this an issue.

    I bought this unseen, intending to return it if it didn't work well. It won't be going back. I may in fact buy another case for travel, as by design this folio style case is open on three sides. In some situations I would want more dust and bang protection, but I still give five stars because this is an unavoidable consequence of this style of design.

    5-0 out of 5 stars well worth it
    This is a comparison between mighty bright and the kindle cover light. NOTE: the bottom left of the kindle is the part that receives the less light because it is the farthest away. The light still shines well enough to read the bottom left of the kindle , but the light distribution is not even.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Exceeded my expectations
    I was hesitant to buy this cover mostly due to the pictures in its listing, which seem to show a light that doesn't even extend to the opposite corner. The fact that I have not been impressed with the Amazon's Kindle covers in the past didn't help. I went ahead and purchased it because the cover I wanted isn't available yet and I don't like to take my Kindle out and about without a cover. Now I am glad that I went ahead and bought it.

    PROS:

    1. The light is much better than I thought it would be. Using it in a darkened room I found that the light did the job very well. In a pitch black room, it performs even better. While the screen corner opposite the light is a bit dimmer than other areas, there is no problem reading the page at all.

    2. The light gets its power from the Kindle itself, through the gold-plated hinges which attach it to the cover, so batteries are a thing of the past. When your Kindle goes to sleep, the light will go out as well. It will also turn off when you slide it back into the case.

    3. The cover is slim, well-fitted and very easy to attach and detach using the hinges. The inside has good padding. The leather outer surface has a nice pebbled texture with the exception of a smooth area along the edge of the front. While stiff enough to protect the reader, the cover is slight flexible and the front easily folds behind when reading so you can hold your Kindle with one hand if you like.

    4. A great plus is that the cover has an elastic cord that fits into a groove on the front of it. This holds your cover closed (unlike the original Kindle 2 cover that would flop open in your purse & let things slide into it) and easily distinguishes the front from the back--important as many owners of the Kindle 2 cover accidentally opened it from the back, which could cause cracking along the Kindle's spine.


    CONS:

    I haven't found any, really. The light Is a bit hard (stiff) to pull out of the cover, but then you wouldn't want it to be flopping out when you don't want to use it so that is more of a Pro than a Con.

    The one concern I do have is about pulling the light in and out--I wonder if whatever wiring or conductor that is used to get the power from the hinges to the light will eventually break. But that is something to find out down the road. Right now, the more I use this cover, the more I like it.

    4-0 out of 5 stars From the bungee cord thingy to the pull-out light, a solid choice for the Kindle
    I ordered this cover because it was the only real game in town at the time. To let you know where I come from with this review... I purchased the 2nd generation Kindle back in March of 2009 with the Amazon cover. Didn't like that one, it actually cracked my mother's Kindle that I purchased shortly thereafter (Amazon replaced it, although it was probably from her opening the wrong side, doesn't matter, this isn't about Amazon great customer service). When that happened, we immediately went looking for a new cover and fell in love with the M-Edge Prodigy with light. Unfortunately, M-Edge isn't offering that for the 3rd generation Kindle, they changed it to have a nylon strap instead of leather and aren't utilizing the hinge technology for the light, which I think is genius and a terrible error on their part. I'm telling you this so you know that I ordered this new Amazon Lighted Cover with a WHOLE LOT of trepidation.

    When deciding on the color, I didn't want black (I wanted purple, but Amazon doesn't offer that *boo*hiss*) and the green was backordered slightly, didn't like the other colors so I decided to get the orange. It looked interesting and since I live in Austin, some UT fan would buy it off me if I hated it, I was sure. It came in and it's the perfect burnt orange color. It might be slightly too tan colored, but it's not vibrant orange by any means. A great almost pumpkin pie color actually.

    So... what did I think of the cover itself?

    I slid the Kindle in there and pulled the light out and... nothing happened. I spent a good 3 to 5 minutes pulling the light out and pushing it back in, looking for a switch, something, anything. I finally gave up and turned the Kindle on and... yeah, the light came on. DUH! It works only if the Kindle is on. This is actually GREAT because I fall asleep reading a good deal and the light will go off when the Kindle goes to sleep after 15 minutes or so. I felt stupid, but at least I didn't call customer service and have them giggle in the background and the stupid lady that can't work the cover, eh?

    ANYWAY... the Kindle slides in easily and the light works great. There is no glare at all because the LED lights are directed down the arm of the light so there's no "direct" light hitting the screen, it just flows down. It is brighter in the upper right than in the lower left because of that, but it's more than adequate. The light is NOT adjustable but you shouldn't need to adjust it either. I have found it really is a genius way of handling it.

    The case itself is not too thick. In fact when I first picked up the case, I thought I had the wrong one because it looked too slim to have a light in there, but it's there. It is a little hard to pull the light out, but I guess the alternative is having it be too easy, right? I really wish they had included corner straps though. I read laying in bed and I worry it's going to flop open and crack the Kindle. I do realize this is probably unfounded and they fixed that flaw, but because I'm paranoid, I did put two small circles of velcro to the back of the Kindle and the cover so it couldn't accidentally bend the hinge system or crack the case. I'm aware this is insane overkill type stuff, so feel free to snicker... I'll wait... done? Okay, onward...

    Now, back to reality... the chance of you opening the Kindle from the wrong side is basically zero. You have to unwrap it using this bungee cord thingy (yes, that's the technical term here, folks). It has a little leather tag on it that says "Amazon Kindle". The tag is a little annoying because I fold the cover back and use the cord to hold it and keep hitting the tag with my hand no matter where I put. I'm thinking of cutting it off. *shrug*

    It does, of course, add some weight to the Kindle. The case, with Kindle and velcro circles weighs 15.5 oz on my postal scale. There's been some discussion if this is "too heavy" but I must say that I don't think so. I read with it folded back and the bungee cord thingy wrapped around the back. I have weak hands that keep me from reading hard backs and large paperback books. I think it's more of the force of holding the book open than the weight, so it's not been an issue at all for me. I also read with it propped up somewhere usually.

    My favorite part is that with the new slim and sleek design of the Kindle and this slim and sleek cover (with a light, no less!) it really is a great size to grab and go, toss in my purse, in the car or my bedside. My other favorite (it's a tie) is the light. It runs off power from the Kindle itself so I'm never without a light. I don't have to find a battery somewhere when it burns out. Amazon knocked it out of the park as far as I'm concerned. I'm taking off a star just for the few little niggle things I mentioned before. After over a week of use though, this is the cover I'm recommending to friends/family at this time.

    Well worth it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Data to compare colors and weights, with and without light
    Have a good scale and have now seen all cover colors, so here's data to help you pick. VERY well made cover.

    Weights are for the cover only, not including the Kindle:
    Cover without light -- 170 grams or 6 ounces
    Cover WITH light -- 240 grams or 8-1/2 ounces
    Only you know whether the 2-1/2 ounce difference in weight is worth carrying all the time to have a light always at hand.

    The most accurate depiction of the cover colors is the photograph at the bottom of the sales page.
    Burnt Orange -- same shade as a basketball
    Burgundy Red -- closer to a vibrant brick red as it has no purple overtone
    Steel Blue -- pure grey blue which shows well on web page
    Hot Pink -- deeper shade than it appears anywhere but photograph
    Green -- picture a Granny Smith apple
    Brown -- very deep brown, not a chocolate color

    4-0 out of 5 stars (4.5 stars) Very good, and not THAT heavy!
    I bought two of these (burgundy for my wife's graphite kindle and green for my white kindle).

    The colors are gorgeous, and exactly as shown in the pictures Amazon has here.

    The look and feel of the leather is very good and should more than satisfy most folks. If you're willing to spend more for even better leather, you'll soon be able to get high-end leather cases from designers like Cole-Haan. (If you're interested, look up their Kindle 2 cases here at Amazon and you're get an idea of what they're likely to offer for Kindle 3).

    We love the design. We've had no trouble hooking our kindles in and out of the case. We love that the light is built in and we will never need to replace its battery. The cover folds completely flat around the back, and the elastic band keeps it there, then it's easy and quite comfortable to hold in one hand for long reading sessions.

    A few reviews here complain about the weight of this case. I disagree. It is not heavy compared to other cases of this type (folio-style hard shell leather cases). My wife and I were up reading for hours last night, holding our kindles, cases on, in one hand, with no fatigue. (We're such an old married couple, that's how exciting our Friday nights are!) I used to have a nook with the same type of case (minus the light), and it was noticeably heavier. If you want something lighter, consider a neoprene sleeve or cloth case.

    My only qualm about the Amazon lighted case is the uneven distribution of light on the screen - very bright in the upper right corner, dim in the lower left corner. It seems this doesn't bother most people here, but it bothers me a bit, enough to knock half a star off my review, but not enough to make me hesitate to recommend this case.

    Some folks complain about the price. It is high, to be sure. But, you'd pay about the same if you bought a good leather case and a separate light. Then you'd have to worry about remembering to pack the light when you travel, making sure it has fresh batteries, making sure you don't lose it, etc etc. For me, the convenience of the built-in light is well worth the price.

    And there's something intangible but very very nice about keeping our kindles in these gorgeous, almost luxuriously nice cases. They are definitely eye-catching and lust-worthy. Read more


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