Pros and Cons of Amazon Kindle

By Michelle Mista

The Kindle was voted CNET's Editors' Choice for e-book readers in 2010.
i Spencer Platt/Getty Images News/Getty Images

In November 2010, the most current model of Amazon Kindle at the time was crowned the Editors' Choice among available e-book readers by the editors of CNET. Users of the device can download over 230,000 books directly from and also have access to a library of public domain books. In June 2010, Amazon responded to competition from other e-book readers such as the Barnes and Noble Nook and Apple iPad by lowering the price of its Kindle and Kindle DX readers. As of 2011, the Kindle starts at $139.

Pro: Free 3G Connectivity

The Kindle requires an Internet connection to communicate with the Amazon Whispersync network, allowing the Kindle to download new Kindle books and to coordinate those books among different Kindle-enabled devices such as smart phones and desktops. While the 3G-enabled device costs more than the Wi-Fi only model, users do not have to pay any additional monthly costs for the 3G network.

Pro: E-Ink

The Kindle uses an electronic ink, or E-Ink, display, which produces crisp text and pictures while using less power, allowing the Kindle to have a longer battery life.

Con: Display Limitations

Amazon Kindle's E-Ink technology limits the display to black and white only. The display is not backlit and cannot be read in the dark.

Con: Limited functionality

The Amazon Kindle offers few features beyond its main function as an e-book reader. In comparison, competitors like the Apple iPad offer broader functionality by allowing the download of additional applications that extend the use of the device beyond just being an e-book reader.

Con: Keyboard Navigation

The Kindle relies on a keyboard to navigate, while competitors like the Galaxy Tab and Barnes and Noble Nook are touch-screen based.

Con: No EPUB support

EPUB is an open file standard for e-books that is used by public libraries and online free book libraries like Google Books. The Kindle does not support the EPUB book format.