This generation of Kindle is arguably the best. With the raft of advertising, and new compact super slim design, the Kindle is having a second coming too. If you’re the lucky receiver of a Kindle this Christmas, then here’s five things you should know about your Kindle. It’s not just an e-reader, it’s much, much more…

1. It can take audiobooks, which means it can take MP3s too
You aren’t restricted to audiobooks when it comes to your Kindle. You can also load MP3s onto your device for listening on the go. These don’t have to be sourced from Amazon either, they can be dragged and dropped straight from your music library. The sound from the built in speakers is remarkably good for a feature that’s tacked on the side: we found it to be crisp and clear, with an amazing level of depth considering it’s coming from such a compact device.

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2. Kindle can read you a bedtime story
If you’re feeling especially tired, then you can make Kindle do the reading for you. Kindle text to speech feature has to have had permission from the publishers, or it won’t work, so this isn’t universal, but will work for most Kindle eBooks. To turn on text-to-speech, press the text button (the key marked “Aa”), then select the Text-to-speech option in the menu. By default, content is spoken with a male voice, but using the 5-way controller, you can select a female speaking voice.

3. You can browse the internet for free
The Kindle’s browser is described as being “experimental”, and it means that both in the sense that a) it looks like an experimental work of art, and b) it’s in early stages of development. Head over to the BBC home page on your Kindle and it looks like it’s been reinterpreted by Picasso, with headlines all out of whack, and the page at a generally unreadable degree of wonkiness. However, the Kindle has no contract, so while you have to put up with your pages looking like they’ve been reinterpreted by a five year old with an Etch-a-sketch, it is free.


Read our full Amazon Kindle review here


4. It is possible to stop the browser looking like a cubist masterpiece
Kinstant is a portal that you can reach via the Kindle, that reinterprets web pages so that they are readable on the Kindle, meaning you can take full advantage of the free mobile data Amazon provides. It won’t work with all sites, but does a good job of lots of key news hubs. Kinstant also gives you access to Google Maps and a calculator too. Through Maps you can add your location and destination and get directions.

5. It has a microphone
There is a microphone in your Kindle, but we’re not sure what it will be used for yet – at the moment it’s disabled. Amazon says it’s just for “future use”.  Could this be for voice controls, voice recording, or even dictation services, so you can make notes, and control your Kindle via voice, or could it be for something bigger?

What would you like to see the mic used for? Drop us a line in the comments!

  • Bob11

    Thanks for the kinstant tip!

  • Gibbylet

    Thanks, I'm just setting mine up and googled text to speech and bam! This article was very helpful, thank you!

  • TheShagWarrior

    I was so tempted by one of these, but no sd slot and poor pdf support put me off. Will just have to keep on waiting!

  • Steven Capsuto

    I'd pay extra for it *not* to have a mic, but one gets little choice about these things these days.

  • Marilyn Priday

    I obviously can download photos as jpegs from my computer to my Kindle – but how do I view them

Hot chat, right here!


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