If you read our Kindle review you will see that we like this product very much. It is a very good reading device, but can you use it to browse the Internet too?
Smartphones and tablet devices such as the iPad have inbuilt web browsers, touch controls and colour screens that make browsing the Internet a pretty enjoyable and useful experience.
You can surf the web pretty well with a smartphone or iPad, in fact almost as well as if you were using a laptop. However you do need to subscribe to a 3G data plan and that can be costly as well as tie you into long term contracts with mobile networks.
You might be surprised to hear that the Kindle too has an inbuilt web browser, although having a black and white screen means that any web site you visit is in monochrome, which can be limiting.
The question is, is the Kindle any good for browsing the Internet?
If it is, then this would be a real bargain because 3G Internet connectivity (including when roaming abroad in a long list of countries) is free when you buy a 3G enabled Kindle.
You access the web browser in the Kindle by pressing the Home key and then the Menu button. Scroll down to Experimental and select “launch browser” as long as you have ensured that wireless is turned on.
You can easily type in a URL using the keypad by selecting menu again and then “Enter URL” and of you go to your chosen website.
That is when you start to find the limitations of this device as a web browser.
You can use the arrow buttons to move around a web page and to align the cursor to click a hyperlink, but it really isn’t very easy, intuitive or even fun.
Selecting an item from a drop down list is not easy to do either, so using Google with its suggested searches is not easy, for example.
You can navigate around and you can move from page to page, but overall it is time consuming and frustrating. IN fact you realise how easy it is to use a smartphone or iPad to surf the web.
So it sounds like a great money saving idea to use your Kindle to surf the web, particularly as 3G access is free, but in practice, you’ll probably soon be running back to your subscription based mobile broadband and iPhone or iPad.
In summary, it might not be great for browsing the internet but the Kindle is absolutely great for reading books though!!
And don’t forget you can buy it at Amazon and other retailers too, including Tesco where at the moment you can get double Clubcard points.