Today I bit the bullet and brought a Kindle (mainly because family members have been raving about them so I had to see what the fuss was about).
So I brought the 3rd generation one (the WiFi & 3G version) So here’s a few thoughts on it.
Having never had an e-reader before I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, and my first impression of one was the Sony version after seeing it in a shop it wasn’t that great.
When I first opened the device I thought there was one of those printed acetate covers on it to protect it but turns out the device was in sleep mode and that was the actual screen. I’ve read about e-ink before but was impressed by what I saw. I knew people said it looked like printed paper but I didn’t realise how right they were.
What was also good about the device was the form factor, about the size of a normal paperback book, except thinner and its also very light. I bought one of the black Amazon covers for it as well (as I always drop new things), so it kinda looks like a Moleskin.
So first impressions were good, it’s thin, light and e-ink looked good. I can certainly imagine travelling to work with it (and have done so).
Content – Reading a book/magazine
To be honest I’ve not spent a lot of time reading books on my Kindle yet, it’s been mainly newspapers so far. It’s really handy having the latest edition downloaded directly to your device.
And once you get used to navigating around articles it’s pretty good and I can imagine not buying another physical newspaper – although not the Metro’s not on it.
Reading books though is good, not really any negative comments, it’s like reading a book which is what I was looking for. Funny though how the main selling point of this device only really gets a couple of sentences, but that’s because it does exactly as you expect (I think).
SHOP @ KINDLE
Shopping and buying works well, getting content delivered as soon as you buy is good. What is handy are the trial options, I’ve signed up to quite a few already and found the ones I really want. It would be really annoying to sign up for something only to find out it’s not as good as the reviews. However one comment, an option to un-subscribe would be good from the device.
Prior to launch I did see some comments about high pricing, to be honest I’ve not seen that as a problem and have generally found I’d make a good saving on physical versions (esp if you get places to price match)
I appreciate this is experimental but I think this probably has a lot interest for people. My experiences so far is that the Kindle is like a big mobile phone. The webkit browser however is not up to being your primary browser. However if you head over to mobile versions of sites they generally work pretty well, and that includes most of the Google tools you use. While I do have a bunch of links already bookmarked, I don’t expect to be using the browser much apart from reading the news or a quick look at twitter.
I won’t be getting the rumoured one month out of this charge, but that’s because of my usage profile so far. I’ve been using WiFi a lot and been downloading blogs and other content, all of which will be taking it’s toll. I noticed a particular hit on earlier when I was getting regular updates. So I’m not sure I’ll even get to a week before recharging but I don’t see this as an issue as this is not how I’ll normally be using the device.
To ensure battery life lasts as long as possible I’ll probably only turn on wireless once a day to downloaded the latest newspaper and won’t be downloading any more blogs. So I expect a couple of weeks battery life is realistic.
All I’m going to say is have two Kindle email addresses is handy, one you use that costs for delivery (20p/MB) while the other email address uses a WiFi connection to deliver content. If you need something quick on your device, pay the 20p, otherwise wait until you’re in a WiFi area (let’s face it there’s plenty out there the claud, BT open zones ect)
Things Could be better…
While using the device over the past few hours and I’ve had a few thoughts on how things could be improved…
Save text documents – While it’s handy to make notes on magazines, books etc as you go along I’d like a bit more. When I get a thought/idea on something it would be handy to create a simple text file that I could refer to later. The problem would then be that people would want more and more from it until it’s a bloated document editor e.g. Word! And then you’d need to find a way of getting it off the device then, apart from connecting to a computer – maybe it could be available on the MyKindle settings page in Amazon.
Make it easier to get your Clippings or Notes off the device, don’t want to have to connect my computer very time to do this. A range of the content is already managed through the My Kindle page, so it would be good (again) if these were made available on your MyKindle Settings page in Amazon
Desktop application to convert to Kindle format. While it’s good to be able to email documents to your device, and get them converted to Kindle format as they go, I think having an Amazon Desktop app that allows you to do this would be good.
Schedule Wifi/GPRS/3G – While battery life hasn’t shown itself to be a problem so far, it would be handy to be able to schedule when WiFi/3G/GPRS was on. At the moment you can turn it off when you like, but it would be handy if it could turn itself on and download content and then turn itself off again.
So for the price I think it’s a good piece of technology – although it tries not to be techie. I actually expect to be reading more because of it. If you’re thinking of getting this for reading books/magazines/newspapers then I’d recommend it. Don’t buy it for reading blogs or the web though, it’s no iPad but neither is the price! There’s loads of features that I’ve not mentioned, but I’m not trying to go through the whole user manual here. You can email documents to get them converted and restrict senders so you don’t get spam (I’m sure this will prove useful) and a bunch of other stuff, but you’ll learn that other stuff when you get yours
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Kindle Keyboard 3G, Free 3G + Wi-Fi, 3G Works Globally, 6″ E Ink Display