The newest Amazon Kindle 3G makes black and white screen cool again with their newest e-ink technology. While I hesitated to give Kindle 3 a try because I like the feel or real paper and I initially thought it will probably take a generation before paper books will become obsolete, the idea (of convenience) of having all your books on a single device is so appealing and I decided to check what the fuss is all about with this electronic reading device. I tried the nook first before settling down with the Kindle 3G. I'm not going to talk about the book reading experience since many people has covered it and I will talk more about the web experience (and some tips on how to check your web mail etc) which I think is really good especially if you set your expectation right. And if you are travelling a lot and don't have unlimited data plan in your cellphone, Kindle can be very useful to check your webmail, maps/direction, travel/restaurant recommendation, etc.
How's the screen (e-ink) compare to color LCD or Paper book?
Well, nothing is like paper book for sure, but it's close enough for me to recommend people to at least give it a try. And compared to the color LCD, again to view photos and multimedia color LCD wins but for basic function (reading book, browsing some basic pages, and checking web email, and reading/staring at the screen for a long time, I will give the black and white kindle/e-ink the edge). Refresh rate isn't as fast as LCD and sometime the previous page black ink doesn't turn to white right away and for a split second old and new pages are transposed together before only the new pages/web pages are fully displayed, but this could be just the feature/limitation of e-ink. It bothers me a bit in the beginning but I'm used to it now.
Why do I choose Kindle 3G vs Nook?
While I like Nook's extra color screen, read book for free with your nook when you use your nook at barnes store, lend your book to your friends, replace your battery yourself, the Kindle is thinner, lighter, faster, have keyboard, free 3G web downloading and browsing (nook 3G only allow book download). Also Kindle navigating system (with the arrow button) is much more superior than Nook especially on navigating the web.
Why do I choose the white over the grey Kindle?
I decided the white keyboard button might be easier to read. A few people said the grey color keyboard is harder to read. Plus the white Kindle looks cool (like a macbook or the original Apple ipod). Some said the grey color is distracting, while some other said the white makes the screen background not as white. In the end, I think it's just going to be about personal preference.
Why do I say the web exprience is great?
How do I check my webmail (yahoo and gmail) with Kindle 3G through the 3G network?
For Yahoo email:
1. go to the yahoo mobile email website (m dot yahoo dot com slash mail), or mobile main yahoo website (m dot yahoo dot com) to read news instead of checking email
2. enter user name and password, and go to your inbox.
3. bookmark the page (and next time you can just use the bookmark to go your inbox right away). Depending on what option you choose, you might not have to type in your username and password and just visit bookmarked page and/or click reload to bring your newest.
For Google email (For some reason I can't type my user name and password on the gmail mobile site so I use the following method and it works):
1. go to the standard gmail website (gmail dot com)
2. enter username and password
3. then go to the gmail mobile after you successfully login to the standard gmail page, then type/go to the mobile gmail site (m dot gmail dot come) and go to your inbox.
4. remember to bookmark the page after you go to your inbox (if you need to relogin, repeat from step #1 otherwise just go to the gmail mobile inbox right away through the bookmark)
For msn/hotmail, I haven't tried it but I imagine it's going to be similar, using the hotmail mobile or msn mobile website. Let me know if it doesn't work.
How do I navigate within a page (choose buttons/links to click) since Kindle has no "mouse"?
I wish Kindle has a touch pad or a track ball but for now, the directional arrow button for navigation is acceptable/good enough. It will allow us to choose links or button to click. The side button help to scroll up and down the page when browsing the web. Having said all that in my opinion the directional button is probably the most critical element of the device (and the screen itself probably comes second). One might argue to use keyboard shortcuts but it's not the same (kind of like using desktop/laptop with only keyboard)
What are some of the other uses of Kindle 3G?
You can do facebook, twitter, and many other social networking activities. You can read newspaper/magazine/periodicals and have it delivered electronically. You can also play games. 2 of the games already offerd for free and they are quite fun ("Every Row" and "Shuffled Row" which are word scramble game like scrabble)
Hope you enjoy your kindle as much as I do (when you decided to join the bandwagon and get one).
What did you think of this review?