Pros: size, weight, capabilities, ease of use and understanding
Cons: I'm a visual book buyer
The Bottom Line: "And my heart cannot be Kindled without you With your heart kindle my hear" ~Abigail
I'll be the first to admit that most items technology geared turn my "deer in the headlights" switch on faster than ice melts on the Equator. However, when I won my Kindle 3G Wireless Reading Device through a local raffle, I was willing to take the plunge. Of course I had to wait six weeks for delivery because of the backorder situation at Amazon. I understand it has improved greatly since then.
Naturally I had heard of a Kindle and since I do love to read but hate hauling around hefty books, I thought perhaps this would be the perfect answer. With over 700,000 items available certainly I could satisfy even my eclectic needs.
Once it arrived, it was already charged for immediate use. Set up is fairly easy, even for a non-techy like myself, and in just a few minutes I was able to utilize the WiFi aspect and head over to Amazon to search for a book to download.
What exactly is a Kindle anyway? It is a hand-held device that allows you do purchase, download, and store reading material. Generally people use it for books but you can also download newspaper articles and other written material that is available on the web. It will store up to 3500 books for your reading pleasure with the added bonus of archiving that material on your account with Amazon, just in case you accidentally erase something you want to save.
Specifications: ~6" diagonal paper display ~600 x 800 pixel resolution @ 167 ppi, 16-level gray scale ~measures 7.5" x 4.8" x .335" ~weight 8.7 ounces ~wireless, no system requirments ~4GB internale storage ~battery good up to a month with wireless off, up to 10 days with wireless on. This all depends on useage and coverage areas. ~charges fully in about 4 hours. Power adapter included, 2.0 USB cable included. ~HSPDA modem uses AT&T 3-G network ~Supports public & private WiFi networks & hotspots that use WEP, WPA & WPA2 security. Will not work with ad-hoc WiFi networks. ~2.0 USB port connects to power adapter or computer. ~3.5mm stero audio jack, rear mounted speakers. ~formats supported are TXT, PDF, MP3, MOBI, PRC, HTML, DOC, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP. ~US power adapter 110V-240V ~quick start guide included, user guide preinstalled on Kindle. ~1 year warranty.
Benefits over paper & ink book: It is so light weight and compact, you can haul around a library worth of books with no trouble at all. The screen, unlike LCD screens, looks like real paper with high ink contrast. The images are clear and sharp and you can adapt the font size for easier reading. You get no glare, even outdoors, so it is perfect for beach reading.
It has global coverage so you are never without reading material at a moments notice, as long as you have proper WiFi coverage. By the way, there is no annual contract to sign for this coverage. Find something you think is great and want to share? Facebook and Twitter are integrated so post away.
With free out-of-copyright books, it is just like going to the library and checking out a book but you don't have to leave your easy chair to do it. Even downloading books from Amazon isn't that bad, generally around $9 a book, which is less than most paperbacks available in stores. They even offer a few chapters free as samples so you can decide whether or not you lijke something before making your putchase.
If you find yourself spending a lot of time cooped up in a vehicle going to and from work, you can use the Read-to-Me feature which converts the written text to speech, but only in English. Talk about getting lazy, you can stretch out on your sofa and have a book read to you. Then again, books on tape have been popular for years.
The button to operate the Kindle are located on both sides so it doesn't matter if you are a rightie or a leftie, or you just switch hands once in a while when you adjust your reading position.
Like I mentioned, it does come with an archive of the books you have downloaded, so if you delete by mistake or on purpose, you can always pick it back up at no charge anytime. You can break down your reading material into collections for your own reference and set them up under individual file names; for instance, by author or type of book.
The screen can rotate between portrait and landscape which can be really helpful if you have graphs or maps to read. Even better, you never have to worry about a bookmark falling out of place because the Kindle will always bring you to the last page read. Kindle also comes with a built in dictionary and access to Wikipedia.
Experimental Features: As with everything new, they are always looking for ways to improve and upgrade. This unit offers several items that are experimental but it also tells me my Kindle is probably already out of date before I even received it ... sigh.
One feature is the Read-to-Me which I mentioned before. Pages advance automatically and you can select between male or female voice as well as the speed of reading.
Voice guide is another feature, which allows you to listen to content listings, descriptions and menu options. Finally, music and Podcasts can play in the background while you are reading. Just transfer your MP3 files from your computer.
With all that being said ... How was my own experience? Amazingly it was easy to operate and use. I was able to shop quickly and efficiently for books at Amazon and downloading was so fast it was scary. Of course, depends on your battery and WiFi access you know. Then I had to read the books.
I'm old, I know it and celebrate it. Eyes aren't what they used to be and by the time I increased the font size for my own enjoyment I was getting about 3-4 words per screen. Others don't suffer that way, I know for a fact. Do you have any idea how long it would take to read a Stephen King novel at that rate?
I'm a visual book shopper unfortunately. I go by cover art. I'm not much for searching out various authors or books by name. A major downfall, but only for me.
I like new gadgets but tire of them quickly. You'd think I was a 13 year old instead of a grown adult.
All that being said ... I gifted my Kindle to by son's girlfriend, who has been jonesing for one since they were introduced. Overall it cost me the $10 for the raffle tickets and about $50 in books I downloaded before the shine wore off. She, however, it totally immersed in it and has even managed to get my non-reading son to branch out a bit with this new device.
Overall, all things considered, it was a bargain with benefits. I would highly recommend this item to many people.
Amount Paid (US$): 10 Recommended for: Beginners - Simple and Easy to Use
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 … more
Last year, I bought a Kindle DX from the Amazon site and returned it within 24-hours. I was underwhelmed, because: 1. It was heavy 2. The refresh rate was slow 3. I couldn't access New Releases by genre (NOT the same thing as New and Notable) 4. I couldn't get lost in the reading experience Well, I was in a Staples over the weekend and they had the new generation Kindles on display (immediately, I LOVED the graphite color … more
Years ago it would have been rare to find me without a book. I was reading an average of 1-2 books per week and had stacks of books around my home. Unfortunately over several years with two growing kids, a full time job and running a household; I found that I had lost the enjoyment and escape that books had given me. I have been aware of the Kindle since the original one was released. I thought it was interesting, but since I wasn't reading as much it didn't seem worth my … more
Amazon announced a new generation of the Kindle on July 28, 2010. While Amazon does not officially add numbers to the end of each Kindle denoting its generation, most reviewers, customers and press companies refer to this updated Kindle as the "Kindle 3".
The Kindle 3 is available in two versions. One of these, the Kindle Wi-Fi, is initially priced at US$139 / GB£109, and connects to the Internet exclusively via public or private Wi-Fi networks. The other version, considered a replacement to the Kindle 2, is priced at US$189 / GB£149 and includes both 3G and Wi-Fi connectivity. The new Kindle with 3G is available in two colors: classic white and graphite. Both models use the new E-ink "Pearl" display, which Amazon claims is 50% better in contrast - a claim that is backed up by early user reports.
Among other hardware changes Kindle 3 has a larger 1750 mAh lithium polymer battery, AnyDATA DTP-600W 3G GSM modem and Atheros AR6102G 802.11bg WiFi chip.
The third generation Kindle is 0.5 inches shorter and 0.5 inches narrower than the Kindle 2. It supports additional fonts and international Unicode characters. An experimental browser based on the popular WebKit platform is included, as well as text-to-speech menu navigation. Internal memory is expanded to 4 GB. The battery can allegedly last for up to one month of reading with the wireless radios turned off.
Pre-orders for the new Kindle began concurrent with the announcement of the...