Friday, June 10, 2011

Kindle 3 (My Thoughts)

So I've had my Kindle 3 for like 2-3 months now. And honestly, I LOVE it! In fact, the reason why I haven't written about it before is exactly because it is so good. I've been reading so much that I've kinda been neglecting my other hobbies... Yeah, there's a drawback for you. LOL

Well, let's start with my business reasons, as my husband likes to call them. He also says that I shouldn't watch any ads because that was what got me hooked on the Kindle. It is so not true. What happened was that I was watching an interview with the Amazon guys responsible for its development, my eyes all red from reading academic articles on my notebook, my hands full of paper cuts from the print outs... and you can imagine how I felt when they started talking about how good the Kindle is on the eyes and how you don't have to carry all those books with you, can read in sunlight and use basically any formats you're likely to read... Kind of understandable why I got hooked. And I'll admit I did.

So I went to check out the prices and was astonished. I'm not saying that the 200 something Swiss francs we paid for the device (with customs and all) is nothing. But if you don't insist on having the actual book on your shelf, and you like reading, it takes no time to save that amount on the books themselves. For me it's already been worth it, if for nothing else but the book prices. And in fact we were about to buy a new bookcase from IKEA, for CHF 180... so see, we've saved a lot! =D And now it's even cheaper because has it too.

OK, where was I? Oh, yes, I saw the vid, I checked out amazon, and, after reading some of the reviews and watching the videos, I ordered my Kindle. And I'm quite convinced it was one of the best purchases of my life. I love it for a number of reasons:

The screen. It's really like paper. I couldn't believe it when I first saw it. You can read it in direct sunlight, there's no glare, and it's so easy on the eyes I've never experienced any dryness or redness -- something I've often had while reading on screen for hours.

The settings options. I love love love that you can set your own contrast and font and size! You can even tilt the document 90° in either direction, pretty useful if you're reading PDFs. I also use the bookmarking and note taking functions quite often, especially when I'm reading academic documents. Your notes get saved in a separate file, so you can read them later as a text, with references to the originals. I find this pretty cool in my work.

The layout. Well, of course it's the cutest thing if you look at how slim it is. I'm not that fond of the "rough" surface of the graphite one (white is US only,sadly), but it does give a good grip. Not that you need to grip hard. "Naked", the Kindle feels the same as holding, say, 10 sheets or so. I always read it in its Eco-nique hemp case, which feels more natural for me to hold, used as I am to the weight and thickness of books. At first I felt annoyed by the page turning buttons, and kept pushing left to go back, but it's just logical that you should be able to read one-handed, no matter which hand you prefer. Now I find it pretty cool, and the angle of the buttons is just perfect. Besides, I really like the bottom keyboard as well. I've always liked the five-direction thingy on phones, and here it makes navigation really easy. I can type on the keyboard, no problem, and I think it's perfect for all the typing you're likely to do on your Kindle anyway.

The browser. Yeah, the browser. I know I'm crazy and people in general say it's worthless. But I like it nonetheless and I'll tell you why. I bought the 3G version of the Kindle, because I don't like to pay for mobile web, when all I'm doing is checking my emails. I often have to check my emails and train connections and weather forecast and the like on the go, but I'd never do any real browsing on a small screen. I have my notebook for that, and I'm not going to pay for the slow connection my phone is capable of. And so on, and so forth. So I really like that I can check these on the go for free, and I can take all the tickets and plans and guides with me on my Kindle, instead of printing them out.

The battery. Yes, that's truly amazing. I think amazon claims you can go without a recharge for a month. This I can't vouch for, I've never tried, but I guess you could do that. Given that you turn the wireless off and don't read 8 hours a day. But of course, it's rare nowadays that you have to go a month without electricity or the proper plug, and then you're not likely to be reading all day. =) As it is, I usually recharge my Kindle twice a month, or, if I'm using the wireless/3G connection a lot, once a week. And we're reading a lot.

The ease of getting new books, something that is unique to the Kindle, I think.With a couple of clicks, you can order your new book from amazon and download it to your kindle in a blink of an eye. You can convert other documents using a converter or sending them to your kindle email. I love how easy and fast it is to transfer documents to my Kindle, and take them with me!

Reading PDFs, which is one of the main reasons I bought it, is not as developed as other features, though. I'm usually reading documents without pictures (which are a pain in the ... to convert), so I hardly notice the difference between kindle books and PDFs. The functions work too, such as highlights and notes and searching, making life so much easier. The converter (I either use the "convert via email" amazon service or Calibre) makes an awful job of some tables and charts and scanned documents, however, so those I read without converting, in which case the Kindle handles the documents as pictures. I lose a good number of functions this way, but my eyes are safe at least. But normally PDFs work fine, it is only older documents or scanned ones that don't get converted so nicely. I've come across only a couple of such documents and either read them on my notebook or tilted the screen and made peace with the limited functions.

That said, I understand that some people are not so fond of the Kindle or so ready to buy one. Obviously, there are cons... In today's fast developing technology, some can't live without features such as games or a touch screen. Personally, I'm not a big fan of solitary gaming (I prefer company and then I'll only play for the fun of it), so this has never been a factor for me. I don't quite see how a touch screen on a reading device would make life easier, either, without making it more difficult. I'm often touching the screen while holding the Kindle one handed, and every time I think it's good it doesn't have a touchscreen. You can point at the words when showing it to someone, you can flick mosquitoes off it (well, you might want to!), etc. without any effect. Also, technology still has a short way to go till we can have a touchscreen without any glare, something that would endanger all the Kindle stands for. I could do with some colors, sure, but do I really need it? I don't think so. As it is, my Kindle 3 happens to be perfect for what I use it. I think the best way to improve it would be to make reading PDFs easier, add new functions and maybe new document types to the short list the Kindle can read. Other than that, I'm really happy with the device. Good job, amazon.

I hope this helps!
For more info and tips,
check out MissChiveous's video review below!
(I'm not affiliated with her in any way,
I just like her a lot and I couldn't have made
a better video review myself. =))
Have an awesome weekend! ;)
Good reading, everyone!

1 comment:

  1. :-) tudsz lelkesedni, az biztos! Érdekes lehet ez a Kindle-érzés, de azért a könyvespolc az könyvespolc. Nem cserélném el, hiába praktikus és gazdaságos a táskában hordható, mindig félnék, hogy elhagyom a könyvtáramat XD...Mellesleg imádom a legtöbb könyv illatát, a "lapozás-hangot" és hiányozna a puszta látványuk, ahogy szépen egymás mellett sorakoznak. Azt hiszem régimódi vagyok =) De tanuláshoz tényleg szuper lehet!