For this Christmas, my lovely GF got me the Amazon Kindle – a gadget that I’ve been eyeing up for a few months, ever since they released the 3rd generation version.
I opted for the non 3G version, as the coverage for the 3G one seems to only cover the places you’d not go to on holiday and the function to up date all your magazines ‘instantly’ was of little use to me.
Obviously I’ve got access to quite a few WiFi networks dotted around, so I can get the thing loaded with enough material to carry me through the longest period of WiFi withdrawal…
I must say though, it’s a sexy (as far as technology goes! ) little device, feeling kinda like a large thin calculator in the hand.
This is a good thing :) It feels quite sturdy and comfortable - a MUST for those extended reading hours – the buttons are positive in their actions, so you know you are pressing something.
The screen – the much vaunted ‘Digital or E Ink‘ does seem to give a nice ‘paper feel’ to the reading experience, and the matted screen is great for reading in the sunlight.
There is however, something to note – there is no lighting on the Kindle itself; Making reading it much the same as a book, poor light = poor reading.
Battery life seems to be excellent – no lights and ‘funky extras’ means with things like the WiFi turned off, you’ll get a loooooong time to enjoy your books before heading for the charger (I’ve just got mine so I have no idea how long it’s going to last!)
The range of material is fantastic, most of the new titles that I’m wanting to read, are available in Kindle format. If you are a connoisseurs of the classics, you can download many of them for FREE!
Yup – I’m currently enjoying Homers Odyssey, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and other ‘essential’ reads for NOWT!
You need not get stuff purely from Amazon either – there are a few sites offering extremely cheap, if not free, books in Kindle or compatible format.
Just a couple of negative things:
Firstly, turning pages makes the whole screen flash black, then display the new page. This is a little ‘uncomfortable’ at first and does impact on your first few hours reading. Once you get into the mental ‘zone’ though, you’ll not even notice it!
Secondly, it’s a little USA centric in it’s content – there is a free dictionary installed for you ~ The Oxford AMERICAN Dictionary ~ pointless IMHO!
Finally, the operating system (the bit that controls the Kindle) seems a little uncomfortable to use and in my opinion, needs some polishing as it’s just not quite there yet…
Just one point to note:
Mine was delivered and unwrapped with keen anticipation, only to notice that there was a hair in the top right hand corner of the Kindle within the screen unit itself.
This was highly annoying when reading (imagine those little blobs of ink you sometimes get in books, in the same place on every page – annoying!).
After a quick phone call to Amazon, following sending an email to them noting this, they immediately sent a replacement unit under the Express Delivery, sent an email with a returns label and information to get DHL to collect the hirsute unit, and told me that if I didn’t send the faulty Kindle back within 30 Days, then I’d be charged for a second one – a process to those in the retail sector known as an ‘Advanced replacement’
Great service indeed.
To summarise – I’d give the Kindle 8/10 – it’s a nice little device that’s just not quite there in terms of the interface, and has a couple of little niggly bits, but I’d heartily recommend you buy on if it’s on your gadget horizon
Reading has always been a pleasure for me, and now it’s become so much more comfortable and convenient with my library of escapes now in my hand.
I’m loving it!
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