I do a lot of reading. Reading for school, reading for professional development, reading for pleasure… nay, scratch that. I don’t actually LIKE reading, but it sort of comes with the territory, I have to. Whenever possible, I get the ebook version of what I’m going to read. Many times this means a .pdf format. I do most of my reading on my desktop in my office, but also use my laptop, for more portability.
Meanwhile, I’ve heard of the Kindle and the Nook, but thought they were a little pricey for a specialized “uni-tasker”, as Alton Brown would say. However, last month they came out with the Kindle 3, for $139 – so I decided to pull the trigger and get one.
I’ve had it for maybe a week or so now, so I thought I’d post a mini-review of it up here. First, you hear people talk about “electronic ink” as opposed to a traditional LCD screen. It is quite different, and it is very high resolution. It really does look like ink on paper, under a thin piece of satin-finish plastic. Even in bright sunlight, it can be easily read without really an glare. However, it’s not backlit like a laptop, so you do need to be near a lamp or in lighting conditions you’d be in for regular reading. So in terms of the actual screen and the readability, it is pretty great. It probably doesn’t translate well, but here’s a screenshot of the Kindle User Guide, which the screen looks like when you are normally reading:
You can change font size and style, orientation, etc:
This is the Home screen, you can create “collections” (groupings) of your books to more easily organize them:
Lastly, this is the Wi-Fi only model. Setting up Wi-Fi (I use WPA2 security here) was no problem. What this means, is that if you order a Kindle book on Amazon, within a few seconds, it will automagically show up on your Kindle. If you get the Wi-Fi + 3G model (for $50 more), then it does this over Wi-Fi or 3G FOR FREE, too.
Lastly-lastly, I’m generally pretty happy with this. It’s super-crazy light (weight-wise), the battery lasts for like weeks, and it’s easy to use.
As far as actually reading with it, it’s much nicer and more comfortable than holding a physical book – and the “electronic ink” makes it so it’s virtually identical to reading ink-on-paper, and not reading an LCD (which leads to eye strain). So, if you do reading, but want to carry thousands of books with you and have the same ink-on-paper experience, at this point I’d recommend the Kindle 3 (full-disclosure, this is an Amazon associate link)!
P.S. Amazing that even the Kindle can take screenshots of itself (Shift+Alt+G by the way), but my stupid DROID X can’t without “rooting” the OS. Ridiculous!!