The Amazon Kindle – my review

December 1, 2010 at 3:51 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

I got a kindle last week. I never though I’d say this, but I love, love, love it. Reading is suuuuuch a pleasure with it. The display is friggin’ phenomenal. You can take a microscope to this thing and you still can’t see the jagged edges. Looks like paper without the pulp. This thing has 16 shades of gray too so illustrations look phenomenal.

The kindle is very convenient. I read computer science textbooks all the time and I can’t feasibly carry them around with me because they’re kinda bulky and heavy. Anyone remember going to school with a heavy bookbag full of books? That’s no longer a problem if you have the kindle. The thing weighs a mere 8 ounces and you can put your whole library in it. The storage capacity is basically thousands of books. And some of my favorite computer science textbooks (Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs, Practical Common Lisp) have free downloads available for them. Yay.

One common question I get from people is “Why spend money on an ebook reader if you can just use your laptop?”. It’s hard to describe, but reading on your laptop just sucks. The battery lasts an hour (if that. . .), the bootup times are annoying, and using the mouse/keyboard is a bit awkward for turning pages. And in the end, reading long books on a laptop screen just doesn’t feel right. It’s a subjective thing that’s hard to describe, but trust me on this one.

The size of the kindle is “just right”. I can hold it with one hand and slightly twitch my finger to press the button to turn the page. Oh yeah, and a lot of classics are legally free to download too (Dracula, shakespeare, mark twain, etc). And most pay books on amazon are less than $10. There is even a market for “used epubs” out there where you can buy books like harry potter for like 75 cents. For you pirates out there, there are torrents for 1000 ebooks that are one download away. Pirating ebooks is as easy as pirating mp3s.

Playing with the kindle made me realize that there is there is no real “on” button for this thing. It’s always off (or on, depeding on your perspective). It’s uses ‘electronic ink” so when you turn the page, it flashes the screen and the ink rises to the top of the paper. There are no pixels as far as I can see. I think it uses vector imaging or something. There is a lock-type button though so the page turning buttons don’t actually press when it’s in your bag or whatever. According to the manual, the battery lasts about a month of “normal usage” (whatever that means. . .).

3g service is included free, you don’t have to pay for it. So if you have multiple devices (ipad, computer, another kindle, whatever), it knows what part of the book you left off. All your highlights and notes are synced as well. Books are downloadable anywhere 3g works of course, which is pretty much everywhere. It even comes with a safari-based browser which actually isn’t half bad (but kinda awkward on a kindle, to be honest). It can read text files and pdfs. Finally, it’s not just books you can get with this thing. You can use it to get blogs, magazine subscriptions, pdfs, text files, etc. You can even email yourself articles and have it appear on your kindle instantly. Wow. . .

I’ve been using this thing for a week now and I find myself reading a lot more. It’s small enough to fit in my laptop bag, so i just bring it everywhere. So if I have to wait in line at say, the post office, it’s just there. This is great since it allows me to catch up on all the technical reading that I need to get done.

The best part is is that the price just got lowered to $139 for this thing (3g version – $189). So it would be a very good christmas present for either yourself or a loved one. Get this thing, you won’t be disappointed, it has the “stever’s recommendation”.

1 Comment »

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  1. welcome to 2007. loooook, kindle was cool at first until i got ipad. i hated the damn clicking noise on the kindle everytime you wanted to change a page. maybe they fixed that in the new generation. but ipad reader with color is so much better. oh yeah, and the browser and the app support on ipad is way better. dunno, just fun arguing with you. HAHA. merry xmas long lost friend

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