originally published: Friday, November 27, 2009 at 12:27am
I finally succumbed to the desire of buying an e-book reader and the obvious choice was Amazon Kindle (at least in US, I heard they have lot of alternatives in Japan). Though it is for gift right now but if I like it enough, I might get one for myself. Anyways, Kindle is quite an old phenomenon now although it didn’t spread as outrageously as iPods and iPhones. And after giving it an initial try, I can see why.
Don’t get me wrong, it is ‘nice’ because:
Sleek and modern look
Display is outstanding. If the screen was anything like the laptops, it would have failed. I think their electronic ink concept worked well.
Good fonts and an apple like feel that works for me personally.
Frankly, there’s no frickin’ alternative. I wonder why Apple and Google didn’t take a lead in this market.
The obvious reasons of cheap and compact e books.
So, it definitely has positives but that ‘wow’ factor is missing. It does the job but it just does it. Actually this statement is controversial because it was true for iPods too. They were the first of their kind, had a commercial value and worked well with everyone who likes music and that was it. Now I love books as much but Kindle slightly disappoints because I am looking for little more sophistication or digitization such as few more display options and a backlit screen. I understand the thought behind keeping it as bookish as possible but come on, I know its a device and it will continue to feel so. So, why not give some additional touches. Plus, the biggest problem I have is with the flickering page transition and slowness of controls. And hopefully that whisper-net isn’t going to be a nuisance outside US.
Another pain was the lack of pdf support but good news about that – Yesterday, Amazon announced a firmware upgrade for Amazon Kindle 2 devices. The new firmware 2.3 features improved battery life, better handling of pdf formatted documents, and auto-rotation of the screen. I am still having problem getting mine updated manually so I would wait for Amazon to push it but good to know that they are working on these drawbacks. Check the details here.
If you are a book worm, you will like Kindle. Is it worth $259? – Perhaps but I absolutely abhor buying those sleeves, covers and crap.
But overall, Amazon is doing great and moving in the right direction in Digital Media I believe.