The All-New Kindle 3
Posted on September 19, 2010 in Blog
Being the proud owner of a new Amazon Kindle 3 for just over two weeks now, (and obsessing about it for much longer than that), I feel more than qualified to publish a judgement on its capabilities.
My partner, having purchased the device for me in order to reclaim his iPad with its Kindle and iBooks applications, kindly bought me the £149 version which comes with both wireless and 3G access. This was important to me as it means I can download a book anywhere in the world, with no need to rely on wi-fi access to do it. Just the knowledge that I’m able to do this fills me with an unaccountably warm, safe feeling that other book-obsessed people will no doubt recognise.
I was also treated to the black leather Kindle case (without light), that Amazon flog for the princely sum of £29.99. I could have had a pink one or a red one but, in the interests of image, I settled for the black. Said case is hotly debated on the Amazon Kindle review pages, largely to its detriment, in that the price is very high for what you get. Cleverly, Amazon have patented the unique attachment device that securely anchors your Kindle to the cover, thereby securing their monopoly on covers for the foreseeable, until some clever inventor-type comes up with a legal alternative. Personally, I think the cover is good quality and I like the elastic cover band with its leather tag which advertises its contents as being the ‘AmazonKindle’, no less.
After the initial excitement of opening the long-awaited parcel, cranking the Kindle up and cooing over its cute appearance and handbag size, I came down to earth a bit when I realised there was no backlight. After using the iPad for my e-reading, the Kindle screen seemed rather flat and dull in comparison. It was my own fault. High on anticipation, I’d failed to properly read the Amazon description – which doesn’t mention it isn’t backlit, just that it possesses an ‘All-New, High Contrast E Ink Screen’. Which sounded BRIGHT to me. Another clue was the fact they sell the leather cover with a light attached for…wait for it…£49.99. Anyway, once I’d accepted the fact it wasn’t backlit, I was able to move on with my life.
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Here are some other good things about the Kindle 3:
Extremely compact and portable
Probably 2/3rd size of a paperbook page with buttons
Downloads in an instant, fantastic selection of titles, far superior to iBooks
You can download a free sample of any book – around 3 chapters –before you buy. Most titles are cheaper than buying a hard copy.
Battery life is fantastic
It’s for reading books. Don’t compare it to the iPad – you’ll need one of those as well.
Here are one or two not-so-good things about the Kindle 3:
Realistically it’s for one use and one use only. Add-ons are just not useful, eg; you can access Facebook but it’s not worth it…mainly for lack of colour interface. Same goes for downloads of newspapers and magazines – they don’t come to life.
Case is very good quality but overpriced
Buttons are fiddly and cumbersome if you’re used to iphone/ipad touch screen technology like me. Eventually, after several attempts at touching and stroking the screen expectantly, the Apple-created brain neuron fuses and you come out of denial. There would also be more of a reading space if you could do away with the buttons use a touch keyboard to search the Kindle shop.
Functions are not intuitive like ipad.
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I don’t care about the bad things, I love my Kindle. Yesterday, amongst the heaving mass of shoppers in M&S Meadowhall, I parked myself on a stool in the shoe department while my partner queued at the tills. There, I proceeded to lose myself in Kathryn Stockett’s The Help AND I downloaded Trick of the Dark by Val McDermid.
Just because I could.