Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Kindle 3, Day 1

Our Kindle 3 has arrived!

First Impressions:

Great idea, neat product.

Starting with the simple, yet effective packaging, the lightness, touch and feel of the reader; ease with which the equipment starts-up; the way it fits into is book-like cover, down to the cool bar-code design (incorporates a book-reader under a tree, in silhouette). Impressive.

The 3G connections are pretty fast. We started by downloading two books from Project Gutenberg and another four free ($0) books from the Amazon-Kindle Store.

The  matted screen display has the look and feel of paper, and the LED lights built into the cover are perfectly adequate for helping you read in complete darkness.

I like the idea of hassle-free connectivity - no worries about service-providers, data-transfer rates and compatibility. With this one little book you can stay connected to your email, search engines and browsers anywhere in the world - for free! :-)

The external speakers are good. The `screen savers` remain on when you shut down the machine and mimic fresh pencil illustrations.

Second Thoughts:

The cursor movement is a bit bizarre - maybe the directional-pad takes some getting used to...Some downloads happen without any on-screen indication (not even the whirl @ top left) - there is nothing on the screen to tell you that the process is still on. Many useful functions are hidden away under `Experimental` - especially the web browser and audio-reader. Even though the audio-reader can be activated with a two-key combination, all too often, the male voice sounds bland and robotic and seems oblivious of commas, full stops, exclamations and pauses.

When it comes to web-browsing this is certainly not an alternative to a laptop. Page downloads are slow - especially those heavy on pics and graphics. Sites like FaceBook will ask you to go through a verification process - perhaps because the IP address is not fixed on a 3G network.

The Let-Downs:

The Kindle Store seems to be rather fickle on special offers. While checking the Amazon-store simultaneously on a laptop and the Kindle, special offers that were displayed as available (eg., `because you purchased Edgar Allan Poe`s Poems`) on the laptop screen,  would not shown up at all on the Kindle screen!

The USB connector/charger cable smells toxic - air it for a few days before tucking it in your bag.

Kindle is not upfront about quite a few things and the user-guide leaves you with more questions than answers : how much does the lighted-cover weigh? how long will the battery last? - a pertinent question since it cannot be changed by the user; how much will a replacement cost? In case there is a software/hardware glitch, how does one get the equipment checked or repaired?

Why is Kindle selling copyright-free books that are available as free-downloads?

No answers.


Yet to Figure Out:
  • How does the Kindle offer 3G connectivity for free, worldwide?
  • Will 3G be free in India? - especially after the operators paid huge fees during the recent spectrum auctions?
  • How does Whispernet work?
  • How secure / insecure is this network when you cannot pinpoint the service provider?

Kindle Global Coverage with 3G / EDGE, GPRS: http://client0.cellmaps.com/tabs.html#cellmaps_intl_tab
Kindle Boards - Discussion forum http://www.kindleboards.com/index.php/topic,3520.0.html

Kindle - Official Site for Customer Discussions - http://www.amazon.com/Kindle-Amazons-Wireless-Reading-Device/forum/Fx1D7SY3BVSESG/-/1

Cool Barcode Designs - http://infosthetics.com/archives/2009/11/visually_designing_barcodes.html


RA said...

the main judge about kindle must be about the core objective of the device... the question must be ... is it a good (comfortable, user friendly, convenient) e-book reader?, other aspects such as 3G connection, web browser, speakers ... are additional items

and... before the purchase.. the buyer must think what kind of user he/she is.. otherwise, it will link to the new dilemma: kindle or ipad??????

(one unfair comparison, because these two devices have different purposes)

Dinakarr said...

Thanks, RA. I wonder if you noticed - i never mentioned iPad, let alone compare it with the Kindle3!