Kindle Review

| Monday, November 2, 2009
I got a Kindle last week and have been unable to put it down. I have been reading practically nonstop while not a work. My Kindle was an unexpected gift and I have been grateful to have it.

My Kindle
I had only seen a Kindle once before and wasn't completely sold on the idea of it. It was a pretty cool system, but I didn't think it looked cool enough. That is probably the first impression that most people will have. Compared to some of the other electronics out there today, a Kindle seems pretty lackluster in comparison (look at the iPhone, netbooks, and other such electronics for example). The Kindle however has one primary purpose, to provide an excellent reading environment, and it does just that.

When you look at the kindle, you literally feel like you are reading an actual page from a book.
Kindle uses a high-resolution display technology called electronic paper. It works using ink just like books and newspapers, but it displays the ink particles electronically...The electronic paper display is reflective, which means unlike most displays, you can read it clearly even in bright sunlight. Also, electronic paper does not need power to hold the ink in place, which extends your Kindle’s battery life.
-Kindle User's Guide

Truly incredible. I am still impressed. If you notice in the image below, the Kindle is sitting right in the sun, but the words are still completely visible. It is literally like a book.
And that is the reason I love the Kindle so much. Unlike a computer, iPhone, or other electronic device, you can stare at the Kindle for the same amount of time that you can stare at a normal book. The convenience of having multiple books with you wherever you go in such a small place is a nice little bonus (although I typically never carried more than 2 books with me at a time, but now I have about 20).

The Kindle offers lots of other little cool things such as an easy way to grab your favorite quotes from what you are reading, note taking ability at a certain spot in a book, and a simple way to get to your notes and quotes off the Kindle on to your computer or other device. The Kindle has Wifi connectivity so I can browse the internet (in black and white of course and it is a bit clunky, but it is nice to have just in case).

Getting books is one of the areas that I really like and dislike. The thing that I love is how simple it is to get a book onto your Kindle. If you purchase it at the Amazon store, it downloads itself directly to your Kindle (that's right, I simply say I want it and it adds itself to my system in about a minute). You can purchase books directly through your Kindle or on your computer. The thing I dislike about books is there is no local library that I can use for free to check out books. That means that if I want to read a new book, I either have to pay for it to get it on my Kindle (it's only $9.99 for a new release so cheaper than in the bookstore) or wait for it at the library as usual which kind of defeats the point of getting a Kindle. This is just a minor problem thought because there are hundreds of books that are free at the Amazon book store or on several other sites. Also, if you can print something to PDF, then you can get it onto your Kindle in a readable format.

Overall, during the past 4 days that I have been using my Kindle, I have been impressed. I take it with me everywhere and am constantly turning it on and reading a few pages here and there (it saves where I am reading in each book, so I don't need to worry about losing my spot). Would I recommend getting your own Kindle? I don't know to be honest. The Kindle comes with a current price tag of $259. I wouldn't trade my Kindle for anything now that I have it, but like I said, I got it as a gift. If you are in the business of buying books often, it may be a good investment for you as there are lots of free books out there and typically the Kindle version will be cheaper than the hard copy. If you are like me, and live at the library because you prefer free books to purchasing, then the Kindle might not be for you, unless of course you have the money to spend on it. Then, I would definitely go for it.

Remember though, you will only be able to share your books with your friends that have a Kindle as well. If you do, let me know what books you have and I'd be happy to let you check out my books. Off to read my Kindle now.
Notice that even from the extreme angle, you can still read the words that are written (no glare)

Another angled shot
One more angled shot