So, after much waiting, my Kindle 3 Wi-Fi finally arrived last Wednesday and so far I am blown away. The display which had been advertised as having 50% better contrast is amazing and those cheesy bikini-girl-reading-Kindle-in-Sunlight-mocking–iPad-boy TV commercials are actually very accurate.
The display is crisp and just like reading paper but what really blows me away is the page refresh time….you can rapidly click the Next Page button and it can just about keep up at about a 1/2 second delay per page which is perfect…..after having tested other models, trust me, the 1-2 second delay on other readers is just on the edge of being annoying. Same thing with changing the display orientation to Landscape mode or font size – just a second to refresh versus more than that for previous Kindles & Nooks.
The Wifi works great – but so far have only tested it at home. But man, within the first hour I had downloaded 6 PDF books and a bunch of MP3s (which it will let you listen to in the background), and then downloaded another 6-10 public domain free books (never know when I may get around to reading Les Miserables again – OK, not sure that would realistically ever happen again – but just in case, I got it now…who knows when I may get stuck in a Chilean mine and need lots of reading material.)
But the real winning part of the Kindle experience is the connection to the Amazon Kindle store. It is such a smooth experience to browse Kindle Books, Magazines, and Blog Subscriptions…if I see a book I like, that very minute I can download a few sample chapters, and they make it SOOOOOO easy to buy things. Since I had bought the Kindle with my Amazon Account, the Kindle came delivered to me already connected to my Account and with a simple click, I was now able to buy books and magazines with just a click just as I have always been able to do online. Off and on for the last year I had been looking for a used copy of the infamous “Peopleware” book which sometimes sold for as high as $78 even as a used book on Amazon…..but Sunday, I saw the Kindle version selling for $9.99 and 10 minutes later, the book was on my Kindle ready for me to read (so far I get it why the book “Peopleware” is so popular)
Even playing with the Read-to-Me function is kind of fun – its not perfect (which is why they have it under a “Experimental” menu but it does work and the kids got a kick listening to it read to them….and yes I understand the irony of that.
But the biggest surprise – the Web Browser – after having tested web browsers on Kindle 2 and Nook, my expectations could not be lower and actually its nothing I thought would be an actual feature I would use – but the web browser on the Kindle 3 actually kind of works……its not excruciating to use as other models are – I can actaully check ESPN scores, USA Today headlines, CNBC news, and if I was so inclined (I am not though) I could post updates to Facebook and Twitter from it – OK maybe I will Tweet from my Kindle just to see it but my point is – it actually works kind of good and that’s saying alot.
Could I see myself upgrading in the next year to a newer e-reader? You bet, I mean more than anything e-ink readers need touch screens – navigating down to a phrase or work to annotate or look up in the built-in dictionary is way too annoying on any e-reader and the ability to zoom in on diagrams and other PDF documents using your fingers just makes too much sense – so that is what would have to be next for me to jump.
But overall, the Kindle 3 just works, and it does what it is supposed to do very well. Extra perks like letting me play MP3s so I can listen to the Foo Fighters in the background or browsing the Net when away from a PC are just extra treats – lets face it – for $139, even if this becomes obsolete in a year, I’ll get my moneys worth with as much as I read to read. I think this may officially end my long-distance relationship with the Barnes & Noble store in Sioux Falls.
Hope your Fall weather is as great as it has been around here lately