Amazon Kindle 3

About a year and a half ago, my wife purchased an Amazon Kindle for me. I loved this device and it was always in my computer bag. There have been several occasions while traveling that I was happy that I could simply add another book to my device and not have to worry about carrying extra books or finding a store that had a book I wanted to read.

For example, last Thanksgiving my wife and I traveled to visit our parents (we live several hundred miles from where we grew up). While there, I spent a significant period of time in bed, sick. I read four books during this time. When I finished one, I simply logged on to the Amazon Store, bought another, and continued reading. One of the surprising aspects of this was that the cell service where I was is pretty bad, however, my Kindle had no trouble at all logging on and downloading my books.

The import is that I have had a Kindle for quite a while and I love it. Recently, Amazon released their third generation Kindle. Knowing how much I liked my Kindle, my wife bought a Kindle 3 for herself. She had hers for about two days before I ordered one of my own. In fact, everyone in our family seems to enjoy using our Kindles.

Reading a Kindle

My Daughter Reading Her Mother's Kindle

I have now had my Kindle 3 for about a month. I believe it is an improvement over the Kindle 2. In addition to the things I liked about my Kindle 2, let me count the ways I like the Kindle 3.

  • The pages turn more quickly. This may not seem to be a big thing. However, I can see a difference between the two devices.
  • The screen contrast is better. I thought the Kindle 2 was easy to read. The Kindle 3 is better.
  • The Kindle 3 is smaller. It’s not a lot smaller, but it is smaller and the difference is noticeable.
  • I like 5-way navigator without the joystick. I think it’s easier to use.
  • I can get a lighted cover for the Kindle 3.

The lighted cover may not seem like a big deal, but I thought it was wonderful. In fact, it’s what really convinced me to get the Kindle 3. One of the drawbacks to using e-ink is that the screen is not backlit. This means that you have to have ambient light to read the Kindle. I have clip on book light that I used with the Kindle 2. The problem was that the light never seemed to be where I was when I needed it.

The new cover solves this problem. The light is built in to the cover and runs off the Kindle battery power. Further, it is situated to properly light the screen. I love this and use it almost every night before going to sleep.

I don’t want to imply that the Kindle 3 is perfect. I still think that it needs a touch screen. Everyone I have ever handed the device to tries to control it by touching the screen. That’s simply how our devices work today. Also, they have removed the number row from the keyboard. I do not like this decision. I rarely type anything on the keyboard. However, when I do, it almost always includes numbers. I don’t like having to go into the symbol chart to enter numbers.

If you like reading, you should try the Kindle out. You will likely be surprised how much you enjoy reading on it.

For another view of the Kindle 3 check out this post from Michael Hyatt.

My Wife is Awesome

This week my wife and I are celebrating our 16th wedding anniversary. Although we typically don’t do the gift thing for our anniversary, we decided to give each other a gift this year. Last night we exchanged our gifts. To my surprise, my wife bought me a Kindle.

I have been intrigued by the Kindle for quite a while. Plus I know that both Ernie the Attorney and Michael Hyatt love their Kindle. Thus, I was quite excited to get my hands on it and try it out.

My first impressions, after using it for less than 18 hours:

  • I love the sleek, thin design.
  • I love the pictures that are displayed on the screen when it is in sleep mode.
  • The e-ink is crisp, clear, and easy to read.
  • Buying a book is a very easy process (perhaps way too easy for me).
  • I wish the bottom (where the keyboard is) was tapered slightly. I think it would be easier to hold and type on if it were.
  • I wish it had a touch screen. the 5-way navigator works fine to move your cursor around the page, however, it does not work nearly as nicely or elegantly as it would if it had a touch screen.

Although I have the second generation Kindle, I recognize that this technology is really still in its first generation. I an anticpate that in the near future, we will see these devices with color screens, touch screens, and the ability to take notes on the screen. I know Plastic Logic is working on some aspects of this now. On the other hand, the Kindle has a market and appears to be selling well. Plastic Logic doesn’t expect to hit the market until 2010.

Anyway, I love the Kindle so far and my wife is awesome for getting it for me.

A New E-Reader

I am a big fan of ebooks. They are certianly more portable than regular books. Although I read my ebooks on my Treo, I am always happy to see advancements in e-reader technology. engadget has a post about a new e-reader from Plastic Logic.  This device is thinner than the Kindle, plus it is flexible. Additionally, it’s display is 8 1/2 x 11. This means that it likely won’t fit in your pocket. However, it should fit just fine in a briefcase. This decision seems to make sense in that Plastic Logic is marketing this to the business market.

Of course, the downside is that it does not connect direclty to Amazon to download books over a cellular network. Instead, you connect to your computer via a USB cable, Wi-Fi, or Bluetooth.

Although the video below is a sales presentation, it does give a nice overview of the product.

Also, you can find some pictures of it here.