Yep, I broke down and finally bought a Kindle. The latest generation of the Kindle just finally sold me on getting one. The price was right, and the recent changes to the overall design were nice too. Why did I get a Kindle over the “magical” Apple iPad? One reason, I wanted a device specifically for reading. Sure you can read books on the iPad, but it’s a brightly lit LCD screen, plus the iPad is a little weighty. The iPad is a nice device for what it is, but for something to read long term on, it really isn’t up to snuff. I wanted to read books and I wanted it to have a true page like feel to what I was looking at.
When I first took the Kindle out of its box and turned it on, I was immediately impressed with how the screen looks. Instantly I could tell that the eInk screen was going to serve the purpose it was meant to serve with little trouble. It really felt like reading off of a page with ink on it rather than reading a digital screen. The contrast on the latest Kindle devices is very nice as well. When I first put the Kindle into standby and saw one of the screen saver images that came on the screen, I was instantly impressed with the image quality. Sure, it was in black and white, but it was a very nicely defined black and white.
Since I had previously used the Kindle app on my iPhone and my current Android device, I already had some Kindle books purchased and waiting to be downloaded. Navigating to my archived books and downloading them was simple enough, even if the refresh rate on the eInk screen doesn’t make for a wonky navigation experience. It’s almost like it redraws the screen everytime you do something (this is probably actually what it’s doing, I’d have to read more on eInk to be sure). However, the wonkiness doesn’t completely detract from the overall user experience for basic reading and usage of the device. Where it’s really noticeable that this screen was not mean to do much more than show something closely resembling a printed page is when you try to use the Kindle’s built in web browser. That’s when the user experience can go way wrong. This device was meant to read books, not surf the net.
You buy a Kindle to read books on. That’s it. It’s not an all in one device like the iPad. So getting Kindle means you kind of hope that it will work for reading books quite well. I’m happy to say that just from this past week of using the Kindle it definitely handles the task of being easy to read off of. I’m officially convinced that the Kindle will do for books what the iPod did for music and it will become synonymous with electronic books the same way the iPod became synonymous with digital music. It just does the job so well. I’ve played with the Nook and the Sony eReaders and the experience with the Kindle just feels better overall. While the Sony eReaders are nice, my initial experience with the Kindle in the same time span as with the Sony eReaders was just a better, more pleasant experience. This might partially be due to the Kindle’s WhisperSync that allowed me to get books onto the device without having to plug into a computer.
I have to say that the Kindle presents me with the nice opportunity to carry around some books to read, without having to carry the physical books. This means a lighter bag to carry and less bulk when actually reading. The Kindle is a joy to hold in my hand and reading off the screen is nice. Overall, I was impressed and ultimately satisfied with my purchase.