Sunday, 2 January 2011

Kindle: First Impressions

There’s no doubting what it is when it arrives.

Amazon correctly anticipate the Nerdcitement and helpfully provide Frustration Free ™ packaging!

Cue choir of angels and shaft of light.

Won’t be needing or reading that.

The USB cable handily arranges itself into a loose Atomic symbol and doubles as plug-in charger.

Seems straightforward enough.

‘Tis a thing of beauty, and yes I am afraid of Virginia Wolf!

When the Kindle is in sleep mode it has a number of literary screen savers that are rather neat.

What shall we read first? Well perhaps I’m a tad biased, but how about . . .

I knew it was small, thin, and light, but until you handle it you don’t realise how thin and light, the Kindle feels. I have a huge hardback single volume version of The Lord of the Rings, that I love dearly, but is an unwieldy tome. Next time I reread LotR it’ll be on the Kindle and it’ll be considerably easier. Feels good in the hand, but I’m a bit wary of gripping it too hard, or too lightly and dropping. Also worried about storage, that screen looks easy to damage. I’ll be glad when protective cover I ordered arrives.

The eInk works well, clear good contrast. It has a retro feel, partly because black and greyscale which are reminiscent of early LCD screens. Especially being used to modern colour LCD screens, but reading on a Laptop is a chore, reading on the Kindle is a joy.

Everything else is easy enough (once you remember your network password). So far I’ve bought kindle books from the Amazon store, emailed eBooks I already own to my kindle by means of my ‘name’ email account, connected by the USB cable to drag and drop eBooks straight from my Laptop to the kindle, and used Calibre to convert books in various formats to mobi format then used that to send books to my kindle. Notice how I stopped calling it the kindle and started calling it my kindle about halfway through this post?

On the downside, although it reads pdfs it's not ideal. Although, you can email them to your email addy and Amazon will convert them to mobi format. Which works okay for pdfs that are pure text, but not so well for other stuff such as manuals, or textbooks with tables, diagrams, and illustrations. Obviously full colour books and magazine are going to lose a little in translation, but in truth the Kindle isn’t designed to handle these, it's designed to handle plain text and that it does, and does well.

The only other slight worry are the buttons, especially the next page buttons. They don’t feel that sturdy and will face much use.

First impression then are good. I'll get back with a full review after a few months of use. Meanwhile I’m off to hug my Kindle.


Tara McClendon said...

Awesome. Enjoy your new toy.

Lee Reynoldson said...

Cheers, Tara.

John said...

I got my Kindle in October of last year (a present to myself) - and I haven't put it down since.

I now have a larger library of digital books than paperback or hard cover. (Don't tell, but I managed to sell most of my paper books and replace them with their digital counterparts - hahaha!).

Lee Reynoldson said...

Hey, John sorry I didn't see your post earlier (I never remeber to go back and check comments). Cheers for posting.

I'm still loving my kindle. It's easily my favourite bit of tech.