After much internal debate and turmoil, I finally succumbed to the idea of purchasing a Kindle. I must say that I’m quite pleased with the product, having been an early adopter of the Sony Reader and paying dearly for it, with the added insult to injury when Sony decided to drop support for it’s PRS 500 on the Mac a couple of years later. Yes. I own a Mac now. I cannot ever imagine visiting the Free Software Foundation again, having turned over to the dark side so radically by purchasing more than one DRM-infested, anti-libre product of the agents of darkness in the same year.
Back to the Kindle. It’s got a great big 9.7″ display that’s very crisp. The battery life is good, and e-ink technology just seems to be getting better. Screen repainting has room for improvement – I don’t see much of a difference between my three year old Sony and the new DX when it comes to the page refresh speed. I do see a marked difference in the sharpness of the image which makes reading PDFs with small text much more easy to handle. The auto rotating screen is nice except when trying to read in bed and if you don’t mind reaching out awkwardly to flip the page. The Sony Reader on the other hand has smarter button placement.
The highlighting feature is a cruel joke. Anything that requires you to maneuver a tiny joystick to select text clearly hasn’t considered the important market segment with hand-eye dis-coordination. Also, the placement of the said joystick – otherwise referred to as a 5-way controller – is poor IMHO. The DX is also great for magazines and PDFs with it’s large form factor. The built-in 3G is dangerous and runs the risk of bankrupting the Kindle owner.
I’m curiously watching the Kindle’s forays into social features such as showing the popular highlights by exploiting the naivete of users that opt to store their highlighted text on the Amazon servers for safekeeping.
In summary, I do love my new Kindle, despite its shortcomings.