The new Kindle up close

Published October 2, 2010

I got to have a peek at the brand new Kindle today, and although I was expecting to want to steal it from my brother - who is the proud owner of the device - it actually turned out that I wasn’t that keen on it. I love the device from a distance, I love people that have a Kindle, and I encourage people to get one if they want one, but here are five reasons I wasn’t keen.

  1. The page turn. I just couldn’t live with it. The screen flashing on and off, text changing black and white. It only lasts a split second, I know, but compared with the smooth slide of the apps I am used to, I’m just not sure I could take that e-ink step.
  2. No touchscreen. My instant reaction is to want to touch the screen to navigate around. That may well be because I am used to the iPad and Desire by now, but it did feel very clunky to have to navigate with buttons.
  3. It’s just marginally too big. This version is a lot smaller than the previous ones, and deliciously light. A lot of complaints about the iPad are its hefty weight, and if that is the case, the Kindle is a brilliant alternative. However, with the bigger Kindles, you know you’re going to need two hands. This new one is just slightly bigger than your average paperback, and therefore I feel like I should be able to hold it in one hand. I held it for a while and it wasn’t comfortable. I don’t know if I would want to use it with one hand anyway, but it just didn’t quite feel right.
  4. No backlight. I know that is a big selling point, and is actually a lot better for your eyes, but the idea of having to go back to adjusting my sitting position so as not to be casting shadows is not really very appealing.
  5. No sepia option. I am usually using the sepia version on my apps, and naturally being limited to greyscale on the Kindle would put pay to that.

These are all very subjective things, though, and like I said at the start, I did love the device. We particularly enjoyed listening to the text-to-speech people and laughing at their attempts to read. My brother pondered whether Amazon’s attempt to try and introduce more and more features to the Kindle will actually be detrimental to its core use, but I suppose we shall have to see how far they take it.

I loved seeing the Kindle, but I’m sticking with my iPad for now.

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