First Impression – Amazon Kindle

Yesterday afternoon, I had received my Amazon Kindle e-ink based reader. While I will admit I hadn’t used it as much as I would want to, this is due to my resources rather than the product. I had received the option to take the device with a down payment, and 5 more monthly payments of $18/payment. First, I bought the device for one reason which is fine considering the limited role it has. I bought it to be an e-book reader. While I could read books on my PC, phone, or Nexus 7 tablet, the desire to have as close to a paper interface as possible was important.

Essentially, this is intended to be a book reader device rather than anything further. In addition, this is intended to have a much longer battery life, and a much more pleasant viewing where e-ink does not have nearly the same kind of strain as LCD screens. I had purchased the basic model without any ads on the screen. This will cost about $100 after the purchase price, and taxes. The tablet has a screen saver where a random b&w image on the screen. The device has a page back, and a page forward on each side. There is a back button, a keyboard button, a 5 way cursor, a menu button, and home button. The bottom has a power button, and micro-USB port. There is nothing on top, nor is there any 3.5mm jack. In addition, there is 1.25GB of usable storage which is integrated. This will provide for about 1200 books. There is no expansion storage.

The Good

The good is battery life. After the initial charge, and doing a couple of chapters of reading – however there is no discernable loss of battery. I will expect at least 2 weeks of use. The Kindle is great as a e-ink device. This means less issues with sun glare, and assurance of reading no matter the environment. The device is easy to hold, and a pleasant means in a similar size or shape as a paperback novel. However, the tablet is much thinner, and slightly larger. Again, it seems to do one thing great, and that is what you would expect.

There is also a very effective means of receiving new books, and publications, However, there it seems to not want to sync while in sleep mode. Therefore – there is no active connection, or push capability. It is also very light, and easy to hold. This is important when you are trying to read documentation. And of course, I could email documents to myself which is done through attaching a compliant document to the email, and it should hopefully push to the Kindle

The Bad

I borrowed a book, and wasn’t satisfied after reading a couple of pages. I returned the book, however it will seem that I still have this book in my list which is annoying. Yes, Amazon knows I returned the book, but it seems to still be in my list. This will mean I am stuck having to scroll with a page or two. This could be annoying as my e-book collection should expand. I am hoping that it will disappear if I no longer own the book should disappear.

There is no touch screen. I know this device is cheap, but you would think that if Amazon is claiming to take a loss in hopes that people will buy content from them – then they should add touch screen. Otherwise, I am using a remote control vs. TV method where I am using the cursor to select one letter at a time. This makes it a little harder for a first time user to deal with.

There is no speaker, nor a 3.5mm jack. So, Amazon owns Audible.com which is an audio book service. So, you want to use your Audio book with your Kindle? Well, F*** You. There is no reasonable method that I could think of to get access to audio books on the Kindle. Now, I am sure that more premium models will have this, but a 3.5mm audio jack is found on $25 cellular phones. So, why it’s not in the Kindle is only a major black eye on this device.

The Ugly

No SD card, but considering there is support for about 1200 books, this should not be an issue. There are two what looks like power contacts on the bottom, but I don’t think there is anything to make use of it. Now I know that color e-Ink isn’t probable, but it would be nice to at least see it in future versions. And while the Paperwhite offers a backlit screen, it would have been nice if this was in the lesser models. And yes, I could use my Nexus 7, but again – there is a reason why I bought the Kindle.

Verdict

This is a good device for what it does. There are a couple of extra features, but this to me is silly to have. It would be nice to have more than 1 book per month for Prime Members to borrow – especially with the price increase of 25% with Amazon Prime. The device is small, and easy to hold – even though the lack of an audio jack is the black eye. For those that have bought books from Amazon should be able to get a discount on the e-book version. I have even found a few free books as well. This is worth considering especially if you want the simplicity of reading a book.

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