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12 September 2008 @ 09:14 am
Kindle Killer?  
New "kindle killer" e-reader on the horizon, but I confess I am skeptical. How is an 8 1/2 x 11 plastic sheet easy to carry around and pack and stuff? Sure, it has a bigger screen, but is it electronic ink? Nope. Can you slip it into your purse? Not so much. It has wi-fi, but is that service free, in the same way as Amazon's whispernet? We don't know.

I'm not being defensive of Kindle, I am just skeptical that this new model is any "better". It's different, and I'm sure people who love to use their e-reader to read the morning paper will love having a larger screen, a touch screen. But me? I use Kindle to read books, to take my library with me everywhere, to read friend's manuscripts and my own in electronic format easily and conveniently. The ability to read office docs without conversion is, I grant, pretty damn cool. But I can convert a Word doc in about thirty seconds all by myself with Mobicreator, so I don't pine about this feature for Kindle much.

Kindle killer? I don't think so yet. And I wonder what Amazon's Kindle 2.0 will end up looking like sometime in 2009.
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purple_shoes on September 12th, 2008 06:32 pm (UTC)
I agree. I don't have a Kindle but I'm looking forward to getting one, and what I liked about it is the tie in to amazon's available media and the size.

This one looks just too big; I don't see how having something the size of a piece of paper is more mobile than something the size of a paperback.

And WiFi makes me raise my eyebrows. Sure, people can get excited about it, but we don't know if it's free, or is it like a laptop, and one can only use it where free WiFi is available? In which case, I'd rather stick with Kindle, which as I understand, I can download books from anywhere, not just in the area of a hotspot.

I'm excited that the ebook phenomena has finally taken off, and there are definitely things I've read about Kindle that could be improved. But I'm not willing to declare it dead until we see how this new one is in action. I like I said, I'm still pretty taken with Kindle's set up anyway. And the idea of the touchscreen on the new one doesn't exactly get me reeling, either.

But since you have one - do you really like your Kindle? I'm thinking of getting one maybe next year, I was debating waiting until the 2.0 to see what kind of improvements will be offered.
rhienellethrhienelleth on September 12th, 2008 08:52 pm (UTC)
I LOVE my Kindle. Sure, it isn't perfect, but it's pretty damn close for me and what I use it for, which is reading books and manuscripts.

I have a first impressions review of it here, with a picture comparing it to a mass market paperback. I also talk about my take on some of the drawbacks other people have mentioned in my review, and if you click on my "kindle" tag, I've done a couple of other fly-by posts about things I'm doing with it. :) It's a cool enough gadget that one of my best friend's, who is dyslexic, ended up buying one a month after I got mine, and has read more books since then than she did in the entire year previous. (The ability to change font size really makes all the difference for her.)

Could amazon improve it? Sure, and I hope they do. But for a first generation e-reader/gizmo, it is pretty damn cool, and it works as advertised.
purple_shoes on September 12th, 2008 09:30 pm (UTC)
Thank you, that review and you other posts have been helpful!

I really like the idea of changing font size, too, my mother has horrible eyesight and can't wear glasses, and she's stopped reading because the letters in books are too small. So it's really nice they are making that available to people, she wants one too but we've both been holding off since it's a little out of our price range.

I am mostly hearing good things about it, which pleases me and makes me want one even more! I was also wondering, I've read reviews on Amazon that say it locks up a lot when they first start using it. Is this a problem you have had? Or one that your friend has had? I'm not sure to see it as a bug in the first generation, or if just some unlucky people got together and are making it seem that way.
rhienellethrhienelleth on September 12th, 2008 09:33 pm (UTC)
I have yet to have mine lock up, and neither has my friend. We've only had them for a couple of months, but we've both used them pretty much daily, for what it's worth.

I've really been amazed at the negativity in some of the Amazon reviews, not to mention the number of "reviews" by people who don't even own a Kindle! How can someone review a product they've never even seen in person?
purple_shoes on September 12th, 2008 09:57 pm (UTC)
That's good to know! I would think daily use would be the best test for that.

That is something that frustrates me, too. I like reading reviews from people who've had the experience, but I don't understand why people post the need to review it, and especially to be negative about it, when they don't even own one. But that seems to be a common theme; like people who hate certain books and movies even though they've never read or seen them, but still feel their opinion is valid. Luckily, now that the Kindle's been out longer, those reviews have mostly faded and the bulk of them seem very good and balanced. I feel like I'm getting a much more reliable view on how it functions.