Sunday, August 29, 2010

Kindle 3 initial impressions

I've now owned my Kindle 3 for a few days. Some initial impressions.


1. It doesn't feel as well made as the Kindle 2. The back is plastic rather than metal. The smaller size makes Kindle 3 less easy to hold in my (relatively large) hands than Kindle 2.

2. The page turn buttons are not as good. They're small and I more frequently fumble clicking the next page.

3. The new five way navigation device is not as good as Kindle 2. The other buttons are too close and it's easy to slip and click a button above or below the navigation device.

4. I do miss the row of dedicated number keys. These are now accessible by the Kindle function. I frequently use the numbers keys to navigate to places in a book. These were eliminated as dedicated keys to reduce the size of the device.


1. The higher contrast screen is wonderful. Finally comes close to matching a printed page for contrast. The Kindle 2 screen has too much grey in the background. Kindle 3 isn't pure black and white but it's close enough.

2. Kindle 2 was lightweight. Kindle 3 is even more so. Three Kindles = One iPad. And despite my criticism above, the smaller size with no reduction in screen size is nice.

3. The new operating system adds various tweaks that are positive but none significant enough to note here. I have no use for the function that lets you see what sections of books were highlighted by other people who own the same book.

4. Twice the memory is nice.

5. Page turns are marginally and noticeably faster. But I never had problems with the Kindle 2 speed.

6. The new carbon color is nice but I liked the white and silver of Kindle 2.

Conclusion? Very worthwhile purchase. $140 for the Wifi only version. Should you spend $50 extra to add 3G wireless? It is unlimited, forever but it's not essential--perhaps useful if you're going to be using the Kindle as a backup browser in places where you need to find some critical piece of info.

Waiting for my Waterfield Designs slipcase. Not going to buy one of those Amazon leather cases that make the Kindle look like a Moleskine when the case is closed.