Friday, September 04, 2009

Thoughts on my Kindle

http://news.cnet.com/i/bto/20071119/kindlehand.jpg
I got my kindle a few months ago. It's a pretty amazing device. I've been playing around with this trying to figure out how this technology could fit with what my company does as a future offering in the document space.

I like my device a lot. I've read a number of books on it, and I get my Wall Street Journal delivered to it daily.

Here's what I really like about it:
  • It works over a cellular network, not a wireless network, so you can get content any time, any where.
  • The size and form factor. It fits well in my hand and in my backpack for when I travel.
  • The easy of which you can buy books and even test drive a book is great. You can shop from the device or from the web site.
  • The end user experience is awesome. The packaging was awesome and when I opened it up, it was already linked to my Amazon content, with a personalized letter from the God of Amazon - Jeff Bezos.
  • The ability to have it read to you through headphones. I ran across my first book where the publisher had turned the feature off, which was annoying.
  • The screen quality. The screen is ePaper, which means that once you light up a pixel, it stays lit up without additional power. It actually cycles the screen every so often with a picture of a different author, in fairly high resolution.
  • I love the iPhone sync feature. On my iPhone, I can open the app and read exactly where I've left off on my Kindle, and vice versa once I go back to my Kindle after reading on my iPhone.

The downsides I've found so far are:
  • No back-lighting. I think Amazon treats this more like a book, which needs lighting as well.
  • No touch-screen. I don't mind it as much as think it could provide some cool features
  • Power consumption will give you roughly a week of usage, lots longer if you turn off the wireless connection.
  • You have to be a bit stealthy to read this on an airplane before you get up to 30,000 fee because of their rules on electronic devices.
  • No ability to check a book out, like you would from a library. The books are cheap, never more than $9.99, but the library is still a lot cheaper.
  • PDF viewing. You have to convert PDF's to Amazon's kindle format unless you have the larger Kindle, which will read them natively. The upside is that can e-mail content to your kindle's e-mail address and for around $.10 it will deliver the document right to your device, converted and ready to go.
  • You can't charge it with a standard usb cord, instead having to use Amazon's special plug to charge it with higher voltage.
All that being said, I think this will change things. I'm trying to start to use this for document storage for meetings. It will never be a notebook computer, even though you can browse the web with it. You can highlight areas of a document and clip notes out that you can reference when you sync it up to your computer. I haven't figured out how to deliver an article or book clip via e-mail yet, which would be nice. I'd love a print driver that would easily feed documents to my kindle instead of a printer.

2 comments:

Rod said...

Good Read, Cool device .. just expensive.

Noel Heikkinen said...

I agree with Rod. I am tempted to get a Kindle, but I keep agreeing with...well...almost everyone.