The Amazon Kindle (and what’s on my sidebar)

Today I had to take one of my cars to the dealer for the state inspection.  As usual, I took my Kindle
to read while I waited, and as usual, I also found good conversation among my compatriots.  While I was twittering awayI was asked how I liked that.  Which that I asked (I  had the iPhone and the Kindle out!)  Admittedly the answer is the same regardless–I love ’em!  “The Kindle” she said.

Well, I do love the Kindle.  In fact, I have it linked on the right here in the “recommended” widget for people to find, and buy.  I decided perhaps it was time for me to share my thoughts on the Kindle, now that has been out for a year.

I started with the Sony eReader Sony PRS-505 .  I enjoyed the thin design, the simple two button approach, and was quite impressed with the eInk technology.  I was also impressed with the ruggedness of the design (I dropped it twice, and while I caused some damage to the chassis, the electronics, and the screen, held up just fine.)  But something was “lacking.”  So, when given an opportunity to get the Kindle, I stepped up.

So what do I like about the Kindle?

  • Wireless delivery.  This is really a “game changer” for me.  I realize Andy Ihnatko mentioned the wireless connectivity, and web-browsing were the game changers, but I think that simply having subscriptions and books delivered through Amazon’s “Whispernet” (i.e., Sprint’s wireless data network) makes the device for me.
  • Get “samples” of books delivered for free, direct to the Kindle, to try before I buy.
  • Ability to not only convert and read Word and PDF documents, and images to Kindle format (simply by emailing it to your Kindle account) but also the ability to have those documents delivered wirelessly simply by emailing it to yourself.  (yes, it costs 10 cents, but honestly, when I want to take several academic papers with me to read/review, it’s worth the 50 cents!)
  • Same eInk technology as the Sony reader.  Yes, it is slow updating, but seriously, can you turn a page MUCH faster and be able to read it? It’s clear, crisp text.  What more do I need?
  • Storage.  As with the Sony, I can store books internally, and on memory cards.
  • Screen Captures:  save GIF images of the pages you are reading.
  • MP3 player built in.  It’s not a “great” player, but you can listen to your favorite tunes while you read, or even listen to an audio book when you tire of reading.
  • Oh, and since it has wireless, they included an experimental browser, and other cool “Easter egg” features.

But what is the BIGGEST selling point for me?

  • Highlighting and notating text! With the Kindle I can highlight sections of the text, for later searching or referencing, and I can add my own personal notations to that text.  Think of it as “digital margin writing.”  This feature appeals to the academic in me, since it allows me to not only read, but “mark” my text, add my thoughts and running commentary, and the Kindle even saves it to text, so I can easily import the source information directly into my own articles and presentations!

So there you have it, my quick summary of what *I* love about the Kindle.


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