Pros 1. Size/Design
2. First Use
5. Built-in Web-browser.
6. MP3 Feature
7. Text-to-speech Feature.
Cons 1. Experimental Web-browser
1. The size and design is just perfect. Easy to use, nice to look at.
2. Getting started out of the box was effortless. I was reading within 5 minutes.
3. The price is unbelievable. Absolutely affordable, cheaper than the new Ipod Touch.
4. The screen is unlike any other. I read longer, faster, and it's easier in every way.
5. It has a built-in web-browser.
6. I can listen to MP3's while I'm reading!
7. Text-to-speech feature is amazing, though with some books, the "voice" of the author is lost. The digital voice is still pretty believable, though.
1. The experimental web-browser is, as of yet, my only disappointment. But then, I did not buy the Kindle for web-browsing. That's what my MacBook Pro is for...
A little about me: I compute on a Pro, I own an ipod touch 2g and 4g, some older ipods, a BlackBerry for voice calls, and have a few handheld gaming devices as well. I carry with me my BlackBerry, my ipod touch 2g, and sometimes a digital camera, if I'm traveling or going to a special occasion for instance. When I travel, I always bring my Pro. I own a Kata bag that stores all of my digital devices and cords/power support and have no issues bringing 5 or 6 devices along because they all do something exclusively well. For instance, I plug my ipod into my car, and listen to music on it while I'm at the gym. I could listen to music on my BlackBerry, sure, but it doesn't hold as much music and sometimes it rings. In the same light, I don't want to carry an expensive laptop with me everywhere, constantly watching it and lugging it around, making sure it's not exposed to extreme temperatures, being dropped, or that I'm not leaving my charger somewhere.
I got the Kindle NOT because it is another cool device or that I'm an electronics junkie, though both are true, but rather because I love to read and I love to read LOTS of books at one time. Sometimes I will get 4 or 5 books from the shelf and spend the next week reading or re-reading them. This creates a huge mess... because with books come notepads and pens and highlighters and before I know it, my coffee table is in chaos.
This is my first e-reader. I've been reading e-books for years, too many to count, on PCs, MACs, Palms, BlackBerrys, ipods, and PS3s just to name a few.... I've never had such an effortless reading experience in my life. Not even on a computer or ipod, not even in a book! I am able to read much faster on this screen, because I am not fiddling to hold a book open without damaging the spine, and because I don't have to single out a page or remember my place. I am flying through e-books and I have to say the e-ink screen is even less fatiguing than a paperback as every letter is displayed at the same contrast: no glare from light, and no bright or dark spots like with a book.
3G, in my opinion, is completely unnecessary. I live in the Sa Francisco Bay Area and there are free wi-fi spots all over. How many McDonald's do YOU see in a day? Though I don't even anticipate buying a book on the go, I could. Get the 3G if you think you'll be purchasing LOTS of books on the go, or if you plan to do a lot of browsing on the experimental web on the go, which I can tell you right now, you'll probably never do, especially if you have a cell phone with data and web... The browser is just not good enough to want to use... ever.
So obviously I'm experiencing mixed feelings about the experimental web-browser. The option alone is praise-worthy: a free, nationwide web-browsing experience via the 3G Sprint Nextel provider? Or a free wi-fi web-browsing experience while reading a book? OK, the first option sounds great, but the second: why would I want to browse the web while I'm reading? This feature at the price point of FREE is revolutionary, but that it's experimental makes me wonder if Amazon will continue to offer, and develop, this technology, as I have already frozen my Kindle while playing around on FaceBook.
Being able to register multiple Amazon accounts is great, and converting my non-Kindle books has been a breeze, but the real joy for me is in the screen, the light weight, the effortless turnpage buttons, and the construction quality. The Kindle Store on amazon.com is also great. Pretty much every book I have purchased in the last 2 years has been available in a Kindle edition, and that is wonderful, as I easily spend the cost of the wi-fi model in a single book purchase on Amazon...
Pros Great design - light, ergonomic, easy to use controls, user-friendly software
Easy to read - great contrast, almost no glare
Cons Fairly frequent spontaneous reboots - especially during travel
Lack of graceful handling of those reboots
Keyboard does not include numbers - my one usability complaint
No "lock key" feature for input controls
Summary I really like this generation of Kindle. I find it easy to use, easy to get immersed in reading, just like with a regular book. The contrast is great - make reading easy on the eyes. My only wish would be to have the option of selecting a different shade for the background - to make it even closer to the book page look-and-feel.
My main gripe are the restarts, which is why I took off 1.5 stars. Half of that for the fact that restarts happen more frequently that I think is reasonable to expect. Another half is for how these restarts are handled (or not, to be exact). If I successfully shut down in the middle of reading the book and Kindle subsequently reboots, I lose my place in the book, unless I explicitly add a bookmark. That's just poor design. I suspect that is due to the fact that power-down is actually more of a sleep mode. I get most restarts when I travel, so I imagine there is some motion vulnerability there. But the restarts would be much less annoying if the spot was not lost - and that is a software problem, in my opinion. I hope future firmware fixes it, but since the main reason I bought this device is that I don't have to carry around books, it's a serious nag for otherwise very cool and useful gadget.
Pros The good: Good battery life, more open to other formats (with Calibre program), good button layout
Cons The bad: Cannot replace battery, cannot create subfolders in collections, Interface gets tricky with lots of books, PDF support very limited, Some publications more expensive than print versions
Summary When I heard about the concept of an e-reader, I reacted like most people: what's wrong with a book? Then my friends and family started buying e-readers, and they all loved them. I reconsidered my stance on the e-readers, but then I had to decide which one to go with.
I did a lot of research to find out which one was the best. I read several reviews for each product (the Kindle 3, the Sony E-reader, and the Barnes & Noble Nook) and decided to buy the Kindle 3. Since Kindle 3 isn't the only game in town anymore, Amazon has opened up the Kindle to some other formats. You can upload your own books to the Kindle either through their email service or through your USB cord. Free software called Calibre can convert ePub files (actually just about any e-books) over to the MOBI format. The software is a little cumbersome, but it works well for most file formats. If you were to download ePub files from free sites you shouldn't have too much trouble uploading them to your Kindle through the USB cord and Calibre.
As far as the device itself, I personally did not want a huge screen. If you read up on typography studies you will find that the easiest reading for human eyes are texts that only have 6 to 8 words per line. Beyond that, it gets harder for the eyes to go down to the next line. The Kindle 3 lets you play with the text size, the line spacing, and the words per line. I believe this is the strongest argument for e-readers. I personally found some texts hard to read because the print size was so small or because there were simply too many words per line. Now, I can read late into the night even when I start getting tired (something that was more difficult before).
I am now a convert to the Kindle 3. I'm extremely happy that I went with the Kindle instead of one of the other brands. I find the device is very cleverly designed and that the Kindle probably as the best collection of ebooks offered by Amazon.com. Considering that with Calibre you can make use of the free e-book collections from online libraries (usually offered as ePubs), and the fact that Amazon itself offered many titles for free, I think that for nearly everyone, the Kindle 3 is the best choice at this time. But I won't go into all the specific details over all of the e-readers. What I will say, is that each one offers its own advantages and downsides. I believe the Kindle 3 is the most well-rounded. But if you're desperate for an e-reader that can handle PDFs, you probably want to steer clear of the Kindle.
The storage space is excellent. The Kindle 3 stores something like 3,500 titles. I have about 100 books on mine. I've noticed that the battery isn't lasting as long these days, but that could be because I'm using it a heck of a lot. I usually read for a couple of hours each day, and even so my Kindle still lasts a solid 2 weeks. I purchased the Kindle with only Wi-Fi support because it had a better price-point and I really didn't need the Whispernet support. I nearly always leave Wi-Fi off because it conserves battery power. I only turn it on when I need to get a book, and I nearly always use the Kindle within range of a Wi-Fi network. If you don't mind paying more for the 3G support, consider that you have to leave both on if you want to turn on wireless. 3G will drain the battery faster, so I elected to go without it.
Overall, I'm very happy with the Kindle 3. If you're leaning towards a different brand, strongly consider what you want from your e-reader. You're taking a risk if you go with a different device. They all have their pros and cons. Do a lot of research and read several reviews for each device before you make a decision. If you want my opinion (since you're reading my review), I believe the Kindle 3 is the best of its generation of e-readers.
Pros Easy to read and use when working properly. Most books available in bookstore and account setup makes ordering new books simple. Good battery life and no problem reaching Kindle support, which I have used extensively.
Cons Now using my third latest generation Kindle IN SIX WEEKS. 1st Kindle worked fine for two weeks then started to spontaneously shut down and reboot. Second Kindle would not connect to 3G. Third Kindle (after 1 week) having the same problems as 1st.
Summary I could probably live with the frequent spontaneous shutdowns, reboots and lost reading locations if my first Kindle (a previous generation) did not spoil me with perfect operation. My wife has inherited that Kindle while I try to resolve the frustrating problems with my newer version. The Kindle technical support staff has attempted several fixes, including reloading the operating system. Also, they did not hesitated to replace the first two Kindles when their fixes did not work. Now that the third Kindle is doing the same thing as the fiirst one, I have to conclude that there is a software glitch that cannot be fixed by replacing the third Kindle. I also read a review with the same complaints as mine. My next step is to try to replace this Kindle with the previous generation Kindle. I hope that they still have those in stock.
Pros Easy to use - I love carrying all my books and my magazine subscriptions around with me.
Cons I've had it for one year, been very careful with it, and have a small crack in the casing.