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Likes/Dislikes of Kindle

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#51 Ken Kobayashi

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Posted 30 November 2010 - 11:16 AM

I love my Kindle, probably more than any other piece of electronics I've bought in the past few years. My first one was destroyed in a car accident, I currently use the Kindle 2.

The device itself is well designed - compact, lightweight and very simple to use. The display is very easy on the eye, just like reading a print newspaper. I understand the newest model has even better contrast. But what really makes the Kindle are:

  • The free samples. When you're browsing through the amazon.com web site, you can click on the "send free sample" and you instantly receive a sample of the book - usually the first chapter or two. You can read it at your leisure and decide if you want to buy the whole book and read the rest. And if you do decide to buy it, you don't even need to get up from the couch - just select "buy" on the Kindle itself, and it arrives on your Kindle, usually within 30 seconds.
  • The 3G connection. (Though obviously the "WiFi only" model lacks this feature.) This means if I finish reading a book in the middle of a trip, I can just buy another one right there. Even when I'm at an airport without free WiFi, or sitting on a beach far from any WiFi signal. And it even works abroad, in most countries. Recently I found myself in a small village in Sicily for a business trip and despairing because I didn't have a guidebook or an Italian phrase book. And the hotel's wifi wasn't working. Then I remembered my Kindle's "International" capability and sure enough, I was able to purchase an English-language guidebook right there.
  • The content is archived on Amazon's server, and available to view on multiple devices. I keep an iPod Touch on the bedside table, and I can use the Kindle app to read books in bed. (I have to admit, the LCD is better for reading in a completely dark room.) Not only does it access the books I've already bought for the Kindle, but it even syncs the location (how far I've read).


#52 desertstars

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Posted 30 November 2010 - 05:44 PM

Discussions of illegal activities have been removed from this thread.

#53 psonice

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Posted 01 December 2010 - 03:33 AM

Sorry Tom :) Won't happen again.

And just to avoid the impression that I'd perhaps posted up a load of dodgy software or something, I was in fact just stating my views on the subject :) (And as a developer, I'm very much against piracy in general!)

#54 Deb and Todd

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Posted 01 December 2010 - 09:03 AM

Tod: if you buy books from some non-kindle store, how do you load them onto the kindle? Does the DRM protection not stop it working?


The kindle can connect to the PC via a mini USB connection. Purchasing books with DRM varies from website to website, but the majority have an option to purchase the book in a kindle format. In most you just download the book directly from the site to the kindle via your PC. The kindle can read books in a variety of formats. I have run into sites that don't have kindle formats available but these tend to be rare.

Carol, one thing you'll find is that the kindle's wireless connection goes through AT&T. Almost no coverage here in Montana. My original Kindle has never connected wirelessly in Montana. However, I don't find that to be an issue as books can always be transferred via PC.

#55 psonice

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Posted 01 December 2010 - 10:22 AM

Ah, cool. Guess they made the format somewhat "open" then, so other companies can make ebooks in kindle format? Does that make it "open as in closed"? :D

If that's the case, it makes it a lot easier to shop around and keep hold of your books in future. Good stuff.

#56 Greg K.

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Posted 01 December 2010 - 10:47 AM

My wife just got a Kindle 3 (the wi-fi only version, 3G didn't seem worth another $50). Nifty device. My only dislike is that it's not mine.

I hadn't really taken a liking to the earlier versions, but this seems to hit the sweet spot in terms of price, portability, and screen readability.

I plan to get an iPad at some point too. But I might wait until the 2nd or 3rd generation unless I need it for a dev project. And I think it would be a good complement to the Kindle, not an either/or.

#57 desertstars

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Posted 01 December 2010 - 11:00 AM

My wife just got a Kindle 3 (the wi-fi only version, 3G didn't seem worth another $50). Nifty device. My only dislike is that it's not mine.



By curious coincidence, I have that same "dislike" for every Kindle I've seen so far.

:whistle:

#58 rboe

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Posted 01 December 2010 - 11:08 AM

Many of the books or magazines I would consider getting just work better in colour so the something like the Nook or iPad holds more interest (which is a distant thrid to having the real thing; but I suspect the bathroom would be a LOT neater if I went electronic) but I gotta say, the Kindle is looking very interesting. My wife does a lot more reading of traditional books and could make good use of it.

But then it makes bookcases obsolete. :bawling:

#59 psonice

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Posted 01 December 2010 - 11:26 AM

It's going to be interesting to see where things go in the next year or two. There's a move towards proper digital magazines now it seems, Virgin just released one and Murdoch's empire is rumoured to launch one soon too. These are separate magazines with no print version, designed for tablet use.

Murdoch's supposed to have set up a new team of journalists, editors and developers purely for his offering, and the virgin one has no 'issues', it's updated continuously. They're obviously taking this pretty seriously. I can see it being good - you get the nice layout and content of a good magazine or newspaper, combined with the freshness of web content. Plus interactive stuff, video etc. And with a subscription, it'll resolve the old "free internet" vs. "jounalists have to be paid" argument. It could well be the way forwards, but we'll have to see :)

...And expect a colour kindle with an LCD screen to access these things before long!

#60 Greg K.

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Posted 01 December 2010 - 12:46 PM

...And expect a colour kindle with an LCD screen to access these things before long!


I wouldn't want one. In that case I think the iPad would be a much better choice as the battery life, weight & contrast advantages of the Kindle go away.

But color eInk displays are coming. Those will be interesting. But eInk is currently way too slow for video.

#61 Paula E

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Posted 01 December 2010 - 01:14 PM

I wouldn't want one. In that case I think the iPad would be a much better choice as the battery life, weight & contrast advantages of the Kindle go away.


Agreed - a person would be much better off with a tablet.

There will be a SLEW of tablets released next year. Everyone in the computer business has noticed that the iPad has been the fastest selling new product *ever* in the history of computing equipment, and they are reacting. (BTW, AMD and Intel spent most of their last investor conference calls explaining why they DIDN'T have anything in this space!) Anyway, expect many, many of these devices to show up next year, all of them vastly higher performing and more generally capable than the stand alone e-readers.

It will be interesting to see how the e-readers compete. I'd assume mostly on price - however, if people decide they need a tablet anyway, would they still buy an e-reader? Or perhaps tablets are just a fad. Time will tell.

BTW, I don't view this as being totally negative for Amazon or B&N - at least if they can sell their books on the various tablet platforms. Also, they might sell more e-readers, at least for a while, as they'll be cheaper, and the spread of tablets and e-books might make people more open to this idea.

What this may spell the end of eventually is bookstores, in the same way MP3 killed record stores. :(

#62 psonice

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Posted 01 December 2010 - 02:42 PM

I'm sure they'll offer both LCD & e-ink until we have something as good as both.

#63 Ken Kobayashi

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Posted 01 December 2010 - 03:26 PM

...And expect a colour kindle with an LCD screen to access these things before long!


I wouldn't want one. In that case I think the iPad would be a much better choice as the battery life, weight & contrast advantages of the Kindle go away.


The cost advantage of the Kindle may remain. Look how affordable the Nook Color is, compared to Android tablets with similar quality and specs. I suspect it's because the cost of the device is effectively subsidized through sales of e-books.

#64 psonice

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Posted 02 December 2010 - 05:08 AM

If they're subsidizing through book sales (likely I think), won't they need to limit any ereader software to their own? If they do that, they'll have to cripple the tablet functionality by preventing access to the main app stores. A lot of the android devices that are not as 'official' as google thinks they should be have their own private stores like this, and there's only a limited selection of apps available. It'll be interesting to see how they play this :)

#65 rboe

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Posted 02 December 2010 - 09:45 AM

I don't think they can afford to limit their books to one reader now that iPad and Kindle can handle other formats. It will reduce buyers resistance if a reader can handle multiple formats. You don't want any obstacles to the buyer at this point.

#66 csa/montana

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Posted 02 December 2010 - 10:04 AM

Carol, one thing you'll find is that the kindle's wireless connection goes through AT&T. Almost no coverage here in Montana. My original Kindle has never connected wirelessly in Montana. However, I don't find that to be an issue as books can always be transferred via PC.



Todd, thanks so much for that information. Where I am, Verizon is about the only one that "works" at my house, and with my cell, that's sporadic. I appreciate your input!

#67 psonice

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Posted 02 December 2010 - 10:18 AM

Does it have both wifi + 3g? If so, you can use it over wifi at home (if you have that), and 3g while you're away (if there's a signal there of course).

Otherwise, the wifi only model will be even cheaper :)

#68 psonice

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Posted 02 December 2010 - 10:29 AM

Slightly off topic.. but has anyone heard of any ways of getting your old paper books onto one of these ereaders?

Just thinking that the great thing about say an ipod is that you can stick your CDs in one at a time and fill it up with the stuff you've already bought. I'd love to get all my old books onto my phone. And I'd love even more to get the books I've got piled up ready to read onto my phone - I'd be able to read my real book at home, then switch to the ebook when I'm out! This could be a real 'killer feature' for these devices.

Problem is, how? Manually scanning your books would mean a) destroying them and b) a LOT of patience. Forget that. Some CDs now come with a code that allows you to download the MP3 (and the code is emailed to you if you buy online, so you get the music immediately and the CD comes later). Are any publishers doing that yet? Otherwise I guess we'd need some way to verify we own a book, then get access to the ebook. Tricky.

#69 Ken Kobayashi

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Posted 02 December 2010 - 12:25 PM

If they're subsidizing through book sales (likely I think), won't they need to limit any ereader software to their own? If they do that, they'll have to cripple the tablet functionality by preventing access to the main app stores. A lot of the android devices that are not as 'official' as google thinks they should be have their own private stores like this, and there's only a limited selection of apps available. It'll be interesting to see how they play this :)


My understanding is that Barnes & Noble has done exactly this. The Nook Color runs Android, but is locked to Barnes & Noble's app store and can't access Google's Android Market. So it won't run the Kindle reader, at least not without some hacking.

#70 psonice

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Posted 02 December 2010 - 12:42 PM

Hmm.. so it's an interesting proposition. A full price tablet that will run whatever you want, or a tablet that will do a limited selection of tasks and is locked to one particular shop at a much lower price. Or an unlocked tablet that will do anything for a low price, with expensive internet for 2 years.

Well, saving say $300 on the hardware, you'd have to do a lot of shopping around over the lifetime of the device to get that money back. And most people will use it for email and web mostly, so the lack of apps won't cause too much harm maybe. On the other hand, I've found on my iphone it's often better to use a dedicated app than a website. Even for websites (like amazon and ebay).

Interesting times!

#71 rboe

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Posted 02 December 2010 - 01:08 PM

For some, the pay back is not just in what may be saved in book purchases there has to be value added that can be difficult to assign a price.

E.g. you are a mountain climber stuck at base camp waiting for the weather to clear to attack the summit. Days go by and the usual time killer is reading. Weight is a premium for climbers so having two years worth of books in a little pocket device would be a huge boon.

I may have exaggerated a bit with the two years supply, I'm sure they don't read THAT slowly. :wron:

I bet there are plenty of other examples folks could think up where people would gladly pay more to carry a lot of text without the paper. I'm also sure that there are folks were the absolute price savings over a lifetime would make more sense to them. One has to decide which method makes sense to them to justify the cost (which goes with pretty much everything as riding old cars or motorcycles can make little economic sense but gives great satisfaction anyway).

#72 Greg K.

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Posted 02 December 2010 - 01:25 PM

Carol, one thing you'll find is that the kindle's wireless connection goes through AT&T. Almost no coverage here in Montana. My original Kindle has never connected wirelessly in Montana. However, I don't find that to be an issue as books can always be transferred via PC.



Todd, thanks so much for that information. Where I am, Verizon is about the only one that "works" at my house, and with my cell, that's sporadic. I appreciate your input!


Saves you some money. You definitely don't need the 3G version. Get the wi-fi only one. (Did you ever get a wireless network set up at your place)?

#73 csa/montana

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Posted 02 December 2010 - 11:30 PM

Carol, one thing you'll find is that the kindle's wireless connection goes through AT&T. Almost no coverage here in Montana. My original Kindle has never connected wirelessly in Montana. However, I don't find that to be an issue as books can always be transferred via PC.



Todd, thanks so much for that information. Where I am, Verizon is about the only one that "works" at my house, and with my cell, that's sporadic. I appreciate your input!


Saves you some money. You definitely don't need the 3G version. Get the wi-fi only one. (Did you ever get a wireless network set up at your place)?


No Greg; I haven't as yet. My modem is capable, but I've not had any reason yet, to get the wireless network set up. I had mainly thought of doing it, when I get a notebook that I'll use in the observatory.

#74 Greg K.

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 12:30 AM

Carol, one thing you'll find is that the kindle's wireless connection goes through AT&T. Almost no coverage here in Montana. My original Kindle has never connected wirelessly in Montana. However, I don't find that to be an issue as books can always be transferred via PC.



Todd, thanks so much for that information. Where I am, Verizon is about the only one that "works" at my house, and with my cell, that's sporadic. I appreciate your input!


Saves you some money. You definitely don't need the 3G version. Get the wi-fi only one. (Did you ever get a wireless network set up at your place)?


No Greg; I haven't as yet. My modem is capable, but I've not had any reason yet, to get the wireless network set up. I had mainly thought of doing it, when I get a notebook that I'll use in the observatory.


Well when you get the Kindle, you have another reason!

#75 csa/montana

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Posted 04 December 2010 - 12:02 AM

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