9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
First impressions from an e-reader virgin,
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This review is from: Kindle, 6" E Ink Display, Wi-Fi, Graphite (Electronics)I've just received my Kindle, so this is a first impressions review of the device. It is my first e-reader and I'll confess that I'm not a die-hard reader; I'm don't get glued to books and my bookshelf is severely limited - you won't find much there if it's not written by JRR Tolkien or JK Rowling. However, a number of non-fiction books and autobiographies have been catching my eye and so to get myself into reading a bit more, I decided to buy an e-reader. I thought that if I bought the device, I would want to get my moneys worth. I only saw an e-reader personally for the first time in a WH Smith store, those devices were Kobo (or something along those lines) and I was mightily impressed by the screen; I'd read about them, but in the world of LCD screens, an e-ink display is difficult to imagine. I did my research and although they're on disadvantages for Kindles (such as epub support), I decided the kindle suited my needs best and Amazon have some of the best customer support I have ever had the misfortune to deal with if something does go wrong.
I ordered the kindle two days ago, it was dispatched around 20:00 that night and it arrived through the post around 12:00 today. That was with free delivery, being delivered by our trusty Royal Mail postman. The box it comes in is specifically designed for the Kindle, the shape, the name on the box (is it a good idea to put Kindle on the box? I'm certain there are some dishonest people in the postal service.), the protection provided inside the box. I was a little concerned when it dropped through the letter box like some smartly packaged DVD, but the protection inside the box is perfect. I'd received a parcel from Amazon earlier in the week and that had a box nearly twice the size of the product, so to see such thoughtful packaging for the Kindle pleases me.
Inside the box we have the Kindle and a USB cable. There aren't any instruction manuals, although their are basic instructions on the screen protector on the kindle (plug in, turn on) and then the Kindle guides you through the setup and then there is a user manual on the Kindle. A good move by Amazon, it would have been rather ironic to put an instruction book on an electronic book. So for packaging, Amazon get A* from me, they have used minimal packaging without risking damage to the device.
Setting up the device was a breeze, the device leads you through all the required settings; language, wi-fi etc. You can alter more personal settings later on in the settings menu. After setting up the device, I loaded up a book I'd bought in preparation for my Kindles arrival and began to read (the book having synced as soon as I connected to the internet using wi-fi. The page turning is great, there is occasional 'flashing' but this is so quick and it doesn't disorientate you or anything like that, as would happen with an LCD screen. The flashing to reload text on the screen is quicker than turning the page of a book, too, so that really doesn't matter and if people have a problem with it, they should wait a few years for e-ink displays to develop further.
I then connected the device to my computer to sync some documents to the device. You don't use software for this, instead it's a simple drag and drop procedure into a folder on the removable drive. This is good, Windows Explorer is all you need, not some waste of space software which you create a library on. It might become a bit of a problem with lots of books but if you manage your files well, it shouldn't be.
I really haven't encountered any problems so far. Some people have said that the kindle feels cheap and plastic, but the device has rubberised feel back to it (similar to my HTC Desire smartphone) and nice, rounded edges. Yes, it may be plastic, but it's also light and feels good in your hand, and it's not exactly Fisher Price plastic. It is well designed and that is something I like.
This Kindle lacks a few things from it's more expensive brother; no 3g, no keyboard, no audio books, less battery life, less storage space. Also, it has no touchscreen compared to the kindles available in America and other e-readers. I'll go through each of these in turn to present my side of the argument, to justify this Kindle.
Firstly, the lack of 3g support is good news to me. I can create a wireless hotspot with my phone so I can connect my kindle to that if I need an internet connection on the move. Furthermore, it would ramp the price of the device up if 3g was put on this device - one of it's main appeals is it's highly competitive price, even with the cheap Chinese devices.
Second, the lack of keyboard. This is harder to justify, only that it makes the device smaller, lighter and cheaper. I won't deny that the arrow keys are awkward for a keyboard but I have to admit that I won't be taking notes, so a keyboard won't be used much by me. I can live without it, but, if you want an e-reader to take notes on, look elsewhere.
Less battery life and storage price isn't much of a big deal. I'm sure putting my kindle on charge overnight once a month won't be a problem, it won't take much more effort than doing it once every 2 months. Furthermore, this device doesn't support audiobooks so you still get a lot of space and if you consider that the larger device does support audiobooks, it could be argued that the smaller Kindle has more space to play with.
Finally, touchscreen. The Kobo device I tried in WH Smith had a touchscreen and it wasn't very responsive and the screen had quite a few fingerprints on it. It wasn't like there were crowds around this device either, so it would probably get less touches to the screen than my own Kindle if it had a touchscreen, touching the screen to turn every page. The buttons to turn pages on my Kindle are fine and as I've said before, I don't need a proper keyboard so a touchscreen keyboard is unnecessary and would only increase the price of the device.
Overall then, I am thoroughly pleased with my purchase and look forward to using the Kindle store for my future reading needs. It has a massive library of titles and is more convenient than buying a paper book, so I couldn't be happier. This Kindle does lack some features but I struggle to justify them and for the price of the device and the satisfaction of being tied to such a massive and respected organisation as Amazon is very good value for money in my opinion. I couldn't recommend this device any more.
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Initial post: 16 Jan 2012 16:21:35 GMT
Mr D.K Lind says:
Fantastic review! If more people took the time and effort to help their fellow consumers, like you did sir, our world would be a better place.
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