An impressive piece of technology,
This review is from: Kindle Keyboard, Wi-Fi, 6" E Ink Display (Electronics)
I was apprehensive about the Kindle. From what I've read of reviews of previous models, it seems I was right to put off buying one of these for so long. I'm extremely impressed by this device for two important reasons which I will go into in a little bit of greater detail and also point you in the direction of some splendid books I'm reading on my Kindle at the minute.
First, The Daily Papers: I always consider it important to keep yourself up to date with what's going on in the world, and you can only really find the time to do that with the newspapers. However, the daily papers can become quite expensive when purchased every day, and actually quite consuming of your time and space. I regularly read papers such as The Times, The Independent, Guardian and the Telegraph (mostly I'll only buy one the papers mentioned, and alternate) but the papers (especially the Guardian) are so big that they actually become a bit of a nuisance to carry round and try reading (bit on the small side you see) so the Kindle is good in this area for a number of reasons. With the exception of The Guardian (though hopefully that'll change soon) all these papers are available for the Kindle, will download to your device ready for you when you wake up, no fuss. The £9.99 monthly subscription fee may seem a bit steep at first, but when you consider that this is for a daily newspaper, I'd say you were getting very good value for money.
There have been some complaints about the lack of content, but I would hazard a guess that this is simply down to how new the whole ebook technology is. Although ereaders have been around for a few years now, the technology is still in its infancy and still needs time to grow, which I know it will do and eventually, we will get complete editions of all newspapers.
Second, The Portability: I like books, I love reading. The books I like to read are generally non-fiction, history or biographical books which, at times can be a bit on the large side. So it's a hell of a lot more convenient to have this to carry around with me than lugging around a 700+ page book.
I've seen a few reviews (not just on Amazon) which have commented on the lack of "features" on the Kindle, as in other applications aside from reading ie games. But what those people seem to have forgotten is that this is not a tablet PC or another simple gadget. The Kindle is a designated ereader and it has concentrated itself entirely on the reading experience. Touch screen capability and all that nonsense are all very well and good for a tablet PC or a mobile phone, but the reading experience can only be gratifying when it is simple. If you start introducing a ridiculous touch screen interface or over the top gadgets, then the reading experience is lost.
The page turning buttons work well with ease as it's a simple click and the page turns. To buy more books, you simply press menu and select the Kindle store. The selection could be bigger, but it will grow with time as publishers recognise that the new technology should be embraced rather than scorned and we will see ebooks become cheaper as a result of that embrace. There is still a place for the physical paper book, just as there will always be a place for vinyl, or CDs. They may not sell as much as they used to, but there will always be people who prefer the original formats, so there will always be that demand. Perhaps not as much as there was traditionally, but it will still exist.
A final positive to the Kindle, and other devices like it, are that it seems to ignite a new interest in new readers. Some who would turn their nose up at a book, would readily embrace it in a technological format. Whether there is some further critical debate which can be made around that is irrelevant, what's important is that the Kindle has created a new revolution of reading and I, for one, have joined it.