Kindle Unboxing

September 23rd, 2010 by Kat Kingsley-Hughes

The Amazon Kindle arrived this morning. When it would arrive has been shrouded in mystery, so this was a surprise. Originally I bought it as a birthday present for my daughter. Primary reason - we have three floor to ceiling bookshelves in the living room, another room with two walls, other book cases dotted about in various other rooms. And that doesn't include the tech books! Whilst I don't see myself getting rid of all these books ideally all future purchases will be on Kindle. That was reclaim any future loss of living room real estate to paper books. And be kinder to the trees too.

The unboxing was cool. Not quite Apple standards, but very exciting nonetheless. The first thing that struck me about the Kindle was that it had a sticker stuck on the screen telling me how to turn it on. Better peel that sticker off first, I thought. But, then I realized it wasn't a sticker - it was the E Ink screen. It really does look like paper! There's not a backlight as such. The screen is very matt. Somehow it just looks like a changing page. As I'm an iPad owner already I had purchased lots of books for the Kindle App on the iPad so downloading them was just one click. And they came in FAST! It was pre-configured to my account. No need to fiddle about finding email addresses and passwords. Magic!

It's the size of a paperback book, so small enough to fit in my purse - handier than the iPad in that respect. I bought I nice leather case (Amazon's own) for it. It looks cute. It feels robust.

So, why did I just give the Kindle to my daughter two weeks before her birthday? Why did I make no attempt to keep it for myself? (Yes, I am that mean when it comes to tech!) Why am I not ordering my own? The main problem is the flicker. When you press the button to turn the page - and compared to the finger swipe across the screen on the iPad, this seems clunky - the screen turns for an instant the inverse colour - white on black - and it's this function of the E Ink that isn't quite ready yet in my opinion. If you don't notice it, it won't bother you. If like me, you get after-images and migraines, you'll hate it. It's just the sort of thing to mess up my eyesight for the day. Apparently it's a feature not a bug. It's part of how E Ink work, so there's not likely to be a nice software update to fix it any time soon, sadly.

Hence, that's my Kindle story for now. The two plus points I see it having are:

  • the small size of it. It's not as tiny as reading Kindle books on my iPhone (which can render the world blurry for the rest of the day if I do that for too long first thing in the morning) but it's small enough to fit in my pocket, unlike the iPad.
  • The matt screen makes it easier to read outdoors that the iPad (which on a sunny day can be anywhere from impossible to see to downright dangerous if you happen to catch a reflection of the sun).

I am hoping they'll solve the flashing problem in the next version. Then I'll be back, I'm sure!

This entry was posted on Thursday, September 23rd, 2010 at 3:54 pm and is filed under Hardware. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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