Sunday, November 21, 2010

A Kindle of hope. My first e-book reader.

It’s been a busy few months since I posted something here. After a lot of deliberation I finally succumbed to temptation and invested in an e-book reader. I first thought of purchasing one when I came across a touch screen e-book reader on my trip to Hong Kong.The device I purchased recently however was the Amazon Kindle DX. Bought from the Computer Bookshop on DN Road near VT, it took about two weeks to reach from the US. As with most gadgets I deliberated quite a bit trying to decide between the iPad and the Kindle. While the former serves many purposes and comes with a nice colour screen, the Kindle was half its price something that my wallet could afford. Also the iPad is in its first iteration and the Kindle is in its third, which tips the balance.

Touch screens have truly taken over. Something I realised when the first thing a few colleagues of mine tried to do when they saw the Kindle was to touch and operate it. I recollect that the device I saw in Hong Kong was in fact a touch sensitive e-book reader which used a stylus. The 9.7 inch Kindle screen lives up its promise of being a no strain reading experience. The clarity of the text is nice and crisp and if you are reading a Kindle book (not a PDF) you can increase text size to a nice and comfortable reading size. The fact that you can orient the Kindle in landscape and portrait helps in reading PDF’s. True you can zoom and pan but that gets tiresome for me.

What is impressive about the Kindle apart from the number of books you can cram into it is the free Whispernet GPRS service it offers. I haven’t really taken the browser out for a spin yet. My one try was to log onto to Facebook which made the site think it was some kind of suspicious activity. Still as an Indian who has an affinity to ‘free’ things, free internet does seem alluring. Not quite sure how long the service will last though.

The one design flaw that I did find with the Kindle DX was the way in which you had to switch it off. One slider button has been given three functions. Depending on how long you hold the slider you either put the Kindle DX to sleep, power it off, or reset the entire software. This can be quite a pain for the new user as that sweet spot of duration to hold the slider to power the Kindle off can be quite elusive. I seem to have reset my Kindle software quite a few times already in the process of trying to switch it off. I am thankfully getting the knack of it now. I would also have liked the Kindle to detect my folder structure of files. Instead I have to add books to collections to segregate them. One hopes they figure something else out for this in future models.

1 comment:

  1. A Kindle of hope? What's so hopeless about normal print books?