November 28, 2007

Kindle II

I finally beheld (and held, and used) a Kindle. New impressions are below the jump in the unlikely event you care.

It's a nice size; holdable (by me) in between the thumb and fingers of one hand cupped. The screen is very nice when not updating. It's so slow as to make it completely pointless that there is web browsing functionality. Given that that's not its job, that's not really a minus. The form factor as a whole (I was using it without the 'book cover') was appealing in terms of function. It was light enough to hold one-handed for a long time, and heavy enough to not feel too fragile to loll around with.

PDFs. Amazon claims you can convert them. LIES. ALL LIES. Well, maybe you can - but don't count on the results being usable. Bleah.

The whole selector deal is odd. Since the screen can't handle a pointer and doesn't have touch anyway, you end up using a menu with the scroll wheel. It reminded me unpleasantly of ATM machines. When reading, who cares? But for all other stuff, meh.

The keyboard is even worse, functionally, than it looks. It is an obscene waste of device estate and aesthetics. As silly as the thing looks, 90% of the problem is the damn chiclet keyboard. I kept thinking 'Coleco' for no good reason.

Upshot for me: nice book reader, but I don't spend enough on current hardcovers to make the extravagant price worthwhile, no matter how much I travel, and I'm willing to buy and toss a cheap paperback for roughly what Amazon seems to want for it in e-form. Plus I can leave those on the plane for the next guy or girl.

If it was $200, I'd buy one. If it did PDFs right, I'd consider buying one at $300. If Amazon told me they'd give me the books I'd bought from them in the past six months as ebooks free, I'd seriously consider buying it. As it stands? Nope.

Posted by jbz at November 28, 2007 9:24 PM | TrackBack

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