Saturday, September 17, 2011

An evaluation of the Amazon Kindle 3 eBook reader

Amazon Kindle 3
I've just received my Kindle 3 today in Singapore.

Here's my experience with the Kindle 3 after using the iPad in the past year for reading eBooks.

1. The e-Ink device is actually better for reading. But with the low light situation in my living room, the advantage was negated. Reading outdoors, the Kindle is brillant! With my reading mostly indoors and at night, the iPad (with backlighting) may be better for me.

2. No touch sceen. The buttons took me a while to get used to, after initially trying to touch the screen to do something. The keys and buttons are actually quite ok once you get familiarized with them.

3. Battery life. I assumed that with the electronic ink, I should be getting on average at least a month's worth of reading on a single charge. I think this is one of the advantage of a e-Ink reader.

4. Reading PDFs. Some PDFs are okay but have to be read in landscape mode. Overall, the resolution of the device meant that any serious PDF reading is out.

5. eBook Format. Have to convert ePub eBooks to the Kindle's Mobi format. That's one thing that I wish Amazon will try to include in the future, i.e. the support of the ePub format.

6. Two experimental features on the Kindle 3:

  • A web browser.
  • An mp3 player.

Let's just leave them at that, experimental features. The kindle 3 is really best used as a dedicate eBook reader.

7. eBook store. Now we are talking about the biggest advantage of the kindle. Amazon currently still has the most eBook titles. Buying them here in Singapore still requires some workaround, but the good thing is any eBook purchase will automatically be synced not only on the Kindle and also the Kindle reader app on my iPhone/iPad.

Verdict: Very readable, a big selections of Books, very light and a great form factor. Perfect for reading eBooks with some compromise for reading PDFs. For anything else, buy a tablet.

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