Monday, March 8, 2010

Kindle 2

Kindle 2

I recently bought the Kindle 2. I have been waiting for a long time to buy this. Sure, if i had waited a bit longer, could have gotten a more advanced and better performing device. But I got a good deal and so couldnt pass it on. I did so much research on all the ebook readers available in the market, before i decided to buy the Kindle. At the end of my research i actually wanted the Nook. But as i said, i got a good deal on this Kindle.

It is such an amazing technology. It looks exactly like paper. There is no back-light involved. And hence less strain on your eyes. No glare whatsoever. So amazing to read using the device even in sunlight. If you ask me, the entire amount we pay for ebook readers is basically for this technology. The Kindle or the Nook doesnt really have a spectacular processor or any other expensive parts in it. The price you pay for the device is simply for the e-ink. Check out some videos and you will know what i am talking about. I have shown the device to so many people. Friends, colleagues, etc. And every single one seem to react the same way when they look at the screen. "Is that a screen? It looks like paper" is the response i get all the time. So money worth spending on this.

But the biggest minus is the refresh rate. It is pathetic. If you understand how the technology works you might not feel so bad. But for someone who is looking at it for the first time, the refresh rate is such a big annoying thing. The entire screen turns black and then you get to see your new page. Actually the refresh rate is better in Kindle compared to other devices in the market. It is actual hydrocarbons that are behind this e-ink technology. That is the reason.

Free 3G:

This is an excellent add-on in Kindle. Not available in any other device right now. You get free 3G (Surprisingly not wifi. Just 3G. Ya i know. That is wierd). It doesnt work in Singapore though. But it works even in India. So Kindle is an amazing device if you travel .

Pdf support:

They recently added pdf support to Kindle. But the device shrinks the entire a4 pdf into a 6" screen. Hence the readability is poor. You can convert the pdf to any kindle recognised formats and it works fine for pdfs with mostly text. If you want to read pdfs with images or charts in it, forget Kindle (or Nook for that matter). I would suggest wait for a better device or just buy the damn ipad.

Battery life:
Now that is a good selling point. A single charge lasts for more than a week. If you find that strange, read up on e-ink. The technology uses battery power only to refresh the page, and hence when you are reading, it is not consuming power at all.

This is an amazing piece of software. If you use ebook readers, you need this software. It is open source and free to download. Simply put, it is the iTunes of ebooks. You can select your ebook reader when you configure the software and whenever you add a book, it will automatically convert the book to your format and when you connect your device to the computer, it will automatically synchronize everything. The best part about this software is, you can specify your RSS feeds and it will convert them into ereader format. So schedule a download for all NYT business articles at 8 am in the morning and connect your device to get today's NYT in your device. I have been using this for over 2 months now and trust me when i say this. Calibre is amazing.

Nook vs Kindle:

Nook is more open. It recognises all kinds of formats compared to Kindle. It runs based on Android. People keep telling me the bottom color screen with touch capability is an impressive thing. But i find it to be extremely annoying. Nook has wifi in it. And it looks a bit more cooler. But as i said, i got a good deal in this Kindle.

Kindle is not a bad device either. It has text to speech which is absolutely useless, if you ask me. It has global 3g support which is pretty impressive. It is just a matter of time before they bring 3g support to Singapore. Then it is an amazing device.

Kindle Vs iPad:
It is pretty difficult to explain this. First of all, i have a decent laptop and buying the iPad doesnt make sense. In my view, you need a device like ipad when you have a desktop, which doesnt offer much mobility. But when you have a laptop, i am pretty comfortable in watching movies or browsing in it. My laptop allows me to run background tasks. Dont get me wrong here. I am not comparing a tablet computer to a laptop. I am just discussing the usability. So when i wanted to buy a kindle, my main aim was to read books and newspapers in it. That is it. Nothing more. Nothing less. And i think if you are this kind of person, go ahead and buy the ebook reader. If you want more than books and newspapers in a device, then ebook reader is simply not your device. To me, it doesnt make sense when someone complains that they cant watch video in Kindle. Frankly it is not made for watching videos. It is made for reading and it does an excellent job at it.

Sure, iPad is not what we all thought it would be. But it is only a matter of time before we see loads of other competitors coming up with similar, probably better devices. 100,000 apps in a computer is not a big selling point according to me. I dont need an app for Citibank in my tablet computer. I might as well go to their website to make a funds transfer. The main reason apps became a hit is because the browser in the phones are too crappy and slow to do anything. So people came up with ideas for apps and it is a huge hit in phones. When it comes to computers, please dont say apps are a big plus point. They are useless. But iPad is a tremendous hit. They sold 300,000 devices on the first day alone. By now they would have sold a million devices. By few measures it is selling faster than the iPhone. (FYI, there are close to 18 million iPhones in the market right now)

I realized the true potential of Kindle during my recent trip to Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. Sure, the free 3g doesnt work in the three countries. But i had few good books in the device and it was so useful in all our long bus journeys.

1 comment:

Anu said...

Hi, I have a query. Does Kindle bought in India work in countries like singapore, malaysia, etc. I'm currently living in singapore - I plan to get a kindle shipped to bangalore and thereby planning to get it to singapore. Is that Ok to do? Any restrictions? does kindle really work here in singapore? What about sofware region/zone compatability?

Would be helpful if you could pass your comments. thanks!