The Amazon Kindle
I’ll be the first one to admit it… I don’t read for fun nearly as much as I should (or want to).
When Amazon launched the first Kindle in late 2007, I really didn’t take notice. By the time Generation 2 came out in early 2009 I knew I had to have one. I was traveling weekly for work and found myself with more downtime in the evening than I normally had when I was at home. Being limited to a book or magazine in my suitcase was not the preferred option as my preference for subject material changes quite frequently. It’s not unusual for me to have several books/magazines going at one time.
The clincher for me was the “Whispersync” technology that keeps all of your various reading material synchronized between devices. By devices I mean not only the Kindle but your PC, Blackberry, iPhone, iPad, Android and iPod Touch. This feature allows you to purchase and share kindle content among the various electronic devices you use every day. A prefect example of this in use was when my wife wanted to read a book on the Kindle. I was able to grab the laptop and continue reading my own book that I had been working on previously.
Whispersync is the feature that pushed me over the edge from “want to need” and convinced me to purchase a Kindle sight unseen. They were not available in the traditional brick and mortar stores until recently so I read enough positive reviews that I took the plunge.
The Kindle display uses Electronic Ink which is amazing. After spending all day working on a computer it’s actually refreshing to stare at the Kindle screen. It looks like ink on paper and works perfectly inside and out. There is a slight “flash” as the page refreshes as you turn the digital page. It’s noticeable at first but you end up not even noticing it after a while. The Kindle only uses power when it’s refreshing the screen or communicating wirelessly. When it’s “off” there’s actually pictures (screen savers) on the screen.
Speaking of communicating wirelessly, the Gen 2 version I own has a built in AT&T 3G data card in it. It’s free to use for the life of the device and allows for the wireless sync as well as some basic web browsing via the built in browser.
Battery life with the 3G radio disabled is measured in weeks (2-3), even with daily reading sessions of an hour or more. With the 3G turned on your battery life drops to 4-5 days.
The new Generation 3 devices have an even better display and a lower cost from the previous generations. I could go on and on about what a great device the Kindle is. It only does one thing but it does it very well.