[FoRK] Kindle first impressions

Jeff Bone <jbone at place.org> on Sun May 4 11:52:34 PDT 2008

Short version:  aw hell, Bezos found a way to maximize the flow of  
money from me to him EVEN FURTHER.

General comments:
	
   - far better experience than Sony's e-reader, IMHO anyway
   - still not sold on the necessity of e-ink over LCD, but getting  
there...
   - display is crisper, more stable, less murky than other e-ink  
devices
   - little glitter progress thingie just as weird as it looks in  
pictures
   - holding one-handed w/o accidentally turning pages takes work
   - next page button on the right a pain
   - keyboard a bit awkward
   - needs larger, centered space button on keyboard
   - cover they send fails to securely hold device
   - they need to do a deep integration w/ O'Reilly Safari
   - nav wheel / button / ribbon mechanism still a bit freaky
   - do you really need both Back and Prev Page buttons?
   - wish it had better note taking, browsing, PIM (sigh...)
   - store works great!
   - WhisperNet works great, great idea (killer feature?)

Major caveat:  obtained the free PDF of Russell Standish's excellent  
book Theory of Nothing and used Amazon service via e-mail to reformat  
and push the document to my device.  It made a mild hash of navigation  
and a complete hash of equations and any symbolic notation.  They  
still have work to do to make this usable for technical or math  
documents.

Long version:  read my first Kindle book yesterday afternoon and  
evening, Julian Dibbell's Play Monty.  (Purchased three:  Dibbell,  
Ariely's Predictably Irrational, and Harford's The Logic of Life.  Not  
sure why Dibbell got the nod for the first read, though;  whim, I  
suppose...)  I think I'm reading even faster on this thing than on  
paper, which surprises me.  Wonderful experience;  reading outside in  
daylight and dusk, inside while watching a movie with the lights low,  
in bed with bedside lamp.  Couldn't bring myself to risk ruining the  
device by taking in the bathtub --- not the first day, anyway.  But  
the overall experience was very seamless, very pleasant.

Like it.  Not TiVo love it.  Not Mac Air love it.  Not Syntax-Olevia  
love it.  Not Python love it.  Not del.icio.us love it.  Not hp15c  
love it.  Not even iPhone really, really like it.  But like it ---  
better than expected.  I can see this evolving into something really  
significant over time, assuming they keep their eye on the ball and  
keep trying out new ideas with the product line.

jb



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