December 7, 2010 Leave a comment
The question everyone asks when they see you sitting there on the purple sofa in the campus library is; “Is that a kindle?” “Do you like it”. Lets answer both of those questions.
First of all, yes it is in fact a kindle, Amazon’s revolutionary ebook reader. First impression is that it is the holy grail to all your book needs. It conjures dreams of never having to lug a heavy book around ever again! While this is a good point and over all I think it is a fantastic device, here is what I would like to see in the next version.
The screen is great. The letters are crisp and really do compare to reading a newspaper. I would like to feel less worried if the screen broke since replacement screens are more rare then jackalopes. Take a look on ebay at all the kindles with broken screens. They are basically free. I considered grabbing a handful and fixing them up to resell them, but even two hours of google searches returned absolutely 0 compatible e ink screens. While this may change in the near future, it seems that one simple drop could render your kindle totaled beyond repair. On the same note, there is no bezel or glass in front of the screen to protect it incase of an accident. While not a big deal, does give the user the feeling that this is a fragile device, Not something that could be tossed into a backpack.
Ok now that we said something we don’t like, we should say three things that we do like. (That’s what mom always said).
The device is light, holds a tone of books and the ease of turning pages means you don’t have to adjust your grip every time you flip pages (unlike a real book).
One small quirk a lot of people have noticed that Amazon should really change is the 5 way digital joystick. It’s purpose is to scroll through menus, and quickly change chapters and works great most of the time. Everyone I have talked to has accidentally bumped this joystick and lived to regret it. The problem is that when you even slightly move the joystick to the left or right, the kindle will instantly jump to the next or previous chapter. What is suppose to be a feature, will cause you to waste countless hours per year flipping back to your previous possession one page at a time. Believe me, the second time you do it, you will be pulling your hair out. That one fact alone caused me to return the kindle to where I got it.
I am sure that Amazon could easily release a software update to fix this issue, and they should. If you know of a work around or fix please let me know.
Overall I think the idea of the kindle is great, but one fatal flaw means that I will not be recommending it to any of my friends any time soon.