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Old 11-24-2007, 11:26 AM   #31
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I don't find it's ugly at all. The ergonomics is a little off though. If the buttons were shifted just a bit so you could hold it easier by it's edges, it would be easer.

Having said that though, the manuel does say that it's meant to be read with it's cover on. And with the cover on, you don't have all the button pushing problems. But the cover needs at least one more corner holder—it's sorta scary the way it is now and how it seems it will fall out of it. I'm gonna get a bit of velcro for the bottom corner and that should solve the problem.

After you get used to it, it's fine. But of course, you shouldn't HAVE to get used to something after spending $400 but I give them credit for TRYING something different with the design. Remember, Sony changed it's design with the 505, so the Kindle may evolve a bit too.
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Old 11-24-2007, 02:12 PM   #32
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I don't think the Kindle is ugly at all but I spent my early adulthood on very old devices. (Commodore 64, first HP PC, Atari, the TI computer with the cassette tape drive, heck I even learned how to use a slide rule!) I also spent a large part of my college career hanging out in the computer lab feeding the card reader.

The Kindle has that kind of a retro feel to me. The only thing I'd change, right now, are the side buttons but I've already adapted to them.
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Old 11-24-2007, 10:16 PM   #33
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Just want to clarify--I don't want to come off as sounding hostile here (and already exchanged private messages with montsnmags just in case!), but c'mon, you gotta admit that the Kindle is not attractive compared to the more polished-looking, sleeker, Bookeen or Sony ebook devices. Right? (Maybe?) The white plastic case could have been designed to look a lot more appealing. (This isn't a knock on the Kindle's functionality, but honestly, put a Kindle next to a Cybook or a Reader and tell me which one is more ugly!) I frankly think Amazon blew it on the aesthetics. An ebook device with a keyboard can look *much* nicer imo.
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Old 11-24-2007, 11:16 PM   #34
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i saw one yesterday, its kinda cute, easy to flip pages, good screen, sharp looking text, not too bad at all
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Old 11-25-2007, 07:41 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrMoze View Post
Just want to clarify--I don't want to come off as sounding hostile here (and already exchanged private messages with montsnmags just in case!), but c'mon, you gotta admit that the Kindle is not attractive compared to the more polished-looking, sleeker, Bookeen or Sony ebook devices. Right? (Maybe?)...
Okay, okay. I'll admit that, possibly, maybe, the Kindle is not "attractive" compared the the Bookeen or Sony. Gees, bend me over a barrel, why don't you?

(BTW, I didn't find you at all hostile - I was just worried I was coming off that way ).

Regardless, it would be nice if anyone sold a device in Oz, and I don't even mind if it looks like a Tandy TRS80 even! C'mon, Dymocks; announce your device already!

Cheers,
Marc
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Old 11-25-2007, 08:01 AM   #36
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Its case is ugly, however its GUI menu system looks much more sophisticated and easier to use and its LCD/wheel/progress meter should be copied by other readers. Actually, I take that back.. I think a ZUNE2 squircle pad rather than a scroll wheel could be used, but the LCD escapes the awkward eink refresh delays for quick selection.

IMHO I think the keyboard is what throws the look off. The wedge design idea may work fine aesthetically. Perhaps they will learn to hide the keyboard like cell phones do (ie: slide it out) in a future iteration, but surely having a thumbboard for searches and notes is an advantage from a functional viewpoint.


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Old 11-28-2007, 08:38 PM   #37
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I was surprised by how well people seem to like the usability of it, as I'd imagined that aspect wouldn't be much better than the overall design. I can't fault them for anything except the fact that it can't be held by its sides (at least not comfortably). Isn't this a massive oversight by everybody involved? I'm sure the next version will have much a much better look/design, but I wouldn't even consider buying this thing until those side buttons were gone.
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Old 11-28-2007, 08:44 PM   #38
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Isn't this a massive oversight by everybody involved? I'm sure the next version will have much a much better look/design, but I wouldn't even consider buying this thing until those side buttons were gone.
Well, after using the Kindle for a couple days I have found the side buttons to be a non-issue. It LOOKS like they would be until you use one and find there are lots of ways to hold it that work fine. For example, you can hold your thumb right over the keyboard - in read mode those keys (two on opposite sides at the very bottom) do not do anything. Even those need to be pressed at the same time to unsleep.

As far as picking it up, normally you would not set it down for a very short time and if longer than that, it goes into sleep mode where picking it up any old way can't trigger the page turn as all the buttons but the unsleep buttons are disabled in sleep mode.

As far as ugly, as I have said elsewhere, it is a READER, not a painting or a sculpture so who cares what it looks like as long as it works well as a reader? Unless one is big into appearances and image to the exclusion of actual function, appearance should not matter much at all.

Last edited by CCDMan; 11-28-2007 at 08:48 PM.
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Old 11-28-2007, 09:01 PM   #39
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I agree with an earlier poster, my appeal was turned off by that early FCC photo. However, now that I actually have one in my hands, it looks nothing like that. It is attractive to me, and that's my opinion, because that's all that we're arguing about. Some people find it ugly, some have no opinion, and some might find it handsome.
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Old 11-28-2007, 09:05 PM   #40
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The problem with the Kindle's design isn't just that it's ugly--it's amateurish (Scoble's take on the design flaws are spot on, IMO). A $400 device in 2007 should convey some sense of professionalism. A company the size of Amazon could certainly have afforded IDEO or another firm of the same caliber. That said, if search and free wireless were compelling enough features for me, I'd drop the $400 in spite of how it looks.
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Old 11-28-2007, 09:20 PM   #41
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Well, I did a side-by-side visual comparison between the Kindle and the Cybook Gen3. My photos aren't the best. Heck, they're probably just as bad as the FCC photo! If you want to see a basic non-scientific comparison of sizes and general visual appearance:

http://www.azog.org/blog/?p=94
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Old 11-28-2007, 11:34 PM   #42
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A $400 device in 2007 should convey some sense of professionalism. A company the size of Amazon could certainly have afforded IDEO or another firm of the same caliber
Hmm, according to TWIT, the designer also designed one of the Macbooks....

Whether or not it is "professional" is just another opinion of how it looks - that is to say whether it was designed "right" or "wrong". Still entirely a matter of opinion and nothing more. Since everyone has a different opinion and no one can be called an "expert" on aesthetics, this seems to be a pointless discussion.

If one does not like it, don't buy it. If one does like it, buy it. It will only live or die by sales, not by our forum opinions on appearance.

Last edited by CCDMan; 11-28-2007 at 11:38 PM.
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Old 11-29-2007, 12:50 AM   #43
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functional aesthetics versus physical aesthetics

If you look at it in terms of functional aesthetics, I think it looks a lot better than if you looked at in terms of its physical appearance.

Here's what I see:
- backed by Amazon and its 90,000+ online ebooks. and the prices of the ebooks are significantly lower than their hardcopy counterparts, which is just common sense marketing.
- uses electronic ink and can last for a week on one charge.
- you can browse/buy books wireless via EVDO directly on the device.
- you can help cut down on your personal carbon footprint by buying ebooks over hardcopy versions.

This all looks pretty attractive to me. I'm not looking to display my Kindle like a work of art.

This being said, I think the next version should devote a little more energy to physical aesthetics as well.

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Old 11-29-2007, 01:53 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by CCDMan View Post
Whether or not it is "professional" is just another opinion of how it looks - that is to say whether it was designed "right" or "wrong". Still entirely a matter of opinion and nothing more. Since everyone has a different opinion and no one can be called an "expert" on aesthetics, this seems to be a pointless discussion.
Let me reframe my comment in terms of adoption rate: (1) the overwhelming online consensus is that it's ugly ("it's really not that ugly" is the most common praise), (2) that consensus is extremely likely to mirror that of prospective buyers, (3) the fact that the Kindle's industrial design is criticized so frequently and vociferously (with Dvorak nowhere in sight!) makes appealing to absolutes in aesthetics irrelevant, (4) an unattractive product is less likely to sell than an attractive or even bland one, (5) the Kindle's advantages over existing E Ink readers will have to be that much more compelling to compensate for its design disadvantages.

I'm not arguing that the Kindle won't sell (entirely) on the basis of how it looks; just that it's going to be a harder sell.

Quote:
If one does not like it, don't buy it. If one does like it, buy it. It will only live or die by sales, not by our forum opinions on appearance.
Even in the unlikely event that the Kindle winds up selling in droves, discussing the design flaws of the current version may indirectly influence improvements in the next version.
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Old 11-29-2007, 05:32 AM   #45
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I agree with an earlier poster, my appeal was turned off by that early FCC photo. However, now that I actually have one in my hands, it looks nothing like that.
Are you saying that the FCC photo was not of a real Kindle? It looks pretty much the same as the released device to me!
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