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Old 11-20-2007, 05:01 PM   #1
Zoot
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Opening the box (and first impressions)...

[I'll add new info and impressions to this thread over time.]

Ok, Amazon is really going the Apple design route (or trying to anyway) with the Kindle. Here's what you find in the brown Amazon box (sorry about the fuzzy cam-phone pics):



And inside the book (the text on the left reads Kindle (kin'del) v.t. 1. set on fire. 2. inspire, stir up. -v.i. 1 catch fire. 2. become animated):



Everything laid out:



In hand (still in its plastic wrap):



And next to a Sony Reader 500 (the screens are exactly the same dimensions even if it doesn't look that way here):



More to come...

Z.

Last edited by Zoot; 11-20-2007 at 06:12 PM. Reason: New material
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Old 11-20-2007, 05:20 PM   #2
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Thanks for the Pics

Over the next couple of days, if you get a chance, can you see if it is possible to transfer a .prc file straight to the kindle through the USB cable? I am confused on whether you can transfer e-books on it that way or if you have to use the free.kindle conversion service or 10 cent conversion.

I have over 300 .rtf's. I would rather convert them myself to .prc than go through the Amazon conversion process. I just want to know how easy it is to put your own stuff on it through a cable.

But then, maybe someone already knows the answer? This is the one thing that is holding me up on buying it.
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Old 11-20-2007, 05:25 PM   #3
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Ok, first impressions time...

The screen is a little bit whiter than the Sony 500. I haven't seen a 505 in person but I imagine it's pretty muc the same display. The font is clean and very readable.

Within a few minutes the device knew its name and had downloaded the two books I bought yesterday before it even shipped.

That little vertical display IS TOTALLY AMAZING!! I don't know wtf the technology is, but it's made up of little suare pixels (two wide by some number (64? haven't tried to count) hight. The PIXELS ARE REFLECTIVE SILVER when on and reflect like a (tiny) mirror. You can see yourself in them!. This display is as shokingly unique as the e-ink displays are the first time you see one.

The vertical display acts as a progress bar, a position indicator, an activity indicator (four lowest pixels cycling in a circle), etc. It's animated and over all it's the most surprising and clever feature so far. The full height is used as a progress bar when the device boots up from scratch.

Anyway, only 10 minutes so far but the whole thing is really well done and amazingly cool.

Z.
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Old 11-20-2007, 05:40 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lov2Read View Post
Over the next couple of days, if you get a chance, can you see if it is possible to transfer a .prc file straight to the kindle through the USB cable? I am confused on whether you can transfer e-books on it that way or if you have to use the free.kindle conversion service or 10 cent conversion.

I have over 300 .rtf's. I would rather convert them myself to .prc than go through the Amazon conversion process. I just want to know how easy it is to put your own stuff on it through a cable.

But then, maybe someone already knows the answer? This is the one thing that is holding me up on buying it.
This is weird. I answered your question but the forum seems to have lost my post.

Yes, you can read PRCs on the Kindle, and yes, you can transfer them through the USB cable.. Make sure they are formatted properly.
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Old 11-20-2007, 05:42 PM   #5
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Ok, after thinking about it for another minute, the mirrored vertical display is simply an LCD-type display that's normally opaque and becomes transparent to reveal a mirrored surface below. Still looks amazingly cool.

In one room here I get 4 bars of EV-DO service. If I walk into another room here through it drops back to 1xRTT mode (the little wireless symbol changes to a 1x at the top). In 1x mode it seems unable to connect to web sites via the Basic Web feature.

I suppose it's possible that the 1x network is provisioned differently than EV-DO so maybe it will start working over time, or maybe web access requires the EV-DO link. Haven't tested the Store in 1x mode yet.

Does a pretty nice job of browsing less-dynamic web pages so far.

Z.
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Old 11-20-2007, 06:11 PM   #6
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Suspend mode:

I think someone was saying they hadn't seen a suspend mode. The manual suggests putting the device into sleep mode rather than turning it off (hold ALT and the aaA key together, the lower left and lower right most keys on the keyboard). It also says it will go into sleep on its own after 10 minutes.

At least when you do it manually, it brings up a random picture (I've gotten some birds, a dictionary (with the kindle definition from the box), a page of an old star atlas, and Oscar Wilde so far) with a message telling you which keys (the same ones) to press to wake it up. In this mode all other keys are "locked" to prevent inadvertent operation.

It only takes a couple seconds to wake up from sleep. If you use the power switch it takes something around 12 seconds to start up. A cold boot (first power on for example) took longer, maybe 30 seconds or so.

Don't yet know which modes the DV-DO automatic downloads will work in.

Z.
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Old 11-20-2007, 06:27 PM   #7
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zoot

thanks for the pics and info! Keep them coming (don't sleep tonight )

can you get a screen shot of the web browser in action?

-d
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Old 11-20-2007, 07:21 PM   #8
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Zoot,

That is one of the neatest things...the screensavers that come up when the Kindle is powered down. I absolutely love that!
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Old 11-20-2007, 07:27 PM   #9
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Well, the case for the Kindle is nothing like as nice as the Sony's. The Sony (at least my 500) has a clever attachment mechanism on the back for the wraparound case, and a nice magnetic closure.

The Kindle provides really no anchor points for a case and so the provided leatherish case simply has a couple corners that the left side fits into and absolutely nothing to hold down the right-hand side of the unit or prevent it from simply falling out of the case when you don't have the elastic strap around it when closed.

Ok, reading the manual there's sort of a plastic tab on the case that's supposed to engage with the bottom of the unit, but honestly it just doesn't work. The stiff stitched leather construction is simply inadequate to form-fit and hold the device.

I didn't think the cover was actually intended intended to fold back around the way the Sony's does, but the manual says it is. The first time you fold it around it sounds and feels just like breaking the spine on a hard-backed book.

I'm not sure how you would go about making a better case (starting with something more controllable than this leatherish stuff for a start maybe), but hopefully Amazon or someone will do so.

Since there's really no good way to secure the unit into a case, I think something simpler like a sleeve or tiny laptop style case that you remove the device from completely for use would be more practical.

Z.
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Old 11-20-2007, 07:35 PM   #10
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Gottabemobile.com has come out with 2 videos of the Amazon Kindle. The first is an unboxing, initial boot, downloading books, and the second shows typing experience, battery replacement, carrying case, etc. There is also a promise of a future video. I'm not too interested in the Kindle as I'm still pleased with my Sony reader(500), but for those interested the videos may help you out.
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Old 11-20-2007, 07:42 PM   #11
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The gigantic buttons. These are my only real concern so far. The bottons on the left and right edge are just overkill. If you try to pick the device up one handed chances are you'l try to grip the left and right sides and get nothing but button which move under your fingers and make it tricky to grip.

They also slightly overhang the sides so any impact on an edge from below feels like it could potentially rip the button right off. The top edge of the right hand botton feels more flimsy and its fit to the case edge there is just slightly less than perfect.

They work fine when reading, but do I really need a next page button that is five inches long?

And each one makes a small audible click sond when pressed which might be annoying to someone in a perfectly quiet environment. But then the buttons on my Sony 500 are almost as "clicky" so this is a pretty minor complaint.

Time will tell whether they're really fragile or not.

Oh, and the warranty on the device is one year, which I'm not sure anyone has mentioned.

Z.
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Old 11-20-2007, 07:59 PM   #12
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And each one makes a small audible click sond when pressed which might be annoying to someone in a perfectly quiet environment. But then the buttons on my Sony 500 are almost as "clicky" so this is a pretty minor complaint.

Z.
Z

perhaps there is a settings/config display for things such as the click?

-d
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Old 11-20-2007, 08:02 PM   #13
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It's a mechanical click of the switch unfortunately. Haven't actually heard any sounds out of the speaker yet. I wonder if I can email an mp3 to it?

Z.
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Old 11-20-2007, 08:29 PM   #14
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The gigantic buttons. These are my only real concern so far. The bottons on the left and right edge are just overkill...
I actually like big page buttons (I didn't like the position of Sony's), but you are right, by them taking the up almost the entire side of the reader, I haven't held it yet without pushing them.

Great for the reading tho. And the case is terrible. If it fit in four (or even three) corners then not so bad, but just the two on the side is weird. A new case is the first accessory I will buy when a decent one comes out.

And I am not a case freak or anything, I thought the stock one that came with the Sony Reader was fine and I never upgraded.

I wish the line spacing and the fonts used in the books could be tweaked a bit, but I'll get used to it...
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Old 11-20-2007, 08:46 PM   #15
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Maybe a little heavy duty velcro would do the trick!
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