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Old 09-17-2010, 10:29 PM   #1
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[Kindle 3] My thoughts/quasi-review (little long)

After a huge long post in GD about thinking of getting a kindle (almost a month ago...) I finally got my Kindle 3 today.
I've read quite a lot on both the previous Kindles (thanks in no small part to my college library), and I thought that this price point and tech are mature enough for me to dive right in.
Also, thanks to my library, I can say that I feel qualified to write a mini-review on this device and compare it to its' predecessors. Since I've been switching using a K1 and a K2, expect me to refer quite frequently to a Kindle 1 where I think it has an advantage over the others.

I got as Amazon likes to call it, Kindle 3G Wireless Reading Device, Free 3G + Wi-Fi, 6" Display, Graphite, 3G Works Globally - Latest Generation or as we over here call it, Kindle 3 Graphite 3G.

I'll skip going over the usual stuff that is covered in professional reviews, since this is meant to be a guide/info from the point of view of a 'user' reading on his device and not a paid 'tech' reviewing it like another electronic device.

Comparing the screen with the first two, (I just returned my K1 yesterday) this screen is white! I mean it's like totally whitish. Many of you might nitpick that it isnt really white but on a black coloured device this screen background is pretty white to me. The text is conversely, dark! Almost as black as my laptop but not there yet. In short, it's a really dark version of grey. Overall, I believe that this is the perfect contrast needed to read. The black casing might have some role in this, although I am not qualified enough to comment on that.

Next comes the interface. I found it annoying that the number pad has gone. Equally annoying was the '@' key missing as well. (It was there on the K1). On the navigation front, I'd say Amazon shot themselves in the foot by replacing the 5-way joystick with a Nokia-style D-Pad. I don't consider myself to have large fingers (shoe size american 9, if that helps you get an idea how large my fingers might be) but I accidently hit the wrong buttons quite a few times in the 4-5 hours I've had this device. The page turn buttons are now way quieter as compared to the Kindle 2. They wrap around the edge of the device and have a 'hinge' kind of way of activating. I still liked the Kindle 1's right side full length next page button, although K3 has a layout quite similar to the Nook ie it's symmetric now.

The usual page turns are pretty fast. I made a remark earlier this evening stating page turn times reducing from say, 0.80 seconds to 0.71 seconds is hardly going to be noticeable. It's not a bad thing though. Basically, unless you're from a Kindle 1 the pageturns are not noticeably faster.

The web browser is pretty beefed up, but you're still best off using it for basic referencing/light news reading.

I think that brings my thoughts to a full circle, and oh yes there is just one minor niggle that crossed my mind right when I opened the box. The graphite kindle still comes with the same old boring white charger which frankly in my opinion as an overall package looks not well thought. I mean, it's not a big deal, but when you open a package this just slightly breaks the 'magical' experience.
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Old 09-18-2010, 07:37 AM   #2
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at this price point, with this feature set and this screen quality its a fantastic device(no i have not been indoctrinated by Amazon, differently from Apple boys). some people take too much for granted and its pretty unclever to criticize a device based on the "boring"(whatever that means) charger. I mean come on, how can a charger be "boring"?

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Old 09-18-2010, 07:41 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ski_power View Post
Comparing the screen with the first two, (I just returned my K1 yesterday) this screen is white! I mean it's like totally whitish. Many of you might nitpick that it isnt really white but on a black coloured device this screen background is pretty white to me.
This really isn't true. Mask off the surround and then compare the screen background with that of a device with a 2nd generation Vizplex screen. The background colour is well-nigh identical. The contrast is higher due to the blacks being blacker, not the background being whiter.

Attached are two pictures of my Kindle 2 and Kindle 3 side by side, and then a close-up of a portion of the screens of the two devices. You can see on the close-up that, although the K3 (lower image) has significantly blacker text than the K2 (upper image), the actual background is no whiter.
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Last edited by HarryT; 09-18-2010 at 08:01 AM.
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Old 09-18-2010, 08:46 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by mrzerga View Post
at this price point, with this feature set and this screen quality its a fantastic device(no i have not been indoctrinated by Amazon, differently from Apple boys). some people take too much for granted and its pretty unclever to criticize a device based on the "boring"(whatever that means) charger. I mean come on, how can a charger be "boring"?
Hi. Oh yes it is unclever to criticize. The kindle does what it's meant to od, so well that I had to actually search for points to criticize, and hence I picked the charger. Quite a few people might say that touchscreens could have been incorporated, but I'm a "tactile" person and didn't really have a con, so I chose this one. Although it probably might not cost Amazon to have different coloured chargers, I realized only today that the Black charger might end up looking like a standard consumer device charger if they don't get the colour right.

But yeah, do NOT let this stop you from getting a Kindle.
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Old 09-18-2010, 08:48 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
This really isn't true. Mask off the surround and then compare the screen background with that of a device with a 2nd generation Vizplex screen. The background colour is well-nigh identical. The contrast is higher due to the blacks being blacker, not the background being whiter.

Attached are two pictures of my Kindle 2 and Kindle 3 side by side, and then a close-up of a portion of the screens of the two devices. You can see on the close-up that, although the K3 (lower image) has significantly blacker text than the K2 (upper image), the actual background is no whiter.
Oh, ok so that's probably the real reason. Unfortunately I do not have a K2 right now, but yes thanks for clearing that up for me. I think it probably means that the K2s I've been using were just the US versions and not the International ones. Correct me, but weren't there better screens on the International versions?
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Old 09-18-2010, 08:51 AM   #6
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Oh, ok so that's probably the real reason. Unfortunately I do not have a K2 right now, but yes thanks for clearing that up for me. I think it probably means that the K2s I've been using were just the US versions and not the International ones. Correct me, but weren't there better screens on the International versions?
They had the same screen - as indeed, did every other 6" reader on the market. There is only one manufacturer of eInk screens - PVI in Taiwan. They make the screens for all eInk readers.
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Old 09-18-2010, 08:54 AM   #7
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They had the same screen - as indeed, did every other 6" reader on the market. There is only one manufacturer of eInk screens - PVI in Taiwan. They make the screens for all eInk readers.
Wait, so screen upgrades went from K1 -> K2 -> K3 then?
Since the only difference I found between K1 and K2 was absence of the scroller and really high-speed refreshes. I don't recollect the screen itself being better though.
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Old 09-18-2010, 09:20 AM   #8
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The K1 and K2 had the same screen. The K3's screen is a later generation with improved contrast.
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Old 09-19-2010, 12:18 AM   #9
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However, the K2 and K3 have 16 shades of grey, whereas the K1 only had 4. Of course that made a difference in illustrations, but wouldn't it also make a difference in the contrast between the letters and the screen? Also, the new kindle is supposed to have a pearl screen, which was previously only used on the newest DX, I think. However, I don't know what that means.

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Old 09-19-2010, 04:15 AM   #10
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However, the K2 and K3 have 16 shades of grey, whereas the K1 only had 4. Of course that made a difference in illustrations, but wouldn't it also make a difference in the contrast between the letters and the screen?
No. The number of grey-scales affects the number of shades of grey between "black" and "white", but since text is displayed in "black" it doesn't affect it at all.

Quote:
Also, the new kindle is supposed to have a pearl screen, which was previously only used on the newest DX, I think. However, I don't know what that means.
I posted a photograph earlier in this thread which shows you exactly what it means. Much blacker "black" on the screen, hence improved contrast.
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Old 09-19-2010, 09:50 AM   #11
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No. The number of grey-scales affects the number of shades of grey between "black" and "white", but since text is displayed in "black" it doesn't affect it at all.



I posted a photograph earlier in this thread which shows you exactly what it means. Much blacker "black" on the screen, hence improved contrast.
I saw those photos again, and I found the white to be a tiny bit whiter.
Can that be attributed to the camera? I think I'll borrow a Kindle from the library and check it out myself, but then again I'm thinking "Why bother?"
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Old 09-19-2010, 10:09 AM   #12
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I found the K3 to be considerably, even dramatically, whiter than my K1. There really is no comparison.
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Old 09-19-2010, 10:22 AM   #13
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I found the K3 to be considerably, even dramatically, whiter than my K1. There really is no comparison.
I'd be interested to see a side-by-side photograph, if you have the time. Are you sure that it's not just that the black surround makes it appear whiter?
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Old 09-19-2010, 10:56 AM   #14
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I'd be interested to see a side-by-side photograph, if you have the time. Are you sure that it's not just that the black surround makes it appear whiter?
Yes, I'm pretty sure, I also took them out into direct sunlight, it brought up the whiteness of the K1 somewhat, but it still didn't match the K3. I'll see if I can get a photo of it that shows the difference.
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Old 09-19-2010, 07:23 PM   #15
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If you have the time you can try and put a frame or something around the screens so your camera (and our eyes) won't get tricked.
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