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Old 11-12-2010, 07:12 PM   #1
megacoupe
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K3 owners: Would you mind answering some questions for a potential buyer?

Current Sony PRS500 owner considering a Kindle 3 3G. I sort of have an inkling about each of the following questions, but I'm hoping some users might report their experiences to me.

1. How easy is it to type on the K3's keyboard, say compared to an iPhone touchscreen or a hardware keyboard on a smartphone (Blackberry, Droid, etc)? I'm not talking about writing a book, but how annoying is it to type out a couple of paragraphs?
2. Can you both read and write emails on Gmail.com?
3. Is nytimes.com accessible on the K3? On a similar note, how do io9.com and lifehacker.com look (the mobile versions are acceptable)?
4. Are todoist.com, simplenoteapp.com, evernote.com and librarything.com functional on the K3? I don't mean just seeing the information in my accounts, but actually doing stuff: adding todo items, adding/deleting books, etc. (once again, mobile versions are acceptable, as long as they work)
5. Does Google Maps work on the K3? Can I actually enter starting and destination addresses and get directions?

I am well aware that 3G speeds are slow on the K3, but I don't expect to use the web-centric features too often. It just seems to me that my mobile web needs are minimal enough that getting a smartphone with web would be overkill. If the K3 can handle the operations described above, I can get a dumbphone with a cheaper plan.

I know some of the questions up there require a bit of work, so I'd appreciate any info, even if it's just one question.
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Old 11-12-2010, 08:57 PM   #2
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I am far from an expert only having mine less than a month, but it seems you need or want an Ipad or a tablet not an E-reader...My Ipad does all that you ask and is even a good e reader. Just not practical for reading any length of time...Its heavy
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Old 11-12-2010, 09:20 PM   #3
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The keyboard is very good and you can type pretty quickly with two thumbs. On the other hand it only has a hardware key for "." and no other punctuation marks like an apostrophe or a comma, which have to be accessed through a symbol table. So it depends on what kind of text you're typing.

I find the web browser very inconvenient. Most sites probably work but I'd only use it as a last resort, not for every day use. The clunky interface and slow processor make for a miserable experience.

I tried mobile lifehacker.com and it worked, but was expectedly slow and inconvenient. I found Google Maps unusable. If you're stuck in an unknown city and can't find a kiosk that sells a map, you might spend a few minutes trying to extract useful information from it. It's not for casual use.
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Old 11-13-2010, 04:51 AM   #4
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If your budget is tight get a Netbook, if not get an iPad. It'll do what you want well.

If you like to read books, get a Kindle 3 too as well - it is the best. Designed to read books. Simple and priced right now. I spend 2 Kindles per month on gas....

Last edited by geeksquadofun; 11-13-2010 at 04:53 AM.
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Old 11-13-2010, 08:16 AM   #5
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Sounds more to me like you want an iPad, not a Kindle. The Kindle is not meant for 'surfing the net' and is IMO rather difficult with trying to manipulate the screen around to view the part of the web page you want to see.
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Old 11-13-2010, 10:10 AM   #6
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Hi I can answer some of your questions:

1) I personally find it very easy to type on the Kindle Keyboard and find it much easier than trying to type on my iphone. I think for writing out a couple of paragraphs it is absolutely fine for most people. I can write extensively so I probably could write a book on it! It isn't as easy as typing on a laptop but much easier than smartphones I think.

2) Gmail is no problem at all providing you know how to access it, see my blog post if you need more info:
http://www.kinworm.com/2010/10/gmail...-kindle-3.html

I don't actually use any of the other sites you mention so I couldn't say. I use www.simpletext.ws because I find it a very handy online notepad being that the Kindle does not yet come equipped with a separate notepad.

Re Google Maps on a Kindle - you might want to read this blog post (not mine but a great site) :
http://kindleworld.blogspot.com/2010...r-from-to.html

Hope that helps somewhat.

Last edited by TheKindleWorm; 01-17-2011 at 01:48 PM.
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Old 11-13-2010, 10:42 PM   #7
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Personally, I think it's much easier to type on an iPhone than on the Kindle. Once you get used to it - the touchscreen can be a very fast way to type.
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Old 11-13-2010, 11:15 PM   #8
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Thanks to everyone who has replied so far.

Although I appreciate the suggestions, the last thing I want is an iPad. I'm a big fan of eINK and don't plan on doing my ebook reading on a different type of screen anytime soon. I'm thinking about upgrading to a new ebook reader and it's between the brand I'm familiar with (Sony) and the cheaper, bells-and-whistles alternative (Kindle). The primary use of the device would be as an ebook reader.

That said, my eyes do tire from reading sites like io9.com and nytimes.com on my LCD monitor, so I thought it would be nice to have an eINK option (without the hassle of running feeds through Calibre). Also, I do like to jot down notes and check todo lists often, so it would be convenient if these features were available on the K3. And if I can occasionally look at an email or get directions, I'm sold.

Don't get me wrong: the ebook reading is the most important feature to me. I'm just trying to get a handle on the features that are making me lean toward the K3. If the features aren't there, I might as well go with the Sony 650.
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Old 11-14-2010, 06:22 AM   #9
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Seems like you have already made up your mind.
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Old 11-14-2010, 01:59 PM   #10
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The non-reading features on the Kindle are really designed for very occasional or incidental use. If you think you would need those features for more than, say, 30 minutes a day, then you'd be better off with a smartphone or whatever.
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Old 11-14-2010, 06:58 PM   #11
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I pretty much use my kindle 1-2 hours every day and I have probably typed fewer than 100 characters on it [K2 then K3]- you can, but if you really need to do it a lot, perhaps you need the ipad or a netbook
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Old 11-14-2010, 09:32 PM   #12
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1. not quite as nice. probably about what you'd expect.
2. yes.
3. nytimes .. sure. the gawker media sites... not so much. calibre has feeds for them. that's how i read them. (io9 though- not sure)
4. don't know
5. as above.
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Old 11-19-2010, 12:32 PM   #13
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As others have said, the Kindle is designed to be excellent for consuming written information and isn't well suited to producing it.

I have Google Reader's Mobile website bookmarked as well as mobile versions of several popular sites like NYTimes, CBC and so forth. Reading them on a Kindle is quite easy on the eyes.

Typing anything more than a Twitter Tweet from a Kindle is tiresome, however. I save any "commenting" on articles until I'm at a computer with a proper keyboard.

Another way to look at it: if I were on vacation and only wanted to check email, I'd bring the Kindle. I COULD reply to the OCCASIONAL email from it but it would be a "once a day" event to let family know how things were. If I had any serious correspondence to do, the netbook would be tagging along.

Last edited by cjottawa; 11-19-2010 at 12:34 PM.
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Old 11-19-2010, 01:27 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by megacoupe View Post
1. How easy is it to type on the K3's keyboard, say compared to an iPhone touchscreen or a hardware keyboard on a smartphone (Blackberry, Droid, etc)? I'm not talking about writing a book, but how annoying is it to type out a couple of paragraphs?
I find it really easy if I hold the Kindle in both hands and use my thumbs to type, which IIRC is the method suggested in the manual.

Quote:
Originally Posted by megacoupe View Post
2. Can you both read and write emails on Gmail.com?
Yes. I've found the basic HTML interface to be better/faster than the full interface, but the full interface will work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by megacoupe View Post
3. Is nytimes.com accessible on the K3? On a similar note, how do io9.com and lifehacker.com look (the mobile versions are acceptable)?
Haven't tried either, so I can't comment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by megacoupe View Post
4. Are todoist.com, simplenoteapp.com, evernote.com and librarything.com functional on the K3? I don't mean just seeing the information in my accounts, but actually doing stuff: adding todo items, adding/deleting books, etc. (once again, mobile versions are acceptable, as long as they work)
I haven't tried any of them. I use Remember The Milk (http://www.rememberthemilk.com/) for to-do lists, and it works a charm on the Kindle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by megacoupe View Post
5. Does Google Maps work on the K3? Can I actually enter starting and destination addresses and get directions?
I've found the mobile version of Google Maps works well (http://m.google.co.uk/maps), as does KindleMap.net (http://kindlemap.net/), an interface to Google Maps specifically designed for the Kindle. I've used both, but I still have both bookmarked on my Kindle because I can't quite decide which is better

Quote:
Originally Posted by megacoupe View Post
It just seems to me that my mobile web needs are minimal enough that getting a smartphone with web would be overkill. If the K3 can handle the operations described above, I can get a dumbphone with a cheaper plan.
I took a similar view. I don't have a smartphone, and need mobile web rarely enough that the Kindle is good enough. It generally works well enough for the sites that I use. Not perfect, but good enough for infrequent mobile use, in my opinion.
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