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Old 11-26-2007, 03:04 PM   #1
Bob Russell
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So, briefly, what do you think about the Kindle now?

Now that there has been time for a few reviews around the web, plus a lot of discussion and a lucky few actual units, I'm interested to know what people are thinking. Tell us if you have one, or are basing your opinion on the discussions. And in one paragraph or less, what is your current bottom line opinion? Love it? Hate it?

I'll start things off with a few of my own thoughts (subject to change over time, of course). I haven't touched one, so this is just based on what I've read.

I'm not thrilled with the DRM scheme or privacy issues, but this does look like a nice e-ink device. Of course it's got the Amazon name, and a library of books that you can buy without using a PC. I like the built-in dictionary and the ability to read the first chapter of any book before buying. Despite being "gadgety", it should bring e-books to a much wider audience, which will also help out e-books in general. It isn't likely to replace my PRS-500 Sony Reader, which I've become rather attached to (probably much like some people are attached to paper books), but I'm sure it will be a perfect choice for many readers.
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Old 11-26-2007, 03:08 PM   #2
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I've touched one, and it has replaced my Sony reader. As a mac user, having the wireless capability is far superior to having to boot through parallels to manage content. The basic reading process is the same. The prices are much more competitive thatn Sony (at least until a couple of days ago), and I'm willing to throw $9.99 after a book rather than wait for library availability. It will hopefully improve over time, but it's a winner for me.
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Old 11-26-2007, 03:19 PM   #3
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I would be more impressed with it if it had standard Mobipocket capability rather than their own proprietary service. But even if they went with a more open route, until a true nextgen device comes along, I'll be sticking with my Iliad (color and speed improvements, more fluid web access, the ability to download directly from the local library, etc.)
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Old 11-26-2007, 03:28 PM   #4
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I absolutely love mine.

I've held off on the e-book wars for awhile - I almost bought the Sony, but their lack of support for Macs, problems with various Sony DRMs in the past, and the cost of books in the connect store all stopped me. I thought the Kindle was the ugliest thing I had ever seen, until I saw the videos on the amazon site. It's still not "Apple beautiful", but it's not terrible. The synergy between the Kindle store and wireless downloading is wonderful - and costly. It's just too easy to buy new books - almost like they want me to spend money The buttons on the side are too easy to hit, but if I keep the Kindle in its case, I don't find the buttons get in the way.

I'd like a nicer case, and I'm looking for a book light solution. On the amazon site, they talk about the Mighty Bright UltrFlex2 as being "custom designed" for the Kindle, but it's not a new book light? What's so special about this book light? Any suggestions on a good book light that will fit over the leather cover?

Tracey
(I guess I wasn't brief...)
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Old 11-26-2007, 03:46 PM   #5
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Needs a third-party case. That case is futile. The buttons at the edges are intrusive. Get rid of the one on the right, or make it at least 50% smaller. Power switches need to be relocated to a more convenient area (I turn wireless off unless I am actively using it, and I would prefer to do a power-down rather than the sleep mode).
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Old 11-26-2007, 03:54 PM   #6
TallMomof2
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I'm really happy with my Kindle. It's easy to use and easy on the eyes. EVDO is worth the extra $ (as compared to the Sony 505) and it's fun to have web resources at my fingertips while I'm reading. I don't like not being able to read DRMed Mobi books. The side buttons really need to be changed. The case needs a little more work and, please, some other color besides black.
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Old 11-26-2007, 03:54 PM   #7
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I love it and it's replaced my Sony reader. As a mac user, having something that's friendly to my operation system is a nice change. I like the look, feel and usability of the device as it fits my needs perfectly. DRM isn't a big deal to me. Some minor changes could be made, but all in all, a great product and no buyers remorse for me.
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Old 11-26-2007, 04:16 PM   #8
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While I have no direct experience with a Kindle, I find myself impressed by it so far. I continue to hold reservations about the DRM and privacy issues, but Amazon seems to have managed to position this thing remarkably well. My step-mother was completely unimpressed with my PRS500 last Christmas, but she's actually talking about buying a Kindle now. She wants it for read-and-toss books when she and my father travel (by RV, so space is a consideration), so the DRM isn't a concern for her. The EVDO means that she can probably get new books while they're traveling, even if she has to do so as they're passing through a large city. Perhaps the best-seller reading, RV traveler is the target demographic that Amazon has aimed for -- it's certainly one they're hitting. Overall, the device seems to be pretty solidly designed, no more than they usual level of complaint on that score, and it seems to do what it claims it will pretty well.
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Old 11-26-2007, 05:21 PM   #9
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I'm a relatively new Sony 505 user and I think it's pretty close to being a perfect reader. Two things bug me:
  • The next page button needs to be larger and easier to find without looking
  • Stepping through the menus (TOCs) is *very* slow
Sony has the styling down. It's very good looking and by comparison the Kindle looks clunky and cheaper. The Kindle crossed a very important line IMHO. They decided to go past the basic reader functions step part way into the tablet PC market. I not surprised that the Kindle seems to have a much larger appeal to Mac users. They are used to accepting and being happy with the offerings of a locked down monopoly - hardware, OS, content, and store (no flames, I use Macs). The search features temp me, but they cross the line from a pure reader. Having WAN access does nothing for me. I have access to PCs and can easily add content when needed - I have no need for instant, wireless downloads. I'm a bit of a gadget nut and these Kindle extras all duplicate functions I already have and carry with me. I really hope that Amazon decides to make their eBooks available in other formats or that other bookstores/publishers get their acts together soon. I really hope the Kindle does well. We all benefit from the competition and Amazon's encouragement to publish in electronic formats is another win for all of us. I'm glad there is a new kid on the block, but I have no envy...... (c8


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Last edited by PHugger; 11-26-2007 at 05:23 PM.
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Old 11-26-2007, 05:21 PM   #10
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Overpriced reader. Overpriced DRMed eBooks.Fees up the wazoo to use the wireless (when you are in an area where it works). The DRM restrictions are even higher than for other devices. I hope everyone who pays money to rent eBooks from Amazon remembers the customers who got screwed over by their Unbox service.

Unless something changes, I'm avoiding this piece of junk like the plague.
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Old 11-26-2007, 05:23 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by rlauzon View Post
Fees up the wazoo to use the wireless (when you are in an area where it works).
Not so far, there aren't, it remains to be seen how that will shake out eventually.
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Old 11-26-2007, 05:28 PM   #12
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Use the number buttons for menu navigation. Much faster than cursor buttons.
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Old 11-26-2007, 05:37 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by rlauzon View Post
Overpriced reader. Overpriced DRMed eBooks.Fees up the wazoo to use the wireless (when you are in an area where it works). The DRM restrictions are even higher than for other devices. I hope everyone who pays money to rent eBooks from Amazon remembers the customers who got screwed over by their Unbox service.

Unless something changes, I'm avoiding this piece of junk like the plague.
Well said!!
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Old 11-26-2007, 05:42 PM   #14
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...I not surprised that the Kindle seems to have a much larger appeal to Mac users. They are used to accepting and being happy with the offerings of a locked down monopoly - hardware, OS, content, and store (no flames, I use Macs)....
Dude, I'm not flaming, but we accept "the offerings of a locked down monopoly - hardware, OS, content, and store" as opposed to um, Microsoft?
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Old 11-26-2007, 05:44 PM   #15
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...Overpriced DRMed eBooks....
But aren't the Sony Reader DRM books more expensive than Amazon's DRM books?
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