Last night I got home to a welcome sight – an Amazon box waiting for me with a brand new Kindle 3 3G inside.
Several weeks ago I received the case for it; I opted for the black leather case with built-in light. After unboxing, I put the two together and took it for a test spin; my first experience with a dedicated physical eReader device. (The book on the device in the photo is Power Friending by Amber Mac, for the curious among you.)
Very quickly I noticed a huge improvement over the Kindle apps (iPod and Android) and PC software I’d been using to read Kindle books for the past several weeks. The eInk screen is far easier on the eyes, with wonderful sharpness.
The contrast is noticeably lower than typical paperbacks or hardcovers, but the difference is pretty small. Never having used a Kindle or similar device before, I can’t compare it to previous iterations of the device, but I found it comfortably readable. I took the picture above and it is a pretty decent representation of the contrast.
The Kindle itself is very lightweight and easy to hold for extended periods of time. I prefer to use it with the case, which adds quite a bit to the weight; it feels like a good hefty leather-bound hardcover, which I love. Your mileage may vary of course.
The light built into the cover I chose is powered by the Kindle itself, which is handy. No batteries to change, no cables needed.
I haven’t had the Kindle very long, but I did try to play with some of the features I’ve been hearing about. One thing I was especially curious about was the free 3G wireless and how living in Canada would impact that.
I actually got a bit of a surprise with that; it was my understanding that Canadian Kindle customers would not have full access to the internet over Amazon’s 3G, but when I tried it out, I was able to get to any site I tried with no trouble. I’m not sure how often I’ll have crazy urges to browse the web on the Kindle, but it was a nice surprise to find that I’ll be able to if I want to. Of course it goes without saying that over Wi-Fi you can browse to your heart’s content.
Finally, the battery – I’ve had the unit for a day now, far too early to give any idea of whether it lives up to the 4 weeks Amazon claims. I can say though that the Kindle app drains my iPod’s battery ridiculously fast, whereas I have not yet seen the Kindle’s battery meter budge at all, even after hours of use.
So far I’m loving the Kindle 3. If I had one complaint, it’s the lack of support for ePub and Office documents, but aside from that it’s a fantastic experience. I’m looking forward to the future of this product.