Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Amazon kindle ... first thoughts

No sooner did I blog about non-availability of ereaders in India than Amazon announced the International Kindle 2. I thought long and hard, observed the release of the Nook, and decided to bite the bullet. I ordered a Kindle.

The Kindle for $259 is actually $378 with shipping and duties. And for that flimsy screen, I had to purchase a cover - I purchased the Amazon's Kindle cover, which at $29 is daylight robbery. The entire package cost $428 after shipping and duties. Pretty high.

I got it yesterday, delivered by DHL in just 5 days. Not bad at all.

I don't know why Amazon calls the packing as "frustration free". It was everything but that.

I have seen more attractive packaging for cheaper mobile phones than there was for the Kindle. It was a plain boring packaging - surely, they can spruce it up.


It is a confusing design. I want the keypad if I want to make notes. I tend to make notes on textbooks and typically, non-fiction books and papers. These are usually in PDF or PS or DJVU format - none of which are supported by Kindle. Kindle is useless for academic usage.

If I want to use Kindle just for reading novels, then I don't make notes, and the keypad is an obstruction. I would have preferred a larger screen with more text per page. If you read on an average at around 600 words per minute, you need to see an eyeful of text. The 6" screen is too small - actually, anything less than 8" would be a problem. The small screen makes it quite cumbersome for fiction reading. Definitely, the Kindle hasn't been designed by an avid reader.

It is a confusingly positioned product.

Whispernet works - I don't know what provider, but it connects to some EDGE network. The speed reminds me of a VSNL dialup connection nine years ago which had massive congestion problems. I can access only wikipedia. Though I don't know why anybody would want the whispernet.

OK, bearable. But definitely needs improvement

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