A week with the Kindle

So it's been a bit over a week since I've had my Kindle so I thought I may just write up some of my initial thoughts about it. I've been asked why a Kindle and not an iPad and it is a valid question. If you consider the similar form factor of the devices and the fact that Apple has its iBooks which is in direct competition with the Amazon Kindle store they seem to be fairly likely competitors.

Firstly, I purchase a fair amount of technical books, and a fair amount of them from the Pragmatic Programmers. Typically I would purchase the paper book and eBook bundle together, which is significantly more expensive combined with shipping to Australia. With having a Kindle however I'll only be making paper book purchases if only an eBook version isn't available.

So onto the device itself.

I love the size and weight of the device, it's very portable and also has amazing battery life. I take it to work everyday, and bring it out every so often if I'm at a cafe and want to do some occasional reading. The auto-bookmarking feature is great as it remembers where you are up to for each book automatically. The e-ink screen is just great for reading, I've had no problems reading from the device outside in sunlight and it's very easy on the eyes.

The device also supports PDF documents but I've found that some of the books that I have in PDF format I'm unable to resize the text, the software control on the device is greyed out so I'm assuming it's only available for the mobi format of documents.

My main purpose for the Kindle is to, obviously, read books. There's an upcoming firmware upgrade that adds Twitter and Facebook integration, to which if I had the option to not install I would do so. I don't need the distraction and I'm not sure how well executed it may be given the e-ink screen and slow refresh of the screen.

There is an mp3 player but there's no on screen controls, to play, pause, and skip a track is done by combining certain keystrokes. Again, I don't think this is a necessary inclusion for the device.The built in experimental browser is good enough to read a text based website, and if you can.

All in all, I think it truly is a great device to do what's it intended for, reading. I do think that I'll also be purchasing and iPad when it's released but for reading books I'm fairly confident that's an exercise with the Kindle.