24 hours with a Kindle

Last Friday I really needed cheering up.  There was no sign of my cough/cold clearing, I had a bad headache developing, and the prospect of returning to work did not fill me with the usual joy.

So as is usual I headed over to the Amazon site, to see if there was anything that particularly grabbed my attention.



I looked again at the Kindle site.  Most requested wishlist item, most number of five star ratings.

But I already had 2 x 3.5” Kindle readers (iPhone and iPod touch), and my iPad too.  Did I really need a 6” device?  Even one which could download from (almost) anywhere in the world (though interestingly not Tunisia, which seems to be having one or two problems of its own since I came back).

The following morning (I paid for express delivery, did I mention that I really needed cheering up), the Kindle arrived.  After making a bit of a fool trying to remove the second cellophane cover from the front of the device, I realised that I was actually looking at the e-ink display showing it’s ‘welcome’ message.


Nothing can prepare you for the clarity of the display.  It really is pin sharp and a different experience.  The closest comparison is that reading a book on the iPad is like reading a hardback book in terms of weight and size.  The kindle is a paperback book.  One that fits into a pocket and carry anywhere.

The user interface – to be honest this needs some work.  I love the big ‘forward’ buttons and the slightly smaller ‘back’ buttons, but searching and highlighting needs to be improved.  I know the iPad is a touch screen and so the UI is always going to be different, but I think more can be done here.

Alas, my posting title ‘24 hours with a Kindle’ was prophetic.  The next morning something happened to the display, and became a mass of horizontal and vertical lines, like Etch a Sketch on acid.  The device was still working behind the screen, but it was unreadable.  I guess I was unlucky, though subsequent Googling does seem to indicate some screens are very fragile.

Amazon have been great however, and arranged for DHL to collect the device from my home, and have confirmed that a refund for the full amount is being made.

As soon as the credit does appear back on my card, I will be purchasing another Kindle (the same model with 3G access).  I now also have a thick neoprene case waiting for my new Kindle (I’ve used something similar to protect all of my laptops and iPad).

I’m looking forward to showing the device to my friends (and taking some photos!), but there will be a short delay.


1 comment so far

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