More Thoughts on the Kindle

Some insights after reading a book and a couple Journals on The Kindle:

  • The next/previous page buttons are really useful; I can get into this rhythm where I press the next button by flexing my hand as it holds the device.
  • The next/previous page buttons, being so large, make it difficult to change your grip on the device (including pick it up) without clicking one or both.
  • Next buttons adorn both sides of the device; I can hold The Kindle with either hand, in varying positions, and still turn the page, a feat impossible with paper books.
  • The device does inline lookups for back-matter and other notes, which makes reading them much easier than with a paper book.
  • I have seen minor ghosting on a few occasions, which Amazon acknowledges. The artifacts are not annoying, but I expect better.
  • When connected via USB, The Kindle appears as a USB mass storage device.
  • Battery life is impressive. The battery is at 50% after several days with wireless turned on. I do not even turn the device off; rather, I just let it go into its sleep mode (wherein it paints a pretty picture to the screen before turning off).
  • There is no inline Wikipedia lookup, which is disappointing. You can, however, search the collaborative encyclopedia using the built-in search tool.
  • Newspaper are more enjoyable than on first pass. The metaphor is still rough, and requires too much clicking and scrolling, but it works. I might keep my subscription after all.
  • Likely my most flattering comment: Books on The Kindle are a pleasure. The device fades out, the text consumes all, and you are easily lost in the words.

A few intrepid readers wrote in to point out that iRex's iLiad sports a stylus over its e-paper and the result is lackluster—as with the iPhone, input is prone to errors. I still believe that typing is so limited a task (at least with the more-focused Kindle) that a compromise on input device is acceptable, but their poor experience renders my previous suggestion less obvious.