Thinking About a Kindle

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by MallCop, Jan 9, 2011.

  1. MallCop macrumors 6502

    Jan 7, 2011
    So I got $60 in best buy gift cards from the holidays and was thinking about picking up a kindle wifi. Anyone have one and how do they like it?
  2. ergdegdeg Moderator emeritus


    Oct 13, 2007
    I got one in November and I really like it. The battery has lasted for almost two months with WiFi almost always turned on. It's so much easier to carry on planes etc. than books, especially if you want to take more than one. The screen is really nice and it doesn't hurt my eyes at all. In total, I'd say that it has increased my reading and I'm almost done with three books now (which is quite a lot for me in two months).
  3. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
  4. wickedpapercut macrumors member


    Jul 17, 2005
    Bought one for my wife for Christmas and she absolutely loves it. Hasn't put it down. I'd highly recommend getting a case or leather cover of some sort for it. If you like to read, it's very nice. Almost better than reading a printed page without having the sentences bend at the spline.
  5. WilliamG macrumors G3

    Mar 29, 2008
    Almost better? You mean miles better. :)
  6. CalBoy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2007
    I've had the current version of the Kindle (wifi only model) since September, and I must say that it's a very neat little device and it is very easy to read off of (miles ahead of an LCD screen for me).

    The battery life is pretty good and Amazon has done a good job considering the $139 price point.

    A few things that I think need improving are input methods, and quality of ebooks. The Kindle uses physical keys, and while this is not quite as smooth as a touch screen, the real limitation is that there are no number or symbol keys; one must use a "symbol" key and use arrows to navigate any numbers or special symbols. This gets tedious when entering numbers (say when you want to jump pages repeatedly) or when you enter wifi passwords. Of course this is a minor concern in the grand scheme of things, but I have a suspicion that future e-ink devices will probably be touch screen.

    I've also heard (and seen) that some ebooks have many mistakes (frequent typos, misspellings, etc), as if publishers aren't proofreading when they produce the electronic version of print books. It's tough to say when this will get better, but I'm sure that as the ebook market continues to grow and replace the print book market, this will improve.

    Overall I'd say that if you have $139 to spare and need a solid ereader, the Kindle is tough to beat.
  7. DaveTheRave, Jan 9, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2011

    DaveTheRave macrumors 6502a

    May 22, 2003
    I have the current 6" 3G+Wifi Kindle and I think its great. I also have the Amazon Kindle cover that has the built in light, which uses the Kindle as the power source. Its pretty good and I tested it by reading in the dark in bed last night. I really like being able to turn it on when I get on the train in the morning and the day's newspaper is already there. For newspapers and regular books, the plain text is fine. I've seen so many people on the train with Kindles, I think this 3rd generation is the one that will bring in lots of new users.

    One reason you might want to consider the 3G version is that all Kindles have a very basic web browser ("experimental" they call it). If you're in an area without Wifi and you want to check Gmail or NY Times real quick, you can still do it. Nice to have although its slow.

    I chose the Kindle over the iPad because my Macbook is only a year old and I can't justify paying iPad prices for something that has so much overlap with my Macbook. Plus the Kindle is the right size/weight for me since most of my use is on a commuter train to and from work and I mostly want to read the WSJ or a book.

    I highly recommend the Kindle!
  8. notjustjay macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    I don't own a Kindle or any e-book device, but I've started to look more seriously into it, especially after reading a couple of e-books on my iPad.

    For very casual reading, I have been using the iBooks or Kindle app on my iPad. Which works fine under certain circumstances. Indoors in a well-lit room, it's fine for casual reading. When I say "casual" I mean for shorter than, say, 2-3 hours at a sitting. A doctor's waiting room, for example. Of course the nice thing about the iPad in this case is you can easily use it for many other tasks as well.

    If you're really engrossed in a novel and want to spend more time with it, the iPad becomes less ideal. (I'm talking about that zone you get into where you start to carry the book everywhere you go. You read a few pages as soon as you get up, you read it in the bathroom, while you're eating, during breaks at school or work, and in bed before you go to sleep.)

    First, it's heavy, and you start to feel the weight of it after a while. Either that or -- if you're like me -- you begin to leave it on the table and read with your neck craned down. The backlit LCD begins to give you eyestrain after a few hours. Finally, the battery life. Although 10 hours of battery can last you a whole weekend of on-again, off-again usage, having the screen on for hours at a time as you read will wear down the battery quickly.

    Also, while the backlit screen is an advantage for dimly lit rooms, you hit a point where it's too dark and suddenly reading feels like staring at a flashlight. To be fair, if it's that dark, your e-ink reader won't do you any good either.

    I'm very interested in exploring a device like a Kindle.
  9. DaveTheRave macrumors 6502a

    May 22, 2003
    You can try one in person at Staples. They sell them and have demo units you can toy around with. Just keep in mind its not going to dazzle you the way an iPad will and its not as fast but the battery life is amazing (especially when the wireless is turned off) and the e-ink is clear and easy to read. Many people who slam it say it can't do what the iPad can do, which is true. But comparing a multi-purpose device to an e-reader isn't a fair comparison anyway. Jeff Bezos says the Kindle does a pretty good job of making the device fade away leaving just the author's text. I agree. Once I get into a story I sort of forget I'm reading it on a gadget rather than paper. I like that.
  10. Squadleader macrumors regular

    Jun 16, 2010
    Avalon Hill
    I own a Kindle and use it a great deal...I also use my Ipad for magazine PDFS's as Kindle really doesnt handle em to well...(Not a bash)..I did like the Sony reader as well as it was touch screen and swiped pages like the Ipad and also had PIXs of your book covers...but the fonts and contrast were better on the Kindle. for me.. Also there is Calibre (Mac) that is free that will change whatever format to the Kindle version and email it to your Kindle as well...A must have..
  11. Winni macrumors 68040


    Oct 15, 2008
    I have a Kindle 3 WiFi/3G and love it. It is an awesome tool for the ONE job it was designed for: Reading novels. I'd buy the Kindle again any time.
  12. rusty2192 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 15, 2008
    In this case (reading in the dark with an iPad or iPhone) try setting the background color to black with white text and adjusting the brightness accordingly. This is what my wife and I do and it works great. The lack of backlight on the Kindle is the biggest deterrent for my wife as she reads a lot in the dark.
  13. zhenya, Jan 10, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 10, 2011

    zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    How does the Kindle do with navigating to endnotes, or looking up a word in the dictionary? How about flipping rapidly between pages? These are all things that are executed very well in the Kindle app that I can't imagine can be very easy without the touchscreen. Being able to touch a word to get a definition is so addictive I find myself wanting to do it on physical books and magazines.

    I find the white background is fine, even in pitch black, if I reduce the iPad brightness all the way and reduce it further with the brightness setting in the Kindle app.
  14. ergdegdeg Moderator emeritus


    Oct 13, 2007
    Navigating to words with the 5-way controller is quite fast. I also frequently look up words in the dictionary and it doesn't take longer than 2 or 3 seconds to get to a word/endnote link.
  15. jetblk328i macrumors 6502

    Apr 20, 2010
    I got one for christmas, really like it. The battery is fantastic as someone noted above and its so much lighter than carrying around a bunch of books ;)
  16. scoobydiesel macrumors member


    Aug 29, 2010
    Best gift i got this holiday season(which also includes my birthday) I have already read the hunger game books. and just started the girl with the dragon tattoo, Awesome little device the screen dosnt hurt my eyes at all, I did also get the leather case w/light and it works and helps alot but i do think the light might be a bit too bright but that is just my eyes.
  17. rusty2192 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 15, 2008
    I replied yesterday and just thought I would update my ereader status. The wife and I were at Best Buy tonight with a $95 coupon from cashed in Reward Zone points burning a hole in my pocket. There weren't really any video games or camera gear that I wanted or needed, so we ended up looking at the kindles. She has been wanting one for a while and I thought it would be kind of cool too. We ended up walking out with a wifi version. She has been playing on it all night finding new books and importing all of the ones she had on her kindle app for iphone. Overall I think her new Kindle will complement my iPad very nicely. Who knows, maybe I'll have to get one for myself down the road. ;)
  18. tominco macrumors member

    Mar 14, 2008
    My children saved up and got WiFi Kindles for themselves this year. It's been a huge hit. They're 12 and 15 and both really enjoy classics, which works well with the number of free classics available. The biggest minus is the lack of back light. But hey, books don't have them. I'd recommend a zippered pouch to keep it safe over something the Kindle is always in. I think the size and low weight are a major plus and wouldn't want to change the hand feel of the device, unlike an iPad which is heavy enough you really don't notice Apple's small case.
  19. rhinosrcool, Jan 10, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2011

    rhinosrcool macrumors 65816


    Sep 5, 2009
    For two years, I have had the Kindle 2. This model only has 3g and no wifi. So, I never have to worry about a wifi hotspot. Also, with the 3g, I have always been able to access the store.

    Compared to the latest Kindle, it is wider and a bit thicker. Perhaps the contrast is a little less (from my experience with demo unit), but still excellent.

    For a book reader, it is fantastic. Compared to my iPad, it is way less. However, its purpose is as an ebook reader and it shines. Most importantly, for outdoor reading, it is way superior to my iPad.

    Since I got my Kindle, my reading has significantly increased.

    Get one and enjoy!
  20. mac&cheesey macrumors 6502

    Dec 21, 2008
    Careful... they're contagious!

    I bought a Kindle for myself. I couldn't get over how great it was so I bought one for my wife. She loves hers. Both of us are reading far more now than we were before; something I'm really happy about. I bought my mom a kindle and she is using it like mad. We also bought one for my wife's mom who has not put it down. Four kindles in less than two months! That should speak volumes about how great these things are. Can they compete, overall, with an iPad? No. Not even close. But then an ipad can't compete, in my opinion, with a Kindle as an ereader. It doesn't do a lot but what it does, it does better than any other.

    Good luck,
  21. EricNau Moderator emeritus


    Apr 27, 2005
    San Francisco, CA
    I've had my Kindle for several months, and I really LOVE the device. It truly has "rekindled" my interest in reading. OK, well, I never really stopped reading, but now I'm reading more. :D

    My ONLY complaint is with the quality of ebooks. Some are great, most are acceptable, and some are dreadful. Publisher's clearly don't spend the time and money to proofread and format ebooks that they would with paper copies of the same title. Some examples of problems are:
    • Tpyos
    • Missing Punctuation (apostophes especially)
    • Missing spacesbetween words or sentences ,or spaces in the wrong place
    • Returns where the
      y don' t belong
    • Missing hyphens or misplaced hyph-ens
    • Double lists (e.g. 1. 1.), etc.

    Also, I've noticed that many books still aren't shipping with cover art, which I think will catch up with us one day (when e-ink screens are in color and purdy). Also, a complete table of contents, footnotes, proper chapter breaks, etc. are really hit and miss.

    I really wish Amazon would demand that suppliers increase their quality, but from what I gather Amazon is lucky to get a publisher to license their ebooks at all. Hopefully the ebook market continues to evolve and improve, because it's very disappointing to pay full price for inferior copies. :eek:
  22. appleguy123 macrumors 604


    Apr 1, 2009
    15 minutes in the future
    I love my Kindle. It's quite literately up my reading from 1 book every two months to about 2 400 Page books a week. It goes by so quickly.
    I also recommend the lighted Kindle cover. The Kindle's screen is quite hard to read in even dim light, and the cover helps.
  23. Vantage Point macrumors 65816

    Mar 1, 2010
    New Jersey
    I download the free Kindle App for my MBP yesterday. so far I like it a lot but obviously using a laptop as a reader has its limitations so I checked out the reviews on the Kindle. At first I figured that perhaps an iPad would be better but the anti-glare and design for low eye strain of the kindle makes it more desirable and of course less expensive - I will get the $139 version.

    One nice feature is syncing with other Kindle devices. So if I am using my Kindle for Mac, I can save the page I finished reading and that will sync to all other Kindles, like iPhone (which I don't have, yet). So I can read something on my Mac, then move to the Kindle and pick up exactly where I left off. That option is really cool.

    At about 8 ounces, no glare, 30 day battery life, and a reasonable price it is more desirable for me than an iPad. I'm already sold, especially after reading the above reviews
  24. jeremy h macrumors 6502

    Jul 9, 2008
    I've got one and it's good. I find it suits certain types of reading better than others. Blockbusters, page turners etc I find work very well on it. I sometimes struggle a bit with more 'intellectual' fiction and anything that requires some flicking back and forth (non fiction type stuff). Brilliant for commuting etc. I do find I'm more easily distracted when reading from it. Still prefer a real book though if sat at home.
  25. bartzilla macrumors 6502a

    Aug 11, 2008
    I have a kindle and think its great. I have had it since Christmas and been busy on and off with other things so in terms of getting used to finding and opening books I'm still getting used to it (I don't mean its a struggle or a problem, just that it still feels "new" to me).

    But in terms of reading, I agree with the previous comment that says that once you get into a book you forget you're holding a gadget and you just see the words - that is very true, and imho a large part of what matters for an e-reader.

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