Amazon Kindle

Discussion in 'The Powder Keg' started by CrazyIvan, Sep 19, 2010.

  1. CrazyIvan

    CrazyIvan G&G Enthusiast

    I just thought I would write a short review of the Amazon Kindle. I know there are a lot of readers here...heck that is what we do when we come here to G&G, hehe.

    :surprised: Came into a good check from some contract work, and though I know I should be putting that money into the bank, I couldn't help myself. I just had to splurge just once after a long dry spell.

    So, I bought an Amazon Kindle. I purchased the 6" version with the Wi-Fi and free 3G access for life. I like Wi-Fi, but it only works if you have the password to the Wi-Fi hotspot, so I prefer 3G if I can get it. This makes it accessible anywhere where there is cell phone signal.

    This is an e-reader. If you ever watched Star Trek: Next Generation, Deep Space 9 or Voyager, you can think of those flat electronic tablets they carried around which contained their logs & such. It is pretty much one of those. :) Funny how science fiction becomes reality in time.

    I have always loved and enjoyed reading. But, one thing I could not get over was the handling of books. The paper, drying out my hands. The pages...always folding themselves back & forth, losing my place and my hand cramping up from holding it open. Bookmarks, always falling out.

    The story was I would tell people: I love to read, but I hate books.

    Anyhow, I got this Kindle, and I must say it is awesome. The transition to reading a digital tablet with e-ink was seamless, even though I did fear it being a bit awkward not having a book in my hands.

    They have over 6,000 books that are free. The newest kindle features Wi-Fi and/or 3G, depending on which one a person orders. And there are over 630,000 buy-books, most being under $8. There is access to newspapers, blogs and articles. It also has an experimental web browser that just works. It is there if you need it, but if you have other web access via computer, that is probably easier. You can order books directly from the Kindle, without a need to be at a computer. It can read PDF's. It also plays MP3's, if you really want it to. All this is easy to set up when you wire it to your computer via USB, it will show up as a removable drive in your windows explorer for drag & drop operation. The kindle links directly to your Amazon account, so you can see your wish list, if you have one set up through your Amazon account. I really like this, because when I am on lunch or just browsing the net, I can add books/articles to my favorites and download them to my Kindle later. You can also buy or select your books/articles from your Amazon account on a computer, and next time you turn on your Kindle and it is connected to the network, it will automatically download the content.

    You can adjust text size and spacing to your liking with a few different options of fonts too. Battery life can last up to 1 month with wi-fi turned off. It has a built-in dictionary for instant, fluid look-up that displays at the top or bottom of the screen, keeping your reading seamless. You can highlight and save passages for lookup later. You can see what others reading the book have highlighted (though that doesn't much help me, I keep this option off. I guess it might be good if you have a textbook.) The kindle will also read to you if you want it to. This only works on books with the rights allowed for that kind of thing. I don't really like this option, as the voice is an automated voice that does a good job of pausing at commas and periods, but does not really have the feeling of the story. This would best be used for news articles if you want it, but is almost useless for a novel or other literature. The current kindle has a hard drive size of 4GB. This is enough for about 3,500 books. If you do have the need to delete something, you can always access it again from your kindle account on Amazon and download it to your Kindle again anytime.

    The Kindle is ambidexterous, so you can page back & forth with either hand, as both buttons are located on both sides of the device. The charge-kit is a 2-in-1 kit that includes an adapter for a standard 110v outlet charging, or you can remove that and charge it via the USB on your computer. Car chargers are also available for like $3 if you look on Amazon.

    The audio includes built-in stereo speakers on the back. I believe they are probably 1"-1.5" speakers. There is also a headphone jack on the bottom of the kindle for using headphones. The text-to-speech reader can be slected in either a man or woman's voice. There is a volume toggle switch on the bottom that allows you to increase or decrease the volume. There aren't any sound adjustments, that I found, for tone or anything like that in the menus. Only the volume up & down toggle on the bottom.

    The Kindle weighs in at 8 ounces and is just about the length and width of a small-medium sized paperback. It is only 1/3 of an inch thick. I do have to admit that the device scares me a bit, thinking it is easy to break, being so light. Another reason I bought the Kindle Cover for it.

    Yesterday, I started reading an old favorite of mine that I never finished, for the reasons explained above.

    The screen is very crisp and the contrast is great. It pretty much looks like ink printed on a grey piece of recycled paper. Keep in mind, this is only a monocrome screen...black & white, though it displays photographs wonderfully in an eclectic sort of way. Also, there is no backlight nor is it a touch-screen. This is all done with keeping eye strain in mind. E-reader devices use a different type of screen to minimize eye strain, unlike staring at an LCD screen. They also did it in an effort to minimize reflection on the screen and contrast in the light. So, it looks just as bright in a bright sunlight, as it does indoors. I purchased the Amazon Kindle case that has the built-in LCD light that lights the panel to read in low-light. The light runs off of the kindle's battery, so no batteries to deal with. Though, a 3rd party case with a battery-powered light can be purchased as well.

    Keep in mind, when looking at Kindle Accessories, that this is the 2nd Generation, 6" kindle. A lot of the accessories listed on Amazon are for the 1st Generation Kindle, and many are not compatible with this updated model.

    If you enjoy reading, I suggest looking into the kindle store on Amazon and seeing if they have your literary interest in an abundance on the Kindle. If they do, the Kindle is definitely worth looking at. I am off to read now. :)

    On a side note: I wish these were available when I was in school, would make lugging around all those **** heavy textbooks a bit easier.

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    And, just for fun, here is an actual screen-image from Star Trek: Next Generation: (Kind of eerie, isn't it?)

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    Last edited: Sep 19, 2010
  2. Chris

    Chris G&G Evangelist Staff Member Forum Contributor

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    I've contemplated this.

    It's between the kindle and the nook. The nook is android...so it's tough!
     

  3. CrazyIvan

    CrazyIvan G&G Enthusiast

    One thing that scared me about the Kindle...it is Manufactured by FoxConn. I have not had good experience with them in the past when it comes to video cards or motherboards. Though, this device seems to be a winner, or it wouldn't have graduated to a 2nd model release. Seems it won the cnet vote too.

    I didn't really check into the Nook, though I do know the Kindle is preferred over Sony's e-reader.
     
  4. SwedeSteve

    SwedeSteve Freedom Zealot Forum Contributor

    Very interesting !! Thanks for sharing.
     
  5. .22guy

    .22guy G&G Enthusiast

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    We have been considering getting one of these.

    Do you mind if ask how much you paid for the whole package, including the 3G service. I'm really uneducated when it comes to wireless internet stuff.
     
  6. CrazyIvan

    CrazyIvan G&G Enthusiast

    Heya .22G. They have 3 models available:

    1: 6" model, like one pictured in my OP. This option comes with built-in Wi-Fi, so you can connect anywhere there is a wi-fi signal. This option is $139.

    2: 6" model, like one pictured in my OP. This option comes with built-in Wi-Fi. It also has built-in 3G access for life. You can connect anywhere there is a wi-fi signal or cell phone signal. There is no contract or 'plan' for the 3G service that you must sign up for. It is all built into your purchase and is automatic with no renewal fees or anything like that. This option is $189, and is the one I purchased.

    3: The Amazon Kindle DX. This is a larger, 9" diagonal screen. It has 3G access, but DOES NOT have wi-fi. This option is $379. The increased price is due to the increased size. I like the smaller version myself.

    I bought the Amazon Kindle Case with a built-in LCD light that runs off of the Kindle's battery. This case was $59.99. I will say that none of these cases are worth what they charge. But, they are really nice to have. If you buy a 3rd party case, you can get one for $20-$30, but they do not include the light. Most will have an optional light you can buy separately for another $20-$30, which does not include the price of having to replace batteries occassionally. I like the built-in version, and when you add up the separate prices for buying a light & a case separately, it all adds up to just about the same.

    I also bought an accessory package that included earbuds, a car-charger adapter, another 110v charger adapter and a "perfect-fit" screen guard (one of those plastic films you put over the screen), for $4.

    My total price was $189 for the Kindle itself, $59.99 for the case, and $4 for the accessory package...so $253 for everything.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2010
  7. thicket

    thicket G&G Regular

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    lifetime 3G access with web browsing? this intrigues me.

    can a mouse be used?

    will it browse any website? forums, email, ebay, cnn, etc ?


    can it download stuff onto a flash drive?
     
  8. .22guy

    .22guy G&G Enthusiast

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    Wow, thanks Ivan for typing that up! Helps make it much more clear. Now to save the money to get one!
     
  9. CrazyIvan

    CrazyIvan G&G Enthusiast

    The web browser is very simple. There is no mouse interface.

    It will browse any website, but will only display text and photos. It will not display videos.

    It will browse any website, including the ones you listed, as well as GunAndGame.com (My personal favorite :) )

    All books & such that you get from the Kindle Store is only readable from the Kindle or kindle program. The files are unreadable from any other device. You can copy files FROM your kindle when you hook it to your computer via USB, but there really is no reason to take things off of it that way, unless you are deleting files you previously put on there, or using it as a temporary external hard drive, which you could do, I guess.

    The thing that makes the web browser difficult is the difficulty in navigating to where you want. You must use the 4-way hat buttons to move around the page, as it snaps to the next click-able thing in each direction. This makes navigation slow and somewhat tedious. But, it does work well, if you don't mind doing it in this manner and going slow. It basically works like navigating the web on a Blackberry...And, as I said, the screen is monochrome, so you will not be able to see anything in color. But, for browsing text-based sites, such as GunAndGame.com, or text-based news sites, it is great. And, for what it is, it beats the pants off of paying $40/month for data access on a cell phone.

    I don't know if there is a max bandwidth per month you can use. I don't think people really use this primarily as a web browser. I don't think they limit your data transfer, but that may be worth looking into if you plan on using it for browsing the web a lot. If bought for the web browser, it would be a bummer to find out AFTER spending the $189 on it..that you can only have a maximum of 500MB per month or something in total data bandwidth transfer. Like I said, I don't think they limit you, but I'd just double check it before doing that. I will say that if people start using this thing to browse the net heavily, that I could see Amazon decide to change their sales to require a monthly or annual fee for web access to anything other than Amazon. Though, those who buy it now will probably be grandfathered in, since we were promised web access for life. But, at that time, new buyers or people who buy upgraded models will be required to pay. If their web browser takes off, I could see this being the case in maybe 2-3 years. And, I am fairly certain their next model will include a touch-screen, making it easier to surf the net.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2010
  10. CrazyIvan

    CrazyIvan G&G Enthusiast

    Testing to see if I can reply from the kindle.
     
  11. grizcty

    grizcty God, Guns, Glory Forum Contributor

    Call me old fashioned.

    But with a book, I can carry it in my pocket.
    Leave it in a truck, drop it, toss it, or lend it.
    Take it hunting, fishing.
    And I always have a source of fire starter or T.P.!
    And I never have to worry about updates, or dead batteries.
     
  12. CrazyIvan

    CrazyIvan G&G Enthusiast


    That's all true, and why there will still be books around.
     
  13. Chris

    Chris G&G Evangelist Staff Member Forum Contributor

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    I'm very interested. I'm trying to justify the 3g version, because my phone can be used as a hotspot. Most places I'm fine with a wifi version...but the $50 difference with the 3g already paid for it almost makes sense to buy it.


    I need to look into making a kindle, and in general a mobile version.
     
  14. CrazyIvan

    CrazyIvan G&G Enthusiast

    Chris,

    It is funny you say that. I actually was looking into what it would take to create a mobile version of G&G. I was planning on coming up with a basic idea and suprising you with it. Though, now that you are thinking about it, maybe I can just help you with it, if you'd like.
     
  15. woody1981

    woody1981 Love Your Firearms! Forum Contributor

    A while back I toyed with the idea of getting a Kindle, but 2 major things, among others, dissuaded me. First, much of what I like to read is NOT available on the electronic format. Heck, I've already read Jane Eyre! So if you are interested in buying it, be sure to do some research about how available the things you always read are. Second, there is no substitute for paper in your hand. I love the feel of it and the musty smell of it in libraries. Just my 2 cents.