I was one of the early adopters of the Amazon Kindle, but my first generation device has been on its last legs for the past year. For Christmas this year, however, my wife got me the new $79 Kindle. Why this particular model, and how does it stack up against the older version?
I specifically didn’t want a touchscreen Kindle, for two reasons: I don’t want fingerprints on the screen, and since I have an iPhone and iPad, I’m used to Apple’s touchscreen navigation and figured Amazon’s would probably be different. (Of course, the non-touchscreen version being cheaper helped as well!) I wanted the Kindle with special offers because some of the offers are for things I want, and I’d rather have those than the old screensaver (the offers are not visible when you’re reading). Yesterday, for example, the offer was $10 off a $100 Amazon order when you use your mastercard, plus $10 off a future $50 Amazon order; if I hadn’t already finished my Christmas shopping, I would have found that very useful.
I’m still getting used to the actual Kindle – it’s a lot smaller and lighter than my old one. The biggest changes are the side buttons and lack of a keyboard. The missing keyboard really only makes a difference when you’re linking the Kindle to your account (assuming you didn’t just buy it from Amazon – we got it from Target due to a promotion) and when searching for books from the Kindle (I’d rather use the computer) but it does mean typing is a pain. It’s the buttons I’m still getting used to; on the first generation Kindle, most of the right side was one big easy to press forward button. The new buttons are harder to push (so you rarely push them accidentally) and the page forward button is a lot smaller, so I’m still getting used to that.
I have an iPad as well, but I hate reading on a backlit screen; as with the older version, the e-ink screen of the Kindle is ideal for reading novels. For technical material, the screen is a bit small – no screen this size will display PDFs well – so if you have a lot of those, you’ll want either a tablet or the Kindle DX. For novels, though, the paperback-sized screen works just fine.
I’ve had the Kindle for about a week and haven’t charged it yet; so far I’ve read one book and parts of a few more and the battery is at about half; based on previous experience I’m guessing it’ll last quite a bit longer once I actually charge it. All of my ebooks were purchased from Amazon, Baen, or O’Reilly, so it was easy to download them again to the new device. I’m definitely enjoying it so far. Recommended.