New Kindle

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UKIan
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New Kindle

Postby UKIan » 19 Sep 2010, 00:03

I got it this morning and so far I'm a little baffled and a little unsure about how useful it is.

First things first, we all know it isn''t touchscreen, but the first thing I did was try and click on things with my finger. Sorry, I'm too use to iPhone/iPad now. Funnily enough the friends I've let have a play with it also did the same thing. It says "Slide and release the power switch to wake" at the bottom, and everyone just swipes their finger across it...

The screen is very impressive, it's my first experience off eInk and it's disconcerting at first. eInk for the uninitiated means the pixels are switched on or off and stay that way even with the power off. A traditional display requires power at all time. Take away the power of a normal display and the image disappears; not so with eink.

It's disconcerting because it's quite slow to update. You couldn't do animation on it, that isn't the point, but there's an unpleasant effect as pages turn, sort of scratchy. It's only 16 shades of gray afaik, but this is quite adequate, and the contrast is excellent. It really does look like ink on paper, albeit grease proof paper.

I have the 3g version. I'll write a bit about that when I try it. So far I've only had it connected via wireless. The 3g is included in the price. There's no sim or network choice, or bills, it's just there.

Size wise, it's about 5mm longer than a DVD case and about 15mm narrower. It's thin, really really thin, about half the depth of an iPhone 4.

Final point of interest (to me) is it uses an odd micro USB connector that I've not seen on anything else. That could be annoying, but there isn't room for anything bigger.

I've made some photos, but I've not uploaded them anywhere, I'll do a little update tomorrow. If there are any questions let me know.
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robbo
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Re: New Kindle

Postby robbo » 20 Sep 2010, 09:17

Does sound tiny from your description!

How does it cope with colour pdfs? Or even pictures? They rendered well in greyscale?
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Re: New Kindle

Postby UKIan » 20 Sep 2010, 15:07

robbo wrote:Does sound tiny from your description!

How does it cope with colour pdfs? Or even pictures? They rendered well in greyscale?


No, in a word. They render adequately, but I don't even print in B/W any more, I can't remember what B/W is supposed to feel like. It's really noticible on web pages using the built in web browser. Going to www.amazon.co.uk looks very confusing. I'll get a photo and post it up later :)
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Re: New Kindle

Postby scarbunny » 20 Sep 2010, 15:14

Thanks for the review Ian, I'm really tempted to get one but as you said I really don't know how useful it would be. Although it does sound tiny.

I am reading a lot more recently about a book a week, although I doubt it will last long. I have a feeling a table would by more versatile and so be better value, but 3 times the price at least and a much worse ereader.
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Re: New Kindle

Postby EviL Ras » 20 Sep 2010, 15:39

ian, FYI micro USB is now the norm. thought it was some crappy bespoke connector on the X10, but nope! everything uses this new micro usb thing now!
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Tappy
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Re: New Kindle

Postby Tappy » 20 Sep 2010, 15:53

I'm also tempted by one of these, but my sensible bone is telling me I just won't use it enough.

In my mind I'll be downloading blogs and daily news on it through the free 3G, reading books in the evenings when the Mrs is watching tv and living the Kindle dream.

In reality I'll be frustrated by black and white photos on the blogs, won't pay for a decent news paper subscription and will end up being distracted by the hot women on Britain's Next Top Model (or whatever it is she's watching this week) and will never finish reading a book.

Oh, but it is still very tempting... eInk, I need eInk in my life!
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Re: New Kindle

Postby robbo » 20 Sep 2010, 18:46

Ditto to Tappy's comment! Well the bit about in your head using it a lot but reality most probably being quite different anyways.

Would be good to see how good/bad some of my course material (in colour pdfs) would look on it. But how often would I use it if I had it?!
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Re: New Kindle

Postby UKIan » 21 Sep 2010, 21:39

robbo wrote:Ditto to Tappy's comment! Well the bit about in your head using it a lot but reality most probably being quite different anyways.

Would be good to see how good/bad some of my course material (in colour pdfs) would look on it. But how often would I use it if I had it?!


This has already been an issue for me. I've loaded a few PDFs onto it, I've got the last three C# specifications and an eBook about threading. They all use lighter colours for code, and it's practically unreadable on the display at default scale. With PDF's you can''t change the font size like you can with books, it's defined in the PDF. You can change the orientation, but it then stays in the new orientation for everything, so you have to switch it back every time. Cack


I have also started reading a book on it, the new Terry Pratchett, and for that it's not too bad. There are issues though.
Minor whine, the display with text set as small as possible is still too short, so you flip page a lot more often than I expect. Also, I keep knocking the page up/down buttons when picking it up, putting it down, changing hand, etc. I'm sure that will improve with time, but there's an element of poor design in there.

Ok, pics to follow.
Last edited by UKIan on 21 Sep 2010, 22:14, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New Kindle

Postby UKIan » 21 Sep 2010, 21:46

img tags not working for some reason...

Very hi res
http://imgur.com/KdCla.jpg

Sat on DVD box
http://imgur.com/vd0bn.jpg

height
http://imgur.com/4H8ml.jpg

odd connector
http://imgur.com/2qU2M.jpg

background
http://imgur.com/5M0ch.jpg

Amazon on Kindle
http://imgur.com/DgERT.jpg
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Re: New Kindle

Postby robbo » 21 Sep 2010, 23:20

Cheers for the pics.

Some of those b&w pictures don't look too bad but guessing they've been tuned to look good. Any chance of pic off say your laptop of a pdf and then off the kindle of the same page?

Wonder if all the other ereaders work the same way with regards to pdfs?

edit - seems that they all do it the same with others saying it's too small too. http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=99452
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Tappy
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Re: New Kindle

Postby Tappy » 22 Sep 2010, 09:38

Thanks for the pics. Websites look funky with eInk, like they've been printed in a news paper. I did have a moment where I wondered how you navigate webpages without touchscreen - then I remembered that cursor thingy that I normally navigate pages with.

It looks great, but I seem to be drawn in by its additional features and not wanting it for its primary function as an electronic literature reader, which makes me think I'll either be disappointed, or just not use it enough.
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UKIan
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Re: New Kindle

Postby UKIan » 22 Sep 2010, 19:11

Tappy wrote:Thanks for the pics. Websites look funky with eInk, like they've been printed in a news paper. I did have a moment where I wondered how you navigate webpages without touchscreen - then I remembered that cursor thingy that I normally navigate pages with.

It looks great, but I seem to be drawn in by its additional features and not wanting it for its primary function as an electronic literature reader, which makes me think I'll either be disappointed, or just not use it enough.


Yeah spot on. Using the web browser is an exercise in futility. It's hard work. Even the little keyboard, which is a nice idea, doesn't have a row for numbers, you have to press the sym key and then use the four way mover to select each digit in turn.

The trouble with doing a side by side comparison of a PDF on both the Kindle and a laptop is, well everything. PDF Reader has a zoom control and much better control over pages. On the kindle, there's no zoom, and if you have it in landscape next page moves you to the next half of the page, then the top of the next and so on.

I'll have a think, perhaps I could do it vs the iPad, I'll see how that looks.

I didn't tweak any of the images for quality, in fact some of them are bloody awful because I didn't use enough ambient light, or like the connector I couldn't get a decent focus pic of it without flash, but you'll get the idea. The 10 edge on the screen does show how amazingly hi rez it is though.

More later :)
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Re: New Kindle

Postby UKIan » 27 Oct 2010, 11:27

Here's an update now I've had it for a while.

Well, it's grown on me, but most of my predictions were accurate. For novels it's good, I've read two books on it now and it feels good. Also, Amazon have a lot of books currently for between £0.00 and about £3.00. The £0.00 ones are actual current books, and I've already added half a dozen to my library.

On text books, I've picked up a couple to experiment with, mainly iPhone development texts. It seemed some how right :) This raises the second interesting point. Because I've got Kindle installed on the iPad and laptop as well, I can render in colour. Reading textbooks on the Kindle is fine as long as I'm doing just that, reading and not trying to use it as a resource. Navigation just isn't as fluid, but saying that, search is a big big plus that I hadn't considered before. The greyscale screen does the best it can with colour figures, it's a bit of a shame that just as we're starting to get full colour text books being the norm that the technology to render them has gone back a bit, but there you go...

So I'm actually coming around to it, which is unexpected but cool.
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Re: New Kindle

Postby scarbunny » 27 Oct 2010, 13:10

Reading an awful lot at the minute, in the last 2 months I think I have read 6 novels. Started the second Dark Tower book Monday over a third through it, very enjoyable.

Thinking I should get a Kindle, but then I think I want more from the device than it can offer, a tablet would be more what I am after but terrible as an e-reader.

Sod it I think I will just buy £100 worth of books instead.
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