The Amazon Kindle: A Review

person Billy Brawnerfolder_openOpinions, Reviewsaccess_time May 8, 2016

When Amazon first released the Kindle, I wasn’t overly impressed. My opinion of it at the time was that it was an over-simplified tablet, capable of nothing more than opening eBooks. My tablet can do that, and it can surf the web, play games, and watch movies. What could be so great about a tablet that couldn’t do anything except read? Fast-forward a few years, and I land a new job where learning is law and there’s a culture of reading. So much so, that they sent me a Kindle with access to their Kindle library. At first, it seemed a bit unnecessary to me. I even mentioned that I have the Kindle app on my tablet and computer, so I could already get full access to their library and just read from there, but they insisted and got me the Kindle anyways.

The first thing I noticed was the screensaver that was active when I opened the box. I actually thought it was a sticker and tried to peel it off! After a minute or so of being unable to find the edge of the non-existent sticker, I decided to hit the power button and see what would happen. I was (and still am) blown away by the screen, at just how real it looks. After holding it a minute, I also realized how incredibly light the device is. It’s relatively small, and made of plastic, so it weighs almost nothing. Setup was pretty simple, and I had several books downloaded and ready to read in no time at all. Overall, I’m quite impressed with the device. Nothing is perfect though, so here’s my list of pros and cons:

Pros

  • Light – it weights next to nothing
  • Long Battery Life – I received my Kindle on April 16th, almost a month ago, and still haven’t needed to charge it, despite the fact that I make it a point to read daily, even if only a little.
  • Screen is easy on the eyes – You don’t even feel like you’re looking at a screen when you read on the Kindle. The technology behind it is incredible. I’ve read for hours on end without feeling any discomfort at all.
Cons

  • Touch input is slightly delayed – this isn’t a huge deal, especially when you’re in the middle of reading a book. Trying to navigate a web page, however, is a bit annoying, so I’d leave the web browsing to a regular tablet.
  • Screen is black and white – again, not a deal-breaker, but it would be nice to be able to view colored images and text in a book. There might even be a version of the Kindle that has this, I haven’t looked into it.
  • No backlit display – The basic Kindle doesn’t have a backlit display, but I believe the Paperwhite version does. I imagine that this contributes substantially to the battery life, but it does make it inconvenient or even impossible to read in low-light situations.

My opinion: anyone who enjoys reading should own a Kindle. I understand that nothing is quite like a real book, but when you’re on the go or don’t have the storage space for an entire library of books, the Kindle makes a world of difference. It’s not just books, either. I use a tool called Pocket to Kindle that sends me a batch of articles that I’ve saved to my Pocket every day. I also grabbed the Send to Kindle Chrome Extension so that I can instantly send an interesting article to my Kindle by simply pressing Alt + K. If I ever end up having to return my Kindle to my employer for whatever reason, I would absolutely purchase my own to replace it. Feel free to let me know your thoughts in the comments!

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