The kindle touch
When you read reviews on ereaders, often you’re either reading what people who have had only one ereader have to say or what people who have had a quick look at a few ereaders have to say. But I have had 3 different ereaders and used them all for a reasonable amount of time, so I think I have a pretty good understanding of what works and what makes a good ereader. I haven’t looked at the Nook or the Kobo though, so this comparison doesn’t include them, but if you’re thinking of buying one of them you might find it worthwhile to check if they have the features that I find really helpful.
I’ve already done a comparison of the Sony touchscreen, the Australian Kogan and the screen of the kindle – based on a quick look at my daughter’s one. Today, now that I have my own kindle keyboard, I’m going to share with you why I think it’s the best ereader available, at least for Australia where the Nook isn’t an option (B&N don’t sell to Australia). I haven’t tried the Kobo, but since the early downsides of the Kindle’s file limitations are no longer an issue (more about that later), and pretty much every ebook ever made is available on Amazon, the reasons why I looked elsewhere in the first place have gone.
Now a disclaimer. This is not an advertisement for Kindle. (If it was I’d get some money for it, however if you buy a Kindle via the link in the photograph, I’ll get a % of the price via Amazon Associates program, which would be nice) This review is my own opinion. This is also not about the Kindle touch. I don’t recommend touchscreens for e-ink ereaders, because they are slow to react and the screens are a little glossy making them harder to read. I have heard that the kindle touch is faster than other touchscreen ereaders, but apparently it still isn’t as fast as what we’re used to in the Ipod, iphone and ipad. This is because it’s not a backlit screen, which makes it good on the eyes, but it’s slow on the touch uptake – at least for now.
I’m also not going to talk about the wi-fi or 3 G connectivity because though it’s kind of nice to have, computers are much better suited for surfing the web if you’re serious about it. (except if you have a kindle fire)
Here’s what impresses me about the Kindle keyboard.
- It has instructions for what to do on the screen even before you turn it on, and when it’s charged and you first turn it on, instructions for how to use it appear. This is exactly what is needed to get people started. The other ereaders I’ve had (Sony & Kogan) made you find the instruction manual first and neither of them had links for navigation around the document. This is a new technology and if I want someone like my mother to use an ereader, I need to give her something that makes learning to use it this simple.
- The screen contrast is better than all other ereaders I’ve had or seen, making it much easier to read. (I haven’t seen a Nook or Kobo though). It’s also not as shiny as a touchscreen ie easier on the eyes.
- It’s easy to use, totally intuitive and consistent.
- The buttons are easy to press and well placed.
- It’s lighter than a touch screen, so it’s easier to hold and type at the same time.
- The keyboard buttons are a lot easier to use than the touch screen keyboard and much quicker. I kept missing the letters on the touchscreen because you can’t feel the edges of the keys.
- There’s a back button – this is fantastic. I can’t believe the other 2 ereaders I had didn’t have one. It makes navigation so much easier.
- It turns pages fast.
- It’s a good price and Amazon’s policy of lowering their price to the price of any other ebook seller means you’re not paying more for your books than anywhere else.
The downside of a kindle has always been that it can’t read anything other than a mobi file, but the new ones read PDF files as well, making it a lot more useful. For getting your personal files on it, you always could email the file to Kindle and have them change it and download it to your kindle, but that’s still a clunky system with a time lag. I prefer to use a free program called Calibre that can change your text files to a mobi file that you can drag onto your kindle as you would a file onto a USB device. Just save your word doc as a text file. Add the file to Calibre, click convert and select mobi. Within seconds you have file that your Kindle will read.
If you don’t want to annotate books then, the Kindle light is all you need and it’s cheaper.
Are you thinking of getting a kindle, or are you leaning towards a different reader? If so why? If you have a Nook or a Kobo I’d like to hear how it compares.