Here's how receiving an Amazon Kindle e-Reader fared:
Functionality and Features
I've always been impressed with the Kindle. Kindle functionality has always appeared to be right in line with what would be expected of an e-reader. Sony didn't see what was coming and lost the e-book market they should have dominated (the Sony Reader beat the Kindle to market by a full year).
- Kindle E-ink allows reading in bright light, the weight of the divice and side page turn buttons allow it to be held with one hand.
- 750,000 books and growing-includes free downloads for books out of copyright.
- Free book backup (Amazon keeps your books on file and ready for download at anytime, should you need them).
- The battery lasts for a month with wifi off. Wifi allows connection to the internet and whispernet technology delivers books within 60 seconds.
- Newspapers can be downloaded and read on it.
- PDF reading is built in.
- The latest Kindle has Twitter and Facebook Integration so book passages can be 'tweeted' and shared.
- Music can be listened to while reading (if desired)
As for customer reviews (as of this writing): of 6,099 reviews, 5341 of those reviews are rated at 4 or 5 stars. As for commercial reviews, here are a few for the latest Kindle:
"New Kindle leaves rivals farther back." - New York Times
"Amazon's newest Kindle is the best ebook-reading device on the market. It's better than the Apple iPad, the Barnes & Noble Nook, the various Sony readers…" - Fast Company
"Battery life is long enough for space shuttle missions." - Wired
"What's clear, however, is that if you're looking for a standalone e-reader (i.e., a portable replacement for physical books), this is the go-to, standard-setting device." - Engadget
"Its solid build quality, along with its improved design, integrated store, and cross-platform transportability… all add up to a winner that shoots to the head of the pack."- PC World
Hypothetical Projections about how I would use the Kindle
This is where it becomes more subjective. I do read constantly. Usually I have several books going at once--both printed and e-books. I have been using the Kindle app for i-phone and read books on that device. This is where it has become difficult to 'imagine' how things would change if I were to suddenly to own an actual Kindle. I've actually grown accustomed to reading on the i-touch. I can hold it in one hand and I like the ability to leave the app momentarily to check e-mail, or the weather or my twitter feed, etc.. But, lately, I have been coming around to the idea of owning an actual Kindle for the following reasons.
1-I would be able to read it comfortably at the gym while cycling or using the treadmill. I have tried to read the i-touch while running (on the treadmill) and it is somewhat a comedy of errors-the screen is small and I have to touch it to turn a page every few seconds making me lose my stride (and balance). The Kindle would be a bit easier for this purpose.
2-The capacity of the latest Kindle is now around 3500 books.
3-I like the aforementioned Twitter and Facebook integration comcept because I have actually had the thought while reading on the i-touch, "I wish I could share this with....". To do this I have actually taken a screen shot of the page in question with the text highlighted. Now saved as a photo, I have uploaded this to Facebook. Pretty round-about way of sharing text.
4-I can actually use my i-touch for other purposes while reading on the Kindle itself.
5-It's actually attractive. It's sleek and stylish and the e-ink is easy on the eyes.
6-I trust that Amazon is going to continue to improve the Kindle with new services.
Real experience of others
Everyone I know who has one, loves it. A Kindle of someone I know died after the warranty had expired. The screen just showed lines instead of text and nothing she did (recommended at Amazon) would fix it. A single phone call explaining the problem resulted in a NEW KINDLE being mailed overnight for free, no strings attached.
I think the Kindle has reached a tipping point and as one evaluates whether or not to buy an ipad instead, I think price will further tip in the direction of the Kindle. Is it a Kindle Christmas? Tweet this!