The about this time last year I wrote a series of posts about the Amazon Kindle. One of the posts was entitled “An Open Letter to Jeff Bezos”. It discussed some of my concerns with their DRM scheme and the issues that I was having with it. I wasn’t pleased with some of the apparent limitations of the DRM, and I was totally disappointed with the customer service people I spoke with.
A year later I want to write another open letter to Amazon. This one I’m going to title, “An Open Letter to Amazon Regarding the Kindle 3”
Yes, my Kindle 3 arrived just a few minutes ago. I’ve just begun playing around with it but wanted to immediately share a few thoughts. Before I do, just a note about being back among the Kindle faithful. I had both a Kindle 2 and a Kindle DX last year. I liked both of them a great deal and only sold them in anticipation of getting the iPad. Once I began using the iPad I quickly realized that I much preferred using the Kindle app over iBooks. I decided that it was important to select one particular platform and stick with it, so the Kindle won out.
I love reading on my iPad but, truth be told, at times it gets far too heavy after an extended period. That wouldn’t be as much of an issue were not for the real issue with the device as an e-book reader – it is horrible in the sun. It isn’t just bad… it’s horrible. And since I love to read outside it can be problematic at times. I promised myself that if the Kindle came down to below $150 I would likely pick one up, so when the Kindle 3 was announced and there was a WiFi version for under a $150, I immediately ordered. It came today and I am incredibly impressed.
No doubt you’ve read on other sites about the new version of the Kindle. Its far smaller than its predecessor. Now the percentage of shrinkage doesn’t sound that significant, but when you actually hold the device in your hand it is remarkably noticeable. It has the same size screen but is smaller and lighter and feels good to hold.
The increased screen contrast is gorgeous. Things just look better on it making it far easier to read.
The four-way toggle button in the lower right is responsive, intuitive and easy to use. It makes navigating the device a much nicer experience.
But by far the best improvements on the device are the new buttons, which are quieter and easier to press, and the speed with which the page is refreshed. I found the old Kindle to be more than a bit annoying as I waited for the next page to come up, and I found the same thing with the new Kindle DX when I tried it; not so with the Kindle 3. Press the button and you move forward immediately to the next page. Yes, you’ll still have the quick flash as the page changes, but it’s so brief and the new page comes up so quickly that you don’t mind nearly as much. Add to that the fact that the WiFi is super fast here at my home.
So here is my open letter to Amazon…
You done good!