I’ve got an Amazon Kindle 3G for my Birthday (that’s in the end of January) and after almost a year using it I finally decided to make a full extended review of the gadget.

First of all, what’s a Kindle?
Well, according to the dictionary inside Kindle itself (talking about that in a few minutes) a kindle is “something on fire. [to] arouse or inspire (an emotion or a feeling). The origin of the word comes from Old Norse – kindill ‘candle, torch’. Amazingly the normal meaning of the word has some reflection on the device itself. The “Amazon Kindle” is an e-book reader with an e-ink screen (non-touch) and a hard-key keyboard and directional pad, along with specific keys and context keys.

The logic behind Kindle
As far as I’m concern, Kindle the ultimate gadget of the first decade of the 21th Century. Even with several negative aspect (most of them software related so easily address by Amazon if they want to) the Kindle completely changed the way I read (and I’m sure the sentiment is spread around other Kindle users). The idea o Amazon Kindle is to provide eager readers (like me) with a stable and reliable platform for reading books. Most of the books will, of course, come from Kindle Store on an “AZW” format.
However, Amazon was not to ambitious and allows us to use other formats in our Kindle. The most popular is mobi and is the one I use for most of my non-Amazon Books.
Kindle as another great support to help to make it so popular. The service in itself is cross-platform. You have a Kindle Application for Windows, IPad/Iphone and Android. If you have them all (plus the Kindle Device) connected to the same Amazon account, ever time you open an amazon-book on one of the platforms it will sync that book in all other platforms that your account is linked to, sync your notes and highlights as well. Imagine this, you’re on a train voyage (from or to work) reading a book on your Kindle/Ipad and you found that specific part of the text you want to use for a presentation, so you highlight it. As soon as  you connect the device to the internet (on kindle 3G that’s 24/7) that highlight will go to amazon server. After the trip you arrive home, start your windows pc with internet connection and open the Kindle Application. Open the book you where reading on the train, and the highlight you’ve made is immediately available for you to copy to you favourite word processor.
This my friends is magic, or better yet, is technology at the service of production and progress 😀

Is the Kindle perfect?
Of course not! It’s made by humans, therefore it’s imperfect (sorry Amazon :p)

Positive aspects of Amazon Kindle 3G:

  • Light weight;
  • Long battery (that thing last forever);
  • e-ink screen, I use glasses and I don’t get my eyes tired from reading on it;
  • 4GB of internal memory (trust me, you don’t need more);
  • Tons of free and low price books available on the internet (specially from Project Gutenberg).

The negative aspects of Amazon Kindle 3G

There are several negative aspects of Kindle, most of them, as I said before, are software related. For starters I’ll talk about those that are related with hardware and build. The other one are, in my humble opinion, things to improve.

  • No ou-of-the-box external light source, e-ink has no self lighting system;
  • Could use a little more cpu power;
  • a touch/colour interface as option wouldn’t be bad;
  • dedicated keys to the music player;
  • numeric keys.

Things to improve. This are all software related so they can be implemented with some work (since I’m only starting now to learn programming I have no idea how hard it would be to develop them)

  • A decent music player. According with Amazon site Kindle can play music, so a decent music player would be nice;
  • A better desktop companion for Kindle Device (se more about it below);
  • The option to use accentuated characters (like the Portuguese ã or á). This characters aren’t available even with the symbol button;
  • Better viewer for pdf;
  • The ability to choose your own stand-by screens without hacking the device;
  • It would be great to sync highlights and notes on non-amazon books with the desktop application (or future kindle companion);
  • Price of new releases of books, most of the time the difference is minus $1 from paperback to kindle edition. That way to low difference to make us choose the kindle edition.

About a Desktop companion:
Right now our only option to manage our private e-book collection and sending it to kindle is Calibre (expect a full review in the following weeks). It would be a great markting move from Amazon to provide buyers with a desktop companions where you could edit, type, add pictures, bookmarks, chapters selectors, and so on, via a Desktop companion that would be an e-book (in azw or mobi – my favourite) editor/creator that even a 6 years old could use.

Conclusion:

As I said before, Kindle Device (from concept to gadget) is the innovation of the first decade of the 21th Century. I’ve already recommend it to several friends and business connections. I recommend it to anyone that likes to read.
5 stars buy 😀

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