Before committing to buying yet another electronic device, it seemed like it would be a good idea to see if an eBook reader was even usable, or whether it would end up being another gadget that ended up in the bottom of a drawer. With an iPod Touch and an Android phone already it seemed like another screen was unnecessary, so installing the Kindle app on both the phone and iPod seemed like a good way to test the usefulness.
Though it was wonderfully useful to have a book available no matter where you are, it also proved a little hard to read. The screen was great when read in bed, but unfortunately since it was back lit it didn’t exactly help with unwinding ready for sleep. In bright daylight the problem was exactly the opposite-it was never bright enough. In fact, in bright enough or direct sunlight it was absolutely impossible to read the text on the screen. However, overall the apps had proved their worth, and proved that having a book always on hand was a wonderful and much used thing. It was time to buy a Kindle.
When the 3G + WiFi Kindle arrived, it was clear straight away that using it was nothing like using the Kindle apps. It was far superior, from the size of the viewing screen (more like a paperback book page size) to the weight and feel of the device. It was light yet larger than the other two devices, and was comfortable to hold.
First use showed just how different the screen was. The eInk that is used is almost easier to read than text on a printed page, and can be read in low, normal or even bright lighting. Text was crystal clear. Additionally it was nice that when a phone call came in it did so on a separate device, and did not interrupt the book that was in progress. Instead it was simply a case of returning to the book.
Thanks to the WhisperSynch technology that is built into both the Kindle apps and the Kindle itself, it meant that when the device was set up, the new Kindle was able to go straight to the page in the book that was last being read. No having to search! 3G meant that downloading books onto the device was fast both at home and away.
Best of all, the battery life is far greater than any other device could be. Instead of being able to use the Kindle for a few hours at a time like a smartphone can be used, it can be used for a few weeks at a time without charging. This meant that it could happily be forgotten and still be ready for use the next time it was pulled out of a bag or off a shelf.
As much as the Kindle apps are useful for accessing your books on the run, or when you haven’t got a Kindle available, they can in no way compare to the experience of using the real thing.