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Kindle 3 - Physical Device

Part 1/5 of my Kindle 3 Review

Physical Device

First thing first, Kindle's E-Ink screen is superb. The contrast and clarity blow away any other electronic display I have seen. It is a such joy to read with. But the quality does come with a price, the technical characteristics of e-Ink is that paging flipping is slow. I have not timed it but the delay is very noticeable. It gets worst when you want to flip over several pages quickly. More significantly there is a huge flicker when you flip a page. No body told me it will flick black and white momentary. This is so intrusive for me that I want to take my eyes off the screen to avoid the flicker. The only good news is people say as you use the device more, you will get use to it and stop noticing it. I'll see.

Kindle is thin and light weight and extremely portable. This is one of the primary consideration for me when I acquire one. I intend to carry it everywhere. My life is very cluttered. And I like to use whatever 10-15 minute I have to catch up with my reading. I can stop hauling lot of books around and stop worrying about not carrying a book I wish I have.

Next I want to comment about the screen size. First of all you should understand my reading are primary non-fictions. This includes a lot of technical materials that uses charts and diagram. With this in mind I want to propose my principle for reading screen - "bigger is better". Books and magazines are good. Big computer screen is good. At the size of 6", Kindle is a small window to the sea of information. It is a compromised experience. This does not mean I don't want to use Kindle. There are many trade in favor of Kindle, primary in its convenience. That's why sometimes I also read on a cellphone despite it has an even smaller screen. But to do so is a compromise. So Kindle is not really the ultimate device. And I don't want to throw away my books just yet. (It also make me consider to get a second Kindle DX for better reading experience. I might go for it if it's price come down significantly.)

Battery life is another advantage. Since I only have it for a short time, I cannot offer much insight. But even if it claim of month long battery life is only half true, it is still excellent, a rarity among gadgets where you don't have to worry about running out of juice all the time.

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