Tobold's Blog
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Kindle first impression

Amazon was fast, and I already got my Kindle. Well, after having paid $32.96 for shipping that was kind of to be expected. As the Kindle uses "eInk", a passive display, it came with instructions on what to do already shown on the screen: Plug the charger in, and start. That was extremely easy, and worked right away. Everything you need is pre-installed, that is if you buy your own Kindle from your own Amazon account, the account is already set up correctly for you on the device. Thus within minutes you can buy your first book from the Kindle store, and start reading. The controls on the Kindle are also very user-friendly and intuitive. No complaints here.

I bought the Kindle Keyboard 3G, with free 3G connectivity. For browsing the Amazon store, buying and downloading books that works like a charm. Thus not only is it possible to read on the Kindle on the beach (the eInk works even under sunlight), you can even buy a book while on the beach if you run out of reading material. Unfortunately the web browser of the international version of the Kindle is extremely limited: The only web sites you can reach in 3G mode are Amazon and Wikipedia. The rest is blocked with a message saying "Due to local restrictions web browsing is not available for all countries". So the 3G internet works, but is artificially hobbled to prevent you from using the free 3G for actual internet surfing. Too bad! The Kindle web browser *does* work over WiFi. For example my blog is perfectly readable on the Kindle.

After the Kindle was completely charged, I put it back into its box, and gave the box to my wife for safe-keeping until Christmas. At Christmas I will receive the Kindle as a gift from her. I just had to see if it works first. If you think it is weird that I buy my own Christmas presents, you probably haven't been married for long. Most of my presents for her are also things we bought together with her choosing exactly what she wanted. As I doubt that I will have the time for reading books before the Christmas holidays anyway, the Kindle makes for a nice Christmas present for me.

> If you think it is weird that
> I buy my own Christmas presents
> you probably haven't been
> married for long.

Hell, that was one of the saddest things I've ever read about marriage.... I don't agree at all, really. And it's been 13 years I am married.

Back to topic: opening the present before Christmas is a smart move, I agree. Electronics can be a painful gift, when they don't work as intended.
Quick side note unrelated to this article: Google + will soon accept pseudonyms!

Although Tobold is probably not the key argument for this move, I guess your arguments were part of a larger Zeitgeist ;)

Love my Kindle.

Having been married for many years, I can identify with your comments. We have almost everything we truly need or really desire. Anything else we want tends to be something we're both personally invested in / identify with. She knows what clothes she likes and looks good on her. I know what tech gear works well. We both do what we know best and pick out our own gifts for the most part too. (at least the expensive ones)

You must be telepathic or you both give each other massive hints, then.

Why take a gamble? I think it's generous of Tobold to allow it to be gifted to him - I would probably have just kept using it and expect something different for Christmas... ;)
@Loque: I don't think that's even near fair. Every marriage is different and I can see how the gift selecting can go how Tobold says in some perfectly fine marriages.

@Tobold: People are usually so touchy about MMO stuff, I cringe at how they might react to you getting into relationship stuff :)
I have been married for 17 years and I don't know what I am getting from my missus, and vice versa :)

One of my uncles has a kindle and it looks and feels good, and I wouldn't mind one myself, but I fancy an iPad more!
You should probably reopen your gift and drain the battery before storing it. Storing a rechargeable battery at full charge rapidly reduces its maximum battery life.
See for a brief overview.
I don't think that "draining" a Kindle battery is viable. Even it's competitors say that the battery life of a Kindle is equivalent to 56 hours of reading at 1 page per minute. Amazon claims 2 months battery life if you read half an hour per day every day. So if I started "draining" the Kindle battery by using the Kindle for half an hour every day, I'd only just be finished by Christmas. :)
Fair point. It looks like you'd need to leave the thing on for about 3 days straight just to get down to the 40% level. You'll probably only lose just under 5% of maximum battery life between now and Christmas from storing at full charge. I can't imagine that would impact your enjoyment of the Kindle, but it's still something to remember for when you get yourself an iPad next year!
Tobold said:
> artificially hobbled

That's a real shame, I've got the UK edition 3G Kindle and it worked great in Japan and the US as well as in many EU countries with no restrictions on websites accessed.

> I don't think that "draining" a Kindle battery is viable

Enabling 3G drains it quickly. While in Japan I was charging it every second or third day.
I went with the nook, (don't trust a company that decides that the first book it should throw down the memory hole is Nineteen Eighty Four) but I agree 101% with the eInk endorsement. I use my iPad for quick 10-15 minute reading, but I switch to the nook for novels and such.

And I get the gift thing. I'm hard to buy for as well (single guy with a decent amount of disposable income) so my agreement with friends and family is that I stop buying the stuff that I would normally get in October, and instead make a web page with links to all the stuff I would have bought for myself. Then, anything I don't get for Christmas from someone, I buy in January.
I had no idea the 3g Kindle allowed free web browsing. I always thought the 3g part was entirely to allow you to buy from the Amazon store at any time. I hadn't even considered buying the Kindle before but now I'm quite interested.

You say you can browse your website from it. Can you post to it? If I could blog from my Kindle it would save me up to 90 minutes a day leisure time as I could blog during my lunch hour and on the way to a from work.

As for the presents, I've been choosing my own since I was a child and buying my own since I was an adult. And giving and receiving complete surprises too. Why's it supposed to be one or the other?
I haven't tried blog posting, but I'd assume it would work as well, as long as your blog posting editor doesn't use Flash.
I find it weird that you won't use your Kindle until Christmas. Why didn't you buy it then? As for buying your own presents, I'm the same way. My wife doesn't quite get it.
They're apparently working on a color e-ink display. I'm looking forward to seeing what they can do with that. Oh, and a diehard Nook-guy here. ;)
Hi Tobold,

I have been anticipating a follow-up article on your Kindle experience. is it everything you imagined it to be? Do you use it? Was it worth the money or do you wish you had purchased $200 of something (anything) else?
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