Why I bought a Kindle

I finally broke down and bought a Kindle. I have an iPad, so why did I buy a Kindle?

Amazon would like you to believe it’s all about the screen. Truth be told, I’ve been reading about E-ink since the mid nineties, fascinated by the prospect of a screen that uses almost no power and looks like a printed page. It took many years until I saw one live and I loved it. And it took another few years until I owned one (this Kindle). But no, reading in direct sunlight is not a huge selling point for an ultra-white Mexican who’s respectful of the Sun’s ultraviolet rays.

I actually really like the iPad’s LCD screen for reading. My eyes don’t get tired, and it’s great to be in bed at night, in total darkness, reading on the perfectly illuminated screen – brightness turned all the way down. Battery life is more than fine as well: I never read for more than 11 hours straight at a time without access to a power outlet. I’ve read several books on my iPad and I’ve enjoyed immensely.

Then Amazon released 3 new Kindles:

  1. Kindle Fire: Ultra-cheap media-viewing subsidized tablet ($200)
  2. Kindle Keyboard (a.k.a Kindle 3): ($99)
  3. Kindle Touch: E-ink with a touch screen ($99)
  4. Kindle: E-ink, no keyboard ($79)

I always thought that the keyboard on the Kindle was stupid. It takes up a third of the device’s space for something you only use once a month for a minute! On the other hand, the new Kindle’s lack of keyboard and touchscreen make it unbearably painful to type, whenever it is you need to. So why would anyone buy the Kindle when for $20 more you can buy a Kindle with a touchscreen keyboard?

And why would Marcos spend money on a dedicated reading device that limits you to a single store for buying books?

This is why:

New cheapo Kindle on top of iPad 2. As classy as a pocket billboard.
  • iPad 2: 21.28 oz
  • Kindle Fire: 14.6 oz
  • Kindle keyboard: 8.5 oz
  • Kindle touch: 7.5 oz
  • Kindle: 5.98 oz

When you are holding something up for hours, every ounce counts. This new Kindle is tiny, super light, and at $80 well not impulse buy territory. And I can still pick up in whatever page I was at on my iPad when in total darkness, or on my iPhone when I have a few minutes to read and I’m away from the larger toys.

4 thoughts on “Why I bought a Kindle”

  1. They are only displayed when the Kindle is “off”. Not when you navigate the menus or when you are reading.

    So not bad.

  2. Oye, ¿sabes qué tan fácil es conseguir libros en español?, ¿se pueden subir archivos pdf?

  3. I don’t think they have a good Spanish selection.
    You can email PDFs to a special address and then they get synchronized to the Kindle, but you don’t get the pagination and other formatting niceties you get with ebooks.

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