I bought for my wife the Kindle 3 - the $139 Wifi version, we have no need to spend $50 more for the 3G version since I never plan on buying books from Amazon or elsewhere when the Internet has them all for free.
I got this amazing machine today and have been loading books - over 100 so far that I know are right up her alley. We both do Audio-books and get them from the library or online, so I know what she has read and who she likes
For starters, WOW is this freakin' thing amazing. It is about 7X5X1/3rd in size and weighs 8 ounces. It uses this electronic ink that magically make photos and text appear before your eyes on a 6 in diagonal screen where you adjust the font size, style and orientation of the screen.
I found a wicked program (free) called CALIBRE (pronounced like a 44 caliber gun) and it takes ANY format of ebook and converts it to any other format of ebook. The Kindle primarily recognizes MOBI and PDF files, so Calibre takes any book in any other format, converts it in single or batches to Kindle friendly format - giving you PERFECT pages every time. a 800 book takes about 30 seconds to convert and upload via usb to the Kindle and is ready to read.
There are too many features that rock to mention, but I really like the male Text to Speech Voice that reads for you as you either look or just listen to the book. I like to read and hear the voice at the same time, for me it locks the facts of the story better in my head. This voice is extremely natural and you would be surprised to know it wasn't a real person if you didn't know different.
The Kindle can last a full month on a single battery charge thru the USB or plug-in adapter - I'm sure using the voice kills the charge a lot faster. But speaking of the voice, after adding the books, I took it to work tonight and gave it a test run. I read over 80 pages (mostly with the male reader going) and then realized that since it plugs into my headphones, it also plugs into my AUX. JACK in the car, so I listened to the book on the drive home tonight!!!! Double bonus feature that kicked me into the 5 star rating review.
The fall back (I think) is since it is a Wifi machine and it did hook up to my secure router first try, it does WEB BROWSING. Now, doing it and doing it well are two different things. If you are searching the dozen or more sites preset into the Kindle, they look really great and goggling info and basic searching is fine, but it is NOT a PC and will not replace a computer for surfing. But it is a nice bonus - Kindle of course has it because they have their ebook online store with 600K books from $5 to $20 each which all take less than 60 seconds to download and a file is kept with every title you buy, so that if you upgrade or change machines, you can re-download them again at no additional cost.
The best feature surely is the magic screen, it makes you want to read and trust me, a decade of audiobooks has crippled my incentive to actually read books, but tonight I read 80 pages as the magic of the white screen and jet black fonts changed before my eyes in a blink of a second. Honestly, as I read the last word and clicked the next page button, the next page and next sentence was there as quickly as I was.
I know Tracey will love this, she won't see this post, so I wanted to share this. I even got the leather cover with led night light that runs off the Kindles power. It is a classy cover making the Kindle look like a book and protects it for scratches and falls nicely. The light pulls out and illuminates the screen so that reading in total darkness is a breeze.
I just hope that SCHOOLS ADOPT using this or similar readers and doing away with outdated and costly books. The licensing of ebooks surely must pay in the long run, and having your kids carry a single 1/2 electronic gadget around sure beats them dragging 60 pounds of books home every day.
This is a winner, the sheer fact that free ebooks exist all over the net means this can likely be a one time investment. Mainly because software like Calibre also RSS feeds hundreds of periodical magazines, daily newspapers from around the world and I promise it is IMPOSSIBLE to NOT find enough stuff that you find interesting for a dozen life times.
- this is a pretty cool walk through
- the guy who recorded the audio should have faced the speakers toward the mic, it isn't very good quality and does not do justice to the Kindles TTS.