Its only school books that everyone despise in their entire life. We love reading anything other than that. But with so much of smartphones, Facebooks and Tweets, we have completely forgot about reading a book. Very rarely I see people with books in airport or trains or in bus. Its sad. There were days in my school days when we used to say ‘after you!, after you!’ to read Enid Blyton or Harry Potter books. My friend, along with Dominic used to buy second hand books at almost a $1 during university. We became fans of Sidney Sheldon. These days most of kids play angry birds!
Inspite of all this decline to read books, you have to appreciate Amazon (Barnes & Noble too!) for having EBook Readers in the market. Just reading books. Just that. But the latest ‘Fire’ series have other features of a tablet. It was because of market pressure which is understandable.
I have read few books before this ‘smartphone generation’. But, recently, few books (Steve Jobs and Mani Ratnam Talkies) have reKindled my interest to read books. But I didn’t want to have them on my bag. A tablet was an option. Though being an Apple Fanboy, I was never really impressed with the iPad Mini reviews. Had the display been retina, I would have opted for it, but with no retina, Sorry!
With Kindle having the reputation of being the best Ebook reader, I decided to buy an entry level just to see if I am really going to find it useful. I had many options here. About 8 devices to choose from. But the ‘advantage’ of being in India is you are given less option. Meaning – Amazon sells only Kindle, Kindle Touch and Kindle Keyboard 3G to Indians. I didn’t want to take pain in going to grey market to buy Paperwhite series or Fire series. So I chose the simple and yet critically acclaimed Kindle 6″ with E-Ink Display.
It took 4 days to be delivered along with my Marware Atlas case. And since then, I am really impressed with this device. Maybe,when they update their Paperwhite series again, I shall upgrade.
There was hardly any packing. And I don’t complain about it. On ripping the plastic pack, you find a black box has just Amazon written on it and it is classy.
You don’t have to tear up the box because there is tear-away on the side to help you retain the box even after opening it. Inside is the Kindle in plastic bag and below it is the cable. On the cover is a pocket that has instruction manual.
The Marware Case comes with “Eco” packing. So nothing more than a paper cover to it. Nice and it simple. No fight with the pack to unbox is what I expect after waiting impatiently for 4 days. Google made a mess out of its packing.
First thing when you turn on, you see is a ‘guy sitting under a tree reading’. And comes the screen where you have to set up the language. I missed touch screen.
Using 5 way controller was not easy and the next step made it even worse. I had to type my email ID, which is quite big, and it took a lot of time to scroll along the virtual keyboard to type it. I then realised how much touch screen has become vital in our devices.
Setting up wifi was easier. It was a breeze. But at this time, I hated myself for not buying a touchscreen version. It was tough to switch back.
This reader is a beauty. I feel in love with this instantly. The moment I got it out of the packet, I noticed how light it is. Its felt lighter than any of my chargers, my scientific calculator and even my notebook. It says 6 ounces. I know only kgs being an Indian. On conversion its 0.17kgs. Even the case for my Kindle seemed heavier.
It has a 6″ inch E-Ink screen. Lets talk about it later in the review. It has page up & page down buttons on both sides. I thought it would solve issues for lefties, but I found myself using both. It depends on which hand I hold it. So I don’t have to change hands to turn the page. Tiny things matter and they are addressed. But what could have been better was the buttons itself. Most of the times I failed to turn page because of its, kind of unique shape.
Physical keys are present. Its got 5 keys. First on the left is more if Androidy stuff – go back key. It takes you to the previous menu and not page. The next is to bring keyboard. You can bring it up on almost all pages, anytime and anywhere. The next is 5 Way Controller. The right and left takes you to their respective chapters. On pressing the up key bring the meaning of the word. And you can move it along with lower controller. The centre button is to confirm. Its more like the ones on Nokia phones pad. Its nice. Feels bit cheap, but it does what it has to and its handy.
The next key is to bring up the menu anywhere on screen. The setting varies depending on the screen you are in. To toggle to browser this helps along with to change fonts, bookmark and everything. The next is the all important Home Key. Bring you to home. Anywhere.
On Kindle’s head there is nothing and is very clean. On bottom is the mini USB for charging and USB connect to transfer files. And a small ‘colour’ light. Infact thats the only colour thing to be seen on the device. It indicates the battery status. And then is the power key. Hold it for 2 seconds and it sleeps and longer, you turn it off.
This was the main reason for choosing Kindle than iPad. I already have another E-Ink display gadget. Yup! A watch. Its from phosphor. They were a real class apart. So I was more looking forward to this. And its really awesome. For starters, its a greyscale. So no colours. And You don’t get animations while turning pages. Its more like Tom Riddles Dairy in Harry Potter. It takes in the word and then comes out differently.
The issue for me with watch was that it took time to refresh. I could see ‘smudges’ of ink when it changes. It happens more on watches (Every minute!) And I hated it. But with kindle, its seriously not much of a deal. You begin to like seeing the ink disintegrate and regenerate to form words.
E-Ink is such a big advantage. No matter at what angle you hold the device, you can clearly read it. No glare in direct sunlight or self portraits. Its very good. Its kind off odd when you turn off the device entirely, you still see white display. All my devices go black.
So much of pros, what are the cons you may ask. There are two big cons here. -
Its B&W – We are in the decade of doing stuff in 3D (even 4D!), and I get a reader that is black and white. The pictures on my book is also in B&W. It felt very odd most only when I see pictures. During my usage of experimental browser, I felt like I was using google in 80’s. So, obviously, I find comparison to retina is of no use. Give me colour and I shall compare with retina.
Needs light – I don’t require a light to read books on my iPhone. The display brightness is enough. Not with kindle. You can barely see anything when you turn off light. Understandable, but depressing. I had to turn on my night lamp to read it. So I had to order a reader light. Its the only way out to read without waking up your partner. Paperwhite solves this issue.
I already have few gadgets to carry around and this feels no addition considering its weight. So far, I have loved this device and it makes reading even more awesome. I am sure paperwhite series would be a total game changer with their built in light. But this is, by no means, is lesser. The battery life seems great. I am done with reading a full book and I have not seen any changes in battery indicator. They say it lasts for a month. I am fine if it lasts even for 3 weeks.
Would I recommend?
Sure if you are thinking to buy a kindle. But also consider Paperwhite. Its more of recent generation. Its a great gadget to have than you iPads/iPhones/iPad Minis/Tablets. Initially, I hated for the fact that it did not touch screen. But on usage, you don’t really a touchscreen. I was more than satisfied with the 5 way controller and other buttons.
Charger – There are few that you obviously need to bought with kindle. You only get a USB cable along with the product. So if you need an adapter, buy one. Your Samsung / HTC or any Micro USB charger would do. I haven’t bought any because I have my laptop all the time and I don’t require this device to charge that often.
A Case – Marware Atlas case is what I got and its really nice to have your kindle on. However I regret not having bought the one with a light. There are cases with a light. So be sure to check that out as well.
A light – If you got a case without a light, and you are avid reader in your bed, get a light. There are some good ones that clip on to your Kindle. So be sure to check that out . (Will be updated soon!)
Here are other pictures too :
PS: The close up shots are using Macro Lens from Olloclip. Read the review here.