Amazon’s Kindle is slowly changing my life

I’ve been very reluctant to buy the Amazon Kindle at first, but since I got it I’ve realized more and more that that was the right decision, and I’ll tell you why. The other worthy candidate of my hard sweated money was Apple’s iPad – which at first sight looks much cooler and more versatile. But did I really need all of that cpu power? I already have two macs and an iPhone, so the fanaticism alarm bell kept me from rushing to the Apple-store this time. And here’s why:


1. Reading on the go: honestly, after sitting down for a while and asking myself WHY ANOTHER GADGET I came to the conclusion that that’s the main reason for wanting a big iphone (so to say). I have lots of pdf’s, and spend a lot of time on trains, planes, etc. so having a portable reading device that integrates well with my lifestyle has long been a desire (almost a necessity, I’d say) for me. Both the Kindle and the iPad support this well enough. So we’re even here.

2. Weight: if you’re carrying around a mobile reader of some sort, you want it to be as light as possible. Here the kindle just wins: 240 g for the Kindle3 WiFi, vs 680 g for the iPad Wifi (the 3G is 50 grams heavier). In a nutshell: the Kindle is amazingly light !!!

3. Battery life: again, do you want a mobile device, or a mobile device + a charger you always have to pack with you + worries about where to recharge its batteries? The Kindle offers 1 month of battery life (officially); more realistically, a bit less I’m tended to think. I can say I already used it for two weeks, reading several hours every day and browsing the internet too (and apparently it takes a few charge cycles for the battery to reach full capacity). So no worries here. The iPad instead, 10 hours or slightly more…. Mmmmm…..

4. Internet: both have WiFi, but the iPad offers a much more compelling experience (colors, interaction etc.). However, when it comes to 3G the Kindle offer a formula that was new to me: after the initial purchase, you won’t spend any money on connectivity. Yes, sounds incredible but true: Amazon pays for Kindle’s 3G wireless connectivity, with no monthly fees or commitments. And this is valid in over 100 countries and territories, . This feature was a winner for me: if I’m on the move, I either want no internet whatsoever (= I’m trying to stay away from work) in which case the iPhone is more than enough; if not, I’d probably take my laptop so that I can both surf the web and do a thousand other work-related things too. Kindle’s 3G support matches well with both situations, so here we go. Kindle won for me here.

4. Simplicity: I spend most of my working hours in front of a computer, then often go home and play/do music using a computer, maybe watch a movie in the evening using a computer. Do I really fancy having another computer? Definitely not. Especially because one of the major virtues of computers, that is, the fact that they are ‘abstract machines’ that can run a possibly infinite range of softwares, turns into a nightmare-feature when it comes to updating these softwares, fixing settings and dealing with a never ending series of other smaller issues that inevitably come up. Having matured some experience with the iPhone, I know already that the iPad will suck up my time this way too. While instead the Kindle is so simple (just a text reader, really) that maintenance is almost non existing. Ergo, Kindle wins here for me..

5. Price: last but definitely not least! It’s just a hundred pounds for the non-wifi Kindle, and a hundred-forty for the wifi one. iPad starts at 499 right?

In conclusion: I guess that the main constraint for me was the fact that I essentially wanted a reading-device for when I’m traveling. All the rest is a pleasant extra, but still, just an extra.
The iPad is very attractive, sleek, powerful etc .. it’s definitely comparable to a laptop if you consider the range of things you can do with it. But if you already have a laptop… well you know my answer now!

Hope this can be of some help to other undecided buyers – cheers!



6 Responses to “Amazon’s Kindle is slowly changing my life”

Well…nice review! I was kinda impressed by the Kindle as a reading device…It does the job, and it does it very well. I heard there is a search feature which searches across all the PDFs you have got in your Kindle…amazing! Let’s say I have 10 PHP books and I need to know what the flock() function does…instead of manually search in all of them I just need to type “flock” and it gives me all the related material on a single page????? Is it right?????

Anyway, the best feature is the matte screen…I hate glossy screens when it comes to read something in the light..It gives me a headache ;)

Mirko added these pithy words on Oct 15 10 at 6:48 pm

you know what I didn’t know about that! I just tried it and yes it works as you say, searches across your entire library. thanks Mirko :-)

mike added these pithy words on Oct 17 10 at 12:32 pm

This is insightful.
I agree with your points, but there is one big problem with the “current” Kindle (and other similar ebook readers) for me: the screen.
I know that it’s “that way” (“digital ink” is the common name, I recall), to save battery and to be super light. But I don’t like this technology. I need:
– colors
– decently fast animations

That’s why I’m on hold: I’m waiting for a breakthrough.
And I think the Qualcomm Mirasol ( will be that breakthrough.

I really wish Apple decides to embrace it and make a product with it, but if not, I’m confident either Amazon or Sony will use it to make the next generation of their eBook readers.
And that’s what I’ll go for.

Currently, I read on my iPhone, and even if Sun is it’s archenemy, is “good enough”.

Will join you later ;)

IvanDM added these pithy words on Oct 24 10 at 6:42 pm

BTW, your blog theme is AWESOME!

IvanDM added these pithy words on Oct 24 10 at 6:43 pm

I agree with all points, apart from PDF, the Amazon’s implementation is awful, makes reading pdfs very uncomfortable and conversation is not very good.

ramzez added these pithy words on Oct 24 10 at 9:37 pm

@ ivan: yeah colors and animations would definitely improve it (as long as the price remains so accessible!). ps glad you like the theme!

@ ramzez: well as I said I’ve been reading several pdfs on the kindle; you’ve got to struggle a little to find the right orientation and size settings but in most cases the end results was acceptable to me. Some pdf take forever to load though, and that’s quite annoying. I’m not sure how much this can be improved however.. cause it seems to me that a lot of it is determined by the kindle size, and not by the software handling the pdf format (which is notoriously difficult to handle!). Thanks for the comment though!

mike added these pithy words on Nov 04 10 at 8:02 am