And one more time, many of them were not correct at all. Fortunately for serious ebook readers, though, Jeff Bezos did not intend to please everybody nor did he intend to incorporate every single bell and whistle Kindle’s rivals went with.
Amazon quite simply tried Kindle 3 to be a better reading device by learning from previous mistakes and shortcomings, and listening to past customers. The result: a very cheap Kindle 3 (only $139 for the Wi-Fi version and $189 for the 3G one), with much better and faster interactivity, great readability and even a little smaller, too. (To purchase the new Kindle 3 reading device, CLICK HERE). Now let’s go into details and compare the new Kindle 3 with previous versions of the Amazon reader such as Kindle 2 and Kindle DX, as well as to its main rival: the Nook.
Since we have quite a bit to cover, let’s start from the beginning, shall we? The new Amazon Kindle 3 once again offers a 6” screen, but this time it comes in a slightly smaller, slimmer body: by taking away the numbered keys, Amazon has reduced even more the size (and weight) of the previous Kindle 2 without altering the screen size or damaging overall usability. On the contrary, I’ve found Kindle 3 much easier to handle and use due to certain improvements in the e-reader’s keyboard, such as thinner next/previous page buttons on both sides of the Kindle body. You will find a cheap Kindle 3 reader that’s learned from previous mistakes of its predecessors and has capitalized on this knowledge to actually improve the user’s reading experience.
But, how cheaper is the latest Amazon Kindle 3 reading device? Well, the new Kindle ebook reader comes in two versions: with Wi-Fi only capabilities and with both Wi-Fi and traditional 3G connectivity too, as was the case with the previous Kindle DX, for instance. The Wi-Fi only version is being sold right now at only $139, while the Wi-Fi/3G model’s price is a quite modest $189. How to choose between the both? Well, I personally chose the Wi-Fi only version, since I have this kind of access at home and I’m pretty much always near a hot spot everywhere I go. Then again, if you happen to travel a lot or you just can’t have Wi-Fi access to the internet at home, you will probably be better off with the Wi-Fi/3G model. 3G connectivity for the Kindle 3 (as well as for other versions) is available on around 100 countries around the world.
Here are some of the most important Kindle 3’s improvements over past models:
– Price: I mentioned it before, but I wanted to say it again. You can purchase a cheap Kindle 3 for almost 50% of the price of a Kindle 2 when it was originally launched. Also, The Kindle 3 Wi-fi only version is $10 less than the Wi-Fi model of the Nook, and the 3G enabled model is also $10 cheaper than B&N’s equivalent.
– Higher E-Ink screen contrast: This is without a doubt one of Amazon Kindle 3’s best features. Definition is even better than in previous models (Amazon claims it to be 50% better than Kindle 2’s; I wouldn’t go that far, but it’s definitely the best in the market hands down). In fact, this generation’s Kindle’s e-ink technology has made possible and even enjoyable to read and e-book in plain sunlight (see the picture), something that would be impossible to do for more than 5 minutes with the Nook or the iPad for that matter.
– Size: You may not notice it in the beginning, but The Kindle 3 reader is a bit smaller and lighter than Kindle 2, while at the same time keeping the same 6” screen. This is due to the elimination of 1 row of numbered keys (which doesn’t hurt usability at all, in my opinion).
– Native and improved PDF support: This was an improvement first included in Kindle DX. It’s indeed very useful, particularly since many docs come now in this format. Along with PDF support being enhanced, other functionalities such as the ability to zoom in by using landscape mode remain the same.
-New web-kit based browser: Not the best browser in the world ,if you ask me (Amazon themselves claim it to be “experimental” at this point), but certainly a nice touch, particularly since the new Kindle 3 has now in-built Wi-Fi capabilities. Still easier to use than the Nook’s.
– Overall faster interactivity: Another key improvement. If you’re tired of waiting a couple of seconds every time you want to turn a page in your Nook, here’s the answer. The software just works great and makes navigation faster and smoother.
– Much longer battery life: About 1 whole month with Wi-Fi turned off, and about 10 days otherwise. If you’re careful, the 10 day period can even be an understatement. Also, this low energy consumption means the Kindle 3 reading device never gets hot, so you can hold it for as long as you want.
– The Amazon Kindle 3 holds over 3,500 books and allows you to organize them into categories.
– Enhanced read-to-me features. Now it can even be used for guided navigation.
– Mp3 player: Again, nice touch, but not too advanced at the moment.
How to compare the Amazon Kindle 3 and B&N’s Nook.
Here are some of the main points:
– Price: Kindle 3 is $10 cheaper than the Nook. I wouldn’t base my decision on this, but you may want to take it into account.
– Screen: This is the grounds on which most of us will make our choice. The Nook offers a color LCD screen, which some people tend to prefer at first. In my opinion, a color screen with LCD technology not only distracts you from your reading, but it hurts your vision if you read long enough, particularly under sunlight. Kindle 3’s e-ink technology is the best at what it does: allow you to focus on your text and let you read as comfortably as possible.
– Navigation and general interactivity: Everything seems to be much faster and smoother on the new Amazon Kindle 3 reader (not so much on Kindle 2, mind you). Both navigating and turning pages is much faster with the new Kindle. Also, the new Key disposition on Kindle 3’s dashboard make it very comfortable to use, and general ergonomics have been improved from previous Kindle models. Then again, ergonomics are the one thing I like about the Nook. Also, Nook’s touch screen may seem hipper, particularly in this iPhone era. However, after navigating this way for about a month you’ll start to miss Kindle’s keys. Again, they have very good disposition and don’t distract you from your reading. They’re there for a reason.
– e-pub format. This is a popular open format that allows libraries to lend you books, for example, and it’s used by B&N’s Nook. The Kindle, on the other hand, still uses a proprietary format at the moment . This is an advantage for the Nook, but Amazon claims Kindle will soon incorporate similar functionalities. Besides, with Amazon’s library of 100s of thousands of ebooks, this becomes less of a problem.
To sum up: I’d say both Kindle DX as well as the new and cheap Kindle 3 have taken the Kindle family definitely out of beta stage. They’re very well thought reading devices, centered on the readers’ needs rather than market tendencies. An Amazon Kindle 3 will put the best of current technology at your hands so that you can actually enjoy the act of reading. Even though there will always be a few features to add or improve, you can rest assured that when you buy a Kindle 3 you’re buying the most advanced reading device in the market today. To buy the latest Amazon Kindle 3 reader