When you decide to pick up a Kindle for the first time, there are a lot of factors that can play into it. The first ones that come to mind are also probably the most important. You’ve got instant access to any book you want to buy no matter what time you want to buy it at. You can carry around hundreds or thousands of books at a time in your pocket. Chances are good that you’ll save money overall on your book purchases, if you’re a regular reader. That sort of thing. There are a few things that have come up that one might not expect, however.
Something that many people perhaps don’t expect is an actual reduction of clutter. Many Kindle owners find themselves replacing paperbacks with Kindle Editions over the course of their ownership. The eBook is more durable and harder to lose. This can result in a great deal of space saving over the course of dozens of book replacements, many of which can be at least partially subsidized through resale of the used copies unless you’re a fan of library donations. eReading can come to mean that the only books you actually have to keep track of are the ones you like enough to want to display proudly in hardcover.
Another plus I’ve encountered, though I probably wouldn’t want to put it to the test in any major way, is the durability of the eReader. I’ve heard plenty of arguments that consolidating to a Kindle means that if you break one thing then you’re out of luck until you replace it, but they have proven difficult to damage in a number of situations. Moisture generally isn’t a problem, kids can’t tear their pages, and short falls do no damage. On that last point, maybe it is just me, but every time I drop or knock down a book it seems to fall in just the right way to bend half the pages. Anybody else find that annoying? Moving on…
The most outstanding example that I am aware of is probably restricted to the Kindle 3G. In the aftermath of the string of tornado that made their way through the US in the past few months, many people found themselves without power, let alone internet connectivity. Thanks to the long life of the Kindle’s battery, there were a number of people that I’ve heard of who were able to find information that they needed and reassure friends and family of their safety in situations where doing so would otherwise have been very difficult. Cell phones simply don’t often last that long, no matter how conservative you are with their battery life.
Now obviously these aren’t selling points. The extra functionalities, if you can even call them that, are highly situational. I’m always interested in perks that can make what was already a great acquisition even more valuable. There’s more use to be found things like a Kindle than you can generally find on a spec sheet, if you look for it.
Amazon Kindle 3
Best Buy (NYSE: BBY) is slated to join Staples (NASDAQ: SPLS) and Target (NYSE:TGT) by adding the Kindle to its inventory this fall. Just in time for the holiday season, the Kindle’s presence in Best Buy is predicted to boost its own sales, as well as the sales of its competitors.
Speaking of competitors, both the iPad and Nook are available at Best Buy. There are rumors that the iPad might be hitting Target stores on October 3rd. Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) has been trying to distance the Kindle from the iPad by saying that the Kindle is for the more dedicated reader, while the iPad is for more general purposes. By doing so, this seems to put the Kindle buyer in one group and the iPad buyer in another. I wonder if there’s a way to make buying both appealing. After trying an iPad, I would use it more as a computer. The screen contrast is too great to read comfortably. Plus, the battery life on the Kindle is way longer than the iPad’s. With the prices becoming more and more reasonable, I think it is perfectly justifiable to own both a Kindle and an iPad.
The Kindle and Kindle DX’s debut in all three stores allows consumers to “try before they buy.” Adding Best Buy to the mix will just put the Kindle out there to an even broader set of consumers. Best Buy is a natural fit for the Kindle because it’s reputation with quality electronics and good customer service.
The Kindle DX has been tested with little success in universities, but there is hope for the future. It might actually serve as a good replacement for textbooks now that it is a little more mainstream and more readily available in stores. I think using the Kindle DX as a textbook reader would save a lot of money in the long run. It would also save a lot of space. No more bulky, back breaking bookbags to lug around!
Amazon Kindle 1
I’ve lent my refurbished Kindle 1 to a friend of mine to read some books and only a couple days later I’ve come to realize that since I’ve given him an electronic gadget it would have made sense to give him a charger as well since 1st generation Kindle uses custom power cable for charging rather than standard micro-USB like Kindle 2. Several weeks later he returned K1 after having read the books he intended and he never needed the charger…
You can get so used to not charging your Kindle frequently if you keep the Whispernet off that you can forget that you need to do it at all…
Since I’m currently travelling in the UK for more than a month already, I have Wireless turned off on both Kindle 2 and Kindle DX that I have. After a month of moderate reading while Kindle was getting an occasional small charge only when I connected it to the computer to sync new content battery indicators on both K2 and DX were showing roughly 75% battery capacity.
My original intent was to wait some more and then make a post about how great Kindle battery life is if you turn off the wireless. However before I could do that, interesting thing happened. When my wife turned on her K2 the charge indicator jumped from 75% to “critical low” (battery icon with exclamation mark). Kindle had to be charged. In a couple of days exactly the same thing happened to my Kindle DX.
This happened about one month after devices were fully changed. What is interesting that although my wife read roughly 3 times as many pages as I did, batteries in our devices ran out at about the same time. So it looks like it was more related to idle time rather than usage.
Amazon’s official stance is that with wireless turned off Kindle should go around 2 weeks without a charge depending on the usage. Ours lasted twice as long. However what’s more interesting is the way charge suddenly dropped to zero. Something you should keep in mind if you intend to take your Kindle somewhere without electricity for long time.
I’m interested if anyone has observed similar strange behaviour?
Electronic gadgets are nice but until Witricity goes commercial there is this annoying need to recharge the things. And even when it does I doubt there will be many Witricity hot-spots in Yellowstone National Park or more remote “in-the-middle-of-nowhere’s”.
It’s not that big of a problem if gadget in question uses regular widely available standard batteries like AA, AAA, C, D etc. But some don’t. Such gadgets turn to useless paper weights once the power runs out if you are away from the power-outlet or just don’t have the proper charger available. This was the case for my iPhone and Kindle. After running out of power caused one too many inconveniences I decided to do something about it.
I found myself another gadget that I never leave home without: iGo Universal Battery Operated Charger along with cables that connect to accessories that I carry. This was a real life-saver for me. Anytime a battery is about to run out in the middle of phone conversation or Kindle refuses to go online because it doesn’t have enough charge left to power the EVDO modem I just plug it in and it works. Because “Kindle battery charger” doesn’t need to be charged itself but runs on regular AA batteries itself I can always get more power. It also proved very handy during trip to Yellowstone National Park – I just stocked up on batteries and had all the travel guides and maps readily available on my Kindle and even internet access in select places.
There are dozens of iGo accessories available so you can pick the ones that go with your gadgets. What iGo did was a pretty obvious yet cool thing. They’ve created a modular power platform. Consisting of power sources (AA batteries, AC for pretty much any country in the world, 12V car) and power connectors for pretty much any device including all standard connectors like mini-B and micro-B USB.
Another device along the same lines is: Emergency AA Battery Charge Extender for the Amazon Kindle 1. This one however is a bit heavier as it takes 4 AA batteries.