Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Why Amazon's Kindle Doesn't Light My Fire

Ergonomic design problems with Kindle ...

"I was predisposed to falling in love with my Kindle, Amazon's new e-reader. Three simple reasons:

* I love reading.
* I like Amazon's bookstore,
* My real-life bookshelves are sagging from the weight.

It's hard to imagine that just a week ago the media was comparing Kindle to the iPhone. Well, I know the iPhone and I now know the Kindle, and Kindle, you're no Jack Kennedy.

The Kindle is Amazon's electronic book reader. It costs $399, and you can subsequently download books from Amazon.com for $9.99 a book. There are a number of things that the Kindle does well. It's got an astounding battery life, it's the perfect weight and size, and it can hold audio and music as well—and lots of it. The most amazing thing is its ability to reach out to the Kindle bookstore, the web, and Wikipedia (with no additional charge) almost seamlessly through WhisperNet, its EV-DO-based technology. But after using it every day for a week, I've got a laundry list of details (and we know where God lives) that make it almost, but not quite, worth the price of admission.

I could forgive the looks: Much of the criticism of the Kindle has been skin-deep. We all agree; it does not look or feel very sexy—especially if you're making those comparisons to Apple's iPhone. Me, I'd settle for ugly but sensible, but it's worth mentioning the Kindle looks like a Taiwanese knockoff.

In the name of battery life: The Kindle's long battery life obviously comes at the expense of some other important things like screen brightness, the ability to use a cursor to select single words, and more.

Ergonomics: Taking Kindle in your hands is a daunting task because the edges of the unit are the oversized key-press bars you'll use for moving forward and backward between the pages of your book. Picking up the Kindle without accidentally turning the page requires the skill of a surgeon.

Keyboard lag time: Sure, the Kindle lets you take notes in a pop-up window or enter a search term to pop up a dictionary or search the web, but the typing entry is so slow that I kept clicking the keys twice, thinking my key-presses were not registering."    (Continued via Robin Raskin : Yahoo! Tech)    [Ergonomics Resources]

Amazon Kindle - Ergonomics

Amazon Kindle

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Blogger Ellie said...

Try leaving your kindle in the case that it came with when you read. Open the case completely so that the front is around back, and wrap the elastic around the back so that it stays. Then hold the cover instead of the kindle. It's much easier on your hands and you won't accidentally hit the buttons as often.

2:23 PM  

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