A Not So Short Review of the Kindle 3G + Wifi

I got my Kindle 3G + Wifi (3rd generation) two days ago. In these two days I have study his capabilities.

My first impression was: "is small, light and thin." Everyone was well impressed with the quality of the screen.

I love how easy is to upload documents to the Kindle. With the 3G I can upload Amazon ebooks everywhere and when I want. They are at distance of 1 click and 15 seconds. No need for pre-upload all my ebooks to the Kindle. For my documents I can use the USB port and the Wifi connection (for free). The Amazon service for converting and upload documents means I can email the documents to my Kindle. This service is very good for doc and pdf documents. Another thing, is very nice that the services for converting Web pages offer to send by email the resulting document.

The Kindle is a good gadget for reading ebooks. The other formats like doc and pdf are very readable after conversion, if they don't depend on formating. The loudspeakers have a good sound and should be good enough for audio books

I have experimented my Kindle on the limits of is capabilities and I am well impressed. The screen is too small for reading PDF documents without conversion. But the screen have good detail (160 dpi) and you can try to read them, if you have good eyes, If not, the zoom and pan is your friend. The 600x800 resolution is too low for reading manga, japanese comics, specially because some of them have very small details.

The experimental web browser works in acceptable way with web sites with little or no graphics, like Linux Week News. The "Article Mode" makes the news sites more readable. It's a pity that the comments are not shown is this mode, at least with LWN. The experimental MP3 Player is very simple, good for background music. Not like a dedicated music player, the sound quality is good but not Hi-Fi.

There is an experimental image viewer that can show images of the most common formats, but sometimes it have problems refreshing the screen with the next image. It's good for showing pictures and if the screen was bigger it would be good enough for reading black and white comics or manga.

My surprise was with the wifi. I didn't check it's limitations and I was surprised because I couldn't connect to the eduroam network. The Kindle wifi don't work if "Wi-Fi network is an enterprise or peer-to-peer network" or "Wi-Fi network is not 802.11b, 802.11g, or 802.11n (in b or g compatibility mode)".

In this two days I found that I like my Kindle, it works as expected if you forget the WiFi issue. I really believe that is easier to read in the Kindle than a real pocket book. The problems I found in reading manga or PDFs are what other people were saying. If the web browser was a little better. This Kindle 3G is a keep, the WiFi problems makes the extra money for the 3G worthwhile for me. My other wish is an updated Kindle DX with a lower price.

Things that I would like to do next:

  • Try audio books
  • Connect the output sound to an aux entry
  • A way for converting a web site to an ebook document.
  • Using latex for generating an ebook document.
  • To make ebook documents from the intranet and other documents in heterogeneous formats.
  • Exists more readable fonts, darker, than what comes with the Kindle?
  • Try the hack for personalizing the screen savers.
  • Try the hack for configuring eduroam network on the Kindle.

Useful links for people that have a Kindle, in Portuguese:

Usefull links in English:

Reading web pages offline