On the surface, I appear to be the perfect potential Kindle customer: book lover, gadget lover, possessing low willpower, and very good at rationalizing impulse purchases. When I first saw the Kindle of course I wanted one. But once I thought about it even a little bit, I realized first that I don't need one (well, duh), but most importantly I decided that I don't even really want one. Here's why:
It only does one thing. I don't know about you, but the last thing I want in my purse is another thing to carry around. I already consolidated my planner, address book, email, miscellaneous docs, phone, web/blogs, and ebooks with my Treo and I sure don't want to go back to carrying multiple devices like I used to when I had a non-phone PDA.
The screen is grayscale. I thought maybe I'd like the Kindle just for newspapers and magazines (because, hey, I work at a university press. Of course I have $400 to spend on a device just for newspapers and magazines!) but not if I can't have color pics.
If I had to travel a lot for work I might be more tempted, though. It would be especially handy for newspaper subscriptions.
I haven't actually used a Kindle, so I won't attempt to critique the functions or usability of the thing. All I can tell you is that my Kindle-lust is gone. Here are some opinions from people who have actually used a Kindle:
- Businessweek called Amazon's Kindle "the ipod of books."
- For a more pro-Kindle perspective, see Guy Kawasaki.
- Also, here's a Scobleizer post that links to a great video of Robert Scoble comparing the Kindle to real books.
- More Scoble on Kindle: Kindle unboxing, first use, and Scoble and the founder of TechCrunch disagreeing.
- First impressions and Q&A with Bezos from TechCrunch.
posted by Jana of UNP