Kindle reader and my footdragging

I’ve long thought the idea of hardware-based eReaders was a good one:  light weight, paperback form factor, and e-ink displays make for exceptional battery life and outdoor legibility.

But I’ve been resistant (or too cash-strapped) to get on board so  I’ve been getting by using FBreader on linux and Android platforms.

I finally bought a 3rd generation Kindle, now called Kindle Keyboard off eBay.    (That’s the seller’s hand, not mine.)  I picked this model because I like HW keyboards and because the K3 retains audio support with allows mp3 playback (drown out that chatter) and text-to-speech.

First Impressions

Some thoughts after playing with it for a few hours.

Pro:

  • sits in the hand well;  page-turning  buttons are easy and ambidextrous.
  • screen is easy to read;  I prefer a somewhat less stark contrast than the blazing white background on the new paperwhite models
  • integration with public libraries using overdrive (RPL’s digital home)
  • active and friendly forums like x and y.  This is not surprising since they are, you know, readers.
  • {added:  the Text to Speech (TTS) is much better than I expected.  It’s actually usable.}

Con:

  • UI can be a bit wonky.  Menus don’t wrap, for example.  I was a little surprised this didn’tget fixed in the recent 3.4 update.
  • A separate bit of hardware.  Can’t get around this if I want e-ink (and I do).
  • Configuration is clumsy from the device and not much is available from the Amazon side.  Luckily, colibre is there to help manage one’s library and some aspects of the kindle (like collections).
  • {edited to add:  No support for .epub?  Srsly?  I wouldn’t mind if it was just support for non-DRM epub so they wouldn’t be facilitating sales elsewhere.}

Prices on used Kindles should fall a bit more given the upcoming release of the paperwhites.

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