The Amazon Kindle 3

The Amazon Kindle 3 (2010) is a remarkable piece of kit. With a 6″ diagonal e-ink display and 4GB of memory the 250 gm Kindle is capable of holding thousands of books. At only $US 140 it has reached the point where anyone who reads much should consider one.

The e-ink display has better contrast than before. The display is actually slightly grey when not on. Amazon have wisely gone from using white to a slate grey device which looks better with the very light grey of the e-ink display. The matte, slate grey case also won’t show finger marks. The e-ink display gives the device staggering battery life. It is meant to last for 10 000 page updates which would easily cover a long haul international flight and many days of reading for most people.

The Kindle is also capable of reading books aloud, but this uses a computer generated voice which is not great. The Kindle can also play mp3s. The Kindle could be used for multimedia language learning using this feature.

The Kindle store is terrific for rapidly getting content for the Kindle. In addition mobipocket and pdf files can be copied to the device via USB. Epub books can be converted to mobipocket using the excellent Calibre software. The books can then be organised on the device into collections so the vast number of books the device holds won’t get too cluttered.

The 6″ display is a little too small for reading pdfs really well. Each page, at a reasonable resolution, requires 3 screen flicks which can become annoying when reading long pdfs. An 8″ or 10″ display would be ideal. Color is also a feature that many people would want but which is not yet available.

Overall the new Kindle is superb.

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