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2010.04.21Presenting The Kindle

I became interested in e-book readers primarily when my former wife showed me hers. It's the model offered by Barnes & Noble, and she seems absolutely smitten with it. With all the traveling she does, a unit like that makes perfect sense. Then Apple introduces the iPad and touts it partially as an e-book reader. I have my doubts about using it in that capacity, though, because the screen is like a laptop screen: information is displayed in a backlit manner, meaning light is produced and shone into your eyes. IMHO, this makes for tired eyes, which is why people will probably struggle with using it in that capacity. (When I spoke with an Apple engineer about this, his carefully-worded reply was, "If you're buying the iPad solely as an e-book reader, then [the iPad] is not for you." Personally, I think that if they could give the display some different modes when using it as an e-book reader, they'd have greater success. E-book readers, in contrast (pardon the pun), work like actual books: you read the content by light reflecting off of its surface. It's natural, and likely far easier on the eyes. All of this thinking about displays and so forth made the device more attractive to me (well, both devices are attractive to me, for different reasons). Today, my kindle arrived ( link to Amazon.com ). It is beautiful in form factor and its simplicity. After allowing it to charge to capacity, I played with it a bit this evening, subscribing to a trial of USA Today. Considering I don't watch television very often, getting a daily snapshot of the news (apart from the 15 or so minutes of NPR I may or may not hear when my alarm goes off in the morning wouldn't be a bad thing. Perusing the paper on the Kindle was actually... beautiful. I quickly found that I could look at the headlines of the various sections with ease, and select the stories that interest me. I really like that. It makes finding a place for perusing the news with breakfast in the morning far easier -- and that would certainly be more useful, while sucking down my Cheerios and orange juice, than surfing Facebook and Texts From Last Night.


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