When I started blogging about Kindle books I was using the Kindle Reading App for PC. It worked well and still does. Except it keeps me sitting in front of this computer. And the last thing I really need is to sit any longer in front of this computer. Plus, it seems like I am staring at a computer screen. A Lot. My eyes want a break. Thus, the move to purchase a Kindle. I was fascinated about the concept of e-ink. Is it really that different than a computer screen?
As you can tell, I'm not exactly an "early adopter". I blogged for quite a while about Kindle books without even owning a Kindle. In fact, many times I would wait for a family member to discard their old electronics to me when they upgraded. This worked well...until they started having children to take them.
I don't have a Smart Phone. I've debated about getting an iPod touch because it would be nice to have something to work on when I'm out and about and waiting for someone...and those apps look like fun. But I decided that the screen was smaller than I wanted and I would rather wait to someday get an iPad.
Enter my best friend who just so happened to find herself the new owner of This Kindle last Christmas. I think a Kindle made it to her wish list after her sister let her check out her Kindle Keyboard for a few days. I too had begun to think about purchasing a Kindle because I knew I wasn't ready to purchase an iPad but I was still looking for something besides a piece of paper and a pen for those times that I am waiting for someone. Think of all the books I could carry in my purse. And the e-ink intrigued me. Without a missing a beat, my friend wanted to know when she could loan me her Kindle so that I could play with it for a few days before I made a decision. Seriously. That's the kind of friend she is. Here. Take my new toy.
Is the e-ink different? Yes. Yes it is. (Have I been watching too much Phineas and Ferb?) Here is my scientific/not-so-scientific way of explaining how I tested the "difference" of the e-ink. I took said Kindle. Turned it on with a book on the screen. Yes I can see it. Walked into our laundry with the lights turned off. Closed the door. Can I see the book on the kindle? NO. Open door walk out to area with light/sunlight. Yes I can see book. Walk back to dark laundry. Close door. No. Can't see it. Borrow family member's ipad. Repeat complicated experiment outlined above. Can you see information on ipad if you take it into a dark laundry and close the door? Yes. RESULT: e-ink must be different because you can't see it in the dark.
So now I'm looking at the variety of kindles. How do I choose?
What were the features I wanted MOST from the Kindle?
1. e-ink. This is why I was even considering a Kindle. I wanted an experience that was different than staring at a traditional computer screen.
2. text-to-speech. Since I do spend a chunk of time in front of screens I was intrigued by the option to just listen.
Through process of elimination I landed on the Kindle Touch.
- Since the e-ink experience was a major reason for purchasing a kindle, the Kindle Fire was out. The Kindle Fire uses a more traditional computer tablet screen and not e-ink.
- The next major feature I was hoping for in a Kindle was the text-to-speech feature. The Intro Level Kindle does not have this feature so I eliminated that one.
- The Kindle DX was more than I wanted to spend so it was easily eliminated.
- I wasn't sure that I wanted to use the little keys of the Kindle Keyboard and it was more money than the Touch.
With or Without Special Offers?
I decided to go without the special offers. My friend's kindle that I tested before purchasing mine did have the special offers. They were not totally obnoxious. It was a personal preference for me to upgrade to not having them on the screen. I wanted the full kindle real estate to be filled by my content. I also wasn't sure how they worked. Do I have to confirm that I want to purchase the "special offer" or is it a "you click. you buy." situation? For me, no offers was easier.
- Being able to carry a bunch of books in something that is smaller than a spiral notebook is wonderful!
- I like that I can change the size of the font for easier reading. I would note, though, the larger you make the font, the less words that will be able to appear on a page. This is where the much larger Kindle DX might be nice.
- I like the e-ink.
- The text-to-speech feature is a computerized voice. You are able to change the speed and even the gender of the voice. It does read it to you like a computerized voice, though. This is not an audio version of the title that has been recorded in a sound studio. The words can be a little "choppy" sounding, if that makes sense. I will say, though, I was impressed at the relatively correct pronounciation of a word like entrepreneur. I have heard that some people have trouble finding titles that offer this text-to-speech feature. I personally have not found that to be a problem. If you want to check to see if a title is available as text-to-speech you can go to the Product Details on the kindle edition of that title on Amazon and check to see if it says that Text-to-Speech is Enabled. I like the idea of Text-to-Speech when I'm folding laundry or working in the kitchen. I will also note that I would prefer to be able to turn it up even louder for times when I may be doing a "loud" task such as chopping vegetables. All in all, though, I'm happy it has this feature.
- Some of the game apps are not available for the Kindle Touch. This is when I have to remind myself that I purchased this as a reading tool. It's primary purpose for me was not to play games.
- Because the e-ink does not allow for color photos, children's books that have type on photos are sometimes a little difficult to read. I have also found titles that are only available for the Kindle Fire because it does not use e-ink.
- In hindsight, while the keys on the Kindle Keyboard are small I may have liked them better than typing on the screen.
I am happy with my Kindle Touch and look forward to using it more.
Do you own a Kindle? Which features do you like about your Kindle?
I purchased my Kindle. All opinions are my own.
Prices change all of the time.
Double check the price before making a purchasing decision.