I’m a very late newcomer to the e-books revolution, it wasn’t even a revolution anymore when I got in. It just happens that one of my favorite websites, New Scientist, announced they’d issue a magazine called “Arc” – was it one year ago? A collection of science for dummies, futurology and SF, sounded fine so I looked for ways to read it. Being proud owner of a Samsung Galaxy S2 (in a love-hate relationship but that’s another story) the options were quite a few. First: download via Google Play… neee, no Google Play Books in me country. Second: in Zinio… nice but can you imagine cramming a full-blown newspaper page on a smartphone screen? You either can’t read it, or you fumble like crazy trying to focus your reading window on the current text. So Kindle was the single real option, at least on my smartphone. So this is how it all started, although… battery goes down SO quick! Anyway, after I got to read some more Kindle books on that phone I decided I had enough with the black bars of the Kindle app coming over your text every second second and I should try the real deal: an e-book reader.
(image source: dvice.com)
Now I have it for almost one month, I read a couple of good books already on it (yes, I had vacation in the meantime and life is not only software development 😛 ) and overall got a good impression. Here’s how I see it, for what is worth:
- has a wide frame around the screen. Looks BAD, I tell you, but it turned out it allows you to hold the device quite comfortably instead of pinching it between fingers like a smartphone. An unexpected convenience.
- it might look like a tablet but it certainly is not one. I had a small learning curve (small – because the device also doesn’t do much) getting used to tap-to-turn instead of swiping.
- its battery life of 2 months is as you’d expect: overrated. Still, WAY better than reading on your smartphone. Way better, indeed.
- readable, check. Actually it’s even better readable in sunlight (like, perfect readable!), another surprise for me used to smartphone screens. So I never had to push the lighting over halfway up, in the sun you don’t need it at all and in darkness it’d be too much strain.
- the background lighting has darker fringes at the bottom edge, now that I mentioned it. Not enough to really bother, but not completely nice either.
- the device has a internet browser but I recommend you forget that feature immediately. Crap is a too mild word. Also the e-ink screen is part of the limitations, but still. Just forget the browser, ok?
- the device got once completely stuck and after the first moment of panic I googled to find out how to reset it (loooooooooooong press the “on” button). I sweated a bit, but it only lost the time of day and the link for downloading screensavers (yes I own the slightly cheaper version). As soon as I had wireless again the link was restored, but had to re-enter the time by hand (minor inconvenience).
- now that I mentioned screensavers, they’re really not intrusive or anything – you see them in standby only. Probably the banner under your books list belongs to it as well, but overall no issue at all.
- if Amazon had thought to cover the USB hole somehow I’d have been even happier, instead of having to worry while reading on the beach that some sand might get stuck there… well, maybe in a next version.
- would I have liked it to include a MP3 player? Maybe. Whatever.
So, that’s it. I recommend getting yourself a ebook reader, it’s totally worth it. And you might also like the nice book packages you get from the Humble Bundle – with a chance to donate to charity at the same time. I did 🙂
(image source: Humble Bundle)