Kindle, Day Five

(This is a follow-up to a first-impression review I published four days ago.)

Now on my fifth day as a Kindle user, I can say that we have a love/hate relationship. I love:

  • The Connectivity. We’ll look back on this as the first major deployment of bundled wireless connectivity. No Sprint EVDO account; it’s transparent. This makes the iPhone/AT&T registration process look klunky, kludgy and intrusive. You buy it from Amazon, and as soon as you turn it on the Kindle knows who you are and it’s already linked to your account. Really cool. No separate bills (or even charges) for connectivity. It’s all paid for as part of the content-purchase cost. The only features that don’t include usage-based pricing are the web browser and dedicated Wikipedia access. But the browser is so awkward to use, I don’t think anyone will be exploting the free connectivity to any significant extent.
  • The Content-Purchase Experience. Download a first chapter for free. Get a free two-week subscription to a periodical. It feels like the content is downloaded to the device almost as soon as you’re done the transaction. And it’s all as simple as one-click buying on They nailed this.
  • The Display. It’s identical to my Sony PRS-505, both of which are much better than my older PRS-500. While I look forward to continued improvements to this technology (like faster page changes, more contrast, color), it’s already quite usable.

I hate:

  • The Device. The navigation buttons are awful. Its pointy corner digs into my palm when I hold it. (Maybe a third-party case will save me.) It’s ugly. I’m still accidentally pressing buttons — they line the edges — every time I pick it up. It feels like the first time I drop it, I’ll have to throw it in the trash.
  • The Case. You’ve *got* to be kidding!

Whoever designed the e-commerce aspects, particularly the deal with Sprint, should get a bonus. Whoever is responsible for the ergonomics of the device needs to find another line of work.

Update: James Kendrick posted a good but somewhat basic 25-minute video demo of the Kindle.

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