I had been waiting for the Apple Tablet for a long time. Although I had been mulling the Sony E-Reader for a while there was no way I was going to buy anything until I saw what was behind all the rumours.
Then came the big iPhone… well it may be a sound consumer electronic device but it wasn’t what I was looking for. Namely I wanted to read books and ideally I wanted to recharge less than once a week.
But in the end I didn’t go back to the Sony, instead I ordered a Kindle from across the pond, complete with US power adaptor. So what was I thinking?
Well firstly I know the Kindle is DRM and platform-lock-in bad. Strangely the iPad being based on the iPhone OS and being locked down made this an easier choice. Sony devices are no less proprietary if they are actually the market leader.
In these terms I think consumers actually need to put pressure on both Apple and Amazon to play fair with them. After all Amazon opened up the music market from Apple’s iTunes DRM, hopefully with the advent of the iPad Amazon may have to consider opening up the Kindle to ePub books.
In the end the thing that really convinced me about the Kindle was actually the Kindle for PC software. Being able to download the software and play around with the Amazon ordering system really helped, in fact if they already had a Kindle of OSX I may not have even ordered the physical device because the software actually delivered a reading experience I enjoyed.
Friends had complained about the poor experience of buying books for the Sony reader and as a heavy Amazon consumer already I am already in tune with the Amazon experience and have the necessary accounts.
Since getting the Kindle I have been impressed with the idea of having the books licensed (unfortunately) to an account that is then synchronised between all the Kindles you’re reading. I like being able to read a few pages on the PC and then carry on where I left off on the tube. That’s a nice feature that is a bit unique at the moment (although I am open to the idea of having multiple sets of ebook software).
I bought the smaller Kindle (not the DX) as frankly the iPad’s full colour and touch screen mean that I didn’t fancy paying the same amount for something that is much more limited. It does mean that PDFs don’t have enough screen space and the lack of a zoom is frustrating. However a big plus is the free wireless, paying a subscription for the iPad was unappealing and the ability to go and look things up in Wikipedia from the Kindle is not getting old yet.