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Category: Gadgets

[REVIEW] The Third Generation Amazon Kindle

Written on August 25, 2010 by Adam Eve

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The third generation of Amazon Kindle is an innovation rather than a new invention. There's something new with what seems to be an old design. See what's inside Amazon Kindle 3.0 as you delve deeper on our review.

Though the first company to release an e-book reader, ’s Kindle is definitely not the iPod of the e-book reader market. And despite a much more competitive market, is releasing its third generation of Kindle. But first thing’s first: is more evolutionary than revolutionary. The 6-inches e-reader is now smaller, lighter and has an improved screen. Plus, it also adopted the Wi-Fi feature from its rival — the Barnes & Noble Nook. On top of the more compact design is an expanded memory (4GB) and longer battery life.

One of Amazon’s goals is to make the device smaller to make it more pocket or purse-friendly. Indeed, the Kindle feels lighter, more comfortable in the hands and easier to hold for longer periods. Compare to ’s multifaceted , the Kindle 3 features an e-ink screen which serves as the reader’s strength and weakness at the same time. On the upside, the Kindle’s display is really good. The letters appear slightly darker and pops a little more. Turning the pages is also faster. Another thing about e-ink displays is that they are not backlit, which reduces eye strain and allows the reader to see the screen better — even in direct sunlight. However, you will need to have a light source when using the Kindle 3 at night. That’s the reason why Amazon designed an optional protective cover that includes a retracting LED light. The only catch here is that the cover is expensive at $ 59.99. The only hitch of the e-ink display is that its latency and four-way navigation feels weird if you play with your smartphone all day. It gives you this odd sensation of using a futuristic and archaic device at the same time.

Another evolution to the e-book reader is the button design. The page-turn buttons on ech side are now smaller, and with little muffled clicking sound when you press them. The joystick-like main navigation button was moved lower at integrated it to a more intact keyboard. The only drawback is that the back and menu buttons are little too close to the up and down portions of the navigation. So users with large fingers must take extra care when pushing the buttons. Nonetheless, the overall experience of using the Kindle 3 was very little. The Wi-Fi allows you to get access in locations not served by AT&T’s cell network. Another addition to the experience is the faster browsing to the Kindle Store and the web using the WebKit browser.

For the firmware, the version 3.0 has an enhanced text-to-speech capabilities and appears to have a built-in microphone near the USB connecting port. The Kindle has two small speakers on the back the lets you play MP3 while reading. Though currently disabled, speculations that Amazon may someday add features like voice note-taking, Skype calling capabilities or voice recognition hasn’t stop. Another recent addition is a handful of games that can be a start for a wider app store in the future. Compare to Nook, Amazon Kindle 3.0 is slightly smaller in a two-dimensional plane, slimmer in depth and 2.5 ounce lighter. Though not good in viewing PDF Files and has no EPUB compatibility, the Kindle can access books on other devices.

The bottom line: The third generation of Kindle has a winning combination of upgrades making it go on top of the e-book reader category.

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