The high-end Kindle

Books / Saturday, September 3rd, 2011

With the amount of time I have, I read a fair number of books. I always have and I suspect I always will.

About a year ago I received my first Kindle. It changed reading for me forever. I thought, like many people yet to own a Kindle, that pages and physical copies are important. I thought without them reading just wouldn’t be the same. I was wrong. Reading is very near to being the same on a Kindle, you’re just holding something different (I even think the Kindle is easier to hold than a book). The screen looks like a page and reads like a page. And the battery seemingly lasts forever. There’s no downside in my opinion.

Today I came across this article and I was outraged. I have no problem with Amazon producing a tablet. I’ve toyed with buying one if the price is right. I do, however, have a problem with Amazon branding their tablet as a Kindle because it’s not a Kindle. In my mind a Kindle is a perfect device for reading books. That’s what it was built to do and that’s what it does. But a tablet sounds like it can be so much more. That it will be used for reading books only if the user likes to read books. Reading will be pushed to the back burner for many buyers.

Names aside, it can still be used to read and that’s what’s important, right? I say nay. It can read, but for how long? We don’t have actual numbers yet on the battery life but it’s assumed it will come in around 10 hours of use. Ten hours? That’s all? My Kindle can last a month and now you’re telling me that this one will not even last half a day? Blasphemy. But you can still use it for reading, so that’s what’s important.

But will it be comfortable to read with like my Kindle is? The e-ink display reads like paper to me. My eyes don’t get sore if I stare at it too long like I tend to do with my back-lit laptop screen. I’ve read on my laptop using the Kindle desktop software and it’s hardly as pleasing as reading on an actual Kindle. How can you call this device a Kindle which is meant for reading when all the perks of a Kindle seem to be stripped from it?

I have no problem with Amazon producing a tablet because I have a lot of faith in them to take their time and produce a quality piece of hardware worth buying. I would buy an Amazon tablet. But I just ask that they don’t call it a Kindle because it ruins my image of what a Kindle should be.

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