My new Kindle 3 arrived last night and I must say it’s pretty sweet.
First thing to note about the new Kindle is the size, it’s notably smaller than the previous model. The screen itself remains the same size but the overall device size is smaller and the device is lighter. Of course to accomplish this shrinkage they removed the dedicated number keys on the keyboard and put them into the symbol menu which I’m not too wild about. The backside is no longer metal but a rubberized plastic making it easier to grip but at the cost of feeling slightly chintzier.
The new E Ink Pearl screen is fantastic. The improved contrast is noticeable the second you see the screen. On previous generation Kindles the background was kind of a very light gray. The new Pearl screen’s background is almost white making the text a little easier to read. Additionally the refresh rate of the screen is faster than the Kindle 2 by a notable amount.
Having both Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity is a plus for those outside of 3G coverage. I hooked mine up to my Wi-Fi access point to test it and it works perfectly fine. With that said I’ll probably just continue using the 3G network because it’s always there and has always worked well for me. Still it’s a nice feature and if you don’t spend a lot of time in areas with 3G Amazon does offer a Wi-Fi only version.
I also like the new color. I’ve never been a big fan of white devices. It’s not that I hate white devices I just don’t like how they look as much. When I purchase a device I want it to be blacker than the blackest black times infinity. Well the new Kindle is graphite which is close enough to black for me to give it the head nod.
Ultimately I only have on real complaint, collections don’t sync. One of the best features of the last Kindle firmware update was the ability to put books into collections. This greatly cleans up the book selection screen which without collections ends up being something like seven or eight pages long for me. With collections I have two pages worth of stuff to dig through. Sadly when I redownloaded my books they did not go into the collections I placed them in on my Kindle 2 meaning I had to manually re-add them all to their proper collections. Really that’s a slight annoyance but it’s something I’d like to see changed in the future.
Overall I think it’s a great device and a good upgrade. Is it work upgrading to if you already have a Kindle 2? Probably not. All the new features are evolutionary instead of revolutionary meaning you probably aren’t going to notice a heck of a lot of difference. If you’re happy with your Kindle 2 you can comfortably remain on it as there are no new features that will blow you away. The improved screen is very nice through and with the upgrade if you plan on selling your current Kindle (I don’t think the improved screen itself is worth $189.00).
So why did I upgrade? Because I’m a device whore that’s why. I saw something new and shiny which meant I had to have it.