|Detailed Kindle 3 Review|
Kindle 3 Review – The Weaknesses
Kindle 3 isn’t perfect and has some obvious weaknesses -
- There is no support for library books (since Kindle 3 doesn’t support ePub). That leaves Kindle 3 as the only eReader out of the Big 3 (Kindle, Nook, Sony Reader) that doesn’t support Library Books.
- Kindle 3 sees occasional crashes/freezing for some people. The factors that lead to the Kindle freezing or crashing seem to be complex websites and some PDFs. A few users have also seen crashes outside of the browser and PDF reader.
- Kindle 3 is not good for anything other than reading. The Kindle 3 is tailored for people who want a device dedicated to reading and that’s great if you love to read. However, its focus on reading rules Kindle 3 out if you want a device that can do 10 different things.
- Kindle 3′s eInk Pearl screen doesn’t support color. This makes it non-optimal for textbooks with lots of color diagrams, illustrated books, and comics.
- There is no touch screen – The Sony Reader 600′s touch screen allows easier usability i.e. tap any word on the screen, take down notes with a stylus, etc. Kindle 3 won’t have this since it doesn’t have a touch screen.
- Kindle does not support DRMed books and does not support ePub – Basically, the only DRMed books you can read are those from the Kindle Store. Most of the other large ebook stores use DRM and thus are ruled out. At the moment it’s not a big deal since the Kindle Store has the best range and the best prices.
- The Kindle Lighted cover is a must have since it makes night-time reading very convenient - However, it’s very expensive at $59. It should have been $30 to $40. Also, Kindle 3 won’t fit Kindle 2 covers since the grooves for hinges on Kindle 3 are further apart than on Kindle 2.
- There is no feature like Nook’s LendMe feature to let users lend books to each other.
- The Kindle 3 battery is not user replaceable.
- There is no SD card slot. Though the Kindle 3 has double the memory (at 4GB) it’s still possible that some people want the flexibility of more storage.
- There is no option to turn off 3G and stick with just WiFi.
- There are no language translation dictionaries.
- PDF Support is still missing a few features.
- Page Turn buttons are improved but are a bit thin. The Back button and Menu button are placed too close to the 5-way and it’s easy to mistakenly press them (especially Back).
- The keyboard is missing the row for number keys which makes taking notes and using numbers difficult.
- There’s no longer a shiny aluminium back.
- The number of options in the Font menu is a little overwhelming. The default font settings aren’t as good as on the Kindle 2 though that may be a personal preference. Also, there are now just 3 line spacing options instead of the Kindle 2′s 10 and the wide and small line spacing options don’t correspond to the earlier maximum and minimum settings (the line spacing is lesser now).
- Kindle 3 feels fragile. The lower weight and more compact size are great and they also make you wonder about stability and durability.
That’s a pretty long list because we want to make sure we cover all the aspects. One strange thing is the disappearance of the note on the Kindle 3 product page which mentioned CJK font support and Cyrillic font support (thanks to the commenter who mentioned this). This would be a strength if it were present and a weakness if it weren’t.
The Kindle 3 weaknesses that Amazon really ought to fix are - freezing, library books, touch (if it can be added without affecting readability), a cheaper lighted cover, an SD card slot, Nook’s LendMe feature, option to turn off 3G, more space between 5-way and other buttons, number keys, and an unbreakable screen.
Adding support for Library Books would probably have the most impact. An unbreakable screen would probably have the 2nd most impact as then parents could let their kids use Kindles freely.