Thursday, August 26, 2010

Kindle 3 Arrives - First Impressions from New Owners, and a clear video

By Paul Biba, Kindle 2
By Paul Biba, Kindle 3

Above are two images from a side-by-side photo of the two 6" Kindle screens, which Paul Biba of posted in his report today.  What you see here are smaller versions of what he did, just to give an idea of the difference between the screens (though my Kindle 2 fonts have a darker effect than his).  Go to his Teleread report to see the full sized ones as well as the original picture he took showing them side by side right after receiving the new Kindle 3 today.

THEN, see his images of the same with a microscope at 10x and 60x. Very telling.

I'm not getting mine until tomorrow, but here are initial reports from one thread at the Amazon forums prefaced by the first one I saw earlier today.  These are all by people who also have or did have other Kindles.
' Timothy K. Bryant says:
Well I got mine about an hour ago.  Have to say I'm pretty impressed!  First off, the e-ink pearl screen is just gorgeous!  The contrast is sooo much better.  Online comparison pics don't do it justice.  You have to see it for yourself!  Secondly the new page buttons are wonderful, much quieter clicking.  Plus the new size is a joy to hold with its reduced footprint & lighter weight.  Wi-fi worked without a hitch & I downloaded my library in just a few minutes.  It's much zippier than I expected it to be not just downloading but cursor movements & simple tasks are much faster now.  The refresh rate while never an issue for me, is near instantaneous now.  I like the feel of the new plastic as well.  Kind of hard to describe, it feels smooth yet a slight hint of rubber. (that may not come out right, clean minds people)  It gives it a lil traction in your hand without being sticky.  Did I mention this gorgeous screen? Ok enough, back to my reading!

 Oh yeah, it's the wi-fi only graphite model...

[Here's Timothy Bryant's video that shows it from unboxing to opening a book and doing several page turns, which gives a good idea of response time.

 Also, it's shot in HD and is very clear.]

[And from one message thread]:

E. Yasi says:
...I'm still just getting to know it, but first impressions in no particular order:

- Wow, it is very noticeably smaller than the K2. Noticeably.  I'm coming from a DX, so it's even more exaggerated for me.

- I really like the hand-feel of it.  The smooth yet ever-so-slightly grippy back is a joy to hold...The K3 is even more delightful to hold than prior kindles.

- Along with being smaller, it's noticeably lighter too.  Very easy to hold.  Between that and the graphite coloring the K3 "disappears" even faster than prior Kindles, which is saying something.

- Minor point I really appreciate: the larger charging light on the bottom of the kindle. It's part of the on-off slider button (clever), and for partially color-blind folks like myself it is much easier to differentiate the yellow from the green.  Took about 1 1/2 hours to charge to full.

- New page turn buttons are much narrower, and took a few minutes to get used to, but yes they are very quiet, and once I transitioned very easy to use.

- The new screen has a noticeably lighter background than the older ones,and that combined with the new sharper fonts makes text figuratively leap off the page it's so crisp.

- The new 4-way button is a big hit with me, and the overall button feel is much nicer.

I still am just getting started, but wanted to get the word out there that the K3 lives up to its billing: it's a fantastic addition to the Kindle family, and I'm thrilled to have one. For everyone waiting: it's worth the wait!


ESS Mom says:
...Some of the VERY BEST features that I love: (1) the much brighter light indicating battery fully charged or charging; (2) the much better contrast - so much easier to read; and (3) the 4-way button, which I didn't expect to like, is great! And of course the smaller size, and lighter weight.

Susan Lynn Umpleby says:
My impressions so far:

1. The screen is far brighter than the K2 or K1, and those who have complained about contrast in the past will be pleased.

2. A LOT smaller than the K2 and wonderfully thin.

3. ...I found myself worried about dropping my K3 while reading [with one hand].  If you read it on a small stand, as I do when I eat, there is no problem.  I think a cover is even more essential for the K3 than it was for the K2 or K1.

4. The maneuvering button is great! I liked the little joystick, but this is even better. :-)

5. As I feared, it IS a PITA that the numbers have been taken off the keyboard and put in symbols.  Instead of just being able to press a key, now you have to open symbols, then move the cursor to the first number you want, move the cursor to the next number you want, move your cursor to the next.....

6. The text is crisp and clear.

NobodyHere says:
The background is significantly lighter on mine.  I have a K2US though so it's not the latest of the K2 screens.  I can see detail on the bird screensaver that was never visible on my K2.

I'm thrilled with the size, though my first impression is the keyboard is smaller than I imagined.  I was not so sure about the new direction/arrow button thing, but so far I like it.

Like others have said you can hold alt and type in numbers with the top row, so it's not too bad not having the # keys.

I hadn't really given much thought to the weight, I don't know off hand what the K2 weighs, but the K3 feels significantly lighter.

Joshua J. Bunting says:
Spent an evening with my K3 and I'm really liking it. One thing I've noticed is that when reading a book, the title of the book and the battery symbol no longer appear.  They show up when you hit "Menu" but while you are reading the entire screen is devoted to text.  With my K2, the book title and battery symbol were at the top of the screen all the time.  Minor difference and personally I like the K3's setup better. '

THE NUMBER KEYS: The two ways to enter numbers, described above:
From the home page, a press of the Sym key doesn't bring up the Symbols box.  So, at the home page, you need to first press either the Enter/Return key or the Del key to get that box to come up.

What's good is that in the Kindle 3, the Symbols box stays open now until you've selected all your numbers or symbols.

You can use the alternate method --  the Alt-key + (hidden) numbers combo.  The top keyboard row contains unlabeled numbers '1' through '9' and the '0' comes after the '9' (which makes it easier to know where the number you want would be, since the first key is '1'...

  With this method you either press the Alt-key along with each (invisible) number or you can press that Alt-key first and follow it quickly with the number key (this is the way I prefer as it takes only one hand).
  And, you CAN hold down the Alt key while typing a sequence of several numbers .

This Alt-key combo is used on the DX models also, though the numbers on that one are visible since the keys are larger for that 9.7" screen model.
 When at the Menu/Settings screen, the Alt-key combo is the only way to enter numbers.

Kindle 3   (UK: Kindle 3),   DX Graphite

Check often: Temporarily-free late-listed non-classics or recently published ones
  Guide to finding Free Kindle books and Sources.  Top 100 free bestsellers.
    Also, UK customers should see the UK store's Top 100 free bestsellers. Below are ways to Share this post if you'd like others to see it.
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  1. Great post! Thanks for the roundup and your additions.

  2. TomE,
    Thanks for your nice feedback :-)

  3. I was hoping to play with the Audible integration, but the Audible category (as described in the manual) is not yet in the Kindle Store. I asked Amazon CS about it, they didn't know when we might expect to see it. Also they couldn't tell me if it was going to be possible to access my Audible library somehow.

    I tried downloading directly from, but got the dreaded 'cannot download this type of file'. It probably would not have landed in the right folder ('audible') anyway.

    Wow, another K3 Krash (3rd one today). Hope it is just me (I have a talent for tripping over bugs...)

    Love the new typefaces.

    I just noticed another new feature: when you open a book, a small downward-pointing triangle appears above the progress indicator, indicating the location where you began the reading session. As you page ahead, then, you get to see what progress you've made in that reading session. Cool.

  4. Tom,
    ShirleyKat found that read-start indicator feature VERY nice. I'd missed it too.

    The files supposedly can be sent via your network direct to your Kindle.

    But they are huge so I wouldn't do more than one at a time. Even mp3s can be quite lage.

    As for bug-tripping, me too!

    Bet you like Sans Serif? It's so bold! Good to switch to in dim light.

  5. Andrys,
    Did you notice that searching has changed? On the K3, to search for a word without having to type it in, it needs to be highlighted, and then the space bar needs to be pressed. (So far, it is the same as the K2). What is different is one must now hit the down arrow, and then the right arrow to click on "find".

    It's not a big difference, but does take some getting used to.

  6. Betty,
    I usually just hit the return key (for whatever is shown on the right if it's what I want).

    That alone still works for highlighted searches (and typed ones). Also, the Find used alone via 5-way button still works too.

    It doesn't give feedback WHILE it's searching, so it may seem not to work and maybe you pressed a 2nd button...

  7. You can get a number label shortcut sticker to apply over the top your of you kindle 3 so you can easily identify which keys correspond to which numbers when using the Alt-+ shortcuts. You can see the sticker at:


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