I try not to step on anyone’s toes in the gadget blogosphere, but I cannot sit idle after reading Scoble’s “Dear Jeff Bezos” post and the big boss man’s video review. I agree with some of Scoble’s points, but there are a few that just don’t make any sense or have any place in e-books. Maybe I’m wrong. There’s a possibility that everything he’s touched on is accurate, but allow me to play devil’s advocate. I’ll touch on Arrington’s beef with the Kindle later on.
Mr. Scoble focuses on the following six areas wherein I’ll add my thoughts for you to agree or flame.
1. No ability to buy paper goods from Amazon through Kindle.
Seriously? That sort of defeats the purpose of an e-book doesn’t it and who wants paper goods if you’re shelling out $400 for an e-book? If you want to purchase paper goods then use the Web browser or go to a book store.
2. Usability sucks. They didn’t think about how people would hold this device.
Hmm. It depends on whether or not you’re using the case. I find the case to be just fine if you’re not going to be typing too much and just reading your e-books. The Kindle sans case is fine the way it is, though, I wish the buttons weren’t so damn big, but I’m twitchy and push buttons at random.
This differs from user to user so we’ll forget about this one.
3. UI sucks. Menus? Did they hire some out-of-work Microsoft employees?
The UI does not suck, Robert. It’s actually quite easy to use and navigate. It takes about 30 seconds to figure out what does what and how to get where you want to go. If you want to get home then hit the home button. Want the Web browser or Kindle store? Hit the menu. That’s so hard, I know.
4. No ability to send electronic goods to anyone else. I know Mike Arrington has one. I wanted to send him a gift through this of Alan Greenspan’s new book. I couldn’t. That’s lame.
What if I don’t want to gift a book? Why would any friends in my made up Kindle social network even want me to send them a book or vice versa? Do I care what they’re reading? No. What if they don’t have enough room on their Kindle or on any SD cards? What then, huh? Well?
5. No social network. Why don’t I have a list of all my friends who also have Kindles and let them see what I’m reading?
Not everything needs to have a social network. It’s an e-book. Leave it at that. Seriously.
6. No touch screen. The iPhone has taught everyone that I’ve shown this to that screens are meant to be touched. Yet we’re stuck with a silly navigation system because the screen isn’t touchable.
Have you thought about the technology in the Kindle? It’s made of electrophoretic displays, which means there are tiny spheres that are black on one side and white on the other. Depending on the charge put to the spheres they show up black or white. You can’t have touch capabilities on e-ink. That’s what I want, too, but it ain’t gonna happen with this tech.
Would I buy it? Yes, but I’m a geek. I can’t really recommend this to other people yet. Sorry.
It’s obvious that they never had this device in their hands when they were designing it.
Whoever designed this should be fired and the team should start over.
Why wouldn’t you recommend it? It’s the best e-book on the market. Where else can you get FREE EVDO? What other readers have a dictionary, Wikipedia and the Interwebs at your finger tips whilst never leaving the page you’re on? Didn’t think so.
The embed code doesn’t seem to want to work so check out the video here.
E-ink is not meant to be visible in low light. Would you read a paper book in low light? At least you’ve seen the new Sony Reader, which I’m reviewing at the moment. The refresh rate for page turns is WAY faster on the Kindle, by the way. It does not take 45 seconds for the browser to come up. It took me about 15 seconds. What were you guys drinking? Because I could use that right now.
Dear Jeff Bezos (one-week Kindle review) [Scobleizer]