Amazon Kindle 3 eBook Reader: A Review

by Suzannah Windsor Freeman

Click here to download a transcript of the Amazon Kindle 3 Review video.

A couple of weeks ago, I received my new Amazon Kindle 3 (6″ Wi-Fi) eBook reader in the mail, and I’m loving it.

Here’s a brief run-down of why I think the Kindle 3 is a great tool for readers and writers:

Kindle 3 Benefits & Features

Amazon lists some of the new Kindle 3′s features as:Amazon Kindle 3

  • High contrast e-ink screen
  • No glare
  • Improved fonts
  • Sleeker design
  • Lighter
  • Longer battery life, up to one month
  • Storage of up to 3500 books
  • Built-in wi-fi
  • Faster page turns
  • Enhanced PDF reader
  • Experimental web browser
  • Text-to-speech function

And here’s a list of  10 more features in the Kindle 3 you didn’t know about.

I recorded some of my first impressions during the first few days of using my Kindle:

  • When I first opened the package and saw a picture on the screen, I couldn’t believe how realistic the e-ink looked. It looks as if the ink is actually printed on the screen.
  • There’s no back-light, which makes the reading experience easier on the eyes.
  • I didn’t have any trouble figuring out how to navigate the Kindle or upload books.
  • The built-in dictionary is great for learning new words while you read.
  • The books download in just a few seconds.
  • I like being able to take notes directly in the books.
  • I haven’t had to recharge the battery at all yet.

I represent the typical user in that I’m not really interested in a lot of bells and whistles. I just want a simple, streamlined reading experience. The Kindle 3 works for me in that respect, but there are a lot of cool extras I might take advantage of some day.

Where to Get Free Kindle eBooks

InkMesh has a comprehensive list of new free eBooks as they become available at Amazon and other sites. I’ve placed a bookmark tab on my browser so I can check each day for new free eBooks.

If you have a blog and like to review books, you can also sign up for NetGalley to get review copies directly from publishers and read them on your Kindle. I’ve signed up and have already reviewed one book in my November Resource Wrap-Up newsletter.

Here are just a handful of the eBooks you could be reading for free on your Kindle right now:

Ideal Buyer

Woman reading KindleAvid readers and writers, frequent travellers, students, and the environmentally-conscious will love the Kindle 3.

Or, like me, if you live in a place where new books aren’t always available or are cost-prohibitive, this might be a good alternative.

Why not make it a Christmas gift this year for a friend or family member?

The Kindle would make a perfect gift for student of English literature because almost all the classics are available free either on Amazon or elsewhere. Why not buy the Kindle, get it set up, and upload some classics for the student in your family?

Drawbacks

There are a few small drawbacks I’ve noted in my use:

  • If you’re trying to study a book—say so you can write an essay on it—it does become sort of annoying to have to click through the pages and not be able to jump around quickly like you can with a print book. On the other hand, you can search Kindle books for key terms, so that can make finding passages simpler than with print books.
  • You have to use the symbol key to get to the numbers; it would be better to have numbers on the keyboard
  • PDFs are not as easy to view as specifically formatted kindle books, in terms of scale
  • Depending on your country, you may have limited access to some books

Buy Your Kindle 3 Now

You can buy the Kindle 3 right here .

There are also a number of accessories available, such as power adapters, covers, and reading lights. I purchased the hard-backed leather cover to protect my Kindle.

I’m so glad I decided to join the future of reading, writing, and publishing with the Kindle 3. If you’re not convinced that eBooks are here to stay, check out this article on how reading and book buying has changed with the Kindle.

Note: product links above are affiliate links. If you do make a purchase after clicking one of the product links above, I will receive a small percentage of the sale. Thank you for your continued support!

Video was recorded with the Kodak Zi8 Pocket Video Camera (aff. link).

{ 6 comments }

Ximena de la Serna November 30, 2010 at 7:55 pm

Awww.. so lucky you’ve got one! I’ve been plotting on stealing one of my fellow communter’s as he sits next to me every morning flipping those virtual pages back and forward… bah… as if I cared! :D

Suzannah November 30, 2010 at 8:40 pm

For the longest time I really thought I wouldn’t even want a Kindle, because I love the look and feel or print books so much. But, I don’t see it as the end of my reading print books, just an alternative I’ll use in addition to them. It was really an early Christmas present ;)

Tiffanyk December 1, 2010 at 7:47 am

okay….I am a techno nerd in the worst way BUT I can see avantages with this……what kind of price are you looking at for one? Maybe I can add it to my “Christmas Wish List”???!!!

Suzannah December 1, 2010 at 8:39 am

Hey Tiffany,
You don’t need much in the way of techno smarts to use the Kindle, so don’t worry! The Wi-Fi only model I purchased was $139 USD, plus shipping. I think the hardback case was around $30. If you don’t have wireless internet in your home, there’s another pricier model, but you’d have to research associated fees and coverage areas. Christmas wish list is a great idea ;)

jennifer blanchard December 2, 2010 at 7:51 pm

I just got a Kindle 3 for my birthday in September (and purchased the exact same case you have, only in blue). I have to say, I absolutely love it and can’t believe I ever lived without it. When I was a kid, I always had a book on me. In fact, I had books stashed everywhere–in my mom’s car, in my purse, in different places around my house. When I would travel though (taking family car trips and such), I always had a difficult time choosing which books to pack. And they were always so big and bulky it felt like I was carrying a bag full of bricks. Now, I just toss my Kindle into my purse and I’m good to go. I love it. And although I will continue to purchase paper-printed books (what writer doesn’t love holding a book in their hands?), I will always have my Kindle ready and waiting for when I’m traveling, commuting on the bus and when I’m running errands where I might need to stand in line for a long period of time. And since it’s so small and light, I can literally just keep it in my purse at all times. That way I always have it on me.

RODERICK October 23, 2011 at 10:35 pm

@TweetSmarter you any help with tweetdeck, keeps saying API can’t authenticate me but fine on twitter hmmmf

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