When amazon announced the international availability of it’s much acclaimed ebook reader platform, the amazon kindle, I immediately ordered one.
A couple of weeks later I’m deeply satisfied with the entire experience, from purchasing, via delivery, through setup and everyday use. The buying process, as expected when purchasing from the world’s largest online retailer, worked seamlessly. A couple of days later the kindle shipped.
First surprise: The kindle came fully pre-configured. Absolutely zero setup required. I didn’t even have to link it to my amazon account as all has been done for me back in the States. I literally had to unpack and switch it on and could immediately start reading. So even though amazon ships thousands of devices each day, they take the extra investment of setting up their customers account prior to sending the devices out. This is simply fantastic!
Second surprise: The kindle comes with built-in, international wireless connectivity. It does not leverage local WLANs, instead amazon has contracted with mobile carriers world-wide to allow the kindle to sync almost everywhere. No extra contract required. No SIM-card required. It just works.
Whether you’re in an area with 3G mobile network coverage or just EDGE, the kindle syncs seamlessly. When I went from Germany to The Netherlands for eComm Europe, I was almost expecting the syncing to stop working. But it didn’t. I had to do nothing, the kindle just received my daily newspaper while I stayed there as it does every night back in Germany.
I love to get the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung”, the “Handelsblatt” and “Wirtschaftswoche”, popular German daily newspapers and magazines, even before they are available in print.
But the kindle really plays out its strength for me when it comes to instantaneously getting books that I urgently need.
For example I recently did a series of blog posts for what’s now become my home blog on Google Wave. I’m also working on integrating real-time message exchange into my new startup’s platform. Therefore I needed to deep dive into the XMPP protocol. I could have searched the web for scattered parts of the complete picture each and everywhere. I would have done so in the past.
With the kindle it took three mouse clicks and O’Reilly’s XMPP: The Definitive Guide was ready to be read.
It’s difficult to describe but it’s just such an ultra-pleasent overall experience. Go to the amazon kindle store. Enter your search terms. Click the “Buy now with 1-Click” button and seconds later see the little sync wheel spin on your kindle.
I have, since then, purchased some 30 books. Fiction, non-fiction, business literature and stuff I always wanted to read but never wanted to wait some 10 days for international delivery.
Personally, I prefer the reading experience on my kindle over reading a traditional book.
It’s outstanding ink display doesn’t tire your eyes, you can put it on a flat surface and the pages never shut. It also always has the exact same weight even if you’re reading a 1000+ page book!
For technical publications full text search and bookmarks are just invaluable features.
Last but not least I love to have all my books with me while I’m traveling without having to carry an additional bag.
If you’re into English books, you seriously might want to consider giving amazon kindle a try.