I got a new Kindle 2 for Christmas from my brother — thanks, bro! More than just a great toy, it allows you to surf the web, for free, forever (or at least until Jeff Bezos tires of footing the bill for us).
The Kindle 2 is a great product. The screen is big and easy to read. The controls are intuitive for the most part (that 5-way controller takes some getting used to). My first purchasing experience (Eating the Big Fish: How Challenger Brands Can Compete Against Brand Leaders) was entirely pleasant. Good, but unremarkable. I was impressed but not overwhelmingly so.
Then I came across a feature under the “Experimental” menu called “Basic Web”. A web browser. Huh. Web requests and book purchases are made over Amazon’s so-called Whispernet, which uses cell technology.
I immediately fired up bloglines to see if it worked and whaddya know it did, bypassing the pay service that Amazon offered for getting to the very same blogs. All at no additional cost.
I took my Kindle to the hospital the other day (my Dad is recovering from a partial pneumothorax). While eating dinner in the cafeteria, I read my favorite blogs right there. I can’t quite explain why it was so much nicer than reading the same articles on a laptop. Perhaps it was the size of the device (about the same as a paperback) or maybe the fact that all of the extra garbage (blinking banner ads and the like) was stripped away, but it was so nice. More like reading, well, a book.
I love my Kindle.