Sometimes you just want to slum it: choosing a Kindle
There are five models of Kindle: The Kindle, Kindle Touch, Kindle Keyboard, Kindle DX, and Kindle Fire.
Only 2 of them matter: the Touch and the Fire.
That's odd, because I just ordered the vanilla Kindle.
Shawn seems to think the only reason they even have the plain Kindle is to make the Kindle touch look like a good deal, a la the Wine Theory.
Marco also doesn't like the cheap one:
The cheapest one, $79 with ads or $109 civilized, retains the 5-way controller from the Kindle 3 (which old video-game nerds like me probably know as a “D-pad”) and looks a lot like older Sony Readers. Navigation is going to be just as clunky as previous Kindles, so I don’t think this is worth getting for most people.
I don't need a decent tablet. I already have a premium one, the iPad. I'm looking for a throw away device. I'm sick of taking my slightly too heavy, too hot, glass iPad to the pool. It's too expensive to take into the pool and risk getting it wet and I'm always afraid I'll accidentally drop it on the concrete patio where it will likely not survive a fall the same as it would on my bedroom carpet. I value it too much to risk it. Also, the glossy screen does not do well with the bright sunlight.
The Kindle will let me have a cheap device that won't heat up in the blistering summer sun, is light enough to hold and read one handed, won't be affected by glare from the sun, and I won't mind reading while standing in the pool because for 80 bucks it's relatively replaceable.1
Why buy a Kindle that has a shorter battery life, less storage, and no touch screen, when you can upgrade to something with double the battery, double the storage, and a multi-touch screen for just $20 bucks?
Fair question. I considered the touch version but I've played with the touch Nook and it's just not that impressive. Touch interface on the iPad is so responsive that it really is a magical feeling as if you're actually manipulating the content itself. That responsiveness hasn't been there with other tablets like the TouchPad and I think has a lot to do with their failures. The touch interface is no better (presumably) than the Nook version and therefore gets in the way more than is a neato tech feature.
I read really long books with very small font. I rarely used the navigation controls on my original Kindle so using touch to turn pages is a turn off. You'll have to even use your other hand to turn the page rather than just clicking a button. And as far as the cheap-o advertising that Marco is concerned about, I never used the screensaver and was hardly ever at the home screen.
So ultimately, I thought the plain Kindle was better than the touch because it's lighter and smaller. That's key for what I want: a light, cheap, disposable, pool-side, electronic book reader.
Update: I was right.
Compared to my wife spending $200 on a haircut or $50 to get her nails done, I'd say it's a bargain! (I just learned what this was costing me tonight. I'm still in shock.) ↩