Friday, September 18, 2009

The Kindle part 6 - The competition

The Kindle is an electronic book reader produced by Amazon.

There was a time when I could surreptitiously read my Kindle at work on a slow day.  Two things have happened to make those days a fanciful memory:

    1.  The term 'slow day' is no longer contained within my vocabulary
    2.  Everybody knows what is contained within the faux leather rectangle found always at my side.

My interest in the device intrigued one of the executives in my office.  We struck up a conversation on the merits of an electronic book reader as a substitute for carrying piles of papers in a briefcase while travelling for business.  Long story short, we decided to compare the Amazon Kindle and the Sony Reader for this purpose.  We settled on the Sony for him primarily because of its native ability to handle pdfs.

When the device arrived, I took it for a spin so I could train my exec on the ins and outs.

As much as I would love to write an original, mind-blowing breakdown of the pros and cons between the Kindle and the Sony Reader - it has already been done.  The article linked below lays out the major points:

http://dearauthor.com/wordpress/2009/03/08/how-to-decide-between-the-sony-and-the-kindle-eink-readers/

The article compares two models of Sony with one Kindle (the 2.0) according to the following categories:
  • Screen clarity
  • Screen refresh
  • Size
  • Covers
  • Memory
  • Dictionary
  • Controls
  • Folder Management System
  • Price
  • Content
  • Non Proprietary Content
  • Page display
  • Customer Service
  • Ability to take notes/Highlight/Annotate
  • Library compatibility
  • and Lighting
The important take-away is to prioritize your needs to the strongest functions for each device.  For us, the ability to arrange collections on his desktop and quickly port them to the device was critical.  It was also essential that the selected device have native pdf capability with an absolute minimum of fuss.

The DearAuthor article was written in March 2009.  I have the following brief update from the Kindle side:  The Kindle DX is available for people who primarily read magazines and newspapers.  It is bigger in the screen but I believe it stands as another pointer to the 'one device / one function' issue I mentioned at the end of part five.  I thought that the Kindle was now able to borrow books at some public libraries, but that may have been a dream because now I can find no evidence of the ability.

Personally: I prefer the Kindle.  It is lighter and I like the screen more than the Sony.  I do not like the computer dependency the Sony seems to have out of the box (here is some software for you to install!).  Honestly,whispernet has been so good to me, so dependable, that the Kindle has generated a significant quantity of product loyalty within me.

In closing, I am going to present the excellent prioritization summary from the DearAuthor post I linked above.

From: http://dearauthor.com/wordpress/2009/03/08/how-to-decide-between-the-sony-and-the-kindle-eink-readers/

There are five features of the Kindle that are superior to the 700
  1. Screen quality  (the refresh speed difference is negligible in my opinion)
  2. Note taking ability (except when it comes to taking notes)
  3. Dictionary function
  4. Buy on Demand
  5. Interoperability with the iPhone
There are four features of the Kindle that are superior to the Sony 505
  1. Speed of refresh (the Sony 505 has a superior screen quality)
  2. Note taking ability
  3. Dictionary function
  4. Buy on demand
  5. Interoperability with the iPhone
There are five features on the Sony 700 that are superior to the Kindle
  1. Built in light
  2. Touchscreen
  3. Collections/folder management system
  4. More than one format ability
  5. Ability to edit the meta data (the Calibre program works with the Kindle so if you use Calibre, this “feature” is negligible).
There are four features on the Sony 505 that are superior to the Kindle
  1. Screen quality
  2. Collections/folder management system
  3. More than one format ability
  4. Ability to edit the meta data

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About Me

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Geek - Gamer - Librarian - Writer. Only awesome at one of those things at a time, unfortunately.

About Fading Interest

After writing op-eds and travelogues for several years, after finishing a few books, and after failing to get the ball rolling with project after project I stumbled into an idea that might just hold my interest long enough to enjoy some level of satisfaction with my writing.