Monday, December 31st, 2012
Our anniversary and my birthday are less than a week apart, with Christmas in between. Sometimes that means one larger gift that covers all the occasions. I guess I wasn’t very subtle about what was on my wish list this year for Christiversaday–a replacement for the Kindle I couldn’t find when I returned home from a trip a while back.
I’d played around a few minutes with a friend’s Kindle Fire and was impressed by the colors and apps. So that’s what I was crossing my fingers for. And that’s what my husband blessed me with on our anniversary. We enjoyed getting acquainted with it together.
Though the apps and games would be fun, my main use of a Kindle is for reading. So my heart sank when I realized that reading on the Kindle Fire is missing the same 2 important features that are lacking on the Kindle app for various devices (iphone, android, iPad, PC, Mac, Blackberry,Windows Phone 7) –features that were a normal part of my earlier Kindle experience:
- Unbroken continuation of a highlight from one page to the next.
- The ability to organize my books into Collections.
Highlighting. On my earlier Kindle, to continue a highlight to the next page, I just kept the cursor moving to the bottom corner of the screen and the page automatically turned and the highlight continued. By contrast, when I’m highlighting in the Kindle app on my phone or on an iPad, I can’t drag the highlight beyond the bottom of the screen. That means if the passage continues on the next page, I have to start a new highlight on the next page. So when I go later to my notes and highlights, I find it saved as if it were two highlights rather than as one passage. That’s the way the Kindle Fire does it too.
Collections. Some people keep only a few books at a time on their Kindles and store the rest in “the cloud” until they want them (I know that’s an accepted term and shouldn’t need quotation marks, but it sounds like a nebulous–pun intended–metaphor to me.). But I keep pretty much everything in my device. So I want a way to organize my books and not have to page through several hundred hoping to find the one I want. The Collection feature on my earlier Kindle let me create categories that are most useful to me–fiction, Christian living, China, biography, etc. That feature is not available in Kindle apps or in the Kindle Fire.
I had made the big mistake of assuming that every new Kindle product was an upgrade–keeping the great features and making them better. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. It was too subtle for me that the Getting Acquainted with Kindle page was showing a Kindle Fire Family of devices and a Kindle E-reader Family. I thought Kindle meant Kindle.
I returned the Kindle Fire and ordered instead a Kindle Paperwhite E-reader. Now that has what I wanted and more.
What I wanted:
- Highlighting that continues to next page.
- Noticeably smaller size and lighter weight than the Kindle Fire and earlier Kindle e-readers.
- Touch screen.
- On-screen keyboard that pops up as needed.
- Higher resolution (62% more pixels)
- Adjustable built-in light that is not a backlight (page down here for a more technical description).
When it comes to reading, the Kindle Fire is in competition with iPad, not with Kindle e-readers. If you want color and don’t care as much about the reading features, a Kindle Fire is probably what you want.
But if you’re like me and want the possibility of 1000 books in one 7.5-ounce device you can drop in your pocket, purse, or carry-on, go for a Kindle e-reader (Kindle E-reader Family on this page). My choice is the Kindle Paperwhite.
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