Kindle 3 user review compilation

Now that the Kindle 3 is reaching readers it’s worth taking a quick look at the early Kindle 3 user reviews and reactions.

Kindle 3 user reviews – the Good

Timothy K. Bryant Kindle 3 Review

Timothy says -

Have to say I’m pretty impressed! First off, the e-ink pearl screen is just gorgeous! The contrast is sooo much better. Online comparison pics don’t do it justice.

Have to agree – There have been some people who feel the Kindle 3 videos and Kindle 3 photos don’t show any difference between Kindle 2 and Kindle 3 and, while that’s a bit of a stretch, it’d be quite accurate to say that photos don’t really capture the difference well. The contrast really is 40% to 50% better.

He adds -

Secondly the new page buttons are wonderful, much quieter clicking. Plus the new size is a joy to hold with its reduced footprint & lighter weight. Wi-fi worked without a hitch & I downloaded my library in just a few minutes.

It’s much zippier than I expected it to be not just downloading but cursor movements & simple tasks are much faster now.

The speed is definitely much better across the board. Tim thinks the refresh rate is ‘near instantaneous’ and perhaps that’s being too generous – It is, however, faster than any other eReader.

Then we get -

I like the feel of the new plastic as well. Kind of hard to describe, it feels smooth yet a slight hint of rubber. (that may not come out right, clean minds people) It gives it a lil traction in your hand without being sticky.

Well, in the midst of giggling like a schoolgirl, have to agree - The surface has a little bit of friction and combined with the texturized back is easier to grip. 

E. Yasi Kindle 3 Review

Apparently, this ‘love touching the Kindle 3′ thing is quite popular -

I really like the hand-feel of it. The smooth yet ever-so-slightly grippy back is a joy to hold.

It was touch and go whether I’d get a lighted cover or a slipcase, and since I loved holding a ‘naked Kindle’ before, I went with the slipcase.

The K3 is even more delightful to hold than prior kindles

Hand-feel of it, naked kindle, delightful to hold, smooth and yet a slight hint of rubber, traction in your hand - You’d think it was an eToucher and not an eReader (still smiling).

This review is worth reading in its entirety as it’s quite comprehensive. Also, on the second page, there’s another good review from Susan Lynn Umpleby.

Erick R. Williams Kindle 3 Review

Very good, short review -

The screen is nothing short of amazing. It is as good as paper and better than some paper books that have text that is a bit light.

The page turns are very fast. I do not feel like I am waiting for the page to turn. It happens fast enough that I don’t lose my sense of “moving” through a book or magazine.

The body is solid yet so light. It feels like holding a small book.

The keypad is pretty easy to use though the keys are a bit on the small side. It feels odd to have to “shift” to get to numbers.

It does feel really odd to use the shift key to get numbers. It’s also super painful when entering passwords in the browser or adding notes.

Ripley’s Kindle 3 Review

Here we go -

I love the smaller, lighter form factor with the soft touch back.

The power/rocker switch has softer action than previously and has a fun little light.

The screen is richer and sharper than previous versions.

Kindle 1 to Kindle 3 Comparisons

First we have Lexi’s thoughts -

I went from a K1 to the K3 and love it. There is a very obvious improvement in clarity and contrast. Also the speed increase makes a huge difference in menus and scrolling around within books.

Then M. Soar chimes in -

Much smaller, much lighter, so far quite a bit quicker, as far as upload and loading books. Haven’t decided what I think about the change in size and “firmness” of the page turn buttons yet.

 the improved contrast … Very, very nice.

The only negative – I don’t like the fade out/fade in for a page turn (instead of page – blank – new page).

The entire screen flashes black when you turn a page. It’s a bit disconcerting the first few times – then you’ll probably get used to it.

Most Popular Kindle 3 Features

The Screen is a HUGE hit

Here are a few Kindle 3 user review snippets talking about the screen (each paragraph/line is from a different user review) -

the screen is gorgeous, the Kindle 2 is no slacker but the 3 just has so much contrast.

I love the lighter weight and improved contrast. I feel like Amazon just took an already fantastic product, and made it PERFECT!!!!

even small text is easy to see with the darker, sharper font.

Everyone who’s seen it has told me the screen looks “fake” because it’s so amazingly clear.

It’s clearly the most popular feature

Size and Weight getting a lot of praise

Here are a few Kindle 3 review snippets -

it’s super light. I have the wi-fi only model. I too was amazed how much smaller it is.

never realized how much smaller it is from the K2 until you see them side by side

Note that the Kindle 3 is 8.7 ounces and the Kindle WiFi is a bit lighter at 8.5 ounces.

It’s a bit surprising to see how popular the smaller size and lighter weight are. For me it wasn’t that big a deal. So many people are blown away by the compactness that it’s beginning to seem like a killer feature.

Kindle 3 user reviews – the Bad

Well, there aren’t very many bad Kindle 3 reviews.

Here were the downsides people found -

  1. The new 5-way takes getting used to. 
  2. The page turn buttons are new and some people said those would take getting used to too. They are also thinner and there were a few complaints about that.
  3. Some complaints about the missing number keys.  
  4. A few people don’t like the gold lettering on the graphite casing. Well, it shimmers in sunlight – as does the graphite Kindle casing.
  5. Quite a few people ran into problems because they started charging the Kindle 3, the light flashed green in a few minutes, and they disconnected. In my experience the light is all kinds of strange and flashes green at unexpected times. Let the Kindle 3 charge for at least a few hours before starting to play with it.  
  6. The Lighted Cover lights up one corner quite a bit more than it lights up the opposite corner. A few complaints about this – your preference might be different from mine (love the lighted cover and think it works just fine).

There just aren’t very many complaints.

Here’s one of the rare negative reviews  (courtesy Mike) -

First off downloading samples of books and then end up getting charged for the samples, Kindle CS tells me I will be refunded in 2-3 days … sorry but this is unacceptable.

Second stupid thing froze, called CS they tell me hold down power button for 15 seconds on like the fourth try the kindle finally reset.

Well, the Kindle 3 does freeze sometimes. We might have found the Achilles Heel of the Kindle 3 – let’s see if there are more freezing complaints.

Credit for the Kindle 3 Reviews

Thanks to the users at the Kindle Forum for their reviews and thoughts.

Only Kindle 3 reviews and reactions from the official Kindle Forum were considered when compiling this post. There are so many reactions and reviews there it didn’t seem worthwhile to check any where else.

Change Your Shipping Method to get early delivery, other Kindle 3 Insights

Here are some Kindle 3 insights -

  1. Apparently, if you change your shipping method from standard to 2-day, or from 2-day to 1 day, it usually moves your Kindle 3 shipping date to earlier. A few people are seeing August 28th and Aug 30th shipping dates after doing that. You can then change back to a cheaper shipping method and the early Kindle 3 shipping date stays.

    ordered my K3 on 8/19 with standard shipping and checked today and there was no estimated delivery date ..

    After reading all the posts I had to change the shipping method to 1 day!

    … when I changed the shipping method it came up saying estimated delivery date of 8/30!

  2. There might be a million Kindle 3s shipping (it’s hard to believe) -

    [Kindle Customer Service Phone Call] The other thing he said, after assuring me my account was fine, was something along the lines of that NATURALLY with MILLIONS of orders going through some might take longer to get to–and they were basically going in order.

  3. To type numbers on your Kindle 3 use Alt+Q = 1, Alt+W =2, and so forth i.e. Alt+Q/W/E/R/T/Y/U/I/O/P = 1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/0.  
  4. You can now set your Kindle’s Time on the Settings Page.
  5. The screen size stays the same although the Kindle 3 is a lot more compact.
  6. It’s best to let it charge for a few hours after you unbox it. 
  7. If Kindle 3 freezes or locks up – restart. If you haven’t charged it fully – charge it first before trying to resuscitate it.  
  8. Don’t load all 1,000 of your books instantly. The indexing of so many books might overwhelm it – so perhaps batches of a hundred each.
  9. Kindle 2 covers will not fit Kindle 3. The covers with hinges that lock into the Kindle’s notches definitely won’t as the notches on Kindle 3 are spaced further apart.
  10. You can have as many Kindles and as many devices with Kindle Apps on your account as you like. Each individual book will only be sharable between 5 to 6 of these – after loading it on to 5 to 6 Kindles/Devices you won’t be able to download it to any more devices.

There are actually quite a few gems hidden in all those forum posts.

The Lighted Cover

Quick notes on the Lighted Cover -

  1. Yes, it lights up the entire screen.
  2. No, it doesn’t light up the entire screen evenly.
  3. Yes, you can read all the words on the screen clearly (have done it multiple nights so am not just imagining it).
  4. No, there’s no way to bend the light so that the entire screen gets even lighting.
  5. It’s a matter of personal preference. The top corner which is right next to the LED light gets more light than the bottom corner. To the best of my knowledge there really isn’t any way to construct a light that lights up something 6.9 inches away as well as it lights something 3 inches away. You might not like the way the light illuminates the screen – in which case you can return it.

Here’s a comment from Gabriela if you’re still worried Amazon is shipping hundreds of thousands of lights that don’t illuminate the entire Kindle 3 screen -

tested the light in a dark room. Without the light you can see zero, of course. With the light you see well enough to comfortably read the page, but it is not a bright overglowing light.

The light is not reflected by the screen, which is matte, and the transition between the upper right corner which is closer to light to the bottom of the page is gradual. It makes for comfortable reading, at least for me.

Despite what my preference might be (love it), and what Gabriela says, it’s a personal thing – if you don’t like it return it and get something else. No point keeping a $60 cover+light if you don’t like it.

Also, we finally have a weight for the Cover -

On my digital kitchen scale, the lighted cover weighs 220 grams, or 7.8 ounces.

A 7.8 ounce cover for an 8.7 ounce Kindle 3 – surely, it’s a joke.

You can get the Kindle 3 at Amazon for $189 (the Kindle WiFi is $139). Please let me know if you have any questions – have both the review Kindle 3 and my own Kindle 3 so will gladly answer any questions. Yes, even ones asking whether the Lighted Cover leaves 75% of the Kindle 3 screen bereft of light.

9 Responses

  1. I don’t have a Kindle 3, but my M-Edge light in the M-Edge case for my Kindle 2 doesn’t light the entire screen evenly either, I wouldn’t expect it to, since the light is in one corner. I would think that any book light would be the same.

    It sitll provides enough light to read by.

  2. I did buy the case with light, for when I’m taking it out of the house. Inside the house I don’t use a case. Those with children and pets will need to though!

    My MightyBright Xtraflex 2 can be positioned to illuminate it quite evenly, using one one or both of the LED lights, and I plan to use that one more. The Kindle version has a foam pad under the top clamping part to protect the bezel. The other ones don’t. This is good when you are using no case.

  3. Have you seen, or know of, any changes or improvements in the tts voices or controls? Thanks!

    • There’s just the voice guide. I’m not very good at making out changes in voice tone etc. – the voices seem the same to me. No difference in options.

      • Thanks! Wish there had been some improvements to the tone/speed/voices, but maybe next version!

  4. Changing the shipping method to get an actual estimated delivery date must have been a glitch in Amazon’s ordering software — maybe it automatically gave a date if you switched to a 2 or 1 day delivery. Like some others who have subsequently had their order status revert to the prior “we’ll send an email to let you know” status, when I checked this morning my status was back to unkown.

  5. [...] do read the kindle 3 user review post which covers what Kindle 3 owners love about the Kindle 3. Also, my kindle 3 review includes [...]

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