Kindle 3 cons from Kindle 3 Reviews

Now that the Kindle 3 is in lots of readers’ hands it’s interesting to see all the Kindle 3 cons they are mentioning in their Kindle 3 reviews.

Please note that there are very few complaints – This post might seem scary because it’s leaving out the hundreds of positive things said and noting down only people’s thoughts on Kindle 3 cons.

Will add my own thoughts wherever possible regarding how valid these concerns are.

Kindle 3 Cons – The Significant Ones

Here are some of the Kindle 3 cons that seem like they might be important issues -

  1. Lack of library books. A few people have mentioned that they chose Nook or Sony instead of Kindle only because of the lack of support for library books. This is a real issue.
  2. Lack of ePub support. This is usually mentioned in connection with library books. However, a few people also mentioned it independently. Don’t see how this is relevant. If you feel very strongly about ePub then this is an issue – not otherwise. The only significant way in which it currently impacts readers is lack of support for Library books.  
  3. Freezing – Kindle 3 is freezing on some PDFs, some websites, and rarely in other situations. That’s what it seems like from the forums and from my experience. This might be a real issue and might need a software fix. This does happen – not often enough to be a big issue but often enough that you can’t disregard it.
  4. There might be variation in screen quality. Have taken a lot of photos of my Kindle 3 and the review unit Amazon sent me and can’t really find anything conclusive – So the probability is low but not zero. Lots of people look at the same thing and see different things so it’s quite possible that the screens are all within 5% to 10% of the same basic improved level of screen contrast.
  5. The size of the screen isn’t conducive to PDFs. This really isn’t the Kindle 3’s fault. It does very well as this Kindle 3 PDF post shows. However, if you’re expecting to be able to read PDFs page by page you’re going to be disappointed – the screen is 6″ and not an A4 size sheet of paper.
  6. The thinner page turn buttons have got some people upset. You can hold the Kindle 3 along the side edge (a tiny bit to the back so you don’t press down on it) and then this shouldn’t be a problem.
  7. The 5-way being next to Back and Home means you sometimes accidentally press Back. The solution to this is to keep your thumb over the 5-way centre button and then move down or up or left or right from this central position to press the inside edges of the up,down, left, and right buttons. This works much better.
  8. The 5-way and page turn buttons take a little getting used to. There’s no way around it – you have to spend a little time to get familiar with them.
  9. There are no number keys. You have to either use Alt+Top Row to get numbers (Alt+Q = 1, Alt+W = 2, etc.) or use the SYM key.
  10. The Kindle 3 Graphite gets pretty hot in direct sunlight. This is actually a pretty important point. It’s a bit obvious but it might mean that when it’s really hot outside you can’t take the graphite Kindle 3 out for reading. Hopefully, someone in a hotter place than Montreal will let us know if that really is the case.

That’s a good collection of Kindle 3 cons and it helps highlight that while Amazon did get things right with the Kindle 3 it is by no means perfect. You can find discussions of various Kindle 3 Cons as well as lots of Kindle 3 reviews at the official kindle forum.

Kindle 3 Cons – The Interesting Ones

Here are some interesting Kindle 3 cons -

  1. A few people find the new size too small and the weight too low. They felt using the Kindle 3 with the cover fixed the issue.  
  2. A few people don’t like the new layout of buttons. The top complaint seems to be the power slider being at the bottom.
  3. There are some concerns about the Kindle 3 graphite not disappearing in the background as well as a white Kindle would. For me there was no difference and in fact the better screen contrast of the Kindle 3 helps make it more engrossing than Kindle 2. If we were to compare the white Kindle 3 and the black Kindle 3 perhaps there’s some difference – Haven’t tried it so don’t know.
  4. Concerns about the weight of the lighted case.  Well, it’s 7.8 ounces.
  5. Concerns about the uneven lighting the Lighted Cover provides. Well, you can read the entire screen but the top corner (that is closest to the light) is brighter than the opposite corner (which is the case with every reading light in my experience).
  6. It’s smaller and the bezel around it is narrower so you have to be careful how you hold it. Tip: You can only press the page turn buttons if you have downwards pressure on them – so just hold them with your fingers a little to the back of the side of the buttons. Try a few positions and you’ll see what I mean.
  7. PDFs still can’t be downloaded using the web browser.
  8. Several people are finding that they need to try a few times to connect to WiFi. Sometimes it’s a WiFi network issue solved by resetting the WiFi network or changing the type of encryption by choosing ‘Enter other WiFi network’ in Kindle 3’s WiFi dialog.
  9. Sometimes the browser will cause a problem where the top bar of the browser with the url etc. stays even after leaving the browser. A reset (slide and hold power button for 15 seconds) fixes this bug.

There’s also this interesting tip on finding out information about WiFi and 3G network -

Go to Settings page and type in 311 or 711 or one of the other numbers listed below -

311– providers
411– one page of info
611– now 6 pages of info on everything 3G communication
711– wi-fi

It’s interesting that most of the complaints stem from a core group of people. You have to appreciate their desire to point out each and every flaw in the Kindle 3 so that prospective owners are fully aware that the overwhelming number of positive Kindle 3 reviews don’t mean the Kindle 3 is perfect.

Please 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 kindle 3 strengths and weaknesses. You can get the Kindle 3 at Amazon for $189.

11 Responses

  1. Wow, picky, picky :) — I love it, tried everything on it, no problems!!!

  2. I’ve downloaded several product manuals in PDF format. Yeah, they’re small, but still readable and usable for what I need: a quick reference when I don’t have my notebook computer along. I’ve got a camera manual and motorcycle manual. Both are great, given what they are. Transferring PDF’s using the computer is fast and easy.

    My screen quality is fine. Good contrast and fast refresh.

    Power button on the bottom of the unit is a valid criticism: Top would have been better. The designers must have had a reason. (I’m an industrial designer.)

    The weight (with the cover) is exactly 16 ounces. I weighed the combo on my Weight Watchers scale, which is fairly accurate. That’s a little on the heavy side, but includes the light and no batteries to replace or lose. It’s fine for me.

    Many people just want something to complain about; nothing’s perfect…

  3. I don’t believe my library has a very big selection of ebooks, not right now at least, so that’s not an important factor for me. I do read a lot of “real” library books, though, because I can’t afford all that I want to read, especially with Agency Model pricing. Several of my friends have bought the Nook for that very reason, however.

    Thanks for your excellent posts, Abhi.

  4. Am going to keep trying, but my Kindle3 keeps freezing up on me when trying to organize books into collections. 1st freeze was when batching books into one collection; but tonight is still freezing up with just adding one book at a time. Haven’t even gotten to the reading stage. Hope this changes!

  5. I think that library e-books are a small and heavily waitlisted selection at the moment, so I don’t see them as a significant reason to make a hardware choice for now. If it ever hits the point that the majority of a library’s catalogue is available electronically and Kindle still doesn’t have library support, then it would become an issue for me.

  6. I think you are missing one important factor when it comes to the critisism of lack of ePub support. While Amazon has an impressive collection of books in English, it has zero books in other languages. For people living in other countries, the possibility to buy books in their native tounge is a major feature, and such books are almost exclusivly sold in DRMed ePub format. I love my three Kindles (i got my Kindle 3 today), but I cannot really recommend it to others because of this problem.

    I understand that ePub support isn’t likely in the future, since it impedes Amazons business model, but calling this problem irrelevant or saying it is only relevant to library books, is not quite true for many people.

  7. lies. i’m calling shenanigans on the 411 tip.

    i have tried this on my kindle 3 and i can’t pull up the keyboard while in settings.

    typing 411 in the search field in the home view searches for ‘411’ within books and documents.

    maybe you kindle 2 owners are used to having a keypad on your kindle. anyways, it brings to question the entire accuracy of your review.

    or, i can’t figure it out. if you show me the secret move i’m missing, i’ll apologise. thanks!

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