Kindle 3 Answers for Common Kindle 3 Questions

The Kindle 3 has received some really good reviews and generated a lot of interest but there are still a lot of unknowns.

This Kindle 3 Answers post attempts to answer as many of the common questions related to the Kindle 3 as possible.

Kindle 3 Answers – Answers to Kindle 3 Questions from Prospective Owners

Q1: Should I buy a Kindle 3?

A1: Well, it depends on what you’re looking for. If you want a device to read books on then please read my detailed Kindle 3 review. If you don’t want a device focused on reading books then you shouldn’t buy a Kindle 3.

Q2: Can I sell or loan my Kindle books?

A2: No.

Q3: Can I read books from the library on the Kindle 3?

A3: No.

Q4: Should I get Kindle 3 white or graphite?

A4: Get whatever color you prefer. Each has its advantages so getting the color you like is the safer choice -

  1. Kindle 3 graphite helps show off the screen contrast. It looks pretty good.  
  2. Kindle 3 white supposedly disappears better in the background. It doesn’t get as hot if you read outside in hot weather.

There’s not much difference. Here’s a pointless post comparing Kindle graphite vs white.

It makes hardly any difference what color you get as long as you get a color you like. Don’t get graphite if you hate graphite and don’t get white if you hate white.

Q5: Should I get Kindle WiFi or 3G?

A5: If you don’t know what WiFi is you should probably get Kindle 3 3G+WiFi. If you know what WiFi is and have WiFi at home then get Kindle WiFi.

Here’s a Kindle 3G or WiFi comparison post explaining the difference. In the long term this choice isn’t going to matter much if you have WiFi at home. If you don’t have a wireless network at home it’s best to get Kindle 3G+WiFi.  

Q6: Can I read PDFs on the Kindle 3?

A6: Yes, PDFs work very well. Embedded fonts in PDFs work too so you can read PDFs in various languages. Check out the Kindle 3 PDF post for lots of photos and details on the Kindle 3’s PDF capabilities.

Q7: What is the Kindle 3’s Browser like?

A7: Well, check out the Kindle 3 Browser post. It’s quite good but it’s not a desktop browser replacement. Since there’s no touchscreen on the Kindle 3 scrolling around is a bit of a problem.

Q8: What languages work on the Kindle 3?

A8: The Kindle 3 supports books in all the Latin based languages and now also supports CJK fonts and Cyrillic Fonts. It doesn’t support Hebrew (it didn’t support a Hebrew book).

PDFs on the Kindle 3 and the Browser support nearly all languages. In the browser some sites don’t display correctly and some sites just don’t work so your favorite website in your preferred language might not work.

Q9: What does the Kindle 3 look like? How good is the screen resolution?

A9: Actually, the Kindle 3 photos page and the Kindle 3 videos page will give you a very good idea. The new eInk Pearl screen is supposed to have 50% better screen contrast than the Kindle 2’s eInk screen. The difference between it and Nook is a bit less and the difference between it and Sony 600 is a bit more.

Q10: What are the font sizes on the Kindle 3?

A10: The font sizes correspond roughly to -

Kindle Font Size 1 = 7pt
Kindle Font Size 2 = 9pt
Kindle Font Size 3 = 11 pt
Kindle Font Size 4 = 14 pt
Kindle Font Size 5 = 17 pt
Kindle Font Size 6 = 20 pt
Kindle Font Size 7 = 30 pt
Kindle Font Size 8 = 40 pt

The Kindle 3 videos page mentioned above includes a video showing the font sizes and the three types of fonts.

 Q11:  What fonts does the Kindle 3 have?

A11: The Kindle 3 has three fonts – a Serif Font (Caecilia), a condensed font, and a Sans Serif font. The Kindle 3 photos page mentioned above has photos of each.  

Q12: How good is the Kindle 3 for email?

A12: Quite good. The full versions of Hotmail and Yahoo Mail work (hotmail – all the time, yahoo mail – most of the time). The mobile version of GMail works all the time. Ideally, you want to be using WiFi since WiFi is much faster than 3G.

Q13: Where could I see a Kindle 3 in person?

A13: At Target. By going to the official Kindle forum and asking if anyone in your city could meet you to show you what it looks like. By ordering one since it does have a 30 day return period.

Q14: Are books on the Kindle 3 free?

A14: No. There are 1.8 million public domain books from the Internet Archive available for free. There are also 20-40 free book offers every month. However, you have to pay for all the new books

Q15: How much do new books cost?

A15: New Books usually cost $9.99 or $12.99. New books from independent authors usually cost $1 to $3.  

Q16: Is it easy/possible to get pirated books? Is it easy/possible to strip off DRM from Kindle books?

A16: Yes, however this blog doesn’t detail any of that.

Q17: What if I don’t like my Kindle 3?

A17: There’s a 30 day return period. Also, Kindle 3 will probably hold its value very well as every Kindle before it has had very high resale prices.  

Q18: Why doesn’t Kindle 3 have touch and color? When will it have touch and color?

A18: The eInk technology doesn’t really support these very well and they aren’t absolutely critical for reading books. If touch is very important to you wait for the Sony 650. If color is very important for you wait a year and a half.

Q19: Does the Kindle 3 display illustrations and maps and images well?

A19: Yes, exceptionally well if you don’t mind the lack of color. You can also zoom into images.

Q20: Is it true that you can share Kindle books across devices?

A20: Yes, a Kindle book can be shared across 5 to 6 devices. You can register as many Kindles and as many devices with Kindle Apps as you like to your Amazon account. After that you can read a book across 5 to 6 devices – Your position in the book, your notes, and your highlights are synchronized across books.

Q21: Which devices have Kindle Apps?

A21: There are Kindle Apps available for the following devices – PC, Mac, Blackberry, iPhone, Android, and iPad. You can read your Kindle book purchases on these apps.

Q22: Is Kindle accessible to blind readers?

A22: Yes. There is a Voice Guide feature that you can turn on to read out menus, book lists, and book descriptions. There is also a Text to Speech feature that reads out books to you and also all your personal documents and things like text files. Publishers sometimes disable Text to Speech (perhaps 40% to 50% of the time). Voice Guide and Text to Speech combine to make the Kindle 3 accessible.

You can read more at the Kindle 3 for Blind Readers post.

Q23: How good are the voices used on the Kindle 3?

A23: They are computer generated voices. It’s not people speaking out the words and it’s definitely not trained people reading out books. If you are fond of $50 audiobooks read by accomplished speakers you are not going to be excited by the voices. If you’re OK with slightly robotic voices then you’ll be fine.

Q24: Is the Kindle 3 good for low vision readers?

A24: Yes, since in addition to the Voice Guide feature and the Text to Speech feature there are features suitable for low vision readers – better screen contrast than any other eReader, 8 font sizes including 2 super size fonts (size 30 and size 40 font), option to change line spacing, option to change words per line, landscape mode.

Q25: How much does the Kindle 3 weigh? How much does the lighted cover weigh? Is Kindle 3 suitable for those with weak hands?

A25: Kindle 3 weighs 8.7 ounces. Kindle WiFi weighs 8.5 ounces. Kindle Lighted Cover weighs 7.8 ounces. Kindle 3 is very suitable for those with weak hands. It’s very light and the texturized back is easy to grip.

Q26: Do you need to be tech savvy to use the Kindle 3? Do you need to have a computer?

A26: Kindle 3 is very simple to use. You don’t need to be tech savvy at all. If you buy a Kindle 3 3G+WiFi (or get a Kindle WiFi and have a wireless network at home) then you don’t need a computer to use the Kindle.

Q27: I’m used to Kindle 1. I’m used to Kindle 2.I’m used to Kindle DX. I’m used to a physical book. Will I ever be able to use the Kindle 3? Will I ever be able to love reading on the Kindle 3?

A27: It’ll take a really long time (a few hours of use) to get used to the Kindle 3. It’ll take forever (a few days) to start loving reading on the Kindle 3.

Q28: What pockets does the Kindle 3 fit into?

A28: Kindle 3 fits into – Large coat pockets, large jacket pockets, some cargo pants pockets. Kindle 3 doesn’t fit into – jeans pockets, shirt pockets, hot pockets, most normal pant pockets. It also will fit into a clutch purse and most small purses (not tiny ones though).

Q29: Can Kindle 3 work under water? Can it resist water? Can I read in the tub? Can I read at the beach?

A29: Kindle 3 will not work under water. Any sort of exposure to water will kill it. You can read in the tub, at the beach, and near the pool if you simply use a zip-loc bag or use Trendy Digital’s water proof kindle case.

Q30: Why doesn’t Kindle 3 have page numbers? Is there a work-around?

A30: Kindle 3 uses locations instead of page numbers. Since the font size is changeable using page numbers would be rather difficult – it would be possible but not very elegant. Using locations isn’t elegant either but it’s probably more structured. There isn’t really a workaround for getting page numbers in Kindle books – you just have to use a unique line of text as a reference instead of using a page number.

Q31: Why is there a lag when turning pages on the Kindle 3? How long is this lag?

There’s a lag of 0.5 to 0.7 seconds when turning pages in a Kindle 3 book. This is because the eInk display of the Kindle 3 first flashes everything black and then displays the new page. eInk is a lot of tiny microcapsules that can each be black or white. To ensure good quality first all microcapsules are flashed black and then black text on white background corresponding to a particular page is shown. This ‘redrawing’ of the screen takes 0.5 to 0.7 seconds.

Q32: Which countries is Kindle 2 available for?

A32: Please go to the Kindle 3 product page and scroll down to the Kindle at a Glance section (it’s 2 pages down). Under ‘Massive Selection’ in the right column you’ll see a ‘Check Your Country’ link which will let you check if Kindle 3 ships to your country.

Q33: Which countries does Kindle 3 get free wireless Internet in? Which countries will I get free Kindle 3 wireless Internet in when I’m travelling?

A33: There are some countries which get wireless Internet – please check with Amazon customer support to be sure. The above link (the ‘Check your Country’ link) brings up an information box which also provides a good idea.  

If you’re in the US you’ll get free 3G Internet in all countries that have WhisperNet.

If you’re a Kindle owner you’ll get free store browsing in all countries that get WhisperNet. Not sure whether or not you’ll be charged extra for downloading one of your purchased books outside your home country. For US Kindle owners it’s free everywhere.

Q34: How do I turn off my Kindle 3?

A34: Kindle 3 only uses power when you change the screen image. So keeping it in sleep mode is fine – you don’t have to switch it off. If you still want to switch it off slide and hold the power switch for 5 seconds.

Q35: Why are book prices different for different countries? Why are some books not available for my country? Why are some free book offers not available for my country?

A35: Books rights are sold by territory and the Publisher that buys the rights for a book in a particular territory decides the price and Kindle Store availability of the book in that territory. The Publisher also decides whether or not there will be a free book offer. Firstly, there may be different Publishers that own rights for a book in different countries. Secondly, a publisher may decide to have different prices in different countries. That’s why you’ll see a book you really want available for purchase on the dark side of the moon but not in your country. That’s why all the Stephanie Meyer books are 5 cents each on Mars but cost $6 to $10 on Earth.

Q36: Does the Kindle 3 have a backlight? If not, why not?

A36: Kindle 3 does not have a backlight. It uses eInk which tries to re-create the experience of reading print on paper. Since a backlight is tough on the eyes, uses up a lot of battery life, and is very unlike print on paper the Kindle 3 does not use a backlight.

You will be forced to use a reading light to read on the Kindle 3 in the dark – like you would with a physical book.  

Q37: Are Kindle 3s allowed on airplanes? What about through security checks?

Yes, however you might have to turn them off when the plane is taking off and when it is landing. No, there is no airplane mode. You can switch off the wireless but the staff might still ask you to turn it off – getting upset and threatening them is not recommended.

Kindle 3s pass through security detectors just fine and you can leave them in your hand luggage. Remember not to leave them in the overhead cabin in your hand luggage unless they are in a very sturdy box.

Q38: Does the Kindle 3 really fit more lines of text on to the screen? How?

A38: Well, there are three things – on every page except the page you start reading on the bar at the top disappears, the progress bar is right at the very bottom of the screen, the separation between the text and the progress bar is smaller. These all add up and there are (at medium font settings) 3 to 4 more lines of text per page.

Q39: How does Kindle 3 compare to Nook and Sony Reader 600? How does it compare to Nook 2 and Sony Reader 650?

A39: Kindle 3 is much better than Nook and Sony Reader 600 unless you need library book support or ePub support. The newer Nook 2 and Sony 650 haven’t been announced yet so can’t say how it compares to them. Sony 650 will have touch and one or both of Nook 2 and Sony 650 might support Google Editions.

Q40: Will people think I’m cool if I carry around a Kindle 3?

A40: No, they’ll think you’re intelligent and in love with books. You should get an iPad if you want to be pretend-cool and a Leica camera if you want to be super-pretend-cool. Your other options include getting a platinum pendant, wearing Affliction T-Shirts, and wearing Trucker Hats. Out of these only the Leica camera is guaranteed to work more than 50% of the time plus if you learn how to use it you actually become cool.

Kindle 3 Answers for Kindle 3 Questions from New Kindle 3 Owners

Q1: My Kindle 3 has a problem. What do I do?

A1: First, re-start your Kindle 3. You can do this from the Kindle Home Page by choosing Menu -> Settings and then on the Settings Page choosing Menu -> Reset.

You can also do this by sliding and holding the power switch at the bottom of your Kindle 3 for 15 seconds. You will know it’s been restarted as you’ll see the Kindle 3’s screen go white, flash a couple of times, and then a start-up screen will appear that shows a boy reading under a tree and amazon kindle written above the tree.

This will solve 90% of problems. Yes, it’s hard to believe but this really will solve 90% of Kindle 3 issues.

Q2: How do I reach Customer Service?

A2: Do try to re-start your Kindle 3 and do read the rest of this post. However, if that doesn’t work try customer service -

Find the email address and contact methods at the Customer Service Page. This is recommended as you can get Amazon to call you back and they know who you are.

Customer Service phone numbers -

Inside the United States: 1-866-321-8851.

Outside the United States: 1-206-266-0927.

Q3: I don’t know whether I should return my Kindle 3 and get the other Kindle 3. What should I do?

Kindle 3 White – Supposedly disappears better into the background. It’s white – in case being white is important for your aesthetic happiness. It doesn’t get as hot if you’re reading outside in really hot weather.  

Kindle 3 Graphite – Shows off the contrast of the eInk Pearl screen better. You might like black better as a color.

Kindle WiFi – It’s great. Do you really need 3G?

Kindle 3G – It offers more flexibility.

There’s not really much of a difference between the various Kindle 3 versions. If you’ve bought one then might as well keep it – Which Kindle 3 you have isn’t going to affect your happiness much. If you really feel like returning something will make you happy buy a Kindle book from your Kindle 3 and then click the ‘cancel this purchase’ button on the confirmation screen – There, now you’ve returned something.  

Q4: Where do I find free books?

A4: Well, you can check the free kindle books post for public domain books and the 50 free new kindle books post for new book offers.

Q5: Where do I find book deals?

A5: Well, there isn’t a kindle bargains and deals section in the Kindle Store. Check this blog for occasional posts on book deals and check the official kindle forum at Amazon (on any Kindle Store page click on the little ‘Discussions’ button on the top right.

Q6: If I delete a book from my Kindle 3 is it lost?

A6: No, it’s simply moved to your archive. You can go to the ‘Archived Items’ section in your Kindle and download it again.

Q7: Can I delete a book from my archive?

A7: Yes, simply go to the Manage My Kindle page at Amazon (the link is on the top right of every Kindle Store page). At the bottom of the Manage my Kindle page is a list of your purchases. Click on the ‘+’ icon next to any of the books and a number of options will show up including a ‘delete’ button. Press ‘delete’ to permanently delete the book from your account.

Note that if you delete a book in this way it’s gone – you will have to re-purchase it to get it back.  

Q8: Where do I find Kindle 3 Tips and Tricks?

A8: Well, here are some posts to get you started -

  1. New Kindle 3 owner advice – A good place to start.
  2. Kindle 3 Insights for some Kindle 3 tips and hints.
  3. Kindle Tips and Shortcuts – This has 50 tips and also links to a follow-on post with 40 more Kindle tips. Most of these will apply to Kindle 3.  
  4. Kindle Folders Guide – The best tips for using your Kindle 3’s Collections/Folders feature.  

The best source is probably the Kindle User Guide which comes with your Kindle. However, these posts include the best parts of that Guide as well as the best Kindle tips from the official kindle forums.

The best source for new Kindle 3 tricks and tips will be the official Kindle forum.

Q9: Is there a Kindle FAQ?

A9: Not an official one. Here’s an unofficial Kindle FAQ courtesy Bufo Calvin at the official Kindle forum. Please note that some of these questions and answers are not Kindle 3 specific.

Q10: Where do I find the serial number of my Kindle 3? Where do I find its MAC address? Where do I find whether I have 3G+WiFi or only WiFi?

A10: On your Kindle 3’s home page press Menu and then choose Settings. At the bottom of the first page in Settings you’ll see a Device Info section. This has information on your unique WiFi MAC address, your serial number, and the type of Kindle 3 you have.

Q11: What all can I do on the Settings Page?

A11: You can do the following -

  1. On Page 1 you can – register and deregister your Kindle 3, set a device name, connect to a WiFi network, see your Serial Number and other device information.
  2. On Page 2 you can – Turn on the voice guide, see your device email (the email address to which you can email documents to have them converted into Kindle format and sent to your Kindle 3), set a device password, set the device time, turn on the popular highlights feature, turn on backup of your notes and highlights and collections.
  3. On Page 3 you can – enter your Facebook and Twitter account information so passages from books you are reading on your Kindle 3 can be shared (if you choose to share them), set your personal information.

Q12: What if my Kindle 3 gets lost?

A12: Well, you’re out of luck. There isn’t really much you can do.

You should -

  1. Set a device password so if the device is in screensaver mode when found or goes into screensaver mode it gets locked.
  2. Deregister your Kindle 3 at Amazon’s Manage Your Kindle page so whoever finds your Kindle 3 can’t buy books through it.
  3. Set your Kindle 3’s name as your contact information (your email or phone number), set your contact information as your password hint, and enter your contact information into the personal information field on page 3 of the Settings page.

Don’t go to meet someone who claims to have found your Kindle 3 alone or in a dangerous place. If you’re under 18 let your parents know.

Q13:  Can I search the official Kindle forum?

A13: Yes, in the right side column, around halfway down the page, there is a search bar. If you want to see only results from the Kindle forum tick the box that says ‘Limit results to this forum’.

Q14: Where is the Kindle App Store? Are there any games for the Kindle?

A14: There are currently only two apps – Shuffled Word, Every Word. Every Word was using very inappropriate words and is in detention and will be back in some time. That leaves one game.

The App Store is rumored to be out sometime this year.

You can also play Minesweeper by pressing Alt+Shift+M on the Kindle Home Page. On the Minesweeper page press G to play gomoku.

Q15: Why isn’t my favorite book on the Kindle 3?

A15: Bad Luck?

Ask people at the official kindle forum to click on the ‘Ask the Publisher to make a Kindle Edition available’ link on the physical book page of the book you want. Perhaps the Publisher will think a lot of people are likey to buy the Kindle edition of the book and will release one.

Q16: If I drop my Kindle 3 will it break? If it breaks will Amazon replace it for free?

A16: Yes, it will most likely break. No, Amazon will not. If you have an extended warranty it might allow for one replacement. If you don’t have an extended warranty you’ll have to buy a new Kindle 3.

Q17: If my Kindle 3 breaks one day after the 1 year Amazon warranty ends what will happen?

A17: Nothing. It’s out of warranty and it’s broken. You have to buy a new one.

Q18: My Kindle 3 screen isn’t any different from my Kindle 2 screen. What do I do?

A18: Please add a link to a photo comparing the two. While there have been a few reports of this no one has been kind enough to add any photographic evidence.

Your Kindle 3’s screen ought to be clearly better than the Kindle 2 screen. Someone actually did a spectro-lumino-something-meter analysis of the Kindle DX 2 screen (which uses the eInk Pearl screen used in Kindle 3) and found that there was indeed a 50% improvement in screen contrast. He also found that most of the improvement was in having a much darker black. So perhaps you should compare the darkness of the fonts and their contrast with the whiteness of their respective screens and see if you still feel there’s no improvement.

Q19: What is this Article Mode I keep hearing about?

A19: When you are on a blog or on an article page in the Kindle 3 Browser you can press Menu and choose Article Mode. This strips away the formatting and ads and extrinsic structure and shows you only the article text and main image. It’s like turning the webpage with the article into a book chapter with just the article. It’s great for reading.  

Q20: Can I return Kindle books I’ve bought?

A20: Yes. If you purchased them accidentally then the purchase confirmation page has a link to cancel the purchase. If you don’t like the formatting then up to a week after buying the book you can call up Customer Service and ask them to process a return. Keep in mind that it’s not a free for all – If you keep returning books they’ll disable your ability to do Kindle book returns.

Q21: How do I put the Kindle 3 in sleep mode? Alt+Aa doesn’t work any more.

A21: Slide the power switch once to put the Kindle 3 into Sleep Mode. Slide it again to bring the Kindle 3 out of sleep mode.

Q22: How do I listen to music on my Kindle 3?

A22: Put a bunch of DRM-free mp3 format songs into the ‘music’ folder of your Kindle. On the Kindle 3’s home page or when in a book press Alt+Spacebar to start music and press Alt+Spacebar again to stop the music. You can also use Alt+F to skip to the next track – that’s about the only option. It’s meant as background music.

Those are all the Kindle 3 answers we have time for now. Will add-on more Kindle 3 questions and answers when time permits.

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.

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.

Kindle 3 PDF Photos, Video

Now that the Kindle 3 is shipping it’s worth looking at Kindle 3’s PDF capabilities.

First, we’ll go over Kindle 3’s PDF capabilities in detail. Next, we’ll look at a lot of Kindle 3 PDF photos and at one Kindle 3 PDF video.

Kindle 3 PDF – New PDF Features in Kindle 3

There are lots of new Kindle 3 PDF features -

  1. Notes and Highlights – You can now add notes and highlights to a PDF. This is a huge addition.
  2. ‘Nudge’ added to PDF pan and zoom. Now when you are zoomed into a PDF not only can you pan using the 5-way you can also ‘nudge’ by holding the Shift key and pressing the 5-way – a nudge is a slight pan (a tiny incremental shift).
  3. Adjust contrast of PDFs. Kindle 3 gives you the choice of 6 contrast options – lightest, lighter, default, darker, and darkest. This is very helpful for PDFs that are too light or have been scanned without enough contrast.
  4. Support for reading Password protected PDFs.
  5. The Dictionary now works in PDFs. A nice addition though it didn’t work for one of my PDF files.

These are all good additions with Notes and Highlights being a super useful addition. Kindle 3 PDF support is very solid and, at the moment, it’s the best PDF support you can find on an eReader.

Kindle 3 PDF – Existing PDF Support in Kindle 2 and Kindle DX 2

All these features were present in Kindle 2 and are carried over to Kindle 3 -

  1. Adding bookmarks.
  2. Landscape Mode – Flip a PDF’s orientation to see it in larger font size.
  3. Pan and Zoom. You can zoom into PDFs with zoom options of Fit to Screen, Original Size, 150%, 200%, and 300%. Zoom level stays the same as you flip through the PDF’s pages. Once you are zoomed in you can pan around using the 5-way.
  4. Search – You can search through PDFs. The search term is highlighted wherever it is found. You can circle through each search result – the page the result is on is shown with the actual search result highlighted.
  5. Go to a particular page – You can jump to a page by choosing ‘Go To’ from the menu and entering a page number.
  6. Automatic cropping of white space.

These are a good set of features and the additional PDF features added in Kindle 3 combine with these to make the overall Kindle 3 PDF feature-set very compelling.

Kindle 3 PDF – Things to Know

Here are things that the Kindle 3 handles well -

  1. Academic PDFs – Tables, diagrams, special formatting, formulae, and two column PDFs all show up well. 
  2. PDFs in general.  
  3. Images and illustrations – These look very good on Kindle 3’s eInk Pearl screen (check out the photos further on in this post).
  4. Password protected PDFs – Haven’t tested these myself as don’t know exactly where to find such PDFs. However, Amazon says they are supported.
  5. Embedded Fonts. PDFs that have embedded Chinese characters or other language characters or use any sort of embedded fonts work well. Have tested this on Kindle 2 and there’s no reason it won’t work on Kindle 3.

Add a link to a PDF if you want it tested.

Here are things that the Kindle 3 can’t handle or can’t handle well -

  1. You can’t edit PDFs.
  2. You can’t create PDFs.
  3. You can zoom in but you can’t change Font Size. That means you can’t break a 5 page PDF into 12 pages to fit it better to your Kindle 3’s screen. If it isn’t formatted with the right font size then you have to use Zoom. To work around this format PDFs using your PC or Mac so that they have a larger default font size.
  4. You cannot use the Text to Speech feature in PDFs. You can get around this limitation by converting PDFs to Kindle format.
  5. Highlighting is spotty with two column PDFs. Often text in both columns is highlighted instead of the text you select in one column. 
  6. PDFs that are poor quality scans. Kindle can’t improve the scan quality.  
  7. PDFs that have very small text. The text will show up very small and you’ll have to use the zoom option.  
  8. PDFs with DRM Protection – Don’t even know if this exists but Kindle 3 can only handle password protected PDFs.

Perhaps the biggest limitation of Kindle 3 is the 6″ screen. Most PDFs are built/created to be read on A4 size paper or on large computer screens. The Kindle 3’s 6″ screen just isn’t big enough.

If you are buying Kindle 3 primarily for reading PDFs do take a look at the Kindle DX 2 PDF post. Kindle 3 is much better value for money but the 6″ screen is pretty limiting. The DX 2’s 9.7″ screen is far more suited to reading PDFs though it doesn’t have some of the Kindle 3’s PDF capabilities (all the features listed in the top section, New PDF Features in Kindle 3, are missing from DX 2).

More Kindle 3 PDF …

After the jump – lots of Kindle 3 PDF photos.

Continue reading

Kindle 3 arriving already

It seems the Kindle 3 has already arrived for some people.

Well, mine got here about an hour ago which is quite ridiculous since it was shipped yesterday and the shipped email arrived only last evening. There are at least two people on the official kindle forum who’ve received their Kindle 3 and a few who have their Kindle 3 ‘out for delivery’.

My K3 and the two covers I ordered for it are out for delivery,

Oh, yeah! My new one comes today! One day before the official release day!

mine’s out for delivery too! Funny that my K3 is coming via Fedex and my case is coming via UPS.

Hopefully, you get your Kindle 3 soon.

What’s going on with the various Kindle Shipping Waves?

There are enough people with supposed later Kindle 3 shipping dates who are getting their Kindle 3 early to make one wonder – 

  • Is Amazon just exceeding expectations and shipping earlier?
  • Were the delays just a safety measure to make sure Amazon could deliver on time?  
  • Did Amazon just mess up?

Consider a few examples (all from the official kindle forum) -

UPS just delivered my Kindle 3-ordered 7/28 with free 2 day shipping-wifi & 3G-graphite 

Ordered 2nd week in August (the 15th of August IIRC), am prime. Delivery estimate: August 27th.

 3rd waver here – ordered 8/14. Delivery estimate is 8/27 after I got antsy and switched to one-day shipping

It’s all very strange – Why are some people, who ordered very early, still waiting for a shipping email while other people, with later Kindle 3 orders, are already getting their Kindle 3s? If people are getting their Kindle 3s much earlier than the supposed ship dates why is the current Kindle 3 ship date (for new orders) listed as September 17th?

It seems that Amazon has sold so many Kindle 3s that it’s having a hard time coordinating the Kindle 3 ship dates. As long as people don’t get their Kindle 3 later than promised it’s not really an issue.

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