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?
Q3: Can I read books from the library on the Kindle 3?
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 –
- Kindle 3 graphite helps show off the screen contrast. It looks pretty good.
- 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?
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 –
- New Kindle 3 owner advice – A good place to start.
- Kindle 3 Insights for some Kindle 3 tips and hints.
- 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.
- 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 –
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 –
- Set a device password so if the device is in screensaver mode when found or goes into screensaver mode it gets locked.
- Deregister your Kindle 3 at Amazon’s Manage Your Kindle page so whoever finds your Kindle 3 can’t buy books through it.
- 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.