Amazon Kindle Touch – finally!

Earlier this week, I finally received my Kindle Touch, purchased through a local reseller. Amazon doesn’t sell their Kindles with special offers (which are much cheaper) through direct shipping, so ordering from a local reseller was much more convenient, and even less expensive. There are several to choose from in Sulit.com, who can do meet-ups or ship directly to your address for a minimal charge. While I’m more than happy with the seller I chose, I found a better deal with one of their rivals, who offered a case, screen protector and clip-on light to go with the Kindle for the same price I bought my Kindle and a case. The advantage of the seller I went with, however, was that they were quick to reply to my inquiries, as opposed to the rival who only did so after almost a week. Nonetheless, I’m satisfied with my purchase and I’d recommend that people interested in buying Kindles in the Philippines do so from local resellers as well.
I love the simplicity of the Kindle’s packaging. It’s compact and simple. The fact that it is sold online and not on store shelves means that marketing through extravagant packaging is unnecessary, thereby saving a bit of the environment, and perhaps even lowering shipping costs.
Just tear along the perforated strip to find what is arguably the best e-book reader currently available.
Hooray for public domain books! Since it has been more than fifty years since Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s death, I can now download his Sherlock Holmes stories for free, through Amazon themselves or Project Gutenberg. I went crazy filling my Kindle up with classics, philosophy books, and yes, even free cookbooks. Transfer is easy through WiFi or USB. I didn’t bother with 3G because WiFi is already pretty much ubiquitous in the Philippines, and I don’t mind waiting til I get home to transfer any new books I have. As to the less-than-standard browsing capabilities and social media features of the Kindle, as well as the ability to play mp3s, I find them superfluous. I already have my netbook, Blackberry and iPod for those, and I don’t really feel the need to have all my devices built into one gadget. Specialization it is for me.

And as far as specialization goes, it doesn’t get much better than the Kindle touch. Navigation and typing are a breeze compared to the Kindle 4 (as I can imagine). The e-ink display is also excellent for daylight reading. My only gripe is that with other Kindles (the 3 and 4), users were able to create, organize and transfer their e-book collections on their computers through third party software. The Kindle Touch does not have this feature, and requires collections to be organized on the device itself. While this is easy enough with the touchscreen interface, it still is time-consuming. I would rather have the choice to do it on the computer, where I can drag and drop, select multiple titles, etc. Hopefully third party developers will come up with a program for this soon.

In all, I’m happy I got my Kindle Touch. It’s no iPad 2, but at a fraction of the price, it’s the best e-book reader money can buy. I’ll just have to play Fruit Ninja somewhere else.

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