Tablet Problem Solved. I Got a Kindle.

Mari Silbey —  February 22, 2011 — 10 Comments

I’ve been moaning for months about the state of the Android tablet market. I had planned to ask for one for Christmas, and then my birthday, but those dates have now slipped by, and there’s still not a suitable Android-based tablet for my wish list. I regularly borrow my husband’s iPad for playing games, but a significant problem has emerged that the occasional iPad appropriation doesn’t solve. I’m running out of books.

Since various family members have made the shift to e-readers, my sources for leisure-time reading material have seriously dried up. I’m too lazy and time-constrained to hunt for books I might like, so I rely on others to recommend and then lend me any good ones. Now that they all read their books digitally, it’s put a serious kink in this time-honored system. So much so that my husband finally went out and bought me a Kindle for my birthday. And you know what? It’s perfect.

Unlike my preference for a 10-inch tablet screen, the 6-7-inch variety is perfect for an e-reader. And my Kindle is Wi-Fi only, which suits me just fine given the way I plan to use it. (I can hold off on the Kindle 4.) Most importantly, my new present gives me access to other people’s libraries. The same way I used to borrow a hard-copy book from my mom, she’ll now let me register my Kindle to her account when I want to check out a few of her latest reads. And I can do it instantly. How’s that for gratification?

I still plan to get a tablet in the future, but in the meantime, a purpose-built e-reader, especially at today’s prices, is just what I need. Temporary tablet problem solved. Now I have a Kindle.

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10 responses to Tablet Problem Solved. I Got a Kindle.

  1. Kindle 3 is a very, very nice device and will suit you very well until nice tablet options emerge.

    I’d say currently there are three main choices in different price ranges – Kindle 3 (simple e-reader that will work for most people), iPad (full of iApp goodness plus reading functionality), and… Nook Color (for tweakers).

    Given high prices of existing/upcoming Android tablets, NC at $250 is a very appealing proposition for those who know their way around XDA forums.

  2. Ah gee! You coulda waited two days and gotten a Motorola Xoom for $800 instead ;-)

  3. Ivan, I’m occasionally tempted by the Nook Color. If only it were a bit faster and the touch control less finicky.

    Richard, yeah Mari should get a former employee discount. At 10% off, it’d be a much more reasonable $720?

  4. I think it’s more likely there’d be a former employee tax. ;)

  5. @Dave – NC has been OC’d to 1.1GHz (from stock 800 MHz) — http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=925451

    But, yeah, generally I’d advocate a wait-and-see approach and never expected to pick up NC so soon, but I got it for a steal ($215 on eBay minus 3% cashback from Mr. Rebates minus 2% eBay Bucks minus whatever eBay Bucks I had earned).

    P.S. Speaking of ‘Bay – really wish Bing Cashback was still around. Those days were awesome! :)

  6. “Most importantly, my new present gives me access to other people’s libraries.”

    Now that OverDrive has finally released their iPad app, I have a large selection of “free” books through my local library’s online digital books section.

  7. My goodness! I did the exact same thing. Deciding, Deciding them finally bought a Kindle 3

  8. Bill, thanks for the OverDrive mention – totally missed that! Mari, does your library system support OverDrive? We need to cover the iPad app. :)

  9. At the price point, and given the MUCH lighter weight, the Kindle does NOT compete with tablets that cost so much more. You made absolutely the right decision.

    Oh and if you didn’t pick it up, the case Amazon sells for the Kindle 3 with the pop-out light that runs off the Kindle’s own battery is a very worthwhile add on if you like to read at night.

    Until the iPad drops its weight in half you’re never going to be able to hold it up over your head to read in bed. Its just too heavy. And while I like my iPad for all the things it does, there’s something to be said for a dedicated eReader.

    Mari, why not just buy an iPad, what have you got against Apple? Personally its still the only choice you can make as far as I’m concerned. The Android tablets that are or will soon be available are too expensive and the UI’s are too weird. I’d want to wait a bit for the marketplace to start supporting the higher resolutions, flash support to actually arrive with 10.2, etc etc.

  10. It sounds like Mari made a good choice. My wife loves her eInk Nook for reading books. Our house is less cluttered with throwaway paperbacks now too. :-)

    Dave, the NookColor is a decent book reader and tablet. I actually don’t mind the LCD screen for reading books as much as I thought I would. Then again, I don’t read books for hours at a time. One hour is usually my maximum attention span.

    The UI is getting better with each update. Honestly, the speed now is fine for the amount of navigation you’d need to do. The web browser is adequate, though I’ve noticed JavaScript support is somewhat lacking.

    I wish the NookColor did do more, e.g. had access to the normal Android app store. I don’t feel like rooting it to get that stuff. Then again, it’s nice having a relatively simple device that lets you focus on reading.

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