Dear Jeff Bezos (one-week Kindle review)

I’ve read two books on it, which explains why I haven’t been on Twitter very much in the past week. But the Kindle really bugs me now. I’m hitting all sorts of little things that the Kindle team simply didn’t think through very well.

Here’s my one-week review of Amazon’s Kindle.

I focus on a few areas:

1. No ability to buy paper goods from Amazon through Kindle.
2. Usability sucks. They didn’t think about how people would hold this device.
3. UI sucks. Menus? Did they hire some out-of-work Microsoft employees?
4. No ability to send electronic goods to anyone else. I know Mike Arrington has one. I wanted to send him a gift through this of Alan Greenspan’s new book. I couldn’t. That’s lame.
5. No social network. Why don’t I have a list of all my friends who also have Kindles and let them see what I’m reading?
6. No touch screen. The iPhone has taught everyone that I’ve shown this to that screens are meant to be touched. Yet we’re stuck with a silly navigation system because the screen isn’t touchable.

Would I buy it? Yes, but I’m a geek. I can’t really recommend this to other people yet. Sorry.

It’s obvious that they never had this device in their hands when they were designing it.

Whoever designed this should be fired and the team should start over.

[kyte.tv appKey=MarbachViewerEmbedded&uri=channels/6118/77475&embedId=10019445&locale=en]

486 thoughts on “Dear Jeff Bezos (one-week Kindle review)

  1. Hello,

    I have published a book, Web On-The-Go in Amazon Kindle version.
    Here is the link for the book.

    http://www.amazon.com/Web-On-The-Go-ebook/dp/B0

    This book is all about innovative ideas for wireless web.
    I'll be very glad if you could review the book, Web On-The-Go.

    Your review and comments will be very valuable.

    Thanks
    Bala

  2. Absolutely agree with you here… This *might* have been cool in 1995. Arrington is right about the Sony Reader being better,Moda Evi but I think that the best is going to come out of Samsung or Apple in the near future.

  3. Give me a break, no social networking. You live in this world of tech blogs that believes everyone in the world is in some social network, and the rest who are not actually care.Penis Büyütücü
    Guess what, most are not, and most don't care. Stop drinking the Kool-Aid. The device is interesting with or without social networking.

  4. Uggghhhhh… Scoble is a dweeb. No social network?? I couldn’t care less what my “friends” are doing much less reading. Its an electronic book! More twenty something got to be connected doing five things at once mentality. You could say the same things about the drill motor in my toolbox but its pretty useful when I need to drill holes. Someone needs to drill a hole in Scobles head and see what really is in there. Buy it or don’t buy it but stop the juvenile whining about how everything “sucks”. The word “suck” is not a very grown up way of describing something. Just say what you like and don’t like. I don’t know how guys like you get paid?

  5. Uggghhhhh… Scoble is a dweeb. No social network?? I couldn’t care less what my “friends” are doing much less reading. Its an electronic book! More twenty something got to be connected doing five things at once mentality. You could say the same things about the drill motor in my toolbox but its pretty useful when I need to drill holes. Someone needs to drill a hole in Scobles head and see what really is in there. Buy it or don’t buy it but stop the juvenile whining about how everything “sucks”. The word “suck” is not a very grown up way of describing something. Just say what you like and don’t like. I don’t know how guys like you get paid?

  6. I wrote a blog post on this the other day.

    Why would I pay $360 for a butt-ugly device simply for the privilege of RENTING ebooks for a further $10 a pop? Assuming they ever made it work in Canada, which is doesn’t. It’s a useless bloated piece of tech designed by a marketer to sell (or rent rather) more Amazon products. I can go to the library and get books for free, why would I want to rent them from Amazon?

  7. I wrote a blog post on this the other day.

    Why would I pay $360 for a butt-ugly device simply for the privilege of RENTING ebooks for a further $10 a pop? Assuming they ever made it work in Canada, which is doesn’t. It’s a useless bloated piece of tech designed by a marketer to sell (or rent rather) more Amazon products. I can go to the library and get books for free, why would I want to rent them from Amazon?

  8. For Aaron Neville, being on the road feels far further normal than being by home.

    “somewhere the street takes me, that’s anywhere I go,” understood the 67-year-old singer from a tour stop in Northern California. “I just quit where they tell me.”

    As a unaccompanied artist, Neville is top known for soulful ballads, approximating his 1966 rejection . 1, “Tell It Like It Is.” bar that all changes when he and brothers Charles, painting and Cyril get jointly on phase .

    “We execute a minute bit of everything,” he said. “mood , jazz, depression , R&B. Everything.”

    On Saturday night, the Neville Brothers bring their eclectic stylings to fuss 29 Casino into Coachella. And while Aaron said he’s been to the desert several times over the past decade before so, this time is special as he’ll be performing with his brothers.

    “I love the desert,” Neville said, “but then I love wherever (people) like my composition .”

  9. For Aaron Neville, being on the road feels far further normal than being by home.

    “somewhere the street takes me, that’s anywhere I go,” understood the 67-year-old singer from a tour stop in Northern California. “I just quit where they tell me.”

    As a unaccompanied artist, Neville is top known for soulful ballads, approximating his 1966 rejection . 1, “Tell It Like It Is.” bar that all changes when he and brothers Charles, painting and Cyril get jointly on phase .

    “We execute a minute bit of everything,” he said. “mood , jazz, depression , R&B. Everything.”

    On Saturday night, the Neville Brothers bring their eclectic stylings to fuss 29 Casino into Coachella. And while Aaron said he’s been to the desert several times over the past decade before so, this time is special as he’ll be performing with his brothers.

    “I love the desert,” Neville said, “but then I love wherever (people) like my composition .”

  10. I think the Kindle is a cool idea but it just costs WAY WAY too much. Think about it. The screen it uses should be the most expensive part of that device and those 6 inch monochrome screens purchased in bulk are dirt cheap. No more than $10-$20 max. add in the battery, the EVDO radio and casing and I would doubt if Amazon has more than $50-$75 tops in harware costs. Probably a lot less with their bulk buying power. The major cost in publishing books is in printing, binding and physical distribution. With electronic distribution all of that goes away but if you look at what Amazon is charging for new E-books they are within 80%-90% of the price of paper books. Those prices are just pure ripoff, considering the incredible savings they are getting via electronic distribution. No e-book older that 6 month-1 year old should cost any more than $3-$5 MAX. So Amazon is charging a 300-400% premium on the books + a 300-400% premium on the harware. Thats just outrageous from a money standpoint, forget about all the usability and quality issues with the product. If the harware was between $100-$150 and if the books were around $10 for new releases I would consider it but $400 and $25 for the books? Thats just too much like sodomy for me to pay for it.

  11. I think the Kindle is a cool idea but it just costs WAY WAY too much. Think about it. The screen it uses should be the most expensive part of that device and those 6 inch monochrome screens purchased in bulk are dirt cheap. No more than $10-$20 max. add in the battery, the EVDO radio and casing and I would doubt if Amazon has more than $50-$75 tops in harware costs. Probably a lot less with their bulk buying power. The major cost in publishing books is in printing, binding and physical distribution. With electronic distribution all of that goes away but if you look at what Amazon is charging for new E-books they are within 80%-90% of the price of paper books. Those prices are just pure ripoff, considering the incredible savings they are getting via electronic distribution. No e-book older that 6 month-1 year old should cost any more than $3-$5 MAX. So Amazon is charging a 300-400% premium on the books + a 300-400% premium on the harware. Thats just outrageous from a money standpoint, forget about all the usability and quality issues with the product. If the harware was between $100-$150 and if the books were around $10 for new releases I would consider it but $400 and $25 for the books? Thats just too much like sodomy for me to pay for it.

  12. 435 of 484 people found the following review helpful:
    Killer e-book Reader, November 20, 2007
    By James Means “jamesinhouston” (Houston, TX United States) – See all my reviews

    I received my Kindle today and I have to say “NO” to the haters. This is a killer reader. Here are some pros and cons:

    Pros
    1. The reader response time is excellent and the display is crisp and clear.
    2. The interface is extremely intuitive and well-designed.
    3. Shopping in the Kindle store is extremely easy and relatively fast
    4. Page and menu navigation are easy and well thought out.
    5. The mp3 player works very well so audio books would be great as well
    6. In general it’s a great design in perhaps not the most beautiful package.
    7. Great non-skid backing

    Cons:
    1. The keyboard can be a bit slow to respond while shopping.
    2. It’s a tad uncomfortable to hold without the book cover but I’ll manage.
    3. Pricey

    All things considered, I’m extremely pleased with the Kindle. The device is already registered and it is ready to go as soon as you unpack it.

  13. 435 of 484 people found the following review helpful:
    Killer e-book Reader, November 20, 2007
    By James Means “jamesinhouston” (Houston, TX United States) – See all my reviews

    I received my Kindle today and I have to say “NO” to the haters. This is a killer reader. Here are some pros and cons:

    Pros
    1. The reader response time is excellent and the display is crisp and clear.
    2. The interface is extremely intuitive and well-designed.
    3. Shopping in the Kindle store is extremely easy and relatively fast
    4. Page and menu navigation are easy and well thought out.
    5. The mp3 player works very well so audio books would be great as well
    6. In general it’s a great design in perhaps not the most beautiful package.
    7. Great non-skid backing

    Cons:
    1. The keyboard can be a bit slow to respond while shopping.
    2. It’s a tad uncomfortable to hold without the book cover but I’ll manage.
    3. Pricey

    All things considered, I’m extremely pleased with the Kindle. The device is already registered and it is ready to go as soon as you unpack it.

  14. The passion behind Tom is great! Getting to the point saves a lot of time, especially when you’re new to something, or aren’t fully illiterate on the topic.

  15. The passion behind Tom is great! Getting to the point saves a lot of time, especially when you’re new to something, or aren’t fully illiterate on the topic.

  16. I searched through the comments and didn’t see anyone posting the actual technical reason to not having a touch screen. It’s not because of finger prints. ( Although that would piss me off. ) It’s probably a “little” bit due to expense. It’s not because of battery life, resistive and capacitive touchscreens don’t use much power.

    It’s all about light. Touchscreens block nearly 40% of light passing through them. ( sometimes more! ) These screens are lit from ambient light, so you lose 40% on the way into the screen, and 40% on the way out, cutting the light getting to your eye by nearly 66% !! This is why Irex Technologie’s Iliad, which I own, uses a Wacom tablet to implement stylus based touch. Wacom tablets measure magnetic interference, and don’t place a “flim” over the screen. It it more expensive then a touch screen, but it was the only option from an engineering perspective.

  17. I searched through the comments and didn’t see anyone posting the actual technical reason to not having a touch screen. It’s not because of finger prints. ( Although that would piss me off. ) It’s probably a “little” bit due to expense. It’s not because of battery life, resistive and capacitive touchscreens don’t use much power.

    It’s all about light. Touchscreens block nearly 40% of light passing through them. ( sometimes more! ) These screens are lit from ambient light, so you lose 40% on the way into the screen, and 40% on the way out, cutting the light getting to your eye by nearly 66% !! This is why Irex Technologie’s Iliad, which I own, uses a Wacom tablet to implement stylus based touch. Wacom tablets measure magnetic interference, and don’t place a “flim” over the screen. It it more expensive then a touch screen, but it was the only option from an engineering perspective.

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