The famous designer Philippe Starck was at Le Web yesterday and, so, I wondered what he’d say about Amazon’s Kindle. It was interesting to me that he hadn’t seen it yet and he panned it in a way that I could never do with a straight face. Ended up saying “it’s almost modern.” Ouch.
Bruno Giussani has the details on what Stark said about the Kindle. He also keeps his reputation of taking the best notes at tech industry conferences that I’ve seen.
ognibeni uploaded this video of the Starck Kindle review.
Thank you to Adam Tinworth, who took the picture above and also has tons of other notes about his talk.
It’s fun that Starck doesn’t take himself too seriously. At one point he pointed out that Apple’s co-founder Steve Jobs +is+ a design genius and added that he only looks like a genius because he wore leather pants onto the stage.
I was on San Francisco State University’s campus this morning to give a talk when someone came up to me and wanted to see my Kindle. I’ve now shown it to dozens of people and the reactions are all pretty similar. I have started filming these reactions so you can see how people react when they first get their hands on it.
Why was I so harsh on it? Because of conversations just like this one.
Notice that she accidentally hits the “next” button. That she tries to use it as a touch screen. That she is bugged by the refresh rate. But, she, like me, is interested enough to want to buy one (she’s the first that I’ve shown it to that has that reaction). Imagine if Amazon had designed it better? Imagine how many more people would want it.
Oh, and Slashdot.org linked to my harsh review and, boy, did that bring a lot of haters to my chat room.
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.
Mike Arrington, founder of TechCrunch, and I were at an Orange party tonight. His Amazon Kindle didn’t show up yet (it comes tomorrow) so I showed it to him. He hated the UI, so I turned on my cell phone and recorded him goofing around a bit.
Etch a Sketch is better, huh? Yikes.
Oh, Mike’s always saying my videos are boring (although he admitted to me that he watches them). I wonder what he’ll say about my videos now that he’s been on one?
Oh #2 Ben Higginbotham of Technology Evangelist ACTUALLY HAS TWO SONY READERS and gives us his 12-hour video review of the Kindle and he disagrees with Mike, saying the navigation is “sexy cool.”
Here’s my first use of the Amazon Kindle. I buy TechCrunch. All at the beach, er Half Moon Bay Ritz.
Then I find out there’s a browser which actually is better than buying blogs. Ahh, too bad Mike, you won’t get my $.60!
I bought the New York Times, too.
What was great was there’s no setup at all. It comes pre set up. Very cool. Jeff Bezos even said “welcome Robert.” Heheh.
I have another video coming soon where I walked around the neighborhood with it.
Oh, and Mike, thanks for giving us bloggers all a vacation! Just what we need to play more with our Kindle’s!
What’s really fun is that if you buy TechCrunch you don’t get the comments, but if you get the free version you get comments!
UPDATE: here’s my walk around the neighborhood while using the Kindle for the first time too. In my walk video you see what the screen is like in sunlight and shaded light.
Oh, and James Kendrick gives you his video first impressions too.