That's a tough one to answer. I'd say it would depend on whether or not the person was comfortable with technology and didn't get flustered easily when using it. My paranoia is such that I would be wary with Android Apps, etc., because it's so easy to get, er, shall we say unpleasantly surprised if one isn't diligent.
Originally Posted by ncb4
I would assume, however, that Amazon's "walled garden" version of Android might at least keep some of that at bay. If it's just for reading, then it sounds to me as if the Kindle Touch might be a better choice (less to get into trouble with).
My guess is that if I was limited to only one Kindle (a tiny voice just screamed, "Noooooooo!") it would probably be the KTouch. I'm fine with my K3 (and am coming to terms with the KFire) but the KTouch does sounds like a happy medium.
I bow to your courage and bravery at helping non-tech folks. I've tried it a time or two.
(Interesting to read a recent article that said the Kindle Fire is expected to spur iPad sales! :cool:)
I own an iPad but not a Kindle although I have tried the Kindle. My guess would be that the Kindle Touch would be a good start. Reading on it seems very simple. The nice thing about Amazon.com is that they will accept returns I think within 30 days. The other choice would be the $79 Kindle which I think is nice and very reasonably priced. I'm tempted myself but like reading on the iPad and iPhone.
First let me note that I am an Apple fan and own many Apple products including an iPad. I also own a Kindle 3 (now known as a Kindle Keyboard). I really like my iPad for most everything. I do prefer the Kindle for reading but it is problematic in low light conditions as the screen is not backlit.
I tried a Kindle Fire this past weekend in a local Best Buy and have to say I was impressed. The machine was in demo mode so I could not do everything I would have liked but did get a chance to use the reading functions and saw how other functions worked. It really is simple to operate (you touch "Read my Books" and there is a display of all the titles on the device, touch the one you want and there you go! Same for TV, movies etc. It is very much a consumption device.) so I don't think it would be a problem for most users. The device is not quite as assistive as the iPad for those who need a larger font nor will it read text as you can do on some of the e-ink kindles (if the publisher allows it). I would not be concerned about malware. Amazon has modified Android and only allows the typical user to add things from it's own app store which is as closed as the Apple app store. (Sophisticated users can add things via 'side loading' but that's not an issue for the majority of folks. The Fire is somewhat heavier than the e-ink kindles if that would be an issue but it is backlit so you can use it in low light conditions. Battery life is acceptable (about 6-8 hours depending on use) but not as good as the e-ink versions (weeks/months depending on use and version). If you plug the Fire in every night like you might do with a phone, it should not be a problem.
Good luck with your choice.
rabergnc, I've decided to keep the Touch I ordered. The decision I need to make—and though that may sound presumptuous, this family wants me to make decisions about technical purchases for them—is whether my friends would have an easier time using the Kindle Keyboard, the Touch, the Fire, or possibly the Color Nook. They are not invested in the Amazon ecosystem yet; by which I mean they don't already have a library of Kindle books, so the Nook or other e-reader are possibilities as well. I think the best way for me to start is to take my Touch over there and let them play with it, then see whether they want to do more than read books. If they want to subscribe to magazines or stream videos, then either the Fire or the Color Nook might be the best choice—but only if they are really, really easy to use.
Originally Posted by rabergnc
I really appreciate all the hands-on reviews from people; it helps a great deal.
Ncb4 - the Touch is a fine choice. It is an excellent reader, easy to operate and has the best, hi- res display which is very easy to read. In lower light conditions, a case with a built in light works great. Amazon has the best library of ebooks, most reasonable priced. There are bunches of free ebooks out there which can be loaded onto the Touch with a work. What's nice about the amazon library is just a simple click and a minute later the book is there ready to be read. Hope you enjoy it.
I have an iPad 2 and a Kindle Keyboard. I love and use both. The Kindle is great on buses, trains and in the car (my wife does the driving). I carry both in my Ristretto for iPad, and there's still space for the Apple Wireless Keyboard.
I use a program called calibre <www.calibre-ebook.com> to convert between .pdf, .epub (iPad) and .mobi (Kindle) formats.
There is also Mobipocket eBook Creator
Originally Posted by jbonet
which I have used to create a trip itinerary.
gmanedit: I have been looking at the Kindle. The Kindle touch. I am not sure how to subscribe to newspapers or blogs. Someone said there is a way to get them all for free via something called Calibre? does anyone know?
Jbonet: ha: i did not read this earlier. Can you tell me how Calibre works?
Calibre is a software program that can act as a digital library. You don't get books for free, but you can convert them to different formats. (Well, you can get them for free if you consider working around some DRMs as free). With Calibre, you can tag your books/pdfs, sort by title, author, genre, rating, etc. You can give put your books into series (if you're like me and can't remember which book in the series needs to be read next) and can add books covers to the files if they're missing. Just take the file, and drag/drop it into Calibre (there's also a wizard if you're more comfortable with that). By default, the file will be renamed and moved to the /calibre library folder, so everything's in one place. The other wonderful thing Calibre does is convert files to other formats (as mentioned above).
The formats available are: epub, mobi, azw3, fb2, htmlz, lit, lrf, pdb, pdf, and pmlz. You can convert individual files or batches of them, keeping or deleting the original file as you see fit. This means you can take a file and read it on your Nook, Kindle, and/or phone by converting it to the right file type. For instance, I convert everything to PDF and just use the PDF reader on my phone. But, books for my daughter I convert so that she can read them through the Nook player, keeping her library separate from mine. You can also sync books to your device when it's plugged in. And you can share those files without having to "loan" e-books (stupid DRMs)
Calibre is free, so there's really no reason not to try it (calibre-ebook[dot]com). There's also plugins so you can find duplicates, link to Goodreads, etc. Jeez, I sound like an ad. I don't mean to. I really like being able to convert books to PDF and get really annoyed with Amazon's proprietary-ness. Plus list formats work better for me than visual bookshelves. In short, I really like Calibre (and it's free!)
Hope that helps answer the Calibre question =)
I'm also a fan of Calibre. It helps me manage my book library and it also lets me replace bad e-book cover art with better downloadable art.
I do a lot of reading on my iPad. I prefer the iBooks app to the Kindle app on the iPad, although I hate the iBooks store. I sync my iBooks and Kindle book marks with my iPhone so that I can read a few pages over lunch or on the bus.
I've not tried the Kindle device.
so I thought I was geeky, but clearly not.
Not sure what these file formats are: epub; mobi; azw3 etc., The only one I recognize is pdf! Which one does Kindle use? Ipad? etc.,
I downloaded Calibre on my Macbook air. How do I download it to Kindle? or make it work with a kindle? not sure I could figure that out.
also saw that there are a number of books via archive.org--but not sure how to convert them to read on Kindle or Ipad.
Some step by step explanation would be much appreciated!
sorry to be daft!
Originally Posted by earth5
Hi, I've just bought a Sony Reader (T1). I'm a PhD student and figured that I could use the Sony reader for all my journal articles and text books. The biggest issue for me is distractions!! I'd loooooove to get an iPad, but I know I'd be constantly online and checking email and generally NOT doing my phd! The Sony reader does have an internet browser, but it's obviously not in colour so not as tempting as other devices (phone, laptop, the much-desired ipad).... I'm still working out how to use the Sony Reader - at the moment I've just got some 'how to do a phd' type books on it, and I consider it a little bit of a break from my studies. But I do hope to load all my journal articles on it at some point.
So ... yeah, I can see the value in a Kindle. But for a multi-purpose device, that can do lots more than just show books, I think the iPad is simply unbeatable at this point. (Yes, this is me building my business case to buy an ipad!!!!)
Originally Posted by earth5
I didn't know it could link to Goodreads!! Squee!!!!!!!
Shiva, eBook formatting and DRM (Digital Rights Management) drive me crazy. Basically, each of the major eBook companies have their own proprietary format. For example, Kindle books tend to be .azw3, but iBooks are .epub. Calibre will convert between them between the formats. There may be a hitch, though, and that hitch is DRM. Amazon doesn't want you to be able to share your Kindle Books with anyone else. Therefore, they essentially lock your Kindle files with your Kindle account information and encryption referred to as DRM. Many of the big eBook companies try to make sure that a DRM-d eBook file cannot be converted to another format. There is a nice discussion about DRM (mainly in relation to Calibre) here.
Note that there are publishers who don't DRM their books. In the Sci-Fi/Fantasy genre, Baen and Weightless Books are examples. If you purchase a Baen eBook directly from Baen, you are free to convert it to whatever format you want and to read it on however many devices you have. If you buy a classic novel from Amazon on Kindle, you probably won't be able to easily read it in iBooks. But if you got that eBook from a Project Gutenberg-aligned site, you'd likely have no trouble.
Here's a quick tutorial on using Calibre for different devices. It's a little dated; I believe there are now additional ways of getting Calibre material onto eBook devices. Also, the Calibre manual, while dauntingly long, is pretty good. I learned a lot about eBooks from the Calibre FAQ and eBook Conversion chapter.