Unboxing the New Amazon Kindle 3

Yesterday, I received my Kindle 3. It was all I could do to keep from opening the box. However, I wanted to share the “unboxing experience” with you, so I waited until I got home so Gail, my wife, could video tape the whole thing. (I did the same thing with Kindle 2.)

This is now the third Kindle I have bought. You’d think Amazon would send these free (hint, hint) to major publishers, but they don’t. The good news is that my Kindle library migrates effortlessly from device to device. In fact, I can even read my Kindle books on my iPhone, my iPad, and my Mac.

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I have been using the iPad for the past few months, but, frankly, I don’t think it is the best device for pure reading. While multiple apps and multi-tasking sound good initially, I found them distracting after a few weeks use.

This is where the Kindle shines. It is pretty much a single app machine. As a result, the reading experience is immersive and much less distracting. I find that it is easier to keep reading and stay focused.

Although I discuss my raw, unfiltered impressions in the video, I have included them here in case you would rather read that watch. Compared to the Kindle 2, the Kindle 3 is a significant step forward:

  1. It is much smaller and lighter. The body is 21% smaller while keeping the exact same screen size as the Kindle 2. It is only 1/3 of an inch thick—thinner than the iPhone. At less than 9 ounces, it weighs less than a paperback. It makes the iPad feel really, really heavy.
  2. The screen is much better. Amazon says it has a 50% better screen contrast than any other e-reader. It is a noticeable improvement from the Kindle 2. It also boasts new, crisper fonts. You quickly forget that you are reading an e-reader.
  3. It has more storage. Amazon doubled the capacity. It can hold up to 3,500 books. No, I am not kidding. Most people don’t have this many volumes in their entire personal library. It will also hold a charge for up to one month with wireless turned off and 10 days with it on.
  4. It is available in both wireless and 3G models. I bought both. The 3G is free, though you pay $50 more for the 3G device. Still, at $189.00, I think it is a bargain. You can download books in less than 60 seconds. It’s essentially a bookstore in your hand.
  5. It has a better user-interface. The first thing I notices is that page turns are much faster. The annoying flicker and delay inherent in e-ink technology is almost (though not quite) gone. The selector is better, too. (I still wish the Kindle had a touch screen.) The 3G model is also available in two colors: graphite (grey) and white. I got the white one, and it is really handsome.
  6. It provides an enhanced PDF reader. I haven’t tried this yet, but it might be good for manuscripts and other business documents. It has dictionary lookup, notes, and highlights. As in previous versions, to get your documents on the Kindle, you simply email them to your Kindle email address, which is automatically assigned to you when you buy the device.

Assuming you are a serious reader, the biggest advantage of the Kindle is the massive selection of books available. Amazon provides over 670,000 books, including nearly all of the New York Times bestsellers. (At Thomas Nelson, we have more than 80% of our books available for sale now on the Kindle.)

In addition, there are 1.8 million free, public domain books available. This is the single most frustrating thing with Apple’s iBooks store. I often find that the books I want aren’t available.

All the same features are still there in the Kindle 3, including the Whispersync technology that syncs the last place you read in each book across all your devices, the read-to-me, text-to-speech, technology, and free book samples.

I plan to post again on the Kindle 3, once I have had a chance to use it for a couple of weeks.

Question: Do you plan to get a Kindle 3? If so, why? If not, why?
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  • http://mylife-in-stories.blogspot.com Donna

    I am currently checking out the different reading mechs available and appreciated your blog on it. I am looking forward to reading your next post on it once you've used it for a while. While I love holding the actual book in my hand, I have no more place (literally) to put another book in my little cottage.

  • http://www.joannamuses.com/ joanna

    Although it frustrates me that international users like myself get charged more for kindle books and have a smaller range available to us, I do hope to get one eventually. I have accumulated so many free kindle books I think it would be worth it just for reading those.

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  • http://dailydwelling.com Monica

    My husband just purchased a Kindle 3 for me for my birthday and I'm beyond excited!!! Now I just have to wait for it to be shipped…

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I think you’ll love it!

    • Toni

      I'm in the same boat! Our husbands are wonderful. I have to wait the weekend and mine will arrive. I'm very excited.

  • http://kylydia.wordpress.com kylydia

    I got a Kindle, my first, for my birthday in July. I've read more since then than in the previous twelve months, combined. I love it.

    Also, do you know that your feed is extremely difficult to read (at least in Google Reader). The ads at the bottom are constantly resetting the feed to the top. Maybe not a big deal to you since readers have to click through to read anything beyond the first twenty lines or so.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I am not seeing that in Google Reader. It looks find to me. What hardware and browser are you using? Thanks.

      • LP

        This is probably just an issue in the iGoogle Google Reader widget, as things scroll fine when Google Reader itself is fully opened.

    • susanmaas

      I have that same problem with Google reader. I am using the latest IE and have a computer with Windows Vista, also plenty of RAM and all that. I end up having to click to the actual page to read articles.

  • http://rindywalton.com Rindy Walton

    I have the free kindle apps on my ipod and laptop and have been wanting to get a 'real' one, but haven't yet (waiting for the cost to come down & 'kinks' to get out). Quick question—does it still use 'sections' or have they progressed to somewhere putting page numbers that correspond to the physical books? While not important if I'm reading for myself, it's very frustrating when trying to use with a book study of any kind. Am hoping they can put something in a margin or something one of these days!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      No pages numbers, unfortunately. I really don’t know how they could do that and still give you the ability to change font sizes. The pages will flow differently, based on your selection.

  • http://www.tonyjalicea.com Tony J Alicea

    There is nothing like the unboxing of new technology. Thanks for sharing!

    I do have a question about your iPad comments. Do you feel that reading on the iPad is inferior to the Kindle only because of the distraction and weight factor? As far as reading a book on the iPad (the screen), how is that? I'm thinking of getting an iPad once the next generation comes out. I can deal with the distraction factor.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yes, only the distraction and the weight. I actually like the iBooks app better. It is more visually appealing with its multi-color highlighting and bookmarks.

  • http://hisearthgirl.wordpress.com Terra

    Great video taping Gail! Seriously!

    • gailbhyatt

      <grin> I kind of like doing it … There's power behind the camera!!

  • colleencoble

    I have been holding out on getting one but with the new price I'm very tempted. Even my husband is asking why I haven't bought one. :-) I've been undecided about getting a Kindle or checking out the Sony. Mike, have you looked at the Sony at all? it looks pretty slick, almost like the iPad with the touch screen.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I have looked at the Sony, but it’s been a few months. I would compare it feature for feature. I don’t think it matches up to the Kindle 3. Plus, it is very difficult for anyone to compete with Amazon’s book selection. When I tried the touch screen, it had an annoying lag, which made me re-touch it. They may have fixed it by now. I also like the ability to read the Kindle on my iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

      • colleencoble

        Yes there is that book selection. The Nook lets you loan a book to a friend but their selection isn't as good. I've had several readers email me wanting all of the Rock Harbor series for the Nook but only 2 are available. Too bad the formats aren't all interchangeable.

  • http://www.facebook.com/erin.obryan Erin Kathleen O'Bryan

    I have always wanted a Kindle and got a great deal a couple months ago, I had done no research and had no idea if the one I was getting was the best version. It was, I think. the 3G was a great surprise(see I really didn't read anything when I ordered I just had to have it). I love it! The pdf converter hasn't been the greatest, many of my ebooks don't seem to convert to a readable format to big, too small no inbetween. I still love it, AND I can go online with it, I put my mp3's on it it all good. Congrats on joining the fans. Also I follow on blog Books on the Knob he tells me about free books, great deals, AND I also have 2 free games on my Kindle.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I am eager to try the PDF conversion on the new one. I will report back, when I give a more in-depth review in a few weeks.

  • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

    Thanks for sharing your experience, Michael. As a recent iPad purchaser, I can tell you my greatest problem with it is that my wife is always using it. When I have had a few minutes with it, I found the iBook app is better than the available Kindle app. I like the split book view and the finger swipe page turning.
    The new Kindle you previewed has two features that look great, the smaller size and the low weight. The price point seems good and the free 3G seems like the way to go. It is very tempting to buy one at this price point. (I think these things will really take off when the price drops under $100 and it makes sense to buy one for every member of the family). The only drawback that I see is the lack of a natural page turn (touch screen) and a noticeable flicker.
    I can see the day quickly coming, when our students have all of their textbooks and reading materials on one. It would certainly be better than the huge backpacks they carry now.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      The flicker is greatly reduced in the new one, but it is still there. I don’t think with this technology (i.e., e-ink) they will ever get rid of it entirely.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a $99 version before Christmas.

  • http://forrest-long.blogspot.com Forrest Long

    What a great video! You could be a salesman for Kindle. And Nelson in the background really adds to the quality of the video. I don't have a Kindle yet but I just published my first book for Kindle on Amazon, so I really should get one. I'm still hooked on books but they make reading alot easier when traveling. Thanks for the promo!

  • http://twitter.com/JoshWongHFX @JoshWongHFX

    I just got the Kindle 2 a few months ago and love and won't be upgrading to Kindle 3 as my current one meets my needs. However, i love the video unpacking and demo and will be of great value for anyone who doesn't have one yet.

  • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

    The only reason I got the 3G was because I travel a lot and wanted to be able to download a book without being on WiFi. However, I think WiFi is fine for most people.

  • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

    I haven’t tried it for a while. Sorry.

  • http://twitter.com/JanNoelSmith @JanNoelSmith

    I appreciate the demonstration! I have the Kindle 2 and will keep it, but if I needed a replacement, it would be the Kindle 3. I've had my Kindle nearly a year, and the publishing industry will be glad to know that I've purchased many more new books in that time. I've been a strong library user and second-hand book store shopper, and have never purchased a new hardback (for budgeting reasons). I also have purchased (and read) many more non-fiction books via the Kindle.

    I'm also a great fan of Kindle's service. I fell with my Kindle in my purse, and while the screen wasn't obviously broken, the E-ink in the top quarter wouldn't refresh. I called Kindle support and had a replacement the next day, no cost, no questions. All I had to do was put the old Kindle in the box and send it back . .they even supplied the pre-paid label. Service doesn't get better than that!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I just read a study that shows that the average Kindle user buys three times as many books as the non-Kindle owner. Wow!

      • http://twitter.com/JanNoelSmith @JanNoelSmith

        I'd like to see results from a study of Kindle users' buying habits pre- vs. during Kindle ownership. It has certainly changed mine.

        Amazon's one-click purchase option, coupled with frequent customized emails suggesting new selections is all-too-convenient!

        I still hit the used book stores for paperbacks to read in the pool and bath though!

  • http://twitter.com/davidteems @davidteems

    I keep vacillating between getting the Kindle or iPad, iPad or Kindle. What to do? What to do? As an author and musician, the iPad has opened up a whole new playing field, with all new possibilities, so it makes sense. Then again, as much reading as I have to do, and as easily distracted as I can get (like now, writing this) the Kindle may offer the restraint I need. This helps. And hey, love the dog. He has that look of indifference that is kind of priceless.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I know, it’s a hard decision. Fortunately, my work affords me the opportunity to try all of them.

      Nelson, my dog, is a total ham. Don’t let him kid you, he was working the camera!

  • Karin

    As of yet, I have not purchased a Kindle. Been debating Kindle-iPad for a while and I think that while I may end up with an iPad eventually (actually my husband will), I think I am going to stick with the Kindle when I do get one, because I can read my Kindle books on the iPad. I do have Kindle books already on my computer and my phone. I have been holding off because of the cost, but if it drops under $100, may request for birthday/Christmas. I don't think I need the 3g because I rarely travel and have Wi-fi at my house.

    I would love to see a school district and text book companies get creative on using Kindle type technology. Not just the textbooks, but all the ancillary books that the district buys that are not included in textbooks. And how many of the litature classics are public domain and free anyway. Licensing agreements vs purchasing textbooks. Have the schools sign a 5 year agreement and let them use any textbook in the companies catalog for their students. Could be a win-win for the publishers and districts. And save the trees and landfills.

    Thanks for the video, really gave me a great visual on the unit itself.

    • rodlie

      Without page numbers I think this might get difficult.

      • Adam_S

        I think people do not understand Amazon's numbering system. Because of the changes in size of font, the number system is based on words, not pages. So the number is the same at the same location no matter what device or what font size is chosen. That is the way you would need to work on a book if the whole class is using kindles.

        If it just a few kindles then it will be harder. But if you type in the first phrase of a section you will go right to it.

        • rodlie

          But why lock into a proprietary system unless you know every single person is going to have one? If I cite something in a dissertation will the reader know what page number I'm referring to? No. It means that the only way they can check that quotation and citation is to make sure they also have a kindle. Will the Kindle and it's use of technology be around for 100 years? Probably not. Yet books and page numbers have been around for a long time. It's not that important to have a location number as the Nook and iPad, that use page numbers, has discovered.

          • Adam_S

            Page numbers are not standard either. You have a paperback, and a hard back and several versions of the book then you have a number of different page numbers. So your reader still has to get the version that you are citing to get to the exact citation. That is always a limitation of the citation.

            We cite webpages now, those won't be around in 100 years either. It is part of the changing landscape of technology.

            Also my understanding of ibooks and the nook is that they don't actually use standardized page numbers that the paper version of the book uses. They use screens. And once you change the font size, that screen number is absolutely worthless. You cannot cite screen number (unless you give the version of the software, the font size and the device you read it on.)

      • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

        I agree with Adam. I also think this will change rapidly. Amazon’s location number is a more precise measurement than page numbers.

  • Robby

    Thanks for the review! I had almost written off Kindle but now you have me thinking…

  • http://www.mckell.com Ed McKell

    Thanks Michael! I have been a Kindle user since day 1. Well, I ordered it on day 1 and received it like 50 days later but that's close enough. I still use my original Kindle but I also have found that reading on my iPad is very nice as well. I definitely like the iPad better for highlighting and taking notes in the Kindle app. The iBooks app is prettier but Amazon's Kindle app now matches it for most of the real features.

    The real advantage for me is Amazon's whisper sync. I find myself reading fairly evenly between my Kindle and my iPad but jumping back and forth is effortless since Amazon always knows where I am in my books. I even find myself reading on my iPhone every once in a while. I'm sure the new Kindle is amazing and I hope to get one eventually since my family and I will be heading overseas soon and my original Kindle is US only so the sync feature won't work at all.

    I also really enjoy my iPad and although it hasn't replaced my laptop entirely, I find that when I travel, I can take just the iPad and both my MacBook and Kindle can stay at home.

    Thanks again for a great blog!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      It is great to travel with. I went to Ethiopia last year with Gail. She took nine physical books. I took just my Kindle 2 with hundreds of books. We both like to read more than one book at a time.

  • rodlie

    Michael, can you help save students in this matter? The bottom line is that I'm beginning a doctoral program and need page numbers. If i'm in class and the professor says, "let's turn to page 45" I can't do that. And I can't imagine citing location 1472-23 on a dissertation. I actually bought the kindle 2 a few months ago, and then returned it a few days later when I realized that there was no work-around to the page numbers issue.

    Do you think Amazon will ever add this? Do you have any idea why they wouldn't add this? How can we get them to add it? ;)

    If they would add it I would immediately order about 60 books on the spot. I need a lot of books, but at the moment I feel very constrained.


    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      No, I don’t think Amazon will add this. The issue is what the font size does to the text flow. As long as they allow you to change the font size, the text will reposition itself, creating fewer or more pages on the fly. The location number is actually a more accurate metric than a page number. I think academia is going to have to adjust. The world of physical pages, particularly for text books, is going to go away.

    • Adam_S

      There are some style books that have citation methods for Kindle. Essentially it is another edition of a book. I know some schools and professors will resist, but why is it any different citing a location # vs a page number. The location# is actually much more specific.

  • Walter

    Thanks for this Michael. I am still on my original Kindle. Money is tight right now. I told my wife I would probably use this one till it dies. I've had to replace the battery twice I use it so much. But these kinds of reviews and videos help us a lot. Thanks for taking the time, and for resisting the urge to open the box till you got home. :)

  • Lynn Rush

    I was afraid that iPad wouldn't be good for reading. I was worried about the glare. I decided to go with the Nook as an ereader and I LOVE it!!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      The glare doesn’t bother me, but you, obviously, can’t read it in direct sunlight, unlike the Kindle. But I can count on one hand the number of books I have tried to read in direct sunlight. Usually, it is the few books I have read on the beach.

  • http://www.manafo.blogspot.com david

    Thanks for this. How do you find the note taking and highlighting. I can see why Novel readers love this. But I wonder about the info/concept books I love to write on, highlight, and jot down ideas that come to me while reading. Does it lend itself to that?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      It’s a little cumbersome, but it works. One of the best things is that you can export your highlights to a text file.

  • http://www.evlogia.typepad.com Mary Johnson

    Thank you so much for taking us through that. My husband is eagerly awaiting his Kindle 3 to arrive and will really enjoy watching this. I have an iPad and was glad to hear that you find it distracting too. It's very hard for me to concentrate on any serious book reading as I'm always wondering if there is a new message on Facebook, a new Tweet, or email. Though I do think that the screen in iBooks in sepia at the dimmest setting is very pleasant in a dark room.

    I was wondering if you could provide a link for the note taking app. you mentioned for your iPad. I haven't heard of it and could use it.

    Also, thank you for making the Orthodox Study Bible available on Kindle. It's made my Bible study with my girls such a pleasure.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yes, I use Evernote.

  • http://www.lindseynobles.com Lindsey_Nobles

    I love the Nelson Hyatt appearance at the end of the video!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      He is such a ham. He will do anything to get in a video!

    • colleencoble

      Me too! And I might add I love the color Gail has on the walls!

      • gailbhyatt

        Yarmouth Blue, HC-150 by Benjamin Moore

        It's my favorite of all the kitchen's I've had!!

        • colleencoble

          I want it! I was watching that video and thinking I sure wish Gail would come decorate MY house. :-)

    • matthewdbenson

      I agree – I think Nelson needs his own blog, titled "What do you think, Nelson?!", covering reviews of new technology

  • http://theleaderlab.org davidburkus

    Is that an iPad with a dodocase? Oddly, I'm more concerned with your opinion on the Dodocase.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      The Dodo case is awesome. Love it.

  • http://www.sequoiathoughts.blogspot.com Connie Brown

    I don't plan to get a Kindle yet because of the expense and because I'm not in the habit of reading digital books.

    I wonder newer digital books will be written and formatted more like Web pages and Web sites some day, with links and fewer dense blocks of text. If they were, I may be more inclined to read digital editions sooner.

    Recently, I downloaded free Adobe Digital Editions software and have read several books. I'd love to have links in the digital editions so I'm not railroaded into a linear read.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yes, I think we will see lots of innovation in content.

    • Steve

      The formatting with hyperlinks from the TOC, footnotes, etc. is already being done. I purchased some books for my Palm 6 years ago in the Ereader format that had the hyperlinks. One was "The Purpose Driven Life" and the web-like formats really were nice.

      Now I am finding fewer Ebooks properly hyperlinked. That's irritating when the new technology is not being used when it should be. Also frustrating when you purchase a book, find out there are no hyperlinks, and you can not "return" it.

      • http://www.sequoiathoughts.blogspot.com Connie Brown

        I'm a slower adopter than you, so I'm glad to hear that Web-like formats are being employed.

        I'm interested to see if publishers can make this technology profitable enough to give users a good reading experience, better than reading a linear .pdf of a print version. I suspect adding hyperlinks, multimedia, and an interactive format throughout the book (not just TOC, footnotes) adds to the expense of producing a digital book, but it adds a better user experience that would interest me and many others. Since I've worked in the web-based software development world, I know testing links, etc, gets squeezed during the development time line. Quality in the end product can sag due to aggressive schedules that focus on quick ROIs and shortcut quality.

        I'm interested to see how digital capabilities will change how writers write books. Since I like working with Web pages and website, I'm interested in developing an interactive book at some point that can provide a WOW experience for readers. I wonder how many writers will bridge to that format. I wonder if that will become a desired writing skill with digital books. I think is more than formatting, it is also how the product is organized and written.

  • http://www.pdxstudioquilts.com Melanie

    That was really helpful. I have been on the fence between an ipad and a Kindle. The ipad looks really wonderful but the main feature I want this device for is to "read" books. I am an avid Apple fan so I waited for the ipad to come out. I have not made a purchase yet. After your review, I am leaning towards the Kindle. Thanks, I will be anxious to hear what you think after you have had it for a couple of weeks….

  • http://www.LaurindaOnLeadership.com Laurinda

    right now I have no intention to buy a kindle. I have too many gadgets already.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      You should see my office. It’s a good thing I am in the business. Otherwise, I would have to own up to my addiction and seek therapy. ;-)

  • Steven K. Griffin

    Nice comparison between the three units. I borrowed a friend's iPad a while back to test out the functionality and one of the main problems I ended up having was the weight. I can't imagine holding something that heavy while reading for long periods of time. Like you, I still use my laptop for doing any real computing such as writing, spreadsheets, etc. I couldn't justify the price because, for me, the iPad would end up being a device for browsing the web and "possibly" taking a few notes.

    With that said, I'm on back order for the new Kindle and can't wait to get it. Your unboxing video has only increased my anticipation of seeing the Amazon box hit my doorstep. Thanks for the insights.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      The weight is a bigger deal than I thought it would be. I pooh-poohed it initially, but then I read a couple of books. It got tiring.

  • http://blogan.net Brent Logan

    I plan on getting an eReader for Christmas or before (or maybe slightly after, if my hints aren't obvious enough…). I really like the Kindle 3, I just wish it supported ePub like the Nook. That way I could borrow books from the library once in a while. I guess if I'm just borrowing, it doesn't matter whether it's bits or atoms.

  • http://thatguykc.wordpress.com ThatGuyKC

    Thanks for sharing this review. As a regular reader it's great to see & hear you and I always enjoy hearing "real people" share videos of the tech they use. Hope you enjoy the weekend.

    Happy Reading!!

  • todshuttleworth

    Mike – Great demo. I will not, however, buy the Kindle 3 for personal use; just research & QC for our Nelson products. I have really come to enjoy the highlighting and note taking functionality the iPad offers through iBooks and the Kindle app. I buy mostly non-fiction books and mark them up big time. On the other hand, someone who just wants to submerge themsleves in a straight read may prefer the Kindle.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Tod, your problem is that you are stuck in the past. The iPad is so two months ago!

      • todshuttleworth

        Yes, I yearn for the horse and buggy too. :-)

  • Sandy

    Thank you so much for this post! (which I found by way of a tweet from author Colleen Coble) My Kindle 3 won't be delivered until sometime in September. This will be my first E-Reader experience. I really appreciated your comparision to the older Kindle models and to the ipad (which I covet)! I love to read and always have at least 2 books tucked into my tote bag so I can read when I am on my break. It seems that carrying a Kindle will lighten my load considerably!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      It will indeed. I think you will love it!

  • Brett Cohrs

    Loved the first pan down to Nelson in the background. Beautiful dog! I've not had purchased any of the readers yet. I'm too scared I'll pop on and buy books way too often.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      That will definitely happen. Amazon’s research shows that the average Kindle owner buys 3.3 times as many eBooks as they did physical books before. However, the books are cheaper.

  • http://hookembookem.blogspot.com/ MarkYoungBooks

    I'm hooked on the versatility and storage of e-readers. Bought a Nook this year for my first reader and I love it. But I'm open to other brands, like Kindle, in the future. This new Kindle version really looks sharp. Thanks for sharing, Mike.

  • http://annemstandley.wordpress.com Anne

    I have been contemplating getting an ereader for several months now. I am a book worm and reading is one of my favorite pastimes. I will admit, I'm afraid of getting a reader because I'll miss the feeling of the pages between my fingers, the sense of accomplishment when I flip the last page and close the book after the first reading. At the same time, I'm noticing that having an reader would allow me to purchase more books because of competitive pricing and the elimination of the need to keep them on shelves (I like to re-read books after a few years).

    So my questions are as follows:
    -Would a book-nerd miss a physical book or does an ereader provide more benefits?
    -How does the Kindle compare to the Nook and other ereaders? Especially when it comes to the pricing/availability of books?
    -What is the difference between a Kinlde w/wifi or w/o?


    • http://twitter.com/JanNoelSmith @JanNoelSmith

      I don't miss the physical book at all .. I use a cover that opens just like a book and works really well to prop the book so I can read while I eat if I choose. I get that same satisfaction of closing the book by closing the cover.

    • Walter

      You know, what you might do, is download the Kindle software for your PC or Mac, and order a book, or even have them send you some free samples of books and try it there. Unless you have to have a Kindle to use the software – that I don't know. But if you can use the software without actually having a Kindle itself you could try it there and see what you think.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Walter makes a good suggestion; however, the experience won’t be quite the same.

      My experience is that the reader “disappears.” Like a physical book, you get lost in the words. I still love physical books, but I use e-readers for most of my reading.

      I can’t really compare it to the Nook, as I don’t have the latest iteration. No one beats Amazon when it comes to selection.

      If you get the 3G, in addition to the wireless, then you will have cellular access to Amazon’s network. In other words, if you are in an airport and not connected to the wireless, you can still download a book via 3G.

      • annemstandley

        Do I have to pay a monthly fee for the 3G like cells or the ipad?

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          No, that’s the beautiful thing. The 3G version is $189 and the wireless is $139, so the $50 extra covers unlimited 3G access.

          • annemstandley

            Sold! It's on my Christmas list.

            PS: Thanks for your quick responses! I've enjoyed reading your blogs but never had the courage to post a comment. :)

  • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

    I forgot to order the case initially. I ordered it last night.

  • http://www.matthewmorine.com Matthew

    I got the Kindle DX 2. And I love it, I enjoyed this video, and made me want to get the new one.

  • Steve

    At this time I am avoiding the purchase of any dedicated book reader. My main concerns are:
    1. Being stuck with a particular format or device to read "my" books. DRM really bothers me. If I decide a Kindle is not the best for me and purchase a Sony Ereader then all my Kindle books are useless.
    2. Related to #1 above; basically I am not purchasing books, I am renting.
    3. The lack of ability to share a book.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I certainly understand your concern about DRM. I hate it, too. (Despite what you may hear, it is not the publishers driving this.) However, the fact that the Kindle reader is available on iPhone, iPad, Macs, Windows, and even Blackberry, means that you pretty much have access to it everywhere. It’s not perfect, but it is better than, for example, the iBooks content, which, right now, you can only access on iPad and iPhone.

      I think the Nook provides the ability to share. However, people can download a sample, and, if they like the book, buy it. Whenever someone suggests a book to me now, that is what I do. Rather than writing it down, I just download the sample.

      • Steve

        Thanks for the reply Michael. BTW, I found your blog via a link from Seth Godin's blog post as one who "get's it" about publishing.

        As for DRM and who is responsible – it's funny how the finger of who is responsible keeps getting pointed in all directions whenever I read a comment about DRM <G>. I have no idea who is, all I know is it is keeping me from purchasing any more books with DRM enabled. I have 336 books in my Fictionwise.com bookshelf. Of those 114 are in a DRM format. So if I went to a Kindle or a Sony, those would not be available to me. At this point I don't care why nor whom put the DRM in place. Also, I'm disappointed in myself for not thinking ahead on the ramifications of DRM.

        Sharing on the Nook is limited to one person for 14 days I believe. That's not acceptable to me. As it is now I can fully share a book with my wife. At the same time.

        I don't mean to be a complete curmudgeon about this. It just seems to me there are a lot of issues that are being glossed over at this point.


        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          I know. It is frustrating. This all needs to be figured out. Unfortunately, as long as the big providers are selling content and locking customers into their device, the model won’t change. :-(

          • Steve

            It sounds like you (or should I say Thomas Nelson) don't have a say in the DRM restrictions. Who are the "big providers?" What can someone like myself do about it?

            Thanks for your input. It's helpful.

          • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

            That’s correct. We don’t. It’s not DRM per se; it’s proprietary formats. I intentionally used “big providers” to avoid pointing a finger at my customers. That would probably not be smart to do in public, though we are negotiating behind the scenes.

            There’s probably not much you can do other than vote with your wallet, which you are doing.

          • Steve

            Thank you for your honest answers. Really.

            As a buddy of mine just said to me "That's why I say, buy the book, buy the cd, buy the record. You can then loan them to anyone. The only problem is getting them back in the same condition."

  • http://www.goldenagenovel.com Bobson

    Kindle is perhaps the best device for reading books off. I should say though that it can be a bit more of a wallet eater for international subscribers. This particular version looks like a true winner, can't wait to get my hands on it.

    Online Novella

  • suemiley

    Looking forward to seeing how you like it after a couple of weeks. I love the Kindle 2 and it is still like new. Wondering if the enhanced features are important enough to reinvest. But….I do have a birthday coming up..maybe I need to hint to my husband.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I plan to blog after I have been using it for a few weeks. Thanks.

  • Ron Lane

    Good early review of the new kindle. I like the compare and contrast that you showed with the 2 and the iPad.

  • http://www.honesttogod.net Josh Weidmann

    Thanks for posting the video. I am a visual kinda-guy so it was good to see all three products side by side… Thanks. And, I love the case you have for your iPad.

    Thanks, Gail. Thanks, Michael. Thanks, Nelson.

  • http://www.jenniferfabiano.com Jennifer

    As a Kindle and iPad user, I agree with you. The iPad is much heavier, but it sure can do more. The lighted screen of the iPad makes reading in low light so much easier. You can read it without any lights on at all which, in an airplane or in bed next to a sleeping spouse, is quite a bonus. I guess the bottom line is anything that enables me to read more, is a wonderful tool!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yep, i agree with that. I think you have to consider your workflow and style and then buy the device that best fits that.

  • http://thatguykc.wordpress.com ThatGuyKC

    Did you (or do you plan on) buy a sleeve/cover for the Kindle 3? If so which one? Why?

    I was jazzed when Moleskine came out with covers, but they're only for the Kindle 2 and DX. I ordered a Timbuk2 sleeve in the meantime.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I ordered the official Kindle Lighted Leather Cover (Chocolate Brown). I haven’t received it yet. I thought the light would be good for low-light situations like an airplane or in my bedroom.

  • http://twitter.com/justinbraden @justinbraden

    I loved the guest appearance by Nelson! Do you think they will be able to get rid of that black flicker that shows when you turn the page or is that because of the e-ink? Regardless, great video!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      No, I don’t think so. It is inherent in the technology. However, they have reduced it to such a level that it is barely noticeable.

  • http://blomerus.org De Wet

    Hello Michael,
    Does the Kindle 3 have any note taking features. You mentioned it being a draw back. Is there any way to mark things in a book I am reading to come back to later?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yes, you can highlight any passage and annotate it with your own notes.

  • http://www.jamesboyd.org James

    Thanks Michael, I’m excitedly waiting for my own to arrive too! I’m from the UK so it’s my first.

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  • http://twitter.com/BlogKindle @BlogKindle

    I popped mine open and found a larger 1750 mAh battery inside. I also tried to measure screen contrast objectively and Kindle 3 indeed has better contrast than any other eReader that I've measured – Kindle 3 Screen Review

  • http://www.couldushoulduwouldu.com Matt Church

    Thanks for the review. I have looked at them for sometime. Just have not been compelled to purchase any of the previous models until now. I understand they are back ordered but I am planning on getting mine. Biggest selling point for me…… It's not an apple.

  • http://twitter.com/philrothschild @philrothschild

    Thanks Mike. I could see Gail was tempted early on to get Nelson into the picture. She resisted, then came back at the end. : ) Nice touch. Phil

  • http://twitter.com/alisahope @alisahope

    This was fun to watch, and I liked the intimate feel!

  • http://www.aslegal.com Jefferson

    Gret review, thanks for sharing.
    I'll be the contrarian here: I have NO intention of buying a digital reader of any kind.

    I like the "feel" of a book.
    I like turning pages.
    I like doggie-ear-ing a page I particulalrly like.
    I like sharing books with my friends…expecially by handing the book to them and looking at the look on their face when I know it was something they wanted to read.
    I like the look of books on a bookshelf…the different color, sizes and font types.

    I have always wanted my own library (which I am slowly building!) and a digital reader just takes the art out of collecting books. Conveneince is nice, but if a picture says 1000 words, a picture of a bookshelf filled with books says a million-billion words. I'll stay with the printed word…

  • http://www.godhungry.org Jim Martin

    Michael, I read this post with some hesitation. :) The last time I watched you unpack a Kindle, I bought one several days later. Nevertheless, I watched this video. Hmmm. This Kindle 3 looks very, very nice! Impressed with some of the features that you pointed out.

    Thanks for doing this (as well as the comparison chart). Very helpful!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I should issue a disclaimer: follow my example at your own risk!

  • http://www.davidsbucket.com David Alexander


    I previously had a Kindle 2, currently own an iPad, and I am considering the Kindle 3. I like the highlighting/note taking function of the Kindle app on the iPad because of the ability to simply tap wherever I wanted. I really hated the five way buttons on the Kindle 2, particular the center button which not only clicked by moved the cursor. [Sometimes when clicking, you ended up moving the cursor, etc]

    In using the Kindle 3, do you find that function has improved? That is really the only thing keeping me from the purchase.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      It’s definitely better, but it isn’t as elegant as the iPad touch system, for sure.

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  • Hector

    I have had my eye on the Kindle for while now and with the new price I can't help myself and get one. I already placed my order and am waiting for a shipping date.

    I like the idea of being able to have my Bible, The Open Bible, on it and being able to make notes as I read. I also expect to make a lot of use of the PDF functionality.

  • http://homespunhonolulu.com Evelyn

    I've got my eye on that $139 Kindle since I saw the extreme price drop. Whoa! I was so excited! Of course family just thinks I'm a nerd so I'm alone with that. :) But, I have to admit that I am not ready to let go of the published, hard-cover books that I've loved all my life. I can't imagine life without my Borders being close by. Sigh.

    How do you do, by the way! :)

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  • http://www.suspensenovelist.blogspot.com Peg Brantley

    Even though I covet an iPad for the glitz, I do plan on getting a Kindle 3 as my eReader, and gifting my Kindle 2 to my 'less geeky' husband. I'm sort of hoping I will create a monster, but I'm not holding my breath.

    Thanks for all of the helpful posts relating to new technology and the publishing industry. My leadership days are behind me, but I still peruse those posts every now and then.

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  • http://familysynergy.wordpress.com JD Eddins

    One is sitting at my house right now, waiting for me to open on Christmas day. I can’t wait!

  • Michelle Sarabia

    Just in time! So any thoughts on the Nook before I say “yes” to the Kindle?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I haven’t tried it, but you could go to a Barnes & Noble and see one. Thanks.

  • Sarah Sumpolec

    Nelson is so adorable! The Kindle 3 was nice to see too, of course…

  • http://twitter.com/brockhenning Brock S. Henning

    I’ve already asked Santa for a Kindle 3 for Christmas. I’ve held off on buying an eReader until now. The technology looks good enough on the Kindle 3 to take the plunge.

    All the usual reasons for me concerning choosing the Kindle 3 over other eReaders. Best readability (no eye strain), I want 3G and wi-fi capability to buy magazines, check major blogs, and buy books when a wifi hotspot is not available. The improved size and lightweight of the Kindle 3. And of course, the price. Dear Santa, please bring me a Kindle 3 for Christmas. :)

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  • Guest

    Love the Kindle 3, but I think Nelson steels the show!!!

  • Ekaddie

    I have a product that protects the Kindle 3 with a built in handle that also tilts the Kindle at a 30 degree angle on flat surfaces. It’s called the “eKaddie” and it’s available on my website at http://www.ekaddiellc.com. I’m a new extremely small business and can’t afford a lot of advertising, but if you read the comments of my customers I think you will get a good idea of how good this product is and it definitely protects the screen.  Also visit the link to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article about my “eKaddie.”

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