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Amazon Kindle is Now Affordable

posted Aug 12, 2010, 9:54 PM by Danny Eusebio   [ updated Aug 26, 2010, 9:02 AM ]
When Kindle first came out in 2007, a huge riot broke out. Well, not exactly. The Kindle however, managed to squeeze its way into a domain that had not been saturated up to that point. Even with the release of the iPhone that year, the Kindle still managed to saturate its market with loyal Kindle followers.

For me however, the Kindle's steep price and my lack of desire to read at the time, made it an unappealing device. Prior to the release of the iPad, the Kindle seemed like the ideal gadget for college students to own. Come on, imagine having to lug 3-4 books around at school. If you could put them all in a single device, that would not only save your back, but save you the worry of forgetting any of your reading materials for class.

The Kindle DX appeared to be the big brother of the first gen Kindle, but also the Kindle that would be piloted in colleges to see its effectiveness. Based on the pilot programs at institutions like Princeton, the biggest setback was the inability to highlight and annotate text like physical papers. However, there were some benefits.

Less paper was printed. The green side of the Kindle definitely showed itself as classes used less printed material. Referring to the story on the Princeton website, some students reduced paper consumption by half. There was even one student who only printed out two articles for the entire class out of necessity (since they weren't available on the Kindle).

The ease of use can still be a challenge for the Kindle. Some professors found the device to be inadequate for in class use. Especially in speed, the Kindle takes time to maneuver and open files. I can definitely see the challenges in using an e-reader where you want your whole class to navigate to a particular page. If it takes longer than physical material, you know there's a problem.

What's in the new Kindle?

The newest Kindle comes in two flavors, one with Wi-Fi and the other with 3G priced $139 and $179 USD respectively. Considering the original model was over $ 300, the Kindle has come a long way in satisfying not only your taste for gadgets, but also our wallets. Here's what the new Kindle brings to you:

  1. Better Design (Lighter)
  2. Better Reading Quality (Higher Contrast)
  3. Read in Sunlight
  4. More Storage
  5. Battery Life for a Month!! (WOW!)
  6. Built in Wi-Fi and or 3G (Model Dependent)
  7. Better Web Browsing with Free 3G
Which one should you consider?

If you're a college student, there is no reason to spend an extra $40 for the 3G version. In most cases, you'll have wireless Internet available on campus and most likely in your living quarters. However, if you find yourself traveling and going places with little to no Internet, than a 3G model might work best for you.

How to use this Kindle for Class?

You can probably conjure up a few ideas. Since classes won't be Kindle friendly, you might find yourself slamming your head as to why you bought one of these god awful devices. Here's one thing to consider, your major. If you're in a major where reading is a large component of your daily diet, then you might find many uses for the Kindle device. On the other hand, if you're in a more technical field, you may find yourself struggling to see diagrams if color becomes important. In addition, if some of your classes give you open book test, then the Kindle might not be your cup of tea. Last but not least, your textbooks might not be Kindle friendly yet.

Should you place an order for one?

As much as I like the Kindle, it still waives off as a luxury device. If you're organized, have a laptop, and a decent laser jet printer, then a Kindle probably won't make a difference. On the other hand, if you're the type that likes to go green and try new products, then this Kindle might be up your ally.

If you don't happen to buy one, don't worry, I'm sure some of you might find them as nice gifts from friends and family.