16 March 2009

Amazon.com Kindle, an eco-review

by Eco-Contributor, Summer Crider

Someone emailed us asking us if we could write a review on the Kindle, discussing it's eco-function. The "Kindle 2" could be saving our trees by making books, magazines, newspapers electronic and wireless through its thin, iPod shaped device. But just how eco-friendly is it?

So I decided to order it, after discovering that the Kindle 2 also shows pdf and word documents, so I don't have to waste all that paper printing articles for class, chapters, and drafts of my MA thesis... and I don't have to be stuck to the computer either. It sounded like a very eco-friendly gadget to own.

Worth approximately $400 dollars. The Kindle 2 is a light-weight thin portable reading device. It stores approximately 245,000 books in this 10.2 ounces, which is lighter than a typical paperback.

Eco-Contributor Anthony, an avid bookworm, encouraged me to write a review to see the pro and cons of this device, and he also showed me a PC World post that Amazon just created its own Kindle Apps for the iPhone. "Coming as a free download from Apple's App Store, 'Kindle for iPhone' lets users of Amazon's popular e-book reader put the content they purchased for the Kindle on their iPhones."

So when the Kindle arrived, my fiance told me that he had just downloaded the Kindle on his iPhone and was really enjoying reading the new Chuck Palanuhik novel. What's more, Amazon.com explains the Apps that it has created for iPhone:

- No Kindle required (lucky iPhone owners, you save $400)
- Get the best reading experience available on your iPhone or iPod touch too
- Access your Kindle books even if you don't have your Kindle with you
- Automatically synchronizes your last page read between devices with Amazon Whispersync
- Adjust the text size, add bookmarks, and view the annotations you created on your Kindle

So I decided to compare, I downloaded the iPhone Kindle apps to my iPhone. I've discovered it is pretty much the same.

Pros about the Kindle 2:

Nice and sleek. I can read the clear screen without the glare that my laptop usually makes. It stores pdfs, jpeg, and has its own dictionary. I can also make notes on the pages I'm e-reading. I tested the text-to-speech narration by connecting the headphone to my CI, and I hear the narrator read the visible text out loud. The keyboard is tactile, easier to type on than the iPhone TouchScreen.

Pros I've discovered about the Kindle iPhone Apps:

Flipping the page is easier on the iPhone than it is on the Kindle. I'm much more comfortable with my iPhone- the Kindle feels so fragile and it's white, so if it gets dirty, you would notice fast.
I'm still figuring out how I can download pdf on my iPhone, but I'm sure the iPhone apps store will create something eventually.

Something felt wrong about keeping the Kindle 2. I had purchased $400 to get this item, but do I really need it? It costs $9.99 for almost every book you download on this. I'm already watching music video on my iPhone instead of the TV, reading emails, check my account balance, even purchase stuff on Amazon.com with my iPhone. That $400 dollars could be spend towards books, music, videos, I could download to my iPhone.

So, after that experience, I realize that don't need extra device, I'm satisfied with my iPhone. I recognized my action of addictive consumerism and decide to return the Kindle 2... I realize it is better be simple and use what you already have, you enjoy life (and your gadget) more.


  1. wow, nice review. i agree, one product that serves many purposes is better than several products for separate purposes.

    for example, i think the new portable products being pushed by video relay companies are completely ridiculous. why not use our laptop's built-in cam for relay calls? i don't want to lug around my laptop AND a portable videophone as i travel.

    use our EXISTING products that we already carry around with us everyday (e.g. iPhone, laptop), instead of adding more and more products we have to buy and use separately. this is, in essence, a eco-way of living....

  2. I agree! This is a great intensive review on both Kindle and iPhone devises. I would go for the iPhone deal.

    My question for Summa is can you pass around "e-books" for free of charge with other Kindle or iPhone users? Just like with book-swapping?

    I can see where Raychelle is coming from that it is better to have one device for all purposes instead of several devices for different purposes. I totally concur that point.

    Unfortunately, there are people who don't have a laptop to begin with. Maybe they are computer illiterate or just can't afford one so that the Video Relay Companies are making it accessible for those without laptops. Are those VRS devices free? Or have to pay for it? I don't know.

  3. Yeah, the VRS devices are free just like with VP 200. I just opened an unread e-mail asking if I want one of those VRS device.

    I am still curious if Kindle/iPhone users can swap e-books for free just like we can swap with used paperback books.

  4. Opps, portable VRS are not free. $85 a pop.

  5. Mix the iPhone and VRS then you get an ultimate device that could do almost everything except to grow organic food.

    I would assume we could rip the ebook and save as in a different file format (PDF, DOC, TXT to name a few) then we could do the e-book-swapping. This is similar to ripping the movies. However be sure to double check the copyright before swapping the media content with someone else. FYI: I don't own iPhone nor Kindle so don't ask me how to rip the ebook.