No question about it: The Kindle 3 is perfect for reading eBooks, thanks to its much-vaunted, proprietary electronic ink technology.
The letters are crisp, clear, and sharp.
It precludes glare, strain, and other forms of visual torture associated with poring over a digital screen that doesn’t feature Angel Locsin’s Folded and Hung ads. [See: Angel Locsin’s Folded and Hung ads]
But that’s not the only thing the K3 offers.
While the add-ons may not be spectacular, these nevertheless increase the value to owning and using what may well be the world’s most famous eBook reader.
Which, I guess, is my way of saying: I love my Kindle 3 and I hope you love yours too. And if you haven’t gotten a Kindle 3 yet, go get one while the peso’s strong and the dollar’s weak and so I can shut the hell up about it already.
(The usual disclaimers apply. No arrangement, financial or otherwise, has been made between Amazon.com, its owners, affiliates, and this self-styled, self-confessed Kindle 3 cheerleader. The check is still in the mail. Or so Jeff Bezos keeps on telling me. Right.)
1) It’s best for reading in the bathroom.
Here’s something that Jeff Bezos missed.
Owing to its weight, size, and form factor, the Kindle 3 is good for reading in the bathroom, especially while occupying the best seat in the house.
The K3 has dispensed with carrying a thick volume on the way to the can as well as the need for extra space in the toilet on which to place books, crucial when reaching for a roll of tissues.
Whether hunched like Auguste Rodin’s The Thinker or stretched out as if flying business class on someone else’s tab, the K3 is the best bathroom companion as the posterior comes home to roost.
Just make sure you turn on the lights.
(In case of a power outage or absence of reading lamps — common in certain cheap accommodations — you can always get the Mighty Bright book light.) [See: Mighty Bright booklight]
In the meantime, for the rich and ambitious, you can also use the K3 while in the tub. But remember: the K3 wasn’t designed for underwater use.
2) It’s an emergency music player.
iPod suddenly — and mysteriously — out of juice?
That is, if you’ve bought the K3 along.
Bigger but thinner than the Walkman, the K3 plays mp3 files stored in its music folder on its speakers or through a regular-sized audio jack for earphones. (You do need to drag and drop files beforehand using a PC or a Mac).
The feature is purely experimental though.
This explains why it lacks a shuffle, repeat, and loop mode and other related features found even in digital audio players made ten years ago.
But the K3 will keep on playing music even after the unit is turned off. Or once it runs out of power (which will take awhile.)*
(There are two ways to play music. For the first, go to Home, press the Menu button, choose Experimental, and scroll down to the play music command. For the second, press Alt and the space button. To skip to the next song, press Alt and the F key. To stop playing, press Alt and the space key. To make coffee, get off your butt.)
3) It’s a rudimentary web browser.
Let’s say you have a crummy phone (like some people I know).
As a result, you may be unable to access the internet even with the availability of a robust WiFi connection.
What to do?
Pull out the K3 and access the internet through its proprietary browser.
While the device will find it easy to detect and connect using the network, it will have difficulty recognizing certain graphic files and pictures on webpages.
Despite this setback, it’s still good enough for instant searches on Wikipedia and other sites.
4) Two words: Twitter and Facebook.
(Which is three words actually. But who’s counting? The Comelec?)
Struck by a witty aphorism, a moving account, a well-written passage you’ve read on the K3?
You can share them on your Twitter and Facebook accounts without changing screens, thanks to the K3’s social network features.
Of course, users need to manage their settings on the K3 first after they register their units on Amazon.com.
Don’t get too excited about sharing though.
If the passage is longer than two or so paragraphs, Amazon.com is going to cut it.
But don’t fret.
You can still share longer passages the hard way.
Just copy the “My Clippings” text file stored in the documents folder of the Kindle hard drive and take it from there.
In the meantime, if you want to overshare — if you know what I mean — there’s always torrents.
5) Yes, you can read comics and graphic novels.
Since the K3 can read PDF files, it can read comic books and graphic novels stored in that format.
Or at least theoretically.
But don’t bet the house on it.
After all, the K3 may find it difficult to load and render comics in color as opposed to graphic files drawn in black and white.
So it’s still touch and go.
And if you do succeed in installing and loading a comic book into the K3, consider it a small victory for yourself and the inexpensive eBook reader that — arguably — revolutionized the way humans read books.
*From the Go Get A Room Dept. It took my K3 18 days before it required recharging. Eighteen days — a lifetime for a device that I use everyday for tasks including but not limited to reading. Even my low-tech Treo 650 phone doesn’t last that long on a single, full charge. Meanwhile, charging the K3 took just about an hour or so.