//Update: 9th November 2013 - the all new Kindle Paperwhite has been released for international shipment - check out this post for more:
or carry on reading // -
The Kindle 3 is, to coin a phrase, 'exactly what it says on the box', its an e-reader. Not a computer that you can browse the web on (albeit it does have an experimental browser, but hey even my iPhone renders better than the K3), not a games platform, not a document editing tool or anything else...but its an excellent e-reader.
If you are looking for a device to lay in bed, or by the pool, on holiday, on a train, plane or in a car (automobile for my American readers) to read books on I cant think of a better device. Now notwithstanding the devices that I haven't actually used, such as the Sony e-reader and the Nook, this device is the market leader.
The e-ink screen technology is a significant advancement for reading over LCD screens, it allows one to read in daylight, tungsten and fluorescent light without any problems of reflection. This is one of the key differences between an e-reader and a tablet or slate computer like the Apple iPad.
The Amazon book store is comprehensive with almost 500,000 e-books to download. It doesn't tend to have older books or those that are no longer in print, but if you are looking for the latest fictional novels or even an array of other genres that are current you are sure to find it in the store.
The newspapers and magazines are of limited value in my opinion - I have looked at a few samples of each. First of all you have to pay for a subscription - which amazes me considering that the on-line web browser based version is free for most of them and then you don't have the same quality rendering on the e-book version.
Further more the 5-way navigation button makes navigating pages with multiple sections a little challenging for the less dexterous amongst us. Maybe that's not a problem for the 'Generation Y' out there who grew up with power-thumbs from SMS'ing/Texting but those of us who still prefer to pick up the phone and call maybe somewhat out of practice.
So in summary, so far, based on my week of extended usage and one book and some sample other media, I would not hesitate to recommend the Kindle 3 to others.
I consider myself an early adopter, but for some reason this technology has been one that I had decided I would allow to mature a while before I 'bought in'. Based on what I have read of the earlier Kindle models I think that this was a wise choice, not that the earlier Kindle were not good products, but it seems that the earlier models had some areas that needed and were addressed in the latest generation.
If you like to read books, go buy one, they are also very reasonably priced. If you are in South Africa check out my post here on buying from Amazon and having it delivered in South Africa. For the Europeans and Americans out there its Amazon as usual !