Daily Archives: August 24, 2012

My Kindle Died

A couple of weeks ago my Kindle died.

It wasn’t resting, like the parrot in the Monty Python skit. It was dead! Kaput! Finished!

This was really a tragedy for me since I read a LOT! It’s my entertainment since I don’t have a television here in Boquerón, and finding English-language books here in Panama is close to impossible. There were over 100 books on the Kindle. Now I had nothing.

I called the Kindle customer service people on Skype. While they tried to be helpful, nothing they suggested worked. They wanted me to send it to them but couldn’t grasp what a hassle that would be down here in Panama. So,I decided it was time to bite the bullet and buy myself a “tablet.” I spent several hours on line checking various tablet out. I wasn’t going to get an iPad since I have a PC and didn’t want something that wasn’t compatible with it. What I finally bought was this:

I chose it for several reasons, among which is that it has a USB slot that will accept the keyboard I’m writing this on and will also link the tablet to the computer.

So, here are my impressions of the tablet vs the Kindle.

The Kindle is smaller and lighter. I always slipped it in my backpack when I was going into David so I could read on the bus. The table is bigger (10″ screen) and heavier. Not as bus-friendly as the Kindle.

The tablet is back-lit like a computer screen where the Kindle is not. That means I can read more comfortably at night. But during the daytime, sitting outside, the tablet has glare and reflection. The Kindle did not.

It takes some time to get used to reading on a Kindle. It’s like you’re reading only the right-hand page of a book, but after a short time it just seems natural. Depending on how you hold the tablet you can get a single page on the screen like the Kindle when you hold it vertically…

But if you hold it horizontally you get two columns on the screen so it’s more like reading an actual book…


To really waste some time you can download games to the tablet which you can’t do with the Kindle…

I had a cover for the Kindle to protect it, especially the screen. Of course, I bought a cover for tablet. It’s reversible.

While the Kindle just lists the titles of the books in your “library,” the tablet shows you the covers of the books you’ve downloaded…

Tap on the book cover and the book appears on your screen.

If there’s one area where the tablet just can’t compete with the Kindle it’s battery life. I only needed to recharge the Kindle battery once a week or every 10 days. The tablet will run for about 8 hours before it needs to be juiced up.

Looking at the two side-by-side, the Kindle is more convenient for traveling than the tablet. The Kindle beats the tablet hands down on battery life. If I’m near a wifi hot spot I can get my emails or surf the web on the tablet, something you can’t do with a Kindle. The tablet is better for reading books at night, the Kindle is better in bright light.

All things considered, the tablet is a better, though more expensive, device allowing me to do much more than I could with the Kindle. I’m happy with it.


Filed under digital books, ebook, Living Abroad, Living in Panama