Review time!

Well, it’s been almost two weeks since I received my Kindle Touch 3G. I am very pleased with it. As far as eReaders go, it’s almost perfect. I have a feeling if I had gone with the Fire, I wouldn’t be as happy. I could sit here and do a side by side comparison of the Touch 3G and the Fire, but I won’t. You might find a few mentions of the Fire in the review, but I’m not here to trash it. It does it’s own job well, it’s just not meant for me. Not to say that eventually I wouldn’t want one of the Fires when they get around to releasing them. Without further ado…

As you all know by now, the eInk was the biggest seller for me. It still is. But I won’t bore you with me droning on and on about it ;). A surprising feature, an upgrade really, is the battery life. I’ll get into more detail about the 3G and wireless ability later, but for now keep in mind I do use them regularly and they are traditionally battery hogs. When running anything over a network you will use more power than if it wasn’t. If you turn your wireless card off on your laptop, you can squeeze some extra battery life out of it, and the same for your phone. The Touch 3G’s battery has not been charged since the first day. I had to charge it that day due to the number of books it downloaded (almost 300). I checked the battery last night and it’s just now getting down to the low end of the spectrum. I knew it’s battery had been worked on to extend the life, but after my 2nd Generation Kindle, where the battery would need to be charged after a while of heavy use (including net surfing) this is sweet.

There is a small learning curve with the touchscreen, but once you learn where everything is and how sensitive it is, everything runs smoothly. I don’t have to hit the screen hard to get it to respond, like I have with some touchscreen phones, and even to a degree the Kindle Fire. Just a tap and it responds. And like the other Kindles, you can set how big the text is, so if you miss something while tapping and open something completely different, it’s your fault.

I am still exploring a lot of the features on it, and it feels like a new discovery every time I do. They took everything I adored about the previous Kindles and expanded on them. I can still organize my books into collections (including any PDFs I have on there, numbering in the several hundred), highlight certain things, share it with FaceBook or Twitter and play a few games. I was thrilled that a few of my games (Every Word in particular) were able to be used on it. I still haven’t figured out how to get the Touch to show the book covers in the listings, as opposed to the book titles. Maybe I’m looking too hard, but in all the pictures of it, that’s how you see the books listed. Ultimately it doesn’t matter if I can do that or not, but the nerd in me would love it!

I have a small child in home, and this is where the push to stay with an eReader came into play. Not to get too TMI for some of you, I still nurse her and I like to play games, watch TV or read during these times. (Yes, there are times where I just spend it relishing holding my child, but if a mother says she does that each and every time, she’s a liar!) With my older one I could read a paper book, no problem. She ignored it. Not this one. She has to play and mess around, and grab everything I am working with. The case I have for the Kindle allows me to prop it up and be able to read. I have it just out of reach for little hands and I don’t have to physically flip the page- just tap it and done.

I was shocked at how much lighter it was to my previous Kindle. It’s almost like you are holding a piece of paper, only sturdier. This is nice for those times the baby does happen to grab for it and it lands on her. Yes, I still worry about possible injury, but it will take a lot more than it slipping out of my hand to cause a serious problem.

Speaking of which, it has been dropped a few times. And survived. I am clumsy and suffer from butterfingers. The Touch 3G handled the few drops it had before I got the case for it, and with it’s case I don’t think I’ll have much to worry about unless I get really pissed and throw it. And for those interested, here’s the case I bought.You can do a search for Case Crown’s on Amazon and be wowed like I was at all the different ones they make. And what is the best about them, you get quality for less money. We haven’t paid more then ten dollars for the cases for our Kindles, and they work beautifully. I picked one up for Hubby’s Fire and he loves it. He can prop it on it’s side and watch videos or read an article that way. And both cases are pretty sturdy, and secure the devices inside so there is little to no fear of it slipping out. Haven’t taken a hammer to it to see if it would protect the screen, but it feels like it would do it’s job from any run of the mill accidents.

I think about the only thing I dislike about it, is it is not truly a 3G device. You have access to AT&T’s 3G network (as evidenced by all the ads they have on it, which is no longer a choice.). Only you don’t have free reign access, like with the previous Kindles. With my 2nd Gen, I could go online with it and be anywhere. As long as there was a cell tower nearby, I was gold. With the Touch 3G, you have access to a few things unrestricted. You can download your books, and the Amazon store with no problem. However, most other surfing on the web requires a wireless connection. Considering I have my own set up at home and most everywhere else has WiFi available, this isn’t that big of a problem, but it’s not what I was expecting, especially since the reason behind the ads was to help pay for the 3G usage. Then again, this is AT&T we’re talking about and they are far from being a favorite of mine. But, if this is the only thing I have found wrong with it, then I can deal with it.

I am currently reading Game of Thrones and Hunger Games on it, and the Touch is working smoothly. When I tap it to go to the next page, there is next to no delay. The only time I’ve noticed one was if I was downloading something, and it wasn’t for very long. With my 2nd Gen, there often was a delay between pages, even when I wasn’t doing anything else on it. The books downloaded seamlessly, in all my collection folders, so there was very little re-organizing to do. Set-up was hassle free.When I first turned it on, it went straight to the hand book so you could learn what to do ASAP, especially considering there are only two buttons on the entire device- the power button and the Home button. Note that neither are labeled.

I honestly think the only other complaint I have about the Touch 3G is that is doesn’t come in other colors. But unlike the majority of it predecessors, it comes in a color I don’t mind so much, and the case I got is black and that works for me.

All in all, very pleased with it. Yes, I would highly recommend this to someone who wants an eReader. Even if they’ve never owned one before. It is very simple and easy to use, which is great. I have enough complications in life. Don’t need to add more to it :)! So thank you to those who made it possible for me to get my Touch 3G! Love you all for it and it is a gift I will love and cherish for a long while!

In other news…

Still working on getting this blog back up and running. I think I’ve got a decent enough start here with the past two entries. Just need to find more time to do it. But since the kids are in school and Hubby is gone during the day, I should be able to find more time. Right now, I’ll be happy with a once a week entry. I would prefer almost daily ones, as I miss writing those. But, baby steps. And I have other things that I need to work on, so once a week is my goal.

Feel free to post a comment here, on my FaceBook, Twitter or even over at RoosterTeeth, telling me I’m full of shit and don’t know what I’m talking about :P. Baby is waking up so I need to do a quick edit and go get her. Cheerios and Blue’s Clues time!

Go ahead, yell all you want…

Have a lot of blog ideas and I need to get going and put them here. Slowly but surely I will be. Still owe several people a blog on how I did the Minecraft cake for my thirteen year old. But today I am going to blog about something else.

Today I finally spent my birthday money. Most of that I had been holding onto since the beginning of July. You see, for a while I had been wanting a new Kindle. I love my old 2nd Generation Kindle. The e-ink was and still is my favorite feature, right next to the fact I can save money in most cases with my books AND more importantly save on space. Living in a tiny place makes you rethink and reevaluate a lot of things. Hubby and I have always had a love affair with books, and we passed that onto the Middle Child (now Thirteen!). It wasn’t until last summer we finally went through all of our books and actually downsized. We used to have at least 8 book shelves full, plus a few more boxes of books. With the baby on the way we had no choice. Thanks to the Kindle we could downsize and still have our books. We’ve kept the ones we love the most.

But I’m digressing. I have been doing the research for the better part of 7 months about the various Kindles out there. I always came back to the Touch 3G. It has everything my 2nd Gen does, with a few bells and whistles that I love. Yes, I found the Fire exciting, but the Touch 3G always caught my attention. Then when Microsoft announced the Smart Glass during E3, the Fire began courting me. I knew for my birthday I was going to get a new Kindle and I believed the Fire would be it. Especially if it proved compatible with Smart Glass. But the 3G was in the back of my┬ámind. So cue in the week of my Birthday: Hubby and I were close to going ahead and ordering the Fire. I’d gotten several Amazon gift cards to go towards it and I was so wanting to go ahead and get it right then and there.Cue my father-in-law ;). He mentioned something about Amazon making an announcement soon about a second generation Fire.

Now, if you know the history of me and Kindles, then you know that after Hubby and his mom worked so hard together to make sure I’d get my Kindle, Amazon made an announcement roughly two weeks later about the third generation :(. Made me soooo mad. Every source we could find online about any news for the new Fire all seemed to agree that the end of July/beginning of August there would be an official announcement. So we decided to wait. And wait. And wait. Needless to say, during that time I still came back to the Touch 3G.

Just what makes that one so special? It doesn’t have a color screen. You’re limited in the number of games you can play. You can’t watch video. You can’t do this or that. Can I read a book on it? Can I surf the web a little bit to see mostly text based sites? Do I need a mini version of my laptop when my phone does that just as well? And most importantly, I’m getting older (GASP!) and the eyes are not that great. I cannot read for long on a back lit screen- my head hurts too bad and my eyes are worse.

After much reflection and more research and disappointment by Amazon, I decided today that I would give into the Touch 3G. It’ll be here tomorrow, and then┬áthe Middle Child will get my 2nd Gen Kindle. She’s excited. So am I.

There are a few out there who think I am Nucking Futs for downgrading my choice. That’s fine. Thing is, I know what I want: A simple E-reader that doesn’t do much. I love the fact that with it’s 3G capability I can shop for books and read fan fiction (GASP!) any where. The Touch covers those two things beautifully. The Fire does not. I can listen to music via my laptop, mp3 player and phone. I do not need another device to do that. I can watch videos on all those, plus the Xbox. Do I need something else that can do that too? Not really. It’s just more headaches. I wouldn’t mind a tablet one day, and maybe when they announce the Fire 2 I will want one. But, for now I am content with the basics.

Plus when Smart Glass comes out, it’ll work with my phone, so we’ll be good.

I have no idea how often I will be updating this blog or when the next entry will be up. I do want to keep this going as I miss writing all the time. And there are lots of things to update you all on, stories of the pets and game reviews. So lets see what happens.