David Pogue on the New Kindles

The new e-ink models sound great. The Fire, though:

Most problematic, though, the Fire does not have anything like the polish or speed of an iPad. You feel that $200 price tag with every swipe of your finger. Animations are sluggish and jerky — even the page turns that you’d think would be the pride of the Kindle team. Taps sometimes don’t register. There are no progress or “wait” indicators, so you frequently don’t know if the machine has even registered your touch commands. The momentum of the animations hasn’t been calculated right, so the whole thing feels ornery.

Magazines are supposed to be among the best new features. Most offer two views. There is Page View, which shows the original magazine layout — but shrunken down too small to read, and zooming is limited. Then there is Text View: simple text on a white background. It’s great for reading, but of course now you’re missing the design and layout, which is half the joy of reading a magazine. And Text View sometimes loses words, cartoon captions and so on.

A 7-inch screen might be great for books, but how could anyone think it would work for what we think of as magazines? Try to find a 7-inch magazine on the (non-virtual) newsstand.

Monday, 14 November 2011