Amazon.com’s new e-book reader Kindle got the thumbs-down in a critical review from Wall Street Journal technology Guru Walter Mossberg today.
Mossberg writes that while he liked the shopping and downloading experience,
the Kindle device itself is just mediocre. While it has good readability, battery life and storage capacity, both its hardware design and its software user interface are marred by annoying flaws. It is bigger and clunkier to use than the Sony Reader, whose second version has just come out at $300.
….the device is poorly designed. It has huge buttons on both edges for turning pages forward or backward. They are way too easy to press accidentally, so my reading was constantly being interrupted by unwanted page turns. Plus, the buttons are confusing. One called “Back” doesn’t actually move to the previous page, but supposedly to the prior function. I never could predict what it would do.
Priced at $400, Kindle lets consumers directly download e-books to their device instead of having to first download the titles to a PC.
Consumers can also subscribe to electronic editions of WSJ, New York Times, Time and many blogs.
We are inclined to believe that Kindle will meet the same limited reception as other e-book readers although Amazon.com has a large collection of electronic books (90,000).
Mossberg concludes his review of Kindle by saying:
Amazon has nailed the electronic-book shopping experience. But it has a lot to learn about designing electronic devices.