Amazon Kindle 3 e-book reader
Mobile library downsized and overhauled
Despite the reduction in overall size the new Kindle still houses a 6in E-Ink screen but it's the new improved Pearl variant. Contrast has been increased, apparently by 50 per cent, while the fonts have been re-jigged to make them more crisp and now include a sans-serif option.
Page turns are around 20 per cent faster
The result is a screen that is certainly more pleasurable to look at and makes the Kindle the most readable device of its type on the market today, though I've yet to try the new Pearl-equipped Sony ebook readers. Amazon also reckons that pages now turn 20 per cent faster than before, but I think it may be underselling itself on that front, as page turns seem even faster to my eye.
Storage has been doubled from the old device's 2GB to 4GB, which means, like the Kindle DX, you have 3.3GB available for your library. You still don't get any sort of memory card expansion but frankly, 3GB should be enough for most people - that's well over 900 AZW copies of The Lord of the Rings – and you can store all or some of your purchased library on Amazon's servers.
The on-board content library can now be organised so you can group your books together as you wish. It's a handy feature that I can't recall being present in the previous Kindles I've tested. A welcome new feature is the "experimental" Webkit browser. Obviously, you can only browse in black and white and it doesn't support Flash but, for a little light browsing, it is more than adequate. More importantly, it works outside the USA, which the old Kindle browser didn't.
The e-book format support hasn't changed which means the Kindle will only handle Amazon's own AZW format along with DRM-free Mobipocket and PDF files. As most good e-book websites such as Feedbooks cater for Mobipocket, the continued lack of ePub support is something you have to learn to live with or shop elsewhere. PDF support claims to have been improved but that just means it will now handles password protected files and the pan/zoom feature has been improved. PDF files still don't reflow.