Why does one upgrade a Kindle?

The new Kindle has been out for a while, but I was  having difficulty coming up with a reason to upgrade. After all, it displays the same content, has the same size screen, is the same price, and since it is a different form factor, you need to rebuy all your accessories. So I say, why bother upgrading?

Well, I lost my Kindle. Since I am voracious reader, and all of my physical books are in sealed boxes in the garage, I suddenly found myself needing to “upgrade”. I’ve written about my Kindle before, and the idea that I would be without one for long was pretty ludicrous.

I picked up the 3G / WiFi version at Best Buy. Best Buy because it was the same price as Amazon, and I had a gift card. 3G because I do like to be able to occasionally download archived books without having to go to the trouble of connecting to a WiFi hotspot.

A couple of quick impressions. Since I am already very used to the form factor of the generation 2 Kindle, I immediately missed having the menu/back/toggle button along the right edge of the device. Now I have to look at the unit to use those buttons. Also, since holding the old Kindle for extended periods never bothered me (I could read a hardback in one sitting, a Kindle 2 was a lightweight in comparison), the Kindle 3 seems overly light in comparison. The change from the metal to plastic case adds to that feeling.

That’s pretty much every negative – and they are all based on being overly experienced with the unit’s predecessor. For anyone who’s Kindle experience begins with a Kindle 3, there are only positives.

There are now matching next/prev buttons on both sides of the Kindle. No matter which side you hold it on, you can flip pages easily in either direction. Page changes are noticeably faster (and I was fine with them before)! The browser has gone from “horrible” to “great” (in a monochromatic way). Contrast is improved – and I was fine with it before as well. Additionally, storage is increased, so I won’t be deleting as aggressively as I had been.

Overall I am very happy with my new Kindle. Would I have upgraded? Probably not. Since I have the new one, do I like it better than the old? Definitely.

Now I have to get all my books categorized again…

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