Thoughts on Kindling

Friend and brainiac Andy Day has some interesting thoughts on Kindling, Amazon’s new eReader device.

The Kindle

In addition to some sensible questions about the service model, Andy gets all modern and space-age on you and asks why can’t Kindle just be a computer? As he points out, the Kindle sells for about the same price as certain low-end laptops.

Actually, I’m tempted to invert his question and ask why can’t a computer be a Kindle? The real difference here seems to be the form factor.

Kindle’s essential two-sidedness makes it seem easier to carry around and pick up at a moment’s notice. Laptops with their lids and cords, feel somehow more cumbersome (even the small, inexpensive ones).

In spite of the name, there’s something about a laptop that feels like it requires some table space and elbow room to really work with it. You can’t very comfortably use your laptop on a public bus, for example. Believe me, I’ve tried.

The shape and size of a Kindle-like device seems as bus-friendly as a PDA but gives you a screen that’s big enough to actually see.