Amazon Kindle review

by Marin Franković on 21 May, 2011

Just recently I have purchased Amazon Kindle from their web site. Here I have to mention my friend who brought it from the USA, thank you again Romeo. I have been considering a buying some device where I could read books, technical documents and most important Microsoft Official Curriculum materials. As MOC comes as PDF, it was important that device supports it. iPad was out of the question due to its high price and due to the fact that I would not use 5% of its possibilities. Reading was most important to me so the obvious choice was Kindle. Bellow is a commercial video showing the difference in reading something from Kindle and “other” device.

Kindle 3 commercial

Here is short review of the device, just couple of hours after I have received it. The box is protecting Kindle very well and in it you will find the device itself, quick start guide and USB charging cable. I have ordered standard charging cable also, which you have to pay extra $10.

IMG_0241 IMG_0246 IMG_0247

I will not go into technical specifications, since my main interest is in book and PDF reading capabilities. All books that are in some kind of supported e-reader format look brilliant, in any kind of light, which is expected.

Reading “unprepared” PDF documents may be a bit tricky, since the letters are rather small. I can still read normally, but in a 20 or 30 years on, my eye sight may not be that good. Smile  I have decided to crop away white margins from my PDF files and that made them even more readable on the device itself. I used free Java application to do this, called Briss Crop PDF. After that, I tried to convert PDF to mobi format, which is intended for e-book readers. Application that I used for this is Calibre, also free and can be downloaded from here. This application can also be used for e-book management. Conversion of 34 MB PDF file took almost 28 minutes on 4 core i5 processor with 8 GB of RAM, and it created 45 MB mobi file. I was not happy with the results since all images where badly converted. Then I tried Auto Kindle application on the same PDF file, and after 5 minutes I ended up with 17 MB mobi file. Image files where better but text formatting was very bad.

After testing couple of more similar applications I have decided to use cropping method since it produced best results. You can always change screen orientation and read materials that way if font is to small for you.

UPDATE: I have just found out that Microsoft is about to publish MOC materials (Digital Microsoft Official Course) in Kindle format. That basically pays off my complete investment in Kindle! Way to go Microsoft! Thumbs up
Read more about it here!

Happy reading!

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Ilija Brajkovic May 21, 2011 at 16:24

You can’t read normally on 6” screen, Kindle DX is much better option, but it costs too much 🙂


Marin Franković May 21, 2011 at 16:30

I completely disagree with you on this. I downloaded couple of free e-books and they are perfectly readable on 6″ screen. You should try for yourself.


Ilija Brajkovic May 21, 2011 at 16:32

But I want to read PDFs too, and I don’t want to hassle with “unprepared” files 🙁


Marin Franković May 21, 2011 at 16:42

You can read PDF files as they are. I decided to crop out white margins that are just taking space and are not needed.


JMaia June 6, 2011 at 23:30

How do you crop the white margins? Do you use a program?

Dragan May 22, 2011 at 7:10

Calibre kicks ass, it’s very advanced and regularly updated, but it’s not OCR application. Converting OCR-ed files lasts only few seconds.


Marin Franković May 22, 2011 at 7:46

I will try to convert PDF to RTF and then ti mobi and post my findings here.


Marin Franković June 7, 2011 at 7:51

Hi JMaia,

there is a link to an application that does this within my blog post.


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