The Amazon Kindle is easily the most popular ebook reader on the market, but the ebook reader market is more divide than, say, the smartphone market (which is dominated by Apple). Individual features are important for ebook buyers, and the limitations and abilities of the Kindle are what initially set it apart from the crowd.
With the addition of the Kindle’s basic Internet browser, some ebook fans have wondered how the Kindle’s keyboard stands up against a typical keyboard. Here’s a look at how it feels to type on the Amazon Kindle.
The Kindle’s Keyboard
The keyboard on the Kindle consists of QWERTY buttons laid out in a home row centered format. The buttons are slightly diagonal, which makes it easier to type without accidentally hitting keys unintentionally. However, the buttons on the Kindle’s keyboard are also extremely small.
It would be difficult to type normally on the Amazon Kindle’s keyboard, especially if you have larger hands. The Kindle is designed for thumb typing. After typing for a few hours with the ebook reader, I can say that it’s easier than some alternatives in my opinion, most notably the Apple iPad (although the iPad can use an attached keyboard, so this is a bit of a moot point). I sort of like that the Kindle didn’t use a touch screen, because touch screens are awful for typing. However, I could easily see how the buttons on the Kindle could break or become unresponsive if the device isn’t properly cared for.
Another drawback of the Amazon Kindle’s keyboard is the speed of the device itself. Hunt and peck typers will find it a bit annoying that typed text takes a moment to show up on the screen. You’re not likely to notice the delay when you’re searching for a book or a song, but you certainly might in some situations.
Knowing The Kindle’s Audience
The drawbacks of typing on the Kindle are somewhat mitigated by the fact that there’s not really much to type; you might search for a certain book or enter an address on the basic Internet browser, but it’s hard to imagine anyone trying to type out a research paper length document on the Kindle given its bare features. The keyboard of the Kindle is ultimately passable, and in fact much more intuitive than it needs to be. Nobody buys an Amazon Kindle for its typing abilities, but there’s nothing particularly frustrating or poorly designed about the device’s keyboard.
What do you think of typing on the Amazon Kindle? Would you pick Kindle instead of Audible, Nook, or other audiobook provider? Post your thoughts in the comments section below.