Hi Arista, I've looked quite closely at the kindle when it first came out and have considered its potential academic application. Brilliant battery life, excellent screen to read from and a good pdf viewer. However, it's monochrome, you can't edit the .pdfs and all you can do with it is read stuff. This is okay for fiction books, but for academic reading and work, where you may want to highlight, cut edit and paste? I didn't get one for that reason. For an extra £70, you could get a decent netbook with a 10 hour battery life, which would enable you to do everything that you can do with the Kindle, plus some light work. I know which I'd go for, but if you quite literally want an academic toy for monochrome reading only then I suppose it's a good buy!
I have been using a Kindle for about 3 months by now. I think it's great to read pdfs on it. I don't even convert them to Kindle format, just drag and drop and then turn the Kindle by 90 degrees. It has saved me loads of money, as now I don't have to print stuff out to read, I find it impossible to read articles on the computer screen. Plus I don't have stacks of articles lying around either. When I read an article on it I take notes using a dictation software. I also travel quite a lot, so it makes my luggage a lot lighter as well. Hope this helps!
I have just got the kindle 3 (latest version) and have all of my PDF papers on it so they are easy to find than rifling through reams of paper. I plan to have all of my key papers on there for reading pre viva as it is easier to take this around with me than the laptop or lots of paperwork. You can add your own notes onto the PDFs so if there is a particular statement you perhaps don't agree with, you can add a typed note of your own. I also have some PhD viva books on it ,which in my case, keeps little hands away from tearing out pages!
I find with all of these things (mobile phones, readers, mini laptops etc) that i cannot type very well on them, compared to the laptop/pc, so personally I wouldn't use them for typing notes, emails, chapters etc. Odd notes on PDFs is fine but that is all. I do attach mine via wifi for downloads which is amazingly quick. Books and newspapers arrive instantly! Otherwise I link to the laptop for PDFs. They do provide an email address to send PDF attachment emails to for direct download to the Kindle, but I have not tried this. There is internet access on it aswell, but again I have not really used it for this. I guess my needs are pretty simple, PDF storage/reader to keep filed paperwork away from inquisitive little hands, with indulgent fictional reading and newspapers!
I have one but I refuse to use it for PhD work - its for my supposed down-time and therefore has teenage vampire fiction on it and nothing else :$ I think if I start putting journals on it it will become just another way for the PhD to enter all aspects of my life :-s
I bought one mainly for reading fiction as I live abroad and English language books are hard to find - I like the fact that you can get something to read instantly. However, I have found it very useful for reading and storing pdfs - much easier than laptop/notebook as you just switch it on and it's there straight away.
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