I think the main reason I prefer to use it for bedtime reading tasks rather than my Nexus 7 or Fire tablet comes down to the screen shape. Of course, for wider screen shape, I could go with my iPad Mini 2 instead—it’s got almost exactly the same size and shape as the Kindow, better battery life, and a higher-resolution Retina Display to boot. But I could see using either the Kindow or the iPad for reading on a larger display, with a wide-page form factor. Before using the Kindow and iPad, I honestly wouldn’t have expected my e-reader preference would come down to screen size and shape.
My Nexus 6 has the highest-resolution screen of any device, mobile or desktop, that I own, so you’d think it would be my best overall choice. Please Donate or SubscribeThis blog is largely funded by advertising and affiliate fees, but donations will always be gratefully accepted. As it happens, there is one I’ve been using a lot lately, and what that device is—and why—might surprise you. Much of my reading has been concerned with going through RSS feeds looking for articles on subjects that interest me, or that I might cover for TeleRead. I honestly didn’t expect that—it runs an older version of Android, after all, and its battery life is crazy short.


But the Kindow’s screen looks good enough to me, and the iPad doesn’t have the Android apps I prefer to use; even the new iteration of Reeder, the RSS reader I used to use back in my iPod Touch days, feels awkward and unwieldy after having gotten used to Press on Android. Off and on, I’ve been trying to work my way through a Kindle e-book about the history of the Internet, and have largely been doing that on my Kindle Paperwhite because it has a great screen for reading and fewer distractions.
I’ve never had the sort of eyestrain troubles with LCD some readers find, and the Kindle e-reading app is available to sync my reading location across all three.
If you’d asked me, I would have pooh-poohed the idea that a phone or tablet with the narrow-portrait form factor might not be as good an e-reader. If given the choice between different devices, would screen form factor be a major issue in your decision? It seems to me I have plenty of such books in my shelf that are shaped more like my Kindow than my Nexus 6 or 7.
I used to read more articles on tablets, but a technical snafu got me out of the habit, and I never picked it up again. And while I’ve been able to do that on my Nexus 6 smartphone on account of having it in my pocket most places, lately I haven’t been out to that many places on account of keeping expenses down while I look for a new job.
But the Android RSS app I use, Press, runs just fine on it, and I only need it for short periods at a time—the rest of the time I can plug it back in and let it charge up for the next time.


And if I should decide I want to check my email or dash off a quick message to someone in Hangouts while I’m reading, the differences in how the apps work and the problems I have with Apple’s on-screen keyboards make that annoying. After using these wider tablets for a while, I’m simply struck by how much more natural it feels to read a page in this shape—whether that’s of an RSS feed and news articles, or an e-book. And have you had experience reading from those different form factors to help you make up your mind?
On the PC I’ll read with Kindle, Acrobat, the Calibre reader, whatever fits the book format. Not that this hampers legibility—we’ve been reading narrow columns in magazines for decades, after all—but I think that when you’re used to a wider page shape, the narrower one just has a feeling of wrongness on a subconscious level. The CPU is fine.Robin Brooker on Is It Really a Surprise That Indie Bookstores Are Wifi-Free Zones?I looked at the websites of the bookstores mentioned.



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