i have been absolutely loving my kindle 2 - it is, in my mind, the best device i have purchased in a long long time – and i purchase a lot of devices… at a high level, the reason i love it so much is that the form factor and design has completely revolutionized my ability to feasibly have a book and the newspaper on me at all times… because it is literally possible to slip a good book and today’s paper in my back pocket – and immediately get back to my place - i have been able to squeeze more and more reading into dead air that used to be consumed by podcasts/music on my iphone… books are way better.
while a lot of people have been fawning over the device for the contrast ratio, the form factor, etc..., what is frequently missed are all the very small and important design decisions that make what would otherwise be a good device great.
this occurred to me a few days ago when i noticed that the kindle doesn’t have a clock in the footer/header of the page when you are reading. every digital device on the face of the earth seems to have a little digital clock on it somewhere, and no question the kindle has access to several timing mechanisms both onboard and over the air - so it was clearly a deliberate design decision to keep the clock behind the scenes… and i bet one which was actually discussed/debated for a reasonable amount of time.
amazon 100% made the right call in keeping a clock away from the page. part of the beauty of books is being able to loose yourself… and having a little ticking clock staring back at you would have made that much harder.
so, the kindle is just that much better for not having a digital clock, as is amazon for knowing when less is more - which only leads me to think about other places where removing elements is net positive