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The Best Gadget of 2012?
December 19, 2012 - 9:00pm

What is your vote for the best gadget of 2012?  

Some possibilities for 2012's best gadget might include: Google's $250 Samsung Chromebook, the Nest Learning Thermostat, the iPhone 5, the FitBit One, the Microsoft Surface, the iPad Mini,  the Starbucks Verismo, the Nexus 7, and the Wii UWhat else?

Here are 6 reasons why I think that the Kindle Paperwhite is the best gadget of 2012:

The Kindle Paperwhite:

1. Makes Me Read More Books: The Paperwhite represents much more than an incremental improvement over previous Kindle devices. Reading with a Paperwhite is pleasurable experience. The e-ink is bright, the pages turn quickly, and the built-in screen illumination makes reading easy on the eyes. Buying Kindle books on Amazon has always been fast and easy.  The Paperwhite reading experience in many ways surpasses that of reading on paper (due to the built in lighting).  Combine the joys of book discovery on Amazon, with a great reading experience on the Paperwhite, and the result is more books being purchased and read.

2. Brings Down the Cost of Books:  Kindle books, while more expensive than when the device was first introduced, are still relatively affordable. Every Kindle book is about the price of a paperback. If you had asked me a few years ago what I'd do if I won the lottery my answer would have been "buy hardcover books." Nowadays, the price of a Kindle e-book makes it possible to read a book review and then go and purchase the book. (And start reading that book in seconds).

3. Changes the Types of Books That I Read:  The Paperwhite has pushed me to read more fiction. I tend to listen to nonfiction as audiobooks (from Amazon's Audible), and read fiction on my Paperwhite. On my Kindle for this Winter break I have:  Angelmaker by Nick Harkaway, Truth Like the Sun by Jim Lynch, A Hologram for the King by Dave Eggers, and Gone Girl: A Novel by Gillian Flynn.  Reading on the Paperwhite feels like a break from technology. An escape. The last thing I want to do at night or on the weekend is be holding a device that is going to send me e-mail. A single purpose reading device is exactly what I want, and reading fiction on my Paperwhite is like taking a mini-vacation.

4. Makes E-Books More Attractive Than Paper: Give me a choice between getting a paper book or an e-book and I'm going to choose the e-book. Why?  The actual reading experience on the Paperwhite is great. Sharp text. Bright screen.  Fast page turns.  Lighting.  I like that I can load my Paperwhite with lots of books.  Perfect for both travel, and for switching back and forth between books.  Another great feature of the Kindle ecosystem is the ability to keep reading on an iPhone, iPad, or computer (with the Kindle Apps and Kindle reader).  Books stay synced up, so I can access my last page from whatever screen that happens to be at hand.

5. Opens Up Reading Opportunities:  I can't say enough about the screen lighting system of the Paperwhite. The lighting is both bright and does not cause eye strain. It is not like reading on a computer or tablet screen where the lighting is project outwards. This lighting system means that I can read in bed without disturbing my partner, and I can sit in any chair to read without needing to locate a nearby source of lighting.  

6. Makes Book Reading More Appealing Than Other Media Consumption:  Since I got my Paperwhite I watch less video, read fewer blogs, and surf the web less. More books. Less news. Less social media. I think that this is a good change in my media consumption diet.

How has how you read changed in 2012?

What gadget did you get this year that has changed your behavior?

What gadget is on your wish list?


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