I’m beginning to regret buying a K3

I ordered a K3 Wifi on launch day. This was just for my own use; I hadn’t been planning to write a review. A whole lot of reviews have already been written and it’s not worth my time to simply be one of the crowd.

I got one and I’ve been using it for about a week. I’m returning it. They made a number of compromises in the hardware design in order to create a smaller device, and I’m not happy with the changes.

The page turn buttons are too small; I consistently have trouble hitting them the first time. The keyboard has been shrunk to the point where it’s too small for my fat fingers. And when using the joystick I keep accidentally pressing another button while pressing an arrow key because the buttons are too close together.

I know they wanted to make a smaller ereader, but there is such a thing as going to far.

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. Mike Cane10 September, 2010

    Do you have a library of K books? Well, iPhone or iPad or Android device for you!

  2. Scott_T10 September, 2010

    Strong enough for a man, made for a woman

    1. Nate the great10 September, 2010


  3. Eowyn107510 September, 2010

    It sounds like to me that what you are saying is the Kindle 3 is not for you, not that there’s a problem with the Kindle. The new design is perfect for me, being a tiny woman and also for my 8 year old son, since we both have smaller fingers. Like anything else, there’s no such thing as a perfect device that’s perfect for everyone. That’s why we have hundreds if different gadgets. To each his own. Amazon made a wonderful, well-thought out device, but it’s just not for everyone. 🙂

  4. Sherri10 September, 2010

    I’ve found the page turn buttons, despite their small size, to be easier to use than the K2 page turn buttons, which required pushing on the inside of the button rather than the outside. I also like the K3 5-way controller much better than the k2. I was always accidentally pushing the joystick to the side rather than straight down to select on the k2.

    But I do have small hands.

  5. Alexander Inglis10 September, 2010

    Hmmm … I dunno. I use a Blackberry on a regular basis and it’s way smaller than the Kindle. As I have changed phones over the years, some are more ergonomic than others, but in all cases I have found that I adjust to the troublesome ones after some use.

    In your comments, it appears the size of the buttons are the only things you didn’t like. No mention of all the other upgrades from the Kindle 2, for example: surely some of those … wifi comes to mind … aren’t pluses?

    The screen maybe?

    Anyway, I think the Kindle 3 is a huge improvement over the Kidnle 2 (which I rather liked). If you haven’t already packed it away and shipped it back, you might perhaps give it a little more time. I also found the joystick clumsy at first but now have adjusted and its very workable. The keyboard buttons are much easier to use than before as well. The page forward button is 1.5″ long … I’m not grasping how that is a problem; it works well enough for my thumb.

    Kindle 3’s merits far outweigh the ergonomic changes, all of which I like better or have adjusted to after some use.

    1. Alexander Inglis10 September, 2010

      Sorry forgot to add: as a serious and respected industry observer, I’m rather surprised you’d be comfortable not owning the core device for ereading. Isn’t direct access to a Kindle 3 part of your “tools of the trade”?

      1. Nate the great10 September, 2010

        You’re right. I guess I’ll have to hold on to it.

  6. Harmon11 September, 2010

    I’m with you on the alpha buttons except that I don’t use them much so I don’t care. I find the page turn buttons to be workable. The joystick buttons are a tad too small but I have developed a fingernail technique.

    On the whole I prefer the Sony hardware, but the Kindle wireless plus the Amazon inventory plus the Apple reading apps win the day. Plus the wireless Instapaper transmission…

  7. James11 September, 2010

    My experience is much like Alexander Inglis’s… I’m also a Blackberry user and adapted quickly to the K3. I only had a initial serious issue with the unit constantly rebooting but it turned out to be just an issue with an incomplete book download.

    Amazon support walked me through removing the book, resetting the K3 (basically just hold the power switch for over 20 seconds) and then reloading the book through Archive and it’s worked flawlessly since.

    I do find the lack of number keys a little annoying but the joystick works well and I don’t need to type numbers all the time.

    Only thing I would suggest to improve it would be more options to organize your collection menu.

    Btw, apparently besides PDF’s you can also use Mobi books on this thing by just copying the file to the K3’s document folder. No conversion needed.

    Came in handy considering the Kindle Store seems to be pretty lacking in the classics, like only having 8-9 of the Burrough’s Tarzan or just the first 5 of the Barsoom series.

    Reading my daily issue of the Wallstreet Journal is also pretty nice and very easy on the eyes.

    So as far as I’m concerned this is a great eBook reader…

  8. Mike Cane11 September, 2010

    Wait a sec. Don’t you have a jetBook you love? I was just fondling — again — an Aluratek this morning. How do your fingers deal with the diamond and the cluster of buttons at the lower right? (OT, but how do you deal with that screen too? Looks like a calculator!)

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