Wink: Not a Kindle killer, in travel terms

By Nimish Dubey
We sparked a fair bit of debate last week when we said that Amazon’s e-book reader, the Kindle, was the best option for travellers who love to read. Well, an Indian company EC Media, came up with its own e-book reader, the Wink, a few days ago. And while it does share some of the features of the Kindle, we really do not think that it is good enough to match Amazon’s reading gizmo. Yes, it too uses a six-inch e-ink display which makes it easy to read in daytime, sports a QWERTY keyboard, has Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity, is backed by a huge online bookstore (close to 2,00,000 titles) and what’s more, has expandable memory and supports Indian fonts. All of which would seem a decent enough deal at Rs 11,490.

What, however, is a deal-breaker for travellers is that unlike the Kindle, the Wink does not come with pre-installed 3G connectivity. You therefore have to shell out extra bucks for a connection and paying its rentals (remember, Internet access is free on Kindle for a lifetime). The Wi-Fi option is handy but restricts one’s bookstore browsing and book purchasing to Wi-Fi hotspots, which are often a rarity when one is on the move. Also, while the Wink does support Indian languages, there are not too many Indian language titles in its bookstore. Round that off with the fact that its battery life is almost half that of the Kindle (which turns out a very decent twenty days without recharge – perfect for long trips), that its interface is not half as smooth,  and the fact that there is no provision for reading books you have bought for the Wink on other devices, and you can see why we think the Wink is not really in the same league as the Kindle, especially as far as travel quotient goes.

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