Customer Reviews: The New York Times - Daily Edition for Kindle
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on August 25, 2008
Generally pleased with my subscription but VERY annoyed that, in contrast to the description that it will include NYT articles sans graphs, charts and crossword--what you're not told and I tried very hard to find out before ordering--is that several articles are omitted from each edition and sometimes the articles that are included abruptly end, chopping off the final few sentences or paragraph. Yesterday's Sunday edition (Aug 24) only had 3 articles from the Book Review--a fraction of that section. This flaw needs work fixing or NYT need to state the subscription contents clearly.
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on December 22, 2007
I currently pay $35 a month for a six-day subscription to the print edition. The Kindle edition only costs $14 a month. So, if the Kindle edition of the NYT can replace my print subscription, the Kindle pays for itself in just over a year and a half and I get the Sunday NYT 'for free'. Beyond that, the Kindle edition doesn't involve killing trees or using noxious chemicals to turn them into paper, and beaming my paper to me every morning takes a lot less fossil fuel than trucking trees to a mill, trucking paper to a press, then delivering the printed paper to my driveway. Plus, I never have to go out in the cold or the rain to find my paper in the bushes or under my car; I should never have to deal with a missed paper, which happens once or twice a month with my delivery service; I never have to suspend delivery when I go on a trip; and my newspaper will actually go with me.

So, I have a lot of incentive to like the NYT on the Kindle.

After three days, I'm still not sure if I do.

On the plus side, my biggest worry before my Kindle arrived turns out to be a non-starter. I wondered how I'd take to reading the news on a screen only a few paragraphs big. As promised, this is not an issue. After a very short time, you don't really notice the paging any more than you notice turning the page of a book, or moving your eyes to the next column. I've read a whole novel without any annoyance, and actually find the comfortably sized Kindle less of a hassle than a broadsheet newspaper. (My SO is looking forward to no more piles of old newspapers on the kitchen table, even if that means our 13 yo won't be reading the paper any more.)

Also, I find I really don't miss the experience of flipping through the paper, looking for those interesting stories that didn't make the front page. You can browse section by section, and paging through a section a story at a time is really not bad.

You can store a lot of days worth of news in a stock Kindle, and can search them all quickly; you can store even more if you add a cheap SD card. In the unlikely event that the Times uses a word you don't know, you can quickly look it up with the Kindle's great search feature.

On the minus side, comparing my print edition to the Kindle edition, I can see that the print edition includes stories that the Kindle edition does not. I'm really not sure quite what to make of this: so far, at least, I'm actually reading more of the paper than I used to, because I can carry my Kindle to work and read articles in dead time. It's hard to know how to balance not even seeing some stories vs reading a lot more of them. (I do know that I really miss the Market Gauges pages even if, realistically, I only look at them a few times a month.)

A less ambiguous minus is the pictures, which (to use a technical term) really suck. They're hard to make out, and there's a max of one per story, no matter how many there are in the print version. Even worse, many of the pictures and - so far as I can see - ALL the charts and graphs are omitted. This hurts business coverage; I haven't seen a Science Section yet, but I imagine this will be really painful.

So. Convenience, greenness, and economics vs the loss of maybe 15% of the content. This is a hard call, for me, and I sure wish the NYT would make it easier by including the missing content.
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on November 26, 2007
Update November 1, 2009:

My original review is now two years old, and I thought it's time for an update. Surprisingly nothing of consequence has changed. The Avantgo application that I refer to is no longer around. However I now just use the Times mobile site which has equivalent features; thanks to the Times for providing that service! I can view the Times' mobile site on my smartphone (which replaced my PDA) either thru wifi or over-the-air.

Like Avantgo the mobile site provides excellent color images. All-in-all the Times mobile site is perhaps even better than Avantgo used to be, the only downside is that it is 'streamed' in the sense that you must be on-line either with wifi or your phones data plan; you can't 'take it with you', like the Kindle edition. If you have an iPhone you will be even better off, since there is an App for that; using the App you don't need to be online as the content will be updated each time you open the App and cached on the iPhone.

One other informational note: many newspapers such as the Washington Post, London Times etc. have 'moble' sites now to capture the smartphone market. These are really excellent tools, since they are in large part advert-free, including just text and images. If you haven't tried them they are in many ways superior to the smartphone 'browser' experience being much faster and simpler to navigate.

Back to the NY Times Kindle editions: I have become something of a fan of single Sunday editions since the price is such a bargain, and I can read sections during the following week.

The Times web site has been vastly improved in many ways since my original review, so it is an even more compelling alternative setting aside the price (free). I'm pleased that the Times is evolving, we all have to root for their survival and success; I still maintain that their marketing dept should join the 21st. century along with their editorial staff.

--------- Original Review from 2007 follows ---------------

To put this review in perspective I've been reading the NY Times every day for several years on my PDA, as delivered electronically by [...]. That edition has been my 'gold standard' for e-reading because I can download it in just a few minutes as my coffee brews along with the Washington Post and London Times, and then read it as I have my coffee, or take it with me to read on a commute. (When I'm travelling I can get my daily dose of newspapers from avantgo as long as there is wifi nearby.)

NY Times recently made significant improvements to their avantgo edition, so it includes all the major sections of the paper. The articles are all text, no ads, and interestingly on the PDA the pictures are quite good and in color(!). But...although the main articles are included, many are not because of the format, space, whatever. Bottom line, there are still enough articles that I run out of time before I run out of articles. The only drawback (for me) is that the PDA form factor, while great for travel, is a little space-challenged. Nevertheless, as I mentioned, it's my 'gold standard' for electronic editions since I don't want to carry my laptop everywhere. And the avantgo service is free.

So I was pretty excited to compare the Kindle subscription edition with what I've been using. To cut to the chase I'm happy to report that, for me, the Kindle edition is far superior. There are many more articles, improved navigation and of course the form factor! I was overwhelmed with the Sunday edition which has the magazine and book reviews in addition to the regular news. All-in-all a great offering.

Now about the price of the subscription. I thought it was too high until I went and looked at the alternative offerings. Turns out it's half the price of the print edition, and just about the same price as the electronic edition. (Of course the web edition and avantgo are free in comparison.) So I can see where NY Times slotted this subscription, I have to say it fits in pretty well with the alternatives.

But...I'm afraid it won't succeed at this price. And that concerns me because I really want these Kindle subscriptions to be wild successes and stoke the Kindle experience itself. (Which is why I'm taking the time and trouble to write this review.)

The price point needs to be $9.95, or even $5.95 to get significant traction. People who will subscribe are not choosing between print and electronic, they are choosing between Kindle and free (web or PDA) electronic alternatives.

My claim here is that any income the NY Times gets from a Kindle subscription is incremental, and they are not going to capture these subscribers thru one of their other channels. In my own case I'm willing to go from a zero cost subscription to a paid subscription, but not at the current price.

I'm disappointed the Times doesn't seem to see the potential of e-delivery as offered by Kindle, at least as far as pricing their product to make it a wild success...
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on April 22, 2009
I was very surprised and disappointed to learn recently that my Kindle edition of The New York Times was missing editorial opinion pieces. The most recent example is an op ed article by Roger Cohen which appeared in the print edition on April 20, 2009 but was not included in my Kindle edition. The only reason I know this is because a friend sent me an email with comments on the article, which of course I hadn't read.

I have known for the 16 months that I have been subscribing to the Times on the Kindle that I have not been getting things like the weather tables, sports scores and standings, and the crossword puzzle, and although I don't understand why you don't provide that information, since you do provide pictures and other images, at least you warned me about it when I subscribed.

But random missing content is very disquieting, particularly since I don't know what else I am missing. Kindle should either tell its subscribers specifically what content is not included, or, preferably, Kindle should fix the problem.

I have been complaining about this issue for awhile, and until now your representatives have told me that the Times is responsible for content, not Kindle. (Therea in your leadership group at least understood my problem today.) But I am contracting for the Times with Kindle, and you have a responsibility to me and your other subscribers to provide the product advertised. You are not doing that now
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on December 5, 2007
I don't know what other reviewers have been smoking to think that $13.99 per month for The New York Times is expensive.

Every Sunday before my Kindle came I would pause at newsstands and look longingly at the Sunday New York Times, mentally calculating if it was worth paying four dollars for a huge, heavy, difficult to carry mass of paper that I would have to cart around on a subway and a train until I finally got it home. The Sunday edition alone costs 52 weeks times $4 = $208 -- by comparison the Kindle version costs me $13.99 times 12 = $167 for all 365 issues.

Furthermore, my Kindle edition of the New York Times is always ready and waiting for me no matter how early I wake up in the morning. This is always nice, but particularly so on holidays when the the New York Times often sells out at the newsstands early.

I find myself reading a lot more of the New York Times using my Kindle than I used to read in the pre-Kindle era. I particularly find myself reading more of the Arts section. Another good thing about the Kindle edition is that I find myself reading an article from start to finish, whereas there was always a great tendency to skim articles in the pre-Kindle days.

The Kindle New York Times does a good job of including pictures. They are a little fuzzy but good enough to give the general idea.

It's true there are no classified ads, but it's rare I need them, so on those occasions I don't mind buying the paper edition.

I also particularly like the ability on the Kindle to quickly look up the meaning of a word in the New York Times I don't understand.

I can't think of any better way to quickly and methodically gain an in depth understanding of the world around us, than to subscribe to the Kindle edition of the New York Times. It's a truly great newspaper.
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on March 9, 2009
First of all, I'm happy there's a trial subscription so that knowing what I now know prevents me from spending any money on an actual subscription. I was really looking forward to solely reading the New York Times via the Kindle. But, having realized that not all of the articles are available I'm very disappointed. Luckily I thought to compare what's available in the electronic version with what was delivered to my home. Otherwise, I wouldn't have known what's missing! Less money for the electronic version shouldn't mean that I get less of the news/articles. I'll be canceling the the New York Times Kindle version.
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on December 24, 2007
Before I start my review, I need to state that I am not a fan of newspapers because of their sizes. Why all newspapers are designed to either force you to open up your arms to read it, or become an origami expert to fold it to have the perfect shape for a comfortable reading process has never made sense to me.

Anyway, I think the Kindle version of the New York times is great, because:

You do not have to fold it to read it.

You can drink your coffee without spilling it on yourself, or a family member, since you can see the mug in front of you.

My paper will be delivered on time, no matter what, and it will not be damaged by any external factor, such as rain, dog, people, etc. I will not have to go outside to pick it up, either.

Pictures are quite good, although not perfect, which would be redundant anyway.

A couple improvement ideas:

In the article list, the editorials are shown with the title and a short quote from the article. I think the list should also include the author's name.

I have to go through a lot of pages to find an article I really feel is important. To make the navigation easier, article titles can be made more concise, and more articles can be shown on one page. This can be included as an option.

In the sections list, if each section can have a collapsible article list, that would be fantastic.
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on April 7, 2010
The price increase to $19.99 is nuts. The digital version is a subset of the print edition, it was too expensive at $14.99. This price increase makes this subscription just ridiculous. I have had the NYT and Wall Street Journal on my Kindle for some time and read them both almost every day. I'm going to cancel the NYT, keep the Journal and look for another paper that is more reasonably priced. Somebody over at the NY Times needs to wake up.
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on May 27, 2011
One of the reasons that I got a Kindle was as a convenient reading device when carrying a laptop isn't practical. I have a weekend print subscription to the NY Times, and I thought that would extend to cover the Kindle version. However, unlike what I thought I read on the NY Times "Digital Subscription" web page, it turns out I have to pay for a second subscription if I want the "e-reader" version in addition to the print version.

I thought about switching entirely from my print subscription to the "e-reader" subscription, but that would be a significant downgrade since the "e-reader" edition (a) is missing a LOT of articles that I enjoy (e.g. Science, Technology, David Pogue ....), and (b) is only updated daily. I've decided that I'm better served by keeping the print subscription, reading the NY Times website when I can, and canceling the Times subscription for my Kindle.

In summary, the Kindle version of the NY Times is a complete failure for me.
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on October 17, 2008
The download is very inconsistent. Many times the paper does not come for a few days. Because of this I am cancelling my subscription.
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