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Amazon's new Kindle dubbed the 'iPod of reading'

post #1 of 151
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Online retailer Amazon grabbed the spotlight on Monday when it announced the Kindle, a handheld e-book reader it says should do for digital text what Apple's iPod has done for music.

Amazon hopes that it can break e-book reading out of its niche by integrating unique hardware with a special online service, similar to the teamwork shown between the iPod and the iTunes Store.

Key to the integration is the device's built-in, pervasive Internet access and a special section of Amazon's online store dedicated to digital publications. Instead of using short-range Wi-Fi, the Kindle taps into Sprint's much larger 3G cellular network and uses this primarily to load its content on to the device: although it has an SD card slot and a USB cable, Amazon expects most users to download their reading material online, regardless of where they may be.

Titled Whispernet, the Amazon's access is completely free to use: owners are only charged for what they buy, not for the bandwidth used. Most of this buying will be done through Amazon's own digital bookstore, the company says.

Echoing part of Apple's approach to the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store, the Kindle can buy text online without requiring a computer. It also offers more than just individual book downloads and lets users subscribe to magazines and newspapers that are automatically downloaded shortly after the print version is published.

Costs range from $1.25 per month for some magazines to $10 for a typical book and $15 for a subscription to an international paper such as Le Monde.

And like the iPod touch, the Kindle can also browse the web: while RSS feeds of certain blogs are available in a Kindle-ready format for one to two dollars each per month, the reader also includes a basic web browser and quick access to Wikipedia.



The handheld even has its own e-mail address to receive web pages, Word files, and images as attachments for ten cents each.

No matter how attractive the product, however, Amazon's Kindle launch may have unintentionally mirrored the climate surrounding the 2001 introduction of the iPod. Like the Apple jukebox, the Kindle is launching at $399 into a market which has yet to fully embrace the product category. Still, Amazon -- which based its core business on selling books as far back as 1994 -- hopes it can make e-book readers as common place as digital media players are today.

The retailer said it plans to begin shipping Kindle on Wednesday.
post #2 of 151
Admin- I suppose you could fold my earlier comments in another thread about the Kindle into this one.

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post #3 of 151
This is quite an embarrassing prognostication from Newsweek.

Who the heck cares about Jeff Bezos and what amounts essentially to a revamped e-reader? Talk about overhyping a product. This dorky, unwieldy implementation is going nowhere. If anyone can tap the potential market for digitized books (which so far doesn't even exist) then it's Apple with its prospective sexy tablet computer.
post #4 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShawnJ View Post

This is quite an embarrassing prognostication from Newsweek.

Who the heck cares about Jeff Bezos and what amounts essentially to a revamped e-reader? Talk about overhyping a product. This dorky, unwieldy implementation is going nowhere. If anyone can tap the potential market for digitized books (which so far doesn't even exist) then it's Apple with its prospective sexy tablet computer.

Just view Kindle as you viewed the first iPod. Big, unwieldy, expensive... uh, and very white. As a 1.0 product for Amazon, this ain't bad, but it is too expensive for most. Imagine the possibilities in the next couple of years, though. Google, Apple, and others might want to get into the new subscriber sustained wireless/cellular distributed e-publishing market once it gains a firmer toehold.

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post #5 of 151
-too early
-horrible design
-too expensive (how many books to recoup?)
-bad reading experience

Reading for pleasure is a very intimate thing to do, even more then listening to music on your headphones, nobody wants to read from this "machine".
Now if you have to read tech stuff or legal stuff or study... you might aswel do it on your laptop, like people do now anyway.
post #6 of 151
How long will it take someone to create an ebook reader for the iPhone/iPod touch once the SDK is available? Download directly from Project Guttenburg and whatever exists for the currect market. Build in links to Audible and Librivox...
post #7 of 151
I don't want to read a book on my computer or on any other "special device." But, if I had to choose one or the other, I would choose my computer (with me anyway, color, great resolution, etc.).

Can't imagine curling up on the couch reading my ebook or whatever.

Sounds like a great product with no market and way first generation...no color. So, you can view photos in black and white...oh so seventies.

Doesn't work for me or anyone I know.

Thanks anyway.

Now, books on tape or digital format, which can be played on an iPod do make travel much easier.
post #8 of 151
With all the wonders of technology... this is their next big idea?

Wow.... something else to throw in the drawer of bad technology ideas.

Look ma, it's the iPod of the cooking world...
Look, it's the iPod of the automotive world...
Look, it's the...

You get the drift...

Ideas like this have failed sooo sooo many times. Time to make sure all my Amazon stock is cleared out of the portfolio. What a waste of $ for R&D and thousands of man hours.

Simply put, invoking the iPod does not mean it's an iPod. When it is on every christmas list in America and you find yourself buying your third or even fourth engraved iPod.. THEN it's an iPod.
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post #9 of 151
Sony makes a nice one. And the iPod was, like most Apple products, incredible for its size, and still a much more coherent design, despite its price. This is a good reader in an ugly package and with limited use.

The one thing that is nice is the MP3 player. That is good for reading.

But what of the resolution? A lot of the books I read for class have images and diagrams, many of which are in color. How does this work for that, even in B&W?
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post #10 of 151
They've already invented the iPod of reading. It's called a book. Nobody needs to carry around all their books--it's just not like music. It's a fundamentally bad idea.
post #11 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Just view Kindle as you viewed the first iPod. Big, unwieldy, expensive... uh, and very white. As a 1.0 product for Amazon, this ain't bad, but it is too expensive for most. Imagine the possibilities in the next couple of years, though. Google, Apple, and others might want to get into the new subscriber sustained wireless/cellular distributed e-publishing market once it gains a firmer toehold.

I agree with your comments but I see many glaring flaws with Kindle. Despite that, I would like Apple to release a dedicated eReader for the iPhone/iPod Touch and any sub-compact it may release. As well as, sell eBooks through iTunes. If Kindle takes off perhaps this will happen. If it does, the iPod touch may be a big hit with Medical practitioners as medical records, encyclopedias and journals. Especially if t had find-as-you-type lookups.


Quote:
Originally Posted by shifty View Post

They've already invented the iPod of reading. It's called a book. Nobody needs to carry around all their books--it's just not like music. It's a fundamentally bad idea.

There are plenty of reasons that a mobile reference would be quite beneficial.
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post #12 of 151
The majority of the previous comments were right on. What a silly bunch of crap this thing is.
While I know that at some point, every organization has to launch something that they've been pouring cash into, They should have taken a page from Jobs' playbook and either waited, partnered or killed it.

The "problem" is not that there hasn't been dedicated hardware up to this point, it's that publishers can't get their minds around how to package and distribute media, while still making a profit, now that the game has changed.

Why not partner with another company (Apple, Dell, etc.) to get a high res screen and whatever other necessary items incorporated into a sub compact? If it really catches on, then Amazon could utilize the distribution scheme to entice other makers. Let's be honest, why would anyone want to carry this AND a compact laptop that could do much more.

The sweet spot between "lightweight & portable" and "well built & durable" in devices like this size is really tough to find if there even is one, and that balance is different for every user. I think that this is one of those devices that will be obsolete 2 years from now, as computer makers incorporate higher res screens in tablets and compacts that can rival on price, and kill on features.
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post #13 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by shifty View Post

They've already invented the iPod of reading. It's called a book. Nobody needs to carry around all their books.

LOL. Brilliant.
post #14 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

There are plenty of reasons that a mobile reference would be quite beneficial.

Sure, with dictionaries, encyclopedias, and such. But those can be accessed/read on a laptop as well. Moreover, if you are already online as this device is, why not just google (or whatever) the reference info you need?
post #15 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by Esteban View Post

Why not partner with another company (Apple, Dell, etc.) to get a high res screen and whatever other necessary items incorporated into a sub compact?

A high-res screen would be a huge drain on the battery. The screen they chose allows for 30 hours of operation with less than a 2 hour charge. While I wish they offered something with colour that had a backlight option, I think they may have made the right choice for their target market, which is heavy readers of text-only books that are sitting in well lit areas.
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post #16 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Sure, with dictionaries, encyclopedias, and such. But those can be accessed/read on a laptop as well. Moreover, if you are already online as this device is, why not just google (or whatever) the reference info you need?

I've got the whole of wikipedia downloaded to my PDA (minus images)... That works pretty well.
post #17 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by eAi View Post

I've got the whole of wikipedia downloaded to my PDA (minus images)... That works pretty well.

???

why would you download a constantly changing source? You should have gone with another encyclopedia thats more constant. Also, thats 2,096,558 articles in English, and that seems a bit wasteful to me even if each article take up almost no space.
post #18 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrpiddly View Post

???

why would you download a constantly changing source? You should have gone with another encyclopedia thats more constant. Also, thats 2,096,558 articles in English, and that seems a bit wasteful to me even if each article take up almost no space.

I suspect two reasons for Having a hardcopy of Wikipedia. He is often not near a decent internet source and he wants something more robust than the typical circumscribed topics found in most other encyclopedias.
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post #19 of 151
For those of you who have NOT used an ebook reader, you are speaking from ignorance.
I have an iRex illiad. The reading experience with e-ink is EXCELLENT.

I took it with me on vacation and loaded up hundreds of books on it.
I was able to read in the airport, on the plane and in my hotel room-no lugging around a suitcase full of books.

Why have a collection of books on a device? Because YOU CAN. Have the books you read for pleasure. Have the technical books for your profession. Have the daily newspaper, wikipedia and google at your fingertips.
In a form factor suited for reading with ease.

All the scifi books I could read...it was a very pleasurable and engaging reading experience, with text files.

What was missing? Apple's multitouch interface. The iRex UI is awful in terms of the resizing controls and such. Page turning is fine, it is the basic details which Apple always pays attention to that are missing.
PDF scaling UI is weak, which is why Apple with an OSX implementation of this would rule.

The market for getting your newspapers and magazines is a good one.
The market for replacing heavy school textbooks is enormous if the price is right.

From the looks of the Kindle, Apple can still enter this market and dominate. They already have all the other technology pieces including the UI done. They have the iTunes infrastructure in place. And they know both wifi and telephony (from the iPhone). They also have experience with power management and battery life. The only missing piece is an e-ink based device, running the iPod Touch UI with preview and textedit. A dictionary. Safari browser. Boom.

Apple would OWN this marketplace when they decide to enter it. All the technology for it is off the shelf for them now.
post #20 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

A high-res screen would be a huge drain on the battery. The screen they chose allows for 30 hours of operation with less than a 2 hour charge. While I wish they offered something with colour that had a backlight option, I think they may have made the right choice for their target market, which is heavy readers of text-only books that are sitting in well lit areas.

As far as the screen goes, I think that's really the only compelling thing about it. Using a digital paper display, so it actually seems like you're reading a book actually makes sense. I think it looks pretty ugly, and has way too many buttons, but it's kind of interesting.

I have a feeling that if I bought one I'd think it was pretty cool for about 2 weeks then it would wind up in a drawer.
post #21 of 151
I'll agree that Kindle has a lot of shortcomings, and I'm not planning to get one myself, but a lot of the complainers in this thread are a bit off base. The reason it has a greyscale screen is because it's an eInk screen, not a LCD. So far, eInk is a greyscale technology. This will probably change in time, but greyscale is what we've got right now.

Putting an eInk screen on an ereader (okay, the E is getting a little overloaded) is essential to making a device like this succeed, because it's actually *comfortable* to read for extended periods of time. To all the people who say they'd rather have a laptop that can do so much more, how long can you read that laptop screen before you want to gouge your eyes out? Yes, reading for pleasure *is* an intimate experience, and an eInk screen actually allows it to remain so on an electronic device. I cannot read a computer screen nearly comfortably enough to get the bookish experience, but I can an eInk screen.

I'm still not going to get one. It's very first-gen, and I don't like that it's (essentially) locked into Amazon purchases and EVDO. But unless this is a complete failure, second gen will come, just as it did with the iPod, and it'll probably fix a lot of the flaws. Don't liquidate that Amazon stock just yet.
post #22 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShawnJ View Post

This is quite an embarrassing prognostication from Newsweek.

Who the heck cares about Jeff Bezos and what amounts essentially to a revamped e-reader? Talk about overhyping a product. This dorky, unwieldy implementation is going nowhere. If anyone can tap the potential market for digitized books (which so far doesn't even exist) then it's Apple with its prospective sexy tablet computer.

I agree. All of the e-reader folks are ENTIRELY missing the boat. The Eink technology and flex circuit printing will be ready for prime time in about five to ten years. Now, we're in the stage of the technology where the PDA was ten years ago.
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post #23 of 151
An e-book reader is a great concept for many reasons. The thing can remember where you left off, it can facilitate looking up words or references, and it will save who knows how many thousands of acres of forest. Especially for reading material one usually dumps, such as newspapers or magazines.

That said, this thing is ugly. Something you use so much should look good. As good as a good hardcover book.

I can live without color, especially if I get sunlit reading in exchange.

Apple will get it right if they do it. As usual, Steve will show them how it's done. His business model might stink though, or not. We'll see.
post #24 of 151
Memo to Amazon: You don't have to pay each time you transfer something you ALREADY OWN to your iPod. Whereas Kindle tacks on 10 cents for each similar transfer, which can really add up if you're a heavy reader. Plus you have to pay to read RSS feeds that you can see for free on a smaller device that's in color and happens to be called an iPhone, which costs as much as this dumb monochrome block but without the pickpocketing price schedule. Thanks, but no thanks, Bez.
post #25 of 151
To me the screen is a real killer. (I'm guessing the 399 price tag is for the vintage greyscale screen-how many recycled gameboys does it take to make a kindle)


I think if you just read novel type books for fun this would work well, but how many do you really need to drag along. Even on a relatively decent length trip. Still easier to pick up a newspaper on the way to work. Seems like, by the time you chop up the revenue for a newspaper between the publisher, distributor, and sprint it wouldn't be that spectacular (meaning I'm not sure how much you'd save versus buying a real paper-spilling your coffee on it, treating it poorly, not caring)


I think it is a brilliant idea if you could replace all of your reading material, but the screen limits it. If you could really put your magazines, novels, and work/school related books it would be well worth the 400 or even more (it looks rugged enough and I like the side buttons to flip pages-- makes it seem more like reading). But for me, there are few magazines I really want to read in black and white (I guess with the one exception being some work related stuff). Again greyscale is good for novels, but not so much for magazines(at least it limits which ones are enjoyable). Second, most textbooks can benefit from color of some sort. Don't get me wrong there are texts that are very doable in black and white, but the key is to create a device that can appeal to as many people as possible. I can't see schools picking this up for textbooks.

I would say this could be a big money saver for schools, but the textbook powers that be would probably still charge a lot for the electronic version. Kids might have to put a deposit down, drop it, break it, etc. Not sure how that works out in the long run.

Basically what I'm saying is that the idea has a ton of potential, but not in its current form. To me it is a 400 device for mostly novels and it's easier for me to drag a few books along on trips. Plus if I leave a paperback semi unattended no big deal, I can throw my bag around with it in there, etc.

Hopefully it will find enough adopters to push the idea and keep it evolving. I'd also like to see any print book you purchase allow you to DL an electronic version to it, any newspaper/mag subscription to DL to it.
post #26 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by shifty View Post

They've already invented the iPod of reading. It's called a book. Nobody needs to carry around all their books--it's just not like music.

I wish that this were true for everyone, but I go through a book every night or two, and when I'm shooting on location, or working on a series in another country, I'm traveling or working out of my bags for months on end. Having a few hundred books in a small package would be fine for me. I have read quite a few Project Gutenberg books on my computer when necessary (got a great widget for that), and it isn't so bad. Amazon's reader isn't there yet, but having a boatload of books in a handy-dandy electronic form would be great for me.
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post #27 of 151
Charlie Rose is interviewing Bezos tonight regarding Kindle.

http://www.charlierose.com/home
post #28 of 151
But isn't that what sony did 10 years ago with the LIBRIE ?

http://www.sony.jp/products/Consumer/LIBRIE/

xD
post #29 of 151
From my original post: "Why not partner with another company (Apple, Dell, etc.) to get a high res screen and whatever other necessary items incorporated into a sub compact?"

Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

A high-res screen would be a huge drain on the battery. The screen they chose allows for 30 hours of operation with less than a 2 hour charge. While I wish they offered something with colour that had a backlight option, I think they may have made the right choice for their target market, which is heavy readers of text-only books that are sitting in well lit areas.

Hence my thought in the same post:
"They should have taken a page from Jobs' playbook and either waited, partnered or killed it."
As it is, it's not all that compelling, and certainly not a game changer like iPod.

Also to reply to SpamSandwich's quote:
"Just view Kindle as you viewed the first iPod. Big, unwieldy, expensive... uh, and very white. As a 1.0 product for Amazon, this ain't bad, but it is too expensive for most. Imagine the possibilities in the next couple of years, though. "

That may be what you think of the first iPod now, but when it came out people were gooping themselves over it. Your music library in a device about the size of a deck of playing cards? Now that was a game changer. Kindle? Nope. Silly to think so, I think.
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post #30 of 151
I think you guys are really missing the point. The folks who talked about using the iPhone or PDA for reading books are also way off.

How many of us even HAVE ebooks? I have maybe one - and the reason is that I hate reading on my computer. I also got to play around on an iPhone at the Apple Store for an hour or so and I have to say I'm stunned to hear anyone say that they'd be thrilled to read a book on that thing either. Really?

What does $399 get you? Lifetime wireless access, a screen that's easy on the eyes, and a functional keyboard that doesn't always wrongly guess your inputs (a la iPhone/iPod Touch). How much easier would college have been for me if I wasn't always dragging around my books? The dilemma regarding which books to pack on a trip would also be practically solved for me. Need to reference something you read/saw in a newspaper or nonfiction book? Search and it's there.

I also think the people who complain about the ugliness of the device are in serious denial about the original iPod. Yeah, it looked better than most other mp3 players out there, but that wasn't a difficult contest to win. The original iPod was still a 'lump'. I loved it, but it was a lump.
post #31 of 151
Others have brought it up in this thread already, but it bears repeating. How many of you have actually experienced an e-ink screen? No doubt a bright, colorful, high-resolution screen is nice. That same backlight is also incredibly stressful on the eyes and I, as well as most people I would imagine, would despise reading a book of a standard screen for hours on end. e-ink isn't just a monochrome LCD, it allows a naturally lit reading surface.

That said, I just don't see a demand for a device like this until maybe the technology improves and costs are reduced. More importantly, I can usually buy a paperback of a book for <$10 new, I can buy used copies anywhere, I can borrow books from the library for free, I don't have to worry about batteries or breaking anything, maybe I'm too old school but I don't see myself choosing an e-ink reader over real books anytime soon.
post #32 of 151
I agree with most comments in this thread. Comparing this thing to the iPod is ridiculous.

When the iPod came out, i was very compelled by the idea of being able to carry around my whole music collection in my pocket and listen to what i want whenever i want. It was smaller than CD players and the interface made it quick and easy. It wasn't much of a change as far as the listening experience goes - you had an electronic device, a pair of headphones, and the fun was over when the battery ran out, as expected.

I do not, however, dream of carrying around all my books in the pocket. I read one book at a time, and bring it with me if i want to read. I very rarely decide to spontaneously read a book from my collection - i tend to buy or borrow a new one. This thing isn't smaller than your average book (well maybe it is - but it doesn't fit on your pocket!). This is too much of an experience change - you can't throw it around like a book, you can't sell books on at a garage sale, you have to squint at an LCD to read it, and the batteries can run out - how annoying.

Also, the iPod appealed mainly to young people. They bought it in droves and still do. I can't see my little brother getting a Kindle for christmas, not in a million years.

The only useful applications i see for this thing (pocket reference, education, etc...) can be acheived at the exact same price point by a PDA or Laptop - and they do a hundred other things on top of that.

Crap idea.
post #33 of 151
It's too expensive, it's ugly, and you depend on one source: Amazon. Oh, goodie: the opportunity to buy a book with copy protection.

The iPod had the great virtue that it did what it did better than other devices -- I mean, better than a Walkman or a portable radio. This let you listen to a ton of music compared to its competitors. Then there was the Apple Store and then it was compatible with Windows. Yes, there was copy protection, but you could rip CDs you owned and borrow music you didn't. It was a vast radio station, and you were the programmer.

Frankly, for $10, I can get a paperback, read it to hell, and then give it to a friend if I liked it, or throw it away if I didn't. I can keep it on my shelf to refer to later. Every ten years, I read Ulysses. In ten years, it'll have some dust on the edges, but it'll still work. It doesn't use batteries. I don't have to download it, though I can get it at Amazon and a zillion other places, too.

And if I leave it on an airplane, I can get another one for $10, not $100.

Most of all, when I read a book I feel kinship with readers from Greece and Rome to the guy who first cracked open a Dickens book, or Principia Mathematica, or one of a million books that changed the world. If I buy this, I feel like a dweeb.
post #34 of 151
I totally agree with swift's post (@33), but didn't comment on it previously because I was trying to keep it "techy". Now that it's been said though...

"When someone buys a book, they are also buying the right to resell that book, to loan it out, or to even give it away if they want. Everyone understands this."
Jeff Bezos, Open letter to Authors Guild, 2002

"You may not sell, rent, lease, distribute, broadcast, sublicense or otherwise assign any rights to the Digital Content or any portion of it to any third party, and you may not remove any proprietary notices or labels on the Digital Content. In addition, you may not, and you will not encourage, assist or authorize any other person to, bypass, modify, defeat or circumvent security features that protect the Digital Content."
Amazon, Kindle Terms of Service, 2007

More here: (link stolen from Daring Fireball)
http://diveintomark.org/archives/200...ure-of-reading
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post #35 of 151
I don't think that there is any way a product such as this can replace books now or at any time in the future. As someone said above, a book is such a personal thing - people want to 'possess' one in reality not as a virtuality like music can be.

Having said that, I can see a massive business opportunity here (one I might actually research and get into ): such devices could link to an iTunes-like iBook service which published the ebooks in exactly the same way; you purchase online and download etc.

But the problem would be that no-one would want to read like that SO there would also be a funtionality to print on demand.

You press a button on the device, pay from PayPal or credit card and the book is printed out at Kinkos or some other specialist store (traditional bookshop?) with user-specified cover options, personalization, paper and print options etc.

You just go and pick it up in an hour or get it sent to your home. The technology to print and bind books on demand already exists in many copy stores and it is getting more compact and cheaper all the time.

If this market develops - and it could very well given environmental concerns as well as economic and market uncertainty associated with large print runs, not to mention small independent bookshops not being able to afford to carry massive stock and compete with big boys and online retailers - and publishing houses get on board this could be massive.

I predict this is the way it will go: traditional books continue to exist but a device such as this revolutionizes the industry just as iTunes did to the music biz.
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post #36 of 151
First off, books HAVE copy protection already - copying them is tedious, costly, and inconvenient...maybe not so for ebooks or audiobooks, but arguing that the copy protection is somehow draconian is just silly.
Quote:
Frankly, for $10, I can get a paperback, read it to hell, and then give it to a friend if I liked it, or throw it away if I didn't. I can keep it on my shelf to refer to later. Every ten years, I read Ulysses. In ten years, it'll have some dust on the edges, but it'll still work. It doesn't use batteries. I don't have to download it, though I can get it at Amazon and a zillion other places, too.

Can you do a cross-referenced search to see what any given number of your resources about a given topic might have to offer (all in one place)? Can you search your paper books to try and remember that 'thing you read somewhere but can't remember where' that you may need in a given conversation or meeting?
Quote:
And if I leave it on an airplane, I can get another one for $10, not $100.

If you leave an expensive electronic device on an airplane, you get no sympathy from me. Should you buy a very cheap phone instead of an iPhone because you might also leave that on an airplane?

The remarks about not being able to share (except across multiple devices on the same account) point out a true downside, but it's more than made up for by the convenience of reference and of having your entire library with you in one tiny place.
post #37 of 151
This new Kindle is a big Flop. I am astonished how it can be compared with iPod which is revolutionary. A reader(UGLY) at $399 is a bad deal. every one has a laptop or nobody would buy this everybody would prefer a laptop over this. There are pdf readers on mobile phones or other devices but this idea of separate (only) reader seems to be absurd.

Sachin
QTP
post #38 of 151
this thing is HUGE ......Comparing it to the early ipod is an insult
post #39 of 151
A neat concept, with two glaring flaws. First, they've locked you into Sprint, which you then end up paying for in hidden costs ... it should've included WiFi and let you choose to pay for the Sprint service either on demand or through a separate subscription. Second, a convoluted model for accessing open content: specially formatted RSS feeds for $$$?, per document charge to e-mail your own documents to yourself???, otherwise you have to fiddle with an SD card or USB cable and get the files into a format the Kindle willl handle?

It's obvious the second issue is intimately bundled with the first. The convoluted usage model is being forced on you to pay for the Sprint wireless service. Amazon should've focused on making a usable device first.

Also, where did the article get that it has a "basic web browser"? It isn't mentioned in the specs or video I saw. I doubt they're going to offer you free wireless browsing on Sprint.

I have to wonder if this would be cheaper without the Sprint service? Offer a cheaper WiFi version with fewer content restrictions and I'll think about it.
post #40 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkimKlaw View Post

To me the screen is a real killer. (I'm guessing the 399 price tag is for the vintage greyscale screen-how many recycled gameboys does it take to make a kindle)

It is not an LCD. It is not vintage. The technology used in that screen (eInk) has only been commercially viable since shortly after the turn of the millenium.

It maintains full contrast over an extremely wide viewing angle - much wider than any monochrome or colour LCD panels.

It can be used in full sunlight, or under various types of artificial lighting, with no appreciable change in quality. Every colour LCD panel I've seen is quite simply useless in direct sunlight.

It is, in short, very nearly indistinguishable from real ink printed on a piece of paper.

It consumes virtually no electricity except when the image is actively changing. When a static image is on the screen, the power source could be totally removed, and without failsafe mechanisms to reset the thing, the image wouldn't start to visibly decay for several hours.
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