In-depth review: can Amazon's Kindle light a fire under eBooks?

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 58
    Too expensive and no backlight. Lack of support for various formats. I have pocket pc that does all that and more and was cheaper.
  • Reply 22 of 58
    I think eBooks are a great idea, whose time has not yet come. For students, the ability to buy cheap electronic textbooks, and carry all those heavy tomes in one little eBook is a brilliant idea. Of course, new books should be priced at far less than 1/4 the cost of their paperback versions, which has yet to happen. And we all know that textbook publishers are a bunch of assholes who seek to gouge students year after year by re-ordering a few pages so as to make year-old versions obsolete.



    Hopefully, electronic, open-source, peer-reviewed eTextbooks are not too far away. The savings for schools will be enormous, and the students will not have to carry backpacks full of heavy books everywhere they go.



    I intend to buy a Sony eBook in the next few years, if only to read project Gutenberg free books. All the classics are available online, for free, which automatically gives eBooks tremendous value. Unfortunately, Amazon's reader locks you in to a service where you pay to have even documents you own (PDFs, etc) to be transferred to your Kindle.



    That said, I think Kindle is a step in the right direction, even if I have no intention of buying it. I really think eBook people should focus on Education, where high costs, heavy weight, and fast obsolescence are the factors that guarantee eBook success in those markets.
  • Reply 23 of 58
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by city View Post


    Did Appleinsider get paid by Amazon for this review?



    If that were the case, don't you think it would have been more positive?



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by filburt View Post


    The review could've done without Ann Coulter plug.



    They mentioned that most of her books are available. How is that a plug?
  • Reply 24 of 58
    tkntkn Posts: 224member
    I like the idea of e-ink but its limitations are too great right now. A Netflix style/library rental service would be better for me anyway.



    The keyboard takes up space for something I would almost never use. The buttons are awkwardly placed. The closed format is beyond ridiculous. The inability to lend a book is pretty bad, although I could stand it if the books stay cheaper.



    The Sony Reader looks a lot nicer, and Sony could always actually compete by, you know, opening up the format if they ever get over their obsession with owning the store. Since they repeatedly keep trying, I imagine it won't happen, but you never know, perhaps they will get desperate enough.



    And I do think you might cross-shop an iPhone or other PDA device eventually, especially as resolutions increase.
  • Reply 25 of 58
    kkerstkkerst Posts: 330member
    That thing looks like a Speak and Spell....yuck...and it doesn't even talk to you....
  • Reply 26 of 58
    foo2foo2 Posts: 1,077member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by minderbinder View Post


    If that were the case, don't you think it would have been more positive?



    It seems a pretty damn positive report to me, with the excruciating detail about a non-Apple product. I was surprised as it was with the earlier article on this web site about the Kindle when the device was first announced.



    Quote:

    They mentioned that most of her books are available. How is that a plug?



    Any publicity is good publicity.



    AppleInsider needn't be paid for these articles. Just being an AMZN shareholder would create a conflict of interest.
  • Reply 27 of 58
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,949member
    A few of the pictures cause me to ask how well the iPhone dims. Most LCD backlights are overly bright for me in darker rooms. I don't want to strain my eyes with a bright screen and I don't want to call attention to myself either being a shining beacon in the night.
  • Reply 28 of 58
    Good review. I was surprised, though, that the "Decade of eBook Failure" section didn't mention pre-2000 systems like the Rocket eBook, which was released in 1998.



    I had many of the same concerns about the Rocket back then that I have (and that you expressed) about the Kindle now. At the time, I thought: "Well, ebook readers aren't really ready for prime time yet, but give them a few years and they'll be pretty cool."



    Unfortunately, the Kindle doesn't really seem like a decade's worth of improvement over the Rocket.
  • Reply 29 of 58
    Amazon needs to let the concept grow up a bit before it will be worth that huge of an investment. The book selection is not as big as they let on. The Kindle will be a tough sell with the "Swindle" hanging around. Great spoof. LOL! http://www.iphonesavior.com/2007/11/...llo-to-sw.html
  • Reply 30 of 58
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Foo2 View Post


    It seems a pretty damn positive report to me, with the excruciating detail about a non-Apple product. I was surprised as it was with the earlier article on this web site about the Kindle when the device was first announced.



    Detail? Yes. But did you miss the parts about how ugly it is, how the keyboard is so horrible it's completely useless, how the DRM is incompatible with everything else, and how it stinks for everything but reading books? The overall impression is that the device is very limited, way too expensive, and likely won't sell well.



    I can understand pointing out that it's off topic. But to say that amazon must have paid for the review seems pretty ridiculous. There's no question that there are plants on the internet. But the whole point of a plant is to say GOOD things so people buy the product. This is nothing close to that.
  • Reply 31 of 58
    foo2foo2 Posts: 1,077member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by minderbinder View Post


    Detail? Yes. But did you miss the parts about how ugly it is, how the keyboard is so horrible it's completely useless, how the DRM is incompatible with everything else, and how it stinks for everything but reading books? The overall impression is that the device is very limited, way too expensive, and likely won't sell well.



    I missed those. The article is too long and uninteresting to me. I did see some positive comments, though, and I do view the amount of attention paid to the Kindle to be a big positive.



    Quote:

    I can understand pointing out that it's off topic. But to say that amazon must have paid for the review seems pretty ridiculous. There's no question that there are plants on the internet. But the whole point of a plant is to say GOOD things so people buy the product. This is nothing close to that.



    I didn't suggest Amazon paid for the review, nor do I believe that to be likely, but why not? Just because it's not all positive? Is some other form of conflict of interest not possible? I've criticized Apple for many things, but most people still would probably consider me a fanboy.



    Any publicity is good publicity.
  • Reply 32 of 58
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by minderbinder View Post


    They mentioned that most of her books are available. How is that a plug?



    One of the main problems mentioning Ann Coulter is that she is highly controversial political figure. Frankly, I am disappointed that AppleInsider decided to hint their political affiliation by mentioning someone like her.
  • Reply 33 of 58
    s_ss_s Posts: 5member
    The Ann Coulter thing was a total dig at her. He was pointing out that the content wasn't balanced. There are a lot of holes in the content available yet almost all of her content was there. And the fact that one was classified "reference" was a further dig. I got a laugh out of it. He's implying that none of her books should be used as "reference". If you've read any of Dan's other stuff (which everyone should) you'd know he's probably not an Ann fan.



    His articles are long winded but demonstrate a lot of research and critical thinking, something missing from most journalism of late.



    The reason Kindle is relevant on a Mac site is the fact that so many are calling it the "iPod of reading". Plus, its feature set have it overlapping the iPhone in a few areas.



    I find Kindle very curious. Books were intended to spread knowledge. They crossed class lines and leveled the playing field of education, much like the internet. I find this to be a selfish, exclusive device. If it did take off in a huge way, what happens to the concept of the library? Amazon's vision of the future seems like a step backward in that regard. Although, if Kindle is to the Library as iPod is to the radio then I guess the fact that we still have radio gives us some hope.
  • Reply 34 of 58
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,949member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by S_S View Post


    The reason Kindle is relevant on a Mac site is the fact that so many are calling it the "iPod of reading".



    In truth, it's just Amazon saying that, and basically everyone else is just parroting their press release.
  • Reply 35 of 58
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by filburt View Post


    The review could've done without the Ann Coulter plug.



    Is that what they are calling that thing in her pants?
  • Reply 36 of 58
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,957member
    I don't see why some people get so upset about articles that are computer related, but not directly Mac in nature. Do some people here have blinders on?
  • Reply 37 of 58
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    In truth, it's just Amazon saying that, and basically everyone else is just parroting their press release.



    You guys are too tough. This is a flawed first model, but I think this will transform reading as it improves. The whole point of this is that you can read it for hours and it is just like paper.



    It does have the following issues:

    *Poor ergonomics

    *Cheap design

    *Putting info in/typing is not that efficient

    *Refresh rate could be faster

    *If refresh rate is improved, then a touch screen would be great



    I assume later versions will fix this and ebooks are here to stay. So get used to it. This is a whole new world of screen technology. Not as good as our modern LCDs for anything but books, but great for that, which is what it meant to do.



    Steve Jobs is not at all fearful of this right now, but I bet he was impressed with the effort and sees some potential for this in the world (he probably just does not see a big profitable market potential).



    P.S. You are not reading War and Peace on a laptop screen, an iphone or a PDA. A few people do read on them, but this is an exception to the rule. For most people the font is too small and screen hurts the eyes (an LCD is a flashlight pointed at your eyes after all).
  • Reply 38 of 58
    irnchrizirnchriz Posts: 1,591member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NYCMacFan View Post


    You guys are too tough. This is a flawed first model, but I think this will transform reading as it improves. The whole point of this is that you can read it for hours and it is just like paper.



    It does have the following issues:

    *Poor ergonomics

    *Cheap design

    *Putting info in/typing is not that efficient

    *Refresh rate could be faster

    *If refresh rate is improved, then a touch screen would be great



    I assume later versions will fix this and ebooks are here to stay. So get used to it. This is a whole new world of screen technology. Not as good as our modern LCDs for anything but books, but great for that, which is what it meant to do.



    Steve Jobs is not at all fearful of this right now, but I bet he was impressed with the effort and sees some potential for this in the world (he probably just does not see a big profitable market potential).



    P.S. You are not reading War and Peace on a laptop screen, an iphone or a PDA. A few people do read on them, but this is an exception to the rule. For most people the font is too small and screen hurts the eyes (an LCD is a flashlight pointed at your eyes after all).



    I hardly think so!



    Sony has had the Librie out since 2004 and it has removed features (keyboard for taking notes) as it evolved.



    The kindle looks like a copy of the original Librie but clad in el cheapo plastic. So to sum up, they have taken a clone of a Sony product, re-dressed it (badly) stuck a wireless card in it and charge $10 per book that is protected by DRM. And offer less support for book formats than the original Sony product does.



    Doomed to failure at this pricepoint. If they wanted it to be mass market they should have subsidised the price and popped it out at no more than $150. After all you can only buy their books.
  • Reply 39 of 58
    My biggest point of contention against the Kindle is that eBooks don't afford you the same rights you have with Books. I can lend, borrow, gift or even steal Books. I know my Books will be legible for years to come and even past my death. With eBooks I lose all that. I am not willing to lose the advantages of my Books. I want the advantages of eBooks but not at the cost of giving up the rights I enjoy with paper Books. As long as eBooks are hobbled in such a manner, they will never replace the real thing.



    Imagine if eBooks replaced the real thing, what would future historians do? Could they fire up a Kindle and read those eBooks? I think not.
  • Reply 40 of 58
    bigpicsbigpics Posts: 1,382member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by filburt View Post


    The review could've done without Ann Coulter plug.



    It could also have done without your snark, but there you go, free speech lives.



    And it WASN'T a plug in context as another poster pointed out.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by filburt View Post


    One of the main problems mentioning Ann Coulter is that she is highly controversial political figure. Frankly, I am disappointed that AppleInsider decided to hint their political affiliation by mentioning someone like her.



    And if they'd mentioned that the Communist Manifesto was available in the public domain, and damned with faint humorous praise that it was in the "reference section" would that have indicated they were lefties?



    Get a life some of y'all. Sheesh.



    The real potential: On campus??



    Meanwhile, the encyclopedic review only briefly mentioned in passing what I consider the likely killer use of this device: all your textbooks you need to drag around campus and to and from the campus in a leatherbound less than one pound package, and at a discount to the limited press run prices printing them causes. There are millions of college students and tens of millions of others. Who need multiple spendy books every term.



    And for taking notes there are so many options from legal pads to digital devices that the (first gen) lack of these on the Kindle isn't fatal.



    Yet the review only said this wasn't likely to happen, and gave no indication why. If I were Amazon, I'd be hooking up with universities, state dept's of ed., college bookstores, etc. and working on device and content distribution deals. Some colleges already ensure all their students have PC's or Macs. Why not a Kindle for all approved (or many or most) texts. But they'd have to be significantly cheaper since there goes your resale of your text at the end of the course -- or Amazon could allow student resales, maybe charging a buck or two to transfer the book license. (Professor/authors already get no cut of textbook resales after all, and maybe this way, they could. Or not -- as is current.)



    Anyway, if someone can 'splain to me why this can't/won't work/is unlikely to be a good biz model (and boon to burdened down students), I'll listen.
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