Sunday, May 10, 2009

Amazon’s Kindle Reader



So I was updating my wish list yesterday at Amazon, looking forward to getting my next batch of books upon my arrival back to the States, when I noticed Amazon’s ad for Kindle DX. Sure I knew that Amazon had launched Kindle, but to be honest, I did not pay that much attention to it. But something caught my eye yesterday, and I looked a bit deeper.

The DX version is due to be released shortly, and it is slightly bigger than the earlier version. According to Amazon, there are over 275,000 books that are available in this format, and it can read PDF files. It is very thin and light, and looks like it is easy to use and to carry around. Interesting stuff. Clearly this is the shape of things to come.

However, I do have some concerns. Its price is a bit steep at nearly $500. One can buy a notebook computer for that price. Netbooks are pushing the $200 price point, so this feels overpriced in comparison. Its screen is black and white only. To be honest, I am a bit shocked on this. Most LCD/LED screens are color, and I am not sure why this is not color. While B&W is fine for most things, there are a number of books that are fully color. Its internal 4GB storage is a bit light too. From what I can tell, the device is suppose to contact one’s Amazon account and access the various books that have been saved there. This requires wireless access, and I suspect that the actual book one is reading is Kindle’s internal storage.

It is an interesting idea, and I suspect that at some point I may even buy one. However, there are a couple of features that I would like to see added. Color, larger internal flash or HDD storage, and compatibility with one’s notebook. What I mean by this last statement is that in addition to accessing one’s web page, one should be able to drop and drag from the notebook to the Kindle device. I was reading a bit on PDF’s, and I would like to be able to select the PDF and drag to the Kindle. From what I could tell, one has to email the PDF file to an account in order to make it available. For the larger PDF files, this seems easier said than done.

Anyway, if anyone has actually used this device I would be interested to hear your feedback on it. I do suspect that this is the shape of things to come.

6 comments:

jamused said...

It's not color because the technology doesn't allow for it. It's digital ink, which means that the image only draws power while it's changing from page to page; otherwise it stays printed that way forever. That's what allows it the huge number of page-turns it gets on a charge.

Mr Baron said...

Thanks for the comment. That does make sense.

Jonathan said...

Try reading your laptop in full-sun at the beach. With the Kindle... it looks just like a printed page (ok, maybe the 'page' is grey and not white -- but you get the idea) .. its crystal clear. My cousin has one; I read Tolkien and the PHB on the beach with it. It's awesome in a kind of Mercedes kind of way. Sure, its just a car.. but it is such a nice car...

JJ said...

I LOOOOOVE my Kindle! Jamused is right about the digital ink, and you would be amazed at how little you actually have to charge it. I use it every day for about an hour at least and have gone almost two weeks without charging it.

The only real problems I have with the Kindle are the lack of available older books and it has no internal light (so when I'm reading on the train I need to use the overhead light, which is annoying).

Joe said...

I've got the kindle on my "to buy" list. I love the idea of having all those books in one place, and being able to read things like the phb wherever I'm at without having to lug all of my books around all the time.

Mr Baron said...

Thanks for the comments. I am going to have to take another look at it.