Amazon Kindle 5 Facts And 5 Lacks

Thu, Feb 28, 2008


I’ve previously written a guide to ebooks and audiobooks, but the guide doesn’t cover Amazon’s latest gadget, Amazon Kindle.

In this post I’ll list five facts and five things the Kindle lacks.

People have talked about ebooks for ages, but like hover cars and meals in pills, they’ve never really broken through. I’ve always had a thing for Sony’s Reader, but it’s only available in the US. Perhaps Amazon’s Kindle could be the thing I’m looking for. With access to the world’s biggest book catalog, this could be the first big step towards the ebook revolution.

Read this post and you’ll be the judge.

5 cool facts about Amazon Kindle:

  1. Kindle uses the American EVDO network, which is similar to the European 3G network, only a bit slower. Amazon picked EVDO, instead of WiFi. This lets the user buy and download books no matter where you are. There is no subscription fee. A book usually costs $10 and takes from about 10 minutes to 10 seconds to download.
  2. Kindle has a very basic web browser in black/white and with no Flash or Java support. If you want to subscribe to magazines or blogs you have to pay extra. $.99 per RSS-feed is the price if you want to read your favourite blog’s RSS feed. Even though the feed is free, you still have to pay to recieve it.
  3. Kindle is born with 256 Mb storage, that’s about 200 books. You can expand the storage with SD-memory cards. According to Amazon the text is automatically updated, if there is an error in the book. Kindle can also play mp3s.
  4. With it’s white plastic surface the Kindle isn’t a beauty. I’m sure Apple would never create anything like this. However it has the same size as a book and unlike a laptop it’s silent and doesn’t get warm. The 6″ e-ink screen can be read in direct sun light and the battery can last up to 30 hours of reading. Personally I think this is only good for books. I’d hate to read my favourite magazine in black/white.
  5. Ebooks bought at Amazon are protected by AZW DRM. This way you can’t share yor books with your friends. The Kindle can also read “unprotected” books in the Mobipocket, txt, html, JPG, Gif or Word-format. You can also copy text from the net straight onto Kindle using USB or email the text to it. If you email text to Kindle it will cost you extra.

And now 5 things the Kindle lacks:

  1. No PDF-support. How can one of the biggest book formats not be supported. This is a definitive must in the next version.
  2. A black/white screen is cool when you are reading books, but I want colours when I’m reading magazines.
  3. Why not combine real books and ebooks? If I buy a real books I should get the ebook for free or at a very low extra cost.
  4. Why should I pay to read blogs that people write for free? I’m not going to pay $15 $.99 per RSS-feed. I paid $399 for the Kindle.
  5. Who designed the Kindle? A designer that escaped the from the former Soviet union?

So having read this - Will you buy an Amazon Kindle? Are you using another ebook reader?

Perhaps you think ebooks are overrated and just a hype. Let me know what you think.



Amazon’s official Kindle commercial

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