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New Amazon.com Digital E-Book: The Future of Reading?

[Update: Be sure to read our review of the Kindle DX or our comparison of the Kindle, the Nook, and the Sony e-Reader]

Online retail giant Amazon.com is set to release their version of the largely unsuccessful Sony Reader, called the Kindle. The Amazon Kindle is an electronic book reader which was thought up by Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos who says that the Kindle was born from his interest in e-books, and how they could be improved.

Front view of the Amazon KindleFront view of the Amazon Kindle

Amazon.com has been working on the Kindle for three years now, and they have designed the device to basically resemble a book. There is no backlighting on the device, so it should limit eye-strain caused by long bouts of reading. The screen itself is a 6-inch, 800 x 600 pixel display.

Very thinVery thin

The Kindle will support a variety of formats including Word, HTML, TXT, JPEG, and others. Amazon.com will sell a typical book online for about $9.99, and they also offer a subscription service for newspapers and even blogs for a fee.

The newspaper feature could be quite useful considering you could have access to just about any newspaper, from around the World, with the Kindle. The device supports EV-DO wireless connectivity, which links to Amazon.com, and Amazon.com says that this feature will be free of charge. This wireless capability means that you would be able to connect to Amazon.com from just about anywhere in the World to get access to the latest newspapers or e-books to read.

There is still a question about whether or not this kind of technology is ready to go mainstream. We've already seen the Sony Reader be largely unsuccessful despite Sony's strong marketing plan for the device. For this reason, many people are already calling the Kindle a flop. Many people are already looking at the $399 price tag of the Kindle and saying that it's over-priced. I would have to agree with that statement, because this type of product hasn't proven itself in the electronics market yet.

There's no doubt that the Kindle could be useful in many situations, and it could help to conserve paper, but I just don't think that mainstream society is ready to fork over $399 for this type of device quite yet. Paperless technology is the future, though, so I think that Amazon.com is on the right track.

Amazon Kindle with CoverAmazon Kindle with Cover

 

Sources: BetaNews

Joe Eitel's Gadget Blog
InventorSpot

Comments
Nov 22, 2007
by juhan (not verified)

e-book

end in chool,s and education outside at home - great -cool thing,s-very interesting- is a possible put to him speech sythesators ????

Nov 22, 2007
by Michelle
Michelle's picture

I love the idea. Just

I love the idea. Just imagine...one devince that is small and usable that can do everything.

There is sure to be a convergence, with iPhone type devices, laptops, and ebooks, so that it all ends up on one machine, don't you think? 

Jan 26, 2008
by Anonymous (not verified)

Good stuff

I think its well worth the price given it gives you limited free internet access too. (Amazon has said you can check your emails on it for free, but downloads will cost).

I believe the screen is also a primative form of epaper in itself, thus the ultra-contrast and reflectivity should mean it is as natural to read off as normal paper, despite its lower resolution then print.

Cheaper is better, of course, but the service Amazon is saleing is a good one.
For people who read, this is basicaly limitless entertainment whereever they are.