Amazon Kindle

The new Amazon Kindle wireless reading device has been out for about a week now.

I was tracking the reviews before it came out. At that time about 300 had reviewed it, and over 100 of those people had given it a one-star review without even having tried it. Apparently several hadn't read the specifications in detail, because they vented on problems that aren't really problems or can easily be worked around (such as lack of PDF support).

A friend pointed out that Robert Scoble has panned it. His video is well worth watching if you are considering buying this device, and he makes several excellent points. But this is version 1.0 of the Kindle, no doubt rushed to market just in time for Christmas. There is plenty of opportunity to fix some of these problems in the future.

I'd like to try it before I make a judgment, and this is where Amazon apparently has a real disadvantage over other retailers that have bricks-n-mortar stores. I would have to buy one from them, then return it if I didn't like it. Or find somebody who has already got one and play with theirs.

From just reviewing the specs on their web page and watching Robert's video, it looks clunky. It's also more than I want to pay for such a machine.

I think I'd sooner get one of those ASUS Eee PC 4G Notebook PC's and read my eBooks with that. The price is the same. And at least I can also use it like a normal (albeit smaller and slower) PC, for other things like reading email, browsing the web and running OpenOffice apps (just to name a few).

I bet it wouldn't be too hard to write something that would allow you hold the PC the other way around with the screen length-ways on one side and the keyboard on the other. You know. Sort of like holding a book, albeit with just one "page" displaying text. In fact, not much bigger than a hardback book. I wonder what the reading experience would be like then.

Overall though, I guess I'm still old-school. I still prefer the feel of a paper book. The ability to easily and quickly view other pages. It'll be a while before I do my reading-for-pleasure electronically.

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