Sunday, July 27, 2008

To kindle or not...

I have been flip-flopping on buying a Kindle (ostensibly for the wife...). So I figured I would write my thoughts down.

On the one hand the the positives seem to be
1. Save paper
2. Access to newspapers
3. Quick and easy wireless download
4. Ability to quickly reference stuff on Wikipedia!!
5. Ability to view free books from multiple locations (though I need to dig more into formats supported)
5. a. Support for multiple file formats (Supposedly can use MobiPocket Creator for HTML, MS Word, Text, PDF, etc) means I can transfer many of my docs over to the kindle and read them there rather than my laptop!
6. Good battery life (because it isn't backlit?)
7. Music and audiobook support (time to use all those books I bought from Audible)
8. Heard good things about usability - buying, search, page flip etc (need to buy and validate)
9. Size(again, need to buy?)
10. Shared library (err... assuming I steal my wife's kindle all the time)
11. Free first chapter (seems like a good idea)

1. No image support
2. Charges for RSS Support - whats up with charging for free content? I understand about wireless costs, but at least provide the option to sync locally via USB!
3. Can't buy books at half price any more? That sucks

Hmmm... Who am I kidding? This might be a no-brainer!
Oh wait...
4. $359 (I am cheap...)

So, it looks like all the negatives are monetary - and they really aren't too bad! I think it is time to get one!

I don't think that this news -
( makes a difference. Nothing worth waiting for from the looks of it...

Some other thoughts -
- I don't buy the idea of using your smartphone (WM or iPhone whatever) to read books. The screen is simply too small for sustained reading.

- I also have to admire the business plan where Amazon gets to tie you in by providing a complete ecosystem for buying and reading books (iTunes anyone?).

- I think that Amazon will do well to take advantage of the fact that they have a device that is used for viewing information and provide an add-on package for browsing data. ie, paid internet access.
- At that point, support for WiFi will become important too...
- At that point they _really_ have to provide free access to blogs.

Update :
Bought it, and it is a big hit with the wife!
- The screen is really cool. Not being backlit makes a difference!
- The process of buying books and reading them is really easy. Amazon got that right.
- I didn't realize that you can also use it to browse the web. Basic browser.
- Tried a couple of file conversions (pdf to .lit) and it worked pretty good.

I might have to buy one for myself too!

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