Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Kindle by Amazon - Cool Enough?

The Kindle by Amazon is the latest thing in the eBook market. Not seen it, the follow the link please and take a look.

First off, let's agree to get past the 'stuck in the 80s look' and feel of this thing. So what if it wasn't designed by our friends at Apple. Looking good isn't everything. (Tip of the hat to Eric Rice for that reminder.)

The device has a lot going for it. My favorite is the no attachment requirement. Simply pick it up and go. That's a huge bonus for folks on the go, who already have enough items to worry about. Another feature that is a big plus is the immediate availability of bestsellers and newspapers for download. With so many other features to speak of, the last one I want to point out is the free wireless access. That's right, free, as in no bill, no contract, no service plan free. For folks who don't deal well with that sort of thing, this just might be the killer feature.

What do I think will be negatives to this product? Well, speaking only as a reader, traveller and geek, I'll share. The number one concern to me is what happens when Amazon looses interest? Or more likely, doesn't get the interest they are expecting? Will the books still work and will folks want their only copy stranded on the Kindle?

Next up on my list is the cost. I'm imagining that this won't be something folks I work and travel with will likely invest in. The reason, initial cost. At $400 US, even without wireless fees, the device is an expensive way to buy books. The question is does the cheaper cost of the book purchase make up for the initial outlay.

Those couple of negatives thoughts aside, that leaves me with a couple of questions.

Who does Amazon see as the target audience?
What happens with books I have read and remove from the Kindle? Can I swap them in later for no cost?
Will there be software updates to provide more features and font support?
Oh yeah, and for me, will there be funny pages support? Well?

Check out the Kindle at Amazon. Watch the video and see for yourself. What do you think?

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