November 20, 2007

379 words 2 mins read

Amazon Kindle

For those living under a rock and only reading my blog for _the_ source of tech news (I’m sooo, sooo sorry), the Amazon “Kindle” has been released. Mine is showing up later today (Yes, I bought one). I’ve spent a bit of time digging, researching and generally making a pain of myself. Here’s what I found out:

  • There are already 91,269 books listed in the Kindle store (11 newspapers, 308 Blogs, 8 Magazines)
  • Most paper backs, especially older ones are cheaper on Kindle.
  • Everything costs money, except for the wireless service. It makes sense because wireless data costs money.
  • Yes, this includes “Blogs” (Aka RSS feeds). Generally they are $1, some like slashdot are as high as $2.
  • You can copy the following file formats via USB to the Kindle: .azw, .txt, .mobi, .prc, .mp3 & .aa ( amzn support )
  • You can email your personal documents to your Kindle, the following formats are accepted: (all the above) + .doc, .htm(l), .jp(e)g, .gif, .png, .bmp — Oh and you can ZIP multiple attachments. ( amzn support )
  • Emailing your personal documents costs you $.10 per attachment. BUT — You can email the docs to a “free” version and get the docs back to load via USB instead.
  • First chapter of every book is free, 14 day free trial on all subscription services (magazine, newspapers, blogs)
  • You can search/buy/send books from Amazon’s website — if you don’t want to work from the Kindle itself.
  • SD Expansion Slot
  • User Replaceable Battery
  • Wireless Wikipedia Access
  • 4bit Gray scale screen with 167ppi (800×600 @ 6”) screen

A few personal comments: Who cares about the lack of PDF support? There is plenty of software out there to convert PDF into accepted formats. Yes it sucks to pay $.10 per attachment for personal documents, but thats for EASE of use. $.10 for idiot friendly is rather cheap. There is a free option. I’m really interested to see how well it handle manga. Oh, and I’m sure there will be software released very quickly to convert nearly everything to Kindle format. Oh, and yes the thing is damn expensive. But if enough people buy them, and they are popular enough — they will drop in price very quickly. Think of it as an iPod for books.