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Amazon Kindle's' my literary tastes!!!

Posted by Yashika Totlani Khanna on 10:50 AM in , , , , ,


Prologue
If you're one of those people who grew up reading good books and still can’t live without a good title on your bed-side table, then this might interest you. Amazon has come up with a new E-book console called the Amazon Kindle. It is a gadget by Amazon.com for reading e-books as well as other digital media like newspapers and magazines.

Advantages
Several things about this device impress me. First is that it is simple and sleek to use. Make an account on amazon.com and punch in your credit card details with it. Order your kindle online and once you get it, just plug it in and order a book. It downloads in under a minute. Kindle's 6-inch screen and e-ink format makes the reading experience almost like a real book. Its 2GB memory can hold nearly two thousand titles. At just 289grams, it is the lightest console in its category. The Wireless internet is called WhisperNet, and it works in most countries including India via AT&T's partner mobile networks. Amazon claims a two-week battery life with wireless off. The new Kindle also has a "text-to-speech" which reads out text loud. This feature makes it useful for the visually challenged or simply lazy!

Shortcomings
Although the Kindle is good in most aspects, some glitches would make you reconsider a buy. Priced at over Rs.19,000 including device cost and shipping, it is a little overpriced for Indian buyers. Upon subscription to various magazines and newspapers like the Wall Street Journal, there is an additional monthly charge that has to be paid. On international roaming, a charge of $4.99 per week has to be paid despite non-usage. That fact alone makes it an expensive buy. Another shortcoming is the absence of any back-light. This makes it impossible to read from the Kindle in the dark. There are no Indian newspapers on Kindle yet, but I hope that would be sorted soon. Also, there are no Indian authors in the over 3,00,000 books available online on Amazon.

Technology of E-Ink
The display of Kindle is almost zero-power and lasts for 15 days. It is made possible by a new technology called E-Ink. It makes displays that are low on power usage flexible and readable in most of the lighting conditions. While it may look like normal ink on the display, it works by filling millions of micro-capsules or cavities. By using 5200 times less power than liquid crystal display, electronic ink only needs power when changing its display. Infact a digital book can display the same text for weeks without any additional charge applied to it. This makes it the closest thing to a printed book.

Competition
The e-book market is heating up. Amazon faces competition from several quarters to retain the top-spot. Sony introduced the E-reader in the market before Kindle. After staying on the second spot for a long time, it is now launching two new models - Reader Pocket and Reader Touch - to take over Kindle. Barnes and Noble, Amazon's biggest rival, has come up with its own e-book reader device called Nook. It sports a touch screen feature and allows book-sharing option too. The Korean major LG has also introduced the world's first solar power book reader. Its 6-inch display incorporates a thin-pin solar cell which minimizes the risk of running out of power during an engrossing read on the beach. And with rumors of Apple and Microsoft joining the fray by 2010, consumers are going to be spoilt for choice.



Epilogue:
With the ease of use and portability, some people like Prasanto Roy of Cybermedia are calling this ‘the future of the book’. Whether that holds true or not, only time will tell. Meanwhile, if you’re planning to make a purchase… let me know and I will assist you with the formalities!


22 Comments


quite a journo eh? :P good script and a concise product review..though im still the stodgy old romantic. i like the hard feel of a book and my roving pencil to make marks..i m wondering what apple has in store as a reply to the kindle..that shud b interesting


Nice piece of review, looks like you own one, if my guess is correct congrats.

I have been yearning to own one digital book reader for more than a year now nevertheless the gadget being too exorbitant for my budget did not buy yet.

Today's mobile market is so competitive to make mobiles with functionalities of a pocket PC and give as many user friendly options as possible and it will not be a bad idea to grab one which gives loads of options including pdf reader. Currently big screen mobiles are Toshiba, Nokia and Apple Iphone. I know they are not 6 inches like the amazons kindle which might give a book feel but nonetheless 4 in. screen will do too if one has to optimize budget.

I am just waiting for the right time to buy one...all I know is I would give preference to the gadget which gives better book reading experience.


well written yaka and awesome base..
its brief and gives complete info about kindle and the competitors..
actually kindle needs to be marketed well as its an attractive gadget and people dont know much bout it.seems more like a product of niche segments tho.


@affy: incidentally, my teacher (for whom i did this assignment :p) was interested in apple too! thx for the comment... yeah, at the end of the day... i wanna make pencil marks in my book too :)

@praveen: i think an ebook reader would score better anyday when pitched against a cellphone. if they started making cellphones that big... well, it wouldnt be fun :P im waiting for the right time to make an inland kindle purchase too (nah, i dont own one yet :P). lesse when the prices are right. it is also important that they put some indian text up.

@dipa: ms.vish :P ! thx for the comment... yeah i agree, they should market it better. abt the prices... they shud come down soon :)


how nice its to write scripts nd den put dem into our blog:P gud review:)


top notch journo pitch. But personally speaking, i am too old school for these gizmos..i like the good things about books - doggy ears, coffee rings, silverfish!


@loki: ah well!! atleast i didnt keep a secret abt this being a script :P keep visiting :)

@bo: silverfish?? :P thanks for the comment... as much as i like old schools, i appreciate the wonders of modern technology too :)


hmmm... interesting.... well written, but i gues like the others even i would prefer teh real thing... however, if the product evolves with better features and prices over time, who knows i may be tempted to try it? :) anyway it was interesting to learn about this interesting gadget!


@aditi: the ease of having 1500 books at your disposal at one go makes it a very interesting buy! And the device (2nd generation now) looks too sleek and hard to resist! Keep visiting! :)


I read it alright. But my question is, why should I read it when there are infinite articles around kindle floating on the internet?
And more importantly, kindle is a topic that is already outdated :)


@arunabh: everyone has been saying that. n you read this because iv commented on each n every single one of your posts too :D


Well, i think this is lowest point bloggers can stoop to :P
Glad to be not blogging now :D


@arunabh: even if u do, dont count on my comments now meano! 'nuff said! :P


Oh i am not concerned about that right now. When I blog, i shall make you an offer you cannot refuse. And i can bet u shall fall for it :P


@arunabh: ha! i just made a resolve! :P


Resolutions are meant to be broken. The offer has to be tempting enough ;)

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