TOPIC: Kindle Device

The Kindle device, sold by, is a sort of iPod for printed publications – a collection of books, newspapers, and magazines available on a small tablet-like device. The kindle device can store over 200 ebooks and is compatable with many different formats such as: Mobi, HTML, plaintext, Word, and PDF's. It utilizes the same type of wireless network that cell phones use, so no Wi-Fi hotspots are necessary. Downloads usually take about a minute, and you do not need to connect to a computer in order to download publications. Unlike typical back lit LCDs, the screen will not cause eye fatigue and it is visible in direct sunlight allowing for convenient use outdoors. The Kindle has a long life battery. One should leave the wireless on and recharge it every other day. However, by turning the wireless off you can read what has been already downloaded for a week before needing to recharge. The Kindle is light and thinner than a typical paperback weighing only 10.3 ounces. When you're at the Kindle's Home screen, the pop-up menu offers to send you to the Kindle store, check for new items, change the device settings, and manage content, moving items from the Kindle's 180MB of user-accessible memory to an SD Card and back again. This menu also offers "experimental prototypes" that include a basic, text-friendly Web browser and a background MP3-music player. Curiously, Amazon presented the latter at launch as a feature, not a prototype. The Kindle's firmware is upgradeable and updates will be delivered wirelessly. Clearly Amazon intends to add additional features. You can already get a little taste of it, if you click on the "Experimental" tab on the options menu on the Kindle's home page. A note at the top of the page says, "We are working on these experimental prototypes" and asks for feedback. One of the prototypes is Ask Kindle NowNow, which, much like Yahoo Answers, allows you to ask questions and have "real people" research the question and send you up to three answers usually within ten minutes (there's no charge).

Kindle represents an unprecedented level of previously unavailable accessibility to books and printed material. Since the Kindle can store up to 200 e-books, any user can store more books than they can possibly read in a small, portable device. Also, magazines and newspapers can be read on the device. Gone are the days of unfolding the morning paper; instead a user can just pick up their Kindle and it will have automatically updated with the day's news. I can also imagine an application where magazine subscriptions can be digitally sent to the device. This will be cheaper for the magazine and newspaper companies, because instead of wasting ink and paper, all they have to provide is a digital file to Amazon.

Besides the obvious applications of e-books and digital print material, the Kindle can be used for a variety of other things. Now unavailable, but included in the device is a GPS functionality that uses the cell phone towers to triangulate the position of the user to an approximate degree. Other potential applications include a wireless Internet radio player, personal organizer device, and if another device comes in color, possibly full-motion video and picture capability. The applications for this device are nearly endless, since the built in connectivity is so seamless, and the device is so portable. Amazon is hard at work at more features for the Kindle.




Good for reading a newspaper on the go.
It can easily fit into a binder.

Its sleek look makes it a good buy for the space conscientious


Stephen King
, don’t like this device, pretty soon the book industry will be like the music industry, everyone will be using pirated copies, how have i meant to make a income if you are stealing my work?I think the device should be banned, this will also put the price of books up as we make up for losses through pirated digital versions.

James Patterson, author of You've Been Warned, "The screen is fabulous. You would expect that, with a screen, there would be a glare, it would be hard to read but it's not. There’s no glare. It's not backlit, which is kind of magical. I think people are going to be very, very surprised and delighted. This is a lot easier to read than a lot of books are these days."

Michael Lewis, author of Moneyball, "I'm telling you, after five minutes I've ceased to think I'm looking at a screen. It's not like reading a computer screen. It's more like reading a piece of paper. I think it's actually clearer, easier on the eye than the printed word."

Neil Gaiman, author of Stardust, "It's like paper and it’s very interesting. It’s very, very crisp. Very functional. Very readable."

Steve GibsonSo I'm glad that I purchased this first-generation device, and that I'm participating in the first real wave of eBook industry creation. None of my other eBook readers offer nearly what the Kindle does. Thanks to Amazon and their Kindle, eBooks have finally happened.

Eclectic home school mom I love my Kindle. I keep it nearby at all times and I am finally getting a chance to catch up on some reading since I have a whole collection with me whenever I get a few minutes to myself.

Alex P. Keaton "Alex P"

The Good:
The screen is actually pretty nice on this device. This is one of those new style of paper screens that make it much easier to read on than an on your PC, iPhone, or PDA. +1 points.

The Bad:
- Price. $400 is way too much. -1
- The books you buy from Amazon are DRMed. This means that 10 years from now, you will probably not be able to read the books you buy. -1

The Ugly:

- No PDF support which makes it completely useless for most people who would like a device to review documents while traveling. -1
- This does not replace the book. What Amazon does not understand, is that I want something that could replace my *laptop* so I can review work related PDF files without printing them out. I do not want something to replace my paperback novel which is cheaper, more durable, has infinite battery life, and I'll be able to read 20 years from now. -1

Kurt G. Schumacher "Grey" Now that I've had several months to use the Kindle, this is my "real review". And my rating is still a solid five stars.

Kindle has changed the way I read. In the past, I have always had a book at hand. Books in progress were in the bedroom, the living room, the family room, the bathroom, and in the car (for waiting rooms). Now, I just have my Kindle with me all the time, and I have *all* my books with me.

B. Williams I have been beta testing the Kindle for the past few weeks, and I can say without equivocation that this device will soon become a MUST HAVE in many professional fields (but it also is great for the avid reader of books for entertainment). If you travel a lot, or require rapid and accurate access to references (as I do), the Kindle is definitely soon to be a necessity. I am a medical student, and I loaded a medical library onto the one I've been beta testing (including everything I need to study for the board exams I'll be taking in a few months). I've been an avid reader my entire life- rarely without reading material close at hand from the time I learned. If anyone is a book connoisseur, it's me.

The bad: Well, there is no security on purchases at the Kindle store, which means that if it's stolen, or if the kids get a hold of it, you can have your bank account drained pretty quickly. However, I have addressed this issue with the development team and tech support, and my understanding is that they are working on correcting it as we speak. I have asked that they put a password requirement for purchases. The nice thing is, for software bugs, if you have your wireless activated, the updates will automatically download and install to your unit.

Also, yes, the content available is somewhat limited, but not by much, and it expands every day (I just subscribed to a magazine that I like, and it wasn't available a couple of weeks ago).