Amazon.com Informative - Amazon Kindle Review
I recently received an Amazon Kindle as a gift. I thought I'd give everyone a quick review of it so far. I've had the Kindle for a bit over two weeks now and it is one of my new favorite gadgets. For those of you that don't know what it is, the Kindle is an electronic book that has a built in wireless service that allows you to purchase and download content wirelessly from Amazon any where you can get a cell signal.
First of all, let me say when the Kindle first came out (with a price of over $400 dollars), I thought it was a huge waste of money, but after using one that a guy next to me on a plane had, I found I really enjoyed it. The screen is very easy to read and not at all hard on the eyes, which was a concern of mine since I read a computer screen all day long. In fact, I think reading it is easier on the eyes than printed books, now that I have it I'd prefer to read all my books this way.
The battery life is great, I took it out of the box and it was charged. I read the thing daily for 1 to 3 hours and played with downloading free editions, etc quite a bit (the wireless beacon can be turned off when not in use to save battery life) and the original charge lasted well over a week. Since the full charge I gave it the other day the battery meter hasn't moved at all-and I've been not only reading with it, I've stored some MP3's on it's internal memory and play them while I read. The internal memory will only hold about 2 albums, since the device is not really designed to be an MP3 player; it is just an added feature to play with really.
It also has a built in basic web browser, I haven't played with it much but it really only works well with text sites. It has a quick link to Wikipedia in case you want to look up something while you are out with it.
The content available is decent so far, but I am hoping to see more soon. There is a good selection of new best sellers and you can also get many newspapers and magazine delivered wirelessly. New best sellers cost between $6.99 and $9.99. You can get magazines for around a buck a month or just buy individual issues for $0.50. You can also read many blogs, etc for around a buck a month but I haven't subscribed to any yet so I don't know if the content is worth it or not.
Overall, I think the device is a great addition to any hard cord reader's library. I wouldn't suggest the average reader buy this thing unless they are really into gadgets anyway. But with the cost of the unit still around $330 it is a pretty steep price to pay unless you read a lot (the cost includes lifetime wireless service of the unit). Personally, I read between 50 to 100 books a year and buy maybe 15 new hardcover non-fiction books year, so by purchasing them on the Kindle I can save anywhere between $5 to $15 a book, so it should more than pay for itself for me but maybe not so much for other readers.
The biggest draw backs so far have been not being able to get certain new books yet because not all publishers distribute through the Kindle yet and also my concerns about what will happen to the content later down the road since it is a proprietary Amazon format (I dislike any form of DRM).
Once other nice feature is you can connect it directly to your CPU and load PDF files on it to read (or PDF books that I can check out from my library) or email yourself documents that you want to take on the road to read (although they do charge you $0.10 per document to email, so I haven't tried this feature out yet).
The design of the unit is done very well too. It is not much larger than a paperback book but less than a half inch thick. It fits well in one hand with easy access to the next page buttons regardless of which hand you hold it in.
So, while there is something sad about not holding an actual book in my hands (I have a large collection of my favorite books that I would never give up the print editions), the Kindle definitely is good way to read lots of content on the go, easily.