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Old 02-13-09, 12:52 PM   #1
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Amazon Kindle

Has anybody ever used them? Seen them "in real life"? What are your opinion of them?

A co-worker and I were just discussing them this morning (apparently they just came out with a new version or something). We both think they sound interesting, but are waaaaaaay too expensive. I mean hell I can get a low-end laptop for the price they want ($350ish). When they are about 1/3 of that I may be more interested.

What do they look like? Easy to read on?
What's interface? Touch screen? Can you "write" in margins or book or anything like that?

Has anybody ever even seen one? I've never actually seen one or known anybody who has one.
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Old 02-13-09, 07:49 PM   #2
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My wife loves hers. The screen is amazing. The price is steep but it comes w/ free cellular internet and a web browser, though a clunky interface, which is entirely through keys and buttons (no touch-screen). I believe you can annotate. Anyway, w/ the free cellular internet my wife can stay connected when visiting her antediluvian parents who do have a computer but don't maintain it such that it is likely to be working at any given moment.
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Old 02-13-09, 10:50 PM   #3
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If I had the cash, I'd purchase a Kindle 2 myself. The screen is very easy on the eyes and is large enough. It doesn't need syncing with a computer. The Whispernet support is cool, wonder what their selection is like.
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Old 02-14-09, 12:49 AM   #4
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Free cellular internet? Do you mean you can connect it to you cell phone to use as a modem or do you mean something else?
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Old 02-14-09, 12:53 AM   #5
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Free cellular internet? Do you mean you can connect it to you cell phone to use as a modem or do you mean something else?
You can use it to download books and subscriptions. If you read a lot, it's a good deal. It is not a free internet connection
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Old 02-14-09, 08:39 AM   #6
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Free cellular internet? Do you mean you can connect it to you cell phone to use as a modem or do you mean something else?
No you can go online anywhere straight from the kindle, no other gear needed. It uses a connection to the AT&T cell system. They only promise it will remain free to access amazon.com but for now you can go anywhere too.
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Old 02-14-09, 09:09 AM   #7
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e-books = awesome idea

proprietary reader technology = what an incredible waste of space

Either buy a smart phone with a memory card that you can download to or just use your computer (umpc or otherwise).
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Old 02-14-09, 01:46 PM   #8
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The problem with using a smartphone is that the screen is tiny, and one really can't read novel length works on it. This is what the Kindle does extremely well -- allows people to read on a decently large, high contrast screen with no flicker.

I do agree about its own format. I wish it had PDF support natively, as well as support for other text rendering stuff, be it nroff, HTML, XML, to Word documents.
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Old 02-14-09, 02:08 PM   #9
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There are some cool hacks for the Kindle, but every net appliance I can think of has those too.

They also all have the same crippled functionality. I'd buy a netbook myself.
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Old 02-14-09, 02:47 PM   #10
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proprietary reader technology = what an incredible waste of space
You mean it can't handle standard documents formats like PDF, PS, DOC, HTML, etc...?

I thought you could also transfer your own standard format files like those and upload them as well.

How big is the storage on it?
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Old 02-14-09, 02:51 PM   #11
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The problem with using a smartphone is that the screen is tiny, and one really can't read novel length works on it...
Not in my experience (I've used a sony ericsson p800, t-mobile mda, t-mobile mda-pro for e-book reading). Just increase the contrast, text size and brightness as necessary and keep one finger on the scroll button/wheel/thing.
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Old 02-14-09, 02:54 PM   #12
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You mean it can't handle standard documents formats like PDF, PS, DOC, HTML, etc...?

I thought you could also transfer your own standard format files like those and upload them as well.

How big is the storage on it?
Sorry dude, no idea about reading capabilities. I'd assume that storage of data, whatever the form, is no problem.

My main reason for dislike of proprietary readers (apart from the proprietary bit ) is the all extra gear (chargers, spares and batteries) you may need to carry in addition to, if you have one, a perfectly good smart phone.
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Old 02-14-09, 03:03 PM   #13
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I have a Kindle 1.

If you're a frequent traveler who likes to read, it's a great device. It's great to be able to take multiple books with you on the road and buy newspapers and magazines as you go. Love being able to wake up in a hotel in a strange city, buy the NY Times from my hotel room and read it before I start the day.

I also use it for all of my home book reading as well - I no longer lose track of where I am in the multiple books I'm reading.

You can transfer documents in other formats to the device.(I won't try to replicate the manual and/or help pages - the capabilities are extensive and well documented.) You also can browse the web from a Kindle. It's pretty rudimentary, but it works. I don't spend a lot of time browsing the web w/mine but if you're hanging out in an airport terminal and just want to skim the news or something it's ok.

The storage on the new Kindle is 1,500 books plus you can add SD cards.

As far as comparing the Kindle to a smartphone or netbook - each has advantages and disadvantages. However, for extended reading (like, a book), nothing is as easy on the eyes as a Kindle.
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