A few people have come up and asked me if I’ve heard about Amazon’s new eBook reader, Kindle. It’s true, the 10 ounce device appeared in almost every online publication this past week. Why haven’t I covered it? Well, to be frank, the Kindle stinks. In fact, Kindle isn’t even close to a revolution as some are claiming. Portable eBook readers have been around for a few years. Why haven’t we really heard about them? Because next to no one has one.
Let’s first take a look at Amazon’s Kindle.
- Price: $400
- $0.10 per file to view YOUR OWN files
- $1 for each blog
- $1 for each RSS feed
- Capacity: “Over 200 titles” (256MB)
- Battery life: 30 hours
- EVDO internet connectivity (Sprint)
- No PDF support
I can go out and dump $400 on this device and then pay for blogs and RSS feeds that I already get for free on my cell phone. Say, I could even go out and buy 30 or 40 real books for the price of the Kindle device alone. Good plan! I know, some of you will say that Kindle is just like the iPod. A person buys an iPod and then has the ability to purchase and play downloaded iTunes songs. However, we shouldn’t forget that the iPod can already play someone’s downloaded/ripped MP3s without a problem. The only possible reason I would want to use Kindle is to read my bulky course packets. Unfortunately, the Kindle can’t read my course packets because they’re in Adobe’s PDF format (who’s heard of that, right?).
Who’s the Kindle for then? Well, this is a tough one. I’d say the Kindle is for people who need to carry around a ton of books. When I say a ton I don’t mean 5 or 6, but 100 to 200 books at any given time. While I’ve met people carrying around upwards of 30,000 songs of their iPods, I’ve never seen anyone lugging around 5 suitcases full of books.
But if you’re in desperate need to pick up an eBook reader, check out Sony’s PRS-500. The PRS-500 is a bit cheaper ($280) and smaller (9 ounces). While it can’t hold as many books as the Kindle, it can read formats ranging from Word Documents to RTF files completely free of charge. On top of that, it’s a lot prettier.
Did I miss something with Kindle? Let me know in the comments.