Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

The Cult of Kindle

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the they-sound-like-gamers dept.

283

DaMan writes "ZDNet's Hardware 2.0 blog is pondering the Kindle this week. There have been many attempts at an ebook reader in the past; why does Amazon think it can do any better? Given the high cost and DRM issues, will cachet be enough to win them financial success? Will the 'Cult of Kindle' help guarantee Amazon's success in the ebook reader market? 'A group of people willing to give it a five star rating just because someone else didn't, willing to back up every design, engineering and marketing decision that Amazon made, willing to defend the Kindle with their last dying breath. The Kindle doesn't cost money, it saves money. That 0.75 second flash as the pages turn isn't a downside because it gives you an opportunity to take in the previous page. It doesn't harm your eyes, in fact, it fixes them. Ergonomic issues that other reviewers have bought up are dismissed by the Cult of Kindle as flaws with the reviewer, not the device. The Kindle is perfect, and the Kindle 2.0 will be a little more perfect.'"

cancel ×

283 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Manufacturer (5, Funny)

Petronius.Scribe (1020097) | more than 6 years ago | (#21611963)

I didn't realise the Kindle was made by Apple.

Re:Manufacturer (4, Funny)

Anonymous Meoward (665631) | more than 6 years ago | (#21612545)

It isn't, but oddly enough everyone who has bought one also supports Ron Paul.

A troll? Now really.. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Meoward (665631) | more than 6 years ago | (#21613039)

Looks like I struck a nerve.

Crybabies..

Re:Manufacturer (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 6 years ago | (#21612601)

That excerpt does sound familiar, doesn't it? Gee, might a consumer electronics product, used prominently in public by a fantastically enthusiastic cult of evangelical users, survive some snotty grouch complaining that it doesn't run Slackware? Ya think?

They're called fanboys (5, Funny)

confu2000 (245635) | more than 6 years ago | (#21611971)

Almost every product has them. I think even the Zune has two.

Re:They're called fanboys (1, Interesting)

PriceIke (751512) | more than 6 years ago | (#21612041)

Fanboys is one thing .. but it sure didn't take long for someone to label them a "cult". I personally was very excited about the device until I learned about its DRM and behavior-watching aspects. That is enough to make me warn people away from the device.

I think the best thing for the ebook industry would be for Apple to release a tablet-style device for this purpose. DRM would be tolerable (and fully circumventable), the device's design would be much more elegant and practical, and it would operate much more intuitively and enjoyably. Besides, they already own the trademark "iBook" don't they.

Lol, I bought the Sony ebook reader (2, Informative)

da5idnetlimit.com (410908) | more than 6 years ago | (#21612323)

Sony isn't any better than the rest when it comes to DRM/keep the customer tight/buy, it's all we care.

Of course I have no GSM in the reader, but I don't need it, do I ?

and you have a plethora of tools working under linux to make your books and mangas compatible.

300US $. and then you take the books wherever you want, even on Sony's book library (bastards offer you "free" books from their "classical collection", everything you can get for free on Gutemberg...).

So, Kindle was a miss for me. I don't need a gadget that makes me pay through the nose AGAIN for everything.

(btw, if you have way more money than me, have a look at Irex second iteration of their epaper. A4 format, tablet functions, wifi..700 or 800 US$)

Re:Lol, I bought the Sony ebook reader (4, Informative)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 6 years ago | (#21613001)

(btw, if you have way more money than me, have a look at Irex second iteration of their epaper. A4 format, tablet functions, wifi..700 or 800 US$)
I bought an iLiad with some unexpected income. It's the most wonderful device, and if iRex can survive the almost certain efforts of Apple or Sony to "acquire" the company, I can see this being one of the most popular bits of personal technology. I'm hoping that future versions have some slightly more advanced editing ability, which would make marking up manuscripts a breeze.

If you haven't seen this baby [wikipedia.org] you really should take a look, and be sure to click through to some of the photographs of it with the link at the bottom.

I absolutely will not, under any circumstances, willingly purchase a device that uses DRM or locks me into using one vendor to buy books the way Amazon's Kindle does. Not when it's so easy to make a device that does what I want it to do instead of what the vendor wants to be done to me.

Re:They're called fanboys (1)

dindi (78034) | more than 6 years ago | (#21612361)

Hmm, besides the DRM I've read, that it is not that easy to just drop a document on it, and converter tools are less than perfect.

Would be nice just to have a device that reads html and PDF without the DRM crap.

For me the backlight is missing. I know it is to reduce eye strain, but it would be a good feature too.

Re:They're called fanboys (4, Insightful)

hansonc (127888) | more than 6 years ago | (#21612967)

Guess what, books don't have backlights either. Unless you've actually seen the e-ink technology it's hard to understand but a backlight would suck on a device like this. Stop in a Borders bookstore sometime, I've seen the Sony e-reader on display at a few of them and it will show you that it doesn't make sense to add a backlight to the product.

Battery life with a backlight is a whole different issue.

That being said, as much as it pains me to say I'd rather by the Sony e-reader than the Kindle. Somehow it just seems less restrictive.... who would have thought Sony would get it more right than Amazon.com?

Re:They're called fanboys (1)

rbanffy (584143) | more than 6 years ago | (#21612535)

To me, the inability to function as a printer and the utter incompetence on displaying PDFs renders both the Kindle and Sony's offerings more or less useless.

I really want a reader that can zoom-in and out of PDFs, search on its contents and pretend to be both a usb disk when you want to transfer files and a printer when you just need to print something to it (where it becomes a PDF file you can read from the disk part) and that doesn't cost more than a fully functional notebook computer.

Is that too much to ask for? Can it be that hard to do?

Re:They're called fanboys (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#21612783)

I think that Apple should release a software update for their iPods that lets them be used as an eBook reader. I don't really want to carry around another device just to read a book. I'm already carrying around my iPod. Ny current iPod Nano 3G has enough battery power for me to watch 5 hours of video, I'm sure it could get a couple more hours when using it as an ebook reader. That's more than enough to cover my reading for the day, until I can charge it at night. I watch a lot of video on my iPod, and I only have to charge it once a week. The screen probably isn't the best for reading, but it's pretty good, and would suffice for the most part.

Re:They're called fanboys (2, Informative)

Nalanthi (599605) | more than 6 years ago | (#21613119)

The feature you are looking for are iPod Notes. The only problem is that they are rather text limited. There are programs out there that will split your text document into correctly sized chunks and embed hotlinks to the next and previous notes at the bottom of the note. For a bare bones online converter, look here: http://www.ipod-notes.com/ [ipod-notes.com]

Re:They're called fanboys (1)

lorenzino (1130749) | more than 6 years ago | (#21612461)

mod funny ??

Re:They're called fanboys (5, Funny)

JohnBailey (1092697) | more than 6 years ago | (#21612469)

Almost every product has them. I think even the Zune has two.
There was.... right up to the "incident" The poor guy got two zunes and squirted himself to death.

Re:They're called fanboys (1, Offtopic)

Churla (936633) | more than 6 years ago | (#21612539)

To be honest,

I have a Zune and actually do really like it. I recommend it to others who are looking for a portable music/media player. I don't go around ranting and attacking those who would detract from it though. Maybe i just don't have the drive to be a decent fanboy...

Re:They're called fanboys (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21612849)

Off-topic but, how does it play with Linux? I don't want to load up windows just to add music to it.

Re:They're called fanboys (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21612979)

is that you Mr Balmer?

Re:They're called fanboys (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21613155)

Is that you, son? Clean the garage or no allowance, and no, you can't have the car to go to your LARP meeting. It takes weeks to get the smell of your unwashed ass out of the seat.

Article is Flamebait! (5, Informative)

explosivejared (1186049) | more than 6 years ago | (#21612001)

Pass on this one. This is about the worst article trolling I've seen. All it does is attack a particular set of supporters of the project. It is designed purely to incite flamage. It's disgusting. Zonk please think before approving this crap. The article doesn't want to start a debate at all. It's already made all the conclusions in an extremely prejudiced manner. I'm sure there are supporters of the kindle for legit reasons, and if I was one of them I would be horribly offended!

Disclaimer: I've never used the product in question or even amazon.com for that matter. This was just a particular revolting piece of garbage.

Re:Article is Flamebait! (2, Insightful)

Sunburnt (890890) | more than 6 years ago | (#21612045)

I'm sure there are supporters of the kindle for legit reasons
Well, the author points out the reasons given by those supporters, and then points out that they ignore the reasons why e-book readers have invariably failed before. He's not saying "Kindle suxxor," he's saying "This will never sell, especially for $400 bucks." How, exactly, is that flamage?

Re:Article is Flamebait! (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#21612935)

There is no way it should cost $400. You can get the 8 GB iPod Touch for $CDN 299. This thing only comes with 256 MB of memory (plenty for ebooks, but come on, it's 2007). It also looks like something out of the 80's.

Re:Article is Flamebait! (2, Insightful)

damaki (997243) | more than 6 years ago | (#21612103)

No, I don't think this is flamebait. It's more like an useless anti-fanboyism pointless and sour rant. It does not bring anything new, it just states what tests said and that strangely, ZOMG people can be satisfied by an imperfect product and not wait for the next vaporware E-Reader.

Re:Article is Flamebait! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21612443)

...Zonk please think before approving this crap...
Noob.

Re:Article is Flamebait! (4, Insightful)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 6 years ago | (#21612733)

I've always has the impression that slashdot posts stupid articles on hot topics because it is a little more subtle than saying "Kindle: Discuss."

Slashdot is a discussion site, not a news site, if you haven't realized yet.

Will they ever listen? (2, Insightful)

Sunburnt (890890) | more than 6 years ago | (#21612015)

Alright, Amazon, I'm only going to tell you this one more time. People who don't like books aren't going to come around if you put them on a screen. People who like books like, well, BOOKS. And as the reviewer points out, $400 is a load of money for what is essentially a blank, fragile, battery-powered book.

Re:Will they ever listen? (4, Interesting)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | more than 6 years ago | (#21612223)

And as the reviewer points out, $400 is a load of money for what is essentially a blank, fragile, battery-powered book.

To be fair, it's also a cell phone that you can't make or receive calls with.

I wonder how much more affordable the Kindle could have been if they had cut the EV-DO radio and network stack from the hardware design, and didn't have to incorporate the cost of a lifetime service agreement with Sprint into the price of the unit?

People don't seem to have any problem plugging their MP3 players into a USB port every once in a while to synchronize new content; so who decided that it customers would not tolerate doing the same thing with an e-Book reader?

Re:Will they ever listen? (1, Insightful)

john83 (923470) | more than 6 years ago | (#21612371)

People don't seem to have any problem plugging their MP3 players into a USB port every once in a while to synchronize new content; so who decided that it customers would not tolerate doing the same thing with an e-Book reader?
Truth is, people are going to change the content of an e-book far less often than an mp3 player, so if anything, they'll be even less bothered by that model. The wireless connection is pretty pointless.

Re:Will they ever listen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21612993)

Some of the best selling items on the kindle (I have one) are the newspapers, which update every day at 3 am. Frankly, the wireless is what convinced me to buy it when I already had a Sony Reader. The shopping and sampling (first few chapters of every book) experience over evdo has helped me forget the awfulness of Sony's Connect Store.

Re:Will they ever listen? (1)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 6 years ago | (#21613091)

I would think the people would change the content on a reader a lot *more* frequently.

People typically don't add new music to their usual playlists very often (weekly if you're young, hardly ever if you're old?), but many people read daily periodicals. More and more people are starting to read things like blogs, which update several times daily... (And I'm not talking abour web surfing here.. Just reading static content on one site.)

Re:Will they ever listen? (0)

rbanffy (584143) | more than 6 years ago | (#21612661)

The idea of the EVDO modem is having the device to update its content (rss, newspapers) without any user intervention. I see a good case for that, but a GSM thing would be much better.

BTW, there is little need for lifetime agreements with phone companies: the cost for the download could be easily incorporated in the book or subscription price itself.

Re:Will they ever listen? (4, Interesting)

mabhatter654 (561290) | more than 6 years ago | (#21612721)

it fixes the end-to-end DRM problem. The device is completely locked.. but you don't have to put soul-stealing DRM on your PC desktop and beg permission every time you update either. You can buy a new book from anywhere, so they turned lock-down into a feature. I could see this being a method for delivering content like magazines and newspapers because of the push ability, that could save some publishers.

What people REALLY want is something e-paper about 13x19 tabloid size at 300dpi & reflective that can roll up. Better yet, have 2-3 that network to share a books on different pages. The current e-books are too small to be useful for anything other than reading sitting down.. like a book, and don't have things like tabs to mark sections of multiple open books. For most "geeks" to use this instead of books (like say O'Reilly material) you'd need to have 6-10 books open and 5 places bookmarked in each with both pages visible and stacked so you can quickly switch between them... just like a stack of real book when working on a project. It also needs to be the 13x19 because without that it eliminates using it for any kind of blueprint/charting work (another thing people would pay big $$ for)

Re:Will they ever listen? (1)

alienw (585907) | more than 6 years ago | (#21612925)

I don't really see the need to put ANY DRM on the PC. You could easily use a public-key encryption scheme, where the publisher simply encrypts a book for your particular device, and gives you the encrypted file. In that case, you could make the device look like a USB hard drive and manage it with any file manager. Books could be purchased using the device's serial number.

Re:Will they ever listen? (1)

Urban Garlic (447282) | more than 6 years ago | (#21613075)

> People don't seem to have any problem plugging their MP3 players into a USB port every once in a while to synchronize new content; so who decided that it customers would not tolerate doing the same thing with an e-Book reader?

I've been assuming this is a DRM issue. If you control the media-insertion path (fnarr), then you've got a better shot at keeping the DRM from being cracked, because the user never has unrestricted access to the media-plus-key, and therefore can't attempt to separate the media from the key.

But I'm just guessing -- does anyone know if DRM-protected Kindle content can be accessed separately without a Kindle device?

Re:Will they ever listen? (1)

laffer1 (701823) | more than 6 years ago | (#21612481)

I don't think people understand the appeal. My wife and I asked for one for Christmas from my mother-in-law. My wife loves books. However, we have 4 bookshelves full of them and no more room to store books along with our other media and ridiculous number of old computers.

This device can save storage space for books! That is the key selling feature to us. I agreed to it because I mostly buy computer books and Amazon actually has some. The sony product only has idiots and dummies books. It is limited to fiction effectively. I actually like the sony product design wise and cost better, but no books I like.

In my case, I can buy a lot of technology books that I don't necessarily need for quick reference. I wouldn't buy K & R on there, but many other books that I use rarely would fit nicely.

So, don't assume the product is useless to everyone. I see why many people would be turned off, but there are valid reasons to want a Kindle. I won't argue about the use of the word cult, but I find it interesting that Kindle fans and Apple fans are getting lumped together. Why is it that any small group on slashdot is bad except for Linux users? In reality, this site caters to a bunch of "cults". Is one more so wrong? I know I must be new here.

Re:Will they ever listen? (1)

Bud Dickman (1131973) | more than 6 years ago | (#21612907)

"I don't think people understand the appeal."
Well, aren't you just the smartest person in the world? Yes, obviously it saves space over regular books. My copy of War and Peace still functions and works the same as when I bought it and will continue to do so as long as I take care of it. You do not have the same guarantee on the books you are buying for your kindle. [We've already seen this happen with DRM'ed videos from MLB.com that once worked and now will not play. DRM takes control over your purchases out of your hands.]

It's not that people don't understand that this saves spaces (that wasn't an amazing thought you put together there), it's that people realize that the cons outweigh the pros.

Re:Will they ever listen? (4, Insightful)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 6 years ago | (#21612499)

Darn right, its like I've been telling the upstart RCA: People who don't like radio aren't going to come around if you put it on a screen. People who like radio like RADIOS.

Re:Will they ever listen? (2, Interesting)

Sunburnt (890890) | more than 6 years ago | (#21612923)

Darn right, its like I've been telling the upstart RCA: People who don't like radio aren't going to come around if you put it on a screen.
That attempt at sarcasm would be funny, except that people never did come around to radio on the TV. TV developed its own content while radio maintained its dominance of music until the CD era. You lose more funny points by failing to note that radio is still a major form of portable music for most people, and for the same reasons that books are still the dominant form of reading: bargain-basement pricing and portability.

Re:Will they ever listen? (2, Interesting)

sorak (246725) | more than 6 years ago | (#21612573)

Although, if an affordable reader came out that could read normal PDFs, text files (ie, Project Gutenberg stuff), and web pages, with a reasonably-sized screen, then I would be interested. I don't know if the Kindle does this, but it does not fit my definition of "affordable". Maybe in a few years when google comes out with a similar g-something.

Re:Will they ever listen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21612903)

Alright, Amazon, I'm only going to tell you this one more time. People who don't like books aren't going to come around if you put them on a screen. People who like books like, well, BOOKS. And as the reviewer points out, $400 is a load of money for what is essentially a blank, fragile, battery-powered book.
Yeah... they said the same thing when Amazon had this crazy idea about selling books through computers. Why would someone buy a book from this so-called "Web Site" using an expensive computer and network connections, instead of going to a real bookstore with real books in it that you can look at, touch, and browse through?

Re:Will they ever listen? (1)

Sunburnt (890890) | more than 6 years ago | (#21612975)

Yeah... your post might be brilliant if it didn't ignore the fact that Amazon didn't try to charge a premium for their service, and in fact discounted book prices heavily. You're not comparing apples and oranges, you're trying to compare apples and the trucks that deliver them.

Re:Will they ever listen? (2, Insightful)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 6 years ago | (#21613003)

Honestly, I don't buy that.

Many people I know (including myself) who love books and want to love an ebook reader. Some day an ebook reader will succeed. We just haven't had one with all of the right features yet.

I don't think $400 is too outrageous, but $200 would be better. The wireless features are a huge step in the right direction... But they still need to work on contrast, page turning speed, size, style, battery life (for an ebook reader this better be measured in "years". As an integer >= 1), capacity, durability... Also, they need to fix the DRM thing. Take the price of a book, subtract the printing costs, the distribution costs, the retail markup, any promotional fees that they would have paid to bookstores, and sell the ebooks for *that* price. $3-5 for older books, $7-8 for new releases. Watermark them, and put them out in an unencrypted open format. For a bonus, you could make it color and have magazine subscriptions delivered to the device too, but that would be completely optional.

If they accomplished those things, they'd sell tens of millions of them. With the pace at which the market is improving, I'm optimistic that this will happen within 10 years.

There will always be people who want the real thing, but that doesn't mean ebooks can't be successful.

They're trying for the next iPod. Wouldn't you? (3, Funny)

TobyRush (957946) | more than 6 years ago | (#21612033)

The Kindle is perfect, and the Kindle 2.0 will be a little more perfect.

Amazon has been watching the iPod and iPhone phenomena, and it wants the same thing. What company wouldn't? Whatever you say about Apple, they know how to make stuff sell.

The quote above is exactly the fanboi-ism that Amazon is looking for: "This gadget has absolutely no flaws, except for whatever Amazon deems are flaws, and then we will curse those flaws after the fact."

Re:They're trying for the next iPod. Wouldn't you? (4, Insightful)

Sunburnt (890890) | more than 6 years ago | (#21612109)

Amazon has been watching the iPod and iPhone phenomena, and it wants the same thing.
Then they're missing the point. Lots of folks like Apple because they're like a fashion brand - they have a well-cultivated media image based on unique design, appeals to hipness, and high prices. (No, I'm not saying that's all they have going for them. Hold your fire.) Amazon has a reputation for discount books and Super Saver Shipping. I don't see how they hope to translate that into getting suckers to part with $400 for a fragile and empty book.

Re:They're trying for the next iPod. Wouldn't you? (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 6 years ago | (#21612947)

Lots of folks like Apple because they're like a fashion brand - they have a well-cultivated media image based on unique design, appeals to hipness, and high prices. ... Amazon has a reputation for discount books and Super Saver Shipping. I don't see how they hope to translate that into getting suckers to part with $400 for a fragile and empty book.

Your missing the point. When Apple licensed one click [ecommercetimes.com] , neither Jobs nor Bezos wanted to spend any real money, so they decided on a technology swap. The only thing that Jeff really thought Amazon could use was the Reality Distortion Field. I guess Jobs thinks it's OK to lend it out... Go figure.

What it doesn't do: (1, Informative)

maynard (3337) | more than 6 years ago | (#21612035)

- Doesn't display PDFs natively.
- Doesn't allow me to annotate on the page (or take pen input).
- Can show web pages like wikipedia, yet doesn't allow me to browse.
- Doesn't support WiFi hotspots.
- 600x800x1bit pixel resolution is terrible.

Though battery life does look good. Still, my Newton ten year old 2100 has the same resolution, the same battery life, and many of the same restrictions. Lame.

Re:What it doesn't do: (4, Interesting)

MBCook (132727) | more than 6 years ago | (#21612241)

  1. Not perfect, but they can be converted
  2. Do you try to do this much? I don't, so it wouldn't be a problem for me
  3. Browsing is complex and not designed for a device like this. They are giving you a reference, not a crippled browser
  4. OK, but it has CDMA access, which works fine when you aren't near a WiFi access point, or even if you are near one.
  5. But it looks better than an equivelent LCD

Wrong. [everymac.com] . That newton was 480x320. The screen was physically smaller. It didn't have nearly as much contrast. The battery life isn't the same (the Kindle is measured in page turns, it will hold a page image practically forever). Newtons were great (I had one), but don't kid yourself. They aren't equivalent.

The Kindle is interesting. The keyboard is ugly. The screen refresh time still seems like a problem for me (although I know it is a problem with all E-Ink stuff now). I think the Sony device looks much better. Still, these are quire an advance. My brother has one of those RocketReaders (or whatever) from ~2000 that is thicker than my MacBook Pro, heavy, ugly, and has a LCD screen about as nice as the Newton.

Re:What it doesn't do: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21613085)

What most people want from an eBook, can be had for $350 in the Cybook from Bookeen:

http://www.bookeen.com/shop/productdetails.aspx?ProductID=417 [bookeen.com]

What can it read?

from the website:

Almost any digital documents. The Cybook supports many open formats like HTML, Txt, PRC, PalmDoc and PDF. These formats are commonly found on Internet and can be easily generated by many text editors. All these files support font resizing except PDF files which can be zoomed.

How much does it weigh?

from the website:

The Cybook weighs 6.13 ounces (174 grams) battery included.

For comparison:

- a standard paperback weighs 11.2 ounces (317grams)

- a 3.5 inch screen smartphone weighs 4.8 ounces (135 grams).

What about PDAs? (4, Insightful)

stompertje (927012) | more than 6 years ago | (#21612049)

I don't really get the whole ereader thing; sure the Iliad looks nice, but my Palm TX works perfectly. I have 4 ebook applications on it and combined with FontSmoother it looks great. I always have it with me (because it contains my calendar) and it plays MP3's at the same time. Why would I want to spend twice that money on a dedicated reader?

Re:What about PDAs? (1)

FredDC (1048502) | more than 6 years ago | (#21612131)

My thoughts exactly, why have a mobile phone, eReader, MP3 player, ... Just so you can carry all of it around with you? Personally I prefer just 1 device that can ahndle all these functions!

Re:What about PDAs? (2, Funny)

Sunburnt (890890) | more than 6 years ago | (#21612163)

Why would Amazon want me to spend twice that money on a dedicated reader?
There, I fixed your question so that the answer becomes more obvious - they just assume you're a fool with too much disposable income.

Re:What about PDAs? (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 6 years ago | (#21612169)

the screen on these things are literally twice as big as the the average PDA. I have tried reading PDF's on PDA's. It is a pain, I just can't get comfortable in a chair trying to read more than the simplest of documents.

I don't need the high res, the black and white eink displays are easy on the eyes. Try reading an entire novel on your PDA. The battery won't last through the entire book yet it will with one of these.

The kindle though is fugly. It looks like MSFt designed it. Illiad isn't bad but way to pricey. Sony has a decent one but it's sony and only woks with windows.

Re:What about PDAs? (1)

Ajehals (947354) | more than 6 years ago | (#21612563)

Try reading an entire novel on your PDA
I have and do, both on an IPAQ h2200 at 240x320 (an OK Experience) and more recently on an IPAQ hx4700 with a 4" screen at 480x640. The hx4700 is ideal for book reading, you just don't get a page at a time.

Re:What about PDAs? (3, Interesting)

bahwi (43111) | more than 6 years ago | (#21612525)

Heavy backlights like PDAs and cell phones hurt a lot of people's eyes. The e-readers don't have that problem, (if it's the e-paper stuff) and has to be illuminated by a traditional light, like a book. I had a sony e-reader once and it was great, except the USB did not work. Sony suggested I unplug all my USB peripherals and only plug in the e-reader to make it work, which doesn't work when the mouse and keyboard are both USB. But it had problems, and hopefully everything will be fixed at some point and support will be improved.

Re:What about PDAs? (3, Interesting)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 6 years ago | (#21613031)

Why would I want to spend twice that money on a dedicated reader?

Because the TX has a weeny little screen and some of us are old enough not to want to stare at weeny little screens for hours on end. Sure, I've read books on my Palm (a TX in fact), but it's not my Reader of Choice (which is, in fact, a paper book).

I'm not particularly interested in doing anything with a Kindle other than disassembling it, but a decent E-reader just has to appear Real Soon Now (TM).

As someone said before... (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 6 years ago | (#21612099)

No PDF support, less features than an iLiad. Lame.

Re:As someone said before... (1)

damaki (997243) | more than 6 years ago | (#21612151)

PDF support sucks on e-ink readers. You have to resize the pages or it's not readable. Better have no support than half-baked; I'd rather use a separate converter.

Re:As someone said before... (1)

merodach (630402) | more than 6 years ago | (#21612277)

The Iliad is nice ... but way too costly. The price I've seen is 700USD and for that price I can buy a cheap laptop that is way more expandable. If they want to have this device, or any similar one, take off they will have to sell it for 100USD to 200USD tops, with the ability to use non-DRM'd PDFs, HTMLs, etc. For a college student or a techie that would be perfect. I'd be willing to pay for locked (as in non-rewritable, not DRM'd) memory chips loaded up with books.

Then, an ebook reader [eink device]is not for you. (4, Interesting)

xtracto (837672) | more than 6 years ago | (#21612597)

The price I've seen is 700USD and for that price I can buy a cheap laptop that is way more expandable.

If you think this, then it is clear that this technology is not for you. I read a lot of this in slashdot but what people fail to see is that there is a specific market for this kind of devices. Specially for the ones that allow making some kind of notes.

As an example, both of my parents are biologists (they go to field trips to that strange place called "the nature" quite often). They sometimes stay camping when doing field trips which are usually done to catalogue species and the like. One of the main problems in those trips is that students may have to take their field guides (which are supposed to be special editions for field work but, are akin to our "SQL pocket edition " manuals, with lots and lots of pages). The problem is that sometimes they have to take two or three guides with them making it really painful to pack 5 Kgs of books...

Now, they usually can not take a laptop because trips last for a lot of time, and they need access to the books quite often. Hence, a laptop which battery lasts for 4 hours at *most* wont be useful. However a device which lasts 15 hours or more will be very very useful.

That is why, when I showed my parents and my flatmate (who is a zoologist) the OLPC, they got fascinated as it really solves quite a lot of problems for them. Specially, my flatmate goes into the Selva Lacandona and stays there camping and examining animals for weeks. A computer which can be powered by turning a crank and which power lasts longer (they do not need fancy graphics, even black and white is great) will be the perfect sollution.

The problem is that from our closed computer cube world, this kind of devices only make sense as gizmos. But there *are* several uses for this technology.

Re:Then, an ebook reader [eink device]is not for y (2, Funny)

xtracto (837672) | more than 6 years ago | (#21612641)

aaarrrrg
</i>
Use the Preview Button! Check those URLs!

Be careful of what you purchase (2, Funny)

Radon360 (951529) | more than 6 years ago | (#21612133)

Ergonomic issues that other reviewers have bought up are dismissed by the Cult of Kindle as flaws with the reviewer, not the device.

Attention reviewers buying ergonomic issues, I have a wonderful wholesale offer you can't refuse...

Paper Rules (4, Insightful)

tjstork (137384) | more than 6 years ago | (#21612157)

Amazon has a problem in that, books are a "traditional" thing. Most of the books that Amazon sells are for personal enrichment and entertainment. I mean, there's more to a book than its content. Sure, if we're working and doing techy stuff, Google is good for finding things, but, if you want to just relax and unplug, a book is a beautiful thing. You hold in your hand a tradition of printing that goes back hundreds of years, of writing that goes back thousands. There's a whole literary culture floating out there, waiting for you to join it. For a brief time, when you do read a book, you do.

Yes, you could argue, that an e-book could hold 10 million books. But, what of it? A book by itself is something that holds more than enough for you to read for a few hours, and you get the smell and feel of the paper, the binding, the immediacy, history and intimacy. An e-book is just another plastic appliance, lacking in craft.

Re:Paper Rules (5, Funny)

Sunburnt (890890) | more than 6 years ago | (#21612195)

Plus, if the fascists take over, a mass e-book deletion is somewhat lacking as a visual symbol.

Re:Paper Rules (1, Interesting)

spyrochaete (707033) | more than 6 years ago | (#21612317)

One of these days mankind is going to have to forgo the luxury of killing trees because they smell nice. Why not today?

I applaud manufacturers of eReaders. A perfect one hasn't come out yet but each new model seems to learn from the mistakes of the last. Nevertheless, a mini tablet PC fits in my pocket better than one book, never mind ten million of them.

What a crock (1, Insightful)

nunyadambinness (1181813) | more than 6 years ago | (#21612487)

One of these days mankind is going to have to forgo the luxury of killing trees because they smell nice.


Most of that paper is farmed. I suppose next you'll be telling us we'll have to forgo the luxury of killing vegetables because they taste good.

Why not today?


Because your objection is incredibly stupid and ignorant?

Re:Paper Rules (1)

Asmodai (13932) | more than 6 years ago | (#21612549)

And go with the luxury of using oil of creating plastics and to create energy, not to mention silica for the LCD displays?

If you are trying to provide an argument from the environmentalist angle I'd suggest you'd look more at the manufacturing process of the Kindle and its energy use as well.

Re:Paper Rules (1)

timster (32400) | more than 6 years ago | (#21612595)

One of these days mankind is going to have to forgo the luxury of killing trees because they smell nice.

Why is that? We already grow lots of paper trees on paper tree farms, just like corn or wheat or whatever else.

Trees are EVIL (4, Funny)

tjstork (137384) | more than 6 years ago | (#21612875)

One of these days mankind is going to have to forgo the luxury of killing trees because they smell nice. Why not today

Trees are evil. They are always taller than we are, which means, they always look down on us. They hard and practically unbending, meaning they are inflexible.

They stand before humanity, and mock them, continually. And yet, you support these things?

I enjoy chopping down trees. The mighty axe puts any in its place, and I enjoy wood furniture and flooring as a symbol of my domination over nature.

Re:Paper Rules (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#21612405)

I suppose you ride a horse to work? The smell of the shit, the feel of the saddle, and so on.

Ebooks haven't taken off more generally because they are expensive(there aren't $35 readers yet) and don't work as well as paper books for lots of things. When they get very cheap and become more or less indestructible, ebooks will take the vast majority of the market from paper.

Re:Paper Rules (1)

east coast (590680) | more than 6 years ago | (#21612415)

An e-book is just another plastic appliance, lacking in craft.

That's exactly what the slide rule and abacus devotees used to say about the computer. Fancy that.

Re:Paper Rules (1)

thebdj (768618) | more than 6 years ago | (#21612423)

This sounds as bad as those "vinyl is better" arguments you hear from people when it comes to music. I guess the difference is you can sort of show how goes from an analog to digital format with the conversion of audio can affect quality. (Whether or not you can notice it is a different debate.) Here however, there is not some mysterious change in formats that alters the content of the material being read.

This boils down to a form vs. function matter. Reading is reading, whether in a book or on an electronic device. This is how I feel. I don't care how I get my reading, so long as I get it. I have not bought an e-reader of any type. This is probably because I have not found one that I consider "perfect". In the end, I think these things could have great use for reference materials if nothing else. I would love to have had this instead of thick, heavy textbooks in college.

Finally, a book today is hardly a "craft". It is a mass printed device that came out of a machine and was slammed between a couple of pieces of cardboard and held together with glue. The "mystique" of books (if it ever really existed) died sometime during the 20th century (if not a bit sooner).

Speed without distraction (1)

dazedNconfuzed (154242) | more than 6 years ago | (#21612611)

The CD took over, despite the "warmth of vinyl" BS, because it was small, convenient, easy & fast. Insert in player, hit "play", it plays - and plays perfectly. Hit "next track" and you're there immediately without having to do anything else, without scratches or chipmunks.

The Sony ebook reader, and apparently the Kindle, just isn't there yet: click "next page" and you have to wait, you can't just flip thru pages really really fast, and the page transition makes this horrible wierd flicker that lasts just long enough to be seriously distracting. The screen looks great (paper-like) when just sitting there, but the transition is just bad - and that happens every single page. I applaud the high density of content in a slim package ... but wake me up when I can flip pages as fast as scrolling on an LCD display, and without bizzare flickering.

Re:Paper Rules (1)

teh kurisu (701097) | more than 6 years ago | (#21612791)

The problem is the technology involved. Devices like the iPod have been successful because it's impossible to play pre-recorded music without some kind of powered device (whether that power is provided by a battery, mains power or a hand crank). There's always been a need for some form of technology, and that technology has been evolving continuously for centuries.

Books don't require any powered device, meaning that the need for an e-reader just hasn't been there and hence very little development has happened. I think it's encouraging that we finally have some proper, high-profile (all over the BBC News website for instance) competition in the e-reader market, so we might get to see some interesting devices down the line. Books do have some disadvantages, such as the inability to search, and the option to read books electronically is much appreciated.

Personally I think e-readers might take off if paper-thin, flexible e-paper ever becomes cheap enough to become commonplace. Imagine a hardback 'book' of such sheets, into which you could load any book you wanted. That would be cool.

Re:Paper Rules (1)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 6 years ago | (#21612971)

Ford has a problem in that, buggies are a "traditional" thing. Most of the buggies are for personal transportation. I mean, there's more to a buggy than a means of transportation. Buggies have a tradition that goes back hundreds of years--the wheel goes back thousands. There is a whole horse culture floating out there, waiting for you to join it. For a brief time, on a buggy, you do.

Yes, you could argue, that the car is faster and more efficient. But what of it? A buggy by itself is something that works well enough for you to get where you want and to travel for a few hours, and you get the smell and feel of the horse's ass, the immediacy, history, and intimacy. A car is just another iron appliance, lacking in craft.

Bitter (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 6 years ago | (#21612181)

I don't know about you, but I think the writer sounds a little bitter. Someone should buy him a Kindle to cheer him up.

Cult? (1)

owlnation (858981) | more than 6 years ago | (#21612217)

Now the ePaper thing is cool admittedly. The DRM is as cool as chilli peppers in Hades...

But does anyone else think that the Kindle looks like an all white speak-and-spell? It really looks like a cheap 90's designed kids toy to me. And not in a retro way -- in a Made-in-Taiwan kind of way.

Biased reviewers? This is news, how? (1)

greenguy (162630) | more than 6 years ago | (#21612247)

This has been happening since as far back as you might want to look. Reviews, and really anything news-y, says as much about the speaker as about the subject matter. Go ahead, look at reporting on politics, war, cars, computers, music, art, even the weather.

There is no objective reporting. You can only report your understanding, and while you can be well-informed and well-rounded, you can't avoid subjectivity entirely. (Don't tell Ayn Rand!) The best you can do is be up-front about where you're coming from and let folks take that into account.

Prediction (4, Interesting)

Mr_Silver (213637) | more than 6 years ago | (#21612253)

All eBook readers will come with heavy and draconian DRM (as mandated by the book agency) until one vendor (also with heavy and draconian DRM) significantly corners the market through a beautifully easy to use device, tied in store and large volume of works.

This one company won't licence their DRM to anyone else and uses their huge market presence to force book publishers to accept the price points and the restrictions they want.

Given that the only way to get books out to everyone with that reader and avoid partnering with the one big company, publishers will find themselves having to accept that they're going to have to start looking at DRM free books.

Sound familiar?

(All I can say is thank god for Apple not licensing their DRM. If they'd done a Microsoft and licensed it to everyone who asked, music publishers would never ever have been contemplating DRM free media)

who are they talking about?... (1)

cornercuttin (1199799) | more than 6 years ago | (#21612295)

"A group of people willing to give it a five star rating just because someone else didn't, willing to back up every design, engineering and marketing decision that Amazon made, willing to defend the Kindle with their last dying breath."

With this quote, they surely meant to say 'Apple', and not 'Amazon'.

Yawn (1)

Scudsucker (17617) | more than 6 years ago | (#21612327)

Sounds like the rantings of an anti-Apple fanboy. Nobody is looking at the Kindle because they find it interesting or might like to try it out, it's because it's a cult.

After reading, (1)

Thirdsin (1046626) | more than 6 years ago | (#21612333)

I can't help but compare the zealous support for this device to a joke, it's a personal favorite of mine. I'm sure we could have some fun replacing 'lightbulb' with 'kindle', enjoy. Q: How many members of Congress does it take to change a lightbulb? A: None. There is nothing wrong with the lightbulb; its conditions are improving every day. Any reports of its lack of incandesence are delusional spin from the liberal media. That lightbulb has served honorably, and anything you say undermines the lighting effort. Why do you hate freedom?!?

Readthemall (1)

Paul Carver (4555) | more than 6 years ago | (#21612413)

If it doesn't have the scrolling feature of ReadThemAll [narod.ru] then it's not worth having. I've been using this app on a Palm for many years. I don't spend a whole lot of time reading on my Palm because I don't have a lot of down time outside of the house and I quite like pulling a book off the shelf when at home. But, I always have a bunch of Project Gutenberg text files loaded on my Palm and if I do get a boring moment the only app I would consider using is ReadThemAll.

No other autoscrolling feature makes any sense after you've seen the line by line redrawing method. I don't have a Kindle and don't see much reason to buy one, but if it doesn't have this mode I wouldn't even consider it even if my Palm died.

Sounds familiar (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 6 years ago | (#21612445)

A group of people willing to give it a five star rating just because someone else didn't, willing to back up every design, engineering and marketing decision that Amazon made, willing to defend the Kindle with their last dying breath.
See also: Shills, fanboiz, mac users.

Have used Kindle for 48 hours (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21612449)

I do not own it, but I was able to borrow it for 48 hours.

In reading other reviews, I think most of the reviews I have read are talking about the "eBook" concept in general. That, to me, is separate from a review of the Kindle. I have no idea of "eBooks" will catch on, or if people will generally like them. If you like the idea of an eBook, I thought the Kindle implemented the eBook concept quite nicely.

I thought the platform was very nice. This is not a laptop, it is a book. And, for reading books, I thought it did a great job. I liked the the form factor for reading. It was comfortable to hold and comfortable for reading. I really liked the ability to "impulse buy" books. I only downloaded samples (as it wasn't my Kindle or Amazon account), but it was fast and enjoyable. I also liked the ability to change the font size. It allowed me to place the Kindle in a position that was comfortable on my arms and comfortable for my eyes. I really can't say I cared if it did PDF natively or not. I read PDF's on my laptop. I'm not sure why this has become some huge deal. I didn't feel Kindle was trying to replace all things paper.

lBook® eReader (1)

jankkhvej (884867) | more than 6 years ago | (#21612475)

Everyone having lBook® eReader [lbook.com.ua] just laughing at those crappy Kindles.

lBook® eReader V8 can read TXT, and HTML files directly. lBook® eReader V2 can also read PDF and XML (FB2) files.

Re:lBook® eReader (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#21613033)

I fail to see why the iBook is better.
Can you enlighten me?

I may be buying an eBook in a few months.

What I need (1)

pscottdv (676889) | more than 6 years ago | (#21612477)

Is an e-book reader for documentation. Most software documentation is available as a pdf formatted for an 8.5 x 11 or A4 paper size. Are there any e-book readers available that are suitable this format?

Human Nature (1)

EriktheGreen (660160) | more than 6 years ago | (#21612511)

I think what we're seeing here is the classic human behavior related to in-group vs. out-group. Like someone posted on the wikipedia thread a couple days ago.

Basically, these people have bought the kindle and like it, or at least don't hate it enough to throw it away. What they really DO like is the fact that buying it puts them in a group of people who have a cool device and therefore they get a feeling of belonging. They identify part of their own self-worth with the "coolness" and value of the device.

Therefore, if the device is perceived as "cooler" or more desireable by the general population, they emotionally can transfer that to themselves. They'll promote kindle without reason and defend it to the death because they're really defending themselves. The sad part is that many of them don't know it... they truly believe they're objectively promoting this product, and they truly believe that the people who haven't gotten it yet eventually will.

The same thing happens with many technology items, like many in the cult of Mac or those who are rabid about Linux... the technologies' true worth and faults are irrelevant to them, sometimes without them realizing it, because they identify themselves as "Mac Owner" or "Linux User", and all that matters is if someone attacks their technology, it's an attack on them and their in-group.

Erik

My review... (1)

mpath (555000) | more than 6 years ago | (#21612527)

My boss bought a Kindle and let me play with it earlier this week and I've been meaning to write a review of my thoughts, but given this, maybe I shouldn't. ;)

It's a really neat device and if you're a bookworm and do any sort of commuting (where you can read) or traveling, this device will provide an endless amount of entertainment. As long as you're connected - my boss later found out that the Sprint network doesn't work at his house. My boss also doesn't like the ergonomics: when you turn it over to turn it off, you're likely to inadvertently hit the next/prev button.

When I first got my hands on it, I tried hooking it up to my Ubuntu box w/ its USB cable and it locked up the device after showing the USB screen. I wonder what the review-haters would say about that? "Ubuntu? That's a problem with your OS -- get a modern OS"

Best eBook read ever (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 6 years ago | (#21612531)

Personally, I find my PSP to be a fantastic book reader...all it takes is just two freeware programs (convert the PDF or LIT to fit the screen, held either normally or vertically) and then another program to convert each page into a jpeg (so you can view it, since the PSP doesn't have native PDF or LIT support) and bam, eReader. Works great, and the batter lasts for quit a long time using it in this manner.

Re:Best eBook read ever (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 6 years ago | (#21612577)

and apparently, writing about it causes a large number of mistyped words as well...

Re:Best eBook read ever (1)

dorix (414150) | more than 6 years ago | (#21612621)

Re:Best eBook read ever (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 6 years ago | (#21612691)

Appreciated, but not everyone has a modded PSP ;-)

Difference is title availability and price (1)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 6 years ago | (#21612623)

The press doesn't just get it. It's not the device, it's the store. With regard to the device, all they needed to do was not screw up, and by all reports they haven't.

There are two immense difference between the Kindle and all previous ventures.

First, the availability of titles is at least an order of magnitude larger than with any previous ventures. Themeans that the chances the title you want to buy is available is much higher.

In my informal personal tests a few years ago, I found that that about 3/4 of the titles in Oprah's book club books were available as audiobooks, yet less than 1/10 were available in any of the three major eBook formats (Gemstar, Microsoft LIT, Adobe) of the time.

If you are someone who buys books, as opposed to someone to whom books are sold, if you know a title you want to buy, I think your chances of buying it in Kindle format may actually be higher than at a brick-and-mortar mall bookstore, and I'm sure they're higher than at an airport bookstore. This was not true before.

Second, the people griping about the $10 pricing for recent books seem to be unaware that in all previous ventures, the publisher charged something close to the hardbound price for books that were not yet available in paper.

Do I think the $10 ($9, $8, $7) prices are fair for an electronic book? No, I do not... but, for a current hardbound bestseller, a sane person could conceivably imaging buying one. Previously, the selling proposition--hardbound pricing--was so excessively greedy as to be a deal-breaker for almost everyone.

Hmmm (1)

scubamage (727538) | more than 6 years ago | (#21612665)

I have no interest in Kindle - the lack of PDF support, and no pdf converters kind of killed it for me. I've got a smartphone which supports them, and considering PDF is now a standard formate its kind of inexcusable not to support it. The sony ebook reader supports pdf (albiet indirectly), and at least has a pretty decent converter to import pdf files into its native format. Sadly, the best is still the regular adobe reader I have on my junky old Ipaq. The added bonus? My ipaq displayes images in color.

Re:Hmmm (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#21612737)

It does support PDF.

At least according to Neil Gaiman:
"http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2007/11/me-in-manila.html"

In Hell I Burn (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21612669)

I'd rather burn in hell! [esotericarchives.com]

From a Sony E-reader user: they can be useful (3, Insightful)

RichardKaufmann (204326) | more than 6 years ago | (#21613025)

I was given a Sony E-reader recently as part of an airline promotion. I was as skeptical as most in this thread about their utility, etc., but have become a bit of a convert:

1. On vacation they're absolutely brilliant. I was out of the country for two weeks. The reader plus charger took almost no space, especially compared to the space ten or eleven books would have taken. I had my notebook with me as well, and was able to buy additional books -- which let me keep going on a series I particularly liked.

2. The slow page refresh isn't terrible, and I gather the Kindle is faster than the Sony.

3. I like the feel of the Sony reader. I suspect the Kindle is clunkier, but I defer to Pogue in the NYTimes who said it was fine. The screen works well in open daylight, and I quickly enough was able to ignore the medium and get into the content.

4. It looks like Amazon is given customers a price break on e-books. Sony charges as much as a paper book.

Bottom line: they're more useful than would appear to a non-user -- especially during travel.

And to the cult thing: I suspect like most people, I am not particularly loyal to any online store. I am willing to pay *slightly* higher prices to Amazon for both the convenience and their excellent handling of (very rare) problems.

I was so excited ... at first. Kindle and academia (1)

jorvis (838878) | more than 6 years ago | (#21613113)

I work in the research sciences (bioinformatics) and I'm dying for a device that lets me: - store/categorize PDFs of research papers and journals - annotate them - search them This would keep me from carrying around PDF print-outs of the last 10 papers I pulled from PubMed while I go through them and scribble all over the margins. My iPhone can display them, but that's pretty much it. The scientific journal subscription stuff would have worked nicely in their newspaper subscription model. If it could have done all this I have bought Kindle on the first day (and book reading would have been a bonus.)

Why I got a Kindle (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21613139)

I just got a Kindle, but I feel like both sides of the debate are being unreasonable. First, probably the reason that most people who buy the Kindle give it very good reviews is that they researched the issues with the Kindle beforehand and decided that those flaws didn't matter to them (I know I did, before I paid my $400). Those who give it horrible reviews decided the flaws made it not worth it to them. (I also suspect people are inflating their good reviews to compensate for all the 1-star reviews by the Kindle-haters).

Now, why did I get the Kindle?

First of all, the argument that book-readers like physical books isn't always true. I read a lot of law books (big, heavy, unwieldy things that are miserable to handle). I need to read the content. I hate the physical book. I have to lug several around with me when I travel (my backpack is fantastically heavy) and I can't read them in bed without wearing out my arms after a few minutes. The Kindle solves all of these problems. This applies not just to law books, though. Even moderately heavy hard-backed books are difficult to read in bed for long durations.

As to the Kindle vs. other devices, I keep seeing people claiming that their iPhone is sufficient. Maybe they don't get eyestrain reading backlit lcds, but I do. The e-Paper is much easier on the eyes. It's not QUITE at the level of printed books (and you have to be a little forgiving of the typography--the Kindle doesn't seem to have a hyphenation dictionary), but I can read it for long durations without going blind.

Finally, the biggest attraction for the Kindle is that it has the books I want or need to read. Amazon has law books (at least some, and hopefully more will be coming soon). They also have novels, etc. that I want to read. I looked into other e-books in the past and the major reason I didn't get them (even if their specs are better on paper) is because they don't have the content I want or need. The Kindle (mostly) does.

As for the other issues, I would like PDF ability, but from what I understand there is no ebook reader that handles PDFs really well, and you CAN convert PDFs to Kindle's format if you need, though it is a hassle. The Kindle's web browser is decent, and makes a nice backup when I'm not around a WiFi spot, but there is Sprint service (and it's free). I also don't care about the looks of the Kindle (it actually looks better in person, I think, but even if it didn't, I want it for its function, not its form).

Sure, the Kindle isn't for everyone. If you read mostly paperback novels, one at a time, the Kindle isn't for you. If you read enormous, unwieldy books that you have to lug across the country when you go home for Christmas vacation so that you don't fail your exams, the Kindle is wonderful. Same if you don't travel, but just like to read big, bulky books without having to sit up. Anyway, yes, there are legitimate reasons for the Kindle.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>