1) Well, of course I prefer not charging to having to charge. I have to charge my Sony 505 every 3-4 weeks. The kindle I plug in daily. The way I use it I don't think I could get by for longer than 3 days before it died. Now if I used it without all the functionality that makes the Kindle unique, then I'm sure it would last for a week or more, but what is the point of that. The thing that makes the Kindle great is the push subscriptions to newspapers, blogs and magazines, the web, wikipedia, the searches and free EVDO. The thing is, the Kindle model is accessible to more people. For instance, I got my mom a reader for last Christmas and she has never plugged the reader into her computer. She just doesn't have the technical expertise to do it. So I have to copy all her books to her computer for her (she likes the classics). If she had access to the kindle store, which by the way, compares well to the amazon.com store for ease of use, she would probably be purchasing books all the time on it. I think this opens the market to many more users. However, it's interesting to note that the requiring a connection to a computer didn't hurt the proliferation of the ipod - I'm guessing this might be bacause ipod users are younger and more tech-savvy, or perhaps because the itunes store is so user-friendly. In any case, I love the independence from the computer.
2) I have purchased three books so far. I found a book that was recommended to me by the kindle store, downloaded the free chapter, read it and loved it, and then instantly purchased the whole book all while waiting in the car as my wife was shopping the outlets. That is what makes the store so cool. I've purchased several subscriptions as well. I think that is the great advantage of the Kindle, having the morning paper, monthly periodicals and blogs delivered to your kindle throughout the day. I just hope the content keeps expanding. I expect someday that every word that amazon sells should be offered in kindle format. I'm a big sci-fi fan, so I also purchased some sci-fi periodicals like ASIMOV's and ANALOG from ficitonwise in mobi format. I emailed these to my kindle address and they converted and showed up to my kindle almost instantly. It works very well, but I would prefer to get everything from the amazon store because it is so simple.
3) It is too early for me to say if EVDO is a killer app. I should say I have an iphone and still use that all the time and love it. But the EVDO on the kindle is much faster than the EDGE on the iphone. I love that. If it stays free, I think this will be the killer app for the kindle. I do love the functionality that EVDO provides including the kindle store, push subscriptions, wikipedia, searching, and the web browser. I find that all the time while reading I end up on the web or wikipedia researching some tidbit. It is handy and useful. Out of everything EVDO, the push subscriptions are probably the big ticket item for me. I'm the kind of reader that needs to change what he's reading quite often. A reader with just novels and short stories just doesn't do it for me. But with the kindle, I can read a novel for a while, then read the paper, then read a few long articles for a magazine like TheAtlantic, then read the novel some more, then check the blogs for more techy info such as slashdot or engadget (this replaces the need to surf the web somewhat). With all the different types of content the kindle offers, I feel this replaces my need to have an always-connected laptop for surfing the web. The kindle gets me reading faster and I read in much larger quantities than through just normal web surfing.
4) I would prefer to purchase all my content through the kindle store, but until that day when it has everything I want, I will fill in the holes through stores such as fictionwise. I prefer the convenience of the kindle store and I really like the prices. I don't care that much about the drm really. In five years, when the ereader is as big a hit as the ipod or laptop is today, we can fight that battle for drm-free content.
Originally Posted by RSaunders
When I look at the Kindle, I'm taken by the choices made by Amazon. I've had a Sony Reader for a year, and none of the choices strike me as important. The PR, even Newsweek, and the business advantages all go to Kindle. Nobody who has used Sony CONNECT hasn't wished it was integrated with Amazon.com. My question is about the technical features, and I guess you really need to know the Sony Reader to answer them.
1) Do you like daily charging better than computer docking? The Kindle has a radio that allows it to be updated by Amazon, but it gives you daily charging instead of the monthly charging of the Sony Reader. I charge my Sony by plugging it into my computer's USB port. So, if it has to be plugged in every day, why spend $$ on a radio?
2) How often do you buy books? I buy 3-4 books at a time, a behavior I have had in pbook stores, on Amazon, and now with my Reader. It takes me hours to read a book, that's why they are a good entertainment value. I'm about 100 books behind, so I don't mind 2 day pbook delay from Amazon.com. Do you buy books every day?
3) Is the EVDO Internet the killer app? My kid has an iPhone, so he has Internet at the same speed. He has full web features, and color, and it was really cool for a couple of weeks. Now, he never uses it. Sure, wikipedia is a cool thing to have. But I have a laptop with WiFi right on my desk, when I'm reading I can go for ages without using it.
4) Are you going to buy a lot of Amazon books, now that you know that there are lots of places to get DRM-free books? I buy books from Sony, well, almost never, because I can get books in other formats with much more diversity. I'll spend 5 minutes on my computer to convert a book to Sony format, sometimes to save $5, other times to get a book Sony isn't listing. I read hundreds of pages every week (mostly SF) and I never seem to need Sony titles.
I really want Kindle to succeed. I'd like to see Amazon take over and sell books to all the eBook readers. Surely, beating Sony's store could be done with one hand behind their back. I just can't seem to breakout of the notion that Amazon sees this as a hardware play, being in the gadget business. If they were trying to be in the book business, priceless.