I am currently trying to install firmware 1.71, but my first download of it from the official website wouldn't open. We'll see if it helps, but I have a feeling it won't since it doesn't sound like this is a common issue that would get addressed via firmware. Am I going to have to send it back to Amazon UK? I'm unsure what else to do at this point.
Did you extract the .zip file and put the EBOOK.HEX file on your SD card?