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Old 11-13-2010, 05:08 AM   #1
Pingu
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Aussie e-reader advice...

Oh my word, I am soooooooo confused.

My needs are simple:

* easy to use e-reader.
* used for travel.
* kids will also use it.

I have been thinking Kobo because I can buy it in Australia, and it's all round easier, but then the low end Kindles are getting cheaper.

I am worried that by getting a Kindle I will be in for all sorts of problems with getting the content I want-just general kids' and adult fiction.

I also don't understand the whole 3G/wireless aspect of the Kindles. I don't need to be able to buy a book on the run, I don't need internet on an e-reader...but should I have this ability anyway.

Please bear with me

Thanks so much
Pingu
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Old 11-13-2010, 05:39 AM   #2
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Good to have your company, Pingo. Have you taken a look at the new Australian 'Kogan'? A pal of mine in Oz bought one recently and is thrilled to bits with it. Pretty basic, but good screen display and it handles a whole heap of different ebook formats. Might be a good bet for you. Good luck with your choice. Best wishes. Neil
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Old 11-13-2010, 05:42 AM   #3
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I am in Aussie and have a Kindle, i am able to get a pretty good variety of books , a few geographical restrictions get in the way at times.

i don't know about the availability of kids books, but i doubt you would have any problems.

I have the 3G/wireless kindle and hubby just has the wireless which is sufficient.
We love our kindles, but we haven't tried anything else so have nothing to compare them with, and you are right Kindles are not available in Aussie, well they are actually there are ebay sellers listing brand new ones for 100.00 more than amazons price.

We got ours through Amazon, with no hassles, i think delivery to Tassie was about 30.00.

Good luck with your decision
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Old 11-13-2010, 07:08 AM   #4
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don't for get with a Kobo or a Sony (also via Borders in Australia) you can borrow books from libraries. I do this all the time, it's a great service.

With the Kindle you can not do this
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Old 11-13-2010, 07:29 AM   #5
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Oh, thanks for the welcome!

The lack of library access doesn't worry me as I am an AVID library goer, and go endlessly for myself and the kids. I really want an e-reader for travelling so I'm not lugging 5 books for me, and more for the kids!

Here is my super newbie questions about Kindles...

We have Wifi at home, so am I best off to get the Kindle Wifi not the Kindle
3G+Wifi? I don't need to be able to download a book instantly.

If I was in a Wifi spot like McDonald's then can I get access to Amazon and download from there?

Can you use the internet with the Kindle Wifi [without the 3G biz]?

Is there a blushing smilie?

Neil, I will look at the Kogan-have not heard of it!

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Old 11-13-2010, 08:43 AM   #6
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Hi Pingu,

I've recently got a Kindle 3G here in Oz. Ordered it from Amazon on Friday evening and it arrived at my door (Newcastle area) on the following Tuesday morning. I got the charger unit as well (does not come included as there is already a USB cable that charges from the computer). Postage for the two items added about $30.

The wifi connects automatically to both home and work routers, and it chooses wifi when available over 3G.

I've found the 3G handy when I've been away from the computer. There have been times when I've bought a book, or just downloaded sample pages, out in the wild.

I've not tried to use the wifi in Macdonalds etc. so I can't tell if it will connect with their wifi or with it's own 3G.

One aspect of the wireless connection (whatever flavour) is that "Kindle for PC" will sync to the Kindle on each book you are reading. If you read a bit on the PC one evening, and the next day open the same book on the Kindle while on the train, it will sync to where you left off on the PC. I have found that very handy, as has my wife who reads on her laptop as well as the Kindle.

The same thing happens between Kindles that have the same book. You can have a book on six devices at once, so it gives good scope for having more than one in the family.

The Kogan is no cheaper than the 3G Kindle and the 1500 free books that it comes with are classic out-of-copyright titles available for free on lots of websites. However, there are cheaper ereaders out there than both Kindle and Kogan.

The internet app on the Kindle is what they call 'experimental'. It works, but most webpages are not set up for the screen type and using it as a browser can be frustrating. However, there are lots of sites that are optimised for phone browsing which might be better - Im yet to try them. The Kindle browser is really designed for getting magazine and newspaper subscriptions - stuff with print rather than graphic emphasis.
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Old 11-13-2010, 08:48 AM   #7
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I should also add that the Kindle is one of the few ereaders with a keyboard. It's small and squeezy for adult fingers and typing is slow. But it's better than the option of moving a cursor around a screen image of a keyboard and clicking the letters.

If you want to take notes as you read it's probably necessary. Having said that, I take notes with pen and notebook rather than type on the Kindle.
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Old 11-13-2010, 08:23 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pingu View Post
Here is my super newbie questions about Kindles...

We have Wifi at home, so am I best off to get the Kindle Wifi not the Kindle
3G+Wifi? I don't need to be able to download a book instantly.

If I was in a Wifi spot like McDonald's then can I get access to Amazon and download from there?

Can you use the internet with the Kindle Wifi [without the 3G biz]?
Hi Pingu. If you don't envision yourself needing to access the Kindle store when out and about then the wifi-only is a good option. We bought two Wifi-only Kindles and like your thinking reckon we could just pull into McDonald's and use their wifi. I have not tested it yet but I believe McDonalds is a simple connect, no password. They restrict usage to apparently 50mb per day (which is alot on a Kindle and ebooks). The Kindle wifi has better battery life than the 3G+wifi with the wireless turned on (obviously having two wireless devices running uses more power, but if you turn the wireless of each will last the same time).

You say you don't need instant downloads, but once you experience the Amazon store and buy a few ebooks and have them automatically sent to your Kindle.....you will find it hard to live without. Brilliant IMHO.

The Kindle's have a web browser. It is a little clunky (don't forget the primary use of this device is to read ebooks) but it is usable.

Now you mentioned the Kobo. Can I just put my opinion in on that device? Whilst it is sold locally in Australia and some people love it, I would hold off. Kobo have released overseas the new Kobo wifi which is replacing the original. Now whether wifi is needed or not, the new Kobo has had some good firmware updates whilst the original has been left behind. If you do want to go the Kobo path I would either wait for the wifi to be released here in Australia, or wait for a firmware update for the original Kobo to fix some of the bugs in it (I for one do not understand why an e-ink device needs to shutdown, but the Kobo does and takes 30+seconds to start up).
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Old 11-13-2010, 10:08 PM   #9
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Question More Aussie advice, please

Big thanks to Pingu for starting this thread, which has already answered some of my questions; and thanks to Kimble, Jcas and Solicitous for helpful information. I thought I'd tag on here instead of starting a new thread, as my questions have a similar theme (and the answers might help Pingu, too!).

I'm in Australia; I read a lot, but try to avoid buying books because they're so expensive here compared to my former home in the UK. I use the excellent local library system, and only buy books when I can't get them through the library. I usually buy via The Book Depository, as their free postage works out cheaper than Amazon. I don't work any more, so most of the time I'm reading at home. My main use for an e-reader would be holidays, so I don't have to carry a bagload of books to keep me going through a four-week trip; it would also be useful in doctors' waiting-rooms etc. I'd only want the reader for reading books, and I don't have any e-books to transfer.

I've been looking mainly at the Kindle, because it gets good reviews and the current strength of the Aussie dollar makes it a good buy. (Side note: why would people pay more to buy it on eBay??) Yesterday I was able to check out the Kobo and the Sony 650. Didn't like the Kobo on a quick inspection: it seemed very plasticky and very slow. Loved the Sony, but at $299 it's a lot more than a Kindle would be.

So to my questions, with apologies that I seem to be writing a novel.

1. If I buy a Kindle from Amazon, does the 30-day return guarantee apply in Australia? and does that start from the despatch date or the date I register the device?

2. I'm trying to get a handle on just how restrictive the geographical restrictions on book availability are. I already have an Amazon account, but I can't figure out a way to check whether e-books are available in Australia without clicking on one-click purchasing, which might mean I buy the book without wanting to! Is it possible to check without buying?

3. Can I buy e-books from Amazon UK rather than US, if I'd rather have a UK edition? (I noticed that the US site was advising me that UK customers can buy from the UK site; I assume I never got round to changing my country when I moved here from the UK, so maybe I still count as UK-based even though my address is in Oz.)

4. If the Kindle needs repair/battery replacement, I believe it has to be sent back to the US. Does anyone know whether Amazon or the customer pays the postage?

5. Any views on reliability? - I dread going off on holiday armed just with an e-reader, then it goes wrong and I'm left with only cereal packets to read!

6. At a much more trivial level, does it make sense to buy a cover? I'm thinking it would protect the device in my handbag, as well as making it feel more like a book when reading.

I'd be really grateful for any comments and information, please. I think my current position is that if I buy an e-reader it's going to be a Kindle; what I'm dithering over is whether I'll make enough use of it to justify the purchase, or will it just be another electronic toy.

Kind regards

Alison
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Old 11-13-2010, 11:20 PM   #10
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Alison when you click on a book title at Amazon, if it is not available for Aussie customers it will very boldly pop up and advise you of that fact.

As far as their warranty policies i can't answer that as i haven't had to call on it. No doubt it would also be somewhere in very fine print.

I would recommend a cover for your Kindle , i have the mEdge Latitude as it zips right up and doesn't get marked when i put it in my handbag or where ever.

As far as reliability, i haven't had mine long but both hubby and myself have one and no issues what so ever.

I thought mine might end up another electronic toy, but i have never left it alone since purchasing it, i just love it.
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Old 11-13-2010, 11:55 PM   #11
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Ah mainly for holidays, I'd recommend the 3G+wifi so on your travels you can easily shop from your Kindle and download new ebooks.

I believe the 30 days is "Within 30 days of delivery". Battery replacement cost would need to be priced from Amazon. I am not sure if the quoted price is battery replacement and return shipping to you. It will cost about $30AUD to send it back to Amazon. Please note, the battery in the Kindles are rated around 300-500 full charge cycles, meaning after 300-500 charge cycles the battery should operate around 80% of its original capacity. You can read upto around 1 month with the wireless turned off, so you'd only charge 12-15 times a year (depending of reading habits). I reckon in a few years you'd want to upgrade because you want to rather than because the old unit is starting to not hold charge.

Reliability, well I have had one issue with mine, but you tend to notice these things rather quickly after getting it. Amazon are the best in terms of returns/replacements of faulty products. I swear, no need to worry here.

I highly recommend a cover. It will protect the screen from damage and scratches, even keeping dirt etc from it. Nothing worse than trying to read a screen that is all dirty etc. Unfortunately I can't offer any more help on the other points.
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Old 11-14-2010, 12:55 AM   #12
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Excellent thanks.

So to confirm

-I can instantly download books without being connected by cords to a computer with just the Wifi version as long as I am in a Wifi zone..
-if I want to download anywhere, anytime I need the 3G.
-forget using the internet browser section of a Kindle, it's of no consequence.

Another thing I'm pondering. If the Aussie dollar fell really badly against the US dollar then I'm going to be paying more for books for as long as that situation lasts. I mean, it's great now because the dollar is awesome, but do I set myself up for paying more if things go the other way?

I have also read that I can use other places to buy books and put them on a Kindle using Calibre. Is this correct, and is it easy to do?

You guys rock, thanks soooo much.
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Old 11-14-2010, 01:59 AM   #13
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The one issue not addressed was the idea of SHARING your kindle with your kids - nice idea but you will not be able to all read at the same time whereas when schlepping books, heavy obviously, each can be reading their own book.
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Old 11-14-2010, 02:50 AM   #14
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Many thanks, Julie and Solicitous, for your very helpful replies.

I have managed to avoid the "not available to you" on every book I've tried, so either I've just been lucky, or Amazon definitely thinks I'm still in the UK - good news either way!

I found the small print on returns, and not only is it 30 days from receipt, but this period is extended over Christmas: so for any Kindle bought from 1 Nov, you have until 31 Jan to return it. Sweet.

Battery life: the Sony salesman I spoke to said that the 650 had a much longer battery life than the Kindle (but he would, wouldn't he?!). From what Solicitous has said, that's not fair comment?

Finally, could I ask whether your Kindle is your preferred mode of reading, or would you rather read a physical book, all other things being equal? If I thought I'd use the Kindle a lot at home as well as on holiday, I'd be just about ready to take the leap!

(I think I am the world's worst procrastinator - it took me ages to talk myself into buying an iPod, and I wouldn't be without it now.)

Thanks again. I'm so glad I found this forum.

Alison
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Old 11-14-2010, 03:01 AM   #15
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Hey Alison, I'm in Perth too!

FF2-good point about the sharing, but generally my son would read, then go to bed, then I can take over. If we find it too good, we could always get a second.
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