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Old 06-18-2010, 02:27 PM   #1
biggybaggyboggy
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Kindle in the UK?

I've been researching which e-reader to buy for my husband and as usual, there is almost too much info out there! For every plus, someone else has a con, so I'm none the wiser. I THINK that it's a choice between Kindle 2 or DX but have some questions I can't easily find the answers to. My husband will be using this for leisure reading only, (high frequency though), and possibly educational reading of PDFs for the OU, but NOT for any kind of business use.
1. As this is a US based company, what are the key limitations for a UK user?
- can we charge it off the mains in the UK?
- is there a good range of books available on Amazon?
- can you upload from sources other than Amazon (if so, how?)
- anything else?
2. The choice between 2 or DX will come down to size (physical and storage)
- the DX looks better size-wise (more words on a page) but I'm thinking maybe it's too big for casual leisure reading (in bed, on a deckchair etc.) is this correct?
- Also, I get the impression that the larger size is aimed at business or full-time student markets, however if we get the 2 it holds less books, so can you swap books onto your computer and hold an archive there?
- And I've just read that 3G only works in the US, but it was an old post, is that still true?
3. This may sound like a stupid question, but just to be sure, I assume as it's not backlit that you have to have another source of light just like if reading your actual book?
I'll be extremely grateful for anything that helps make a decision as I've been trying to decide for 3 months now and his birthday is in August!
p.s. actually, given our requirement, would a Sony 505 be better?
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Old 06-19-2010, 06:59 AM   #2
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Hi,

I live in England and just bought a DX (my second e reader).
1. There are not many limitations for UK users. If you subscribe to any newspapers/magazines through the device (I get the independent 'delivered' every morning) they are sent through without pictures in the UK. You can buy a UK mains charger from Amazon, or there are a lot on ebay. I generally get my books from other sources than amazon, but there are A LOT of titles on amazon, however the pricing can be bizarre. Most of my material from other sources is generally a pdf, I just have to connect the kindle to the laptop to tranfer the file.
As for the size, my first e reader was pretty much the same size as the Kindle 2, there is a minimal difference for me as far as casual reading is concerned. I use my DX everywhere.
Any book you buy from amazon in kindle format is held on your account, so if you run out of space you can delete the book from your kindle, then send it back again from amazon when you want to read it again.
The 3G works everywhere, and yes the e ink screen means you wouldn't be able to read in the dark.

My personal opinion is the smaller readers screens can be a bit uncomfortable on the eyes, but this is because I mainly use pdf files, rather than native e reader formats meaning I can't adjust the font size. however if you plan on using the device for kindle store purchases then I'm sure this will not be an issue.

I hope this helps.
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Old 06-19-2010, 07:14 AM   #3
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You'll need to get a US to UK plug adapter (available from any high-street electrical retailer) to use the charger supplied with the Kindle. You can of course also charge it from the USB port of any PC.

The Kindle will read any DRM-free Mobipocket format book (eg the thousands that you can download free here at MobileRead) - you simply transfer the book from the PC to the Kindle via the USB connection.
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Old 06-19-2010, 12:15 PM   #4
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Free internet access is now available in the UK, the Amazon website states it is only Wikipedia available, but now works across the web. You would not want to use for all browsing but good for quick look at emails and research when reading a book.

The only disadvantage of owning a Kindle in the UK is lack of accessories - but this probably won't trouble your husband.
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Old 06-19-2010, 12:18 PM   #5
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The only disadvantage of owning a Kindle in the UK is lack of accessories - but this probably won't trouble your husband.
What sort of accessories? The only accessory I'd regard as essential is a decent case, and cases are certainly available.
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Old 06-19-2010, 04:33 PM   #6
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Just comparing the variety available in US to UK. If your prepared to pay high p & p/tax etc then the US market has more choice. I'm happy with a MEdge case and nothing but a screen saver of my own choice. Have to say that accessories are probably a "women thing"
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Old 06-21-2010, 04:36 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the replies guys. very helpful, I'm thinking the DX would be the best bet, for longevity. The only reason I can see for going with a Kindle rather than a Sony e-reader (say) would be the amount of available of books (apart from personal preference, obviously) would you agree??

I'd like to get my head around the DRM-free thing...can someone explain it in words of less than one syllable please? I don't understand whether its a file format, or some kind of security, and if so why would you be able to load both on the kindle?...or am I missing something??
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Old 06-22-2010, 03:55 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biggybaggyboggy View Post
Thanks for all the replies guys. very helpful, I'm thinking the DX would be the best bet, for longevity. The only reason I can see for going with a Kindle rather than a Sony e-reader (say) would be the amount of available of books (apart from personal preference, obviously) would you agree??
The primary reason for going for a Kindle is the convenience of buying books wirelessly from the Kindle eBook store. If you don't want to do that, there are a number of devices around that are (in my view) significantly better than the Kindle.

Quote:
I'd like to get my head around the DRM-free thing...can someone explain it in words of less than one syllable please? I don't understand whether its a file format, or some kind of security, and if so why would you be able to load both on the kindle?...or am I missing something??
DRM is "digital rights management" - essentially a book with DRM (such as those sold via the Kindle bookstore) is encrypted such that it will only run on your Kindle (or other devices registered to your Amazon account); you can't give a copy of the book to your friends, for example.

The Kindle uses a popular eBook format called "Mobipocket", and there are a number of bookstores which sell Mobipocket books without DRM (eg, if you're interested in SF and Fantasy, there's a publisher called Baen who sells books without DRM). There are also huge numbers of out of copyright classics available completely free in Mobipocket format (eg, look at the "Book Uploads" forum here at MobileRead). Any of these books can be copied to the Kindle (via a USB connection) and read on it.

Hope that answers your question.
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Old 06-22-2010, 08:59 AM   #9
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One thing to be aware of is that certain ebooks are not available for UK customers. This is very frustrating when I find a book on Amazon.com only to be advised that it is not available for UK customers.
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Old 06-22-2010, 05:05 PM   #10
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My kindle arrived today in London and I have full access to the internet. The Kindle 2i has just come down in price which makes it a good buy at the moment. The screen size seems fine for normal books. If your husband has a birthday in late August then I might still wait to see what the Kindle 3 looks like. Me - I'm very chuffed with my Kindle 2.

Last edited by mike_bike_kite; 06-22-2010 at 05:10 PM.
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Old 06-23-2010, 02:34 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike_bike_kite View Post
My kindle arrived today in London and I have full access to the internet. The Kindle 2i has just come down in price which makes it a good buy at the moment. The screen size seems fine for normal books. If your husband has a birthday in late August then I might still wait to see what the Kindle 3 looks like. Me - I'm very chuffed with my Kindle 2.
Is it good for surfing sites like forums, email, etc. ?
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Old 06-23-2010, 06:10 PM   #12
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Is it good for surfing sites like forums, email, etc. ?
What about import duty, that kind of thing? I've been reading claims online the actual cost of a Kindle 2, even after the price drop to the equivalent of £132, is in fact closer to £180, once you factor in the p&p, vat, duty etc.
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Old 06-23-2010, 11:40 PM   #13
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There is no import duty, just (obviously) VAT.
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Old 06-24-2010, 08:22 AM   #14
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Is it good for surfing sites like forums, email, etc. ?
It's fine for reading the forum - I just type "mobileread" onto the keyboard, then hit the google button and then viola! I can do this in my house or in the park or anywhere really but I still wouldn't say any ereader is good for browsing the internet due to the slow screen and processor. It's perfect for when I come across something in a book and want to read a wikipedia article on the item though.

Many sites have a mobile friendly url and these sites would also be great on the kindle. I can't see if mobileread has a mobile friendly url - it would be kind of ironic if it didn't

It's quite poor when it comes to posting on the forum though. You have to go into advanced mode which is slower and you then need to cursor around the screen to type what you need. I started to type this reply on my Kindle but then got frustrated and decided to use the PC instead. That's not a criticism of the kindle as I think any eink ereader will be a pain in this regard. I suspect email via gmail would be fine though. I haven't tried the mobile friendly version of yahoo yet.

Hope that helps.

EDIT : just found the mobile url http://www.mobileread.mobi/

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Old 06-24-2010, 09:01 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by mike_bike_kite View Post
It's fine for reading the forum - I just type "mobileread" onto the keyboard, then hit the google button and then viola! I can do this in my house or in the park or anywhere really but I still wouldn't say any ereader is good for browsing the internet due to the slow screen and processor. It's perfect for when I come across something in a book and want to read a wikipedia article on the item though.

Many sites have a mobile friendly url and these sites would also be great on the kindle. I can't see if mobileread has a mobile friendly url - it would be kind of ironic if it didn't

It's quite poor when it comes to posting on the forum though. You have to go into advanced mode which is slower and you then need to cursor around the screen to type what you need. I started to type this reply on my Kindle but then got frustrated and decided to use the PC instead. That's not a criticism of the kindle as I think any eink ereader will be a pain in this regard. I suspect email via gmail would be fine though. I haven't tried the mobile friendly version of yahoo yet.

Hope that helps.
Thanks, I'm very happy with that.
To be able to read email and access mobile friendly sites is already a great feature. I'm using my mobile to do exactly that and my provider charges me 3€ per week. When my K2 will be here I'll be able to do that for free !
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