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Old 04-19-2007, 06:39 AM   #1
Alexander Turcic
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Amazon Kindle "this spring" for "above $400"

It seems like ages ago when we first laid our eyes on the retro hotness that is the Amazon "Kindle" device, but now it has finally made its way into the hands of a few select publishers, and the first comments sound remarkably positive. From Publishers Weekly:

Quote:
According to publishers who have seen the player, the reader is a step up from the Sony Reader which was introduced last year. The screen quality is reportedly as sharp as Sony, but the Amazon device has better functionality, and, as should be expected from the e-tailer, a first rate e-commerce option. Amazon is expected to release the reader this spring, although the exact timing may depend on how fast it can develop a critical mass of titles. Two years ago, Amazon acquired Mobipocket—the company’s cross-platform e-book reader is designed to run on all PCs, handheld devices and mobile phones—and it is using that company to supply titles for the player. Price is expected to be above $400.
There are a few interesting bits to point out: First, the Kindle will indeed have some kind of online functionality for direct e-book purchase (the word is EV-DO cellular data). Second, the expected release date is this spring, which is, uh, now. Third, the Kindle will use the Mobipocket reader software, which is not a surprise given that Amazon still needs a way to justify their acquisition of Mobipocket in 2005. And forth, the price mentioned is way above what we expected.

Now it's time for Sony to step up and show us what's up their sleeve. Didn't Howard Stringer mention a new Reader with wireless capabilities? Then, of course, the real question is, do we need any more features for an e-book reader?

[via TeleRead]

Related: E-Book Reader Matrix, Leaked FCC specs
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Old 04-19-2007, 09:21 AM   #2
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If we consider the fact that it does more than the PRS with that keyboard, that it had wifi capabilities in that prototype we first spied, I think it's only natural to expect the price shown.
But that design is atrocious; it's dead in the egg. Anyone who lives in a western type of life with access to television will be offended. We have been formed and accustomed to beautiful design by every media and object around us. It should be expected that any new object follow in the actual trend of visual taste.
Lets wait for the actual introduction to judge.
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Old 04-19-2007, 09:26 AM   #3
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Retro hotness? I say it's a prototype case.
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Old 04-19-2007, 09:44 AM   #4
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I think someone else said "fugly."
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Old 04-19-2007, 10:24 AM   #5
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Yeah, I think it's pretty darn ugly and smells a little of the Librie design. Shame on you Amazon for not hiring competent designers! If Apple gets wind of this, they jump on the bandwagon and have an iReader before you know it!

As to the "additional features"... I think this is really a moot point, just make an eReader that delivers good screen realestate (I can't spell!!!), minimal power consumption, excellent contrast ratio, and an eBook delivery system that doesn't smell of week old fish. No one really needs all these other features in a book, that's what a PDA is for. How many paperback & hard cover books do you know of that can access the Internet or have keyboards built-in to them? Not many I know, and I'm not one for marking up books either. Some people may like this feature, but I'd better opt for a bluetooth keyboard that is only there when you need it and uses as little juice as possible.

Doh! Guess I just gave up a little IP, gotta stop doing this! Who wants to get together and design a truly innovative eReader that has all we want in it?
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Old 04-19-2007, 10:25 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NatCh
I think someone else said "fugly."
Whoever it was, I agree.

My desire for wireless in the Sony Reader is way below my desire for a clock. If I had to make a list of changes I would make, wireless would not be in one of the top 10 spots. If they do put it in I really hope they make it easy to turn on and off.
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Old 04-19-2007, 10:43 AM   #7
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I'd be completely shocked and amazed if the Kindle is rolled out to consumers looking like the pictures we've seen. At the very least it will look better than the picture does. Even another color would help!
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Old 04-19-2007, 10:53 AM   #8
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Does anyone know if the FCC approved the device?
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Old 04-19-2007, 10:55 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexander Turcic
First, the Kindle will indeed have some kind of online functionality for direct e-book purchase (the word is EV-DO cellular data).
This is an improvement over the Sony Reader in that it is not tied to a Windows PC.

I am in two minds about the keyboard. If you want decent on-line capability (even if just for buying books) and search/dictionary capability then a keyboard is the way to go. On the other hand, 99.999% of the time on the device will be spent reading, when the keyboard is irrelevent.

It appears that Amazon has thought outside the box on what an e-book reader should be. They may have got it all wrong, but lets at least get some hands on time before declaring it (brain) dead.
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Old 04-19-2007, 11:03 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RWood
Does anyone know if the FCC approved the device?
Good question. Amazon lawyers pulled the information from the FCC page, but I don't see it anywhere reemerged.
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Old 04-19-2007, 11:07 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Russell
I'd be completely shocked and amazed if the Kindle is rolled out to consumers looking like the pictures we've seen. At the very least it will look better than the picture does. Even another color would help!
I'll be totally shocked & amazed if it comes out this spring. Fairly amazed if this year.
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Old 04-19-2007, 11:54 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TadW
Quote:
Originally Posted by RWood
Does anyone know if the FCC approved the device?
Good question. Amazon lawyers pulled the information from the FCC page, but I don't see it anywhere reemerged.
I doubt if it would be listed under the same name, and after the last time, I expect that Amazon would make the FCC put it somewhere less ... public than where it was before.
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Old 04-19-2007, 12:06 PM   #13
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The thing that could really make this one stand out is that it has Amazon behind it.
I don't think they'll leave the design the way it was presented in those FCC files, and if they really want to make this a succcess they'll provide plenty of ebooks...^^

The problem for me with this device (just like the Sony reader) is that it will probably not be available in Europe...at least not this decade...so I won#t get my hands on one...real pity...
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Old 04-19-2007, 12:09 PM   #14
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That machine as it is looks like a perfect study aid.
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Old 04-19-2007, 12:15 PM   #15
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'til you want to pick it up, sure.
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