Amazon Kindle and Sony Reader

The e-book that seemed to be dead as an idea is back. Sony has their Reader which uses e-ink to offer a more paper-like reading experience.
Image of KindleAmazon has just announced the Kindle which has a keyboard and can EV-DO free wirless access so you can order material from Amazon without connecting to your PC. The Amazon video mentions that you can automatically get newspapers and updates from blogs.

I’m guessing one of the real strengths of Kindle is Amazon – that they will have the best content and with EV-DO they will have easy access to content wherever you can get a connection. On the other hand the Kindle looks dorky (not that the Sony looks much better.) As they say, WWAD (what would Apple do?)

To be honest I thought the e-book reader as a device was dead after the last round of devices like the Rocket eBook.  I figured tablet PCs and PDAs would make dedicated readers obsolete – we do after all read lots of pages off screens already. See Cory Doctorow on Ebooks: Neither E, Nor Books. But, I was wrong … it seems the big guys think there is a market for such appliances.

2 thoughts on “Amazon Kindle and Sony Reader”

  1. Apparently, as angular and *dorky* as it looks – somewhat reminiscent of a Soviet era calculator in design – the word on the street from those touching it is that it feels ‘right’ and a lot of the design decision seem to make sense. Its no stunner, but maybe the thing works. I certainly popped to Monday to see what it would cost in our currency, but was greatly dismayed over the US only situation. However, as the EVDO fees for wireless are being assumed by Amazon as opposed to the consumer, it shouldn’t surprise that they must have inked a pretty good deal with Sprint. Canada may not be in the offing as a result and we’ll European deals before Canadian ones. Would like to see how it feels to experience. Only book I have read through in entirety online was Jurasic Park on a PB 140 in 1992/3 or thereabouts. from the screen shots I saw, this experience might be surprisingly similar – although the setup screens looked very Newtonlike 😉

  2. Of course you are right that feel will be very important for something like this. It needs feel right in the hands in reading positions (where weight becomes an issue). The e-ink technology I would also like to see – it is supposed to be more material than light and it is supposed to view well from an angle.

    I can’t help wondering if the OLPC would make a fun e-book reader.

    Given how everyone likes that old trope about reading in the bathtub (I can’t remember the last time i did that) – I wonder if we will see a water-resistant version for beach and tub. They could call it the “moisten”, “sprinkle”, or just “mist”.

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