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What You Should Know About The New Amazon Kindle Wireless Ebook Reader

With the recent release of the Amazon Kindle ebook reader the Sony ebook reader range face some competition in this new and getting hotter market. Interestingly enough, most reviewers either love it or hate it – there doesn’t seem to be any middle ground, despite it having some really neat features. Admittedly, a lot of the complaints seem to be where buyers have a specific requirement and the Kindle doesn’t offer that function.

In all fairness, if you need it for something specific then make sure that it can do it!. Users, whilst generally hating the design, really love the functionality of the Kindle reader in that the navigation buttons are on either side so left or right handed people can use it with ease. The display, a 6″ diagonal E-Ink® electronic paper display, 600 x 800 pixel resolution at 167 ppi, 4-level gray scale which uses e ink {although converted electronically} tries to emulate newsprint and as such can be read easily in sunlight without the normal glare associated with PC screens. The Qwerty keyboard is used to control and take advantage of the Whispernet technology for downloading and surfing – it’s a direct connection and doesn’t need Wifi hotspots or ISP’s. The battery, which takes about two hours to charge will give you one week of reading but much less if you’re downloading but should last about 2 days.

You have access to Wikipedia, about 250 top blogs and a whole host of Newspapers. The fact that it is only the size of a paperback and weighs just 10.3 ounces with a capacity of 200 books means you’ll never be short of reading material and the easily adjustable font size allows you to find a comfortable reading level according to the ambience around you. It doesn’t incorporate a backlit screen though so, if like me, you like reading in bed you’ll still be juggling about with the torch!

If you’re expecting an all singin’ dancin’ piece of technology in this ebook reader you’ll probably be disappointed since it doesn’t fully support PDF {The Kindle can read unsecured Mobipocket books, and Amazon has provided a still experimental converter for unsecured PDFs}. There is, however, no way to read encrypted versions of either format- annotating articles isn’t possible – you’re limited to the Kindle ebooks available and their pricing structure, also remember that the screen is black and white so magazine articles and pics will take some adjusting to.

The MP3 player seems to be causing some problems as it will only random play and the user has little control over this aspect and users think that Amazon, with its own encrypted books, are trying to ensure that all content comes from them and are just trying to exercise too much control. You can transfer over unencrypted ebooks via SD card or even email them to yourself but the latter choice incurs a 10c fee. There are a few options for storage if you exceed the Kindles memory – you can store them onto a SD card and then transfer them to your PC via USB or Amazon can store them online for you and it does seem possible that you can access Streamload’s site via the Whispernet facility to up and download as you wish.

The main controversy that the Kindle reader opens up is that of pricing, not only of the reader itself but of ebooks in general. Many users of the reader are complaining about the price of some of the ebooks where there is only a small reduction in price compared to the hard back copy. Ebooks are growing in popularity all the time and it is going to be a while though before all publishers and retailers will get their heads together and sort out some commonalities. In comparison the Sony ebook readers don’t have the advantage of the e-ink screen and may be more difficult to read in certain lighting conditions but it does give you easier access to a wider and cheaper range of ebooks.

So should you buy one? – if the higher price tag doesn’t concern you and you’re one of the “gotta have’s” then you’ve probably already decided it should be on your list – personally I’d look at some of the alternatives and wait for not only a later version, which will probably be significantly cheaper anyway, but some of the niggling problem areas may well have been sorted.