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Kindle reviews, please

     
6:15 am on Dec 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Please tell me if the Kindle is as good as Amazon claims it is.

I really want a portable reader. I'm on the fence about buying one, it wouldn't take much to push me to either side. AZ just started offering them in Canada.

9:15 am on Dec 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Last sunday I bought seven devices each one charged with one of the main seven Asimov's foundation stories. The contrast is perfect, the page running is smooth, the portability is incredible and they only cost 7.95 each one.
Curiously, the men who sold it to me, still called it "books"; he don't know that actually it's a reading device (way better and cheaper than Kindle).
7:33 pm on Dec 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Did you read about the controversy where Amazon can pull back titles that you've supposedly bought?

Am I wrong about this? It's like you're licensing the book. I don't know. I think the digital rights issues are still not settled and I'm not willing to spend on a reader until they are.

I haven't tried the Kindle. I tried the Sony reader in the store the other day. I thought it was terrible compared to a book... so I'm still not onboard.

7:47 pm on Dec 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Please tell me if the Kindle is as good as Amazon claims it is.

I haven't seen a Kindle in person yet, but I did play around with one of the latest generation Sony ones at some length.

It's a slick device, but I'm not sure I'm committed to putting down $300 yet. That's a lot of paperback books at Value Village.

8:59 pm on Dec 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Is it true that the Kindle is absolute Amazon only? No PDF no epub or other formats?

How about Firmware Updates? How long will they be provided for each generation of the Kindle? I imported a Sony Reader 500 from the US. It would still be absolutely ok for me, but Sony anounced they would not release any Firmware Updates anymore and so I can not use epub files and buy any new books with DRM. I am stuck with free books from gutenberg.org. This was the main reason I bought the Sony Reader, but it would have been nice to be able to buy a new book once in a while.

9:18 pm on Dec 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Does third party, experience by proxy count? :-) Daughter has one and just freaking loves it, I keep asking her to stop sending me her old paperbacks but she keeps mailing them to me. She has them all on her Kindle now and doesn't need them.

Did you read about the controversy where Amazon can pull back titles that you've supposedly bought?

This was resolved, and retracted, and according to Amazon will be handled very differently in the future.

link, foo discussion [webmasterworld.com]
link, Mr. Bezo's actual response [amazon.com].

The response that went out to Kindle owners was much more detailed and insured it will be addressed differently in the future, and offered up compensation for the feux pas. We can't quote emails here, but I've seen the one sent to my daughter.

3:18 pm on Dec 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I know a Kindle user and he loves his. Hearsay, I know, but that's the second third party approval so far :)
5:32 pm on Dec 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I am a kindle owner and I wholeheartedly recommend it. I have had the first generation for 2 years. I read between 75 and 100 fiction books a year - about half on the kindle and half I still buy in "paper" form.

Pros
- easy to store and carry many books
- keeps track of where you left off
- new ebooks on amazon are cheaper than "paper" books
- there are many online sources to get free out of copyright books that can be easily transferred to the kindle
- the new firmware will read pdf's

Cons
- when you change pages, there is a little screen flicker (it goes black then loads the text) that is annoying
- you have to remember to plug it in around once a week to recharge
- some publishers won't release the ebook version of a new book until several months after the hardcover release
- when you are done with a book you can't put it on your bookshelf to make your office look cooler.

5:55 pm on Dec 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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anyone know if you can you drop it in the bath? [seriously - is it at all water resistant?]
7:28 pm on Dec 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Did you read about the controversy where Amazon can pull back titles that you've supposedly bought?

This was resolved, and retracted, and according to Amazon will be handled very differently in the future.

The fact that they can do it is still a problem. I do not trust DRMed content to stay mine. I have lots of books that were originally my grandfather's, and more that were my parents'. What are the odds of that happening with Kindle copies?

On that subject, can you take backups?

10:14 am on Dec 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

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he don't know that actually it's a reading device (way better and cheaper than Kindle).

You mean a cellulose based optical retrieval device?
11:41 am on Dec 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

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anyone know if you can you drop it in the bath? [seriously - is it at all water resistant?]

Don't be silly. Can you drop your iPhone in the bath?

1:21 pm on Dec 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

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anyone know if you can you drop it in the bath? [seriously - is it at all water resistant?]

If you put it in a ziplock bag first. Kindle's are not waterproof nor are they hard to destroy.

2:02 pm on Dec 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

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cellulose based optical retrieval device

You nailed the description; that's what I was talking about. :)
3:55 pm on Dec 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

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The cellulose based optical retrieval device have some major disadvantages:
  • Producing them kills trees for the fiber they contain -> Global warming prevention device out of commission (it's dead now and will slowly release all its stored carbon it retrieved out of the air).
  • The cellulose gets shipped all over the world using ships and trucks all burning fossil fuel -> Global warming being increased by oxidation of carbon-hydroxides and the release of greenhouse gasses such as CO2 and H2O.
  • The devices can't easy load new content: they have to be shipped (Global warming again) to retrieve the cellulose in a huge smelly factory, get the dyes removed chemically and then used to produce a new device. Or end up as toilet paper.
  • The devices are vulnerable to combustion (need I say Global warming ?)
  • The devices take up lots of shelf space in your home (the biggest drawback of them all if you ask me).

All halfhearted joking over global warming aside, the space issue really is pushing the limits to what I can take from physical books.
Something like the camel book: sure I *want* it on paper.
For the rest: please don't waste it all on stuff you'll only read once.
4:04 pm on Dec 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

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The devices take up lots of shelf space in your home (the biggest drawback of them all if you ask me).

Good insulation when they cover a couple of walls, as mine do.
4:13 pm on Dec 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

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The devices take up lots of shelf space in your home (the biggest drawback of them all if you ask me).

I think I'm getting a Kindle just to free up space around the house. I've got way too many actual books and no more storage spaces to put them.

2:21 pm on Dec 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Don't be silly. Can you drop your iPhone in the bath?

I don't know why the question is silly since there are water-resistant electronic devices including laptop computers, iPhones notwithstanding.

10:02 pm on Dec 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I bought a one book for my ipod touch few weeks ago, and it was worth reading the same in my travelling hours or time i spend idle before sleep hours.

I was able to gain immense knowledge where i used to waste the time watching TV OR time spend in bars with my regular business contacts.

Kindle is worth the same (I will be more then happy, if they start in our country, but a democracy like us always takes time :)

11:52 pm on Dec 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I think I'm getting a Kindle just to free up space around the house.

That was my main motivation for getting a Sony reader. One unexpected benefit is that I've been doing less printing, because I can just transfer notes and other documents onto it. So it's great for those things I was only printing so I could have a more portable version.