Kindle ($79 with offers./$109 without special offers)

by Philip Shropshire

This chapter is a free excerpt from How To Get The Most From Your Kindle Device.

Here are features for the Kindle that Amazon touts:

  • Holds 1400 books. This is actually true although its not known if you would need that many books. Some users have complained that this isn’t enough space and have asked for some kind of SD edition. Nook and Samsung Tablets offer more expandable memory.
  • One month battery life. Keep in mind that figure only works if you only read a half hour a day.
  • Books in 60 seconds. Not really that impressive with broadband, but that’s touted!
  • Built in Wi-Fi. This works within your local Starbucks or McDonalds hotspots, and there’s free access to AT&T hot spots throughout the US.
  • Adjustable Text Sizes. The Kindle offers eight different sizes and three font sizes.
  • PDF and Personal Documents. This feature allows you to email personal documents and PDFs directly to your Kindle. Chatter among Kindle users suggests this isn’t always that easy.
  • Kindle Owners' Lending Library. This is only available if you have an Amazon Prime membership, which is annual fee of $79 which gives you free shipping for a year. I imagine its an award for heavy users.
  • Massive selection: Keep in mind the Kindle allows you access to the world’s biggest Internet store or the reason why there is a Kindle if you read the pre Kindle production press.
  • Free Out-of-Copyright Books. This is also available on something called the “Internet” or see critiques below.
  • Borrow from your public library. A nice feature but does it only apply to your local library or to all public libraries? . One source says its just your local library and you’re limited to just four downloads Obviously, if you could access all the librarybooks electronically why would you have to buy something from Amazon?
  • Free Cloud Backup. Amazon would argue that this is why the Kindle doesn’t need a lot of of expandable memory because you can download everything you need from the cloud.

It should be kept in mind that these are the basic features of all the other Kindles.

Critiques of the $79 Kindle:


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Here are features for the Kindle that Amazon touts:

  • Holds 1400 books. This is actually true although its not known if you would need that many books. Some users have complained that this isn’t enough space and have asked for some kind of SD edition. Nook and Samsung Tablets offer more expandable memory.
  • One month battery life. Keep in mind that figure only works if you only read a half hour a day.
  • Books in 60 seconds. Not really that impressive with broadband, but that’s touted!
  • Built in Wi-Fi. This works within your local Starbucks or McDonalds hotspots, and there’s free access to AT&T hot spots throughout the US.
  • Adjustable Text Sizes. The Kindle offers eight different sizes and three font sizes.
  • PDF and Personal Documents. This feature allows you to email personal documents and PDFs directly to your Kindle. Chatter among Kindle users suggests this isn’t always that easy.
  • Kindle Owners' Lending Library. This is only available if you have an Amazon Prime membership, which is annual fee of $79 which gives you free shipping for a year. I imagine its an award for heavy users.
  • Massive selection: Keep in mind the Kindle allows you access to the world’s biggest Internet store or the reason why there is a Kindle if you read the pre Kindle production press.
  • Free Out-of-Copyright Books. This is also available on something called the “Internet” or see critiques below.
  • Borrow from your public library. A nice feature but does it only apply to your local library or to all public libraries? . One source says its just your local library and you’re limited to just four downloads Obviously, if you could access all the librarybooks electronically why would you have to buy something from Amazon?
  • Free Cloud Backup. Amazon would argue that this is why the Kindle doesn’t need a lot of of expandable memory because you can download everything you need from the cloud.

It should be kept in mind that these are the basic features of all the other Kindles.

Critiques of the $79 Kindle:

These are critiques and notes made by various tech observers and the writer.

  • If you read, then you probably read a lot more than a half hour a day. So the argument for a one month charge probably isn’t accurate even though the battery life far exceeds that of a laptop.
  • Has no audio. No way to listen to music or audiobooks.
  • The offer of millions of books and library borrowing are also less than impressive. You can already get millions of books for free by using something called the “Internet”. Everyone can access the Internet Archive and Google is offering its own public domain efforts. There are even out of copyright books with narration that you can find on Youtube.
  • There have been complaints about Amazon’s Digital Rights Management (DRM) protocols. What this means in real life is that you can’t download books from your Kindle to your computer. This means that your content is locked up. Amazon has a completely different policy when it comes to MP3s which aren’t locked to any particular hardware application. I suppose a devious person would think they lock down books to promote their Kindle and free their music in order to undermine Apple’s iPod. Who knew
  • Prolific science fiction and tech head Charlie Stross lays out the newest argument against Amazon’s DRM system. http://boingboing.net/2011/11/29/stross-publishers-insistenc.html

Further reading:

Bezos story about sales exceeding expectations.

http://www.engadget.com/2008/02/01/jeff-bezos-says-kindle-is-outpacing-our-expectations/

Using a Kindle on vacation.

http://gizmodo.com/kindle-review/

Five Star Amazon Review of the Kindle. (Most of the reviews are favorable, averaging 4 out of 5 stars).

http://www.amazon.com/review/R3MF0NIRI3BT1E/ref=cm_cr_pr_perm?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B00492CIC8&nodeID=&tag=&linkCode=

One Star Amazon review of the Kindle.

http://www.amazon.com/review/R3LYA4BT1UN22E/ref=cm_cr_pr_perm?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B0051QVF7A&nodeID=&tag=&linkCode=

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