Monday, November 19, 2007

New "EyePod" Kindles My Curiosity

Now this is a curious development - Amazon has announced the Kindle, a kind of portable e-book reader that is also a wireless-enabled delivery service with an on-line store to get new reading material anywhere you have a cell phone signal (download a book in less than a minute). The 10 ounce paperback-book-size device uses a gray-scale "electronic paper" display that is said to be as easy to read as actual paper. The $399 price seems a bit steep, but the wireless service is included (no monthly fees), and the costs of magazine and newspaper subscriptions and books seem to be pretty low (typically $9.99 for new best sellers, less for many older books, much more for technical books).

It really does seem like an "eyePod" for text-based materials, and I'm certainly intrigued. But I will wait a while and see what some real customers and independent reviewers have to say. Best-selling authors who tested it out for Amazon seem to like it, as do a few reviewers who claim to have really tested it. There are also many one-star reviews from people reacting to their expectations (no color screen, no PDF support, etc.) without having seen or used the actual product. Very curious indeed!

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