Kindle query

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Catatonic
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Oh, I thought you could

Oh, I thought you could turn off the Kindle's wireless function & use it for several weeks without a recharge. Maybe not?

Anyway - I think these things will do to books what iPod did to CD's.

Rowdy Rob
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Joined: 09/04/2006
Another generation or two?

With the "green" movement gaining more and more steam, it might become "politically incorrect" at some point to buy paper-based reading material. This would certainly add to the momentum of the e-book market.

However, eInk or whatever-upcoming technology must seriously improve before the paradigm shift happens. I was playing with an iPhone today, and it occured to me that THIS is what an e-book needs to be: a multifunction device. The "tablet PC" market will probably be the next big thing, simply because a phone, no matter how cool, is just too small to be practical as a reading device. The iPhone interface and functionality is just seriously cool, so if you ported THIS to a tablet device, it will be a practical wonder!

On the other hand, "tablets" are too big to carry around with you constantly on a practical basis...

Anyhow, if Apple releases an iPhone/iPod workalike in tablet format, with a much better battery life, the ebook market will break wide open, I believe. And if wireless battery charging becomes ubiquitous, with charging stations in every room or every corner coffee shop, I believe we'll see a boom.

E-Ink based readers have the readability and battery life factors going for it, but these devices are going to have to SERIOUSLY come down in price for the average person to even consider them. I think the magic price point would HAVE to be well below the $100 price point (heck, probably below $50!!!) for the mass market to even consider these rather-limited devices.

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Matt Barton
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I keep thinking that for the

I keep thinking that for the price they're charging for these things, you could get a used or budget full-fledged laptop (or at least a netbook). Sure, the screen might not be as amazing, but you can do a heckuva lot more with it. I also think about weight and how much functionality I get for lugging something around (in terms of weight and size).

Besides all that, the only time I really read books is (a) in the tub and (b) when I'm flying and waiting for the plane to take off or land. I assume that kindles and ebooks would be classified as "electronic devices" and you'd be forced to turn them off during these long, dull moments. If I'm actually in the air, I'd rather play with my DS or do something on my laptop, perhaps occasionally returning to a book when those get old.

I also think there's a potential glut issue. 500 books? Sounds like the problem we've talked about before. If you have a new system and only a handful of games, you'll play them a lot more than if you have, say, 500 games. When you have that many, you play one for a few minutes, move on to something else, and generally have less fun than if you only have 3 or 4 games. I actually got BORED trying new games I downloaded for my SNES emulators and MAME. I mean, think of it.

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Bill Loguidice
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Catatonic wrote:

If you're a heavy reader, you actually save money with these things after a while. I'll stick to the library for now... but maybe it will be like the iPod one day - buy a reader for $149, pay a few bucks to "rent" a book? The screens are amazing - battery life is measured in weeks.

What's nice is that right now several of the brands of eBooks allow you to "borrow" books from your library on them. That's another plus in their favor once it becomes more ubiquitous. I would definitely say the magic price point is sub $200.

As for battery life - at least my Sony ones - I've been rather disappointed in it. If you don't use them regularly, the batteries die. It definitely pays to charge them every few days. I imagine the Amazon ones are even worse with the wireless radio in them, but with something like that it probably makes sense to dock the thing daily anyway, like an iPod/iPhone.

Books!
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.
[About Me]

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Catatonic
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Joined: 05/20/2006
If you're a heavy reader,

If you're a heavy reader, you actually save money with these things after a while. I'll stick to the library for now... but maybe it will be like the iPod one day - buy a reader for $149, pay a few bucks to "rent" a book? The screens are amazing - battery life is measured in weeks.

Bill Loguidice
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Perhaps if you had one your tune would be a bit more positive...
Matt Barton wrote:

In my opinion, these things are a waste of money. They're far too expensive to be worth it.

Personally, I wouldn't invest in an ebook reader unless it was $40 or so and came with a credit for at least a few free ebooks. Until that day, I'm not really interested in this market.

Well, first off, most ebook readers do give you easy access to the countless thousands of public domain books that are out. While these are only occasionally new titles, you have unlimited access to the classics. Also, most eBooks give you access to your own Word and PDF documents, so that's yet another source. I have nearly 500 books on each of my Sony eReaders and I only paid for maybe six of them.

I think these are wonderful devices, with the Amazon eReader probably the best of them all because of the built-in free wireless access. They are a pleasure to read books on, far more comfortable than any other device outside of paper itself.

I do agree that the price of these things is rather high, but if you consider that you really do have a library of books in your pocket, it's not that awful, and certainly prices will improve. Certainly what needs to improve are the prices of the books themselves. They should always be half the price of the current paper version of the book, whatever that may be.

Again, I think once eInk technology goes color, these will become ubiquitous devices and start to supplant paper books (at least on a small scale; and probably be the final nail in the coffin for newspapers). By then prices for both the hardware and the books themselves should be better as well.

Books!
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.
[About Me]

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Matt Barton
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Joined: 01/16/2006
In my opinion, these things

In my opinion, these things are a waste of money. They're far too expensive to be worth it.

Personally, I wouldn't invest in an ebook reader unless it was $40 or so and came with a credit for at least a few free ebooks. Until that day, I'm not really interested in this market.

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Bill Loguidice
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Sorry, no, I only have two

Sorry, no, I only have two of the Sony ones. When Amazon releases a color model, I'll upgrade. (assuming the MS or Apple tablets don't steal the thunder if they come out first.
Books!
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.
[About Me]

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