UPDATE: I got to a Borders store today, and was able to compare the SONY 505 with their newest touchscreen reader. No doubt, the screen contrast is better on the 505. I stood with the demo 505 in my machine for at least 15 minutes, mostly reading. No problem. Nothing like reading on an LCD type screen. Yes, there is a tiny blackout as the page turns. I didn’t find that a big deal. I haven’t actually had a Kindle II in my hands, but frankly I don’t like the look of the thing and the extra keys at the bottom. So at this point, if I were to go for anything it would be the SONY 505. I’ve seen new ones a little bit cheaper on eBay, maybe $50 cheaper, but there may be some catch to that… I don’t think they include the 100 free books deal… Not sure about that yet, or even what those 100 free classics are. Need to look into that. I wasn’t that impressed by the touchscreen on the 700. So that’s where it stands now. Still looking into it.
I also downloaded the Mobi Book reader software to my desktop… I couldn’t read on my LCD screen for long without getting a feeling of buzzing in my eyes…
I’ve been thinking seriously about getting the Kindle II (in case you don’t know or care – it’s an ebook reader from Amazon.com).
I’ve read tons of reviews, both from tech-sites (usually just a repeat of Amazon publicity) and actual users (including some YouTube videos). I only have one reason for wanting one: I read a lot and I don’t have room for more books in the house. Isn’t that crazy? I’ve read all the pros and cons about the thing; and been to the Kindle store as well as other stores that offer PDF books (you need to email them to Kindle to translate into their format and then you can put the PDF on the Kindle).
I sort of wish there was a store in New York where I could loook at the darned thing. Other than the buy-in cost ($350 and the cover is separate), I can’t see any downside to it other than that as some have mentioned it’s not very good at organizing your books and I don’t know how long it would take for me to get used to it.
Comes with G3 connection. They say you can download a novel in about 60 seconds. You could also use it to get your e-mail, and there’s a sort of kludge robot voice to read the books (both a female and male robot). And yes, it will play audio books. There are roughly 240,000 e-books in the Kindle store. I’d expect that to grow. In fact, they’ve got a switch now next to their regular books where you can suggest a book to become a Kindle book (I clicked a couple of those today).
Yes, you can get Kindle books for the iPhone, or at some point the iTouch, but those I did look at and I thought the screen was too small for reading for a long time. The only serious competitor in the arena is from Sony. Their latest has a touch screen, but reviews on that one are mixed. There are other benefits besides freeing up book space in the house. You can read a sample chapter before you buy. The ink-on-paper display uses very little battery power (compared for example to the iPhone or iTouch) so the thing lasts a very long time on a charge. Amazon will hold on to the book online for you so if you do lose it you can download it again. Which brings you to the issue with most of these fairly expensive handheld gizmos – you can lose or break them. Somebody told me that they had them listed in their apartment insurance which will replace them if lost or busted.
Bestsellers are still pretty expensive, considering that you’re just getting bits through the air. But a lot of the books I’m interested in are in the $6 – $8 range, which isn’t bad, and there are a lot of cheap classics as well.
The other thing I don’t know is how accurate the Kindle books are. Do they make any effort to preserve the original typeface or graphics. Would I miss not having the physical copy of the book? Dunno. Given that pretty much everyone I talked to about it at least knew what it was – I would guess I’d start seeing them on the subway pretty soon.
Now of course if Apple would make a larger iTouch (there’s already a reader app) that would be something to consider.
I’ve donated and tossed most of my big old programming books, which were taking up a lot of space, but then I took down books I was storing in my loft and both bookcases are completely full again. So we’ll see. I’m going to decide this weekend around the time I finish Chandler’s The Little Sister. It has one of the best opening sentences I’ve ever read. In fact, as in most good mysteries – the plot is unweildly and just a frame for Chandler to write the most fabulous sentences.