well, i think i’m asking for a kindle for christmas. i’ve been dying for an e-reader for a while now — i carry sooooo much extra poundage around when i travel — always 2 or 3 books, just in case my mood changes, i finish the one i’m reading, etc. so this is a really welcome development.
2 things stand out: (1) pricing — at $9.99 or less, ebooks are finally at a price advantage (the way that they should be) — with a $400 kindle price, i’ll recoup that investment after buying about 40 books, or what i do in a year, more or less, and (2) title availability — i’ll do a scan of my “to read” bookshelf when i get home, but first glance suggests that 80% of what i read is already available on Amazon. pretty good.
it’s not perfect, i think. first of all, it’s incredibly ugly. ugh. second, i don’t think my books, on the whole, really need a keyboard. whatever. the wireless is neat, but as my canuck friends pointed out, it’s US-only, which is a bit of a drag. (although, to be honest, this is a theoretical bad thing to me, but not really a practical one.)
other things: screen looks like it probably could be bigger; don’t think their $13.99 NYT monthly subscription will compete with, um, free on the web. their ability to view .docs and .pdfs is dumb — you have to pay amazon to translate them into kindle format. bah.
so far it’s looking at lot like apple/iphone/itunes. super-great functionality, great pricing, completely closed technology & stack, locking you to this vendor.
i’ll say this: my media consumption habits are changing very very quickly now, across the board. if we can get this stuff to evolve more like the web and less like wireless carrier locked environments, life will be really good. pretty big if, though. (actually, i think it’s a “when,” not an “if,” but a with a potentially long timeline.)