Amazon Kindle is the latest electronic book reader from Amazon costing $400.It measures 7.5×5.3×0.7 inches and weighs 10.3 ounces. The body is plastic that may give it a cheap look, but it comes with a black cover for protection against dust and rough use. It has a monochromatic screen measuring 4.9x-3.6-inch and a resolution of 600 x 800-pixels. The display works on E Ink technology that is electrophoretic in nature and takes a minute to refresh when you turn the page. The screen has four scales of gray and 167 pixels per inch that do not give too much contrast. There is no backlight that strains the eye and you need ample natural light when using the Kindle.
The Kindle has an inbuilt wireless connectivity that les you access Sprint’s EVDO network wherever it is available. It stores more than 200 books in the 185 MB internal memory and supports SD memory cards upto 4 GB. Therefore, you can store music, photos, and audio books as much as you want.
The battery is replaceable and lasts a week with full charge if you do not use the wireless connection. With greater wireless use, you need to recharge it every other day. It also comes with a dc adapter, a speaker on the reverse side and a jack for headphones.
The Kindle has an ergonomic design with a keyboard under the screen. There is a scroll wheel along with large keys on either side of the screen to move between the pages. The keyboard is useful for making notes and a home button takes you to the main menu of the content. You can easily scan the available books by authors, titles, or date and bookmark selected passages. The Kindle marks the place where you stopped and you can take off form there at a later stage. You can consult a dictionary for meanings of words by marking the line instead of selecting the particular word.
You can download books for $10 from the Amazon bookstore including the latest bestsellers. The wide range offers more than 90,000 books currently and subscription-based access to periodicals that can pinch a bit. New authors can upload their manuscripts in the Kindle store and price it as they wish. Buying a book is simple and takes less than a minute to download. If you want to cancel the order, it is possible to do so. Moreover, Amazon keeps a record of your purchases, so you can download a purchased title later free of cost.
The Kindle does not support Flash and PDF files take longer to upload. However, this is an acceptable tradeoff for making the pages available without access to a computer or the Web. Kindle supports Wikepedia that gives you access to a walking encyclopedia. The different file formats need to be converted to the required format to display on the Kindle. Since each conversion costs $0.10, it is advisable to bundle files together and then send them to the Kindle email address for conversion. Alternately you can send them to the free Kindle email addresses, access them from your computer, and then transfer them to the Kindle using the USB cable.
Amazon offers free updates for the firmware with plenty of scope for future improvements. Overall, the Kindle is worth a buy for avid technology geeks with scope for reducing the price.