In day-to-day use, the Kindle has most of the bases covered, so you can add multiple bookmarks to multiple books; view text in six sizes; look up words in the built-in American dictionary; and add notes to particular pages, passages or words where they are then indicated by superscript marks. Open a previously read book and the Kindle takes you directly to the last page you viewed. What you can't do though is create free-standing memos or notes for later viewing or export as you can with the Story.
Download and read while you wait for your lunch
Audio file support is limited to MP3 and Audible, and the music player, such as it is, does nothing more than play MP3 files in the order they happen to be in the Kindle's music folder. There is no UI of any sort to manage music content but you can sync content via an MTP media player. Both the music player and text-to-voice feature are currently housed in the "Experimental" menu, which suggests they may be improved by future firmware updates.
Amazon reckon a fully charged Kindle can last a week with the wireless left on, or two weeks with it off. That's a change in reference from the usual 'number of page turns' most e-reader makers quote but in our experience the Kindle won't need to be charged any more frequently than the likes of the Sony Touch or iRiver Story since the wireless radio idles after a few minutes without use.
Being essentially a US product, the Kindle arrived up with a two-prong USB mains charger and no adaptor. Since none of the other e-book readers we have tested come with a power brick of any sort we can't really knock Amazon for not supplying a third prong.
Before we wrap up its worth mentioning that various bigwigs at Amazon have made mutterings about developing a more UK-centric Kindle offering, and maybe even launching the DX in the Sceptred Isle. And don't forget that at some point next year Sony may decide to launch its Reader Daily Edition in the UK. That has a 7in touch screen, a 3G wireless module and the ability to download ePub books over the the air.
Assuming you plan on buying all your books from Amazon, won't miss a decent music player and don't have any ePub files you want to read, the Kindle should satisfy. The screen is good, it's easy to use and, file support aside, the features list is up with the best of the competition. The problem is that if you live outside the US, Amazon will happily take your money but treat you like a second-class citizen. And if you do buy your books from Amazon, you're stuck with its e-readers no matter what else comes along from the likes of Sony, iRiver or Samsung. ®
More E-book Reader Reviews...
Amazon Kindle International Edition
And there lies the fail
I actually have an ebook reader, but I buy nothing with drm. If I buy a paper book I can pass it on down the generations, lend it to friends, give it to charity or a school, sell it on, etc etc.
But if I were to purchase a drm ebook from Amazon or the like, I am only hoping, probably in vain, that they will still be around in 10/20/30/40 years time, that their drm servers are still running, that they still support the old formats, etc.
Say my friend has a Sony, how can I lend a book to him ? I want to sell a book six years down the line ? "Oh, I can't" they say. Well fcuk them so. Until drm is extinguished, piracy will be just as prevalent as it is/was with music.
So it's got quite a few features less than the US edition, is missing several formats from its repertoire, has crippled web browsing, and the books are still ludicrously expensive (an e-book should not cost the same as a paperback, end of).
Riiight. No ta.
Well, quite @AC
When I have finished with a book I lend it out, give it to Oxfam, leave it in a hotel library, or liberate them in public places (http://www.bookcrossing.com/)
I can put it in a box, bury it, and in 400 years someone can dig it up and read it.
When it goes out of copyright, people will still have access to it - they won't have to beg some lomg-dead company to unlock it.
ebooks? beyond the Gutenburg project, no thanks.
Oh, and as for the people who want to charge me 90% of the price of the physical object - just how gullible do you think I am?
I don't want an eBook reader
I want a good PDF reader. I'm not interested in ePub or AWX?V or any of these other, frankly silly, formats that publishers are pushing. A book reader is already a significant downgrade from a paper book in everything except portability (which doesn't matter at home); I don't want one that's crippled even further.
It's PDF or nothing.
Audio books win hands down & eyes closed!
I listen to audio books on my iPod, with my eyes closed!
Audio books are DRM free (or can be) and are cheap and freely available on utorrent*
* not that any of us would do this.