Feeds
70%
Amazon Kindle 2

Amazon Kindle International Edition

Lost in translation?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

To help us test the Kindle, Amazon kindly bunged Register Hardware $30 of credit which we promptly spent on the e-book of the complete Lord of the Rings, the download taking only a matter of moments over a 3G connection before magically appearing in our library.

Amazon Kindle 2

Better value than paper books?

The purchase set us back $20.29 (£12.50) which is exactly the same amount Waterstones wants for the paperback, though the RRP in £19.99. Waterstones is selling the ePub e-book for £14.71 in the UK. Anthony Beevor's Stalingrad can be picked up for $9.37 (£5.80) on the Kindle which is a bargain, while Robert Fisk's Age of the Warrior will set you back $13.79 (£8.50) - otherwise a £9.99 physical purchase in your local WH Smiths.

Since Amazon expects most Kindle users to buy content from, well, Amazon, the Kindle's primary e-book format is Amazon's own AZW, though it can also handle DRM-free Mobipocket files. If you ask us, an e-book reader that doesn't support ePub is a bit of a three-legged nag. Despite what Amazon may think, ePub is now the e-book standard with even Sony - never a company to relish the adoption of technologies it didn't invent - recently converting its entire DRM e-book library to the format.

The real advantage of any e-book reader is that you can head over the likes of Feedbooks and grab the entire output of Jane Austen, HG Wells, Dickens and Tolstoy, and not pay a penny. Thankfully, Feedbooks offers its content in Mobipocket format as well as ePub and PDF.

Speaking of PDF, after having run an over-the-air firmware update, our sample Kindle acquired the ability to show PDF files. However, the PDF update was only partially worthwhile. Yes, PDF files now show up in the device's library, but there's no zoom function so we're stuck with the basic full-page view. You can increase the text size by swapping the view from portrait to landscape but that really is no substitute for the ability to zoom and reflow.

Amazon Kindle 2

Not the best e-book reader for viewing PDF documents

Incidentally, when browsing Tolkien's epic we came across another problem: the maps could only be magnified to full page size which left them largely illegible.

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
Here's your chance to buy an ancient, working APPLE ONE
Warning: Likely to cost a lot even for a Mac
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.