Amazon's Kindle lights no UK fires

Amazon's Kindle lights no UK fires

Summary: Everybody seems to be talking about Amazon's new Kindle e-book reader just now, and if you're wondering why there's no coverage on ZDNet UK Reviews, it's because the device is not yet available for sale this side of the pond.Now you could buy one from the US and ship it over here.

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Everybody seems to be talking about Amazon's new Kindle e-book reader just now, and if you're wondering why there's no coverage on ZDNet UK Reviews, it's because the device is not yet available for sale this side of the pond.

Amazon Kindle

Now you could buy one from the US and ship it over here. However, since one of the Kindle's main attractions is the ability to download books and periodicals over a wireless connection, and since that wireless service is a US-only affair called 'Whispernet' that Amazon has built on top of the Sprint network, there seems little point.

If and when Amazon puts together a similar wireless service over here, and launches the Kindle (or a successor) in the UK, we'll review it. In the meantime, you can read the review of the US device on our sister site CNET.com.

Our view in a nutshell: Kindle is unlikely to light any fires in the e-book market.

Topic: Reviews

About

Charles has been in tech publishing since the late 1980s, starting with Reed's Practical Computing, then moving to Ziff-Davis to help launch the UK version of PC Magazine in 1992. ZDNet came looking for a Reviews Editor in 2000, and he's been here ever since.

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  • Amazon's Kindle lights no UK fires

    I have to agree with you, some people in the blogosphere were speculating that it could do for e-books what the iPod did for music, but e-books are not as in demand as music for.

    In addition, these days; trains, cafe's and some public areas all have Free wireless access, i assume most people would just carry their laptops or another device e.g. the iPhone, which can do what the Kindle does plus more. The Kindle doesn't bring very much to the table, unless they can sign some exclusive deals with publishers.
    harpless
  • Amazon's Kindle lights no UK fires

    An astonishing number of people seem to be only too happy to slag off Kindle when they don't have one or haven't bothered to spend even 15 minutes researching it.

    The idea of Kindle's wireless is that you don't have to "manage" it, and it just works -- you shouldn't know it's there in normal everyday use. The "Wifi everywhere" argument is just wishful thinking. I could only see how people who don't get out much from central London could believe it. Managing WiFi connections on a laptop or iTouch/iPhone is a major pain.

    Kindle's form factor, packaging, user controls and electronic ink display (yes, it uses real ink) are a big part of its differentiation from PDAs, smartphones, iPods etc. Saying the iPhone can do the same is just silly; a bit like saying that one of the early, large, clunky MP3 players could do exactly what the first iPod did... so what's all the fuss about the iPod? I like the iPhone, but it cannot do what Kindle does -- the display is critical for anything that aims to replace a book.
    thelimey
  • Amazon's Kindle lights no UK fires

    Kindle isnt just an e-book reader.
    You can read Newspapaers (by subscription) and popular blogs everywhere as it doesnt need starbucks (wifi).
    I have a gorgeous N95 with data allowance yet I consider this to be a proper "reading" device.
    This would have been my best treat for this xmas, the size of the screen the battery life makes it the commuter best friend.
    I d give it a rating of 4 out of 5 :P
    Not 5 beacuse lets face it, is not the best looking device out there.
    mrdeangelis@...
  • Amazon's Kindle lights no UK fires

    limey has the ipod mp3 argument the wrong way around - the small size of mobile phones make them more portable and convenient than something trying to pretend its 'really a real book'. Oh and mobile phones have built in 'wireless'. I've been reading books on my mobile phone courtesy of http://www.booksinmyphone.com I think it might see me through the next generation of eReaders.
    avagee
  • Amazon's Kindle lights no UK fires

    I've been reading books on my mobile phone for years. The narrow column is ideal for readability. Why else do newspapers and magazines use narrow columns? Because it's faster and easier to read than wide lines of text.

    Also of course a phone is portable, and incidentally much more readable than a desktop or laptop because you can hold it in your hand like a paper book.

    With books on a phone you can have a whole library plus dictionaries on a memory card literally in your pocket wherever you are. (An added advantage is that I can look up any word in the dictionary as I go without having to go to a shelf and look it up on paper.)

    Why would I get another ebook reader. I can't see the point.
    owl_z