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Published on October 7th, 2009 | by Niall

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Look out! The Kindle is coming

Online retailing giant Amazon today announced its intention to start selling it’s popular Kindle electronic book reader to more than 100 countries around the world. Thankfully one of these countries is Ireland.

Kindle

So far the device is only available from October 19th on Amazon.com and it priced at $279. When you factor in shipping ($20.98) and customs ($64.50) the price comes to $364.48, or according to my trusty calculator around about €250. No word yet as to when it will be available from Amazon.co.uk. So what do you get for your money?
The new “US and International Kindle” appears to be a clone of the current Kindle that is available in the US. This device is just under a centimetre thick with a 6″ diagonal display and weighs in at under 300 grams (or lighter than most paperbacks). Amazon have teamed up with AT&T to provide the 3G coverage which will allow downloads of books direct to the Kindle, with no additional contract or monthly fees. This 3G coverage also applies to the other countries where the device will be available and promises downloads in under 60 seconds. The Kindle boasts a real ink display, which is reportedly easier on the eye, and room for up to 1,500 books. You can download books direct to the Kindle (without need for a PC) from Amazon.com’s current catalogue of over 350,000 books, US and international newspapers and magazines. Current best-sellers are priced at $9.99.

It’s an impressive gadget but the real issue here is will e-book reading ever take off? Will it replace the tactile experience one gets from a real book? Will Apple’s long-feted Tablet make the competition redundant? While I hold out great hope for the iTablet and I would love to receive the Kindle as a gift, for the time being nothing can replace an old-fashioned book and the experience and joy I get from taking one down from the shelf and reading it quietly by a solitary lamp.

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About the Author

The proverbial man lost in La Mancha. Sports aficionado and all-round scoundrel. Über-geek to boot. I run the movie website Scannain.com and can usually be found twittering away as @niallxmurphy.



8 Responses to Look out! The Kindle is coming

  1. Niall says:

    I have just learned that the 110v US power supply on the new Kindle is not compatible with the Irish/European power grid which means that buyers will need to get a converter or charge it over USB. Now that’s a wee bit stupid.

  2. Ronan says:

    Don’t think I’ll ever get one of these, I’d much rather reading an actual book on the train/bus/in bed. Plus most of us already stare at enough screens each day between our computer in work and our iPhones!

  3. Ronan says:

    Oh and by the way, it won’t be your Christmas gift this year, if that was a hint!

  4. Peter says:

    Its a device which will have its place but I just can’t see it ever replacing a real book for me. The biggest downfall me thinks is the fact that this is yet another device to carry round with you.
    The price alone is phenomenal for what you are actually getting….

  5. Peter says:

    Oh and that is phenonemal as in bloody expensive!

  6. Blog Kindle says:

    I’ve put together a table with international Kindle details that lists every country in which Kindle is available along with number of books, their pricing, wireless availability etc

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