Published on October 7th, 2009 | by Niall8
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.
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.