Do I want a Kindle yet?

Maybe this belongs in Cafe; I dunno. (semicolon usage)

Is it time to buy an E-reader yet? Are they going to get cheaper? Is Kindle the right one?

$400 plus is still kind of steep for me, not because I can’t afford it but because I’m tighter than bark on a tree. I saw my nephew’s Kindle DX last fall and I really liked it. The Kindle’s now have keypads, no idea why.

Amazon says you can download books via 3G. Who’s 3G? Do I have to have a service?

Enlighten me with your experiences and tech-savvy please. Thanks.

They are not $400 they are $260.
In the US the Kindle uses Sprint 3g network to download books that you purchase. There is no monthly fee to access the sprint network. You can also download the books via your computer if sprint service sucks in your area.

I love my DX. The Whispernet downloading is smooth and very quick. It sure beats carrying 15 books with you on a trip.

You may want to wait until reviews of Apple’s new iPad (announced today) come out; it might be a significant Kindle competitor.

I bought my wife a kindle for Cristmas (the smaller, $250 model) and she loves it. She was surprised to receive it, because we had agreed that the whole e-book situation was changing rapidly at this time and this was not the right time to purchase one. But I went onto to purchase something for a nephew and they were hawking the kindle on their home page and claiming “in stock” shipping, so…

But the main thing is that she loves it.

When she first opened it, I offered to get its wireless connection working - but by the time I mentioned that, she was already downloading a book from Amazon’s web site. :slight_smile: Apparently the kindle uses Sprint’s 3G network which you don’t have to sign up for (my guess is that Amazon’s paying Sprint for the connections, as the main thing you’re going to be using your 3G connection for is purchasing books from Amazon.)

I have a friend who just received a (Barnes and Noble?) Nook, and he seems to like it as well. He got it “for Christmas”, but they were back-ordered and he didn’t receive it until about a week ago. I believe that device used his home network’s wireless connectivity.

Oh, yes, to your original question: is this the right time to purchase an e-reader? Probably not, IMHO, as the landscape for these things is going to be changing rapidly this year. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to find that I’m purchasing a new e-reader for my wife next Christmas.

(Damn! three responses showed up while I was typing my response!)

Get both, I have a Kindle and plan on an iPad as well :smiley:

I love my Kindle dearly.

I also think the Apple iPad looks fantastic, I’ll almost certainly get one. But it won’t replace my Kindle. Here’s two reasons why:

Screen (e-ink vs. LCD)
Battery Life

e-ink is very easy on the eyes. I much prefer, if I’m going to be doing some serious (4+ hours) of reading, to be looking at my Kindle than at a computer screen.

Second, I don’t care what Jobs is smoking, no way that thing is getting 10 hours of use. And even if it does - that’s still nothing compared to my Kindle. With wireless on the Kindle turned off (and you only need it on to download books wirelessly, or to use its crappy internet browser) I’m not even sure what my kindle battery life is because I leave it on nearly all the time. Maybe once every two weeks I charge it?

The iPad will do a lot of neat things and I want one badly. Internet, video, games. It is very sexy.

The Kindle does one thing well - text on a screen. I suspect it will be better for plain reading, though of course I haven’t handled a iPad yet.

And it’s not like you will be shut out if you buy a Kindle and then decide you’d rather have an iPad - there is a Kindle reader available for the iPhone, I don’t doubt there will be one for the iPad. Amazon isn’t stupid, it’s going to keep the Kindle book format separate from the Kindle hardware. The iPad will read both Kindle books as well as the public e-book format (file ext. escapes me)

Plus the iPad won’t be available for a couple of months yet.

Anyways, I highly recommend the Kindle, though granted I’ll be getting an iPad as well.

If by competitor you mean “Costs twice as much and does completely different things.”


I suspect he/she means “competitor” in the sense of providing an e-book reading experience and vying for the same customers. :rolleyes:

Frankly, I can’t see why (e-ink excepted) anyone would buy a Kindle instead of an iPad when for approx. twice the money you can get 100 times the functionality in other uses.

I can think of a bunch of reasons, not least of which is that the Kindle appeals to a particular type of technophile, one who wants the convenience provided by the technology but wants to keep as close as possible to the book-reading experience.

You dismiss the e-ink thing as if it’s peripheral, even irrelevant, but it’s not. Also, as others have noted, the issue of recharging is going to be much different for a device that plays multimedia content.

I guess it’s possible that the iPad will kill the Kindle, but i doubt it.

100x might be an exaggeration :rolleyes:

Here’s what I plan on using an iPad for (when I actually get my sticky mitts on one):

[li]mobile internet browser[/li][li]mobile email[/li][li]mobile media player[/li][li]The odd casual game[/li][/ul]

I’ll certainly give it’s e-book capabilities a try, but the Kindle will be hard to beat for simply reading (I outlined why above).

It’s the whole fox vs. hedgehog thing. The iPad looks like it can do a bunch of neat stuff pretty well. The Kindle already does one thing really well, and doesn’t aspire to do anything else.

Plus, as I pointed out - even if it turns out that the iPad completely smokes the Kindle as an e-reader, unlikely though I may think it, I’ll still be able to get my Kindle books on an iPad.

I don’t have a Kindle, but I use the Kindle iPhone app quite a bit. I’m not sure I’d want to read on the small screen for hours on end, but the length of a bus-ride/train-ride or for a few minutes before going to sleep, it’s great. And I always have the damn thing with me, so I always have the book I’m reading with me too.

I understand that if you have a Kindle and use the Kindle iPhone app, WhisperSync is supposed to synchronize your last-page-read between them, but I don’t have any personal experience with this.

Thanks everyone for the great replies.
The iPad announcement today is what got me thinking about it again. I really don’t need the additional functions, although I could be talked into a combination e-reader/web browser. $1000 is more than I’m likely to spend on a gadget.

I’m loath to cough up for the Kindle DX and then at Christmas find out they’re selling better products for less $. Which is why I’m asking about timing.

Thanks for the answers explaining the 3G. What about the economics of purchasing media? I understand there are free or discounted titles available. I’ve heard the price $9.99 for new titles? Is this across the board? That seems somewhat higher than a paperback but much less than a hardback. So, discounting the reader price, are ebooks cheaper?

Again, thanks.

They start at $499.

For Kindle, nearly every “new” title starts at $9.99

A lot of titles a few years old will discount a bit from this. Occasionally you’ll find a stunt where an author makes her first book of the series free, then charges normal prices for the sequels, or things like this.

And of course many, many old (talking like the classics - The Scarlet Letter and whatnot) titles are free. Check out Project Gutenberg - it has a ton of free old texts that pretty much every e-book reader can play.

I wasn’t sure I’d like it (and you have 30 days to return it) but I do. It was a lifesaver recently - I went to Pittsburgh for what was supposed to be a vacation but turned out to be a deathwatch. 18 hours a day in a hospital, you need a LOT of books.

My wife told me that she purchased the entire Jane Austin series of books for her Kindle for ninety-nine cents. That should keep her occupied for awhile.

As a Christmas Kindle recipient, I agree with this.

Speaking as someone in the business, I’d avoid the Kindle.

There are over a dozen e-readers available right now, and (not counting the iPad, which I haven’t had a chance to research yet) the Kindle is the only one that locks you into a single supplier. On my bookstore’s website, I can sell you ebooks in darned near every format out there except Kindle. Amazon’s the only company that can actually go inside your e-reader and delete files. The New Yorker review said Amazon charges you to transfer your own files (e.g., stuff you’ve gotten free from Project Gutenberg, et al) to your Kindle.

I’m not just saying this because Amazon is a competitor. I’ve heard good things about Barnes & Noble’s reader, for example. I’ve played with Sony’s and quite liked it. Make sure to check out all of your options before settling on Kindle just because it’s the Kleenex of e-readers.

They did this once. Ironically, it was for Orwell’s 1984. They apologized and said they wouldn’t do it again. Granted, it was a “corporate” apology. But given the massive backlash I doubt they’ll repeat it.

This is patently false. I’ve transferred without trouble (or charge!) from Gutenberg (and other sites) to my Kindle.

No doubt. Still, check your sources. I’d hate for you to be spreading false info under the flimsy shield of ignorance.