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Computers & Electronics


Amazon - Kindle now US$189

Posted By: ninkasi, posted 2010/06/24 00:25
When it was first released, it was $359. Obviously the iPad along with the Nook is hurting Amazon so they are getting agressive on their pricing. Why get the Kindle? Well, many find the e-paper is easier to read (although you need a light at night).... and it has a battery life measured in weeks rather than hours.... and it's lighter (although also a smaller screen). It also come with free built in 3G wireless access.

Anyhow.... US$189... ($209.98 inc delivery). That's about $250 here in Oz.

File support includes Kindle (AZW), TXT, PDF, Audible (Audible Enhanced (AA, AAX)), MP3, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively; HTML, DOC, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP through conversion. 1.4Gb space on the thing - which doesn't seem a lot, but ebooks are not big.

You can get something like the Kobo from Borders (http://www.borders.com.au/ereader/) for $199 - well, when they get stock. But that doesn't come with the convenience of 3G.

By the way, to convert books to .mobi format I recommend http://calibre-ebook.com/ (free and mac/windows/linux versions)

Oh, and also at the moment you can get the Australian charger (a standard power adapter with a USB port along with a cable) for $4.99 ($15 discount)
  • QuirkyKiwi2010/06/24 13:26:49
    Nice find, I have a number of patients that are unable to turn pages and would love to be able to read books so this will give them an alternative to the audio books. I had looked into them before but they were prohibitively expensive and funding was not available. This is a much more affordable price!
  • ninkasi2010/06/24 16:15:20
    Hi Quirky - I hope you don't mind me calling you that... ;-)

    There are possible alternatives out there eg Officeworks have their "stash" for $129 for example. Slightly smaller screen, but half the price of the Kindle so less of a concern should it get sat on. It's also TFT which means backlit that perhaps might be easier for people to read in darker environments. Drawback is battery life though. The Borders Kobo might be a good alternative in that at $199 it is cheaper and has local support... might even be able to see if they would donate or provide some at a reduced price for a good cause....:D

    The huge selection of "free" books that can downloaded fairly easily with the built in 3G on the Kindle is pretty attractive though.
  • ninkasi2010/06/25 19:30:33
    So, I bought one..... I know it's limited on memory (1.4Gb usable) and no expansion/SD slot. But the the 3G access sold me - free, makes for simple access to new books anywhere at anytime, and can even be used for email etc (Kindle web browser in Australia? - MobileRead Forums) and pretend GPS (Amazon Kindle - Turn Your Amazon Kindle into a GPS Navigator) amongst other tricks. Now Amazon can always pull the plug on these tricks if they want to... but for the moment it's a nice bonus...
  • ninkasi2010/06/28 11:12:42
    ...and it arrived today. Pretty impressive delivery time.....
  • ninkasi2010/07/04 10:32:40
    FYI Email access definitely works here - got onto gmail with no issue.... best to use the mobile version as it's cleaner.... but defnitely works.... it's "beta" so they can pull access at any time, but for now it's a nice bonus! Oh, and it's using the Telstra 3G network, so coverage should be pretty decent.
  • ninkasi2010/08/06 14:50:21
    Amazon have released an updated version of the Kindle, but at the same price point.

    They also have a cheaper version (US$139 versus US$189) that is exactly the same other than no 3G. Personally I think the extra US$50 is worth it for the convenience, but I guess it depends on your usage - if you only even use the reader at home then the 3G might be unnecessary....

    They have run out of stock at the moment, but you can always put one on back order.

    As an FYI, when I bought the Kindle for my wife I saved a bit of money by getting a case off eBay and a light from dealextreme

    Will probably need to a wait a while on the cases for the new kindle, given it's more compact.
  • Donkey2010/08/06 16:00:16
    Id thought the 3G on the kindle was a little buggy? I see the first two kindle apps have come out this week. 2 games but at least its a start to giving them a lot more utility.
  • ninkasi2010/08/06 22:09:56
    3G works fine on my wife's kindle..... not fast, but no issues with it..... not like you use it a lot, though. I guess with the wifi on the new one probably would use it even less....

    Apps are nice - hadn't heard they'd been officially released. Cool. Obviously restricted in what it could do but word games like scrabble, or crosswords, or even sudoko should be quite feasible....

    At current exchange rates it's now under $230 mark in oz$ delivered....
  • Donkey2010/08/07 17:07:23
    Amazon really should have bombed the price on the kindle to start with to get market penetration. They're left playing catch up here.

    Have you had any trouble getting the books you want ninkasi ?
  • ninkasi2010/08/07 17:37:03
    My wife is using it, but she hasn't complained. As for the price - well at the start of 2009 it was revealed that 10% of the sales of books that had kindle editions were sold in ebook format. Given that their sales in books is estimated to be in the billions of dollars per year, ten percent of that is not to be sneezed at.... :D

    They also are estimated to have sold 2million kindles last year with 60% of the reader market and 90% of ebook sales. Given that the money is in selling the books, not the hardware, then I expect they probably are able to console themselves by group hugs whilst they wait for the Ferarris they've ordered to turn up... :w00t:
  • ninkasi2010/11/05 08:28:45
    FYI Thought I should update this - my wife still loves her Kindle so I bought one for myself the other day. Price is the same, but with the $USD now at parity the latest one with free 3G is now *under* AUD$210 shipped.
  • Donkey2010/11/05 08:44:34
    I bought one a month ago. I personally think the interface is pretty crappy, the non book reading related part of it is crap and I dont like being bound to only easily being able to read amazon books but credit to them, the screen is awesome, the battery life is great and buying and downloading a book is simple, so it does what I needed to make me think its a good buy.
  • ninkasi2010/11/05 09:05:17
    Agreed. The interface could be better - specifically I keep wanting to touch the screen to change pages. The non-book stuff eg web browser is a freebie and in my opinion nice to have. Awful to use, and the vast majority of people would never use it, but rather have it there than not. I can imagine using it on the odd holiday when, sitting by the pool & reading a book I can get my email fix then return to my book.

    As for being locked into Amazon books, so far it hasn't been a problem for my wife. She hasn't touched the credit I put on her account, and simply is reading the books I've put on her Kindle via calibre. Load them into calibre, attach the kindle to the pc, and click on the send to device button. If it asks about conversion, just say yes and the job is done. I like calibre. Even works with the iPhone....
  • Donkey2010/11/05 18:41:57
    Thanks ninkasi - I should have known someone would have developed a hack of forms.

    I wsa trying to find the list of news sites that it can grab from but couldnt see them. Is there one or do you need to install it to find out.
  • ninkasi2010/11/05 21:21:00

    I wsa trying to find the list of news sites that it can grab from but couldnt see them. Is there one or do you need to install it to find out.

    A few ways but again, Calibre can be your friend here. Just click down on the "fetch news" button and choose "schedule news download". Choose English for some of the more popular sites like Engadget etc or a country - eg Australia - and find The Age or the Australian etc.... done. Or you can create a custom feed, including rss feeds. It does mean you need to hook up to your pc to update, so a nuisance there but not a major pain and, of course, free.
  • Donkey2010/11/08 20:05:45
  • ninkasi2010/11/08 22:41:58
    My Kindle arrived today - very happy. Screen definitely looks better than the Kindle 2, and that screen wasn't too shabby at all. A couple of people saw it on my desk at work and said along the lines of "that's not real, is it?" and "that's just a sticker on the screen..." And this is in a group of jaded IT people who are pretty hard to impress. The clarity is excellent. Went into JB this afternoon for another reasons, and noticed they had a selection of e-books. More expensive, cheap looking & feeling, and lower contrast. Not much going for them at all other than perhaps expandable memory.

    Now, through the wonders of Calibre, I have nearly 400 books on my Kindle, including a dozen or so news feeds, and I still have a stack of room left. Hadn't realised that the new Kindle had also increased memory to 4Gb (3Gb usable). Took a while to setup the books into collections to make life a little easier, but wasn't too bad. Going to Hong Kong next week - so this should keep me quiet on the 'plane.

    Oh as a bit of short-lived fun, from the home screen hold down the alt+shift+m keys for minesweeper. Plus from the settings screen, press 411 (alt+rqq on the kindle3 - there's no dedicated number keys on the new kindle, but rather than using the 'sym' key you can just hold down the alt key and use the top qwerty row) to get some extra detailed info on the likes of the wireless side.

    There are a number of other 'hidden' things like alt+shift+g for a screenshot (dumps the png images into the document directory), and an image viewer (wouldn't bother)....

    Again, these are generally toy extras - the main role of this device is as a book, and it does that pretty well. Not quite as good as an actual book, but the ability to carry a library with you is hard to beat. If you want to do non-book things (games, listen to music, browse the web) then something like the iPad or (if you want something a little smaller) an Android tablet is probably the go. If anyone out there decides on an Android tablet, just make sure it has a decent processor and a capacitive (not resistive) screen.


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