(updated with additional details from the Kindle User’s Guide)
Newsweek.com has posted a lengthy piece on ebooks and digital reading focusing on Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and the upcoming Kindle, entitled .
Amongst prognostication about changes in the process of writing, distributing and reading books were a few facts about the Kindle:
|display||6” E-Ink, 4 gray levels, 167 dpi
(like the Sony Reader)
|battery life||30 hours reading
2 hours recharge
|storage||200 books onboard
additional via SD memory card
|input||keyboard, scroll wheel|
|connectivity||EVDO cellphone-style broadband, USB2
Windows PC required for activation
|file compatibility||Kindle (.azw), unprotected Mobipocket (.mobi, .prc), HTML, text, MS Word (.doc), Audible (.aa), mp3|
The wireless connectivity is used to connect to the Internet and the Amazon ebook store, where New York Times bestsellers and recent titles can be bought for $9.99, with older books priced lower. Newspaper and magazine subscriptions are also available.
Notably, the device cannot open Adobe PDF or any other common ebook formats, including DRM’d files from Amazon’s own Mobipocket ebook store.
The Kindle is a bold entry in the dedicated reader field, with the always-on wireless connection and periodical subscriptions being the most intriguing twists. Comparisons with the iPod/iTunes ecosystem are inevitable. However, unlike the iPod, which could support content from users’ existing cd and mp3 collections, book acquisition is limited to Amazon’s own Kindle store and existing personal documents such as Word files — ebooks from all other sources are essentially excluded. With a steep $399 entry price and a largely closed supply of content, it remains to be seen whether a mass market really exists for this device…