Amazon Kindle – Arriving on doorsteps across Australia

I’m not a book reader – I can’t lie about that.  So it is hard for me to review a product which has little appeal to me. But I...

I’m not a book reader – I can’t lie about that.  So it is hard for me to review a product which has little appeal to me.

But I have followed the story of the Kindle with great Interest.

Today, to my amazement I saw not one, but two Amazon Kindles.  Both were purchased online at www.amazon.com last week, and arrived late last week.

These were ordered by work colleagues, and both had gone through that desperate experience of any online shopper desperate for a new item – the Courier came – but no-one was home:)

After waiting another day, or going straight to DHL’s office, both now have their Kindles.

I will say, at first observation, this is an amazing looking piece of kit. The screen is not back-lit, so night time reading is difficult – but isn’t it anyway with books?  Last I looked paper wasn’t backlit.

The other thing I noted was the personalisation.  I asked the owner ‘how long did it take to setup with your name’ – the response amazed me.  “No time, it came already configured”

You see that says service to me.  To buy an item via the Internet from thousands of miles away, and have it come to your door pre-loaded with your purchases and your own name electronically – just great stuff.

Holding it in my hand complete with Leather cover it felt just like a thick paperback, both in weight and hold.

The screen is quite intriguing – It’s not anything you’ve seen before, and it works.  It’s not lightning fast, it takes a few micro seconds to refresh or turn the page, but so does turning the page on a book!

The battery therefore is outstanding.  We all know how much we use new toys when we first get them.  One colleague who had used him over an entire weekend showed me the battery indicator – barely depleated.

Then there is the 3G connection.  No cost. Nothing.  The cost is clearly bundled into every book you buy. And given the device does nothing else with the connection, it’s safe for the Telco to provide, in the knowledge they are getting a cut of all service.

But the most amazing part is that the SIM is with AT&T in America.  The device is on permanent global roaming.  Wow.  The other advantage of that – I assume – is that your Kindle will find the best connection, Optus, Telstra or Vodafone, roaming between them as it needs.

As I noted, I simply don’t read books – I don’t know why, i just don’t.  I’ve tried Audio books, not a fan either.  But for people who are passionate or casual readers of books, and more importantly purchasers of books – this has real appeal.

One complaint I’ve seen around the Interwebs (On Twitter basically) is a lack of Titles available to buy here in Australia.  In time that should improve – however we are stuck in some high priced market for everything from Books to Groceries, so who knows how and when that will play out.

And there is no better time to do this – the US Dollar is so weak, or strong depending on how you look at it, that you’re looking at $300 – plus postage and what not, its $350 all told.  A bit steep, but isn’t that the price to be paid for innovation, and accessibility?

Tell me – are you a book reader? Does this appeal to you?

I’m keen to know.

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Trev produces two of the most popular technology podcasts in Australia, Your Tech Life and Two Blokes Talking Tech. He hosts a nightly radio show on Talking Lifestyle, 8pm Monday to Friday in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, appears on over 50 radio stations across Australia weekly, and is the Tech Expert on Channel 9’s Today Show and A Current Affair. Father of three, he is often found down in his Man Cave. Like this post? Buy Trev a drink!
2 Comments on this post.
  • Christoph
    27 October 2009 at 3:27 pm
    Leave a Reply

    I love my Kindle 2 and am amazed how well it works in Australia. It’s my second E-Book Reader, the first was the iRex iLiad, bought from Dymocks for a fortune.

    Despite some drawbacks for me (no SD card for one), the Kindle is much faster, easier to use and better looking.

    The greatest thing about it is the daily newspaper update from overseas – and the fact I am carrying around several libraries of books in one small, haptically pleasing gadget with incredible battery life to boot.

    The fact that you can sample free chapters and buy books using the online Amazon shop anywhere with mobile reception is downright scary – in a good way. Though I simply emailed myself many free eBooks which added them very easily.

    What I don’t get is people thinking it needs a colour screen – get a netbook! This is for READING – as the reviewer points out, this is not everyone’s cup of tea.

    That said, I am looking forward to holding a Nook from B&N in my hands – and the first Plastic Logic reader! Not to mention the Apple Tablet – which I would happily use for browsing, watching videos and light reading.

  • Christoph
    4 January 2010 at 7:27 am
    Leave a Reply

    I love my Kindle 2 and am amazed how well it works in Australia. It's my second E-Book Reader, the first was the iRex iLiad, bought from Dymocks for a fortune.

    Despite some drawbacks for me (no SD card for one), the Kindle is much faster, easier to use and better looking.

    The greatest thing about it is the daily newspaper update from overseas – and the fact I am carrying around several libraries of books in one small, haptically pleasing gadget with incredible battery life to boot.

    The fact that you can sample free chapters and buy books using the online Amazon shop anywhere with mobile reception is downright scary – in a good way. Though I simply emailed myself many free eBooks which added them very easily.

    What I don't get is people thinking it needs a colour screen – get a netbook! This is for READING – as the reviewer points out, this is not everyone's cup of tea.

    That said, I am looking forward to holding a Nook from B and N in my hands – and the first Plastic Logic reader! Not to mention the Apple Tablet – which I would happily use for browsing, watching videos and light reading.

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