Friday, February 27, 2009

Kindle 2 - What Sleek Beast Slouches Toward Store Shelves?

I did it. I bought a Kindle 2. Yes, a battle has raged within and a victor has emerged. But, the battle between the electronic book and the paper book models of providing printed text to the reader is really only a side show to what Kindle 2 represents.

First, a quick review on Kindle. Kindle is Amazon's foray into the electronic book business. You order a sleek, light device that holds up to 1,500 books. (You can also download magazines and newspapers.) Its screen uses state-of-the-art "electronic ink" that is energized to show up much as liquid ink does. The readibility is marvelous.

You can order a book either through Amazon on through Kindle itself. The book is then, magically, sent to your Kindle through "Whispernet", which is Kindle's Sprint phone wireless service.

I won't go into all the features that Kindle provides in searching, marking, and noting, but I will say that such features, including the dictionary, are a great aid to readers/researchers.

It is the use of the Whispernet where Kindle's real power lies. It won't be long before you can Google Search on Kindle, or, better yet for Amazon, pull up Amazon's site and order from it...that is, order items other than books!

Undoubtedly, you will also soon be able to buy an accessory keyboard and, thus, obviate the need to lug your laptop around for quick trips to the coffeeshop.

Kindle has the potential to reach far beyond the providing of books and newspapers. It represents a potentiality to provide the "information user" with a new tool that will supplant one or more (how long before you can "talk" on Kindle as though it were a cellphone?) of your electronic devices.

The King is dead...long live the King.

Mike Sledge

No comments: