Amazon Kindle eBook Reader Official

Worth the hype?

As is increasingly the case these days, we all knew it was coming…

Still, more than two months after I first brought you coverage, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is dominating the front of this week’s Newsweek trying to pretend like everyone didn’t know already.

So what is the skinny? Well, it’s all rather straightforward: 6in E-Ink screen, no backlight, EV-DO connectivity for cable-free downloads (over Sprint in the US) and up to 30 hours of battery life with a full recharge taking just 120 minutes. As for the content itself, books will go on sale for $9.99 (£5) for bestsellers and as low as $1.99 for classics, while newspapers and even some blogs will be available via subscription.

88,000 compatible Amazon eBooks will be available from launch and while Bezos didn’t reveal the size of the onboard memory he did explain that the Kindle can hold roughly 200 books. If you (somehow) fill that it can be expanded via a flash memory card slot (though the format wasn’t revealed). At 292g, however the Kindle is rather chunky but with the price kept down to a fairly reasonable $399 that may be a weight worth putting up with.

Sadly for all his carefully released info, baldy Paul McKenna look-a-like Jeff didn’t let it slip ”when” the Kindle will go on sale (let alone any international launch), but it is sounding Christmas stocking friendly to me.

Most compelling eBook reader to date? Sure, but are eBooks in themselves compelling… we’re still not sure just yet.

”’Update:”’ Product page and Kindle Store now live on Amazon US.

Newsweek Story

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