Product Spotlight: Amazon Kindle Video
Product Spotlight: Amazon Kindle Video Transcript
>> For years now, we've been waiting for the MP3 player equivalent for books, you know, e-books. So, you can store thousands of books in your pocket, instead of breaking your back trying to stuff all these into a backpack like this. Well, Amazon has caused quite a stir with their entry into the e-book market place. Is it what we've been waiting for? We'll find out as we shine the product spotlight on the Amazon Kindle. ^M00:00:23 [ Music ] ^M00:00:29
>> The thing to do about the Kindle is it's ability to wirelessly download a book, magazine or newspaper right from the device. No computer necessary. Now, this system is brilliant. You set up your account on Amazon.com and then you can shop for books right from the Kindle. It uses EVDO as its wireless technology. That's a data network used by cell phone providers like Verizon. That means anywhere you have cell service, you can shop on your Kindle and that service is free, I might add. Of course there's the store, one of my favorite uses for the Kindle is to buy a newspaper. You can leave the Kindle by the bedside wake up in the morning, grab the Kindle, download the Sunday paper and start reading without ever leaving your bed. Of course, it won't make coffee for you. It has a 185-megabytes of user-accessible memory, which may not seem like much, but you're mostly storing texts, so you could fit about 200 books in there and you can expand that to 4-gigs with an SD card. At 7.5 by 5.3 inches, it's about the size of a trade paperback and the screen is 4.9-by-3.6 inches with 600 by 800-pixel resolution and the E Ink screen looks great. I've been waiting for this technology to arrive since Xerox invented it and ignored it back in the 1980's. Prices of the books are around 10 bucks, slightly less than you pay for the old dead three versions. Newspapers are oddly about the same. In addition of the New York Times costs seventy-five cents and you don't get some of the charts and pictures you get in the paper version. Of course you also don't get the ads either. On the downside, the usability is kind of klanky. It's pretty thick in the holder and it comes with the strap here that covers the keys. However, outside the holder, you have a problem with the keys. The next page and previous page buttons are nice and big, but they run along both edges, meaning it's almost impossible to hold the device without accidentally pressing buttons and losing your place. If you wanna put personal documents on the Kindle, they have to be .txt's, .mobi's, or Amazon's proprietary dot azw format. But if you have a Word DOC or an HTML document, oh well, you can e-mail it to Amazon, they'll convert it and send it to your Kindle. If you have a PDF, we'll do the same thing, but they warn it's experimental, so success is kind of spotty. Speaking of experimental, there's a whole section of the menu called Experimental where you can load up your own MP3's to listen to while you're reading and even a web browser to take advantage of that free EVDO. Although, the web browser is mostly useless in this kind of black and white display, I did find it useful to access an online encyclopedia to look up some background info when I was reading William Gibson's Neuromancer. One last annoyance, the Off button is hidden back here on the back. Although, right next to the Off switch for the EVDO and that's handy if you wanna save on battery life. Finally, there's the readability. Now, there's no backlight, just like with real books, but in normal reading light, the text looks excellent and it's really easy on the eyes. When you change pages, there's a slight delay and black flash as the page changes, but after reading for a while, I didn't notice the flash anymore and I devote to pretty good sense of timing for when to press to change page. Again, just like with the real book. For me, as soon as I get about halfway through the last line, I press Next Page and that seems to time it just right. Overall, I'd say the Kindle is a great first attempt. The wireless access to books and periodicals is killer. The display is great, the design and user interface needs some work and the price of the device 400 bucks, needs to come down by about half in my opinion. That's our deep dive into the Amazon Kindle. I'm Tom Merritt, CNET.com. ^M00:04:12 [ Music ]
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