Category Archives: kindle

Kindle coming to the UK

According to a report on the Mobile Today website, Amazon’s e-Book reader, the Kindle is coming to the UK.

Amazon is close to finalising a launch date for its ‘Kindle’ electronic book reader in the UK and is in advanced negotiations with a mobile operator for an MVNO, Mobile  understands.

The online retail giant has made a major play for ebooks to protect the business against the likes of Apple and Google disrupting the traditional book market.

Amazon is understood to have outsourced all aspects of manufacturing for the Kindle in the UK to Qualcomm, including securing ‘connectivity’ with
a mobile operator in the UK.

I have mentioned before that I have used Sony’s e-Book Reader and that I would have preferred the Kindle. Well soon it looks like I might be able to make that choice.

Sony eBook Reader – First Impressions

Though I would have preferred a Kindle, in the end (as the Kindle is not available in the UK) we ordered some Sony eBook readers for assesment and evaluation at the college to see if they would be of any use for our learners. We got the Sony PRS 505 eBook Reader model.

Sony eBook Reader - First Impressions

So what are my first impressions then?

I did like the size and weight and the fact that it came with a leather case. It felt right and looked good.

Then I was initially disappointed that there was no native Mac support. Sony eBook Library is not officially supported on Mac OS X or Linux based systems, although when the device is connected it grants access to its internal flash memory as though it were a USB Mass Storage device allowing the user to transfer files directly. There are some third party applications and I have found (but not yet tried) Docudesk PRS Browser for the Mac.

So once I had access to a Windows PC, I installed the software, though I had to charge the device first. The device is charged by USB, though it has a 5V charging socket, it does not come with a charger (but the PSP one fits and works fine, not sure if I should recommend that).

After configuring I installed the “free” hundred classic books which come with the device and at this point not worry about buying any eBooks. I have been recommended to use WHSmith over Waterstones as WHSmith is “cheaper”.

The process of reading a book is quite simple and the screen is easy to read. I haven’t had a chance to read a whole book, but initial impressions was that the screen was not going to be too hard on the eyes. The controls are relatively simple, but there is no touchscreen (and as I am use to PDAs and the iPod touch) it was difficult not to touch or swipe the screen.

The Sony Reader can also show pictures (admittedly in greyscale) and play audio files.

So why would you want to use an eBook reader?

Well though you can use eBooks on a regular computer or laptop, the battery life on eBook readers is a lot longer and therefore will probably last the week unlike a laptop which would probably only last the morning.

It should also be possible (with SD Card and Memory Stick slots) to “give” students all their learning materials, assignments, etc as eBooks so there would be no need to download stuff from the institutional VLE.

Why would you use this over a laptop?

Personally I wouldn’t. I would more likely use it in conjunction with a laptop, using the Reader to read source material and the laptop to write it. I also think this would stop or deter the learner from potentially plagiarising a source by copying and pasting.

Overall my first impressions are very positive and I think it is a great device. Whether I will use it and use it extensively has yet to be seen.

New Amazon Kindle

Amazon have released a new Kindle. It has many new features and is smaller and thinner.

Slim: Just over 1/3 of an inch, as thin as most magazines

Lightweight: At 10.2 ounces, lighter than a typical paperback

Wireless: 3G wireless lets you download books right from your Kindle, anytime, anywhere; no monthly fees, service plans, or hunting for Wi-Fi hotspots

Books in Under 60 Seconds: Get books delivered in less than 60 seconds; no PC required

Improved Display: Reads like real paper; now boasts 16 shades of gray for clear text and even crisper images

Longer Battery Life: 25% longer battery life; read for days without recharging

More Storage: Take your library with you; holds over 1,500 books

Faster Page Turns: 20% faster page turns

Read-to-Me: With the new Text-to-Speech feature, Kindle can read every book, blog, magazine, and newspaper out loud to you

Large Selection: Over 230,000 books plus U.S. and international newspapers, magazines, and blogs available

Low Book Prices: New York Times Best Sellers and New Releases $9.99, unless marked otherwise

One day we might get one in the UK, one day….

Interesting article in the Guardian yesterday on the lack of piracy in ebooks, thanks to AJCann for the heads-up on that one.

Sony eBook Reader

We have been looking at e-Books for a while now, but of course we currently don’t have anything except computers (and mobile devices) to read them with.

Here in the UK we are unable to get Amazon’s Kindle though that may change on the future.

I have previously mentioned Sony’s e-Book Reader before, Mobile Tech Review have a review of the new PRS-700 model.

I am in the process of ordering some for work, so will let you know how I get on when it arrives.

Sony’s Reader to be available in the UK

Here in the UK we have been unable to get hold of Amazon’s Kindle we will soon be able to get hold of Sony’s Reader for eBooks.

Reader doesn’t have to replace your traditional books – it’s just a new way of enjoying reading. With Reader you can carry far more books with you wherever you go, so whatever mood takes you you’ll have a book that fits it. And using Reader couldn’t be simpler:

When you buy a Reader, install the supplied software on your computer, connect Reader to it with the cable provided and voila! Create and manage your eBook library on your PC and transfer your eBooks to Reader exactly like you do with your music on your mp3 player.

Need a new book? Choose from around 25 000 titles available from waterstones.com the online store of Britain’s best-loved bookseller. Simply buy the ones you want and import them into your PC’s Reader library.

Store up to 160 books at a time on your Reader. If you’re a real bookworm add to your collection and store thousands more using a Sony Memory Stick Duo™ or SD memory card.

Bookmark pages or magnify text on a page; Reader will also remember where you last left off – even if you don’t.

It’s slim and light so you can take it with you wherever you go and the long battery life means you can enjoy nearly 7000 page turns without recharging – that’s like reading War and Peace five times over.

Reader (model PRS-505) will be available from early September.

So why would you want to use an eBook reader?

Well though you can use eBooks on a regular computer or laptop, the battery life on eBook readers is a lot longer and therefore will probably last the week unlike a laptop which would probably only last the morning.

Thanks Engadget.

Kindling

Amazon’s Kindle is proving quite popular.

Due to heavy customer demand, Kindle is temporarily sold out. We are working hard to manufacture Kindles as quickly as possible and are prioritizing orders on a first come, first served basis. Please ORDER KINDLE NOW to reserve your place in line. We will keep you informed by email as we get more precise delivery dates. Note that Kindles cannot currently be sold or shipped to customers living outside of the U.S.

Some are going for silly money on eBay, but I guess it won’t be long before they are available once more.

Of course they aren’t available in the UK at all, I wonder if we will ever see a UK version of the Kindle?

Amazon sells out of its new digital book reader

Despite a lot of scepticism and negative coverage about Amazon’s new digital book reader, the device has sold out according to the BBC.

Amazon’s Kindle e-book reader has sold out despite scepticism about whether the device will prove popular. A notice on the Kindle pages on the Amazon web store said “heavy customer demand” for the device meant it would be out of stock until 3 December. Since its launch on 19 November the device has been widely examined but opinions about it are mixed.

Looks like people are interested in this digital book reader. Is this the device for e-books what the iPod was for digital music? We will have to wait and see.

Amazon launches digital book reader

Big news yesterday was the launch of Amazon’s digital book reader.

BBC reports that:

Online retailer Amazon has unveiled an own-brand wireless electronic book reader called Kindle.

The paperback-sized device is on sale immediately in the US for $399 (£195). It can store up to 200 books in its onboard memory.

Kindle does not need a PC to be loaded with books, blogs or papers – instead content arrives via wireless.

Amazon said 90,000 books, including bestsellers priced at $9.99, were available for Kindle at launch.

I wonder if you could load such a device with institutional learning content?