Dear Jeff Bezos (one-week Kindle review)

I’ve read two books on it, which explains why I haven’t been on Twitter very much in the past week. But the Kindle really bugs me now. I’m hitting all sorts of little things that the Kindle team simply didn’t think through very well.

Here’s my one-week review of Amazon’s Kindle.

I focus on a few areas:

1. No ability to buy paper goods from Amazon through Kindle.
2. Usability sucks. They didn’t think about how people would hold this device.
3. UI sucks. Menus? Did they hire some out-of-work Microsoft employees?
4. No ability to send electronic goods to anyone else. I know Mike Arrington has one. I wanted to send him a gift through this of Alan Greenspan’s new book. I couldn’t. That’s lame.
5. No social network. Why don’t I have a list of all my friends who also have Kindles and let them see what I’m reading?
6. No touch screen. The iPhone has taught everyone that I’ve shown this to that screens are meant to be touched. Yet we’re stuck with a silly navigation system because the screen isn’t touchable.

Would I buy it? Yes, but I’m a geek. I can’t really recommend this to other people yet. Sorry.

It’s obvious that they never had this device in their hands when they were designing it.

Whoever designed this should be fired and the team should start over.

[kyte.tv appKey=MarbachViewerEmbedded&uri=channels/6118/77475&embedId=10019445&locale=en]

Comments

  1. So it will fail. If the early adopters don’t adopt it, how can it get across the chasm? But when you describe a device that would allow me to read online and then buy everything out of Amazon’s catalogue on the same device, I’m almost there.

    As I mentioned last night, it’s good for high school and college students who have to carry a lot of books, but then it has to be covered in camo for the boys and leopard for the girls.

  2. So it will fail. If the early adopters don’t adopt it, how can it get across the chasm? But when you describe a device that would allow me to read online and then buy everything out of Amazon’s catalogue on the same device, I’m almost there.

    As I mentioned last night, it’s good for high school and college students who have to carry a lot of books, but then it has to be covered in camo for the boys and leopard for the girls.

  3. Thanks for saving me $300. No way I’m going to buy this when it comes out in the UK. What a pile of crap. The only books I read on screen are technical books for reference. Often publishers will provide PDFs for the books if you’ve bought the paper version – and I’ll put those on my laptop. Similarly, the eBook reader in my Palm Pilot is mostly filled with converted specifications from the W3C.

    For anything other than W3C specifications and technical manuals, I use Good Old Paper. Not because it’s special or magic or sacred, but just because ebook technology and/or design sucks.

  4. haven’t read your blog for a while robert, but i figured i’d stop by. it’s easy to rip things apart, but giving positive feedback is where most people fail. nice job on that. hopefully they listen.

  5. haven’t read your blog for a while robert, but i figured i’d stop by. it’s easy to rip things apart, but giving positive feedback is where most people fail. nice job on that. hopefully they listen.

  6. Thanks for saving me $300. No way I’m going to buy this when it comes out in the UK. What a pile of crap. The only books I read on screen are technical books for reference. Often publishers will provide PDFs for the books if you’ve bought the paper version – and I’ll put those on my laptop. Similarly, the eBook reader in my Palm Pilot is mostly filled with converted specifications from the W3C.

    For anything other than W3C specifications and technical manuals, I use Good Old Paper. Not because it’s special or magic or sacred, but just because ebook technology and/or design sucks.

  7. Another well placed rant! that’s two I love…..the Apple rant the this one….. Seriously the two grumpy old muppet hecklers………. I want to do a podcast and be one of those guys with you about tech.

    “Back in my day we didn’t have gaddamn digital books, we used clay tablets, or stones and delivered them on a donkey, whip one of those into someones skull they knew they were getting smarter!”

  8. Another well placed rant! that’s two I love…..the Apple rant the this one….. Seriously the two grumpy old muppet hecklers………. I want to do a podcast and be one of those guys with you about tech.

    “Back in my day we didn’t have gaddamn digital books, we used clay tablets, or stones and delivered them on a donkey, whip one of those into someones skull they knew they were getting smarter!”

  9. No way I’m buying this thing. However, if they implement even half of the things you suggest (Google reader, book sharing, social network, less f**king stupid buttons, no rubbery horribleness), then I may have a look at v2.0.

  10. Nice rant. Some of it skirted dangerously close to the style of the uber-troll “Moldy Toaster” of youtube, but its mostly right on target, and not the least bit embarrassing to any current or future offspring.

  11. Thanks for the informative review – when I held one, it seemed really big. I don’t need something else to cram in my tote (girl problem). The (non) social aspects surprise me, it just seems that that and the eCommerce part would be a given.

  12. No way I’m buying this thing. However, if they implement even half of the things you suggest (Google reader, book sharing, social network, less f**king stupid buttons, no rubbery horribleness), then I may have a look at v2.0.

  13. Nice rant. Some of it skirted dangerously close to the style of the uber-troll “Moldy Toaster” of youtube, but its mostly right on target, and not the least bit embarrassing to any current or future offspring.

  14. Thanks for the informative review – when I held one, it seemed really big. I don’t need something else to cram in my tote (girl problem). The (non) social aspects surprise me, it just seems that that and the eCommerce part would be a given.

  15. You couldn’t have said it better, Robert, “out-of-work Microsoft employees”…isn’t this the curse of all software but Apple’s! The interfacing of software tasks with not a shred of design or utility insight extends far beyond this particular device, supposed to be a fire starter.

    One glance at the Kindle and I thought, “Ugh!…another tech billionaire who thinks he’s a design genius.” And proud that he spent 3 years getting it to perfection. You have to admire Jobs for knowing that he doesn’t know design and hiring the best.

    I refer friends to my top five list of really good software, no bugs and superb interface. Two of these are the NeoPro overlay for Outlook & the X-1 text & file indexing program. And I never have forgotten Jerry Pournelle’s extended advice in Byte on how to write computer manuals…too detailed to recite, but should be a rule book for any one orginating tech for sale to the general public

    Thanks for the heads up & your effective critique on so many subjects…maybe Jeff and all the others guilty of these same crimes will listen. One should, however, congratulate Bezos on the excellent Amazon business plan underlying the Kindle.

  16. You couldn’t have said it better, Robert, “out-of-work Microsoft employees”…isn’t this the curse of all software but Apple’s! The interfacing of software tasks with not a shred of design or utility insight extends far beyond this particular device, supposed to be a fire starter.

    One glance at the Kindle and I thought, “Ugh!…another tech billionaire who thinks he’s a design genius.” And proud that he spent 3 years getting it to perfection. You have to admire Jobs for knowing that he doesn’t know design and hiring the best.

    I refer friends to my top five list of really good software, no bugs and superb interface. Two of these are the NeoPro overlay for Outlook & the X-1 text & file indexing program. And I never have forgotten Jerry Pournelle’s extended advice in Byte on how to write computer manuals…too detailed to recite, but should be a rule book for any one orginating tech for sale to the general public

    Thanks for the heads up & your effective critique on so many subjects…maybe Jeff and all the others guilty of these same crimes will listen. One should, however, congratulate Bezos on the excellent Amazon business plan underlying the Kindle.

  17. Perhaps our impressions of usability will improve after Amazon cuts the price of the device, which they presumably will after the beginning of the year. Heck, if its primary purpose is to point to Amazon, perhaps Amazon should give it away…

  18. Perhaps our impressions of usability will improve after Amazon cuts the price of the device, which they presumably will after the beginning of the year. Heck, if its primary purpose is to point to Amazon, perhaps Amazon should give it away…

  19. I think all are good points, except 5 and 6. I really don’t see how a Social Network fits into a book, and a touch screen, if even possible on an eInk display would most cerently kill the battery exponentially faster. People have to remember that this isn’t meant to be a do-everything device.

    While I don’t think this is the best device possible. Mainly due to the fact that after getting mine it took a good hour or so to figure out how to hold it. I do think it is far better then the Sony ereader though. I’ve been in the market for a eBook reader for a while and this is the first one I took a chance on, still room for improvement but a good start.

  20. [...] Robert Scoble recorded a 13 minute video laying out his main beefs with Amazon’s new ebook Kindle reader. Most of his points pertained to the Kindle’s poor design (which I agree with). However, one of his points include: 4. No ability to send electronic goods to anyone else. I know Mike Arrington has one. I wanted to send him a gift through this of Alan Greenspan’s new book. I couldn’t. That’s lame. [...]

  21. I think all are good points, except 5 and 6. I really don’t see how a Social Network fits into a book, and a touch screen, if even possible on an eInk display would most cerently kill the battery exponentially faster. People have to remember that this isn’t meant to be a do-everything device.

    While I don’t think this is the best device possible. Mainly due to the fact that after getting mine it took a good hour or so to figure out how to hold it. I do think it is far better then the Sony ereader though. I’ve been in the market for a eBook reader for a while and this is the first one I took a chance on, still room for improvement but a good start.

  22. Good stuff. My thoughts:

    1) Agreed. Very short-sighted of Amazon. The fact that I could buy a paper-based product from Amazon on my Windows-based smartphone (which is a third of the size) is more than a little ironic.

    2) Agreed. Unless your hands are the size of a 6-year old child, they seem to have designed the Kindle without considering the possibility that people actually need to hold it.

    3) Disagree. Assume, for a moment, that you are not an uber-geek. Assume that you use a PC, you don’t have an iphone and spend most of your day in a Microsoft programme of some sort (as is the case for most business professionals). Menus are still far more familiar to the vast majority of potential Kindle-users. The Kindle is not a gadget built for geeks; or, to put it another way, my Mother likes the Kindle. ‘Nuff said.

    4) Agreed, but there would presumably be the added headache of making sure people couldn’t bypass the system, and send books to each other gratis. Perhaps that is something for v2.

    5) Disagreed. See 3) above. I would happily estimate that 90%+ of the people who will be Kindle users won’t give two hoots about any kind of social networking. I’m not saying it isn’t a decent idea for a future iteration, but it certainly isn’t necessary.

    6) Depends. It’s already a fairly expensive device (for what it is), and a touchscreen would, I imagine, push the cost up even further. It may be a nicer experience for the user (although that would depend on the implementation), but would it really make a substantive difference? The Kindle isn’t a multi-faceted smoothie like the iPhone; it’s relatively limited, and designed for one primary function. Given that, a touchscreen doesn’t seem too high on the list of priorities.

    I actually think it would have been a much nicer design as a…book! Not dissimilar to the Nintendo DS, but with a full (touch)screen covering both surfaces inside. But that’s just me.

  23. Good stuff. My thoughts:

    1) Agreed. Very short-sighted of Amazon. The fact that I could buy a paper-based product from Amazon on my Windows-based smartphone (which is a third of the size) is more than a little ironic.

    2) Agreed. Unless your hands are the size of a 6-year old child, they seem to have designed the Kindle without considering the possibility that people actually need to hold it.

    3) Disagree. Assume, for a moment, that you are not an uber-geek. Assume that you use a PC, you don’t have an iphone and spend most of your day in a Microsoft programme of some sort (as is the case for most business professionals). Menus are still far more familiar to the vast majority of potential Kindle-users. The Kindle is not a gadget built for geeks; or, to put it another way, my Mother likes the Kindle. ‘Nuff said.

    4) Agreed, but there would presumably be the added headache of making sure people couldn’t bypass the system, and send books to each other gratis. Perhaps that is something for v2.

    5) Disagreed. See 3) above. I would happily estimate that 90%+ of the people who will be Kindle users won’t give two hoots about any kind of social networking. I’m not saying it isn’t a decent idea for a future iteration, but it certainly isn’t necessary.

    6) Depends. It’s already a fairly expensive device (for what it is), and a touchscreen would, I imagine, push the cost up even further. It may be a nicer experience for the user (although that would depend on the implementation), but would it really make a substantive difference? The Kindle isn’t a multi-faceted smoothie like the iPhone; it’s relatively limited, and designed for one primary function. Given that, a touchscreen doesn’t seem too high on the list of priorities.

    I actually think it would have been a much nicer design as a…book! Not dissimilar to the Nintendo DS, but with a full (touch)screen covering both surfaces inside. But that’s just me.

  24. Kindle sounds like something slapped together in the back of some Taiwanese hardware shop. It truly looks like it hasn’t been designed with functionality in mind, though I think Scoble may be coming on it too strong from the social network side of things. But they do need to think the use cases through more carefully and then design the hardware and software accordingly.
    Actually, I’d like to see Scoble review the Irex Iliad (http://www.irextechnologies.com/products/iliad) and see if that works better for him. It seems to address some of the UI issues with its touchscreen, but it probably suffers some of the same hardware and software design flaws.

  25. Kindle sounds like something slapped together in the back of some Taiwanese hardware shop. It truly looks like it hasn’t been designed with functionality in mind, though I think Scoble may be coming on it too strong from the social network side of things. But they do need to think the use cases through more carefully and then design the hardware and software accordingly.
    Actually, I’d like to see Scoble review the Irex Iliad (http://www.irextechnologies.com/products/iliad) and see if that works better for him. It seems to address some of the UI issues with its touchscreen, but it probably suffers some of the same hardware and software design flaws.

  26. I haven’t used a Kindle, but I could already sense its suckiness just from looking at the customer reviews on Amazon. The time lag on the menus as seen in your video is mind-bogglingly bad.

    However, I don’t think the lack of social networking is such a big deal. Personally, I would never buy a book for a friend on the fly and want to send it to them right then and there. I think you may be overstating the negative effect of this omission.

    The big thing that kills the Kindle in my book is really two things: (1) the lack of native PDF support for both reading and annotating, and (2) the $400 price tag. Add PDF support to the kindle and drop the price to $99 and I’m interested. Otherwise not so much.

    More here:
    http://tinyurl.com/2laoyn

  27. I haven’t used a Kindle, but I could already sense its suckiness just from looking at the customer reviews on Amazon. The time lag on the menus as seen in your video is mind-bogglingly bad.

    However, I don’t think the lack of social networking is such a big deal. Personally, I would never buy a book for a friend on the fly and want to send it to them right then and there. I think you may be overstating the negative effect of this omission.

    The big thing that kills the Kindle in my book is really two things: (1) the lack of native PDF support for both reading and annotating, and (2) the $400 price tag. Add PDF support to the kindle and drop the price to $99 and I’m interested. Otherwise not so much.

    More here:
    http://tinyurl.com/2laoyn

  28. Most of the points that you mention will eventually be fixed with a software update I suspect:

    - Social Networking (book specific)
    - Gifting – how cool would it be to turn on your kindle and see that someone has purchased a book for you?
    - Overall UI experience
    - Purchase other stuff from Amazon rather than just e-books

    I do hope they come up with a better looking device overall, but I think that many of the shortcomings of the 1.0 version will be fixed in subsequent software updates. I hope this can happen directly over the EVDO network.

  29. Most of the points that you mention will eventually be fixed with a software update I suspect:

    - Social Networking (book specific)
    - Gifting – how cool would it be to turn on your kindle and see that someone has purchased a book for you?
    - Overall UI experience
    - Purchase other stuff from Amazon rather than just e-books

    I do hope they come up with a better looking device overall, but I think that many of the shortcomings of the 1.0 version will be fixed in subsequent software updates. I hope this can happen directly over the EVDO network.

  30. Robert: YOU might not buy a book on the fly, but I certainly would (and have). I bought my first book while attending a party when Cathy Brooks recommended one to me. I looked it up right there, showed it to her to make sure it was the one she was thinking of, and then bought it.

  31. Robert: YOU might not buy a book on the fly, but I certainly would (and have). I bought my first book while attending a party when Cathy Brooks recommended one to me. I looked it up right there, showed it to her to make sure it was the one she was thinking of, and then bought it.

  32. “3. UI sucks. Menus? Did they hire some out-of-work Microsoft employees?” – Not only is this insulting to Microsoft employees, coming from you makes it so much worse. If it weren’t for that company you would be a zero. At least have some basic courtesy for a company who made who you are today.

    “5. No social network. Why don’t I have a list of all my friends who also have Kindles and let them see what I’m reading?” – I frankly don’t think having a social network for a eBook reader makes any sense. I would rather have the price of the device lower… I think that plus the design is what’s going to kill this device. I think Amazon blew the price point.

  33. “3. UI sucks. Menus? Did they hire some out-of-work Microsoft employees?” – Not only is this insulting to Microsoft employees, coming from you makes it so much worse. If it weren’t for that company you would be a zero. At least have some basic courtesy for a company who made who you are today.

    “5. No social network. Why don’t I have a list of all my friends who also have Kindles and let them see what I’m reading?” – I frankly don’t think having a social network for a eBook reader makes any sense. I would rather have the price of the device lower… I think that plus the design is what’s going to kill this device. I think Amazon blew the price point.

  34. Thanks for the honest review. I own an iPhone too so at $400, there isn’t much use for this other than reading eBooks. And I would be more than happy just having that capacity without any of the wireless crap which you know they (Amazon) are paying up the ass for. A nice Kindle Nano reader for $199 where I would sync up via USB would be just fine for me.

  35. Thanks for the honest review. I own an iPhone too so at $400, there isn’t much use for this other than reading eBooks. And I would be more than happy just having that capacity without any of the wireless crap which you know they (Amazon) are paying up the ass for. A nice Kindle Nano reader for $199 where I would sync up via USB would be just fine for me.

  36. Alfred: no one listens to me when I say people should be fired. Obviously if they get the job done right next time they’ll get kudos.

    And, anyway, if I do something stupid I get fired. Why shouldn’t designers who aren’t going to hold the device in their hands before they let this thing out the door?

    Personally, it probably wasn’t the designers’ problem, but rather some committee who probably threw out the original design for something that “looked cooler.” At least that’s what usually happens when products don’t come out right.

  37. Alfred: no one listens to me when I say people should be fired. Obviously if they get the job done right next time they’ll get kudos.

    And, anyway, if I do something stupid I get fired. Why shouldn’t designers who aren’t going to hold the device in their hands before they let this thing out the door?

    Personally, it probably wasn’t the designers’ problem, but rather some committee who probably threw out the original design for something that “looked cooler.” At least that’s what usually happens when products don’t come out right.

  38. Eshwar: Microsoft Office 2007 got rid of menus. Even Microsoft’s designers realize that menus are hard to use, look lame in the world of the web and iPhone, and need to be done away with. And since when is telling the truth about Microsoft’s designs bad? Microsoft isn’t known for its design skills. Regarding whether Microsoft “made me” or not. Well, sure did help put me on a bigger stage, but before I was a Microsoft employee I was an NEC one and had thousands of readers every day BEFORE I even got to Microsoft.

  39. Eshwar: Microsoft Office 2007 got rid of menus. Even Microsoft’s designers realize that menus are hard to use, look lame in the world of the web and iPhone, and need to be done away with. And since when is telling the truth about Microsoft’s designs bad? Microsoft isn’t known for its design skills. Regarding whether Microsoft “made me” or not. Well, sure did help put me on a bigger stage, but before I was a Microsoft employee I was an NEC one and had thousands of readers every day BEFORE I even got to Microsoft.

  40. Seriously,

    The Kindle team should take a lesson from Apple designers. The UI is so garbled and confusing.

    When the screen is of that size, I would like to have touch on it. It is very unintuitive (especially now that I use my ipod touch everday) to press buttons to make something happen on the screen. I would just like to touch the pages and flip them.

  41. Seriously,

    The Kindle team should take a lesson from Apple designers. The UI is so garbled and confusing.

    When the screen is of that size, I would like to have touch on it. It is very unintuitive (especially now that I use my ipod touch everday) to press buttons to make something happen on the screen. I would just like to touch the pages and flip them.

  42. On second thought, for a book reader, I wouldnt mind stylus input (rather than simple touch) with handwriting recognition like in a tablet PC.

    It will feel like reading a book holding a highlighter to mark stuff and take notes. Makes much more sense.

  43. On second thought, for a book reader, I wouldnt mind stylus input (rather than simple touch) with handwriting recognition like in a tablet PC.

    It will feel like reading a book holding a highlighter to mark stuff and take notes. Makes much more sense.

  44. I completely agree with you on this – the usability of this thing is a nightmare. It’s funny that 37signals, usually quick to give a vicious and opinionated lashing towards anything that scores so low on the usability scale, was urging caution and asking people to quit condemning the kindle:

    http://www.37signals.com/svn/posts/712-kindle-ignites-the-flames

    They disclosed that Bezos is one of their financiers, but that sounds more like an explanation than a disclosure this time.

    We parodied this post on our own blog, the 38th signal:

    http://38thsignal.blogspot.com/2007/11/kindle-bursts-into-flames.html

    We do this with a lot of their sillier stuff. I started telling you about it during our interview, but then Rocky came back with new batteries for the mics so we had to get started again. :)

  45. I completely agree with you on this – the usability of this thing is a nightmare. It’s funny that 37signals, usually quick to give a vicious and opinionated lashing towards anything that scores so low on the usability scale, was urging caution and asking people to quit condemning the kindle:

    http://www.37signals.com/svn/posts/712-kindle-ignites-the-flames

    They disclosed that Bezos is one of their financiers, but that sounds more like an explanation than a disclosure this time.

    We parodied this post on our own blog, the 38th signal:

    http://38thsignal.blogspot.com/2007/11/kindle-bursts-into-flames.html

    We do this with a lot of their sillier stuff. I started telling you about it during our interview, but then Rocky came back with new batteries for the mics so we had to get started again. :)

  46. Robert,
    I like your blog and much of what you write, but I think this is one of the most off the mark, inane set of comments and what drives real innovators crazy.

    I’ve been using a Kindle and I think it’s incredible. (I wonder how many others leaving comments actually have one).

    It does what it’s intended to do near perfectly. It lets you shop for a book and retrieve it quickly and effortlessly. The hardware is modern, subtle, sleek and simple. It gets out of the way when you’re reading. Why in the world do I care whether I can send something to someone else. Use a phone or a computer. The screen technology is what enables and makes practical a book reader. They haven’t yet invented one with a touch screen and doing so would degrade the quality.

    As to the menuing interface I handed it to my elderly mother to use as a test. She was able to shop for a book, retrieve it and read it. Perhaps it was developed by an unemployed Microsoft employee who was fired for making things too simple.

  47. Robert,
    I like your blog and much of what you write, but I think this is one of the most off the mark, inane set of comments and what drives real innovators crazy.

    I’ve been using a Kindle and I think it’s incredible. (I wonder how many others leaving comments actually have one).

    It does what it’s intended to do near perfectly. It lets you shop for a book and retrieve it quickly and effortlessly. The hardware is modern, subtle, sleek and simple. It gets out of the way when you’re reading. Why in the world do I care whether I can send something to someone else. Use a phone or a computer. The screen technology is what enables and makes practical a book reader. They haven’t yet invented one with a touch screen and doing so would degrade the quality.

    As to the menuing interface I handed it to my elderly mother to use as a test. She was able to shop for a book, retrieve it and read it. Perhaps it was developed by an unemployed Microsoft employee who was fired for making things too simple.

  48. Phil: cool, glad to see we disagree, although largely I agree with you. Being able to buy a book and view it immediately no matter where you are is pretty incredible and well done.

    It’s just that the design of this thing is maddening and makes telling other people about it even more maddening. EVERY TIME I hand it to someone else I lose my place in my book.

  49. Phil: cool, glad to see we disagree, although largely I agree with you. Being able to buy a book and view it immediately no matter where you are is pretty incredible and well done.

    It’s just that the design of this thing is maddening and makes telling other people about it even more maddening. EVERY TIME I hand it to someone else I lose my place in my book.

  50. The business model for the kindle is terrific – really top notch. It’s the UI that’s bad. I know the technology isn’t there to do a digital paper touch screen, but honestly the iPhone has ruined users – we’d rather have something fun with less battery life than something more readable with lots of buttons. This just doesn’t have mass market appeal.

    I think you left a good complaint off the list too: the keyboard. If this thing is about reading books, then why should I have to deal with a keyboard taking up 30% of my device when 95% of the time I’m using it I don’t need or want it?

    If you’re going to do an e-book reader, it needs to be done right. The business model is done right, but the device isn’t. If the technology isn’t here to do it right, then Kindle should wait a few years.

  51. The business model for the kindle is terrific – really top notch. It’s the UI that’s bad. I know the technology isn’t there to do a digital paper touch screen, but honestly the iPhone has ruined users – we’d rather have something fun with less battery life than something more readable with lots of buttons. This just doesn’t have mass market appeal.

    I think you left a good complaint off the list too: the keyboard. If this thing is about reading books, then why should I have to deal with a keyboard taking up 30% of my device when 95% of the time I’m using it I don’t need or want it?

    If you’re going to do an e-book reader, it needs to be done right. The business model is done right, but the device isn’t. If the technology isn’t here to do it right, then Kindle should wait a few years.

  52. Robert,
    As to the keyboard, I suspect it’s there to make better use of the Kindle store and searching. But it also helps to hold the device. I hold the unit either with 2 hands above the keys or with my right hand over the ridge. Once I got used to it the turn page bar works great.
    Phil

  53. Robert,
    As to the keyboard, I suspect it’s there to make better use of the Kindle store and searching. But it also helps to hold the device. I hold the unit either with 2 hands above the keys or with my right hand over the ridge. Once I got used to it the turn page bar works great.
    Phil

  54. I think what Scoble was trying to say with all those social networking comments is that the possibilities for this product are amazing: imagine a device that’s always connected, independent of your computer and used for something as personal as reading, and how it could bring you closer to your friends who also own one? They could have really changed the game here, like Microsoft did with their XBox online functionality.

  55. I think what Scoble was trying to say with all those social networking comments is that the possibilities for this product are amazing: imagine a device that’s always connected, independent of your computer and used for something as personal as reading, and how it could bring you closer to your friends who also own one? They could have really changed the game here, like Microsoft did with their XBox online functionality.

  56. One thing about the Kindle introduction that sticks out to me-Bezos saying this isn’t a device, its a “Service”.

    I’m guessing the 1.0 hardware is just something they had to do to get things started-but they must have a bigger strategy here. I’m wondering if Apple is going to release:
    a) an update to the iPhone that can access the Kindle “Service”
    b) a Tablet Mac that can access the Kindle “Service”

    (Steven Levy even dropped a hint about something in his Newsweek column-”(I’ve been reading Boswell’s “Life of Johnson” on my iPhone, a device that is expected to be a major outlet for e-books in the coming months.)” )

  57. One thing about the Kindle introduction that sticks out to me-Bezos saying this isn’t a device, its a “Service”.

    I’m guessing the 1.0 hardware is just something they had to do to get things started-but they must have a bigger strategy here. I’m wondering if Apple is going to release:
    a) an update to the iPhone that can access the Kindle “Service”
    b) a Tablet Mac that can access the Kindle “Service”

    (Steven Levy even dropped a hint about something in his Newsweek column-”(I’ve been reading Boswell’s “Life of Johnson” on my iPhone, a device that is expected to be a major outlet for e-books in the coming months.)” )

  58. Robert, I think you missed one minor point; it’s an electronic book. It’s not a frisbee that’s supposed to let you read while you pass it around. It’s not a wireless physical-goods shopping device. It’s not a remote facebook interface. It’s not an iphone clone.

    In your entire silly rant you fail to mention how the experience was reading those two books. That might have been interesting.

  59. Robert, I think you missed one minor point; it’s an electronic book. It’s not a frisbee that’s supposed to let you read while you pass it around. It’s not a wireless physical-goods shopping device. It’s not a remote facebook interface. It’s not an iphone clone.

    In your entire silly rant you fail to mention how the experience was reading those two books. That might have been interesting.

  60. I guess the memories of readers really are that short. Just a few short days ago, you were gushing about the Kindle.

    I pointed out that the Kindle was a UI nightmare which you childishly responded with “Have you seen the UI? I don’t believe you” which added NOTHING to the conversation.

    Go back to your previous link and reread the comments. http://urltea.com/24fp

    I specifically pointed out that the Prev and Next buttons were going to be an issue. The Kindle is not a well thought out product. I would LOVE to have a good ereader given the number of books I read. I am nearing 100 books for the year despite having an extremely busy schedule and “full time job” as you say. The fact is that if you enjoy reading, you will make the time. And two books in a week is nothing.

    So for a change, admit that you know nothing about what makes a good ereader, lay off the navel gazing techno punditism and let others who actually have a clue weigh in.

    I leave you with a quote. “You, Sir, Are an idiot”. And should be fired for gross stupidity.

    PS. For those saying that books are status symbols, that is just plain idiotic.

  61. I guess the memories of readers really are that short. Just a few short days ago, you were gushing about the Kindle.

    I pointed out that the Kindle was a UI nightmare which you childishly responded with “Have you seen the UI? I don’t believe you” which added NOTHING to the conversation.

    Go back to your previous link and reread the comments. http://urltea.com/24fp

    I specifically pointed out that the Prev and Next buttons were going to be an issue. The Kindle is not a well thought out product. I would LOVE to have a good ereader given the number of books I read. I am nearing 100 books for the year despite having an extremely busy schedule and “full time job” as you say. The fact is that if you enjoy reading, you will make the time. And two books in a week is nothing.

    So for a change, admit that you know nothing about what makes a good ereader, lay off the navel gazing techno punditism and let others who actually have a clue weigh in.

    I leave you with a quote. “You, Sir, Are an idiot”. And should be fired for gross stupidity.

    PS. For those saying that books are status symbols, that is just plain idiotic.

  62. My refrigerator sucks because it doesn’t have a social network. Why don’t I have a list of all my friends who also have refrigerators and let them see what I’m eating?

    Because not everything has to be a social network, that’s why.

  63. My refrigerator sucks because it doesn’t have a social network. Why don’t I have a list of all my friends who also have refrigerators and let them see what I’m eating?

    Because not everything has to be a social network, that’s why.

  64. I’m in the same boat as Davic Mackey (above). Perhaps if the price point were much lower then people wouldn’t expect a simple ebook reader to do so much.

    What I’d like to see in addition to being able to purchase books is to have a book subscription like Oreilly’s Safari service. I re-read a fraction of the books that I buy, so being able rent a couple of books a month for a reasonable subscription fee would be great for me.

  65. I’m in the same boat as Davic Mackey (above). Perhaps if the price point were much lower then people wouldn’t expect a simple ebook reader to do so much.

    What I’d like to see in addition to being able to purchase books is to have a book subscription like Oreilly’s Safari service. I re-read a fraction of the books that I buy, so being able rent a couple of books a month for a reasonable subscription fee would be great for me.

  66. I agree with everything Scoble has to say thus far about the Kindle’s shortcomings. Sure, many readers will not miss the social networking features he mentioned but he is right that it should be there in these web 2.0 days. The ability to connect with other kindle users is a brilliant marketing and business tool! Robert is correct about the piles of money they are leaving on the table!
    The UI is critical and it does appear to be flawed in many ways. Too bad Apple was not involved with its design. Steve Jobs would have come up with a much better book reader. (did I type that out loud? me, a windows lover? sheesh).
    Keep the criticism coming, Robert! It will help them build a better product for all of us!!!
    Thanks for the passion!

    Pai

  67. I agree with everything Scoble has to say thus far about the Kindle’s shortcomings. Sure, many readers will not miss the social networking features he mentioned but he is right that it should be there in these web 2.0 days. The ability to connect with other kindle users is a brilliant marketing and business tool! Robert is correct about the piles of money they are leaving on the table!
    The UI is critical and it does appear to be flawed in many ways. Too bad Apple was not involved with its design. Steve Jobs would have come up with a much better book reader. (did I type that out loud? me, a windows lover? sheesh).
    Keep the criticism coming, Robert! It will help them build a better product for all of us!!!
    Thanks for the passion!

    Pai

  68. Well, Robert, you talked yourself out of a $40 commission. But I appreciate your honesty. I’ll wait and hope that they get the next version right.

    But I have to disagree with you about firing the designer. The one who had authority over approval of the design is the one who needs to take responsibility.

  69. Well, Robert, you talked yourself out of a $40 commission. But I appreciate your honesty. I’ll wait and hope that they get the next version right.

    But I have to disagree with you about firing the designer. The one who had authority over approval of the design is the one who needs to take responsibility.

  70. they should make it more like a umpc, with the keyboards on the sides… and with a hold button for the keyboard, so you don’t accidently hit it when you’re gripping it. They should have a seperate lcd screen for typing (using non e-ink technology) at the bottom, so typing is more responsive. finally like the psp, the next/prev botton should be at the top of the device (r1/l1)

  71. they should make it more like a umpc, with the keyboards on the sides… and with a hold button for the keyboard, so you don’t accidently hit it when you’re gripping it. They should have a seperate lcd screen for typing (using non e-ink technology) at the bottom, so typing is more responsive. finally like the psp, the next/prev botton should be at the top of the device (r1/l1)

  72. Wow. Robert, I’ve never had the patience to watch one of your videos beyond a few seconds before, but this was compelling, honest, and just rang true. Nicely done…I was seriously interested in the Kindle before I saw this, but not now. Like I said…wow.

  73. Wow. Robert, I’ve never had the patience to watch one of your videos beyond a few seconds before, but this was compelling, honest, and just rang true. Nicely done…I was seriously interested in the Kindle before I saw this, but not now. Like I said…wow.

  74. [...] the last week giving his new Amazon Kindle ebook reader a test drive, reading a couple of books and declaring the progeny of Jeff Bezos a failure. He thinks the usability and user interface suck and it lack features such as a touch screen, [...]

  75. Robert- I’ve been testing a Kindle for the past few days and it feels like a prototype device. Forget about just ordering paper products- I should be able to order anything out of the Amazon catalog.

  76. Robert- I’ve been testing a Kindle for the past few days and it feels like a prototype device. Forget about just ordering paper products- I should be able to order anything out of the Amazon catalog.

  77. Robert:

    You appear to have completely missed the point.

    The Kindle is a book reader–buying paper goods and other features would complicate the device.

    The most important attributes for the Kindle are long battery life and screen readability. Neither of these can be accomplished with a touch-screen.

    Do you have any expertise in technology at all? Maybe you should get a clue before calling for the firing of the Kindle designers.

    Matt

  78. Robert:

    You appear to have completely missed the point.

    The Kindle is a book reader–buying paper goods and other features would complicate the device.

    The most important attributes for the Kindle are long battery life and screen readability. Neither of these can be accomplished with a touch-screen.

    Do you have any expertise in technology at all? Maybe you should get a clue before calling for the firing of the Kindle designers.

    Matt

  79. Books are status symbols because someone living in poverty does not have or take the time to buy a book and read. All romantic notions aside, someone who is worried about their next meal, or too strung out on drugs, does not care about books or the Kindle. Thus, books are status symbols saying ‘Hey, I’m rich enough to buy books.’

  80. Books are status symbols because someone living in poverty does not have or take the time to buy a book and read. All romantic notions aside, someone who is worried about their next meal, or too strung out on drugs, does not care about books or the Kindle. Thus, books are status symbols saying ‘Hey, I’m rich enough to buy books.’

  81. Your point about the funky page numbers in the video is an excellent one as well. Imagine a class where the professor is using a printed copy of the book and you are using your Kindle. When the professor says “turn to page 115 and read the second paragraph” you need to be “backwards compatible” with the paper version or you will immediately be lost in the discussion. So there really needs to be compatibility between paper users and electronic users.
    One thing that did appeal to me about the “Service” aspect of the Kindle is that you can redownload your purchased books at any time — Apple could at least learn a lesson from this and allow people to redownload media when they lose it.
    And now a critique of the kyte video player you are using since the topic is usability — why won’t it let me skip ahead without downloading the entire clip up to that point? I wanted to jump forward to a later point in your review, but it wouldn’t let me.

  82. Your point about the funky page numbers in the video is an excellent one as well. Imagine a class where the professor is using a printed copy of the book and you are using your Kindle. When the professor says “turn to page 115 and read the second paragraph” you need to be “backwards compatible” with the paper version or you will immediately be lost in the discussion. So there really needs to be compatibility between paper users and electronic users.
    One thing that did appeal to me about the “Service” aspect of the Kindle is that you can redownload your purchased books at any time — Apple could at least learn a lesson from this and allow people to redownload media when they lose it.
    And now a critique of the kyte video player you are using since the topic is usability — why won’t it let me skip ahead without downloading the entire clip up to that point? I wanted to jump forward to a later point in your review, but it wouldn’t let me.

  83. Dread said:

    “Thank you for an honest review. Wasn’t expecting that.”

    Ditto.

    The only really positive impression I have after reading a half-dozen reviews of the Kindle is that I would have appreciated a device that contained all my casebooks in law school. I have had problems with my right shoulder, the one my backpack tended to rest one, since that time.

  84. Dread said:

    “Thank you for an honest review. Wasn’t expecting that.”

    Ditto.

    The only really positive impression I have after reading a half-dozen reviews of the Kindle is that I would have appreciated a device that contained all my casebooks in law school. I have had problems with my right shoulder, the one my backpack tended to rest one, since that time.

  85. “It’s obvious that they never had this device in their hands when they were designing it.”

    is it really obvious, or is that your way of simply delivering a cheap shot?

    Personally I’m not having any problems with the usability. Compared to the Sony Reader it’s an order of magnitude better.

  86. “It’s obvious that they never had this device in their hands when they were designing it.”

    is it really obvious, or is that your way of simply delivering a cheap shot?

    Personally I’m not having any problems with the usability. Compared to the Sony Reader it’s an order of magnitude better.

  87. Omar: if they had their hands on a device while designing it they would have made the rubber grip fit your hands.

    But I agree that it’s better than the Sony Reader. I never bought a Sony Reader, I bought this one.

  88. Omar: if they had their hands on a device while designing it they would have made the rubber grip fit your hands.

    But I agree that it’s better than the Sony Reader. I never bought a Sony Reader, I bought this one.

  89. I’ve also had mine for a week or so now and disagree with pretty much all of your points.

    1) I don’t want to buy paper goods from Amazon through the Kindle. The main reason I bought it was to read things on the Kindle and to unclutter my shelves.

    2, 3) Usability sucks. They didn’t think about how people would hold this device.
    The usability and UI could certainly be better — They’re obviously limited by by the screen, its refresh rate is slow, but fast enough to do what the device was meant to do. Read. I find the way the device fits in my hands to be great. The device looks a lot better in person than in the photos.

    4) It would be great to be able to send electronic goods to someone else. This doesn’t seem like a failing of the Kindle but of the Amazon service. Nothing stops Amazon from letting you do this.

    5) Social network? Again, more Amazon service things. Do they provide this for actual books? Why do you need this for ebooks?

    6) Touch screen? I’m pretty sure I would find a touch screen on this device to be a pain. Given the speed at which the screen can redraw, I suspect you would end up pushing the screen, waiting waiting pushing it again and it wouldn’t be a very nice experiment. I think they’ve done a great job given the screen technology. The screen isn’t a LCD.

  90. I’ve also had mine for a week or so now and disagree with pretty much all of your points.

    1) I don’t want to buy paper goods from Amazon through the Kindle. The main reason I bought it was to read things on the Kindle and to unclutter my shelves.

    2, 3) Usability sucks. They didn’t think about how people would hold this device.
    The usability and UI could certainly be better — They’re obviously limited by by the screen, its refresh rate is slow, but fast enough to do what the device was meant to do. Read. I find the way the device fits in my hands to be great. The device looks a lot better in person than in the photos.

    4) It would be great to be able to send electronic goods to someone else. This doesn’t seem like a failing of the Kindle but of the Amazon service. Nothing stops Amazon from letting you do this.

    5) Social network? Again, more Amazon service things. Do they provide this for actual books? Why do you need this for ebooks?

    6) Touch screen? I’m pretty sure I would find a touch screen on this device to be a pain. Given the speed at which the screen can redraw, I suspect you would end up pushing the screen, waiting waiting pushing it again and it wouldn’t be a very nice experiment. I think they’ve done a great job given the screen technology. The screen isn’t a LCD.

  91. callingbull: so you never change your opinion after you have a product for a while? Got it. You are so smart that your first judgment is always right.

    Oh, and have you ever had your hands on a Kindle? How did you before last Tuesday?

  92. callingbull: so you never change your opinion after you have a product for a while? Got it. You are so smart that your first judgment is always right.

    Oh, and have you ever had your hands on a Kindle? How did you before last Tuesday?

  93. Robert:

    I was kind of embarrassed for you as I watched this video. Repetetive, over-the-top bile; you could have trimmed 10 minutes out of that video. And I wondered if *you* had thought it through – there is an ebook device with a touchscreen (iRex iLiad), and it retails for $700. I think I can do without that if it saves me 300 clams.

    Yes Kindle has some flaws. I haven’t held one yet (mine is on order), so I can’t comment about the page buttons. I suspect that one learns to hold it properly in, oh … 5 minutes or less, though.

    Social networking or buying products for others? Maybe that’s for version 2. For now, I’m fine without it.

    Kindle brings two very big new features to the fledgeling ebook device area: 1) the wireless impulse buy, that’s a stroke of genius. And 2) over 90k books at reasonable prices, with a real way forward to see more and more books in the ebook channel. These alone put me in the ‘wanna take *yet another* early adopter beating’ crowd. Yet you hardly bother to mention them.

    I was embarrassed for you; and I wondered if you’d been drinking.

  94. Robert:

    I was kind of embarrassed for you as I watched this video. Repetetive, over-the-top bile; you could have trimmed 10 minutes out of that video. And I wondered if *you* had thought it through – there is an ebook device with a touchscreen (iRex iLiad), and it retails for $700. I think I can do without that if it saves me 300 clams.

    Yes Kindle has some flaws. I haven’t held one yet (mine is on order), so I can’t comment about the page buttons. I suspect that one learns to hold it properly in, oh … 5 minutes or less, though.

    Social networking or buying products for others? Maybe that’s for version 2. For now, I’m fine without it.

    Kindle brings two very big new features to the fledgeling ebook device area: 1) the wireless impulse buy, that’s a stroke of genius. And 2) over 90k books at reasonable prices, with a real way forward to see more and more books in the ebook channel. These alone put me in the ‘wanna take *yet another* early adopter beating’ crowd. Yet you hardly bother to mention them.

    I was embarrassed for you; and I wondered if you’d been drinking.

  95. Robert-

    I have to give you a gold star for your regression from Kindle fanboy to fair critic after legitimately road-testing it.

    Cheers.

  96. Robert-

    I have to give you a gold star for your regression from Kindle fanboy to fair critic after legitimately road-testing it.

    Cheers.

  97. Bryan: I wasn’t drinking. You should go back and look at my other Kindle videos. this isn’t the only one. In the others I point out the benefits.

    Here’s my other videos:

    Kindle unboxing: http://www.kyte.tv/channels/view.html?uri=channels/6118/74949
    Walking around on Kindle: http://www.kyte.tv/channels/view.html?uri=channels/6118/74999
    Kindle first use: http://www.kyte.tv/channels/view.html?uri=channels/6118/74984
    Books vs. Kindle: http://www.kyte.tv/channels/view.html?uri=channels/6118/75445
    Arrington rips on Kindle: http://www.kyte.tv/channels/view.html?uri=channels/6118/75154

  98. Bryan: I wasn’t drinking. You should go back and look at my other Kindle videos. this isn’t the only one. In the others I point out the benefits.

    Here’s my other videos:

    Kindle unboxing: http://www.kyte.tv/channels/view.html?uri=channels/6118/74949
    Walking around on Kindle: http://www.kyte.tv/channels/view.html?uri=channels/6118/74999
    Kindle first use: http://www.kyte.tv/channels/view.html?uri=channels/6118/74984
    Books vs. Kindle: http://www.kyte.tv/channels/view.html?uri=channels/6118/75445
    Arrington rips on Kindle: http://www.kyte.tv/channels/view.html?uri=channels/6118/75154

  99. Of course, it is possible to change one’s opinion. The problem though is you typically come across as your opinion being the only correct one.

    I did get a chance to play with a Kindle (not before Tuesday since I have a RealJob) and still stand by my comments.

    One other point I would make though is that Kindle does not let my friends borrow a book that I like. Just like I am able to loan a physical book, I should be able to do the same. That would be a decent use of DRM instead of a blanket lockup.

  100. Of course, it is possible to change one’s opinion. The problem though is you typically come across as your opinion being the only correct one.

    I did get a chance to play with a Kindle (not before Tuesday since I have a RealJob) and still stand by my comments.

    One other point I would make though is that Kindle does not let my friends borrow a book that I like. Just like I am able to loan a physical book, I should be able to do the same. That would be a decent use of DRM instead of a blanket lockup.

  101. In the age of convergence why is anyone going to carry around another device just to read books?

    The iPhone already comes close to fulfilling the Kindle’s potential. Just check out the Texterity iPhone magazine web site (on an iPhone) and you’ll see what I mean…

    http://www.texterity.com/iphone/

    If it’s another gadget that you want to lug around then the fabled UMPC-multi-touch Apple device will probably nail the market before anybody else does.

  102. In the age of convergence why is anyone going to carry around another device just to read books?

    The iPhone already comes close to fulfilling the Kindle’s potential. Just check out the Texterity iPhone magazine web site (on an iPhone) and you’ll see what I mean…

    http://www.texterity.com/iphone/

    If it’s another gadget that you want to lug around then the fabled UMPC-multi-touch Apple device will probably nail the market before anybody else does.

  103. When I eventually get back to the Valley, I’m still ordering one, since I’ve done the Sony thing and none of the bullet items are deal breakers for me. ESPECIALLY lack of social networking, heh. Trust me, you don’t want to know the stuff I read.

    And Chris Finke, your comment alone has made me a new reader of your blog. :D

  104. When I eventually get back to the Valley, I’m still ordering one, since I’ve done the Sony thing and none of the bullet items are deal breakers for me. ESPECIALLY lack of social networking, heh. Trust me, you don’t want to know the stuff I read.

    And Chris Finke, your comment alone has made me a new reader of your blog. :D

  105. I guess the reason I’m not surprised it’s bad is because the company who built it isn’t a products company. As I’ve said before, I’m a huge Amazon fan, but it’s not like they are design/interaction experts. They have a so-so Web interface, and zero gadget expertise.

    Maybe there’s a reason a few of us do this stuff for a living? :)

  106. I guess the reason I’m not surprised it’s bad is because the company who built it isn’t a products company. As I’ve said before, I’m a huge Amazon fan, but it’s not like they are design/interaction experts. They have a so-so Web interface, and zero gadget expertise.

    Maybe there’s a reason a few of us do this stuff for a living? :)

  107. Personally I think you wine too much during this review. The kindle seems to have some interesting features but you wine about some feature nobody ever will use except some freaky consumers who order books daily. You have the privelage to be an American consumer. As soon as China switches to Euros you WILL be screwed and will have to dive deeper into you wallet for you gadgets. You will notice that requesting useless features cost more than a few bucks.

  108. Personally I think you wine too much during this review. The kindle seems to have some interesting features but you wine about some feature nobody ever will use except some freaky consumers who order books daily. You have the privelage to be an American consumer. As soon as China switches to Euros you WILL be screwed and will have to dive deeper into you wallet for you gadgets. You will notice that requesting useless features cost more than a few bucks.

  109. I can’t believe they came out with this and even brought it out with such fanfare. It looks like something from the 1980′s. After using an iPhone all they needed to do was create something similar to this but larger (maybe with a screen that is ‘paper like’ as they say). Anyway, hope they learn their less on this

  110. I can’t believe they came out with this and even brought it out with such fanfare. It looks like something from the 1980′s. After using an iPhone all they needed to do was create something similar to this but larger (maybe with a screen that is ‘paper like’ as they say). Anyway, hope they learn their less on this

  111. “Usability sucks.”

    Wow. And it’s with this kind of highly detailed commentary you became one of the top-rated blogs on the web?

    Sound’s more like something a Digg troll would spout…

  112. “Usability sucks.”

    Wow. And it’s with this kind of highly detailed commentary you became one of the top-rated blogs on the web?

    Sound’s more like something a Digg troll would spout…

  113. Be that as it may, but personally, I’m suitably impressed by Kindle. I don’t want it to have a social network, nor do I need to be able to buy paper books from the damn thing.
    But a device with a screen that I can see stuff on when I’m sitting outside in the sun? That I need.
    Of course the iPhone/Laptop/PDA has better resolution and better networking capabilities. But that doesn’t do anything for me when sitting somewhere sipping umbrella drinks.
    When I have some spare time, I read books. Lot’s of them. Three this weekend. If I go somewhere I take lots of pulped dead trees with me.
    To get rid of that weight AND being able to read the darn thing wherever I want is somewhere between good enough and a dream come true.
    Again, it’s all about the (granted, fairly limited) screen. All the other stuff is extras.

  114. Be that as it may, but personally, I’m suitably impressed by Kindle. I don’t want it to have a social network, nor do I need to be able to buy paper books from the damn thing.
    But a device with a screen that I can see stuff on when I’m sitting outside in the sun? That I need.
    Of course the iPhone/Laptop/PDA has better resolution and better networking capabilities. But that doesn’t do anything for me when sitting somewhere sipping umbrella drinks.
    When I have some spare time, I read books. Lot’s of them. Three this weekend. If I go somewhere I take lots of pulped dead trees with me.
    To get rid of that weight AND being able to read the darn thing wherever I want is somewhere between good enough and a dream come true.
    Again, it’s all about the (granted, fairly limited) screen. All the other stuff is extras.

  115. Scoble, I really value this most direct and passionate summary/review of the kindle. I much prefer this kind of reviews (even if it’s somewhat emotional) to the average “oh, everything is sooo great” reviews that usually float around the net. it’s this kind of reviews that make a difference for me (even if, of course, not everyone can/will agree with every point you bring up. i do, however). cheers!

  116. Scoble, I really value this most direct and passionate summary/review of the kindle. I much prefer this kind of reviews (even if it’s somewhat emotional) to the average “oh, everything is sooo great” reviews that usually float around the net. it’s this kind of reviews that make a difference for me (even if, of course, not everyone can/will agree with every point you bring up. i do, however). cheers!

  117. Give me a break, no social networking. You live in this world of tech blogs that believes everyone in the world is in some social network, and the rest who are not actually care. Guess what, most are not, and most don’t care. Stop drinking the Kool-Aid. The device is interesting with or without social networking.

  118. Give me a break, no social networking. You live in this world of tech blogs that believes everyone in the world is in some social network, and the rest who are not actually care. Guess what, most are not, and most don’t care. Stop drinking the Kool-Aid. The device is interesting with or without social networking.

  119. Just watched the video. I haven’t seen you this upset since the time you tried to kiss Dirk Diggler.

    The point about the page buttons seems like a good one. In trying to make it as easy as possible to turn the page, they made it way too easy. Other than that, I don’t really care about any of the things you’re so incensed about. No social networking? OHNOEZ!!!

  120. Just watched the video. I haven’t seen you this upset since the time you tried to kiss Dirk Diggler.

    The point about the page buttons seems like a good one. In trying to make it as easy as possible to turn the page, they made it way too easy. Other than that, I don’t really care about any of the things you’re so incensed about. No social networking? OHNOEZ!!!

  121. For Kindle 2.0, perhaps they should add user to the evaluation group. Seriously, many of the features you want seem like no-brainers that could be implemented. It’s always fascinating to see new products that miss some of the basic things that consumers want.

  122. For Kindle 2.0, perhaps they should add user to the evaluation group. Seriously, many of the features you want seem like no-brainers that could be implemented. It’s always fascinating to see new products that miss some of the basic things that consumers want.

  123. Nice review, one thing I wish you would hit is the keyboard… Is it as bad as it looks?

    Also, why wouldn’t you buy an OLPC instead? It has a reflective screen, is a real computer, can be charged with a crank and you get to help save the world.

    Pretty good deal, I think!

  124. Nice review, one thing I wish you would hit is the keyboard… Is it as bad as it looks?

    Also, why wouldn’t you buy an OLPC instead? It has a reflective screen, is a real computer, can be charged with a crank and you get to help save the world.

    Pretty good deal, I think!

  125. I am waiting for a Day-Runner sized package with both an LCD touchscreen and an e-Paper screen. It is either that or wait a decade for e-Paper technology to improve so that it can do all the tricks we have come to expect from mobile devices. No it wouldn’t fit in your pocket but neither does a paperback (much less a stack of reference books). I’ve read books on LCD screens and I don’t like the small size in the case of mobile devices or the backlighting. When I am traveling in South America I need more battery life than LCD devices provide as well.

  126. I am waiting for a Day-Runner sized package with both an LCD touchscreen and an e-Paper screen. It is either that or wait a decade for e-Paper technology to improve so that it can do all the tricks we have come to expect from mobile devices. No it wouldn’t fit in your pocket but neither does a paperback (much less a stack of reference books). I’ve read books on LCD screens and I don’t like the small size in the case of mobile devices or the backlighting. When I am traveling in South America I need more battery life than LCD devices provide as well.

  127. The kindle reminds me of the Sony reader from 1994 which it had limited amount of books but the dictionary was the only great feature that I actually used in College… Well, They should of learned from sony mistakes…The new Sony is much better….
    Thanks for being honest…

    Keep it up..

    Big Frank
    Downey, Ca

  128. The kindle reminds me of the Sony reader from 1994 which it had limited amount of books but the dictionary was the only great feature that I actually used in College… Well, They should of learned from sony mistakes…The new Sony is much better….
    Thanks for being honest…

    Keep it up..

    Big Frank
    Downey, Ca

  129. Robert,

    I respecfully disagree with pretty much everything. I’ve owned it for a week. My biggest issues are that most folks want MORE features, for LESS money, but that’s what consumers always want. I want to get rid of some features (blogs? Come on?).

    I do agree that the physical design is odd, but I took a note from the instructions that said it’s designed to be used with the cover on. Once you do this, the holding it issue goes away 100%. The spine becomes a perfect handle, and I can read endlessly with one hand, without having to hold a book open. (The cover could hold the thing better, but velcro solved that). Which brings me to my biggest complaint, which is how they’ve communicated this thing. They should SHOW the thing with the cover on all the time. They should point out that getting PDFs on it is super easy.

    There’s little question it’s early adopter tech. Much of what you talk about (store/social networking issues) are relatively straightforward software problems easily patched in.

    Last, for everyone who doesn’t get ebooks — thats OK. But take one to the gym, put it on the little shelf of the treadmill, up the type face and start running, flat out. You can still read a book. Never seen a way to do that on paper.

  130. Robert,

    I respecfully disagree with pretty much everything. I’ve owned it for a week. My biggest issues are that most folks want MORE features, for LESS money, but that’s what consumers always want. I want to get rid of some features (blogs? Come on?).

    I do agree that the physical design is odd, but I took a note from the instructions that said it’s designed to be used with the cover on. Once you do this, the holding it issue goes away 100%. The spine becomes a perfect handle, and I can read endlessly with one hand, without having to hold a book open. (The cover could hold the thing better, but velcro solved that). Which brings me to my biggest complaint, which is how they’ve communicated this thing. They should SHOW the thing with the cover on all the time. They should point out that getting PDFs on it is super easy.

    There’s little question it’s early adopter tech. Much of what you talk about (store/social networking issues) are relatively straightforward software problems easily patched in.

    Last, for everyone who doesn’t get ebooks — thats OK. But take one to the gym, put it on the little shelf of the treadmill, up the type face and start running, flat out. You can still read a book. Never seen a way to do that on paper.

  131. Nice review, although I really didn’t need one to know how much this thing sucked. It’s so retro-but-not-cool-enough-to-be-retro. It looks like something TI circa 1982. That being said, I think e-book readers like this will probably replace regular textbooks for schools. Just thinking about how much less back pain for our kids and how much locker space saved could be accomplished by licensing text books in an electronic format for these things.

  132. Nice review, although I really didn’t need one to know how much this thing sucked. It’s so retro-but-not-cool-enough-to-be-retro. It looks like something TI circa 1982. That being said, I think e-book readers like this will probably replace regular textbooks for schools. Just thinking about how much less back pain for our kids and how much locker space saved could be accomplished by licensing text books in an electronic format for these things.

  133. I just bought one. Haven’t received it yet though. My question is – why do we need “social networking” in a book reader? Seems like it would be a total waste of bandwidth, and not something that most users would want. That’s like the old complaint that iPods don’t have FM tuners.

  134. I just bought one. Haven’t received it yet though. My question is – why do we need “social networking” in a book reader? Seems like it would be a total waste of bandwidth, and not something that most users would want. That’s like the old complaint that iPods don’t have FM tuners.

  135. Thank you for validating the design decisions that went into the best ebook reader: The Sony Reader.

    http://mikecane.wordpress.com/2006/10/26/sony-reader-part-4-of-4/

    Sony did the Kindle first — in gadget-mad Japan:

    http://www.makezine.com/extras/50.html

    – see all those nifty buttons? FAIL!

    Sony USA twisted Japan’s arm to let them remix it. It’s been successful (yes!) and has gone to rev 2, recently released.

    Just looking at the Kindle, I could tell there would be all the problems you highlighted (no pun intended). You get no sympathy from me.

    As for a touchscreen ebook reader:

    http://fakesteve.blogspot.com/2007/10/our-new-ibook-reader.html

    One thing I can thank amazon for: Ebook prices have dropped to sane levels. There are ebooks I’ve wanted to buy and they’ve now dropped in price *below* their mass-market paperback price. Thanks, Jeff Bezos. But I won’t be reading them on that Kindle abomination!

  136. Thank you for validating the design decisions that went into the best ebook reader: The Sony Reader.

    http://mikecane.wordpress.com/2006/10/26/sony-reader-part-4-of-4/

    Sony did the Kindle first — in gadget-mad Japan:

    http://www.makezine.com/extras/50.html

    – see all those nifty buttons? FAIL!

    Sony USA twisted Japan’s arm to let them remix it. It’s been successful (yes!) and has gone to rev 2, recently released.

    Just looking at the Kindle, I could tell there would be all the problems you highlighted (no pun intended). You get no sympathy from me.

    As for a touchscreen ebook reader:

    http://fakesteve.blogspot.com/2007/10/our-new-ibook-reader.html

    One thing I can thank amazon for: Ebook prices have dropped to sane levels. There are ebooks I’ve wanted to buy and they’ve now dropped in price *below* their mass-market paperback price. Thanks, Jeff Bezos. But I won’t be reading them on that Kindle abomination!

  137. Robert, I agree with most of your opinions about the Kindle and even wrote my own impressions after a few days of usage:

    http://jkontherun.blogs.com/jkontherun/2007/11/hands-on-impres.html

    I’m not quite as harsh as you are as I still think that the Kindle is sufficient for the intended audience- those who don’t live on the web and who are connected all the time. If they address the buttons I wouldn’t have a problem buying one for a family member.

  138. Robert, I agree with most of your opinions about the Kindle and even wrote my own impressions after a few days of usage:

    http://jkontherun.blogs.com/jkontherun/2007/11/hands-on-impres.html

    I’m not quite as harsh as you are as I still think that the Kindle is sufficient for the intended audience- those who don’t live on the web and who are connected all the time. If they address the buttons I wouldn’t have a problem buying one for a family member.

  139. Please leave social networking OFF the Kindle. The last thing I’m worried about when “curled up” reading a book is what the hell my friends are doing. I don’t need to be connected to the grid 24/7. Other than that, sounds like you just saved me a few bucks. Guess I’ll wait for version 2 or a better brand.

  140. Please leave social networking OFF the Kindle. The last thing I’m worried about when “curled up” reading a book is what the hell my friends are doing. I don’t need to be connected to the grid 24/7. Other than that, sounds like you just saved me a few bucks. Guess I’ll wait for version 2 or a better brand.

  141. all of you people giving bad reviews about this device are missing the point. this machine is meant to be as simple and technology free as possible and give you the real feeling of a book.
    you want an ipod, go get one, but don’t ruin it for other brilliant devices.

  142. all of you people giving bad reviews about this device are missing the point. this machine is meant to be as simple and technology free as possible and give you the real feeling of a book.
    you want an ipod, go get one, but don’t ruin it for other brilliant devices.

  143. Well the plus point is the lack of social networking. I seriously don’t see the need for social networking to be part of every aspect of my life, people like time alone, a perfect situation for reading.

    I’m sure this will improve with later versions, it’s early days yet but it doesn’t sound as if it was designed with the end user in mind.

  144. Well the plus point is the lack of social networking. I seriously don’t see the need for social networking to be part of every aspect of my life, people like time alone, a perfect situation for reading.

    I’m sure this will improve with later versions, it’s early days yet but it doesn’t sound as if it was designed with the end user in mind.

  145. No touch screen? please. Touch screens are not innovative, on mobile devices, all touch screens require a minimum of two hand to operate, that’s not innovation.

    Social networks? Please!! If I want to know what my friends are reading, I ask them.

    I find this review laughable and totally missing the point.

  146. No touch screen? please. Touch screens are not innovative, on mobile devices, all touch screens require a minimum of two hand to operate, that’s not innovation.

    Social networks? Please!! If I want to know what my friends are reading, I ask them.

    I find this review laughable and totally missing the point.

  147. There is something being said for buying an electronic book that you will be able to access anywhere for the rest of your life. Yes, DRM is a big part of this, and you might think that would work against permanence of access. But it’s frick’n Amazon. Whatever follow-on devices they sell, you can be sure that your purchases will always be accessible. And if they stick with built-in EVDO (and successor) tech, indeed, you buy it, you own it.

  148. There is something being said for buying an electronic book that you will be able to access anywhere for the rest of your life. Yes, DRM is a big part of this, and you might think that would work against permanence of access. But it’s frick’n Amazon. Whatever follow-on devices they sell, you can be sure that your purchases will always be accessible. And if they stick with built-in EVDO (and successor) tech, indeed, you buy it, you own it.

  149. Well, 7 days too late, but you got there anyways. Gandered it over Thanksgiving, took less than 30 seconds: Poor UI (ok, maybe a pass, if stuck in the Palm III era), hard-to-handle usability feeling, ghosting/flicker, lack of PDF support, locked into Amazon’s bloodstream.

    The old Sony Reader, even with it’s own massive shortcomings, is light-years beyond this (I don’t agree with Omar), and the 505 or iRex kicks it further. Kindle is really time machineish, feels like it was made two decades ago. This woulda been the coolest thing EVAR, like totally, like gag me with a spoon, like, in, like, 19, like, 85, like totally. I mean, fax machines, the CD, the Walkman, and the KINDLE.

    Touch would be nice, but it would make it more expensive. The lack of ‘social functions’ is Scobleish moot point, even in it’s best-case-usage scenario only a few will use or care. Zune has ‘social’ and look what that has done for them, nadda. And you just know Amazon wouldn’t let you share books, all willy-nilly.

    iPhone gone iBook, yeah that could be a consumer hit, anything else I don’t see it. Reader and iRex and similar, while good, are still expensive niche markets. If Apple doesn’t get in this market, it’s pretty much a goner. Microsoft tried and failed, those MS Reader Win CE devices were beyond jokes, and the Tablets are DOA.

  150. Well, 7 days too late, but you got there anyways. Gandered it over Thanksgiving, took less than 30 seconds: Poor UI (ok, maybe a pass, if stuck in the Palm III era), hard-to-handle usability feeling, ghosting/flicker, lack of PDF support, locked into Amazon’s bloodstream.

    The old Sony Reader, even with it’s own massive shortcomings, is light-years beyond this (I don’t agree with Omar), and the 505 or iRex kicks it further. Kindle is really time machineish, feels like it was made two decades ago. This woulda been the coolest thing EVAR, like totally, like gag me with a spoon, like, in, like, 19, like, 85, like totally. I mean, fax machines, the CD, the Walkman, and the KINDLE.

    Touch would be nice, but it would make it more expensive. The lack of ‘social functions’ is Scobleish moot point, even in it’s best-case-usage scenario only a few will use or care. Zune has ‘social’ and look what that has done for them, nadda. And you just know Amazon wouldn’t let you share books, all willy-nilly.

    iPhone gone iBook, yeah that could be a consumer hit, anything else I don’t see it. Reader and iRex and similar, while good, are still expensive niche markets. If Apple doesn’t get in this market, it’s pretty much a goner. Microsoft tried and failed, those MS Reader Win CE devices were beyond jokes, and the Tablets are DOA.

  151. Well, Amazon supposedly thinks long term, so maybe there’ll be a Twig next year, then a Branch, and finally by the time they get to the Amazon Log they’ll actually be saving a lot of trees :)

    But seriously, I’m not sure geeks are the early adopters for a technology like this.

  152. Well, Amazon supposedly thinks long term, so maybe there’ll be a Twig next year, then a Branch, and finally by the time they get to the Amazon Log they’ll actually be saving a lot of trees :)

    But seriously, I’m not sure geeks are the early adopters for a technology like this.

  153. I don’t know whether Kindle is any good or not, but I couldn’t care less about the lack of a “Social network” functionality for this device, and I don’t particularly like touch screens (I hate smudges and fingerprints on screens, but I guess that’s just me).

    But at least this was an honest review, after you praised it so much. But I think most buyers won’t care about the “problems” you list, except for point 2 (which was vague) and possibly point 3 (UI issues).

  154. I don’t know whether Kindle is any good or not, but I couldn’t care less about the lack of a “Social network” functionality for this device, and I don’t particularly like touch screens (I hate smudges and fingerprints on screens, but I guess that’s just me).

    But at least this was an honest review, after you praised it so much. But I think most buyers won’t care about the “problems” you list, except for point 2 (which was vague) and possibly point 3 (UI issues).

  155. And now, the Luddite response:

    I will never ever ever buy an e-book. They are the epitome of lame, and serve no discernible purpose.

    Who on earth would want a machine to do what his own eyes and hands have equipped him to do with greater ease and less expense? No matter how user-friendly they make the interface, it does not improve upon the interface of a bound book. Nor does the memory of a book fragment, decay, or become in-acessible. Print may fade, but copies can be made not just before it does so, but AS it does so!

    Who wants to be interrupted during a choice passage of a novel by low battery or some other mechanical failing? This will happen. You will have to pay good money to have your reading apparatus repaired, and then to re-buy the tomes you have stored there. Money which could have been better spent buying actual books, which can still be read even if you snap the spine like vermicelli.

    Do you people actually like reading, or is this simply the next wave of Geekifest Destiny? Must we automate EVERYTHING? Normally I’m a pro-technology kind of chap, but this is simply a waste of resources. Books are not broken. Do not fix them. Burn, Kindle, Burn.

  156. And now, the Luddite response:

    I will never ever ever buy an e-book. They are the epitome of lame, and serve no discernible purpose.

    Who on earth would want a machine to do what his own eyes and hands have equipped him to do with greater ease and less expense? No matter how user-friendly they make the interface, it does not improve upon the interface of a bound book. Nor does the memory of a book fragment, decay, or become in-acessible. Print may fade, but copies can be made not just before it does so, but AS it does so!

    Who wants to be interrupted during a choice passage of a novel by low battery or some other mechanical failing? This will happen. You will have to pay good money to have your reading apparatus repaired, and then to re-buy the tomes you have stored there. Money which could have been better spent buying actual books, which can still be read even if you snap the spine like vermicelli.

    Do you people actually like reading, or is this simply the next wave of Geekifest Destiny? Must we automate EVERYTHING? Normally I’m a pro-technology kind of chap, but this is simply a waste of resources. Books are not broken. Do not fix them. Burn, Kindle, Burn.

  157. Big Thanks for summarizing your review on your blog. With the overload of video everywhere, it’s getting difficult to decide what to watch these days, and this really makes a difference. (Because it made me want to watch it, rather than debate whether to even start it.)

  158. “And since when is telling the truth about Microsoft’s designs bad?”

    Maybe because it’s totally off topic and done for the sole purpose of scoring brownie points with the anti-Microsoft crowd that you so covet? It really cheapens your blog and videos when you prostitute yourself like that.

    “Microsoft isn’t known for its design skills.”

    FWIW, I don’t even agree here. I’ve used Office 2k7, OneNote (which I love), Media Center, Xbox 360′s dashboard, and see no problems with their UI. And from what I’ve seen, Zune has the best UI of all non-touch-screen devices (and not everyone is into touch screens, btw).

    And before you bring up Apple and their vaunted “design skills”:
    Using iTunes feels like using a damn spreadsheet, and iTMS’s UI needs a serious overhaul, as it’s far too busy. QuickTime player is an absolute joke of a UI. And the Dock sucked from day one and still does; Stacks is also lame. So there!! ;)

  159. “And since when is telling the truth about Microsoft’s designs bad?”

    Maybe because it’s totally off topic and done for the sole purpose of scoring brownie points with the anti-Microsoft crowd that you so covet? It really cheapens your blog and videos when you prostitute yourself like that.

    “Microsoft isn’t known for its design skills.”

    FWIW, I don’t even agree here. I’ve used Office 2k7, OneNote (which I love), Media Center, Xbox 360′s dashboard, and see no problems with their UI. And from what I’ve seen, Zune has the best UI of all non-touch-screen devices (and not everyone is into touch screens, btw).

    And before you bring up Apple and their vaunted “design skills”:
    Using iTunes feels like using a damn spreadsheet, and iTMS’s UI needs a serious overhaul, as it’s far too busy. QuickTime player is an absolute joke of a UI. And the Dock sucked from day one and still does; Stacks is also lame. So there!! ;)

  160. Big Thanks for summarizing your review on your blog. With the overload of video everywhere, it’s getting difficult to decide what to watch these days, and this really makes a difference. (Because it made me want to watch it, rather than debate whether to even start it.)

  161. I’m not sure geeks are the early adopters for a technology like this.

    What? They are the ONLY adopters for any technology whatsoever. The supposed ‘mainstream’ that this device is targeting is not going to piddle down $400 on a whim, has to be a critical yearning need, that in a very convenient package, and this isn’t it, not even close. Always a problem focusing on and providing features for the ‘edge cases’ (i.e. Scoble’s social functions) and then missing the mianstream, but this pleases no one, not edge, middle or outside. The mainstream you have to PAY to get them to early adopt or ‘beta test’ something, expert-level focus groups and such. The geeks? They sign up in droves, and come back for more, but if you design a product around the geeks, heaven help you, have fun at the narrow niches.

  162. I’m not sure geeks are the early adopters for a technology like this.

    What? They are the ONLY adopters for any technology whatsoever. The supposed ‘mainstream’ that this device is targeting is not going to piddle down $400 on a whim, has to be a critical yearning need, that in a very convenient package, and this isn’t it, not even close. Always a problem focusing on and providing features for the ‘edge cases’ (i.e. Scoble’s social functions) and then missing the mianstream, but this pleases no one, not edge, middle or outside. The mainstream you have to PAY to get them to early adopt or ‘beta test’ something, expert-level focus groups and such. The geeks? They sign up in droves, and come back for more, but if you design a product around the geeks, heaven help you, have fun at the narrow niches.

  163. I’m so disappointed by this. I’ve been waiting for a decent e-book reader for ten years and I thought Bezos would be the guy to deliver it. I was planning on buying a few of these, for myself, my family and friends. No sale now.

  164. I’m so disappointed by this. I’ve been waiting for a decent e-book reader for ten years and I thought Bezos would be the guy to deliver it. I was planning on buying a few of these, for myself, my family and friends. No sale now.

  165. This review is so harsh and negative, I’m hearing from several of my peers it has reversed their inclination to buy.

    There’s no place I’m aware of to go and look at the device, so Amazon can’t really answer all these arguments with their physical product.

  166. This review is so harsh and negative, I’m hearing from several of my peers it has reversed their inclination to buy.

    There’s no place I’m aware of to go and look at the device, so Amazon can’t really answer all these arguments with their physical product.

  167. Here’s the other thing — a friend sent me an amazon link to the Twitter version of a book. Not having Twitter, I searched Amazon for the paperback version.

    The paperback was cheaper by $10.

  168. Here’s the other thing — a friend sent me an amazon link to the Twitter version of a book. Not having Twitter, I searched Amazon for the paperback version.

    The paperback was cheaper by $10.

  169. Wow, so negative. I personally would choose the sony reader at this point, but christ what did you want in a 1.0 product. It’ll have a couple things certain people with giant ass fingers can’t use. Sorry buddy. Oh well, I still one want. Btw, don’t use the word ridiculous so much in your videos, it’s ridiculous.

  170. Wow, so negative. I personally would choose the sony reader at this point, but christ what did you want in a 1.0 product. It’ll have a couple things certain people with giant ass fingers can’t use. Sorry buddy. Oh well, I still one want. Btw, don’t use the word ridiculous so much in your videos, it’s ridiculous.

  171. Scoble, you trash Amazon with an “I bet you hired ex-Microsoft employees” barb, yet Google, a company that you absolutely worship, hires ex-Microsoft employees and actually trumpets the fact. And you praise Google (and trash Microsoft, of course) whenever Google does trumpet one of these ex-Microsoft hirings (Google says “jump”, you say “how high?”).

    So which is it? Is hiring ex-Microsoft guys lame such that the very accusation serves as an insult to the alleged hire-er? Or is it a good thing, like when Google brags about doing it? You’ve taken both sides of the proposition, always taking a side that would serve to trash Microsoft:
    Scenario 1: Google hires ex-Microsoft employee. Scoble Conclusion: Google rules, Microsoft sucks.

    Scenario 2 (Fictional, until shown otherwise): Amazon hires ex-Microsoft employee.
    Scoble Conclusion: Amazon sucks, Microsoft sucks.

    The two conclusions are in conflice with each other, the only thing they have in common is “Microsoft sucks”. But that’s not surprising since that’s what you’re all about now. You’ve clearly never heard of the saying about not burning bridges.

  172. Scoble, you trash Amazon with an “I bet you hired ex-Microsoft employees” barb, yet Google, a company that you absolutely worship, hires ex-Microsoft employees and actually trumpets the fact. And you praise Google (and trash Microsoft, of course) whenever Google does trumpet one of these ex-Microsoft hirings (Google says “jump”, you say “how high?”).

    So which is it? Is hiring ex-Microsoft guys lame such that the very accusation serves as an insult to the alleged hire-er? Or is it a good thing, like when Google brags about doing it? You’ve taken both sides of the proposition, always taking a side that would serve to trash Microsoft:
    Scenario 1: Google hires ex-Microsoft employee. Scoble Conclusion: Google rules, Microsoft sucks.

    Scenario 2 (Fictional, until shown otherwise): Amazon hires ex-Microsoft employee.
    Scoble Conclusion: Amazon sucks, Microsoft sucks.

    The two conclusions are in conflice with each other, the only thing they have in common is “Microsoft sucks”. But that’s not surprising since that’s what you’re all about now. You’ve clearly never heard of the saying about not burning bridges.

  173. I appreciate the review. It may save lots of people money and headaches. Many reviews I’ve read in the tablet pc and umpc space will sound good, no matter how bad the product misses the conventional standards of their readers. They seem to endorse the product rather than provide the harsh feedback that affect wallets.

  174. I appreciate the review. It may save lots of people money and headaches. Many reviews I’ve read in the tablet pc and umpc space will sound good, no matter how bad the product misses the conventional standards of their readers. They seem to endorse the product rather than provide the harsh feedback that affect wallets.

  175. Robert,

    This has been said already but I think it bears repeating. Some of the features you want would be really hard to have built into a 1.0 product. Others, like the buttons I agree with. The slow menus may be a ‘side effect’ of using Java as the UI platform (but that’s speculation).

    Meanwhile I take solace in the fact that Amazon seems to have relatively benign reaction to the idea of Kindle hacking and they consider allowing third party applications using an API an “important direction” for the future.

    More details and my reaction at http://kindlehacks.net/2007/11/amazons-director-of-kindle-has-no.html

    Best,

    Aarjav

  176. Robert,

    This has been said already but I think it bears repeating. Some of the features you want would be really hard to have built into a 1.0 product. Others, like the buttons I agree with. The slow menus may be a ‘side effect’ of using Java as the UI platform (but that’s speculation).

    Meanwhile I take solace in the fact that Amazon seems to have relatively benign reaction to the idea of Kindle hacking and they consider allowing third party applications using an API an “important direction” for the future.

    More details and my reaction at http://kindlehacks.net/2007/11/amazons-director-of-kindle-has-no.html

    Best,

    Aarjav

  177. Tosh: my comment was aimed at old-school Microsofties who designed application software with menus. You know, Windows 95-style stuff. That’s what the Kindle UI looks like.

    I didn’t mean it to be a slam against all Microsoft employees. I like Office 2007. No menus. I like Xbox. No menus. I like Zune. No menus. I like Windows Mobile (some menus, but quickly disappearing and Microsoft funded ZenZui, which doesn’t have any menus).

    Get the drift? It’s the “old school” Microsoft designers who think things need menus that I was attacking.

    Sorry I wasn’t clear about that.

  178. Tosh: my comment was aimed at old-school Microsofties who designed application software with menus. You know, Windows 95-style stuff. That’s what the Kindle UI looks like.

    I didn’t mean it to be a slam against all Microsoft employees. I like Office 2007. No menus. I like Xbox. No menus. I like Zune. No menus. I like Windows Mobile (some menus, but quickly disappearing and Microsoft funded ZenZui, which doesn’t have any menus).

    Get the drift? It’s the “old school” Microsoft designers who think things need menus that I was attacking.

    Sorry I wasn’t clear about that.

  179. A good hightligher and an indexing of all of em is essential for my personal style of reading. So that toppled with all other issues it appears to have, I am glad I live in Europe and might have the pleasure of not having to see them anywhere till the 2nd generation.

  180. Oh, no, I thought you’d be able to talk on it, that it was like wireless. That’s disappointing. But I don’t see it as a deal-breaker — book-reading is basically a private thing, and you need the private space to concentrate and think. Who wants IMs popping up during that process?! And honestly, Robert, do you ever paste and full out book reviews even on that Facebook thingie, though you might intend to? It’s not realistic.

    I have to say that hard plastic just doesn’t look snuggly, like something you could snuggle up on the couch with. What I want them to do is to take this Kindle thing, combine it with this invention of a flexible display by LG Philips and Sony mentioned in Time (which I also hoped would be made years ago), add some low-impact interactivity to it as Scoble is suggesting, and make it cheaper:

    http://www.time.com/time/specials/2007/article/0,28804,1677329_1678130_1678111,00.html

    I suppose what we’re talking about is more about a better i-Phone that takes books rather than improving Kindle.

    My first thought when I heard about it was: what, only 85,000 things on it? Why, I’ve probably read a lot of them already…

  181. Oh, no, I thought you’d be able to talk on it, that it was like wireless. That’s disappointing. But I don’t see it as a deal-breaker — book-reading is basically a private thing, and you need the private space to concentrate and think. Who wants IMs popping up during that process?! And honestly, Robert, do you ever paste and full out book reviews even on that Facebook thingie, though you might intend to? It’s not realistic.

    I have to say that hard plastic just doesn’t look snuggly, like something you could snuggle up on the couch with. What I want them to do is to take this Kindle thing, combine it with this invention of a flexible display by LG Philips and Sony mentioned in Time (which I also hoped would be made years ago), add some low-impact interactivity to it as Scoble is suggesting, and make it cheaper:

    http://www.time.com/time/specials/2007/article/0,28804,1677329_1678130_1678111,00.html

    I suppose what we’re talking about is more about a better i-Phone that takes books rather than improving Kindle.

    My first thought when I heard about it was: what, only 85,000 things on it? Why, I’ve probably read a lot of them already…

  182. A good hightligher and an indexing of all of em is essential for my personal style of reading. So that toppled with all other issues it appears to have, I am glad I live in Europe and might have the pleasure of not having to see them anywhere till the 2nd generation.

  183. I don’t like the Kindle. But I don’t like this video either. Stopped at 3:15 becuase you’re being an arsehole Robert.

    ‘The designer should be fired’ ‘Obviously didnt hold it’

    Ok its a crap device but comments like that don’t help.

    Totally over-played for the camera and for attention.

    Steve.

  184. I don’t like the Kindle. But I don’t like this video either. Stopped at 3:15 becuase you’re being an arsehole Robert.

    ‘The designer should be fired’ ‘Obviously didnt hold it’

    Ok its a crap device but comments like that don’t help.

    Totally over-played for the camera and for attention.

    Steve.

  185. [...] sind ja bekanntlich die Lösung für jedes Problem auf dieser Welt (zumindest, wenn man Scoble glauben darf), also wird Facebooks neue Werbeform „Beacon“ wohl die richtige Antwort [...]

  186. Robert,

    Wow. Never seen you get so worked up – it was entertaining!

    I get my Kindle on Thursday – so I’ll see if I agree with you. Seems like your main complaint is the next/prev button placement. Is it a fatal flaw, or an annoyance that is worth dealing with for the devices other benefits? Time will tell.

    I’m hoping that Kindle is a great book reader – and great replacement for carrying books around. I think all agree that the service behind Kindle is very smooth. Yes, some social networking/recommendations/gifting services would be nice – but I totally disagree that Amazon could come out with a dedicated device that was NOT for reading, and instead just focused on recommending books to friends.

    I hope this is a device my mom would love – an avid reader, and only occasional computer user.

  187. Robert,

    Wow. Never seen you get so worked up – it was entertaining!

    I get my Kindle on Thursday – so I’ll see if I agree with you. Seems like your main complaint is the next/prev button placement. Is it a fatal flaw, or an annoyance that is worth dealing with for the devices other benefits? Time will tell.

    I’m hoping that Kindle is a great book reader – and great replacement for carrying books around. I think all agree that the service behind Kindle is very smooth. Yes, some social networking/recommendations/gifting services would be nice – but I totally disagree that Amazon could come out with a dedicated device that was NOT for reading, and instead just focused on recommending books to friends.

    I hope this is a device my mom would love – an avid reader, and only occasional computer user.

  188. I have read books electronically. It’s OK, but I prefer paper. Paper’s got a better UI ;) The only reason I would read a book electronically is because I could acquire the text for free (a la Gutenberg project) or for a drastically reduced cost.

    All things being equal, a physical book is superior to a digital one. http://www.robneville.net/rants/10-reasons-why-ebooks-suck/2007/09/

    Haven’t smartphones and cameras on phones and the iPhone taught us that the last thing we need is another device?

    The business model Bezos has envisioned may be brilliant (I don’t think so), but the execution was horrible. Building products is not Amazon’s core business. They should have partnered with Apple to distribute the books through iTunes (or something similar) or had someone develop a free eReader for various portable devices already on the market.

  189. I have read books electronically. It’s OK, but I prefer paper. Paper’s got a better UI ;) The only reason I would read a book electronically is because I could acquire the text for free (a la Gutenberg project) or for a drastically reduced cost.

    All things being equal, a physical book is superior to a digital one. http://www.robneville.net/rants/10-reasons-why-ebooks-suck/2007/09/

    Haven’t smartphones and cameras on phones and the iPhone taught us that the last thing we need is another device?

    The business model Bezos has envisioned may be brilliant (I don’t think so), but the execution was horrible. Building products is not Amazon’s core business. They should have partnered with Apple to distribute the books through iTunes (or something similar) or had someone develop a free eReader for various portable devices already on the market.

  190. im quite certain that this device wasnt intended for the mentally challenged…

    this touch on your points…

    1. No ability to buy paper goods from Amazon through Kindle…its a fucking replacement for books!!!!
    2. Usability sucks…why does the usability suck, youve given no examples…
    3. UI sucks…agreed, but youve still given no examples
    4. No ability to send electronic goods to anyone else…its a fucking replacement for books!!!!
    5. No social network…its a fucking replacement for books!!!!…its a fucking replacement for books!!!!
    6. No touch screen…its a fucking replacement for books!!!!…also, do you have any damned idea how much that would cost…

  191. im quite certain that this device wasnt intended for the mentally challenged…

    this touch on your points…

    1. No ability to buy paper goods from Amazon through Kindle…its a fucking replacement for books!!!!
    2. Usability sucks…why does the usability suck, youve given no examples…
    3. UI sucks…agreed, but youve still given no examples
    4. No ability to send electronic goods to anyone else…its a fucking replacement for books!!!!
    5. No social network…its a fucking replacement for books!!!!…its a fucking replacement for books!!!!
    6. No touch screen…its a fucking replacement for books!!!!…also, do you have any damned idea how much that would cost…

  192. At first glance I could tell this thing was designed from the seller’s perspective and not the user’s. Your review doesn’t surprise me.

    I’m a huge Amazon fan. I read a lot of books (and blogs, etc.). I’m a gadget guy. Yet I have a dozen reasons why I would never use this thing.

    Did Amazon even bother to ask people what they would want in a device like this?

  193. At first glance I could tell this thing was designed from the seller’s perspective and not the user’s. Your review doesn’t surprise me.

    I’m a huge Amazon fan. I read a lot of books (and blogs, etc.). I’m a gadget guy. Yet I have a dozen reasons why I would never use this thing.

    Did Amazon even bother to ask people what they would want in a device like this?

  194. You might be right, but your delivery sucks. I shut your video off after a minute (somewhere in the tirade about firing people). I leave convinced of only TWO things. A. I still want a Kindle. B. You’re a douchebag.

  195. You might be right, but your delivery sucks. I shut your video off after a minute (somewhere in the tirade about firing people). I leave convinced of only TWO things. A. I still want a Kindle. B. You’re a douchebag.

  196. Everyone should go try this instead reading someone’s review. Writing to respond to a review about something you haven’t seen is lamer than any possible feature or lack thereof that the Profit speaks thereof.

  197. Everyone should go try this instead reading someone’s review. Writing to respond to a review about something you haven’t seen is lamer than any possible feature or lack thereof that the Profit speaks thereof.

  198. My wife loves her Kindle. It took her about an hour to figure out the best way to hold it. She accepts that it needs to be held a certain way. She likes the menu, as it gives her a quick way to go either HOME or to the STORE, or other places contextually related. She bought a new purse just so she could have the Kindle with her whenever she went out.

    Amazon should preload it with a few great books or at least a few samples. They should also put a few great MP3s on it that would “set the mood” when played in the background while you read the book. They should have put an audible book on it, or at least let you buy and download them from the Kindle Store. They should have thrown in some nice noise-cancelling headphones.

    Mine did not come pre-registered. I suspect those that got evaluation copies were the only ones who found their Kindles already associated with them. It was easy enough to register, and is easy to unregister.

  199. My wife loves her Kindle. It took her about an hour to figure out the best way to hold it. She accepts that it needs to be held a certain way. She likes the menu, as it gives her a quick way to go either HOME or to the STORE, or other places contextually related. She bought a new purse just so she could have the Kindle with her whenever she went out.

    Amazon should preload it with a few great books or at least a few samples. They should also put a few great MP3s on it that would “set the mood” when played in the background while you read the book. They should have put an audible book on it, or at least let you buy and download them from the Kindle Store. They should have thrown in some nice noise-cancelling headphones.

    Mine did not come pre-registered. I suspect those that got evaluation copies were the only ones who found their Kindles already associated with them. It was easy enough to register, and is easy to unregister.

  200. What The Kindle Should Be

    Amazon.com has always been a game changer, though they’re as a big of a pain for Seattle startups as that Redmond company for offering starting software developers 90 some odd k, and at first glance Kindle is the next big

  201. The killer feature I want to see bundled into one of these eBook readers is the ability to optionally display the text in “Live Ink” format. (See http://www.liveink.com/)

    It’s a really simple idea — reformatting the text with linebreaks and indentation depending on syntax — based on studies of the human visual field. I can’t vouch for it except to say that when I use it I feel like I can read twice as fast, and with better comprehension. It seems to address a visual problem I have with reading standard text, so it might not affect everybody the same way.

    The Live Ink people provide an application called “ClipRead,” which is, frankly, pretty awful from a UI perspective. One of these eBook devices, though, would be the perfect platform for Live Ink, so I recommend they license the technology to Amazon, Sony, or both. Properly marketed, it would be a great product differentiator. (And if the Live Ink folks think they can go farther on their own, they’re kidding themselves. So it would be a mutually beneficial arrangement.)

  202. The killer feature I want to see bundled into one of these eBook readers is the ability to optionally display the text in “Live Ink” format. (See http://www.liveink.com/)

    It’s a really simple idea — reformatting the text with linebreaks and indentation depending on syntax — based on studies of the human visual field. I can’t vouch for it except to say that when I use it I feel like I can read twice as fast, and with better comprehension. It seems to address a visual problem I have with reading standard text, so it might not affect everybody the same way.

    The Live Ink people provide an application called “ClipRead,” which is, frankly, pretty awful from a UI perspective. One of these eBook devices, though, would be the perfect platform for Live Ink, so I recommend they license the technology to Amazon, Sony, or both. Properly marketed, it would be a great product differentiator. (And if the Live Ink folks think they can go farther on their own, they’re kidding themselves. So it would be a mutually beneficial arrangement.)

  203. I’ll buy an eBook the moment the *content* I wish is available.. and so far, it’s not.

    And it’s the publishers which decide what’ll be available, not Amazon (they can push, but they can’t make the publishers e-Ink).

    The best (and, to me, most surprising) example of “not here yet” are the Tolkien books: Lord of the Rings, Hobbit and Silmarillion.
    Books which beg for the searchability and cross-referencing that an eBook platform could provide.

    There are also none of publisher William Bell’s books, no copies of any of Jean Meeus’ books on Astronomical computing algorithms, etc. … so far, the only Kindle books that are on my “buy” list are Terry Prachett’s Discworld series.

    UI, social networks, etc. are all well and good (or bad), but until the books I want are available, it’s a definite “not today”.

    …but ever-hopeful

  204. I’ll buy an eBook the moment the *content* I wish is available.. and so far, it’s not.

    And it’s the publishers which decide what’ll be available, not Amazon (they can push, but they can’t make the publishers e-Ink).

    The best (and, to me, most surprising) example of “not here yet” are the Tolkien books: Lord of the Rings, Hobbit and Silmarillion.
    Books which beg for the searchability and cross-referencing that an eBook platform could provide.

    There are also none of publisher William Bell’s books, no copies of any of Jean Meeus’ books on Astronomical computing algorithms, etc. … so far, the only Kindle books that are on my “buy” list are Terry Prachett’s Discworld series.

    UI, social networks, etc. are all well and good (or bad), but until the books I want are available, it’s a definite “not today”.

    …but ever-hopeful

  205. My only problem with it was the price. I think it is easy on the eyes while reading and its looks are OK. I expected much worse from some of the reviews that I read before I finally got it in the mail.

  206. My only problem with it was the price. I think it is easy on the eyes while reading and its looks are OK. I expected much worse from some of the reviews that I read before I finally got it in the mail.

  207. What an idiotic “review”. 2 minutes into it and you still have no idea what a “kindle” is. You don’t have the full Amazon storefront on the kindle? It’s a fricking ebook you tard, not a marketplace. You look and sound like an unholy mating of Barney Rubble and Fred Flintstone. Get your ass back to Bedrock and groove on the woodpecker/stone tablet paradigm. Asstard.

  208. What an idiotic “review”. 2 minutes into it and you still have no idea what a “kindle” is. You don’t have the full Amazon storefront on the kindle? It’s a fricking ebook you tard, not a marketplace. You look and sound like an unholy mating of Barney Rubble and Fred Flintstone. Get your ass back to Bedrock and groove on the woodpecker/stone tablet paradigm. Asstard.

  209. [...] I’ve been wanting to blog about the Kindle, Amazon’s new eBook reader.  Not because of its UI annoyances that got Scoble so upset, or the outrageous fees associated with using it to view free web content, but rather because of [...]

  210. I mostly disagree with the negative review. I’ve had the Kindle for a week and enjoy using it. Some assorted responses:

    1. Very positive uses. I can prop it up in front of me, enlarge the font, and read it while working out at the gym or while having breakfast. This was next to impossible before. (Book would fall off the gym machine or I’d lose my place when trying to turn a page, etc.)

    2. NY TIMES. I disagree with the criticism except I’d like to see a picture of the printed front page. Other than that, there are plusses and minuses compared to the printed page (and I’ll probably stop my print subscription). I don’t need to hunt for the printed section where a story continues or deal with turning a large page (in the gym or in bed); the story just continues. And if I forget that I wanted to read a story from the day before (or one referred to in a letter), I don’t have to hunt for the previous day’s paper. It’s right there on the Kindle. The navigation is definitely different and takes some getting used to, but I don’t think it’s worse or better than using a printed page. One huge advantage is not having piles of old newspapers around.

    3. Not sure the problem with the rubber in the back. I think it feels fine.

    4. Yes, one can turn the page accidentally, especially if one grabs it the one a stranger would the first time. But you quickly learn how to hold it so the page doesn’t turn. I’m not saying this can’t be improved, but I don’t find it a problem.

    5. Yes, it would be great to be able to send it to someone else (and pay). Also agree that Amazon should have offered a few free books, but if I had to choose, I’d pick what they do offer, free download of the beginning (substantial beginning) of a book to try it out before buying.

    6. Most important improvement needed: more books and good magazines available. The list is still limited and much will depend on how fast this grows.

    7. Yes, PDF would be nice. But I used to copy and paste articles from the web and print them out so I don’t have to read them on the computer. Now I can easily read them on the Kindle by just emailing them to my Kindle address (for 10 cents per FILE, which can have many articles, or for free to my computer to be transferred).

    8. Agree with the other comment that it’s strange that we heard nothing about the experience of two 2 books actually read and presumably enjoyed on the Kindle. Doesn’t that say something?

    9. The special page numbers are meant to stay the same regardless of the font. But I agree it would be good ALSO to have the book page numbers so one can mention them to someone using the hard copy.

    Overall, I’d give the Kindle a 7 or 8 out of 10, and I’m glad I bought it.

  211. I mostly disagree with the negative review. I’ve had the Kindle for a week and enjoy using it. Some assorted responses:

    1. Very positive uses. I can prop it up in front of me, enlarge the font, and read it while working out at the gym or while having breakfast. This was next to impossible before. (Book would fall off the gym machine or I’d lose my place when trying to turn a page, etc.)

    2. NY TIMES. I disagree with the criticism except I’d like to see a picture of the printed front page. Other than that, there are plusses and minuses compared to the printed page (and I’ll probably stop my print subscription). I don’t need to hunt for the printed section where a story continues or deal with turning a large page (in the gym or in bed); the story just continues. And if I forget that I wanted to read a story from the day before (or one referred to in a letter), I don’t have to hunt for the previous day’s paper. It’s right there on the Kindle. The navigation is definitely different and takes some getting used to, but I don’t think it’s worse or better than using a printed page. One huge advantage is not having piles of old newspapers around.

    3. Not sure the problem with the rubber in the back. I think it feels fine.

    4. Yes, one can turn the page accidentally, especially if one grabs it the one a stranger would the first time. But you quickly learn how to hold it so the page doesn’t turn. I’m not saying this can’t be improved, but I don’t find it a problem.

    5. Yes, it would be great to be able to send it to someone else (and pay). Also agree that Amazon should have offered a few free books, but if I had to choose, I’d pick what they do offer, free download of the beginning (substantial beginning) of a book to try it out before buying.

    6. Most important improvement needed: more books and good magazines available. The list is still limited and much will depend on how fast this grows.

    7. Yes, PDF would be nice. But I used to copy and paste articles from the web and print them out so I don’t have to read them on the computer. Now I can easily read them on the Kindle by just emailing them to my Kindle address (for 10 cents per FILE, which can have many articles, or for free to my computer to be transferred).

    8. Agree with the other comment that it’s strange that we heard nothing about the experience of two 2 books actually read and presumably enjoyed on the Kindle. Doesn’t that say something?

    9. The special page numbers are meant to stay the same regardless of the font. But I agree it would be good ALSO to have the book page numbers so one can mention them to someone using the hard copy.

    Overall, I’d give the Kindle a 7 or 8 out of 10, and I’m glad I bought it.

  212. Kindle was announced for sale and use in the US only. Personally, having traveled a lot throughout the world, I don’t like that, but the two cellular networks they support — primarily Sprint — do not yet operate outside the US. But Amazon is not stupid, and for as many items as they can, they do sell in most major countries. Sprint is also not stupid, and as volume grows, they too will certainly expand. The problem with Sprint is that they do not use the worldwide GSM network protocol but use a US protocol, which is a bad mistake for worldwide coverage. But their network is very fast.

    As for languages, it was a surprise to me, but they do support all (most?) languages whose written alphabet is based on Latin charaters. But there are many other languages — Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese, Thai, Hindi, Arabic & Farsi, Greek & Russian, & others which are not yet included. It’s taken three years to get what we have out so far, so they will need more time to get things like this out the door. But given the high success of this product so far, I am sure they will.

    Charles Wilkes, San Jose, Calif.

  213. Kindle was announced for sale and use in the US only. Personally, having traveled a lot throughout the world, I don’t like that, but the two cellular networks they support — primarily Sprint — do not yet operate outside the US. But Amazon is not stupid, and for as many items as they can, they do sell in most major countries. Sprint is also not stupid, and as volume grows, they too will certainly expand. The problem with Sprint is that they do not use the worldwide GSM network protocol but use a US protocol, which is a bad mistake for worldwide coverage. But their network is very fast.

    As for languages, it was a surprise to me, but they do support all (most?) languages whose written alphabet is based on Latin charaters. But there are many other languages — Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese, Thai, Hindi, Arabic & Farsi, Greek & Russian, & others which are not yet included. It’s taken three years to get what we have out so far, so they will need more time to get things like this out the door. But given the high success of this product so far, I am sure they will.

    Charles Wilkes, San Jose, Calif.

  214. Reading is primarily a solitary act wherein the reader brings his or her own imagination into the equation. Just the fact that you can download books wirelessly for a fraction of its hardcover/bookstore price is more than enough of a convenience and attraction for those of us who really love to read. For the techno geeks – Go somewhere else with your nit-picking crap; we really don’t care.

  215. Reading is primarily a solitary act wherein the reader brings his or her own imagination into the equation. Just the fact that you can download books wirelessly for a fraction of its hardcover/bookstore price is more than enough of a convenience and attraction for those of us who really love to read. For the techno geeks – Go somewhere else with your nit-picking crap; we really don’t care.

  216. This techno geek also really loves to read, and also loves his Kindle. I really hate all the pseudo-geeks who thinks they somehow are elevated in people’s opinions if they trash it. But not me. It just makes me realize who they really are — ignorant non-readers who have most likely never even seen a Kindle, never touched one and certainly never read using one.

    I have been a heavy reader since childhood, and still do it as I have time. And with my Kindle, it is with me when I have a moment of time to keep reading no matter where I am.

    Charles Wilkes, San Jose, Calif.

  217. This techno geek also really loves to read, and also loves his Kindle. I really hate all the pseudo-geeks who thinks they somehow are elevated in people’s opinions if they trash it. But not me. It just makes me realize who they really are — ignorant non-readers who have most likely never even seen a Kindle, never touched one and certainly never read using one.

    I have been a heavy reader since childhood, and still do it as I have time. And with my Kindle, it is with me when I have a moment of time to keep reading no matter where I am.

    Charles Wilkes, San Jose, Calif.

  218. Thank you Charles. Readers rule! I am working on marketing for a Kindle Literacy Challenge utilizing (for more see: wsmnow2.blogspot.com) the Digital Text Platform (DTP)self-publishing arm Jeff Bezos has so wisely created. Any suggestions? I appreciate your input. Let’s bring Sexy Back to Reading!

  219. Thank you Charles. Readers rule! I am working on marketing for a Kindle Literacy Challenge utilizing (for more see: wsmnow2.blogspot.com) the Digital Text Platform (DTP)self-publishing arm Jeff Bezos has so wisely created. Any suggestions? I appreciate your input. Let’s bring Sexy Back to Reading!

  220. Having had mine 3 days now I can see some of the problems you are talking about, but they are really pretty minor
    I think Amazon has a winner here, if they keep adding content and features, and with the free wireless I think they have a winner
    The DMR stuff mostly bothers geeks, for the rest of us, you know, a novel is not the same as music, I may listen to an album hundreds of times, I want to be able to transfer my files to a new Ipod, a new computer, my laptop, whatever. But I pretty much read a novel once. Ya, it would be nice if I could share it with a few friends, but its not a dealbreaker. For people like me that drop a hundred bucks a shot going to Borders, this is a very nice device. Its for people that you know, like to read

  221. Having had mine 3 days now I can see some of the problems you are talking about, but they are really pretty minor
    I think Amazon has a winner here, if they keep adding content and features, and with the free wireless I think they have a winner
    The DMR stuff mostly bothers geeks, for the rest of us, you know, a novel is not the same as music, I may listen to an album hundreds of times, I want to be able to transfer my files to a new Ipod, a new computer, my laptop, whatever. But I pretty much read a novel once. Ya, it would be nice if I could share it with a few friends, but its not a dealbreaker. For people like me that drop a hundred bucks a shot going to Borders, this is a very nice device. Its for people that you know, like to read

  222. I have been waiting for over a month for my kindle. Can I buy the one you reveiwed for 500$ since you did not like it.

  223. I have been waiting for over a month for my kindle. Can I buy the one you reveiwed for 500$ since you did not like it.

  224. They might also want to think about matching books with authors. Many books have completely wrong author listed. Example: Tony Soprano on Management… (the author is listed as Peter something. Actually the author is Anthony Schneider). Other examples too. That’s just negligent.

  225. They might also want to think about matching books with authors. Many books have completely wrong author listed. Example: Tony Soprano on Management… (the author is listed as Peter something. Actually the author is Anthony Schneider). Other examples too. That’s just negligent.

  226. Many thanks for the review. I won’t go on about many of the points already covered, but as a librarian I would like to add my voice.
    Electronic books blew into the library scene about 10 years ago and as quickly blew out — the problem, bye and large was two fold — content and usability. Presently there are a number of corporations who are marketing e-books to libraries and most of them have there own interface(s).
    To go out on a limb, it seems that users, both in public and academic settings are slowly coming to value materials in “e” format. If there was some way for Amazon.com to lease/sell their e-books to libraries it would be great! We in libraries could pick and choose rather than select a pre-selected package from the present suppliers.
    One of the challenges/problems facing libraries and their patrons is the interface. People do mention what they are reading to others, there is social contectiving between books and people and ideas. I certainly use Amazon.com to purchase materials for friends. (Matter of fact libraries in the past few years are really into embracing all aspects of Web 2.0). Students need a platform from where they can move text/comments to someplace for further use (including citations would be grand!)
    If prices for the Kindle would fall drastically, it could be possible for patrons/libraries to lease/lend the Kindle as a device to desseminate e-format materials.
    We are at the threshold and there is some stumbling and tripping over it. Let’s keep ourselves focused ahead, both at the sky and at our feet.

  227. Many thanks for the review. I won’t go on about many of the points already covered, but as a librarian I would like to add my voice.
    Electronic books blew into the library scene about 10 years ago and as quickly blew out — the problem, bye and large was two fold — content and usability. Presently there are a number of corporations who are marketing e-books to libraries and most of them have there own interface(s).
    To go out on a limb, it seems that users, both in public and academic settings are slowly coming to value materials in “e” format. If there was some way for Amazon.com to lease/sell their e-books to libraries it would be great! We in libraries could pick and choose rather than select a pre-selected package from the present suppliers.
    One of the challenges/problems facing libraries and their patrons is the interface. People do mention what they are reading to others, there is social contectiving between books and people and ideas. I certainly use Amazon.com to purchase materials for friends. (Matter of fact libraries in the past few years are really into embracing all aspects of Web 2.0). Students need a platform from where they can move text/comments to someplace for further use (including citations would be grand!)
    If prices for the Kindle would fall drastically, it could be possible for patrons/libraries to lease/lend the Kindle as a device to desseminate e-format materials.
    We are at the threshold and there is some stumbling and tripping over it. Let’s keep ourselves focused ahead, both at the sky and at our feet.

  228. I work for NowNow (if you consider 3 cents an answer “work”, I prefer the term slavery lol) and I keep reading critics’ reviews praising the Kindle and it’s usability. If they saw the questions that come through every day they would better understand, as you do, that most people who buy a Kindle have no idea what they’re doing. And those are only the ones savvy enough to figure out how to use NowNow!

  229. I work for NowNow (if you consider 3 cents an answer “work”, I prefer the term slavery lol) and I keep reading critics’ reviews praising the Kindle and it’s usability. If they saw the questions that come through every day they would better understand, as you do, that most people who buy a Kindle have no idea what they’re doing. And those are only the ones savvy enough to figure out how to use NowNow!

  230. I’ve had mine for two weeks and love it. Is it perfect? No…but as someone interested in reading books and newspapers everyday, it’s a real boon. Although I’m not particularly interested in social networking and all, I realize others are and that the Kindle falls short. The Kindle is softening the ebook beach head and will be the tipping point for ebooks. Somebody else will come along and do it better-or perhaps Kindle 2.0 will nail it.

  231. I’ve had mine for two weeks and love it. Is it perfect? No…but as someone interested in reading books and newspapers everyday, it’s a real boon. Although I’m not particularly interested in social networking and all, I realize others are and that the Kindle falls short. The Kindle is softening the ebook beach head and will be the tipping point for ebooks. Somebody else will come along and do it better-or perhaps Kindle 2.0 will nail it.

  232. Sorry to disagree bro
    The Kindle solves so many problems for me
    I’m willing to overlook its limitations
    It’s been a constant companion
    since it came two days
    after the initial offering sold out
    If you don’t like yours
    give it to someone who can appreciate it
    Personally
    No one gets their hands on mine
    Any human I would lend it to
    would never give it back

  233. Sorry to disagree bro
    The Kindle solves so many problems for me
    I’m willing to overlook its limitations
    It’s been a constant companion
    since it came two days
    after the initial offering sold out
    If you don’t like yours
    give it to someone who can appreciate it
    Personally
    No one gets their hands on mine
    Any human I would lend it to
    would never give it back

  234. This device is meant to appeal to book readers, not necessarily tech geeks. Why in the world would I want my fingerprints all over the screen I’m trying to read? Reading a book is an inherently private activity; why would I desire social connectivity invading my private time? Sometimes simplicity itself is elegant and just because a device could do more doesn’t mean that it should. Hopefully Amazon won’t complicate this device by adding a plethora of functionality having nothing whatsoever to do with storing and reading books.

  235. This device is meant to appeal to book readers, not necessarily tech geeks. Why in the world would I want my fingerprints all over the screen I’m trying to read? Reading a book is an inherently private activity; why would I desire social connectivity invading my private time? Sometimes simplicity itself is elegant and just because a device could do more doesn’t mean that it should. Hopefully Amazon won’t complicate this device by adding a plethora of functionality having nothing whatsoever to do with storing and reading books.

  236. One other note….

    Steve Jobs has dissed this device as a non-starter and is quoted as saying “people don’t read anymore” as his reasoning for his analysis. Don’t look for Apple to do anything anytime soon in this area.

  237. One other note….

    Steve Jobs has dissed this device as a non-starter and is quoted as saying “people don’t read anymore” as his reasoning for his analysis. Don’t look for Apple to do anything anytime soon in this area.

  238. Now now.. had you taken the time for a little tough-minded thinking.. you might have put the wee device in its cover. Then you would have seen how it’s meant to be used.

    a) the angled cut-backs on the right side give you a place for your thumbs on the “book.” .. and suddenly the buttons are in a handy place.

    b) the rubberized backing helps hold the device in the cover, and there is a little plastic tab that snaps into the backing to hold it in place.

    c) once “clothed” it holds comfortablely in one’s hands — reads and feels like a book.

    I’ve handed mine to a half-dozen people, in its cover, and they all say — “oh.. now that makes sense…” “feels like a book…” or “wow!”

    It always helps to fully assemble the parts before you start to play with things.

    Menus — still suck.. but that’s just software. Easy to fix, n’est pas?

  239. Now now.. had you taken the time for a little tough-minded thinking.. you might have put the wee device in its cover. Then you would have seen how it’s meant to be used.

    a) the angled cut-backs on the right side give you a place for your thumbs on the “book.” .. and suddenly the buttons are in a handy place.

    b) the rubberized backing helps hold the device in the cover, and there is a little plastic tab that snaps into the backing to hold it in place.

    c) once “clothed” it holds comfortablely in one’s hands — reads and feels like a book.

    I’ve handed mine to a half-dozen people, in its cover, and they all say — “oh.. now that makes sense…” “feels like a book…” or “wow!”

    It always helps to fully assemble the parts before you start to play with things.

    Menus — still suck.. but that’s just software. Easy to fix, n’est pas?

  240. Your morons.

    Who the fuck wants to read more than a couple pages on an iphone or read an entire book on a computer. Why dont you learn what a product is actually designed to do before making idiot comments like these.

    Why doesnt it browse the web? wahhhhhhhhhh why doesnt it drive my car? wahhhhhhhhhhhh why doesnt it have 2000gb on onboard flash wahhhhhhhhhhhh why doesnt it cost 5 dollars? wahhhhhhhhhhhh

    The thing is sold out because, despite being ugly, the function is incredible.

    LONG BATTERY LIFE, a display designed for reading, instant access to over 100,000 books, conversion of your existing files. Seriously this is designed for reading not for the year 2040. Comparing this to a cell phone highlights your idiocy.

  241. Your morons.

    Who the fuck wants to read more than a couple pages on an iphone or read an entire book on a computer. Why dont you learn what a product is actually designed to do before making idiot comments like these.

    Why doesnt it browse the web? wahhhhhhhhhh why doesnt it drive my car? wahhhhhhhhhhhh why doesnt it have 2000gb on onboard flash wahhhhhhhhhhhh why doesnt it cost 5 dollars? wahhhhhhhhhhhh

    The thing is sold out because, despite being ugly, the function is incredible.

    LONG BATTERY LIFE, a display designed for reading, instant access to over 100,000 books, conversion of your existing files. Seriously this is designed for reading not for the year 2040. Comparing this to a cell phone highlights your idiocy.

  242. I haven’t heard much about how we simply do not need yet another proprietary ebook format. I have tried many different ebook “solutions”, and they all suck for a variety of reasons.

    What I have settled on is the Haali bookreader for the Pocket PC; it comes from Russia, reads plain txt files, formats them on the fly, automatically bookmarks, extracts text files from within zip archives… the list of neat features goes on.

    There is no DRM, no special formatting, so that any document that can be converted to plain ascii text can be added to your library. Zip files make a marvellous way of organizing your library and avoiding cluttering up your device with thousands of txt files. They also take up far less space by being compressed.

    Best of all: it’s free.

  243. I haven’t heard much about how we simply do not need yet another proprietary ebook format. I have tried many different ebook “solutions”, and they all suck for a variety of reasons.

    What I have settled on is the Haali bookreader for the Pocket PC; it comes from Russia, reads plain txt files, formats them on the fly, automatically bookmarks, extracts text files from within zip archives… the list of neat features goes on.

    There is no DRM, no special formatting, so that any document that can be converted to plain ascii text can be added to your library. Zip files make a marvellous way of organizing your library and avoiding cluttering up your device with thousands of txt files. They also take up far less space by being compressed.

    Best of all: it’s free.

  244. when i read the first few lines of this blog entry, i thought it was all a joke…then as i read more…i felt compelled to respond to this even though i don’t even own a Kindle (yet).

    Based on a thorough research on what Kindle is supposed to do, here is a list that i came up with:

    1. offer the convenience of carrying a lot of books with you and read it anytime anyplace
    2. offer the convenience of instantly buying your books anytime, anywhere.
    3. provide a reading experience as you’re reading a real book.
    4. do 1 to 3 with as little power consumption as possible.

    Now, witht those facts at hand, let’s do a point-by-point rebuttal on your complaints

    1. Ability to buy paper goods. I can see why Amazon did this (they’re trying to push the Kindle, after all) and frankly, I’m not sure a Kindle user would mind…that said, it’s not something that can be corrected with a future software/firmware.
    2. Useability sucks. That’s debatable, but i’ll give you that.
    3. Complaining about menus. WTH? Do you mind sharing whatever you’re smoking there? You know why Amazon used soft menus instead of mapping everything on a key? One word: FLEXIBILITY. If Amazon decides to add more features to the Kindle, how the heck are they going to do this if they already mapped all the buttons? I mean, Jeezus.

    So you made a little clarification that you’re poking fun on the MS UI designers pre-Windows 95. Again, I’d love to see what custom version of Windows or Microsoft software you have installed on your computer…because the one I have STILL HAVE MENUS. even Office 2007 still has it–granted that they’re now CONTEXT-SENSITIVE menus…they’re still menues.

    And what the heck are you talking about XBoxes and Zune not having menus? REALLY now? The XBox Dashboard has a chock full of menus…and looking at Zune demos…OH LOOKS! MOAR MENUS.
    4. Again. I can see why Amazon did not do this in version 1.0. Heck, I can almost bet that they had this. You know why? Look no further: Zune song sharing. Yeah, it’s a great concept, but nobody would hardly use it. So why build an intricate business model just to support that?
    5. No social network. Are you serious? I want to read a book i use this device. if I want to know what the others are reading, I’ll use my laptop or–check this out–call them on the phone! Not all people have the need to stalk someone else 24/7. What’s next? Instant Messaging so you can chat with your friends about the books you’re reading? Please.
    6. Touch screen. Now this is the most stupefying complaint. You did not ask for a color screen or a grayscale with more than 4 shades of gray…you asked for a touch screen. Good Lord. Did you even bother to read and understand how e-Ink works? Here’s a clue: it doesn’t use power when displaying text; it only uses power when re-drawing text…now imagine, adding Touch Screen at that that dog-slow refresh rate…are you getting it now? Gawd, for somebody who consider himself a geek, you missed this one BIG TIME.

    In conclusion, not only that you missed the point of the Kindle, you missed by several miles.

    You bought it because “you’re a geek?” it’s like voting for McCain by virtue os just being a Republican. NO! you bought it because you happen to be a dude with too much money and bought this thing so you can trash it. “geeks” will not write this travesty.

    oh and by the way, that little video you made is UNWATCHABLE; if others thought it was funny, to me you come across as very obnoxious. i could not get past the 37th time you said “whoever designed this piece of cr@p should be fired.” I have a tip for you: when talking in front of a web cam, stay at least a few feet away! holy crap you were almost kissing your web cam lens (any GEEK knows that)…because, you know, you’re not exactly easy on the eyes.

  245. when i read the first few lines of this blog entry, i thought it was all a joke…then as i read more…i felt compelled to respond to this even though i don’t even own a Kindle (yet).

    Based on a thorough research on what Kindle is supposed to do, here is a list that i came up with:

    1. offer the convenience of carrying a lot of books with you and read it anytime anyplace
    2. offer the convenience of instantly buying your books anytime, anywhere.
    3. provide a reading experience as you’re reading a real book.
    4. do 1 to 3 with as little power consumption as possible.

    Now, witht those facts at hand, let’s do a point-by-point rebuttal on your complaints

    1. Ability to buy paper goods. I can see why Amazon did this (they’re trying to push the Kindle, after all) and frankly, I’m not sure a Kindle user would mind…that said, it’s not something that can be corrected with a future software/firmware.
    2. Useability sucks. That’s debatable, but i’ll give you that.
    3. Complaining about menus. WTH? Do you mind sharing whatever you’re smoking there? You know why Amazon used soft menus instead of mapping everything on a key? One word: FLEXIBILITY. If Amazon decides to add more features to the Kindle, how the heck are they going to do this if they already mapped all the buttons? I mean, Jeezus.

    So you made a little clarification that you’re poking fun on the MS UI designers pre-Windows 95. Again, I’d love to see what custom version of Windows or Microsoft software you have installed on your computer…because the one I have STILL HAVE MENUS. even Office 2007 still has it–granted that they’re now CONTEXT-SENSITIVE menus…they’re still menues.

    And what the heck are you talking about XBoxes and Zune not having menus? REALLY now? The XBox Dashboard has a chock full of menus…and looking at Zune demos…OH LOOKS! MOAR MENUS.
    4. Again. I can see why Amazon did not do this in version 1.0. Heck, I can almost bet that they had this. You know why? Look no further: Zune song sharing. Yeah, it’s a great concept, but nobody would hardly use it. So why build an intricate business model just to support that?
    5. No social network. Are you serious? I want to read a book i use this device. if I want to know what the others are reading, I’ll use my laptop or–check this out–call them on the phone! Not all people have the need to stalk someone else 24/7. What’s next? Instant Messaging so you can chat with your friends about the books you’re reading? Please.
    6. Touch screen. Now this is the most stupefying complaint. You did not ask for a color screen or a grayscale with more than 4 shades of gray…you asked for a touch screen. Good Lord. Did you even bother to read and understand how e-Ink works? Here’s a clue: it doesn’t use power when displaying text; it only uses power when re-drawing text…now imagine, adding Touch Screen at that that dog-slow refresh rate…are you getting it now? Gawd, for somebody who consider himself a geek, you missed this one BIG TIME.

    In conclusion, not only that you missed the point of the Kindle, you missed by several miles.

    You bought it because “you’re a geek?” it’s like voting for McCain by virtue os just being a Republican. NO! you bought it because you happen to be a dude with too much money and bought this thing so you can trash it. “geeks” will not write this travesty.

    oh and by the way, that little video you made is UNWATCHABLE; if others thought it was funny, to me you come across as very obnoxious. i could not get past the 37th time you said “whoever designed this piece of cr@p should be fired.” I have a tip for you: when talking in front of a web cam, stay at least a few feet away! holy crap you were almost kissing your web cam lens (any GEEK knows that)…because, you know, you’re not exactly easy on the eyes.

  246. You are a douchebag. And I presume you are one of those who trashed the early PDAs and converged phone devices….

  247. You are a douchebag. And I presume you are one of those who trashed the early PDAs and converged phone devices….

  248. ABSOLUTELY – I cannot believe that Amazon did not give the Kindle the ability to buy from their website? I must be mistaken. Surely you can buy Amazon products from your Kindle. You are reading your book… you get to the end of it, you decide you should order your mother a pair of shoes you saw on Amazon. Bada bing – the tool is already in your hand – you don’t forget and end up having to buy her something locally and Amazon cops a sale.
    Also – I’m not much of one for communities – but I understand that this coming decade is predicted to be the decade of online communities – that being said Amazon should have some functionality in that area so that they are not left behind. Would probably be profitable for them to start their own KINDLE COMMUNITY>

  249. ABSOLUTELY – I cannot believe that Amazon did not give the Kindle the ability to buy from their website? I must be mistaken. Surely you can buy Amazon products from your Kindle. You are reading your book… you get to the end of it, you decide you should order your mother a pair of shoes you saw on Amazon. Bada bing – the tool is already in your hand – you don’t forget and end up having to buy her something locally and Amazon cops a sale.
    Also – I’m not much of one for communities – but I understand that this coming decade is predicted to be the decade of online communities – that being said Amazon should have some functionality in that area so that they are not left behind. Would probably be profitable for them to start their own KINDLE COMMUNITY>

  250. It’s supposed to be a reading device, not an internet device. If you want an internet device, buy an iphone.

    your comments on the usability, however, no touch-screen, and holdingit while you read, were helpful.

  251. It’s supposed to be a reading device, not an internet device. If you want an internet device, buy an iphone.

    your comments on the usability, however, no touch-screen, and holdingit while you read, were helpful.

  252. You forgot one thing- as of yet, it has failed miserably at ushering in a new era of world peace. And wouldn’t it be great if it could make your breakfast? Okay, anyway, I have a Kindle and I’m very satisfied with it. I’m watching the video and commenting as I go along:

    1. Are you absolutely sure? Because as soon as I went into the Experimental Web Browser, the first bookmark was Amazon. Clicked on it and managed to get all the way up to “Checkout” with an item in maybe a minute in a half. Didn’t have any desire to actually buy it, so I stopped there, but still, I think it would have let me buy the item. Why have Amazon as a pre-existing bookmark if not?

    2. I actually like the page turn on the side reminiscent-of-book design. I hope you could get used to holding it differently after a week. But I can definitely see where you’re coming from, even though I rarely inadvertantly turn the page after four months of ownership. However, this is what that piece of pleather that came in the box is for- the Kindle cover. This particular problem disappears when it’s in the cover. You also don’t feel “this piece of crap on the back” this way.

    3. Menus? This issue is simply something the target customer is not going to care about. It takes me maybe ten seconds total to open the menu, close it, and scroll once up, once down. That’s okay for me. And the average user, again, is simply an avid book reader, not a tech geek. No one’s going to mind the menu.

    4. It’s the difference between able to “gift” from a selection of maybe 75,000 books and being able to just buy exclusively for yourself from a selection of 115,000 books. Do you know how many publishers would get cold feet if they heard Amazon wanted to let people share/give books? Amazon has to create a no-risk enviornment for them as long as the reward is relative. Once (if ever) the Kindle is established as a powerful force, I’m sure you’ll be seeing some new gifting, etc. features, since publishers will want their books on Kindle, rather than Amazon wanting the publishers. In the meantime, if the person in question is trutworthy, you can have them registered to your account, send the book to Amazon, and have them retrieve the book from Amazon (up to 6 Kindles on one account.)

    5. Amazon is advertising this as a new way to buy and interact with books. It IS a new way to buy and interact with books. There is a notable difference between shopping for and downloading a book in two minutes wirelessly and making a 45 min. trip to Barnes&Noble, spending an hour in there, and making the return trip. Plus the “sample” system. I think your wife is in the minority. Most book readers would at least be interested in the Kindle.

    6. Why no touchscreen? I’m sure this was considered, and no one wants to wipe fingerprints off a book every time they turn a page, and no one wants to put up with fingerprints all over the screen. Come to think of it, why not go to the next level and have direct brain-to-device interaction? You have to not think of it as relative to the iPod Touch, which seems to be the main source of all of your criticisms.

    7. You realize that changing font sizes makes fixed page numbers impossibe? It’s a sacrifice, and I’m sure you could get used to 4 digit location numbers. Not much of a difference to me either way, but…

    8. Yes, most blogs suck… so don’t buy them. But I get the NY Times Latest News (and Amazon Daily- only good thing about it is it’s free), and it’s really quite convenient.

    9. I don’t see the problem with newspapers. You can see what’s on the front page, you can see what’s on each section, and you can easily skip from story to story. And no ads. I like the Kindle Philadelphia Inquirer much better than the print version, personally, and it’s much more usable (can skip over entire chunks of stories and no ads to get in the way.)

    10. Yeah, keyboard does suck, but it’s not unbearable.

    11. A box is the best you’ll get for a highlight when you have an e-ink screen.

  253. You forgot one thing- as of yet, it has failed miserably at ushering in a new era of world peace. And wouldn’t it be great if it could make your breakfast? Okay, anyway, I have a Kindle and I’m very satisfied with it. I’m watching the video and commenting as I go along:

    1. Are you absolutely sure? Because as soon as I went into the Experimental Web Browser, the first bookmark was Amazon. Clicked on it and managed to get all the way up to “Checkout” with an item in maybe a minute in a half. Didn’t have any desire to actually buy it, so I stopped there, but still, I think it would have let me buy the item. Why have Amazon as a pre-existing bookmark if not?

    2. I actually like the page turn on the side reminiscent-of-book design. I hope you could get used to holding it differently after a week. But I can definitely see where you’re coming from, even though I rarely inadvertantly turn the page after four months of ownership. However, this is what that piece of pleather that came in the box is for- the Kindle cover. This particular problem disappears when it’s in the cover. You also don’t feel “this piece of crap on the back” this way.

    3. Menus? This issue is simply something the target customer is not going to care about. It takes me maybe ten seconds total to open the menu, close it, and scroll once up, once down. That’s okay for me. And the average user, again, is simply an avid book reader, not a tech geek. No one’s going to mind the menu.

    4. It’s the difference between able to “gift” from a selection of maybe 75,000 books and being able to just buy exclusively for yourself from a selection of 115,000 books. Do you know how many publishers would get cold feet if they heard Amazon wanted to let people share/give books? Amazon has to create a no-risk enviornment for them as long as the reward is relative. Once (if ever) the Kindle is established as a powerful force, I’m sure you’ll be seeing some new gifting, etc. features, since publishers will want their books on Kindle, rather than Amazon wanting the publishers. In the meantime, if the person in question is trutworthy, you can have them registered to your account, send the book to Amazon, and have them retrieve the book from Amazon (up to 6 Kindles on one account.)

    5. Amazon is advertising this as a new way to buy and interact with books. It IS a new way to buy and interact with books. There is a notable difference between shopping for and downloading a book in two minutes wirelessly and making a 45 min. trip to Barnes&Noble, spending an hour in there, and making the return trip. Plus the “sample” system. I think your wife is in the minority. Most book readers would at least be interested in the Kindle.

    6. Why no touchscreen? I’m sure this was considered, and no one wants to wipe fingerprints off a book every time they turn a page, and no one wants to put up with fingerprints all over the screen. Come to think of it, why not go to the next level and have direct brain-to-device interaction? You have to not think of it as relative to the iPod Touch, which seems to be the main source of all of your criticisms.

    7. You realize that changing font sizes makes fixed page numbers impossibe? It’s a sacrifice, and I’m sure you could get used to 4 digit location numbers. Not much of a difference to me either way, but…

    8. Yes, most blogs suck… so don’t buy them. But I get the NY Times Latest News (and Amazon Daily- only good thing about it is it’s free), and it’s really quite convenient.

    9. I don’t see the problem with newspapers. You can see what’s on the front page, you can see what’s on each section, and you can easily skip from story to story. And no ads. I like the Kindle Philadelphia Inquirer much better than the print version, personally, and it’s much more usable (can skip over entire chunks of stories and no ads to get in the way.)

    10. Yeah, keyboard does suck, but it’s not unbearable.

    11. A box is the best you’ll get for a highlight when you have an e-ink screen.

  254. No social networking? Hey Jeff, get your head out of Twitter.

    I want something to read books. Lots and lots of books. I probably read more novels a year. I read them. I don’t annotate in them. I don’t go on Twitter every 5 seconds and tell people what I’m reading. If I recommend someone a book I say to them “hey, this was a great book, you should read it”. I don’t lend them the book or give it to them, I just say “it’s a good book”. That’s it. I’m not a fricken library. If they want to read the book, let them buy it themselves.

    I’m interested in READING books. This seems to be the perfect device to get. I can buy books for cheap, get them, read them and then move on to the next book. I don’t read PDF documents…I’ve seen a few, but mainly their a pain in the ass. I’m not reading scientific journals, I read books. If I read a blog or a web-page, I do it on my computer. I don’t want to read a blog or a web-page on my book. When I’m reading a book I’m reading a book.

    Also, why in the HELL would we want a fricken idiotic social networking thing on a book reader? STOP TRYING TO MAKE THIS THING SOMETHING THAT IT ISN’T. Keep it simple. Buy books, download them wirelessly anywhere and read them. That’s it. That’s all I want. Don’t want a messenger. Don’t want to watch movies or play music or chat with my friends or anything like that. It’s a book reader. They should just stick to that.

    You’re geeks, you want all the latest bells and whistles on everything. You’re thankfully in a very small minority as people that I’ve physically seen test out the Kindle want one. Plain and simple. They’re not geeks, they like the screen, they like that you can buy books for cheap (last I checked, I couldn’t go into Barnes and Noble and buy a brand new hardcover bestseller for $9.99), they like that you don’t need a computer or anything to get the books.

    Jeff Bezos seems to be kind of a jerk-wad about this…I understand he doesn’t like it…but I don’t think he would like it no matter what. He doesn’t like ebooks. Ok, I get it. It’s like someone who doesn’t like Rap music write a review for a new Rap album. I mean, come on…

  255. No social networking? Hey Jeff, get your head out of Twitter.

    I want something to read books. Lots and lots of books. I probably read more novels a year. I read them. I don’t annotate in them. I don’t go on Twitter every 5 seconds and tell people what I’m reading. If I recommend someone a book I say to them “hey, this was a great book, you should read it”. I don’t lend them the book or give it to them, I just say “it’s a good book”. That’s it. I’m not a fricken library. If they want to read the book, let them buy it themselves.

    I’m interested in READING books. This seems to be the perfect device to get. I can buy books for cheap, get them, read them and then move on to the next book. I don’t read PDF documents…I’ve seen a few, but mainly their a pain in the ass. I’m not reading scientific journals, I read books. If I read a blog or a web-page, I do it on my computer. I don’t want to read a blog or a web-page on my book. When I’m reading a book I’m reading a book.

    Also, why in the HELL would we want a fricken idiotic social networking thing on a book reader? STOP TRYING TO MAKE THIS THING SOMETHING THAT IT ISN’T. Keep it simple. Buy books, download them wirelessly anywhere and read them. That’s it. That’s all I want. Don’t want a messenger. Don’t want to watch movies or play music or chat with my friends or anything like that. It’s a book reader. They should just stick to that.

    You’re geeks, you want all the latest bells and whistles on everything. You’re thankfully in a very small minority as people that I’ve physically seen test out the Kindle want one. Plain and simple. They’re not geeks, they like the screen, they like that you can buy books for cheap (last I checked, I couldn’t go into Barnes and Noble and buy a brand new hardcover bestseller for $9.99), they like that you don’t need a computer or anything to get the books.

    Jeff Bezos seems to be kind of a jerk-wad about this…I understand he doesn’t like it…but I don’t think he would like it no matter what. He doesn’t like ebooks. Ok, I get it. It’s like someone who doesn’t like Rap music write a review for a new Rap album. I mean, come on…

  256. [...] how beautiful it was and how it brought him great pleasure. One week later, he hated the Kindle listing a laundry list of problems from usability to the inability to send gifts to other Kindle [...]

  257. I searched through the comments and didn’t see anyone posting the actual technical reason to not having a touch screen. It’s not because of finger prints. ( Although that would piss me off. ) It’s probably a “little” bit due to expense. It’s not because of battery life, resistive and capacitive touchscreens don’t use much power.

    It’s all about light. Touchscreens block nearly 40% of light passing through them. ( sometimes more! ) These screens are lit from ambient light, so you lose 40% on the way into the screen, and 40% on the way out, cutting the light getting to your eye by nearly 66% !! This is why Irex Technologie’s Iliad, which I own, uses a Wacom tablet to implement stylus based touch. Wacom tablets measure magnetic interference, and don’t place a “flim” over the screen. It it more expensive then a touch screen, but it was the only option from an engineering perspective.

  258. I searched through the comments and didn’t see anyone posting the actual technical reason to not having a touch screen. It’s not because of finger prints. ( Although that would piss me off. ) It’s probably a “little” bit due to expense. It’s not because of battery life, resistive and capacitive touchscreens don’t use much power.

    It’s all about light. Touchscreens block nearly 40% of light passing through them. ( sometimes more! ) These screens are lit from ambient light, so you lose 40% on the way into the screen, and 40% on the way out, cutting the light getting to your eye by nearly 66% !! This is why Irex Technologie’s Iliad, which I own, uses a Wacom tablet to implement stylus based touch. Wacom tablets measure magnetic interference, and don’t place a “flim” over the screen. It it more expensive then a touch screen, but it was the only option from an engineering perspective.

  259. The passion behind Tom is great! Getting to the point saves a lot of time, especially when you’re new to something, or aren’t fully illiterate on the topic.

  260. The passion behind Tom is great! Getting to the point saves a lot of time, especially when you’re new to something, or aren’t fully illiterate on the topic.

  261. 435 of 484 people found the following review helpful:
    Killer e-book Reader, November 20, 2007
    By James Means “jamesinhouston” (Houston, TX United States) – See all my reviews

    I received my Kindle today and I have to say “NO” to the haters. This is a killer reader. Here are some pros and cons:

    Pros
    1. The reader response time is excellent and the display is crisp and clear.
    2. The interface is extremely intuitive and well-designed.
    3. Shopping in the Kindle store is extremely easy and relatively fast
    4. Page and menu navigation are easy and well thought out.
    5. The mp3 player works very well so audio books would be great as well
    6. In general it’s a great design in perhaps not the most beautiful package.
    7. Great non-skid backing

    Cons:
    1. The keyboard can be a bit slow to respond while shopping.
    2. It’s a tad uncomfortable to hold without the book cover but I’ll manage.
    3. Pricey

    All things considered, I’m extremely pleased with the Kindle. The device is already registered and it is ready to go as soon as you unpack it.

  262. 435 of 484 people found the following review helpful:
    Killer e-book Reader, November 20, 2007
    By James Means “jamesinhouston” (Houston, TX United States) – See all my reviews

    I received my Kindle today and I have to say “NO” to the haters. This is a killer reader. Here are some pros and cons:

    Pros
    1. The reader response time is excellent and the display is crisp and clear.
    2. The interface is extremely intuitive and well-designed.
    3. Shopping in the Kindle store is extremely easy and relatively fast
    4. Page and menu navigation are easy and well thought out.
    5. The mp3 player works very well so audio books would be great as well
    6. In general it’s a great design in perhaps not the most beautiful package.
    7. Great non-skid backing

    Cons:
    1. The keyboard can be a bit slow to respond while shopping.
    2. It’s a tad uncomfortable to hold without the book cover but I’ll manage.
    3. Pricey

    All things considered, I’m extremely pleased with the Kindle. The device is already registered and it is ready to go as soon as you unpack it.

  263. I think the Kindle is a cool idea but it just costs WAY WAY too much. Think about it. The screen it uses should be the most expensive part of that device and those 6 inch monochrome screens purchased in bulk are dirt cheap. No more than $10-$20 max. add in the battery, the EVDO radio and casing and I would doubt if Amazon has more than $50-$75 tops in harware costs. Probably a lot less with their bulk buying power. The major cost in publishing books is in printing, binding and physical distribution. With electronic distribution all of that goes away but if you look at what Amazon is charging for new E-books they are within 80%-90% of the price of paper books. Those prices are just pure ripoff, considering the incredible savings they are getting via electronic distribution. No e-book older that 6 month-1 year old should cost any more than $3-$5 MAX. So Amazon is charging a 300-400% premium on the books + a 300-400% premium on the harware. Thats just outrageous from a money standpoint, forget about all the usability and quality issues with the product. If the harware was between $100-$150 and if the books were around $10 for new releases I would consider it but $400 and $25 for the books? Thats just too much like sodomy for me to pay for it.

  264. I think the Kindle is a cool idea but it just costs WAY WAY too much. Think about it. The screen it uses should be the most expensive part of that device and those 6 inch monochrome screens purchased in bulk are dirt cheap. No more than $10-$20 max. add in the battery, the EVDO radio and casing and I would doubt if Amazon has more than $50-$75 tops in harware costs. Probably a lot less with their bulk buying power. The major cost in publishing books is in printing, binding and physical distribution. With electronic distribution all of that goes away but if you look at what Amazon is charging for new E-books they are within 80%-90% of the price of paper books. Those prices are just pure ripoff, considering the incredible savings they are getting via electronic distribution. No e-book older that 6 month-1 year old should cost any more than $3-$5 MAX. So Amazon is charging a 300-400% premium on the books + a 300-400% premium on the harware. Thats just outrageous from a money standpoint, forget about all the usability and quality issues with the product. If the harware was between $100-$150 and if the books were around $10 for new releases I would consider it but $400 and $25 for the books? Thats just too much like sodomy for me to pay for it.

  265. For Aaron Neville, being on the road feels far further normal than being by home.

    “somewhere the street takes me, that’s anywhere I go,” understood the 67-year-old singer from a tour stop in Northern California. “I just quit where they tell me.”

    As a unaccompanied artist, Neville is top known for soulful ballads, approximating his 1966 rejection . 1, “Tell It Like It Is.” bar that all changes when he and brothers Charles, painting and Cyril get jointly on phase .

    “We execute a minute bit of everything,” he said. “mood , jazz, depression , R&B. Everything.”

    On Saturday night, the Neville Brothers bring their eclectic stylings to fuss 29 Casino into Coachella. And while Aaron said he’s been to the desert several times over the past decade before so, this time is special as he’ll be performing with his brothers.

    “I love the desert,” Neville said, “but then I love wherever (people) like my composition .”

  266. For Aaron Neville, being on the road feels far further normal than being by home.

    “somewhere the street takes me, that’s anywhere I go,” understood the 67-year-old singer from a tour stop in Northern California. “I just quit where they tell me.”

    As a unaccompanied artist, Neville is top known for soulful ballads, approximating his 1966 rejection . 1, “Tell It Like It Is.” bar that all changes when he and brothers Charles, painting and Cyril get jointly on phase .

    “We execute a minute bit of everything,” he said. “mood , jazz, depression , R&B. Everything.”

    On Saturday night, the Neville Brothers bring their eclectic stylings to fuss 29 Casino into Coachella. And while Aaron said he’s been to the desert several times over the past decade before so, this time is special as he’ll be performing with his brothers.

    “I love the desert,” Neville said, “but then I love wherever (people) like my composition .”

  267. I wrote a blog post on this the other day.

    Why would I pay $360 for a butt-ugly device simply for the privilege of RENTING ebooks for a further $10 a pop? Assuming they ever made it work in Canada, which is doesn’t. It’s a useless bloated piece of tech designed by a marketer to sell (or rent rather) more Amazon products. I can go to the library and get books for free, why would I want to rent them from Amazon?

  268. I wrote a blog post on this the other day.

    Why would I pay $360 for a butt-ugly device simply for the privilege of RENTING ebooks for a further $10 a pop? Assuming they ever made it work in Canada, which is doesn’t. It’s a useless bloated piece of tech designed by a marketer to sell (or rent rather) more Amazon products. I can go to the library and get books for free, why would I want to rent them from Amazon?

  269. Uggghhhhh… Scoble is a dweeb. No social network?? I couldn’t care less what my “friends” are doing much less reading. Its an electronic book! More twenty something got to be connected doing five things at once mentality. You could say the same things about the drill motor in my toolbox but its pretty useful when I need to drill holes. Someone needs to drill a hole in Scobles head and see what really is in there. Buy it or don’t buy it but stop the juvenile whining about how everything “sucks”. The word “suck” is not a very grown up way of describing something. Just say what you like and don’t like. I don’t know how guys like you get paid?

  270. Uggghhhhh… Scoble is a dweeb. No social network?? I couldn’t care less what my “friends” are doing much less reading. Its an electronic book! More twenty something got to be connected doing five things at once mentality. You could say the same things about the drill motor in my toolbox but its pretty useful when I need to drill holes. Someone needs to drill a hole in Scobles head and see what really is in there. Buy it or don’t buy it but stop the juvenile whining about how everything “sucks”. The word “suck” is not a very grown up way of describing something. Just say what you like and don’t like. I don’t know how guys like you get paid?

  271. Give me a break, no social networking. You live in this world of tech blogs that believes everyone in the world is in some social network, and the rest who are not actually care.Penis Büyütücü
    Guess what, most are not, and most don't care. Stop drinking the Kool-Aid. The device is interesting with or without social networking.

  272. Absolutely agree with you here… This *might* have been cool in 1995. Arrington is right about the Sony Reader being better,Moda Evi but I think that the best is going to come out of Samsung or Apple in the near future.

  273. Hello,

    I have published a book, Web On-The-Go in Amazon Kindle version.
    Here is the link for the book.

    http://www.amazon.com/Web-On-The-Go-ebook/dp/B0

    This book is all about innovative ideas for wireless web.
    I'll be very glad if you could review the book, Web On-The-Go.

    Your review and comments will be very valuable.

    Thanks
    Bala