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A week with the Amazon kindle e-reader

31st Dec 2009
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I have had a kindle for over a week now, thanks to the Sage-AccountingWEB.co.uk competition, and with the holiday season have had a good chance to explore the features.

What I like
The electronic ink screen - it is just as easy on the eyes as reading a normal paper book. I am already part way through reading my second e-book on it and have had no problems with eyestrain.

e-newspapers - you can have a selection of newspapers delivered wirelessly to the kindle each morning. The UK papers also currently offer a free 2 week trial.

The kindle store - which makes it easy to browse books, and once you have made your choice they are delivered straight to the unit without it having to be connected to a PC.

Improvements
There are several standard features on the kindle that have unfortunately been disabled when it is being used outside the US, most likely due to the fact that it has a contract free 3G cellular modem built in:

Access to simple web pages
Access to blogs
Pictures are disabled in e-newspapers

It may be that these features are enabled in the future - at present the kindle is a US import but it could be that it becomes available direct from Amazon.co.uk

However, it does have full & unrestricted free mobile access to wikipedia which is excellent and shows the potential of the extra features.

The future
e-readers are starting to make progress in general availability and acceptance.

Whilst visiting the sales this week I noticed that both Currys and John Lewis are now stocking the Sony e-readers, as well as Waterstones who were an early adopter of e-readers. Waterstones even has a poster in their window saying that e-books are available to download from them as well.

With a possible launch of the Apple tablet at the end of January the market for e-readers could expand rapidly. There is already a kindle app available on the iPhone and iPod touch.
 

Speaking of competitions, have you ever wanted to fly an aeroplane?

I am running our competition to win a flying lesson at your local airfield. Full details are available here, the closing date is 31st January.

James
MD taxhelp.uk.com

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