Would you buy a Kindle reader if it included advertisements and was $25 less? Amazon is offering a version of the already low priced, $139 WiFi Kindle for $114. The “Kindle with Special Offers” version replaces the screen saver featuring famous authors and the bottom of the home screen with Amazon related advertisements. They do not display while reading a book.
The Amazon Kindle 3 is an e-book reader that features an 6″ E Ink Pearl screen, extremely efficient power management, 4GB memory and WiFi connectivity. The E Ink Pearl screen comes closest to paper of any screen I have seen and only uses power when changing pages. This is the biggest reason it has a rechargeable battery that lasts up to a month of “normal” use between charges (if Wifi is off). It is also argued that this type of screen results in less eyestrain compared to backlit devices like an Apple or Android tablet. The 8.5 oz device is also lighter than the average tablet making it easier to hold for long periods of time.
The Kindle is also another example of a Linux powered device. The power sipping, Freescale 532 MHz, ARM-11 processor runs the Linux 2.6.26 kernel. Increasingly, Linux users don’t really know they are using Linux. As programmable, networked, electronic devices escape the confines of the desktop and become ubiquitous will most people care? The Kindle is an excellent example of the benefits and strengths of a well designed, special purpose device (created by the Amazon subsidiary Lab126).
So is $25 your price? How about $40? There has been a great deal of discussion out there that $99 is the magic number. They had me at $139.
(E-book reader users should check out calibre to manage their e-books.)