Amazon reveals Kindle eBook reader

Many others have tried and failed to produce a compelling eBook reader but that isn’t stopping from giving it everything they’ve got. After months of rumors, speculation and leaked product photos, Amazon finally revealed their Kindle product today and judging by the looks of it, if there ever was an eBook reader that was poised to succeed, this is it. Amazon has designed the Kindle from the ground up to be an easy to use, portable and cost-effective solution for reading books, newspapers and blogs. The heart and soul of the Kindle is its screen, which, unlike standard LCD displays, uses actual ink to mimic the look of ink on paper. “The screen works using ink, just like books and newspapers, but displays the ink particles electronically. It reflects light like ordinary paper and uses no backlighting, eliminating the glare associated with other electronic displays. As a result, Kindle can be read as easily in bright sunlight as in your living room.” What’s more, the device has functions that mimic many of the actions you would perform with a standard book–bookmarking, highlighting, page turning–you can even look up terms in the dictionary or on Wikipedia from inside of the reading interface.

How exactly does content get onto your Kindle? Completely wirelessly, without aid of a PC. The $399 purchase price of the Kindle includes complimentary 3G service over Sprint’s EV-DO network, so you can purchase and download content over-the-air without having to pay a monthly bill. The flipside of that, however, is that there’s no such thing as a free lunch with the Kindle–even blogs cost “as little as $0.99 each per month.” Still, there’s no shortage of content available for the thing–Amazon has over 90,000 books available now in Kindle format. While the Kindle doesn’t exactly seem like a perfect solution for power users, it does seem like a device that’s simple and intuitive enough for just about everyone else–from obsessive readers to world travelers to your Reader’s Digest-loving granny.

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