November 26, 2007

A ONE-WEEK REVIEW, by Robert Scoble, of the Amazon Kindle. He’s fairly critical, but concludes: “Would I buy it? Yes, but I’m a geek.” The customer reviews seem similarly mixed.

Meanwhile, Brannon Denning emails with praise for the underappreciated Sony Reader:

As an (uncharacteristically, for me) early adopter of the Sony Reader, I have to say that I am very pleased. It has a long battery life, is easy-to-read, light, and extremely portable. I traveled a bunch during the month of October, and found it indispensible for waiting out delayed flights and would-be talkative seatmates.

Kindle looks like it’s trying to do too much. Who cares if I get wireless access to books; I need a PC to download music into an iPod. And do I really need another device that texts or sends e-mails . . . or even one that plays music? (The Reader plays MP3s and you can look at pics, but I doubt I’ll ever use these features.) It’s also uglier than a man’s ass, as my father-in-law would put it. Advantage: Sony Reader!

My one hope is that more academic publishers begin formatting e-books (and maybe journals) to be read that way, and, perhaps like Kindle, that Reader 2.0 will allow one to annotate the text.

My problem is that the Kindle looks like it would be a great portable web browser, but I don’t think it’ll do that.

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