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back to article Amazon takes Kindle to the UK

Amazon UK's front page is dominated today by a letter to its customers, introducing the "third generation of Kindles". In other words, Brits can buy Kindle e-Readers direct from Amazon UK, instead of the American mothership. That means UK prices - £149 for the 3G-Wi-Fi version and £109 for the Wi-Fi only version. This is …

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Aggresive pricing.

Good to see the prices falling. I've ordered a Wi-Fi version, it'll be interesting to see how it compares to the Sony PRS505 I've had for a few years now.

GJC

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So out of interest

How do you intend to transfer your existing books over to a Kindle?

The one thing that has plagued ereading devices are all the proprietary formats, DRM and tie-ins to single stores. And Kindle is one of the worst examples. At least Sony devices let you buy books from a variety of places and support a vendor / device agnostic DRM.

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Also pleased about pricing....

...but it's still ug-leee!

Especially compared to the PRS-505 which, in terms of looks, still leads the way.

My only REAL concern is that the books you buy from Amazon will only be readable on the Kindle - is that true? If so, it's not exactly what I'd call satisfactory.

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Happy

Transfer

That's a very good question, which I shall address when it arrives :-)

I think there are various ePub -> Mobi converters available, but I've not researched the subject in any depth as yet.

GJC

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Happy

Ugly

That is true, the 505 is a thing of beauty.

I'm not sure DRM - I've got a load of books in ePub format, if I can't easily transfer them then I shall have to have a rethink.

GJC

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Anonymous Coward

kindle books will only work on kindle

book will only work on kindle

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Nice

This looks rather attractive and the price is getting there. I'd still rather have an iPad type device if I could afford one.

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Sony

One week too late for me, as I've just got a Sony eReader (PRS-600 Touch).

I'm very happy with it, though. Given the use of the device, I don't like Kindle's keyboard (I do understand what it's for) and I prefer Sony's more open approach - I never thought I'd say THAT!

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Corrected

"have every book ever written, in any language, all available in under 60 seconds"

you forgot the bit "...and removed just as fast upon receiving a lawyer's letter of complaint".

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Unhappy

The best eReader and store launching...

...er, just after summer - so for all of you that might have been seriously interested at this price point to take your summer reading away with you, sorry.

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Heart

DILLIGAF?

It's a handful of days before SWMBO's birthday...

...and she was muttering about eBook readers just a couple of days ago.

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ah, but

the device isn't released until August 27th... so is it SWMBO's birthday a handful of days from now, or from then. Cos if it's her birthday before August 27th, an email showing you've ordered her something due to arrive three weeks later generally doesn't wash...

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This actually looks like

a seriously good piece of kit.

I am tempted to purchase the 3G edition and take it abroad, but I can't quite interpret whether they would charge me for the data or not. The US Amazon pages are pretty clear that there is a charge outside the US.

On a purely academical level, I would like to see the Kindle display books consistently with how they appear in the print edition or at least have a function to choose it. It is otherwise impossible to use Kindle books for citation. Note: This may have been fixed, but it wasn't available last time Iooked.

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Coffee/keyboard

Ha Ha Ha

I can't quite interpret whether they would charge me for the data or not.

Oh my, good one sir - You owe me a keyboard & monitor!

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Look to the competitors!

I understand the problem with academic references and how book are presented, but wouldn't most academic books on Kindle also be on Google Books, at least in snippet view? That way you can read the book on a Kindle (or indeed an iPad or whatever) and then search for the bit of text to cite in Google Books to get the exact page ref. As an academic, I often use Google Books to track down page numbers for citations.

All that said, I do think 6 inches sounds a bit small. (Cue jokes.) For reading text, I'd prefer something a bit larger. But I've not tried a Kindle, and I guess it'll make it portable, so it might well be a good trade-off.

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Boffin

Better off with an iPad and the Kindle reader App....

The Kindle software for iPad (and other iOS devices, Macs and PC's ) is a much better idea. Having tried both, I find Apple's hardware is much nicer than the Kindle, and you can do more with it. I like the Kindle system for reading books, and that your notes, bookmarks, and whatnot are sync'd between all your subscribed Kindle installations, but I hated the hardware. Much prefer the iPad.

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Better off with iPad?

Since the iPad costs 4x as much as a Kindle, it should be nicer. And it should be able do more.

But you could buy a good laptop for the same price as an iPad and do *even more* with it!

So really, the comparison isn't fair. Try comparing a Kindle to a cheap Chinese Android tablet.

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Depends on lots of things

The iPad is a vastly more powerful device than ereaders but then again it costs 4x+ the price. It also doesn't work in direct sunlight, is much heavier, much larger and requires more frequent charging. Book reading should be seen as one string in its bow but certainly not its forte.

Ereaders have their place in the world, but they need to get much cheaper. Nothing about these devices justifies the hitherto stupid prices they have commanded. £100 really should be the maximum these things cost given the raft of netbooks, tablets etc which will be occupying the £150 range soon enough.

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FYI

You can use the iPad in direct sunlight fine. You just need to turn the screen brightness right up.

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Good news, sort of

I couldn't bring myself to buy one from the US store, especially since returns and repairs would have been a major pain. Having it come to the UK is much better.

The new Kindle 3 seems nice enough, and might be worth a punt. However, I think I'd prefer the DX (which doesn't seem to be for sale on the UK store) and there's still no epub compatibility, which is a pain because the council library has just started doing free epub lending (DRM, naturally).

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Happy

Looks good

Questions that I can't find definive answers for though are :-

- Other than downloading personal documents over 3G that Amazon has converted for you, and (of course) direct purchases, are there any other costs (Web browsing, and 3G roaming costs from outside the UK, for example)?

- Once stuff it put on the device, can you get it off again (or is it another iPod-like block-hole)?

- Is purchased content only usable on the Kindle (if you CAN get it off it)?

Any of thse could be a killer, which would be a shame because it does look rather good.

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Waiting for Elonex 710EB eBook Reader

As title,

Will look at the Elonex 710EB eBook Reader when it comes out (Due end of month ish)

LED touchscreen, plays video and mp3's, android o/s are ecen rumoured to do surfing.

Wireless and 8 hour battery.

If its as good as I hope the £120 price tag will be a steal.

The Kindle is just to tied to one place for my likeing

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An 8 hour battery life - woo hoo!

Compared to a two-week battery life on a Kindle or Sony Reader.

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tempted

This looks very good for the price, but can’t help feeling that the future of ebooks is going to involve embedded video, screencasts, audio, web links and interactive diagrams, the kind of content that is possibly on the ipad, but not so much on the kindle.

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Embedded video? Meh.

Yes, certain types of media will probably start using embedded video and similar - magazines and text books seem to me to be an obvious candidates. But for the bulk market, which is to say paperbacks, mostly novels, text with the very occasional static illustration seems the perfect format, which favours the current eInk devices like the Sony range.

However, it's possible that the market will change, and books of the future will be closer to films than books. But I think that would be a great shame.

GJC

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I like it

It's well-priced and pretty nice to look at - I'd love to see one in the flesh before I bought though.

The wifi is particularly attractive, the ability to look up basic news sites on the move would be pretty handy - and probably neglect the need to even think about getting an iPon.

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Good price

I was looking at the sony PRS-505, but at £109 I'm defiantly getting a kindle now. Not something i thought I'd hear myself say, as the earlier ones were UUUGLY. I like this one though, its got a nice clean design. im really impressed.

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Why not wait to see what Sony et al do next?

Kindles are far, far more restrictive devices than other readers. You are tied to Amazon for all your purchases and support for epub and other common formats is poor. Why not wait to see if Sony etc drop their prices in response? Chances are that they will and you benefit from being able to buy books from numerous places.

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One other point....

One of the major points about the PRS505 is the case - it folds over like a book cover, and it means you can hold it one-handed just like a book. The page turn is under your thumb, and it just works.

Without a case like this, I'm not sure the Kindle is so comfortable to read.

And I don't like the keyboard.

But a hundred and nine quid....give it a year, and it'll be less than a hundred, and I don't know that I'll be able to resist it at that price.

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Ergonomics

Yes, I quite agree - the ergonomics of the Sony are damn near perfect for the job, allowing the reader to forget about the device and immerse themselves in the book. It'll be interesting to see if the Kindle is as good.

My (admittedly brief) play with an iPad leads me to believe it doesn't allow the same immersion, and without that, it fails for me as a book reader.

GJC

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FAIL

EPUBs

Being a stickler for having my data in industry standard formats, all my music is mp3, all my videos are in H.264, and all my ebooks are in EPUB format.

This ensures the widest range of devices, software and services work with them. I have tried Stanza, Mobipocket and Kindle on my HP Touchsmart TM2 tablet PC, and I have plumped for Mobipocket, as it has the nicest interface and can import all my EPUB books. Stanza was poo and Kindle doesn't seem to support EPUB at all. Which is a bit like having an MP3 player that doesn't play MP3s but does play WMA files.

Kindle is strictly off-limits until they start supporting EPUB on the device (none of this emailing it to Amazon for conversion bollocks).

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AZW is a crap format

It's based on the venerable MOBI format and lacks many of the features that the more modern ePub format offers. It's really just HTML with limited CSS support. Amazon don't seem to be investing in improving it either.

It's shocking that Amazon are releasing a device that does not support the ePub format.

If you do buy a Kindle you should definitely checkout Calibre. It does a pretty good job of converting just about any format to any other. It does clever stuff like convert ePub SVG graphics into JPEG that the Kindle can render.

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Worse still...

I understand that most publishers supply Amazon in ePUB format and they convert it to DRM'd AZW using a internal tool that can't handle graphics, tables and pictures well. Perhaps they should use Calibre, which seems to do a much better job ;)

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Where has the Asus PR-900 got too

The ebook reader I am waiting for is the Asus PR-900 but it still doesn't seem to have a release date. If the DX was avliable now in the UK I might just cut my losses and buy one.

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neb
Coat

get your stinking hands off...

...they're mine, all mine i tells ya!

seriously, look away

thats me going through your pockets checking you haven't got my precious by mitsake

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neb

oh wait...

...before i rush off and bust open the kids money box

anyone know how compatible it's going to be with existing kindle(.com) accounts?

got a few books on there that i don't want to lose(paid for too!) if i start using the uk store...

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SRS

Why no UK DX though?

Adding Wi-Fi is an excellent idea, but why hasn't the new Charcoal DX got it, and why isn't it available in the UK?

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Anonymous Coward

No SD Card Slot + Amazon WAN gateway lock-in is a deal breaker.

I don't care how cheap this latest Kindle is, while it is locked to Amazons' WAN storage.

I will only buy an ebook reader which supports private and local book storage i.e. SD cards and LAN storage. I will never accept compulsory WAN gateway storage access to any media device! I have confidential information I want to view on a ebook reader, but hell will freeze over before I allow this to be stored on a public server of dubious security!

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Want

but id like to see one in real life before buying, ive got a prs600 so i dsnt exactly need an other ebook reader

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Alert

Calibre support

I'd hang on a bit if you're planning to use Calibre to manage the new Kindle.

Chances are it'll work fine once the support's been added, but they've not confirmed that the new Kindle doesn't have extra lock-downs yet.

Here's the note on the Calibre forum: http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=92546

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