November 19, 2007 11:06 AM PST
The Kindle is a new e-book reader from Amazon. I decline to link to it here because it's so lame. Yes... this is an editorial, not a review.
For $400 you get a small e-paper reader with a built in cell phone connection to download books, newspapers and blogs (and possibly email). The first thing about the device that is so ridiculous is how badly the device is designed. It's like they just haphazardly threw buttons and scroll wheels all over it. In this day of the iPhone - you just can't have poor design like this.
The second issue is the price of the device and content. At $400 the device is retailing for far more than the BOM cost. The OLPC XO is only $200 and includes both a color screen and an e-paper display. And the $400 Asus eePC is a full Windows running notebook. The electronic content at $10/book for new releases is cheaper than full priced hardcover books, but the DRM limitations offset that to some extent. The price is OK, but definitely not game-changing. Then there's the $1 per blog subscription cost. Of course blogs are free, but I suppose the idea here is to offset the cellular download cost. Somehow bloggers also get a cut of this price, so it's more than just data costs obviously.
My final peeve is that there is a mini-usb port AND a charging jack. Why can't current devices standardize on freaking USB for charging? Two of the wires in USB are for power, so why include a separate power brick and jack?
Overall - I just can't get past the poor hardware design and hardware cost to even begin thinking about any benefits to this thing. Let's wait for the Apple iRead with multitouch.