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Amazon goes digital

Not content with selling most of the world’s books, Amazon now wants to sell you something to read them on in electronic format – a sort of iPod for bookworms. The Kindle is a portable electronic reader that stores and displays up to 200 e-books for your reading pleasure. It’s about the size of a paperback and is set to retail at $399.

At a launch bash in New York, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos says a complete text will take about 60 seconds to download, and you’ll be able to access magazine and newspaper content too, via wifi or a standard phone network.

It’s not the first of its kind – for years, manufacturers have been trying to come up with the killer e-book app – but it boasts better resolution than the average electronic screen.

Some observers aren’t so sure. They point out that the Kindle isn’t much higher spec than existing e-readers, and still offers significantly lower resolution than a print paperback.

The Times’ reviewer was underwhelmed: “The electronic screen does not dazzle the eye […] but it is annoyingly small […]. Inexplicably, the most important part of the device covers only two thirds of the front. That is tolerable if you can read fairly small print. But if you set the text size to one of the larger options, you get only a couple of paragraphs at a time. You cannot scroll down. You can only flip the page. That means, with large type you have to turn the page thousands of times.”

Would you Kindle?

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