But really, why would you buy a Kindle DX when you can have an iPad for the same price?
Because the screen on a Kindle looks like a book. The old kind, the kind which would hold you engrossed from first page to last, leaving you feeling refreshed and full of new ideas at the end, rather than bleary eyed from staring at the flickering, overcoloured backlit screen in front of you until 4 in the morning, after an evening browsing, browsing, browsing, unable to concentrate on the ebook you've just bought, partly because of the eye-strain, and partly because it's too tempting to flick listlessly from your ebook to wikipedia, following link after link, task-switching to read your emails, your facebook, your blog comments. The Kindle doesn't invite you to check out a news story in another tab, or google up some trivia about the C64 or Cicero or the architect of the Taj Mahal. It offers you just one, rich world, that you can devote yourself to.
What's Jobs's vision? You sit there passively on a sofa, consuming idly, listlessly seeking out entertainment put together by somebody, somewhere out there on the web, as your back begins to ache from your awful, inert posture and you get a crink in your neck from staring down at the tesselating brightly coloured lights shining from the fetish object on your lap.
You can't even create on it, because he's taken away the sodding keyboard.
Jobs says the iPad offers a "much more intimate" way of browsing. Well, fuck that. Browsing is disjointed - a link, a new tab, a new blogger, a long list of blog comments, a compulsive e-mail check, a 'surf' over to a news portal. That's not intimacy, which is something you build up through sustained, dedicated involvement, be that with a person or with Crime and Punishment or The Da Vinci Code or the Philosophical Investigations. The web is about diversions and fleeting contact and entertainment. It's useful, it's even fun - but it's no more intimate than Disneyland.
If Jobs really believes its an 'intimate' experience then he's fallen into a black hole of his own making, and the iPad is just another clever device designed to paper over the rapidly expanding gaps in lives devoted to monk-like passivity. The spiritual successor to the TV remote.