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Amazon's Kindle Sells Out In 5.5 Hours 417

necro81 writes "As reported on Engadget, Amazon's Kindle e-book reader has sold out. Charlie Rose's interview with Jeff Bezos reveals that the Kindle sold out within just 5-1/2 hours of going on sale. Amazon hasn't revealed how many it had in stock at launch, so it may just be that they didn't anticipate early demand. A check of the Kindle's product page shows that more will be rolling out starting December 3rd." Wired also has a brief head-to-head of the more prominent ebook readers and PCWorld has a review of the new gadget from Amazon.
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Amazon's Kindle Sells Out In 5.5 Hours

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  • by Jackdaw Rookery ( 696327 ) * on Wednesday November 21, 2007 @07:24PM (#21441725) Homepage Journal
    I wonder how many units were made available.

    I somehow doubt it is a case of 'we made lots, but demand outstripped supply'. More likely this was a limited production run to test the waters.
    • by dbolger ( 161340 ) on Wednesday November 21, 2007 @07:31PM (#21441791) Homepage
      Call me a cynic, but I'd say its more likely a case of a limited production run so they can get sites like Slashdot to report how they sold out in just 5.5 hours.
      • DRM Suckage (Score:5, Informative)

        by Jeremiah Cornelius ( 137 ) on Wednesday November 21, 2007 @07:42PM (#21441879) Homepage Journal
        Kill it. Now.
        • Re:DRM Suckage (Score:5, Insightful)

          by QuantumG ( 50515 ) <qg@biodome.org> on Wednesday November 21, 2007 @07:47PM (#21441921) Homepage Journal
          No. E-Books has been buried for long enough. It is time to accept this technology into our lives.

          Crack it.

          • by geekoid ( 135745 )
            I agree.
            If I could afford 2, I would crack it.

          • Re:DRM Suckage (Score:5, Insightful)

            by jmorris42 ( 1458 ) * <jmorris@NOSPAM.beau.org> on Wednesday November 21, 2007 @08:31PM (#21442315)
            > Crack it.

            Why? It is a joke. The BOM on the thing would run you less than $200 quantity one and I seriously doubt Amazon paid $100. Most of the sticker price is an all up front subscription to their cellular based wireless network that probably isn't even available out here in flyover country where I live. So if yuu don't value the handcuffs to the Amazon Store that why would you bother buying one just to hack it?

            No, we need to design our own. There ain't squat in one hardware wise. No wireless (eats battery like crazy) and two SD slots (for easy copy action!) along with the ability to read PDF files. But first e-paper tech needs to finish developing. Current incarnations lack the resolution of a cheap laser printer, to say nothing of commercial printing and the screen refresh speeds blow goats. And color would really be helpful along with a touchscreen UI.

            But like all things tech these issues will be solved after enough early adopters with big wallets and small brains spend insane amounts of cash on not ready for prime time hardware that won't even be compatible with whatever ends up becoming the standard. Then I'll buy one. :)
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Dare nMc ( 468959 )

              So if yuu don't value the handcuffs to the Amazon Store that why would you bother buying one just to hack it?

              I wasn't serious enough to look at it twice, but it says you can just email it your documents, it did just say word, and various music, picture formats. Also unlimited free lifetime access to wikipedia.
              So I am not sure what needs hacked either, just waiting to hear what formats work, and how usable the email capability's/formats are. If it can be turned into a $400 for a lifetime subscription to na

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by jacquesm ( 154384 )
                I already have unlimited free lifetime access to wikipedia.

                leaves you to wonder if that's wikipedia's lifetime or mine but that is not really relevant here :)
              • Re:DRM Suckage (Score:5, Insightful)

                by Kadin2048 ( 468275 ) * <slashdot,kadin&xoxy,net> on Thursday November 22, 2007 @02:48AM (#21444359) Homepage Journal
                Every email to the device costs $0.10; it's not free. (You can transfer documents for free to it via USB, I think, but this is a whole lot less convenient.)

                Also, keep in mind that when they say "lifetime free access to Wikipedia," they don't really mean your lifetime, or even their lifetime, but merely the lifetime of their business model. If at some point down the road these things stop making money for them, that cell connection is going to stop working, too. (And given the short lifespans of cell technologies, I wouldn't expect this thing to work with the cell network for more than a few years, a decade at most, before Sprint forces an upgrade to some new system. I have piles of old handsets sitting around my house as a testament to these forced upgrades that they push through every so often.)

                I think this thing is interesting, and it's the best effort at e-books so far, but it's still really, really bleeding edge. Personally I just can't justify shelling out four bills to be what seems suspiciously like a public beta.
            • why bother? (Score:5, Interesting)

              by alizard ( 107678 ) <alizard@ecPARISis.com minus city> on Thursday November 22, 2007 @12:32AM (#21443769) Homepage
              Add Linux e-reader software to a Linux-based Nokia N800 Internet Tablet and you're there, and if you insist on having access that isn't via WiFi, add a
              Better performance, and no vendor lockin.
              • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

                by Blakey Rat ( 99501 )
                and if you insist on having access that isn't via WiFi, add a

                The suspense is killing me!!
            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by eean ( 177028 )
              Actually the wireless service has wide coverage, I live in rural Missouri and according to their website would be fine. Obviously you'd want to check that first. You can turn the wireless off so then battery is only drained on page flips.

              I actually think its a solid product idea. Basically you pay for content and wireless access at the same time. E-paper sounds legitimately like a great technology. It would be pretty tempting offer if not for having basically no money at the moment and the Asus Eee PC being
            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              "Current incarnations lack the resolution of a cheap laser printer..."

              Heh so's your monitor. But that's despite the point: It's 150 DPI, that's definitely more than adequate for reading.

              I agree with your other points (although I find the wireless bit debatable... wireless access to Wikipedia? w00t!) but the DPI one? Sorry.
              • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                by Kadin2048 ( 468275 ) *

                "Current incarnations lack the resolution of a cheap laser printer..."

                Heh so's your monitor. But that's despite the point: It's 150 DPI, that's definitely more than adequate for reading.

                Maybe you think so, but I don't find it particularly pleasant. I think this is fairly common, too; I know quite a few people who print off anything longer than a few pages because they detest reading on-screen so much.

                An e-book can probably get away with a lower resolution than commercial or laser printing achieves through the use of anti-aliasing, but I think you're mistaken if you think most people can't tell the difference between 150 dpi and 1500 dpi offset, and won't immediately pick the high-dpi one

        • by QRDeNameland ( 873957 ) on Wednesday November 21, 2007 @08:49PM (#21442463)
          Is it just me, or is there something a bit weird about naming a product for reading books with a word which means "to set on fire"? Now, maybe as a name for Dell laptop...
          • Re:DRM Suckage (Score:5, Interesting)

            by TheGratefulNet ( 143330 ) on Wednesday November 21, 2007 @11:40PM (#21443515)
            "to set on fire"

            I used to work at SGI (late 90's) and one of their ad slogans was ignite your mind and I think it had a picture of an octane (model name) sgi box there.

            the thing is - we sold a lot of SGI boxes to gas and oil companies. 'igniting' from a computer is the last thing they'd want!

            for a while, some SGI boxes (their power supplies) had a nasty habit of, well, blowing up or catching fire. the move team (who moved employees when we had our frequent re-orgs) would often have blown power supplies after we powered down systems and moved them, had them sit unused for a weekend and then powered up monday. I guess an always-on system being turned off, let sit and then powered on can cause strain.

            PPFFFTT! "stand back, I'm about to power on an SGI box!"

            ignite your mind. yeah - and your tie, if you are standing too close by to some of them.
      • by dedazo ( 737510 )
        Reverse-reverse slashvertisement psychology. I like it :)
      • Too rich for their own good, money to burn, since to own this device, you would already have a laptop, an ipod, a cell phone, digital camera, etc. etc. If you have the money to fork over $400 for a device less useful than just about everything else on the market, you probably own a Segway.

        Not to say that its not nice being rich, but you're also an idiot since this overpriced, semi-useful device is full of DRM and all your books will likely be gone as soon as amazon decides to discontinue it or not to suppor
      • Bogus Cynic (Score:3, Insightful)

        by fm6 ( 162816 )

        Call me a cynic,

        You're a cynic. No, wait, you're not. You're just stuck in the usual conspiracy mindset, combined with the also-usual ignorance of economics.

        When you manufacture a mass market item, you're not in a position to say, "Let's just make 100 of them for our first manufacturing run, so we can boast that it sold out in a few hours." There's a fixed cost to starting up and shutting down a manufacturing line, and that means there's a minimum number of items you have to make if you want to make them

        • Gullible much? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by SmallFurryCreature ( 593017 ) on Wednesday November 21, 2007 @11:26PM (#21443439) Journal

          It is however perfectly easy for a company to launch with a limited number of items received from the factory. This is a basic sales trick. Amazon ordered the production of the kindle, but that doesn't mean all the units arrive in one go, that itself would be extremely foolish, it would delay the launch and cost a lot of money to stock everything.

          Say that a factory can produce 100 devices per day just as an example. You want to launch as soon as possible so you tell them, when you got 500 send them over, so I can launch. Then at launch those 500 are "sold out". Sure they are, but the factory has been busily producing so they in fact now got 700 more, but because sending small orders is uneconomical you told them to NOT send the daily production over, you told them to wait till they got a 1000.

          Bam, you get a head line of being sold out while the factory has plenty.

          The kindle ain't sold out because it is still in production. It is trivial to set this scenario up and Amazon should fire its marketting department if they hadn't set this up. It is a basic move. Make the item seem hot, so that people get the idea that they MUST buy it now or they may not have another chance.

          Have you EVER sold anything? It doesn't matter what house you are looking at buying, they ALWAYS got an intrested party about to make a good offer, so if you are quick you might just beat them. Decide NOW!

    • by catwh0re ( 540371 ) on Wednesday November 21, 2007 @07:43PM (#21441887)
      I suspect you are correct. I don't mean to throw water over this alluring tech toy. However possessing an 800x600 resolution screen on a device who's primary purpose is for reading is an obvious oversight. When screen resolutions are dense enough to render serif typefaces without hinting; only then will we have a device that can be often read without eye strain.

      Also while there are many people who don't read books regularly, the people that do usually appreciate owning a bookshelf of their favourite novels. I feel it'll make a great reference device for things like dictionaries, encyclopedias and newspapers.

      My last point is that when reading a novel, the reader is usually put into a deeper level of thinking which is annoying to be pulled out from. I'm curious if the device has a trivial way to flip pages that doesn't require the user to mentally escape the novel everytime they want to turn the page. (Or other annoyances like being told they have new email mid-reading.)

      • by yakumo.unr ( 833476 ) on Wednesday November 21, 2007 @08:04PM (#21442093) Homepage
        I'd reserve judgement till you'd personally experienced an 800x600 eInk display really (such as the one Kimble uses), it's considerably different to any LCD/CRT with regards to eyestrain, how your eyes will perceive the resolution.
        • So, I tried it (Score:5, Interesting)

          by TheMCP ( 121589 ) on Thursday November 22, 2007 @01:33AM (#21444089) Homepage
          My neighbor got one, and has had it for almost two days now. He let me play with it a few times.

          The display is very crisp and clear and easy to read. It has a clear surface over the e-ink display... the effect is like reading a really, really flat piece of glossy paper. Yes, if you have very good vision you can see the pixels, but it's so very very high contrast that that's not a problem.

          The unit is much more attractive in person than its photos make it look on the web. It's not beige, it's very white. It's slim, and the angularness of it is less obvious in person than on the web, unless you look at it from the end. It has a nice leather case that it goes in which makes it rather book-like in many respects. When you turn it off, it puts something interesting on the screen (remember, e-ink takes no power to display, only to change, so you can leave something on an "off" e-ink screen) and my friends quite like that. The UI is easy enough to use - a minute or two of poking at it and I'd figured it out more or less. The wireless connection works very well. He downloaded a sample chapter (yes, you can get free sample chapters) in mere seconds after he'd typed in the title.

          Overall, I was pleasantly surprised with it, and immediately recommended it to my aunt, who has been searching for a good e-book reader for a few years.
      • by Rolgar ( 556636 )
        An 800x600 resolution on a 6" device sounds pretty high to me. On an 18" monitor, that would be 2400x1800.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by jc42 ( 318812 )
        When screen resolutions are dense enough to render serif typefaces without hinting; only then will we have a device that can be often read without eye strain.

        Huh? The text higher up in this window (your message) is in Helvetica sans, which I use because it's the font I found on this Mac that gives me the most readable text. This text I'm typing has serifs, but only because I haven't figured out how to change the font for a <textarea> HTML widget; it's noticably less readable (at a larger font size,
        • by absoluteflatness ( 913952 ) <absoluteflatness ... m minus caffeine> on Wednesday November 21, 2007 @11:39PM (#21443509)
          I would've thought that a Mac's default textarea, and thus default monospace, font would be Monaco, which is sans-serif.

          Anyway, the point the parent was making is that many people (including nearly all American book publishers) think that serif fonts are easier to read, especially for very long blocks of text. The problem is, computer screens still have comparatively low DPI, and aren't very good at rendering serifs, certainly not as good as they are with sans-serif fonts. This goes even moreso for a device made solely for reading text, even though it does indeed have a higher DPI than computer screens.

          Of course, you're right that font preference varies from person to person. Myself, I almost exclusively use sans-serif fonts for screen reading, and prefer serif fonts for print. For example, those annoying "advertising" sections in magazines and newspapers often use a sans-serif font, and I find them much more difficult to read (fortunately they're also always devoid of content).

          Anyway, given the specs for the Kindle (167 dpi), it should be able to do a pretty good Helvetica, assuming Amazon felt like getting a license from Linotype (the default serif font they use is also from Linotype, so it's possible).
      • by ucblockhead ( 63650 ) on Wednesday November 21, 2007 @10:46PM (#21443217) Homepage Journal
        The important metric for readability is not resolution, it is pixel density. Kindle has a pixel density of 167 ppi, which is higher than most LCD screens, which these days tend to run around 100 ppi, and is slightly better than the iPhone, which has 160 ppi.

        I haven't used the Kindle, but I have used the Sony eReader, which has a similar resolution, and it is *much* easier on the eyes than an LCD.
    • by Prof.Phreak ( 584152 ) on Wednesday November 21, 2007 @08:39PM (#21442393) Homepage
      I wonder how many units were made available.

      Only 1. It was bought 5.5 hours after launch by Jeff to ensure amazon.com was still up.
    • Amazon rating (Score:3, Informative)

      by 2.7182 ( 819680 )
      Actually it only has something like 2.5 stars on Amazon. Not a good sign.
  • by Besna ( 1175279 ) * on Wednesday November 21, 2007 @07:25PM (#21441737)
    The Sony reader had a long latency to flip a page, as well as some stuff going on with the ink rearranging itself. If one could just flip fast without any image artifacts, it would be great. Most people will want color, but I think this is more important.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Kindle also has a long latency, this is due to the use of eInk. It's supposed to be a lot easier on the eyes than Sony's reader - but as I've never seen either, who knows.

      I'd like colour but for reading a book it does seem a bit redundant, but the Kindle can browse the internet as well. So really I expect to see colour in a future revision.

      For now, the iPod Touch is the best reader/browser combination.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by peragrin ( 659227 )
        colour e-ink technology is in the works but coming along slowly. the ipod touch while having a better screen, has a fraction of the battery life of all those units who can go hundreds of pages between charges.

        the irex illiad can be modifiied(it runs linux) using it's own built in wifi and a web browser you can surf the web on it.
      • The Sony 505 and the Kindle seem to have very similar screens. I have a 505 and adore it - I'll see if I can find a Kindle to compare it to.
  • by CRCulver ( 715279 ) <crculver@christopherculver.com> on Wednesday November 21, 2007 @07:27PM (#21441751) Homepage
    If the first buyers are big fans of Amazon, then they probably will soon leave reviews on the product page [amazon.com], giving us some descriptions of the product that aren't tarred by marketing hype. However, at the moment the reviews that are up are by people connected to Amazon, or those who haven't even used the product.
    • and I bet half of them will complain that it doesn't play movies(thus missing the point of the device entirely)
  • That's OK (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jc42 ( 318812 ) on Wednesday November 21, 2007 @07:28PM (#21441757) Homepage Journal
    Let the Early Adopters try it out and send in the bug reports. In a year or so, there'll be a version 1.1 that doesn't have as many annoying misfeatures as 1.0.

    There's an old rule in the computer biz: Don't ever buy anything whose version number ends with an even digit.

    • It's not just computers. First generation cars are pretty notorious for having problems as well.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        Its not just computers or cars. First generation anything is pretty notorious for having problems.

        As with anything in life, if you need something thats new, get it immediately but expect problems.
        If you want something, wait until it becomes a need and then get it.

        You will have less problems and will have had time to assess the market (also you will save money)
      • by MightyYar ( 622222 ) on Wednesday November 21, 2007 @08:25PM (#21442255)
        I heard that "Christmas Lights 1.0" used to set fires and drip wax all over the tree.
  • Although its possible that they underestimated demand, I'd be more likely to believe that they manufactured enough for the holidays but wanted to manufacture a perception of scarcity.

    Nothing sells product like an air of exclusiveness.

    And before people think I'm trolling Amazon, I think this practice is good for both customers and the company -- the customers get something "hot" and the company sells in volume.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by OrangeTide ( 124937 )
      first consumer device from this company, and the first generation of it. It's often the case that these releases are approached carefully to work out the kinks in the supply and distribution chain. I've dealt with products where the first 200 from China had to be reworked when we got them here, if you make too many of them you end up with more than you can really handle on a first release.

      Amazon is not (yet) like Apple, Sony, etc where they can just push a button and have 100,000 devices made and shipped.

  • Two Things (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Enderandrew ( 866215 ) <enderandrew@ g m a i l . com> on Wednesday November 21, 2007 @07:30PM (#21441785) Homepage Journal
    1. There are always a number of people with "state-of-the-art-addiction" who must have the hot new gadget.

    2. There are always people looking to profit from the above people, who jump on these product launches to then turn around and sell the product on Ebay.

    Beyond that I wouldn't read too much into this just yet. The Kindle may be a success, or a flop. All we know is that it a newly hyped gadget that sold out at launch, like most new hot gadgets.
    • There are always people looking to profit from the above people, who jump on these product launches to then turn around and sell the product on Ebay.

      That would be "stereotypes FTW" Bob!. Or, in other words, _not_. (Zero Kindles for auction ATM.)
    • by xPsi ( 851544 ) *
      As someone without a state-of-the-art addiction, I must admit that I do keep my eye on the items gadget fiends fixate one en masse. First, since any new technology has its problems no matter how cool, this first wave of users serves as a sacrifice to iron out all the bugs. Second, if the product has saying power, it survives that first wave and stays around proving its usefulness rather than just being a fad. With that success, the company releases improved versions that make the first version seem quain
  • by phantomcircuit ( 938963 ) on Wednesday November 21, 2007 @07:39PM (#21441847) Homepage
    Well yeah it was the front page of amazon, yeah the entire front page.

    Basically the best advertising that any device could have.
  • by Adeptus_Luminati ( 634274 ) on Wednesday November 21, 2007 @07:43PM (#21441885)
    1. Market new product & advertize initial sale date
    2. Do not reveal how many (hand fulls) of product units are available
    3. On day of initial sale, reveal that product was sold out in 4 hours!!!!
    4. Let lame media pick up stories
    5. Enjoy free advertizement & viral marketing
    6. Pick another date to release a few more units
    7. PROFIT!!!!
  • What I'd like to know is how this e-ink compares to what Sony is using in their latest generation reader. Is it faster at changing the display? Do they still have to flash the whole display to update one little part?

    And why have they ever needed to flash the whole display anyway? Is there some reason they can't erase just one area, working with a dirty rectangle algorithm so things are faster? Surely they can put enough memory in to keep two copies of the display (old and new) then use XOR to figure out wh

    • Supposedly sony's new reader (version B as it were) is ~40% faster at screen refreshes than the first gen (slow refresh rates!) so I would assume this e-ink is about that fast (unless I'm mistaken it's the same technology, just a different seller.)

      And e-ink currently requires full screen rewites due to the screen being a singular entity, in the current incarnation the screen is a page in that it can only be drawn on once, then it has to be wiped (new page) before the next drawing.

      My concerns with this unit
  • by Joce640k ( 829181 ) on Wednesday November 21, 2007 @07:49PM (#21441951) Homepage
    Looks good, but it's way overpriced.

    Either have cheap books or a cheap gadget, not both.

  • There will always be a hard-core of early adopters for pretty much any tech toy. Even better if it's had reviews - but preferably good ones.

    The number of people who buy a product on day #1 is largely irrelevant, that's just the fans - you can also charge them more (sorry, just had to get that in). The numbers that really count are a few months in, when the problems become known, the promised content does or does not become available and the initial euphoria wears off. I wonder how many units will still be

  • As a Sony ebook user (Score:4, Interesting)

    by antifoidulus ( 807088 ) on Wednesday November 21, 2007 @07:53PM (#21441995) Homepage Journal
    I have to say I am impressed with their selection, which can get downright esoteric [amazon.com]. Sony's selection(which has gotten better recently) has always left me wanting. I would watch Jon Stewart interview some author and then I would go see if I could find their book only to find out it's either not there or too expensive.

    One of the things that really showed promise was having comic books delivered to the device. However, it never really panned out for Sony, one year on and there are only 14 items in the manga section, and Kindle isn't looking much better. The sample they gave with the Sony eReader actually looked pretty good in terms of readability, shame there isn't much content that I want on it though(I suppose I could go track down pdfs, but too much of a pain)
  • by sys_mast ( 452486 ) on Wednesday November 21, 2007 @08:01PM (#21442075)
    Everyone is bashing this product, and either I'm confusing my acronyms or people here don't realize this things greatest feature. The PCWorld article says it has EvDO, which I thought was a cellular technology, it lists that as the way to get more content on the thing. AND there is no usage charge for that, the PCWorld article says they take care of that in the background, so the price you see listed for the content you can browse is EXACTLY what you pay(OK maybe taxes or something)

    So, either I need to cut back on the beers and pay attention to which letters mean what, or this thing is actually kinda cool, not that I'm buying one this year. If I'm way wrong, mod me to nothing, but otherwise, man do people complain about anything here!
    • by painandgreed ( 692585 ) on Wednesday November 21, 2007 @08:25PM (#21442245)
      According to the video I watched on the Amazon site, it is indeed wireless and connects to "Amazon's whisper net" for free. Like WiFi but no need to log into anything as it does find service just like a cell phone. From there, you can look at the catalog of downloadable stuff and download for the presented price much like a downloadable Amazon website. You can email stuff to your Kindle, but that costs money. They never mention exactly what the whisper net is or how much coverage it has.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Osty ( 16825 )

        According to the video I watched on the Amazon site, it is indeed wireless and connects to "Amazon's whisper net" for free. Like WiFi but no need to log into anything as it does find service just like a cell phone. From there, you can look at the catalog of downloadable stuff and download for the presented price much like a downloadable Amazon website. You can email stuff to your Kindle, but that costs money. They never mention exactly what the whisper net is or how much coverage it has.

        But it's still EVD

  • "Most" books are $9.99. Maybe if they decayed the price to $1.99 as the new releases aged (like effectively what happens at a half-price bookseller). Plus, I can't keep the content for decades in my attic, to be dusted off and read again when I re-discover the book.
    • by shmlco ( 594907 )
      Titles can be backed up to a drive, or simply deleted and downloaded again from Amazon as needed. Then again, I'd think a single 4GB flash card would last most people quite a while.
  • by Danny Rathjens ( 8471 ) <<gro.snejhtar> <ta> <2todhsals>> on Wednesday November 21, 2007 @08:14PM (#21442163)
    Nice to see linux across the board for all of them - even running lots of proprietary stuff. :)
    http://wiki.mobileread.com/wiki/E-book_Reader_Matrix [mobileread.com]
  • by SageMusings ( 463344 ) on Wednesday November 21, 2007 @08:15PM (#21442173) Journal
    At first I was ready to buy the thing. It seemed wonderful with a long battery life, the ability to purchase books right from the device, and Wikipedia all the time. Then I noticed the price...what a shock.

    I think I would have paid up to $125, as I still need to actually buy books to read on it. But $400? Either the device is expensive to make or the market researchers grossly over estimated the publics need for such a device. $400 buys some really nice toys, much nicer than a e-book reader. I think I'm going to spend my money elsewhere this holiday season.

    What a shame, too. I would really like to own one when they become reasonably priced.
    • Relax, they are probably aiming for the iPhone early adopter market. Check back in two weeks when the price drops some $200.
  • by doom ( 14564 ) <doom@kzsu.stanford.edu> on Wednesday November 21, 2007 @08:21PM (#21442215) Homepage Journal
    Looking through the wired list of ebook readers, even the cheap ones are around $300, and none of them even have a gigabyte of memory.

    Anyone who buys one of these things now deservers to have "sucker" tattooed on their forehead -- these things look like they're made to rip people off with continual "upgrades" as they gradually turn into something useable.

    The e-paper displays sound interesting, I suppose, but if I'm going to spend $800 on a linux gadget I'd want it to have the full functionality of a laptop... paying that much for a crippled laptop doesn't make a lot of sense to me...

    • by shmlco ( 594907 )
      I don't suppose you noticed the flash card slot. The Kindle will hold roughly 200 books BEFORE needing a extra $30 memory card. Text isn't music or video file-size-wise.
  • by blind biker ( 1066130 ) on Wednesday November 21, 2007 @08:22PM (#21442229) Journal
    The sony ebook reader has one great advantage over the kindle: it reads .pdf files directly, and you don't have to pay Amazon for the privilege to have the .pdf file converted to the Amazon DRMed ebook format. This is a crucial difference.

    That said, I would need a device with larger screen than either the kindle or the Sony gadget.
  • by Crypto Gnome ( 651401 ) on Wednesday November 21, 2007 @08:30PM (#21442303) Homepage Journal
    It Has DRM

    Has nobody been paying attention to the many and various articles in recent years about "some random company" who decided to revoke their DRM product (new DRM, dropped product, company died, etc) and totally screw all their customers who had paid license fees to use this DRM functionality?

  • REkindle and stoke the stock fires, or be kindling for understocking and understoking!
  • by timothy ( 36799 ) on Wednesday November 21, 2007 @09:03PM (#21442557) Journal
    More versatile, has a camera, reads a wider variety of formats. It's a (funny little, purpose-built, not-your-ordinary) *laptop*, but it has a book-reading mode and a 200dpi screen (in monochrome mode).

    A bit bigger than the Kindle, sure, but sure seems like the one I'd rather have in my backpack / fallout shelter / carry-on bag. After all, does the Kindle have a game pad? :)

  • by bhodikhan ( 894485 ) * on Wednesday November 21, 2007 @09:27PM (#21442755)
    What a mess. I ordered one. They shipped me two. (only billed for one). The one I opened died after about 3 hours. Unit still worked but the eInk screen was dead. Sent that one back for a refund. In my opinion the build quality sucks and there isn't really any good place to hold the unit where you aren't accidentally pressing some button. I still have my free unit new in the box. I'm so un-impressed I may just send it back to Amazon for some other dumb bastard to buy it. I hope this endeavor dies in a big way to warn others.

Loose bits sink chips.