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Summary:

Amazon doesn’t announce its e-book reader Kindle until tomorrow, but looks like that kat’s out of the bag. I find myself intrigued by the idea of e-book readers — but not $399 worth of intrigued. I’m thinking what electronics I might sooner spend a couple or […]

Amazon doesn’t announce its e-book reader Kindle until tomorrow, but looks like that kat’s out of the bag. I find myself intrigued by the idea of e-book readers — but not $399 worth of intrigued.

I’m thinking what electronics I might sooner spend a couple or four c-notes on:

  • A Nintendo Wii, if I could find one
  • A Nokia N800 Internet tablet, if I left my home office enough to use one
  • An iPhone, if my family of four cell phone users weren’t already engaged in a long-term liplock with Verizon Wireless

What electronics gadget would you spend four hundred dollars on?

  1. Do you really want to know?

    Well, actually, my 272,879 € would go towards a Moog Etherwave.

    So there!

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  2. $399 buys a laptop, and a laptop for a child in a developing country. That’s what I dropped $399 on 2 days ago.

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  3. Like Ed, I bought a laptop – actually, I bought 4. Two for my daughters, and two for children in a developing country. It also comes with a reader.

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  4. I look forward to being able to use a device like this or the Sony Reader, once the price drops to make them reasonable. Like, $100. At that point, it will still be painful to read any “published” material, since I’m not going to pay $10 for something I can borrow free from my library. Still, there’s plenty of other “free” readable stuff on the web, it’ll be useful to have a device like this. Assuming you can even use “free” content.

    I think there’s some technical issues to be addressed as well. I think they Sony Reader has a multi-second pause between “page flips”. Ouch.

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  5. Back in 2000, I bought a PDA for $400. After a year of general PIM usage, I realized that I *really* liked it as an ebook reader. It had a nice thumb wheel for elegant one-hand use.

    I still read books on it – about 50-75 books per year. It has completely fallen apart and I have to physically hold it together while I read it. If I drop it, I usually have to re-attach the video adapter to the main board – that’s how flimsy it is. :-)

    If I had $400 burning a hole in my pocket right at this moment, there’s no way I’d use all of it to buy a new PDA. All you need for general use is an old $20-$60 Sony Clie off eBay. Of course, you can’t use all the proprietary eBook services with a device like that, but it’s *very* easy to find thousands more eBooks than you’ll ever need.

    The nice thing is, at that price you can buy a backup unit for your glove compartment/wife/mom. :-)

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  6. An Asus eee PC, of course!
    http://eeepc.asus.com

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  7. Nokia N80
    Really

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  8. I agree about using a PDA.

    My ancient (3 years old) iPaq is ideal for CHM files, however the screen is awkward for pdfs.

    Cheaper option that this reader though.

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  9. Take $20 of that $400, hit eBay and find a Palm III. A couple of years ago I went on a family cruise. Anticipating the need for a tonne of reading material, I took my wife’s old Palm out off mothballs. I bought a book by pulp scifi author David Weber that had a CDROM of his entire library. Using Sun Desktop, I converted the whole batch of his Honor Harrington novels to Pluckr format. Worked great!

    Check out http://www.cheappalm.com. You can get a Palm IIE for $14.00 CDN. So its about $14.35 for you lot. My family has bought from their store, but never ordered online, so I can’t speak to their shipping.

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  10. The laptop + one to donate is a great idea… too bad my 11-year-old son would find that too kiddie-ish.

    Patrick – I had heard about that delay in turning pages on the sony reader too, sounds annoying.

    I will have to try out e-book reading on a PDA sometime.

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