So it is a bit ridiculous that Amazon.com (NSDQ: AMZN) has been trying to keep us from disclosing the details on its Kindle e-book device, while giving Newsweek a cover story two days before the launch. Then, pretty much decline our request for a 5-minute interview with Bezos at the press conference on Monday in NYC (I know, we’re not Newsweek…). Also, the business side of our company has been under an NDA with Amazon, as our news feeds are part of the news section in the reader…while we will still honor that NDA and not disclose any other details (we haven’t, even in the two previous stories we did on it), the Newsweek story pretty much has it all, and more. Reinventing the book: sure. Reinventing PR: oh well…
Anyway, the details from the story:
— It costs $399.
— Kindle is a 10.3 ounces device, with dimensions of a paperback, with a tapering of its width that emulates the bulge toward a book’s binding, the story says.Kindle’s six-inch screen uses the display technology from E-Ink, which mimes the clarity of a printed book.
— It can hold as many as 200 books on the device (with more on the memory card), gets as many as 30 hours of reading on a charge, and recharges in two hours.
— Also, it has wireless connectivity, via a system called Whispernet, which is based on the EVDO broadband service offered Sprint, (NYSE: S) allowing it to work anywhere, not just Wi-Fi hotspots.
— The device can function independent of the PC: you can use it to go to the store, browse for books, check out your personalized recommendations, and read reader reviews and post new ones, tapping out the words on a thumb-friendly keyboard, the story says.
— About 88,000 digital books will be on sale at the Kindle store on launch. The new books are priced generally around $9.99.
— Besides books, you can subscribe to newspapers (the Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, (NYSE: WPO) Le Monde) and magazines (The Atlantic). You can also subscribe to selected blogs, which cost either 99 cents or $1.99 a month per blog.
— It also allows you to look up things in Wikipedia, search via Google (NSDQ: GOOG) or follow links from blogs and other Web pages.
— Bezos: “This is the most important thing we’ve ever done..It’s so ambitious to take something as highly evolved as the book and improve on it. And maybe even change the way people read.”