Kindle Kash: What Would You Buy with $399?


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?


Cheap Palm

Palm Treo smartphone is one of the best personal gadget that has many cool features like internet access functions


I honestly probably won’t spend that much on books in my entire lifetime – books are free from the library!

John B

Um, my Nokia N800 was only $239. So what do you do with the extra $160? Maybe a nice bluetooth keyboard? Some extra memory cards?

Anne Zelenka

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.

Andrew White

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 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.


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.


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. :-)

Patrick Mueller

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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