Amazon launches e-book reader, Canadians left out in the cold


Kindle_wireless Amazon.com announces the launch of their greatly anticipated e-book reader, the Kindle, but no sign of a Canadian version on the horizon.

The e-book business has been slow to take off. Some might say sadly so. With only one or two products on the market to-date, and no clear leader, it’s the most interesting invention that no one owns.

That might be about to change, as today marks the launch of Amazon’s Kindle e-book reader. It’s a lightweight, wireless device that contains an e-ink monochrome display and enough memory to hold about 200 books, give or take.

The Kindle looks to have been well conceived as it gets around the biggest hurdle associated with so many gadgets these days – the need for a computer to add or remove content. Amazon gets around this by giving the Kindle an on-board EV-DO card which allows it to connect to Amazon’s e-book service pretty much anywhere there is cell-phone reception. Dubbed "Whispernet", this connection comes without any fee to the user which makes it a first for this type of connectivity as far as I’m aware.

It can also connect to your PC via the now ubiquitous USB cable, in case you want to download any existing content you may have. With memory capacity expandable via cheap and plentiful SD memory cards, and the ability to playback MP3 and Audible files, the Kindle may be the type of gadget that a lot of folks have been waiting for.

But if you live here in the Great White North, you’ll be waiting a while longer before getting your hands on one. The $399 USD device is only available to customers with both a US billing and shipping address and they won’t ship internationally regardless of where you live. Their coverage map is devoid of any Canadian locations, so though it might be compatible with our EV-DO networks, it may not function on them.

[Link: Engadget]

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5 comments

  1. Frank Luke

    This one sounds dead in the water – you can load up a Mobipocket ebook reader on almost any RIM/Palm/Symbian coded cellphone/PDA with the cost of the mobipocket software = 0$. Perhaps if more books could be sold as ebooks, there actually would be a viable market…

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  2. C Chalmers

    Actually if I could choose between carrying a paperback or this device, I'd pick the electronic version. Being able to carry more than 1 book at a time, page turns with just a thumb press (ok I am a BIT lazy) would be really nice. No word if it could carry a school essay, etc but I see so many posibilities, and oh yes I love gadgets…

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  3. Jo-Anne

    Hi, I have heard that there is an e book reader coming to Canada May 2008, I don't know what kind or who makes it but maybe some one out there has a the scoop on this

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  4. dbReader

    Now it would be quite difficult for me to choose ebook reader, so many models available on the market. And another thing is that its hard to find good reviews, opinions, etc. about devices that are not so popular as Sony's or Amazon's. For example what do you know about Readius or eSlick… except what the developers give us on their official websites.

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  5. Michael

    Good evening. It is not much for its beauty that makes a claim upon men’s hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air that emanates from old trees, that so wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit.
    I am from Croatia and learning to speak English, give please true I wrote the following sentence: “Blank gant chart, eastwood has injured in other garage research, most immediately receiving in rawhide.”

    With respect ;-), Michael.

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