Amazon to release Kindle in the UK

Today I have heard that Amazon is finally going to make their Kindle e-book reader available in the UK from early 2009. And about time too!

For a few minutes I was quite excited about this. But having given it further thought, I’m less excited. I think they may have left it too late. The age of the netbook has overtaken it.

For a long time I’ve wanted something hand-held (ish) that I could read a lot of e-books on (i.e. PDFs) from the comfort of my armchair, sofa, bed, etc. The Kindle would have been ideal, and had it been available in the UK at the same time as it came out in the US, I would have eagerly snapped one up.

But now I think I’ll get a netbook instead. After all, I already own the PDFs, I don’t want to buy them from Amazon. I just need something small that has Adobe Reader on it. Netbooks have that, and cost about the same as a Kindle . . . and then do an awful lot more besides. Such as having full office suites, playing audio, music and videos, surfing the whole web, not just Amazon’s site, giving you full access to all your email, and not charging you extra to subscribe to blogs. Amongst many other things, such as having built-in cameras.

No, it’s definitely a netbook for me. Sorry Amazon. You’re too late.

Now the next question is which netbook to get. I’ve been considering all the different ones and reading computer magazines and online reviews for the past 2 weeks and I’m still in a quandary. I thought I had it all sorted out last night, but today I’ve changed my mind again.

Dave Haslett, ideas4writers,


7 thoughts on “Amazon to release Kindle in the UK

  1. Re netbooks – I bought the Acer Aspire One in October – it has Windows XP so cost a bit more but well worth it. I used it for backing up all my photos while aboard and picking up emails and surfing the net. It’s not too small a screen either. Really worth a look.

  2. Thanks Sue. That was the one I was considering, though I initially thought about the Linux version without the hard disk – around £175. As updating and installing new software is apparently quite tricky with their cut-down version of Linux, and the applications that come with it are of date, I decided the XP version would be better, as updating is a breeze. But that really needs a hard disk. The other one I’m considering is the MSI Wind, which is the one most of the computer magazines recommend – great screen, lovely keyboard. But it is more expensive than the others. But probably not by very much when you add up the cost of the Aspire one with XP and hard disk. So I’m still deliberating. But it’s between the Aspire One and the Wind.

  3. Re netbooks?

    Not wishing to be sarcastic – if I want read I pick up a book, newspaper or magazine.

    Perhaps it’s because I’m diabetic, I can’t read text for too long on the computer screen.

    So I wouldn’t receive any pleasure from using such a gadget.


  4. Frank, many of the books I need to read are technical manuals that are only available as e-books. I have a huge number of them on my computer – and I don’t want to sit at my computer to read them. The advantage of gadgets like these for me is that I can read these books wherever and whenever I like. I’m not going to print them all out – that would cost a fortune.

    The Kindle would be perfect for this. But as I said, now that we have netbooks that do the same thing and so much more, yet are the same size and price, who’s going to want one?

    The Kindle does have one advantage over these other machines though, in that its screen replicates the feel of reading paper, so is much more comfortable to read for long periods.

  5. I agree that Amazon has just waited too long to get this product out in the UK, and will have missed out on more than a few prospective customers as a result, myself included – at least for the time being.

    I’m still interested in the Kindle, particularly the “eink” innovation, the whispernet connection for instant content purchasing and Amazon’s massive back-catalogue all sound excellent – but, since v.1 has been out in the US for over a year I’m sure a new version will be just around the corner – and I’d be quite reluctant to shell out £200-odd for what will be an outdated model so soon.

    However, I’ll be first in the queue for Kindle v.2 if it ever reaches these shores – there’s just something about a device made purely for reading that I find really agreeable.

  6. My understanding is you can email pdf’s and other files to you kindle and they are converted to the file format and downloaded. Im not sure of the quality of this feature.

    The problem with a netbook is the screen is hard on the eyes compared with paper, the battery life is much lower and if you want to access the net you will have to pay for a GPRS or 3G contract. Kindle costs nothing a month for its network service.

    I consider it like comparing a netbook to an mp3 player. Netbook is better at everything other than playing mp3s on the move. The kindle will be much better for reading ebooks.

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