Thursday, Jul. 31, 2008

Kindle: Books to go

Amazon's first-generation e-book reader certainly needs improvement — the page-turn buttons are awkwardly placed, among other things — but anyone who likes to read on the road should consider it an essential companion. That's because you can take a veritable library with you. The 10.3-ounce device holds around 200 books; infinitely more if you load books onto external SD cards. Better yet is Whispernet, Amazon's built-in wireless service — it piggybacks on Sprint's EVDO network — that delivers books on demand in seconds. (If you have access to an Internet-connected computer on the road, you can even add books in areas where Whispernet isn't available.) You can also email Word documents to an Amazon service that automatically translate them to Kindle's format and send them to the reader. Buyers beware however: new and improved Kindles are on the horizon, with some expected in the fall, 2008 and another in early 2009.

List Price: $359

Josh Quittner