11/23/2007

Your Reading Companion for 2008: Make it a Kindle?

I’m not really known to suffer from the kind of Asian gadget fetish that has stricken many of today’s in-the-know urban professionals, who at times seem to be in sears need of intervention from their iPhone and Blackberry dependency.

Every so often, however, I’m blown away by the news of an innovative technology to the point where I feel I must jump head-first into the online conversation and offer up my two cents on the latest and greatest whiz-bang device.

Which is what I have decided to do now. So let's begin: If you haven't already, say hello to… drum roll please… the Amazon Kindle! Check it out: The Kindle is an all-new e-book reader, a crafty contraption brought to you by Amazon.com that builds on the functionalities of the Sony Reader by offering wireless connectivity and the possibility to subscribe to newspapers, blogs, magazines, and online comment streams, as well as the option to purchase e-books on the spot. In other words, it bitch-slaps the Sony Reader into technological obscurity with a definite techno sleight-of-hand.

Many in the blogosphere and in traditional media are calling the Kindle a milestone in technological innovation. And when it comes to traveling light, it really can’t be beat. As soon as I get my hands on one I’m totes buying it.

Online reviews have been mixed but promising: The Kindle’s screen is mellow and crisp, it’s easy on the eyes, and the e-ink reads perfectly under direct sunlight or in pitch dark—no need for sunglasses or a lamp to guide your eyes. It doesn't have a trackpad, but the keyboard and intuitive controls are getting high scores. It's not perfect, but it has potential.

And the Kindle has an undeniable advantage: It is eco-friendly through-and-through. No longer do we have an excuse to plow down patches of rainforest to ensure bestsellers make the global bookstore rounds. So let’s all rekindle (ha!) our reading habits through digital. Might we all soon say goodbye to books altogether?

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