The Kindle Is This Year’s ZunetanicNov 29th, 2007 | By James Lewin | Category: Internet TV, Podcasting Hardware
Independent reviews are starting to come in on the Amazon Kindle, and it looks like the ebook reader is going to be this year’s Zunetanic, an over-hyped iPod-wannabee.
While mainstream fluffer reviews, like Steven Levy’s Newsweek article on the new gadget, make the Kindle out to be the iPod of ebook readers, you can’t sneak a proprietary, closed system and Commodore 64-era hardware design past end users.
Here’s what people are saying about the Kindle after a week:
- “I can’t really recommend this,” says tech blogger Robert Scoble. “Whoever designed this should be fired and the team should start over.”
- WSJ’s Walt Mossberg says “I’ve been testing the Kindle for about a week, and I love the shopping and downloading experience. But the Kindle device itself is just mediocre.”
- “It’s just too damn expensive,” says Boing Boing, “Worse, the $400 premium just to get the Kindle reader isn’t the last fee you’ll pay.”
- “Don’t let some of the hype fool you though: this is not the iPod of books, and e-books are not the equivalent of a book,” says Ars Technica. “Anyone who is considering the Kindle in part due to its ability to handle content aside from books should spend some time pondering how much they’d enjoy reading that material within the device’s limitations.”
While most many reviewers are disappointed with the Kindle hardware and its usability, there’s a more basic problem with the device: it doesn’t embrace the world of Internet media.
Internet media, in all its random, open, messy glory, is where people’s attention is moving to. It’s where it’s at, in both technology and media.
The Kindle doesn’t make it easy for you to get Internet content; it isn’t a new platform that you can easily publish content for; and it doesn’t play well with the Web.
It looks like the iPod of ebooks may have to come from Apple.