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Kindle update brings 85% more battery life, native PDF support

By Matthew ยท 38 replies
Nov 24, 2009
  1. Amazon announced today that a new update for its Kindle e-book reader brings two significant enhancements. The company has timed the introduction of these new features perfectly to influence holiday shoppers who are undecided between purchasing the Kindle or a competing gadget, like Barnes & Noble's Nook.

    Read the whole story
  2. AtK SpAdE

    AtK SpAdE TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,495

    I got the chance to try one of these out, and as weird as it was the screen itself is really cool, it definitely does feel like you are reading paper. A bit unnatural to old, I am just not sure I read enough books to warrant one of these.

    If they started putting my college text books on them, I may consider.

    Also apple is supposed to have something up its sleeve to compete with this market, as well as the tablet PC market.
  3. Tekkaraiden

    Tekkaraiden TS Evangelist Posts: 997   +93

    Wonder how long this would last as a piece of service equipment.
  4. IvanAwfulitch

    IvanAwfulitch TS Booster Posts: 218   +11

    I actually got to play with one of these. They're quite nifty. The lighting on the screen is very soft, but still makes it very easy to see what's on the screen. It's relatively fast considering its size and the size of the screen that it can render, and now its battery life is getting better?

    If you're really into reading e-books, this is definitely something to check out. But it's not cheap of course.
  5. Timonius

    Timonius TS Evangelist Posts: 647   +58

    Quite amazing that a firmware update increases the battery life so much. What else are they hiding?
  6. LazyNinja

    LazyNinja TS Rookie Posts: 16

    While I love all things technological, i don't see this completely replacing a good ol'fashioned paperback novel for me. Might be useful on trips when you can't haul around a bunch of books though.
  7. saintbodhisatva

    saintbodhisatva TS Rookie Posts: 59

    I didn't want one before, now I'm wanting it more and more.
  8. ET3D

    ET3D TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,279   +105

    I wonder how PDF's look on it, considering the low resolution screen.

    I'm waiting for bistable LCD technologies to mature, so we can finally get rid of the slow refresh an relatively low-res e-ink. I had an e-ink based reader (until I lost it), and the screen looks impressive, but IMO once we have screens that overcome e-ink's limitations the devices will really fly off the shelves. Suddenly you'll be able to have animations, a real UI, etc.
  9. IvanAwfulitch

    IvanAwfulitch TS Booster Posts: 218   +11

    A Kindle can't be as easily ruined by a few coffee stains, or have the pages torn out. Nobody can dog-ear a Kindle, and you can read even when it's dark and you don't need to waste extra electricity by using a bedside lamp. It won't bother someone else in the same room who might be trying to sleep. A Kindle won't have any trouble with turning pages because your thumb is too dry and can't separate the pages. A Kindle can't give you paper cuts. It's a bit less bulky than carrying around the full size book, and saves paper which means it's more eco-friendly besides the electricity needed to charge it. There are any number of little benefits to this little piece of technology. I don't see why anyone wouldn't want one.
  10. timljh

    timljh TS Enthusiast Posts: 34

    i think they should reduce the price by 85% instead of increasing the battery by 85%, then it will sells for sure =P
  11. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 2,402   +875

    How much tweaking can you do to a firmware to come up with those numbers? Wasn't it already supposed to be tweaked have a long batter life?
    PDF support should have been there from the beginning since many books are in pdf format. But it's better later than never.
  12. BlindObject

    BlindObject TS Rookie Posts: 412

    I tried one of these too at barnes and nobles near me, and they're quite the machine. But the low resolution and I really don't need it. I barely EVER read a book or anything. I those cute book worms at barnes and nobles would be better with them. =)
  13. Hyperian

    Hyperian TS Rookie Posts: 25

    Native support for PDF would be great since i read a lot of spec sheets, but then i still dont have enough use for this to justify it. i think netbooks would be more useful.
  14. Styl

    Styl TS Member Posts: 61

    I'm thinking about getting one of these. 85% more battery life does sound nice. I'm just worried about the headaches it will bring.
  15. ET3D

    ET3D TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,279   +105

    Shouldn't bring any more headaches than reading a paper book.
  16. Plo

    Plo TS Rookie

    I should really give a try one of those. Normal books always make me sleep...
  17. sky_could_fall

    sky_could_fall TS Rookie

    It`s still way too expensive to be a substitute for ordinary books and newspapers.
  18. yangly18

    yangly18 TS Rookie Posts: 217

    It's nice to have around if you are really into reading, but like myself, many tech guys now-a-days are too busy gaming or surfing the web to just sit down for hours at a time and read a book. I have heard that you can get tech books alot cheaper on the kindle, which can be a great benefit to any college students. I still dont see myself buying one since I like to read out of a book. I just like that feeling of accomplishment you get when you are reading a 1000 page book and you can see just how much you have read. I'm sure its a better feeling then just seeing a page number.
  19. harby

    harby TS Enthusiast Posts: 37

    It seriously makes me wonder how they achieved such a big battery life increase. Either their previous firmware was seriously not optimized or their programmers are awesome.
  20. LightHeart

    LightHeart TS Rookie Posts: 155

    There is currently a device around that is portable, looks good, has low power requirements and is drm free; it's called a book. Any of the readers are only good if you read a lot of books and/or you take the bus/rail each day where you have the time to sit and read. In most situations just give me a book, otherwise I can look it up on the web. Now if the cost was reasonable, say around $30 that might be different but at $200 I can buy a lot of other things that I need.
  21. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,160   +829

    @lightheart: The device is expensive, e-books are cheaper than normal books. I'm not that into this device so I don't know much about it, but with pdf support there is no problem in downloading the news into the kindle (I think it does this already).

    If you read maybe 2 books a year (And this doesn't include the ones you have to read for college or school), this is pretty much expensive.

    In the other hand, if you are part of a reading community that many works with kindle, which lends books and the sorts, well, this is your gadget. How much space you save, not having to worry about where you left that book you were lent, ups a drop of coffee in the book... maybe they won't notice, etc etc etc.

    Indeed the hard book covers in your library makes a nice ambient room, it's just a matter of likes and uses.
  22. jazboy

    jazboy TS Rookie Posts: 112

    with increase in battery life, surely it will increase the market share. So people who really needs this can enjoy for readking books.
  23. JMMD

    JMMD TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 854

    The increased battery life is quite an improvement. I'm not quite ready to buy one yet but in a few years and a few generations later they should be pretty sweet.
  24. KG363

    KG363 TS Guru Posts: 515   +9

    Was the original just inefficient or did the the engineers sign their soul to the devil?
  25. fizziks

    fizziks TS Rookie

    After lurking for many months, I finally joined so I could post comments... way to take my productivity down a notch TechSpot...

    Anyway, this Kindle update is swell and all, but the 'Native PDF support' claim is a little... well perhaps misleading is the wrong word, but consider this: YOU CAN'T ZOOM THE PDFs!!! Combined with a 6" screen and well, get out your atomic force microscope if you want to be able to read anything... personally I find carrying my AFM with me kills the mobility advantage of the ebook...

    @#$@% !!!

    I want to like eReaders so bad because I read a TON of academic papers, but they all come as PDFs. Last year I got the Sony ereader as a surprise Christmas present and have used it exactly ZERO times (ok... zero times after finding out its disabilities). Unlike the Kindle, it can zoom pdfs, but then it messes up the graphs, tables, etc making it useless.

    The combination of small screen, slow refresh, and poorly functioning "native PDF support" means eReaders are a very expensive way to read text-only documents.

    If you want to read anything with pictures, graphs or tables that doesn't come straight from Amazon/Sony etc etc, forget it...

    And lets not even talk about the idea of paying for DRM'd content that will be unreadable in a few years once these devices become obsolete. Unless it's discounted 100%, paying for DRM'd eContent is equivalent to lighting your wallet on fire.

    For those interested, the iRex iliad is the most feature packed eReader out there (though I'd be happy to be proved wrong). It has an eInk screen, WiFi, and an active digitizer so you can make notes on your PDFs. It runs Linux under the hood and IREX is adding new software features relatively often.... The down side? They START @ $600... oh and that version is out of stock...

    As a Techno-Gaget-Geek it kills me to see eReaders so close to getting it right, and yet getting is so wrong on things that shouldn't even be issues at all. It is literally PAINFUL.

    Amazon are you listening? I'll consult with you for a modest fee and solve all your problems ok?
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