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Tag Archives: E-Readers

Kapsule Lightstand Makes Your Kindle Better

By David Ponce

e-Readers are booming in popularity and they now come in all manners of shapes, sizes and feature-sets. But the granddaddy of them all, the Kindle, does not include any form of backlighting, so if you want to read in the dark, you need a light. Today’s project, the Kapsule Lightstand, is made specifically for the Kindle Keyboard and adds a bunch of functionality. First off, one retractable and adjustable gooseneck serves as an LED; pull it out and it lights, push it back in to turn it off. Another retractable gooseneck at the bottom of the accessory serves as a kickstand, so you can prop your reader up for hands-free enjoyment. And finally, the shape of the Kapsule itself serves as an added hand grip.

Currently on Kickstarter, you can get yours starting at $40 with estimated delivery in February 2012, if the project is fully funded.

Hit the jump for a video and links.

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The Kindle Just Got Smaller, Cheaper

By Chris Scott Barr

Still sitting on the fence about e-readers? It’s an understandable position to be in, as there are a number of pros and cons for the devices. However, if price has been stopping you from getting a Kindle, then you might be ready to take that leap. Amazon has announced the latest in their lineup, which is smaller and cheaper.

The new Wi-Fi only model is 21 percent smaller and 15 percent lighter than its predecessor. In addition to having a new body, the device even has an updated e-ink screen, which boasts better contrast fore easier reading. Of course the best feature is no doubt the $139 price. If you’ve been holding out for a better deal, you won’t do much better than this.

[ Amazon ] VIA [ Ars ]

eBooks Are Now Outselling Hardbacks On Amazon

By Chris Scott Barr

The Kindle has been on sale for a little less than three years, but it has already begun to revolutionize the way we read books. That’s not to say it’s the only player on the market, but its appetizing price and feature list helped jump-start the e-reader craze. But just how popular are ebooks? Apparently they’re more popular than hardbacks, according to Amazon.

In the last three months, Amazon has sold 143 Kindle books for every 100 hardcover books sold. They were not including free ebooks in the figures, or else they would be considerably higher. What’s even more interesting is that there are now five authors who have sold over 500,000 ebooks through Amazon’s Kindle bookstore.

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Hackers Break Kindle DRM


By Chris Scott Barr

How many of you actually appreciate having your legally-purchased digital media locked down by DRM? I’d be surprised if a single one of you said yes. The only thing it’s truly good for is aggravating the loyal paying customers. When you take away the DRM, people will still purchase the goods, as proven by Apple with iTunes. Amazon doesn’t seem to think along these lines, at least not with their ebooks. Fear not though, as you can now take those files you download from Amazon and strip them of their pesky DRM.

That’s right, a group has finally cracked the code on the AZW files and has provided the tools to convert them to simple PDF files. If you purchase an ebook, all you need to do is follow their instructions and you’ll have a file that you can actually do something with that doesn’t specifically involve the Kindle. Will this encourage piracy? Perhaps. However I think more people will be inclined to buy ebooks legally if they can actually use them on multiple (non-Kindle) readers.

[ I?Cabbages ] VIA [ Dvice ]

Kindle Firmware Update Increases Battery Life, Enables PDF Support


By Chris Scott Barr

It’s amazing what can be accomplished by changing a bit of software, such as the firmware on a device. When optimized properly, a firmware upgrade can increase performance and sometimes add completely new features. Well Amazon has just announced a firmware upgrade for the Kindle that is going to blow your mind (if you already own one, that is). Not only does this bring native PDF support, but they also claim that your battery will now last 85% longer than before.

The boost in battery life applies to users who leave their reader connected to the internet at all times. You can now expect to go a full week between charges, as opposed to only four days before. If you leave the wireless turned off, then expect it to last about two weeks. Native PDF support is probably the most exciting thing, as before you needed to go through Amazon to have such documents converted to their proprietary format. If you’re still interested in converting them, you’ll now be able to do this yourself.

[ Amazon ] VIA [ CrunchGear ]

Barnes & Noble Sued Over Nook E-Reader


By Chris Scott Barr

Remember last month how we told you about the Alex Dual Screen eBook Reader? I wouldn’t be all that surprised if it doesn’t stick out in your mind, as it was easily overshadowed by the Nook from Barns & Noble. Well the two had one very distinct feature in common, namely their extra color LCD screen. It seemed a little coincidental that two readers would come out so close together with this feature. Apparently Spring Design thinks it’s not so much of a coincidence.

Spring Design filed suit this week against Barnes & Noble, accusing them of misappropriateing trade secrets and violating a non-disclosure agreement. Apparently Spring Design had shown off their device in hopes to work with the bookstore giant. Sure, it’s possible that both companies just happened to have the same great idea, but not very likely. Barnes & Noble have not yet responded to these claims, but it will be interesting to hear their side of the story.

VIA [ PCMag ]

Amazon Lowers Price Of International Kindle, Drops US Version


By Chris Scott Barr

Are you tired of e-reader news yet? Well since I can’t hear anything other than the voice inside my head, I’m going to assume you’ve answered no. Well as a follow-up to my piece on the Nook the other day, I thought you might find it interesting to know what Amazon did actually think. While they’ve not responded with words, they have done a little trimming to both the selection and price of their Kindle.

Amazon has decided that they no longer need two versions of the regular-size Kindle, so they have dropped one. The International Kindle has had its price lowered to $259, while the US-only version was kicked to the curb. This brings it in line with the Nook, which I don’t regard as enough to help their cause. Yes, the Kindle has become something of a household name (in terms of e-readers), but if customers can get something with a touchscreen LCD (and other features) for the same price, they probably will.

[ Amazon ] VIA [ GearLog ]

Barns & Noble Announce ‘Nook’ eBook Reader


By Chris Scott Barr

The last month has been a pretty big one for e-book readers. Some of the highlights include Sony’s touchscreen e-reader, another from Irex and the international version of the Kindle. Well another big name has decided to throw their hat into the ring, and it’s a damn-good looking hat.

Barnes & Noble announced that they will be launching their own reader, dubbed ‘Nook’. The first thing you’ll notice about the Nook is that it has a pair of screens (not unlike the Alex Dual Screen we saw on Monday) instead of just the traditional one. There’s not much to say about the top 16-color e-ink screen, but the bottom is a full-color 3.5 inch touchscreen LCD. This can be used to browse through your library, or as a virtual keyboard for input.

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Irex Announces New Touch Screen E-Reader


By Chris Scott Barr

Every time I see a new ebook reader, I think that they’re maybe two steps away from being ready for me to buy. I love the concept of being able to read books, comics or anything from just a little pad. If you’ve ever tried to read a book that contains the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy, you’ll understand why I want an e-reader. Well the latest one from Irex is another step in the right direction.

The new Irex DR800SD e-reader has an 8.1-inch display, making it one of the larger readers on the market. Unlike the Kindle family, the screen takes up almost the entire face of the device, making it a much sleeker design. Since there are no buttons on the front, they’ve opted for a touch screen. Don’t get too excited here, unlike Sony’s latest reader it isn’t a capacitive screen. You’re still going to need a stylus to work it. They chose this route because the current capacitive screens actually make the text less readable due to the extra layer of glass that needs to be used.

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