I’m sorry, but I am tired of hearing all the stuff around the Apple iPad.  With that in mind, I decided to write a short Blog Post about my thoughts (yes, these are indeed my thoughts and opinions).

Amazon Kindle

I currently own the first generation Kindle (technically, my wife took it from me and said “Thank you” within minutes of opening it).  Either way, I do have first hand experience with it and feedback from a consumer I trust (i.e. my wife).  Yes, it is black and white, but considering the device was meant to be used as an electronic book reader, this is fine.  In fact, I put it through some paces from a readability perspective as did my wife.  The contrast settings on this device makes it very easy to read and is easy on the eyes in many lighting conditions from bright to low light.  The battery life is quite good and integration with Amazon’s store is simple and easy to use.  In fact, my wife totally loves the idea that she can turn off the wireless connectivity when not in use and when she does need it, she does not have to pay extra for it.  Considering I refuse to bring up WiFi at home, it is a good thing that the Kindle connects wirelessly to Amazon’s network without the need for WiFi or 3G.

With the recent release of Amazon’s Kindle for PC Software, my wife is able to have access to the same books from either her Kindle or her laptop.  She loves the integration with both platforms.

Windows 7 Touch Machines

I recently acquired the Acer 1420P multi-touch notebook with Windows 7 Ultimate.  This has both the keyboard and the touch screen interface.  I went ahead and installed the Kindle for PC software onto this device and turned my wife loose on it.  She was able to flip the screen so that it could be carried around like her Kindle and also supports screen rotation (automatic based on orientation of device) like the iPad.  The touch screen capabilities are easy to use and within the Kindle for PC application, it is quite easy to navigate.  Since this is a full PC, I am able to rotate the screen and type using a standard keyboard if I’m more comfortable with that versus the touch screen.  I can also easily connect this to the Internet via a wired connection or WiFi.  This machine also comes with a 3G module built in – I just need to insert my SIM.  With an AT&T SIM that has 3G service, I am able to get 3G speeds.  With my T-Mobile SIM, I am only able to get Edge speeds – I’m sure this has to do with the module not supporting the 1700 band that T-Mobile uses for 3G in the US.

I honestly don’t know how much my Acer costs since I did not pay for it, but I’m sure it is very close to (if not cheaper than) the 64 GB iPad with WiFi+3G.

I did some looking around and found other similar type devices on the market.  Take a look at this ASUS Eee PC T91MT device for less than $500: http://www.buy.com/prod/asus-eee-pc-t91mt-pu17-bk-8-9-netbook-tablet-intel-atom-z520-1-33ghz/q/loc/101/212695643.html.

I also happen to have the HP TouchSmart tx2 that is a higher end machine with 10 simultaneous points of touch.  I did an interview with the local ABC station in Phoenix that aired on March 15th where I demoed the device.  [Considering it was a short story, my piece was very short – :-)].  The latest model from HP is the TouchSmart tm2t series that you can get for $899.99.  Note that this is only $70 more than the 64 GB iPad with WiFi+3G model.  For the extra $70, I get a full laptop with 4GB of RAM, 320 GB Hard Drive, 12.1” HD LED touch screen and webcam.  Plus, I can install whatever application I want and use it for browsing the web, email, word processor, photo editing, video editing, etc. and read my eBooks with Kindle for PC.  Hmmmm???

I’m sure I can go on for a little longer, but I think I will stop my ranting and end this post now.  Feel free to comment as you like.

Harold Wong