Amazon launches Kindle ‘wireless reading device’

Look out, eBook readers. Amazon has launched the Amazon Kindle, a "wireless reading device" that uses EVDO cell phone networks at no charge to the user to download books and other content automatically. The Kindle is available today for $399 with free shipping on Amazon, and it allows users to choose from a library of 88,000 books, newspapers, magazines, and blogs on the Kindle Store.

Books from the New York Times Best Sellers list as well as new releases all cost $9.99 a piece, newspaper subscription cost $5.99 to $14.99 monthly, and magazine subscriptions run from $1.25 to $3.49 per month. Users can purchase content straight from the Kindle Store, and Amazon says delivery is done wirelessly in "under a minute." Newspapers like the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post as well as magazines like TIME and Forbes are all delivered automatically when they are published. Amazon also gives users free, wireless access to Wikipedia.

The Kindle itself measures 7.5 x 5.3 x 0.7 inches (19.1 x 13.5 x 1.78 cm) and weighs in at just 10.3 ounces (292 grams). Amazon boasts that it features a "revolutionary electronic-paper display" that doesn’t require a backlight and looks like real paper. Its internal memory can store "over 200 books," and users can add an SD memory card to increase its storage capacity. Despite the wireless functionality, the Kindle’s battery lasts long enough to only require recharging every other day. Users can also turn the wireless off and go for "a week or more" without a recharge. When it runs out of juice, fully charging the Kindle takes two hours.

More tidbits about the Kindle, including videos, are available on Amazon’s product page for the device. The folks at Engadget also have coverage of Amazon’s Kindle launch event.

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