Amazon recently introduced an electronic reading device called Kindle (opens in new tab). It is basically an e-book reading device, but in practice it is more than just that. It is more like a portable book-buying and book-display machine with a very basic Web browser thrown in. It employs an EVDO cellular modem to connect to the Amazon site or to other web sites, where you can purchase books or download other content. In addition you can convert your own files and send them to the Kindle. While buying books from Amazon is its main function, you are not really purchasing books, but rather the ability to download an electronic version of a book to the device. Unlike a real book you can't resell a Kindle ebook, or lend it. The trade-off is that you pay less for this electronic version of the book, such as $9.99 for New York Times best sellers but less for older titles. You can also download samples or excerpts and read them before you buy the full book. The display utilizes a technology called eInk, which draws considerably less power than a conventional LCD screen. Although the screen is not back lit it is viewable in even bright sunlight. It is going to be interesting to watch how these types of devices evolve and when they will start to be adopted by the education community.
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