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Amazon Kindle has increasing functionality, but can it compete with tablets?

by Paul Brown | 4月 22, 2010

Last week Strategy Analytics undertook an end user benchmark of the Amazon Kindle DX. As well as assessing the ‘traditional’ features of what the Kindle is known for (reading books), we also looked at some of the ‘experimental’ features Amazon are trialling – a basic web browser, music player and text-to-speech. Web Browser The Kindle comes with an Experimental application called Basic Web, which is a Web browser optimized to read websites that are primarily text-based. Participants were very interested in this feature, which they felt would be extremely useful to receive real-time updates. However, this could potentially put subscriptions to newspapers and magazines that the Kindle offers at risk. webs_pb.jpg Music Player Users can transfer MP3 files to their Kindle via USB and then use it as a music player. However, it has no music player application – all users can currently do is play/pause music and skip tracks. As well as currently offering limited functionality, most participants felt that they would not want to listen to music at the same time as reading as it is a distraction. Text-to-speech Where allowed by the rights holder, the Kindle can read books, newspapers, magazines and documents aloud. Improvements are needed to make it sound naturalistic, but participants felt it had potential, especially for catching up on daily news while driving to work. === One potential barrier to the uptake of a number of Kindle features (including web browsing and magazines) is the current lack of colour display. While participants were in agreement that e-ink provides a superior reading experience compared to a device like the Apple iPad, most participants would prefer to purchase an iPad for its much greater functionality (video, browsing experience, application stores etc), especially given that the 16GB WiFi only version of the iPad costs only $10 more than the Kindle DX. Full evaluations of both the Amazon Kindle DX and Apple iPad will be available to Wireless Device Lab subscribers soon. - Paul

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