It’s taken almost two years, but at last gadget fans here in the UK can lay their hands on an Amazon Kindle. Dubbed the Amazon Kindle International Edition, it’s the same as the one our US cousins are currently downloading their morning papers on and using to read the latest bestsellers. The question is, does this new version live up to expectations? Read our Amazon Kindle International Edition review now for our definitive verdict.
If you want an Amazon Kindle International Edition, be prepared to jump through a lot of hoops before the postie slips one through your door. You’ll need to order it through Amazon.com rather than Amazon.co.uk and then get it imported. The gadget itself is a stunner, with easy to read eInk and simple controls, but you have to work hard to even get one.
Amazon’s import approach is highly frustrating. You get a US plug in the box rather than a UK one, so you’ll need to ensure you’ve furnished yourself with an adapter before juicing up your Amazon Kindle International Edition. And while the $259 price tag might seem reasonable, keep an eye out for fees and import tax pushing the price north of $300.
Buying books however, is a joy, taking us less than a minute to download a complete novel over the 3G “Whispernet” service. Undoubtedly this places the Amazon Kindle International Edition well ahead of the competition and the subscription service to The Times, The Independent, Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph means you’re digitally catered for whatever your political hue.
The issue of pricing, however, raises its head again when it comes to buying books. See, the AWZ format titles cost about $13.99 for a bestseller and you have to buy your latest fiction fix from the US rather than the UK. It means you’re handing over a premium compared to regular paper versions, which is more than a tad infuriating.
And when you’re paying such a hefty price, you’d also expect a browser and RSS feeds. Alas, neither are here on the international version. As a basic eReader, the Amazon Kindle International Edition is right up there with the excellent Sony Reader. But the issues surrounding its UK arrival mean it’s a gadget you should think long and hard about before buying. If you want to buy books in sterling and not faff around with import fees, then don’t spend your cash on the Amazon Kindle International Edition.