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Kindle now available in the UK for £215!!

After a long wait, Amazon’s Kindle ebook reader is now FINALLY AVAILABLE IN THE UK from 19th October 2009!!

For those who’ve been waiting since the original Kindle was released by Amazon over 2 years ago – good news, the Kindle will now be making its way to UK shores shortly (and over 100 other countries)! The ‘international’ version of the Kindle is priced at $279.00 compared to $259.00 for the US version (just lowered from $299.00), which seems a fair enough price for the international roaming capability.

Amazon Kindle ebook reader

Amazon Kindle ebook reader

For the moment, all international orders (including the UK) for the Kindle need to be placed on Amazon’s US website. The site’s already taking pre-orders, shipments will begin on the 19th October. For shipments to the UK, there will also be a shipping fee for international air freight and a charge for import fees & duties (VAT):-

Kindle $279.00
Shipping $20.98
Import fees $45.00
TOTAL $344.98

British Pound £215.63
(assuming £1=$1.60)

Despite the cost of international shipping and import duties, I have a feeling that the total cost of about £215 could be cheaper than what the Kindle will be priced at in the UK when it’s eventually available here directly from amazon.co.uk. We British consumers have often found ourselves holding the short end of the stick with retail prices here often set at the equivalent number (or just slightly lower) but in pounds i.e. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the Kindle is priced at £279.00 or £249.00.

With the holiday season just around the corner and the Kindle likely to be on everyone’s must-have gadget list for Christmas, I would definitely recommend pre-ordering this (if Amazon’s track record in ensuring adequate supply is anything to go by)!

My order’s been placed, will keep you updated with my experience over the next few weeks.

Get it now!!

1 Comment

    • Kindle review (international version) – not all it’s cut out to be…

    Almost exactly 10 years since my first and last ebook, the Franklin ebook reader (which made me realise ebooks weren’t ready to go mainstream yet), my Amazon Kindle ebook arrived in the mail after weeks of anticipation! Or probably more as I’d been waiting ages for the Kindle to be brought to the UK as it promised to be everything the Franklin ebook reader wasn’t! But alas it was not to be and yesterday I finally got around to shipping it back to Amazon US…

    I couldn’t contain my excitement when the box arrived from Amazon – the packaging wasn’t much to shout about in a typical Amazon cardboard-type box, but it was presentable and had an old-school chic feel about it. Opening the box, the first glimpse of the Kindle is a captivating one. The screen grabs you immediately – though it’s black and white, it looks nothing like a screen you’re used to. Although the Kindle’s switched off, it arrives with a pre-loaded image that looks like an excellent quality printed image – I was immediately impressed by this ‘epaper’ technology – really, it looked like magic.

    Then – as you lift it out of the box, the Kindle feels really good in your hands. It’s slim, very slim! Not light, but heavy enough to have a reassuring build quality about it despite its thinness. I also bought the leather case to go with it and fitted that onto the Kindle immediately. Can’t complain about the quality, it’s firm and should offer good protection though I wonder if it could have been a little lighter as it adds on to the weight of the device. Still, not too much of a bother.

    Next I take out the charger – unfortunately it only ships with US-style flat pin sockets so you’ll need a converter (I detached the USB2.0 cable from the enclosed wall socket and instead plug it into one of my iphone/ipod wall plugs).

    Then came actually switching on the device and using it and this is where things started to go wrong. The problem is the response time, and I’m not talking about the screen. The screen takes a couple of seconds to refresh everytime you flip pages, but I’ve already read about this and can live with it. My problem is the responsiveness asnd response time in navigating the device! Take for instance the process of navigating a menu – when I push up on the joystick nothing happens for a couple of seconds, then you see that you’ve moved up the menu. BUT half the time the Kindle doesn’t register my command! You can imagine how frustrating that is – waiting 3-4 seconds to be sure, then having to press ‘up’ again and waiting for a few seconds to see if it’s registered. Or if you want to scroll down a long menu and you push down on the joystick a few times, you’ll again find yourself waiting several seconds trying to see what the Kindle has registered.

    It gets worse. Annoyed at the amount of time it’s taken me to try to browse through Amazon’s catalog, I thought: ‘Let’s make use of this keyboard to just type in what I want!’. So I start typing in the name of an author: “J O H N space G R I S H A M”. I look up and to my horror the Kindle has registered less than half of my keystrokes!! I then have to painfully hit delete and again wait for seconds to check what’s been registered. My patience was now running very thin…

    Then, as if to add insult to injury, the device froze completely and I couldn’t do anything to unfreeze it. As I said, my patience had already run thin. I knew that if I went on my PC and googled ‘Kindle frozen’, I’d probably find a solution to unfreeze it. But honestly – I wanted the Kindle for the convenience of being able to download books on the fly and the whole user experience. But already I could see that this ‘user experience’ would probably cause me to age prematurely and go bald. So it was bye-bye Kindle… I’m not sure if I had a faulty Kindle or if this is indeed the same experience that many out there are happy with – they must be blessed with a great deal more patience than myself!

    I’m definitely disappointed – you’d think the technology for ebooks should be ready. I don’t know if it’ll be another 10 years before I get another ebook – but for the moment I’m returning to good old-fashioned paperbacks!

    Got the Mojo

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