Talk of the Kindle has inspired a debate on the QIAT group about the benefit of purchasing a Kindle 2 or a netbook. A netbook is a small device designed to be easily portable, exactly as the Kindle. They have at least 2 GB of storage, come with a complete operating system, & wireless connectivity. Netbooks cost between $200 - $500.
So, a Kindle is a device for reading books, papers, etc... that's easily portable, has wireless connectivity for downloading books, & will cost $359. I realize that netbooks have limitations as to the amount and type of software that can be installed (Dragon Naturally Speaking is one program that won't run on most netbooks), and sometimes the operating system is not one everyone is familiar with (some run Windows, buy many run a form of Linux), & they have limited space. These limitations withstanding I think a netbook, with text-to-speech readers installed gives you much more flexibility. Students would have internet capability, in a small package, as well as a place to store and read books.
I guess I feel this way because devices are heading toward multiple uses. Smartphones like Blackberries, & Iphones changed the way we get information. Laptops are getting smaller and smaller every day, and we are increasingly looking for ways to get information when we are mobile. So I'm going out on a limb to say that while the Kindle 2 is a great device, I personally would not want a device that's limited to just reading books (especially for the price). Maybe you disagree, let me know what you think.
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