This week Amazon (AMZN) announced its entry into the ebook reader market. Their product is called the Kindle. It is described as a wireless reading device. It uses a revolutionary electronic-paper display by E Ink that is suppose to look and read like real paper.
If you are a value investor, I am sure you spend many hours a day reading. I find myself reading all the time. The Kindle caught my attention because I spend two hours a day on the subway and I try to use much of that time reading. I find it particularly difficult to read newspapers when I’m standing in a crowded train. I thought an electronic device that could receive daily newspaper updates would be ideal. I’m currently using a Dell Axim PocketPC for some of my reading, but the screen is small, suffers from glare, and I often forget or down have time to upload new content on it for my morning commute. The included wireless connectivity of the Kindle looked like a smart solution to this problem, especially since it can store book and subscription content locally when you are in an area that lacks wireless connectivity (like in the subway).
Some of the other key features of the Kindle include:
- The ability to subscribe to The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post.
- It’s larger screen and very light weight.
- Access to a dictionary and Wikipedia.
- Ability to email the device documents (for a fee) or transfer content with a USB cable.
- Ability to access webpages anywhere, though only in black and white and I’m guessing without may page layout features.
- Ability to play audio books and other mp3 files.
- No monthly wireless access fees.
The major drawback right now for a cheap value investor like myself is the $399 price tag. I’d also like to be able to try one of these devices out before considering investing in one. Most of all, I’d like to see how it would handle the SEC EDGAR site and whether the wireless Kindle can handle large 10-K webpages. My current PocketPC often chokes on the large 10-K text pages I try to read on EDGAR unless I first convert the files to PDF.
I’ve put the Kindle on my wish list for now, but I’ll likely be waiting until either the price drops or someone sends me one. Have any of you had the opportunity to get your hands on a Kindle yet? Do you think the Kindle could potentially be an essential tool for bleary eyed value investors?