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On this blog we will track down the latest Amazon Kindle news. We will keep you up to date with whats hot in the bestsellers section, including books, ebooks and blogs... and we will also bring you great Kindle3 tips and tricks along with reviews for the latest KindleDX accessories.

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September 2016
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SolarFocus Kindle Cover Revealed

Recently revealed at CES and available for sale on the 14th of January, the new SolarFocus Kindle cover seems to be an interesting solution to a problem that few, if any, people have run into.  This doesn’t mean that it will fail to impress as a gadget or that it is in any way useless, but one has to wonder how big the market will be for something like the SolarKindle cover.

Essentially this cover is meant to serve as recharging station, backup battery, and book light all in addition to the normal screen protection function.  Certainly not a bad thing.  The case’s internal battery carries a charge sufficient to add an additional three months of battery life to the Kindle 4 and can be recharged over the course of eight hours of direct sunlight exposure if you don’t have access to a powered USB port or adapter.  Even one hour is supposedly sufficient for as much as three days worth of reading time.

Sadly, there are any number of drawbacks.  In terms of basic use, there are a few obvious problems.  The addition of this cover more than doubles the weight of your Kindle, along with doubling its thickness and increasing the size of its footprint to slightly larger than the Kindle Keyboard.  The added size and weight remove a great deal of the appeal that the $79 Kindle carries.  The SolarKindle case itself also appears fairly unappealing, though some might disagree with me if they find solar panels and white plastic pleasant.  Perhaps the most striking thing about this case, however, is the pricing.  At $79 itself, it will double the cost of owning a Kindle.

I have nothing against a desire to be environmentally friendly, but this doesn’t make sense to me.  Given the fact that the Kindle 4 already runs for a minimum of three weeks at a time between charges (based on regular personal use on my part), how could it possibly be worth the inconvenience of the bulk and weight just to avoid having it find a wall outlet?

As of the Kindle 2, we already have analysis indicating that eReaders become environmentally friendlier than buying new books as of the 50th title or so.  Probably safe to assume that things have gotten even better by now, but even ignoring that entirely we have to assume that the impact of manufacturing these covers will be sufficient to increase the numbers.  How quickly can saving $0.25 or less per month in electricity help this case start to pay for itself under any metric?

Despite the hype surrounding the CES reveal, it seems unlikely that the SolarKindle will take off.  The price is too high and the benefits too few.  It isn’t as if you were adding months of battery life to a tablet or smartphone.  If you spend months at a time without access to power, this might be the case for you.  For anybody else it is not much better than an ostentatious nod toward “Going Green” that the Kindle, despite having numbers to support such a claim, fails to advertise on its own.

CES 2011 Goodies for Kindle Fans

This year’s CES selection has been really interesting to follow for me.  Everything from Three Dimensional Printers to Smart Grid Homes has come up.  It’s loads of fun.  A couple things in particular popped up that I thought might be interesting to highlight here though, as relates to all us fans of Kindles and Nooks and such!

M-Edge Customized eReader Covers

Going with the name “MyEdge” for the product line, M-Edge is getting set to open up a service allowing customers to have their Kindle, Nook, or iPad cover personalized with whatever photo they want right on the front.  The idea is, you choose a basic cover color, along with any text you want on it, then add in photos, pictures, graphics, etc in whatever pattern works for you.  They are aiming to have these personalized cases printed and shipped in 10-14 days.  The pricing I’ve heard about is surprisingly affordable, with the Kindle cover being just $40, the Nook cover matching that, and the iPad cover costing only $50.  While the service is not quite open yet, if you’re interested you can head to their website and be notified when ordering opens up.

Ion Book Saver Scanner

One of the biggest impediments for many newcomers to the eBook phenomenon has often been that book lovers are very attached to their libraries.  Personally, I’ve come to dread moving for no other reason than that books are heavy when you get a couple thousand together all in one place.  Anyway, when you already own all your favorites, it really doesn’t make much sense to go out and buy them all again just so that they can fit on your Kindle.  This isn’t a move from VHS to DVD where the quality is suddenly going to excite you, they’re books!  The solution that Ion(a company probably best known for their audio converter hardware) has come up with is an interesting looking scanner made specifically for books.

The device as a whole is a little bit bulky, and far from automated.  It’s not going to look at your book and do the work for you.  What you get is a scanner with a surface angled to allow book pages to lie flat without being held down firmly that can supposedly scan both pages of an open book in about a second.  It will come with some form of OCR software to give you a file that has selectable text, reflow capabilities, etc, rather than your usual flat image or PDF file.  The whole thing looks simple to use and should be useful to anybody with the time and interest to spend a few minutes turning the pages.  This should all be good, legally, given that any book you scan should in theory be something you own, but I’m sure there’ll be some objection along the lines of piracy at some point.  Still, I know that I have a few out of print books that I will be immensely pleased to have digital scans of as soon as this one comes out.

Admittedly these are only a couple of the fun things we have to look forward to now, but they intrigued me and seemed worth pointing out.  Enjoy!