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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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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!

Beam N Read Light for Kindle & More

This product was brought to my attention a short while ago as being a worthwhile investment in lieu of getting compatible book lights to clip on to every one of my eReaders.

I’ll preface all this by saying that I’m an almost accidental collector of book lights.  I have dozens of the things.  Some have been with me for years, right back to a gigantic plastic contraption suitable for only sturdy hardcovers that I feel like reading near an outlet, and some are pretty much brand new, like the plastic piece of junk that runs off of watch batteries I got as a free gift when I bought some Snuggies as gifts last month.  For the most part, they’re all sitting in a pile on a shelf in the closet and see little use.  I’d rather head to another room where I can turn on a lamp than disturb my partner in bed at night, and even the best of these lights is usually a little awkward.  Still, the travel season is coming upon us quickly and there’s nothing worse than being stuck on a train for 10 hours with nothing to do because it is too dark to read your book.  So, I tried out a Beam N Read.

Keep in mind, all of my comments here are related to the 3-LED model of the brand.  There is a 6-LED version, as well as a Classic version, but they didn’t strike the right balance for me.  I’ll explain why in a bit.

First Impressions:

Initially, the Beam N Read looks more than a little odd.  If you’re used to traditional book lights, it feels more than a bit strange to be strapping this comparatively huge contraption to your neck.  Still, in spite of its requiring four AA batteries, it wasn’t too heavy and went almost unnoticed after a few minutes.  It’s a nice change to get a portable lamp that doesn’t weigh down your book(in this case I was using my Kindle but the field of view seemed wide enough to cover both sides of a hardcover book with little adjustment) and also still does the job well.  The light was fairly bright, though not something I’d want to use for more than a few hours at a time.  Definitely a positive initial experience as far as book lights go.

Evaluation:

Battery Life:

Three LEDs use surprisingly little power, of course, so users can expect about 120 hours of battery life from their Beam N Read.  If you’re keeping up with this site, chances are you’re an eInk device user which also implies, to a certain extent, that you may be interested in minimal charging and/or battery changing, so that works out well.  This number is supposed to be rather dramatically reduced when you’re using the 6-LED model, which is advertised at noticeably less than half the expected life of the 3-LED.  Nothing much is advertised to be used as comparison for the Classic beyond that it is long lasting.

Light Quality:

I can’t say anything against this light when it comes to reading.  It’s bright enough to read by and broad enough to cover pretty much any reading surface.  I would feel fairly safe in saying that you could read a newspaper with little trouble using one of these.  It came with a filter to turn the light red.  This still confuses me slightly, though I get that it’s meant to soften the light and help preserve night vision.  While I appreciate having the option, I suppose, it seems like one of those features that will be useful for such a small percentage of users as to be almost pointless.  Still, better to have more options than needed.  I would imagine that it’s even brighter using the 6-LED model, of course.  One thing related to this with regard to the Classic that I would point out is that reviewers on the Amazon product page claim that the non-LED bulbs are extremely unreliable.

Comfort:

As is almost always the case, there’s an upside and a downside on this one.  The fact that it hangs from your neck makes the Beam N Read an accessory that will take some getting used to, but this also ensures less strain on your wrist compared to a clip-on book light.  You also have to hold your book fairly far away from your face to work with this one.  Yeah, I know it’s better for your eyes, but some people have whole lifetimes of bad habits built up and a bit of nearsightedness to deal with on top of that.  If you’re prone to holding your book right in front of your face, this might be problematic.  The only other complaint that I’ve been able to find is that the light tends to shift with you when you change reading positions. Basically expect to adjust your reading light along with everything else when you’re feeling a bit restless.  Doesn’t sound like too big a deal.

My conclusion would be that if you have need of a reading light, the Beam N Read might well do the job for you.  It’s small, feels pretty durable, and provides a novel solution to the aggravating problem of lights getting in your way that I personally feel is far superior to a head lamp.  Best of all, at $19.95 on Amazon(NASDAQ:AMZN), it’s affordable enough for anybody.  Probably useful for more than books too, though why would you want anything more?