Is Kindle the future of book reading?

As Shark Tale’s Don Lino puts it: Are you kidding me?! Are you out of your mind???!!!

The only nice thing I can find about it is the “free” EVDO connection with access to Wikipedia. I’d actually buy it just for that–for $39.99, if.

Here’s a list of things that I want in a e-book reader, without much concern about cost nor engineering issues:

  1. I’ve always believed that the future of e-book and cell phone and many portable devices is in flexible display. That’s the only way to combine portability and large-enough screen.
  2. Highlighter pen and easy access to highlighted text: this is what I wish for the most when I read paper book. There are pen-size OCR scanners but none is usable enough.
  3. Pen: mainly for navigation and lookup. Scribble recognition would be nice but not necessary. Thumb keyboard is still much faster.
  4. Multi-lingual dictionary (Babelfishy) in rollover overlay and Wikipedia (and other reference sites) accessible in context popup.
  5. Inter- and intra- book cross reference via hot link.
  6. Full color. 4-level gray scale in 2007? Are you kidding me?! Are you out of your mind???!!!
  7. Play audio book. Heck, it should play audio, period.
  8. All the necessary connectivity: USB, bluetooth, flash card, etc.
  9. Open API. At least for Java, since I can’t do anything else now.

I’d buy it for $200. I’d pay $2000 if I can read, write, surf, chat, listen, watch, play, shoot, and call on a single mobile device. It’d better have an alarm clock too. Before that, there’s no point in using a plethora of devices to replace another bunch of them.

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