I have had a kindle for over a week now, thanks to the accountingweb.com competition and Sage software, and with the holiday season have had a good chance to explore the features.

What I like
The electronic ink screen – it is just as easy on the eyes as reading a normal paper book. I am already part way through reading my second e-book on it and have had no problems with eyestrain.

e-newspapers – you can have a selection of newspapers delivered wirelessly to the kindle each morning. The UK papers also currently offer a free 2 week trial.

The kindle store – which makes it easy to browse books, and once you have made your choice they are delivered straight to the unit without it having to be connected to a PC.

There are several standard features on the kindle that have unfortunately been disabled when it is being used outside the US, most likely due to the fact that it has a contract free 3G cellular modem built in:

Access to simple web pages
Access to blogs
Pictures are disabled in e-newspapers

It may be that these features are enabled in the future – at present the kindle is a US import but it could be that it becomes available direct from Amazon.co.uk

However, it does have full & unrestricted free mobile access to wikipedia which is excellent and shows the potential of the extra features.

The future
e-readers are starting to make progress in general availability and acceptance.

Whilst visiting the sales this week I noticed that both Currys and John Lewis are now stocking the Sony e-readers, as well as Waterstones who were an early adopter of e-readers. Waterstones even has a poster in their window saying that e-books are available to download from them as well.

With a possible launch of the Apple tablet at the end of January the market for e-readers could expand rapidly. There is already a kindle app available on the iPhone and iPod touch.