Amazon ebook reader rumoured for next week

Kindle reader thought to be released next week, with Wi-Fi connection, but no backlighting.

Rumours abound that Amazon is about to unveil its strategy for the ebook market, by unveiling the Kindle reader on Monday.

According to various reports Kindle will feature a large screen and Wi-Fi connection with a direct link to the Amazon ebook store. In a curious omission, the device will apparently forgo a backlight in favour of an adjustable reading lamp, possibly to conserve battery life.

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The company is also expected to unveil a new digital book store to compliment the Kindle, which should hopefully address the notoriously high costs of ebooks, which are often triple the price of their paper-based cousins.

Reports also suggest Amazon will announce a number of tie-ups with big newspaper groups so users can have their favourites downloaded to their Kindle each morning.

The Kindle has been doing the rounds on the rumour mill since last year, when an FCC filing popped up showing that the online retailer was working on an electronic reading pad, similar to the Sony Reader.

While the device sounds great in principal, two potential sticking points could be the price, which at a reported $399 (195) is a few paperbacks too many, and the ongoing confusion surrounding proprietary file formats, which lock ebooks down to one device - somewhat negating the age old pleasure of lending your favourite book to a friend.

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