So, the Kindle finally launches in the UK. This blog has become something of a Mecca for users of the Elonex 511EB. The comments on my reviews run in to the hundreds, I get thousands of page views a month on them, I regularly answer private emails about the device.
So, why am I abandoning Elonex?
Simply put - Elonex abandoned me. Their staff and website promised updates which never came. We're not just talking about additional features - there are some serious bugs in the device. They ignored emails when people complained about faulty devices - as, it would appear, did Waterstones.
In short, their business model was BOPO. Buy One and Piss Off. No customer support. No attempt to buy loyalty. No thinking of a long term investment.
Last year, the price of the EB511 was fairly competitive. It still sells in Maplin for £150 - that's around half the price of some Sony models.
Yet the Kindle has the same price point, comes with 3G and - most importantly - customer support. Software which seems regularly updated. And it is backed by a company who don't treat customers with outright disdain.
Elonex could have made a huge impact in the budget eBook market - but their attitude to customers has put me off buying any of their products.
The Kindle is not all roses, though. There are some potential downsides.
- ePub - the most popular ebook format isn't supported. The eBook management software Calibre can convert the files into a suitable format.
- Over enthusiastic use of DRM - potentially to remove books you've already bought.
- Lack of expandable storage. Only 3GiB. I say "only" - because that's more books than you could hope to read in a lifetime.
I'm sure there are some other issues which will surface over time. But for now, count me among one of the faithful. Kindle - HERE I COME!