Amazon enters e-book market, gets mixed reviews

Amazon's new electronic book reader has received mixed reviews in its 24 hours since launch.

Although initial stock of the e-reader has been sold out, the new product rated an average two and a half stars from customer reviews. Biggest complaints were over the $399 price tag, the lack of support for .pdf and the DRM rules.

One reviewer said the screen was 'pretty nice' but added, 'What Amazon does not understand, is that I want something that could replace my *laptop* so I can review work related PDF files without printing them out.'

Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos unveiled the e-reader at a press conference in New York, saying the company had spent three years developing the product.

It uses a new high-res display technology that is readable in sunlight and weighs a quarter of a kilogram. The Kindle bookshop has 90,000 books as well newspapers and magazines and paid access to 300 blogs.

Its wireless connection is by EV-DO, not Wi-Fi, but is free for the customer. Amazon pays for all wireless charges in the US.

The company has not announced plans to extend the service to Europe or Asian markets.