Saturday, October 29, 2011

Why I might be buying a Kindle

In a previous post I gave my reasons for not buying a Kindle. As it turns out, I may have been hasty. I know how to admit I'm wrong though, so here it is. The new Kindle being sold in the UK is the one without adverts, costing £89 as previous mentioned. However, the cheap American model is the one bundled with adverts, so the comparison wasn't like-for-like. The equivalent model without adverts costs $109 on the American Amazon site, which is around £68. Adding on the 20% VAT brings that to £81.60. Even I can forgive £7 :)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Mini Server Power Draw

Previously, I showed my new home server build and mentioned that I would give some power draw figures. I have since managed to borrow a Plogg device from work and taken some (quite non-scientific) measurements.

It turns out that, with all hardware set up as it is by default, the server draws around 25 Watts when idle and around 40 Watts when under load. To put this into perspective, my desktop PC draws around 90 Watts when idle and around 145 Watts when I'm gaming. Thus, my server isn't incredibly low power as it stands (though this is partly because I designed it to be able to provide some decent number-crunching ability when needed). The total draw over a year will be around 219 kWh, which should cost in the region of £25 or so if my maths is correct.

Bonus power draws:
  • 21" LCD screen: 40 Watts
  • External hard drive: 10 Watts
  • Speakers (silent): 5 Watts

I will update this post in the near future with power draw figures with alternate configurations (such as running the CPU with a single core).

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Why I won't be buying a Kindle

If you were to go to the Amazon US site today, you would see an announcement regarding the new Kindle models, including the phrase:
There are two types of companies: those that work hard to charge customers more, and those that work hard to charge customers less. Both approaches can work. We are firmly in the second camp.
We are excited to announce four new products: the all-new Kindle for only $79, two new touch Kindles – Kindle Touch and Kindle Touch 3G – for $99 and $149, and a new class of Kindle – Kindle Fire – a beautiful full color Kindle for movies, TV shows, music, books, magazines, apps, games, web browsing and more, for only $199.
In summary, they are dedicated to charging customers less, and the new basic Kindle model is $79. All fair and good. However, if you were to go to the Amazon UK site, you would see:
Today, we are excited to introduce our all-new Kindle for only £89.
Wait... what?

Let's do the maths here... US price is $79, which is equivalent to £50 and some change. UK price is £89, which is equivalent to slightly under $139. We have a difference of £39 or $60. Now, I don't have a Kindle currently, but my girlfriend's one has served her quite nicely and I've been considering it on and off for a while, so at £50 I would have bought the new model with barely a thought. At almost double the price though... I don't think I'll be doing that.

I do have to congratulate Amazon on one thing though: they've released the new model at a lower price point than the old one, and still managed to make me feel ripped off. That takes skill.