The New Kindle: Ready for Business?

Last Updated Aug 3, 2010 10:28 AM EDT

As you've no doubt heard, Amazon just introduced a $139 Kindle. While that's obviously great news for avid readers who didn't want to spend $259 (the Kindle's price just a few months ago) for an e-reader, it's also significant for the business world.

So says PC World's Tony Bradley, who argues that it's time for businesses to embrace the Kindle. Not only does the new model have a much lower cost of entry, it's also smaller and lighter, meaning it's even easier to tote around. Notes Bradley:

The Kindle 2 has an opportunity to deliver valuable tools and resources for mobile workers, or for professions that don't lend themselves to sitting in front of the computer or taking time to visit the library in order to get information. There are many lines of work that rely heavily on printed documentation, or could if it was available.
Lines of work like medicine, real estate, and insurance -- basically, any field that would benefit from having oodles of printed material close at hand.

I wholeheartedly agree. Even at $259, the Kindle 2 was a killer business tool. Amazon added PDF support last year, and a more recent update brought features like password protection, PDF pan and zoom, Facebook and Twitter integration, and the option to organize books into "collections."

The $139 model eliminates the 3G radio in favor of Wi-Fi, though the $189 model offers both.

What do you think? Does the Kindle have a place in business, or will the oncoming tablet onslaught mean the end of dedicated e-readers? I tend to think that's the case, but I also think a $139 Kindle is a hard bargain to pass up.

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    Rick Broida, a technology writer for more than 20 years, is the author of more than a dozen books. In addition to writing CNET's The Cheapskate blog, he contributes to CNET's iPhone Atlas.