Amazon Kindle launches in the UK

Rumours have been swirling for months, but Amazon has now confirmed the whispers we got wind of last week – that the Kindle is now availabl

Previously only available across the pond, Amazon's Kindle has proved to be the King of the ereaders thanks to its 3G connectivity, meaning you can don't need to hunt for a Wifi hotspot to download books and newspapers wirelessly.

Amazon hasn't said which network will be providing the 3G access, but it had been previously suggested that Qualcomm – which provides the Whispernet wireless connectivity in the States – was working on a solution here. Either way, it's free to use, so you can download away without worries of a big bill.

The 3G connectivity also allows you to subscribe to digital newspapers and magazines and have them downloaded automatically as they become available, as well as send emails and Microsoft Word documents on the move – so it's a handy addition to say the least.

Around 280,000 English language books will be available to users to download from the Kindle Store to begin with, as well as newspapers such as the Daily Telegraph, The Times and the Daily Mail, all downloadable on to the Kindle's 2GB internal memory.

Now for the slightly bad news. Although the Kindle is available to the UK (and worldwide), it's actually still shipping from America with a US power adapter, meaning you have to pay $279 plus a $45 import tax fee, and have to charge it via your USB port.

You'll also have to continue to purchase your books from the American Kindle Store in dollars for the time being as well.

This isn't the plan for the long run though, with Amazon confirming its plans on its UK site. It said: "In the future, we plan to introduce a UK-centric Kindle experience, enabling you to purchase Kindle and Kindle books in sterling from our UK site."

As for specs, expect a 6-inch screen, the ability to download books in less than 60 seconds, a two week battery life when wireless is turned off, text-to-speech feature for reading books allowed and a full QWERTY keyboard for adding annotations and bookmarks.

If this has tickled your fancy, you can get your pre-order in now on the Amazon website, ready for when it begins shipping on 19 October.

Let us know if Amazon's Kindle does it for you, but be sure to check out the UK-based ebooks in our ebook group test before you go international.