Kindle 2

Since I had a review request: I like it. It does a few things well and a few others well enough.

I do not intend to make much use of the Kindle store. I have review and library copies of recent books. I will use this for the many free and public domain books around, many of which folks are converting to the Kindle format. I hope that prevents unfortunate line breaks, which are distracting.

I have not yet had a long reading session with it, but it seems as easy on the eyes as advertised. I have found it uncomfortable for reading things that I am used to seeing on a larger page or screen, but it is the right size for a paperback. It is light, thin, and small, and the button layout is good. Like a real book, you still need light; unlike a real book, you need not hold it open, which allows for more comfortable and flexible reading positions.

It lacks an SD card slot. You get ~1.5GB of memory, which will hold all the books you are likely to be carrying around, although it limits the use of fancier features than simple text. For books bought (or free) through the Kindle store, you can remove and re-load them quickly, which reduces some space issues.

It lacks a folder system. I would like to be able to organize my books and files.

If publishers were worried about the text-to-speech function affecting the audio book market, audio books must really suck these days. It does what it is supposed to, but you would not want to listen to an entire book being read that way, or perhaps even a few pages.

You can use it as an MP3 player with built-in speakers, a black-and-white photo album, or for file storage. To the limits of that storage space.

The power cord doubles as a USB cord once you pop off the top. Cool. This is how you transfer all your stuff. I need to use this more.

The web browser works nicely on text-based sites. I think I received a firmware update, or maybe I just have a better connection today: for the past couple of days, I had problems viewing many sites because the browser would time out quickly and fail to load the page. It is working great today. I even sent an e-mail (twice, because it gave me the time-out message the first time it sent it). I turned off images, which seems to help pages load quickly. Visit the mobile or printer-friendly versions of pages when you can.

Using the internet kills the battery. If you turn off wireless and turn off the Kindle when not in use, one charge should get you through the week; if you are using it as a portable web browser, one charge should get you through a day. Many pages look horrible, and others cater to the mobile audience (for which this is a big screen).

I am worried about scratching the screen. It has no cover. I should buy a carrying case for it, so I can keep it more safely. I have been using its original box until then.

Typing is annoying if you use capitalization and punctuation like I do. The keys are tiny, and most of the symbols are behind a “symbols” menu.

So far, I like it. I can read stuff, and it will encourage me to read more classics. Publishers are offering free titles to promote themselves on the new device. I can check my e-mail beyond the eyes of our IT people.

I hope to use this at work, rather than printing some documents. It will be good for longer research reports and other demanding reads.

: Zubon

One thought on “Kindle 2”

  1. It sounds cool, as did the first one. I live in Japan atm, so getting a Kindle 1 never seemed very realistic. I’m moving back to the states in May, though, so may check it out then. You mentioned public domain and the like… how simple is it to schlep something on there? I’ve heard you need to actually convert any PDFs you have thru the Amazon website to “kindle ready PDFs” before it will recognize them (lame…). I’d be curious to know how painful it is to actually get a notepad type app running on it, or if it’s possible to publish to your blog, etc, using just the Kindle.

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