Hi-tech Travel Companions
Portable gadgets & accessories you travel with.
Kindle 2: Amazon's New Wireless Reading Device

A mobile reading device by Amazon.

< read all 26 reviews

You say you want a revolution

  • Feb 19, 2009
  • by
Rating:
+5

Well, you know...Amazon wants to change the world. Owners of Kindle 1 you can rejoice...Kindle 1 was the revolution - Kindle 2 is the evolution. I was a first generation Kindle owner and upon hearing the news that Amazon was releasing a second generation a little after a year of the first release seemed disheartening...but after several discussions I began to come around to the idea - we do live in a technological rich society, after all. Shortly after I got to test the kindle 2 I was convinced that the new edition was merely an upgrade...and if you own the Kindle 1 there is no need to trade it in - there just isn't enough to warrant that. So let's take a deeper look into the device that wants to change the world, shall we?

Late in 2007 the world was introduced to a device that would allow the user to download books, blogs, magazines, and newspapers wirelessly using Whispernet (Amazon's wireless delivery system) this device was the Kindle and soon the reading world would change forever. This device was revolutionary - you now had an entire bookstore in the palm of your hand. There are currently over 240,000 books available on Kindle and you can read the first chapter of each book before you decide to buy it.

It is ergonomically designed to the size of a book and fits snuggly in the palm of your hand. It has a built in dictionary in case you find yourself stuck on a word. It allowed you to adjust the text size to fit your reading comfort. It is a device with a lot of upside and only a few downsides. So if the Kindle was such a great device, why did Amazon release a second generation so soon after the first? Good question, here is what is different.

--  Kindle 2 is thinner...Amazon has compared it to a pencil, but it's not a fragile thin...so don't worry about it being damaged easily - I dropped my unit from roughly 5 feet and not even a scratch. The device may be thinner, but it weighs roughly the same as the first unit and measures the same as well.

--  The battery life has been improved. It still drains quicker if you're using the wireless feature...but in reading mode, a full charge should last you long enough to take on vacation without a recharge.

--  With its new processor the Kindle 2 in noticeably faster. Every aspect, from searching to loading books and turning pages has benefited from it.

--  Text is now sharper with the addition of 12 more shades of gray...this really does make the text sharper and makes it jump right off the screen.

--  One of the biggest problems with the original Kindle was the large, over-sized buttons used to turn the e-pages...these have shrunk down and are less sensitive...so no more accidental page turning.

--  One of the biggest improvements is the amount of memory...the original had 256MB...the new has 2GB. While a great improvement, the Kindle does not have an expansion slot for memory, and while you are not likely to use all the memory storing books...you may run into problems when storing MP3s.

--  Another great change is the wireless on/off switch...this was an actual button on the first unit...and is now a toggle option in the system's menu. The power button and the ear phone jack have been moved to the top of the unit...making it much more functional.

--  The scroll wheel on Kindle 1 has been replace with a five-way rocker button....which makes navigating a lot easier. Amazon has also made the interface more user friendly...so using features like the dictionary are now simpler.

--  The two biggest changes are the Whispersync which allows you to sync more than one Kindle device and eventually other electronic devices. The other, and biggest addition is the Read-to-me feature. This allows the book (or any text) to be read to you in a quite soothing and easily understood male or female voice.

--  Another problem that Amazon has fixed is the subpar case that came with the first Kindle. Amazon has addressed this by not including one for the second unit. - so be prepared to spend an addition fee on purchasing a carrying case.

All-in-all I am quite happy with the Kindle 2 and have convinced myself that the decision to sell my old unit and purchase a new one was a good idea...but not necessary. If you own the first generation Kindle don't worry about the second generation...you're not missing much. But if you are new to Kindle you will be impressed by an amazing book-sized device that promises to change the world.

Kindle 2 pencil thin browse your files

What did you think of this review?

Helpful
42
Thought-Provoking
12
Fun to Read
14
Well-Organized
17
Post a Comment
September 03, 2009
Indeed. Especially since Amazon is content with bringing out a newer version every few months.
 
August 25, 2009
I'm a first generation Kindle owner and really love it, even with some disadvantages which you pointed out. Your review pretty well answered my question of whether to buy the new Kindle. It's too bad Amazon doesn't have a "trade-in" policy.
 
April 23, 2009
I've been seriously entertaining the idea of owning a Kindle. My only two qualms are the price point and my previous purchases from Amazon. If I purchased the book already, shouldn't I be able to download the eBook version for free? Or even for a discounted price over the eBook price? That would be a bigger selling point for me.
May 03, 2009
I totally agree - I wonder if they've thought about doing that! I'm in the same boat, in terms of wanting to purchase the Kindle, but finding the price tag about $150 too steep ... getting all of my prior Amazon purchases automatically downloaded might ease the purchase pain a bit! I do think, however, that the Kindle 3 will be in the $250 range. I have absolutely no information supporting this, but I just think most people will balk at a $370 gadget, whereas $250 seems more reasonable.
 
April 12, 2009
Excellent, thorough review. The features are fabulous but I can't imagine the same feeling I get from a book- each book has its own heft, typeface, graphic interest, a smudge of chocolate from a former reader, the errant highlighter, a scribbled line... and yes, smell, a whiff of fresh ink on new paper. I see the appeal, especially to people who aren't enamored of books or can relate more easily to a compact screen. It may encourage reading, take it out of the musty library and association with studying. Like any new technology, ease of use and price are important and it sounds as though the design is constantly being improved. It's the intangible that Kindle can't provide, no matter how slick. You make it sound reasonable- busy people can grab a few minutes reading a book or mag or blog on the run and it benefits the planet. My obsession with the physical appeal of a good book on a rainy afternoon may be selfish as we move closer to the tough decisions- hoarding books will label me a greedy little piggy by 2020. One new idea at a time, but you make a solid case with a great review.
May 03, 2009
Luan, I used to be of the same mind as you - in that I am very much attached to books and never, EVER read one without a pen to underline and annotate (my books look like they've gone through a war after I'm done with them). But after my most recent multi-city biz trip, on which I lugged 10 books and got stopped for overweight bags at every airport, I thought, "you know, the kindle might be the way to go." Sigh. One other upside you didn't mention, however - the ability to impulse buy a book ANYWHERE in the world. Now that's REALLY exciting!!
May 09, 2009
I think it's one of those generational things, Julia. Sense memories and all that- the smell of ink, the bright new pages of a book, the type face and the cover. I am sure that in a few years Kindle- or something like it- will dominate book technology, but until that happens, I will be hanging onto my books. Ecology dictates that the end is in sight, but it will be very difficult, I used to walk into a library and imagine reading all the books. I can't imagine scanning a list and finding a title that I have to buy because of its cover or how thick it is. It's the tactile stimulation I will miss, my brain's response to an onject associated with certain memories and positive reactions.
 
April 10, 2009
If anyone is interested you can download free kindle books at freekindlebooks.org
May 21, 2009
Great review and thanks for the info. My Kindle arrives in 2 days.
 
February 23, 2009
Really enjoyed this review. I'd not considered purchasing this, despite all the buzz. Mainly because I don't get enough chances to read, now that I have a 2 year old. BUT, after reading your review, it occurs to me that I may get more opportunities to read if I had all these convenient features. Thx!
 
February 19, 2009
That is the only thing that Kindle can't do...it can't replace that feeling you get when you just want to curl up with a good book - I guess some things have no substitution.
 
February 19, 2009
Great Review. Thanks for all of the info. I have been thinking about buying one of these. Do you find it as enjoyable to read on the Kindle vs a regular book? For whatever reason, I am nervous that the experience of reading for pleasure will not be as fun...maybe because I associate reading on a screen with work.
 
February 19, 2009
I have not spoken to anyone who owns a Kindle and your review is the first take I have seen on it. Not sure it is my cup of tea but I certainly do appreciate your thoughts on the product.
 
1
More Kindle 2 reviews
review by . July 09, 2009
This is a great invention with some major shortcomings and a few disappointments but overall I think the kindle is a great tool and I will use it for many years to come. I have even heard many say that it encourages them to read more, and that may be true simply out of the convenience that this device delivers. Cons (Minor annoyances) 1. I would like to get all my books in my house converted to digital books. 2. Amazon needs a Netflix subscription model that gives me access to read any book I want. …
review by . September 23, 2009
I have been using the Kindle 2 for a couple of months now. I didn't plan on buying it; it was a birthday present. If asked prior to receiving it, I would have said that I didn't want one. Not because I don't read, but because I look at a screen all day long and there is something special and unique about holding a book while reading. Nevertheless, I resisted the urge to return it and decided to give it a shot. Now I love it for a number of reasons.      Convenience. …
review by . July 01, 2010
Books at Your Fingertips
The Amazon Kindle is a great electronic reading device. If you like to bring books with you when you travel, but you have a hard time deciding what to bring, the Kindle can help you with this problem. You can take 100's of books with you and can even purchase new books where ever you are. Connecting to the Kindle Store is free and the cost of most books is $9.99 or less.      Some of the other nice features about the Amazon Kindle include the ability to change the text …
review by . June 10, 2010
SO addicted to my Kindle!
Purchasing a Kindle was by far the best decicion I have ever made when it comes to my reading! I love how portable and lightweight it is! I am able to store thousands of books on it and it will always keep my place. If I keep the wireless off, the battery will last me a week or more. I read for hours at a time and this helps me with my carpel tunnel pain as it is easier to hold. I don't have to pry open pages in order to read my current book. I also have hundreds of free books on it, many of …
review by . July 06, 2010
It's been a long time coming for me, but I now has it!      I've been reading books on my phone for some time now.  It's just easier than carrying around hardcovers or making sure I don't spill too much on the paperbacks, which seem to have a magnetic pull towards paper.       Kindle is a great substitute for any other on the go reading medium.  It's easy to load and open books on the device, as well …
review by . June 08, 2010
The Kindle has been the king of the ebook reader market for a couple of years now. Amazon's sheer market force is what helped the kindle succeed as much as it has. Aggressive pricing on ebooks has also helped the adoption of electronic media over physical media.     How did I like using the Kindle? I felt that the screen refreshed slowly and that the device was a bit clumsy for reading books. I must admit that I do not own a kindle, however, I have played with the devices extensively. …
review by . May 11, 2010
I received a Kindle last Christmas and It's been one  enjoyable book after another.  I started off with the :    1) "Count of Monte Christo" (amazing even the3rd time around),    2) "Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789-1815" (long but still interesting),    3) "Wolf Hall: A Novel", Hilary Mantel (very enjoyable, remarkable story of Henry VIII and the one man         who wins …
review by . July 29, 2010
   I got one of these several months ago with the hopes of being able to put a decent amount of school reading on it. The price of an etext compared to a hard copy is much cheaper if you read enough to make the purchase of an ereader worth it and after doing my shopping I think the Kindle is the best. I'm sure an ipad will do the trick too, but I hate Apple products and they seem like more hassle than they are worth to a person like me who is happy with their laptop. Anyway, this product …
Quick Tip by . July 10, 2010
I just don't know what life style this would be usefull for?!?! Just another screen to stare att...
Quick Tip by . July 08, 2010
Ok hate to mess with the experience that is cracking a fresh or antiquated spine but having those words at your finger tips and not the weight of hundreds of books, cheap access to many books, I think we've moved to this as a new chapter.
About the reviewer
Justyn Joe Richardson ()
My name is Justyn Richardson but I go by the name Shoyu - after joining the on-line gaming site, Pogo, I have reverted back to my childhood nickname of Tasteless Joe. I first acquired the name when I … more
Consider the Source

Use Trust Points to see how much you can rely on this review.

You
shoyu1
Your ratings:
rate more to improve this
About this product

Wiki

The Amazon Kindle is mobile device designed for reading electronic books (e-books). The reader was developed by the Amazon.com subsidiary Lab126, and its first incarnation was launched in the United States on November 19, 2007.

The Kindle features an electronic paper display and will download content over Amazon Whispernet using the Sprint EVDO network. Kindle hardware devices can be used without a computer, and Whispernet is accessible without any fee. These devices also provide free internet access to Wikipedia.

On Monday, February 9, 2009, Amazon announced the Kindle 2, which became available for purchase on February 23, 2009 for the price of $359. The new Kindle features improved battery life, 20 percent faster page-refreshing, a text-to-speech option to read the text aloud, and overall thickness reduced from 0.8 to 0.36 inches (9.1 millimetres). The Kindle 2 has 2 GB of internal memory of which 1.4 GB is user-accessible. Amazon estimates that the Kindle 2 will hold about 1500 books. Unlike the original Kindle, Kindle 2 does not have a slot for SD memory cards. To promote the new Kindle, author Stephen King has written a novella called UR, which is available exclusively as a Kindle download.
view wiki

Details

Brand: Amazon

Polls with this product
Apple iPod Touch (32Gig)

Favorite travel gadgets

by

First to Review
© 2014 Lunch.com, LLC All Rights Reserved
Lunch.com - Relevant reviews by real people.
Hi-tech Travel Companions is part of the Lunch.com Network - Get this on your site
()
This is you!
Ranked #
Last login
Member since
reviews
comments
ratings
questions
compliments
lists