Kindle 2 Product Review
Amazon Kindle eBook Reader Review
Amazon Kindle 2
Two years ago the Amazon Kindle was launched and quickly became the number 1 ebook reader. In February, 2009, the Kindle 2 was launched with a little help from one of our favorite authors, Stephen King.
Stephen's take on the Kindle? He said he didn't believe it would replace books, but concluded, "I see it as a complement. I like reading on it just fine. I was surprised at its ease of use. If you can turn on a button and turn a page - it’s really amazing to me. They’ve really done their best to make it easy."
Not a bad endorsement - but let's take a little closer look at the new Kindle 2...
The Kindle's new look is sleek and slim. It's no thicker than an average magazine (0.36-inches) and is light enough (10.2 oz.) for you to hold in one hand for an extended reading period without causing arm fatigue.
The redesigned keyboard resembles what you would see on a cell phone with a QWERTY layout. The round keys with closer spacing makes them much easier to use than the rectangular keys and angled spacing of the Kindle 1.
The e-paper screen, with 16 shades of gray, totally blows away the Kindle 1 - and the competition (The closest competitor, the Sony PRS-700 only has 8 shades). The new screen is much more pleasing to the eye and it really does seem like your reading from paper. Also, just like a real book there is no back light, so it becomes harder to read as it gets darker.
Another new feature is the text-to-speach capability. In other words you can have your book read to you. You have a choice as to a male or female voice, but frankly, it might work all right for a document or newspaper article, I doubt you would want to listen to a book narrated without inflection or feeling.
However, if you like to be read to, the Kindle 2 supports MP3 files as well as Audible audiobooks. So if you're a fan of audiobooks when you're driving or working, or whatever, the multi-media Kindle keeps you covered.
Platform: Linux-based OS (2.6 kernel)
Processor: 532 MHz Freescale ARM-11 CPU
Memory: 2GB moviNAND (1.4GB available for user content)
Display: 6-inch 800x600 e-ink display with 16 shades of grey
Formats supported: Amazon proprietary (AZW), TXT, Mobipocket, PRC, Audible, MP3
Wireless connectivity: 1xRTT/EV-DO (machine-only MVNO on Sprint's wireless network)
Audio: 3.5 mm audio jack, rear-mounted stereo speakers
Size: 8 in x 5.3 in x 0.36 in
Weight: 10.2 oz
Battery: 1530 mAh Li-poly
Warranty: 1-year limited warranty and service
The slimmer, sleeker look, the awesome e-ink display and the more functional and eaiser to use keyboard start off our pros list. Add to that the huge library of tens-of-thousands of eBooks, newspapers, magazines and blogs, the free wireless "Whispernet" data network (no PC needed), 2 GB of internal memory with the capacity to store 1,500 electronic books, adjustable font size, long battery life, displays image files, plays MP3 and AAC audio, the new text-to-speech feature, and the web browser feature which is compatable with both Windows and Mac computers.
Now for the downside - There's no expansion slot for adding more memory or accessing files, Word and PDF documents are not supported and need to be converted (at a cost of 10 cents each) by Amazon, there is no protective carrying case included, the battery is sealed into the device and is not user replaceable, and the 5-way joystick that replaced the scroll nub can become slippery and difficult to use,
The Kindle 2 is not perfect, but it is certainly an impressive piece of technology. Moreover Amazon seems to have thought of everything in order to support the Kindle 2.
The device is backed up with a powerful support system consisting of their "Whispernet" which is a 3G EV-DO connection to a machine-only MVNO run on top of Sprint's high-speed network This provides a nearly constant connection to the Kindle Store which is populated with over 270,000 ebooks, along with magazines, newspapers and blogs.
Amazon retains a significant edge with the Kindle 2. No other eBook reader can offer such expansive wireless connectivity or the amazing assortment of reading material. Its nearest competitor, Sony's PRS-700 Reader, can't come close:
So would I recommend the Kindle 2? Most assuredly! The Kindle 2 delivers an enjoyable experience for anyone who reads, especially those who are voracious readers, love gadgets and like to travel light.
If you love to read as much as I do you really can't go wrong with the Kindle 2. With the combination of features this device offers, I don't believe you'll be disappointed!
Click here for the Amazon Kindle 2 web page.
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