Kindle 2 Reviews
The reviews are starting to come in for the Kindle 2 and most of them are positive. As of today, 2/27/09, there are 302 user reviews – people that actually bought the Kindle 2 and have been using it. Here are the stats:
8/24/09 Update – 5,824 Reviews
As you can see, most reviewers are very happy with their Kindle 2. To read what they have to say, good or bad, go here: Kindle 2 Reviews
Here’s my review of the Kindle 2
First of all, I’d like to say how much I like the look of the Kindle 2. I really think it’s a great looking device as do most people that I’ve talked to. I have, however, read in a few places that people think that it’s ugly but I’m not sure why they think this. Oh well, everyone has their opinion but if you take a look at the pictures I think you’ll agree that it’s a nice looking reader.
Here are the things that I like about the Kindle 2
I like the new page turn buttons. These have definitely improved from the Kindle 1. With the new design I haven’t had an accidental page turn yet and I’ve been using the Kindle quite a bit since I received it a couple weeks ago.
I also like how thin the new Kindle is. It is very light weight and, as it says on the Amazon website, it weighs even less than a typical paperback – about 10.2 ounces.
Another plus is that the battery life is a lot longer than on the K1. I don’t like the fact that there’s no replacement battery but I do like the fact that I rarely have to charge the battery (remember to turn off the wireless when not reading – this saves a lot of the charge).
I love the fact that I can order a book anywhere I’m at (in the U.S.). The other day when I was at my daughter’s dance class, I was checking out some free samples of kindle books and decided to buy one. It was as easy as making one click. This is about as convenient as it can get.
I like the faster page loads also. On the Amazon website it says that the page loads are 20% faster but it feels like more than that. When turning pages, doing searches, or ordering books these tasks are much faster than on the K1.
The 16 shades of gray is also a great improvement over the 4 shades of gray that the K1 had. The images seem much crisper and, I don’t know if it’s just me, but the pages seem to be crisper also which makes reading the Kindle 2 even more like reading a book.
The Text-to-Speech feature is also pretty cool although it may not be available on some books. The computerized voices aren’t nearly as good as listening to an audio book which is read by an actual human but I still like this feature. You can also change the voice between male and female and you can make the reading pace faster or slower. There are some screenshots of the Text-to-Speech feature here (look near the bottom): Text-to-Speech Screenshots
The Kindle 2 can now store over 1,500 books on the device alone. Many people have complained about the lack of an SD card slot for extra storage space but for me, and I think most others, this is more than enough storage space. For those that actually have over 1,500 books, you can still store the extra books that won’t fit on your Kindle 2, on your account over at Amazon.
And now for the things that I don’t like about the Kindle 2
One of the things that I mentioned earlier that I like about the Kindle 2 is that it’s thin and light. While this is true, it still doesn’t feel as comfortable as a regular book when reading it. I solved this problem by getting a cover for my Kindle 2. This makes reading much more comfortable and more like reading a regular paperback book. There are plenty of nice covers available but I ended up getting the Amazon Kindle 2 Leather Cover which I highly recommend. You can check out my review of the cover here: Amazon Kindle 2 Leather Cover Review
I’m not a big fan of the keyboard. I like the fact that there is a keyboard I just don’t like the keyboard buttons. To me they seem too small and too close together. My fingers are not very big at all but when I’m hitting two keys that are close to one another there’s barely any room. For someone with bigger fingers this would be even more of a problem. This may not be an issue with the next generation of Kindle as there are rumors that the Kindle 3 may have touch screen ability which brings up another dislike (kind of) of mine for the Kindle 2.
There is no touch screen ability. This could have actually gone in the things that I do like about the Kindle 2 and here’s why. Although it would be great to have touch screen capability, the technology is not there yet to use touch screen with the e-ink technology and still have the display look as good as it does. Jeff Bezos did address this issue when the Kindle 2 was announced. He mentioned that to have the touch screen would have made the display not as clean and crisp as it is now and that’s why they did not include it on this generation of Kindle. Once they get the technology to get these two things to work together, this will be a great new feature of the Kindle especially since they’ll be able to increase the size of the screen since the keyboard won’t be taking up so much space.
No slot for SD card. I know I mentioned earlier in this review that I don’t mind that there’s no SD card slot but I thought I’d put it here anyway since this is a negative to some people.
The Kindle 2 is not available outside the U.S. For me this is not a problem since I live in the U.S. For many, this is a major problem because, obviously, they don’t live in the U.S. I can’t see this being a problem for too long as I’m sure this device would do great outside the U.S. too. I’m sure Amazon is interested in getting their Kindles to as many people as possible and they may make it available to many others outside the U.S. in the near future.
Overall, I would give the Kindle 2 four and half, maybe five stars. The only thing that is really keeping me from giving it a definite five star rating is the keyboard. I do think it’s a great device and I’m sure that most people that purchase it would agree as evidenced by the Amazon reviews that are mentioned at the top of this page.
For more info and all the details on the Kindle 2 go here: Kindle 2: Amazon’s New Wireless Reading Device