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Kindle 2 Review

May 2, 2009

kindle-2-with-pencilThanks to Glue, I’ve been the proud owner of a Kindle 2 for two weeks now.  It was love at first sight and the love affair continues.  I’ve only read one book on it, so I’m probably not qualified to give a full review, but I have played with it a lot.  These are my thoughts on it so far:

User’s Guide

  • The User’s Guide is on the Kindle.  This can be good and bad.  Good because you’ll never lose it, but bad if you’re trying to follow some steps in the directions.  I had to write the directions down to delete bookmarks because I couldn’t remember them long enough to get it done.  This may not be a problem for others.

Obtaining books

  • Downloading books was a snap!  When my Kindle first arrived, I registered it and tied it to an Amazon account.  Then all I had to do was go to the Kindle store, pick a book and buy it.  It was on my Kindle within a minute.  You can also subscribe to magazines and newspapers through the Kindle, but so far, I’ve resisted the temptation.
  • Books in .pdf format can be emailed to the Kindle.  Each Kindle has it’s own email address and it will only accept email from addresses you’ve authorized.  This was quick and simple too.  (You can also email some personal documents to the Kindle, but I haven’t tried that yet.)
  • Not all books are available for the Kindle.  I think this is more of a problem for older titles.
  • Most titles are cheaper than the paper version of the same book.
  • You can listen to audio books on the Kindle, but they have to be transferred via USB cable.
  • You can only purchase books for the Kindle through Amazon.

Display image

  • The display image is crisp.
  • You can change font size any time you want – there are 6 different sizes to choose from.
  • A scrolling display across the bottom of the screen keeps track of your progress, letting you know what percentage of the book you’ve read.
  • The Kindle does not have backlighting, so you have to use a booklight if you want to read in a dark area.  There are several made just for it.

Features

  • There is a dictionary on Kindle.  If you want to know the definition of a word, all you have to do is place the cursor next to the word and the definition appears at the bottom of the screen.
  • The Kindle remembers where you stopped reading and bookmarks the page for you.
  • You can highlight passages and take notes and they will be saved under “My Clippings”.
  • The Kindle’s software updates automatically.
  • You can get on the internet with the Kindle.  You can’t get onto sites that require a password and it’s a slow connection, but looking things up can be handy at times.
  • The battery life seems to be good.  It lasts longer with the wireless feature turned off.  I did have to re-charge the battery part-way through reading my first book, but we had played with the Kindle a lot for several days beforehand.

Controls

  • There are “Next Page” buttons on both sides – the “Prev Page” button is only on the left hand side.
  • Two small speakers are on the back of the Kindle – I haven’t used them for anything yet, so I can’t attest to their quality.
  • The “Home” button takes you to your home page which lists all of the items on the Kindle, including the User’s Guide, Books, My Clippings, Dictionary and Archived Items.  (Archived Items are items you’ve bought from Amazon, but have deleted from your Kindle.  They are always available for you to re-install.)
  • A 4 way “D” pad allows you to move the cursor to highlight passages or define a word.  You push the “D” pad to select an item.
  • There is a small Qwerty keypad at the bottom to enter book titles or notes.  You wouldn’t want to do a lot of typing with it.

Everything else

  • The Kindle 2 does not come with a cover.  There are many covers  and accessories for sale on Amazon.
  • My reading experience on the Kindle was very pleasant – not having pages to flip did not take away from the book for me.
  • The Kindle 2 is thin and measures approximately 8 inches by 5 ¼ inches so it is very portable.
  • You can store approximately 1500 books on a Kindle 2.

If I left out any questions you have, please let me know!

47 Comments leave one →
  1. May 2, 2009 6:31 am

    Glad that you are loving your new toy! So far I am not tempted in the least. I think I am an old school book lover. I have been trying a few audiobooks and that is going well, so who knows, I may have a kindle sooner than I expect.

  2. May 2, 2009 7:33 am

    I don’t think I’ll purchase one, but definitely think it’s a cool toy! I don’t like the idea that it doesn’t have a backlight or a cover, but I guess that is common for small electronics (iPod, cell phones, etc.). How are the audiobooks added? Is it from imported books that are stored in iTunes or do you have to purchase them from the Kindle store?

    • May 2, 2009 7:54 am

      Audio books are added from your computer via USB cable. I haven’t tried it but the process sounds simple.

  3. May 2, 2009 8:21 am

    All I can say is that if you ever tire of this technological monstrosity, I suppose I would begrudgingly take it off your hands… LOL!

  4. May 2, 2009 8:44 am

    Someday I wish to have a Kindle. Right now it is not very affordable for me.

    BTW, everything distils into reading is my new blog. Please do visit it, subscribe to it or follow it! Do help me spread the word.

  5. May 2, 2009 9:50 am

    I’m so glad you LOVE it! My girlfriend and I were talking about getting them the other day. May have to now that I hear how easy and convenient it is. Thanks for the thorough review!

  6. May 2, 2009 10:30 am

    This is a great summary post!

  7. May 2, 2009 10:50 am

    Kathy, this post is a GREAT overview! I like the idea of the Kindle as an option, not a replacement for actual books. Thanks for posting your thoughts!

  8. stacybuckeye permalink
    May 2, 2009 10:52 am

    I’m so glad that you like it!
    Just so you know, you can probably get books for free from your library. For my library if you have a library card you can download books for free from HOME! If you call or ask the next time you are in they could tell you if it is possible for you in your state. Ohio has a statewide site for all libraries, I don’t know about SC.

  9. May 2, 2009 12:17 pm

    Great review, Kathy. I’m glad you like it!

  10. May 2, 2009 1:00 pm

    I’m so glad you like it! I still want one!

  11. May 2, 2009 1:15 pm

    I think they’re so cool, but I’m just not sure about them. I’ve just now got around to audiobooks, so maybe there’s hope for me eventually. I know the Kindle would be a lot more tempting if the publishers offered us bloggers Kindle compatible downloads of ARC’s. It would be pretty neat to be able to access the ARC right away and not have to wait for the mailman. (But I’d miss the Mailbox excitement!)

  12. May 2, 2009 3:07 pm

    Thanks Kathy for this review. I have bookmarked this page. I’m also sending this link to my husband. He and I are both ‘lusting’ after a Kindle. Problem is we will have to buy two or it will be a big conflict as to who gets to use it now.

  13. May 2, 2009 3:14 pm

    Great review…. I want one.. I like also that if I am reading and I have to hop in the car it can read the book back to me. I have heard various opinions of the reading.. it isn’t like an audio book.. it is a computer voice. I can’t wait to hear what you think of that.

    I guess I am trying to justify or see if I can justify the expensive of this spendy little toy… (oh how I want one sooooo bad)

    I mean I am slowly running out of places to keep books.. that seems like a good reason to get the kindle.. the page turning and the whole concept is really up my alley… I am allergic to newsprint so this might just be perfect for me to actually plan some newspaper reading time for me…. like in a coffee shop or on my lunch break.

    I am just trying to see if I break the bank to get one… will I like it….there are some other readers out there a little less expensive.

    hummmm.. I have been waiting for this review.. woo hooo

    Just some thoughts… thanks for the review.

  14. May 2, 2009 3:18 pm

    What a great review, Kathy. I’d love to get one but they don’t have a Canadian version yet.

    I have an award for you here!

  15. May 2, 2009 3:45 pm

    Do you know if conflict coltan is at all used in the production of the Kindle? (just kidding, but it IS a question I have!)

    • May 2, 2009 4:56 pm

      I couldn’t find an answer to this question, so I’ll say, I hope not.

    • October 3, 2011 3:38 pm

      sadly the answer is yes. I suggest if anybody is interested in buying a kindle then do so second hand. It’s a compromise but at least you are not contributing to the financing of Congolese military who in turn rape an average of 1100 women DAILY. Many are killed in the process. Our consumer habits can aid this violence or bring it to an underfunded slowdown. Every purchase aids a horrible action. I am looking for a kindle, too. And I think even second hand is not a great option, but an awkward compromise.
      I always recommend: be mindful in consuming. (my house rule: don’t even look at the cheap bananas or cheap chocolate or cheap coffee : those ALWAYS Fair Trade. If possible Organic). Good shopping practice becomes an audible voice, it’s the best hope for a positive change in the future that we have..

  16. May 2, 2009 4:13 pm

    Great review.

    If you had the choice of buying a paperback or downloading a kindle version, and the price was the same for both, which would you do?

    • May 2, 2009 4:57 pm

      Right now, I would probably buy the Kindle version because it takes up no space and my Kindle is still so new!

  17. May 2, 2009 6:04 pm

    Wow that thing sounds neat!!!

  18. May 2, 2009 6:30 pm

    I now have kindle envy!!!

  19. May 2, 2009 6:31 pm

    Great review, Kathy. It’s really interesting to know what a truly dedicated reader thinks of the Kindle 2. (I’ve read some of the reviews on Amazon, of course, but I know that you read and read a lot, whereas I don’t really know the reading habits of most of the reviewers on Amazon. If that makes sense at all.)

  20. May 2, 2009 8:42 pm

    Great Review Kathy. I am so happy you are loving your new toy and that the love affair is still going strong. Nothing like that yet in Canada. I don’t see me buying it in the near future so I will have to try and win one. 🙂

  21. May 2, 2009 10:20 pm

    I want, I want, I want! I think I’ll pass on a new laptop this summer and buy a Kindle instead. It will get used more!
    Lezlie

  22. May 2, 2009 10:43 pm

    So glad to hear that you are still loving your Kindle. It’s intersesting to read about how it works. I would love a Kindle but it’s not in the budget now. I would prefer my own laptop first.

  23. May 2, 2009 10:56 pm

    I thought this was very cool that someone I “knew” won this! Thanks for all the info – my husband actually had heard of this somewhere and was asking me about it (he is not much of a reader.)

  24. May 2, 2009 11:18 pm

    Good job! And I just want to make sure you know about these two sites where you can get FREE books for your Kindle!

    http://manybooks.net/
    http://freekindlebooks.org/

    There might be more out there but these are two I know about and use.

    And yes… I have the same problem with the user manual!

  25. May 3, 2009 5:35 am

    So glad you love it! This is a really great post. It’s nice to see what another book lover feels about it not on Amazon where the reviews are sometimes suspect. I can’t get one now because of where I live, but maybe someday.

  26. May 3, 2009 8:32 am

    Kathy, I’m about nine weeks in with my Kindle 2 and the love affair continues 🙂 Given the choice between pb and Kindle book, hands down my pick it the K book.

    An aside, I get so annoyed when reading a regular book and come upon a word I don’t know and can’t get an immediate definition. Lazy? Maybe, but I prefer to say I’m getting used to reading “different”. Still love books but I really love my Kindle.

  27. May 3, 2009 11:29 am

    Super review post. I am soooo undecided. I would love to win one, of course, but I wish there were a universal technology so I could use the same device to read downloadable books from the library and from non-Amazon sites. If I win tomorrow from Glue, I won’t be sending the Kindle back though!

  28. May 3, 2009 12:19 pm

    It almost sounds appealing now! 🙂

  29. thekoolaidmom permalink
    May 3, 2009 12:52 pm

    I am so utterly green with envy it’s not even funny! :-p But then again, if all my books were stored in my Kindle, then I’d no longer be “In the Shadow of Mt. TBR 😉 because the bookcase next to me would be empty.

  30. May 3, 2009 2:01 pm

    I posted an accessories list over at Bellasnovella I thought you might want to check out.

    http://www.bellasnovella.com/2009/05/accessories-for-kindle.html

  31. May 3, 2009 2:08 pm

    you’ve got me frothing for a kindle…and i didn’t think i wanted one!! thanks. hee hee.

  32. May 3, 2009 5:23 pm

    What a great post. I’m glad you’re loving your Kindle! The info you gave is so helpful and appreaciated. Thanks so much.

  33. May 3, 2009 9:03 pm

    It’s great to read a reivew from someone we ‘know’ and trust. Now I could go look, but I’m lazy tonight. How much are books to download?

    • May 3, 2009 9:30 pm

      Most new books are $9.99, but some are more expensive. Older books are generally less expensive.

  34. May 4, 2009 9:03 am

    Thanks for the review. I have been wanting one for awhile. I never thought I would want one. But after reading about it. My view changed. But the price doesn’t appeal to me right now. Maybe like everything else the price will be lowered. The other thing I am not sure that the price will stay at 9.99.
    After the kindle catches on, Amazon may increase the price. I would like to see it on the market first before going out to buy one. If it was free like you go bought one. I probably would invest and try it out.
    But until it gets all the quirks out like to night light. The price of the book stays the same I will stay with the written word. But my son would love it because I am running out of room. The Kindle would be good for storage. But, like I said to my son I am not getting rid of the books I have. I don’t know if the publishers will ever give us digital books instead of the printed word. Who knows what the future holds for the Kindle and the printed word.

  35. May 4, 2009 12:39 pm

    What a great review! I didn’t know you could send pdf files to the kindle – I would actually think about buying it because of that. I have quite a few pdf books. . . 🙂

    ~ Wendi

  36. May 4, 2009 3:13 pm

    Wow, great review, very good information to have. My husband has his eye on one of these and I’ll be referring him to this post for questions!

  37. May 4, 2009 9:47 pm

    Glad to hear you love your new toy. I hope to get one at some point, but I want a laptop first. 😉

    –Anna

  38. May 5, 2009 10:39 pm

    Congrats on winning a Kindle 2! I’ve been a proud owner of the Kindle 1 since Dec 2007. I ❤ my Kindle!

    Do you subscribe to this blog? You should! Tons of free Kindle books all the time!

  39. May 7, 2009 2:43 pm

    I’m glad Kindle found a nice, supportive home. Knowing how much you read, though, it probably should have come with an expanded memory for 15,000 books.

  40. May 9, 2009 9:26 pm

    Congrats on your wonderful new companion! May you enjoy it for many years to come.

  41. May 14, 2009 12:08 am

    Great review and congrats again on your Glue win. We bought my mom a Kindle for her birthday and it’s been like pulling teeth for her to do a guest review for me.

  42. September 3, 2010 12:29 am

    I knew I wanted a netbook and purchased one before my Kindle. I tried reading from it, but it really did hurt the eyes after awhile. I tried changing the contrast (light text on dark background), but it didn’t really help for long hours of reading.

    When I got my Kindle I realized how much BETTER e-ink is for reading. Still really like my netbook, for the tasks I use it for, but reading is not one of those tasks. If someone ever came out with a netbook with a dual capability screen (e-ink/LCD), THEN I might consolidate to one device. But I really do like my Kindle.

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