Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Kindle 2: Amazon's New Wireless Reading Device

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Over 230,000 books, newspapers, magazines and blogs

Slim: Just over 1/3 of an inch, as thin as most magazines

Lightweight: At 10.2 ounces, lighter than a typical paperback

Wireless: 3G wireless lets you download books right from your Kindle, anytime, anywhere; no monthly fees, service plans, or hunting for Wi-Fi hotspots

Books in Under 60 Seconds: Get books delivered in less than 60 seconds; no PC required

Improved Display: Reads like real paper; now boasts 16 shades of gray for clear text and even crisper images

Longer Battery Life: 25% longer battery life; read for days without recharging

More Storage: Take your library with you; holds over 1,500 booksFaster Page Turns: 20% faster page turns

Read-to-Me: With the new Text-to-Speech feature, Kindle can read every book, blog, magazine, and newspaper out loud to you

Large Selection: Over 230,000 books plus U.S. and international newspapers, magazines, and blogs available

Low Book Prices: New York Times Best Sellers and New Releases $9.99, unless marked otherwise

Kindle is just over 1/3 of an inch Adjustable text size for comfortable reading

Review by customer:

Portable Public Library..., February 23, 2009 Read 3,288++ customer reviews CLICK!
By Justin Paxton "CLOWNZ IN MY HEAD" (The vast cornfields of the Midwest) -
See all my reviews
By now we all know the routine...purchase a new electronic device, fall in love with it while using it for a year, then watch as the space on your department store shelves becomes stocked with an newer and upgraded version of the same product twelve months later. Is this business tactic insulting to you, the loyal consumer? Well, yes...especially since the latest versions usually cost less than last year's model and have many added features. However, if you've dealt with this out-with-the-old-in-with-the-new corporate mentality before then at least you know what to expect. For those who are new to the game and have purchased a Kindle within the last year, sorry guys. Time to make way for the new. Now before auctioning off your old Kindle in order to help finance the Kindle 2.0 let's consider a few things first. Let's tackle the obvious question on everyone's mind, do you really want to play this game with the economy in shambles? Let's be honest, who wants to splurge on a new electronic toy when next year's new & improved model is just around the corner at a lower price? Don't feel bad if you're rushing through this paragraph like an excited child ignoring an overprotective parent, longing to get to the product highlights, those of us with iPod addictions know exactly how you feel. After heeding my warning about money woes (and promptly ignoring it) we move on to the Kindle 2.0 that beckons hardcore readers like ships to a lighthouse. What's different about this latest edition?
Well, let's compare. The Kindle 2.0 features the following over the original:
- Improved battery life (25% more to be exact)
- 20% faster page refreshing
- A text-to-speech feature which reads books aloud (a topic of early controversy)
- The overall thickness has been reduced to 0.36 inches (9.1 millimeters)
- More storage (now holds roughly 1500 titles instead of just 200 or 1.4 Gigabytes)
- Improved display (clearer reading, less headaches)
- Keep in mind the Kindle 2.0 has done away with any SD memory card slots
- Whispersynch (a new technology that allows you to synch two or more Kindles)
Fair and decent upgrades for sure, are they enough for previous owners of the device to sell off the old to upgrade? Hey, that's not my call. I'm just here to make sure you know the in-and-out of the device comfortably enough to decide for yourself. I can tell you the Kindle 2.0 has gained popularity fast and has sparked some excitement within the writing industry as Stephen King is promoting the device by providing an exclusive electronic novella for the Kindle 2.0 entitled UR, which became available on February 12, 2009. A few things that will be noticeable once you're holding the device in your hands is the way Amazon has approached the somewhat problematic page advance button. The original Kindle sported a long button for turning pages which was very easy to depress, making accidental page-turns frequent and annoying. The Kindle 2.0 has addressed this problem nicely, the page-turn buttons are now much smaller, taking a lot more effort to actually press. Good job Amazon! Minor design changes have also been applied, for example the power switch and headphone jack have been moved to the top of the unit, making for easier access, the wireless power switch is now a toggle option in the menu system, not a physical button, very decent. Odd navigational issues while using the rolling wheel directory button have obviously been taken under consideration as well. The Kindle 2.0 has advanced to a five-way rocker button which is easier to use and solves most of the problems using the interface. Speaking of the interface, the new Kindle interface has also been tweaked for easier access to the onboard dictionary, not really a complete overhaul mind you, but still it's nice to see Amazon working out the awkward snags which leaves users unsure of where to navigate next. If this is your first Kindle device it might take a day or two to learn the ropes, which holds true for any new electronic gizmo. The Kindle 2.0 is not without a few criticisms though. The most popular con among consumers is the absence of a backlight option for night reading, although this would most certainly affect the battery life, many owners are looking to shed the old fashioned clamping book lights for something a little more modern and convenient. Maybe next year, right? Also mentioned amongst most buyers is a desired discount on Kindle books when purchasing the physical copy. Although this isn't a direct complaint on the unit itself, it does have a somewhat negative effect on the way the Kindle is being marketed. Much like the way Sony UMD discs have been widely ignored by PSP owners. Maybe, sometime in the future, Amazon will offer some kind of bundle discount. Again, only time will tell. Some owners have also expressed dislike for the overall length and width of the original Kindle, wanting an inch or two shaved off here and there. The Kindle 2.0 has not done much to accommodate these suggestions from consumers and is roughly the same length and width as it's predecessor . It should also be mentioned that, unlike the original, the new Kindle 2.0 does NOT come with a custom carrying case You'll have to cough up another thirty bucks if you want that thrown in, kind of a low blow to consumers looking to take care of their new toy. As far as technical specifications the Kindle 2.0 uses a 6-inch E-Ink display at 600 x 800 pixels. The device measures 8 inches long, 5.3 inches wide, and a pencil thin 0.36 inches in depth, weighing in at a mere 10.2 ounces the device has no system requirements because a computer is not necessary to run the device but does come equipped with a USB port for optional computer connecting...and yes it is compatible with a Mac too. The Kindle 2.0 boasts a two week battery life with the wireless turned off and 4 days with the wireless turned on, making readers comfortable knowing a single charge is more than enough time to finish whatever book they're reading. How much time does it take to fully charge the battery? About 4 hours. In order to accommodate the text-to-speech feature the Kindle 2.0 has a 3.5mm stereo jack and rear-mounted stereo speakers.
The device supports the following file types :
- (AZW)
- Audible (formats 4, Audible Enhanced (AAX)
- MP3
- unprotected MOBI
- PRC natively
through conversion What accessories are included with the Kindle 2.0? I'm glad you asked.
- A Power adapter
- USB 2.0 cable
- Rechargeable battery
- Documentation (Paperwork)
- Kindle 2.0 User's Guide (pre-installed on device)
- 1 year warranty (and optional 2 year extended warranty for the truly paranoid)

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