This Kindle 2 review covers the essential pros and cons of the Kindle 2, which you can buy for $299 at Amazon. That page also has 6,000 kindle owners’ reviews.
Kindle 2 Review – Pictures + Video
A short Kindle 2 review video –
For more videos, check out my Kindle 2 Videos page.
Kindle 2 Review – High Points
- WhisperNet and Amazon’s great range of book titles (300K+ titles including 7K+ free public domain books) are still the #1 feature and make the Kindle 2.0 the best eReader available.
- WhisperSync – synchronize across Kindle 1.0, Kindle 2.0, and soon across other mobile devices. Not only can you share books, you can also share the exact position in the book you were/are reading at – pretty cool.
- Read to Me feature. Text to Speech is very cool and should be fun. Note: Amazon has now given publishers the option to turn this off for their titles.
- Its very slim (0.36 inches), and sleeker with a metallic back. Opinion is divided on whether this looks better than Kindle 1 – However, Kindle 2.0 is definitely sleeker.
- 16 level gray scale screen is much sharper than the original Kindle’s 4 shade gray-scale. A few reviewers have been very taken by the improvement in the screen, and I have to admit it looks much better.
- Much better button placement and an end to accidental button clicks. Next page, previous page buttons are smaller, and you have to press them from the inside edge. Holding the kindle by their outside edge does not cause page turns.
- 25% more battery life – This isn’t a plus since it’s balanced out by not being able to replace the battery.
- 2 GB internal storage – This isn’t really a high point though because of the lack of adding more storage severely restricts things.
- Still saving trees.
Kindle 2 Review – Low Points
- Still Expensive at $359.
- Still not pretty. Some people do find it pretty now – Perhaps I’m biased by the plain white color and plain design.
- The lack of a colour screen is another problem I have.
- No Next Gen technology like touch screen. Kindle 2 actually is a little behind in terms of latest screen technology – however, have to admit that touch screen doesn’t really work well with eInk and perhaps not having touch screen is a good decision.
- No International versions. Amazon is majorly missing out on the international markets.
- Lack of a replaceable battery.
- Not being able to upgrade to a new memory card. This is a huge mistake – why would Amazon so severely restrict the flexibility the Kindle offers as a potential storage device for personal files and documents. With an SD card slot I can expand storage infinitely (multiple SD cards) and also transfers to SD cards are easier as Dennis pointed out in the comments.
- There is no cover included. It retails separately for $30. That’s a $30 price increase in a way.
- Still No PDF support – you can email and have PDFs converted – however, that’s a weak solution.
Kindle 2 Review – Overall Recommendation:
- If you don’t own any eReader and can afford $359 – Yes, Buy the Kindle 2. It is the best eReader available on the market now.
- If you don’t own any eReader and can afford $200-$250 – Buy a used Kindle 1. Make sure it still has 6 or more months of warranty left.
- If you own a Kindle 1 – I’m not sure it’s worth an upgrade. Personally, I did buy a Kindle 2 – However, I’d recommend making your own decision.
At Amazon, 529 out of 616 actual Kindle 2 reviews give the Kindle 2 4 stars or 5 stars. That means 86% of the time a Kindle 2 Review from an owner is 4 stars or 5 stars. You can find details at Kindle 2 Reviews from actual owners.
Overall Kindle 2 Review grade –
- A-minus – if you don’t own a Kindle 1. If you love reading, you must get one.
- B – if you already own a Kindle 1. Kindle 2 is an incremental release, not a transformational one.
You can check my Kindle 2 Video Review or the sections below if you are still undecided.
Kindle 2 Review – Areas Kindle 2 Clearly Beats Kindle 1
- Text to Speech (TTS).
- Expanded WhisperNetCoverage. Thanks to Len at Kindle Chronicles for the update. Check the Kindle 2.0 wireless coverage map.
- Powers from USB cable in addition to the charger. Very convenient.
- Instant Dictionary.
Kindle 2 Review – Areas Kindle 1 beats Kindle 2
- Battery Extensibility via extra batteries.
- SD Card – Removing this is a huge mistake.
- Keyboard – I personally like both the layout and look of the original Kindle’s keyboard. A lot of reviews at Amazon talk about the keyboard being not as easy to use.
Kindle 2 Review – Tie between Kindle 2 and Kindle 1
- Looks. A lot of people love the Kindle 2.0’s new slim metallic look. I don’t.
- Range of Books.
Kindle 2 Review – Technical Specifications
- Display: 6″ diagonal E-Ink® electronic paper display, 600 x 800 pixel resolution at 167 ppi, 16-level gray scale.
- Size (in inches): 8″ x 5.3″ x 0.36″.
- Weight: 10.2 ounces.
- System requirements: None, because it doesn’t require a computer.
- Storage: 2GB internal (approximately 1.4GB available for user content).
- Battery Life: Read on a single charge for up to 4 days with wireless on.
- Charge Time: Fully charges in approximately 4 hours and supports charging from your computer via the included USB 2.0 cable.
- Connectivity: EVDO modem with fallback to 1xRTT; utilizes Amazon Whispernet to provide U.S wireless coverage via Sprint’s 3G high-speed data network (check wireless coverage). See Wireless Terms and Conditions.
- USB Port: USB 2.0 (micro-B connector) for connection to the Kindle power adapter or optionally to connect to a PC or Macintosh computer.
- Audio: 3.5mm stereo audio jack, rear-mounted stereo speakers.
- Content Formats Supported: Kindle (AZW), TXT, Audible (formats 4, Audible Enhanced (AAX)), MP3, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively; PDF, HTML, DOC, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP through conversion.
- Included Accessories: Power adapter, USB 2.0 cable, rechargeable battery. Book cover sold separately.
- Documentation: Quick Start Guide(included in box) [PDF]; Kindle 2 User’s Guide(pre-installed on device) [PDF].
- Warranty and Service: 1 year limited warranty and service included. Optional 2 year Extended Warranty sold separately.
I’d recommend the optional 2 year extended warranty. If you’re also interested in a Kindle DX, take a look at my Kindle dx review.
Hopefully, this kindle 2 review helped you decide whether to buy a Kindle 2.