Kindle 2 reviews – actual Kindle 2 reviews from owners

This post is for You to get ACTUAL Kindle 2 reviews – after searching Amazon for reviews from actual owners, reviews from booksummit and other sources of real reviews, here is a list of pros and cons from actual owners.

At Amazon, 529 out of 616 actual Kindle 2 owners give the Kindle 2 4 stars or 5 stars. That means 86% of Kindle 2 owners are very happy with it. Details at my post on Kindle 2 Reviews from owners. That post has the numbers, and this post covers what they actually wrote down.

When you get your Kindle 2, please chime in with your review and thoughts to help give people a clearer picture.

Kindle 2 Review – Pros of the Kindle 2

Here are pros from actual Kindle 2 owners. Also, do see the section on ways in which Kindle 2 has improved over Kindle 1 -

  1. The Kindle 2 disappears in your hand as you read it. Its a very non-intrusive device.  
  2. You read a lot more with the Kindle. And for some people reading is quicker.
  3. Instant downloads. Much, much better than even next day shipping. Or driving over to a store and buying something.
  4. Kindle Store is easy to navigate and purchase from. You can write book reviews from Kindle 2.
  5. Weight and Size are a complete non-issue and you can read anywhere and in any posture. You can read for a long time without getting hand cramps or discomfort.
  6. You can read it with one hand.
  7. So much better to hold a Kindle 2 than a paperback or even a hardback.
  8. Looks good as it is thin and sleek.
  9. The screen is great and does not cause any eye strain like computer screens do.
  10. You can change font size anytime.
  11. Purchasing books is easy – just 1 click. Books reach you in 15-60 seconds.
  12. People have had very good experiences overall with Amazon customer service.
  13. A user had this to say -

    Congratulations, Amazon. You’ve just invented the equivalent of the iPhone for e-books.

  14. On-board dictionary you can access without even leaving the book page you are on.  
  15. Very intuitive to use Kindle 2.
  16. You do not have to be tech-savvy to use it and master it.
  17. Absolutely great for people with low vision that had to rely on only Large Print Books.
  18. You can download a single issue of a newspaper or magazine for just 50 cents to a dollar.
  19. Books now have a Book Description option that let you read the back cover.
  20. Easier to read newspapers on Kindle 2 than folding, re-folding and working wtih a large newspaper.
  21. Do not have to cut down trees.

Kindle 2 Review – Cons of the Kindle 2

Cons of the Kindle 2 from actual Kindle 2 Owners -

  1. No support for folders. This was the biggest complaint.
  2. The improvements over Kindle 1 are incremental. 
  3. No native support for PDF files. 
  4. No support for Word files.
  5. No SD Card slot and storage canèt be expanded.
  6. If the battery stops working you have to send it to Amazon to have it replaced for $59.
  7. No cover is included and has to be bought separately.  
  8. Keyboard is tough to use – actually Kindle 1 keyboard was better. A surprisingly large number of people had problems with the keyboard.
  9. The experimental web browser is not very good.
  10. No back-light – though to be fair, the back-light really would mess up the screen readability.  
  11. No sudoku or crossword puzzles. Only time killer is minesweeper.
  12. Having a single My Clippings file which is not easy to edit (must connect to PC).

I’m sure there will be some problems. To Be Updated with Actual Owner Reviews as they come in.

Thoughts from Kindle 1 + Kindle 2 owners on the Kindle 2

Here is what owners of Kindle 1 who upgraded to Kindle 2 (at a rather expensive $359 cost) think of it -

  1. Sleeker look and feel. Very thin.
  2. Kindle 2 owners greatly prefer the 5 way button as it has options to go Left and Right. A significant number of people thought the navigation and usability was hugely better.
  3. Sharper screen. 16 shades of gray means that photos display much better.
  4. No accidental page turns.
  5. Faster processor means faster searches and faster everything else.
  6. Better navigation within newspapers and articles since you can jump to the next article from within an article.
  7. Managing your books is much easier. You can download archived books straight to the Kindle 2.
  8. Dictionary is much improved.
  9. For the most part users felt page refreshes were faster. Opinion was divided between only slightly so and significantly faster.
  10. Kindle doesn’t fall out of the case.
  11. Progress bar includes a percentage read number.
  12. Better placement of power button.
  13. Slightly improved menus.
  14. The loss of the ability to replace batteries is a bad one.
  15. Not having a SD card slot sucks.
  16. Kindle 2 keyboard is tougher to use than Kindle 1 keyboard.

The overall opinion seems to be -

  1. Kindle 2 is the best eBook reader and worth the money.  
  2. To stick with Kindle 1 unless you have the money to pay for a Kindle 2 which is better in a lot of ways without having any huge improvements over Kindle 1.
  3. I would add – make sure you do want an eBook Reader as Kindle 2 is not a multi-purpose device.

Do factor in all the pros and cons of the Kindle 2 as you decide whether to buy a Kindle 2. You can also check out my own review and thoughts on Kindle 2.0 – Kindle 2.0 Review – Should You buy a Kindle 2.0?

20 Responses

  1. Gizmodo has a good side by side comparison here: http://gizmodo.com/5149634/kindle-2-first-hands-on

    Lots of side by side pictures… I didn’t realize the silver side bar (sparklemotion?) was gone in the 2.0.

    The gist of the review says it is more of a version 1.1 than a 2.0. All the “experimental’ stuff is still experimental (how can an MP3 player be experimental?). Web browsing still clumsy.

    And of course… they note the lack of an SD card reader and you have to send it back to Amazon when the battery goes bad.

    I know I know… I am not helping you gin up the hype on this thing… but there is very little to get excited about and lots to be rather disappointed in.

  2. Amazon has some great engineers to think of something as useful and creative as the kindle but they really need to get a better design team. The new one looks worse than the old one I think. They truly have a great product if they could just make it look more like the high tech gadget that it is.

  3. I don’t know that the hype needs any ginning up but I’ve always found things here pretty objective, with a nice mix of reasoned opinions on how Amazon can make their product and service better.

    On the topic of reviews, I was really discouraged earlier today to see how unbalanced the (then) dozen write-ups were (lots of low-star reviews written by people who had gripes about things other than the device itself), or the fact that there were any reviews at all about something nobody had even held yet. I give much more credence to Gizmodo’s hands-on, but still look forward to reading the rest of the reactions and will be glad to have them parsed out.

  4. My remarks about “gin up the hype” was tongue in cheek. I was just busting the blog owner’s chops so to speak. I didn’t mean anything bad by it.

    Second, I personally give the Kindle 2 a bad review because it doesn’t really seem ‘better’. There was a lot of hype but in the end it isn’t all that exciting and in some ways it is a step back. One can simply read the specs from Amazon to see that this thing isn’t much better than the Kindle 1. I don’t see where I need to buy one before knowing it simply isn’t a very good deal.

    I dunno… maybe 16 shades of grey is exciting. I don’t see how because as Bezos said this is primarily for reading books (which are mostly text). Maybe the lack of an SD card is no biggie but for me it is. I have a lot of PDF tech books converted over and they take up much more than 2Gb.

    It is odd you complained about the negative reviews regarding the Kindle 2. The reviews I have seen were not negative… they just weren’t positive.

    Take for example CNet’s review titled “What’s new about the Kindle 2? Not a whole lot” at http://news.cnet.com/8301-13577_3-10159612-36.html

    They pretty much layout that this thing is more of a 1.1 than a 2.0. I know I haven’t touched a Kindle 2 yet but I probably won’t given their specs. Any reasonable person would not upgrade to this thing.

    And that leaves me with one last comment… I am starting to wonder if half of the blogs on the Internet about the Kindle aren’t some form of Bezo funded hype machine.

    I am not saying THIS site is… but I will say that some others are just plain nuts. They speak of the Kindle like it is a magical device that does such wonderous things.

    Having owned ebook reader software for the Pocket PC and for regular PC’s for MANY years I can attest that the Kindle isn’t THAT exciting a product. It is useful… but it really only does one thing for a pretty hefty price (Adobe eBook reader on my PPC was much better IMHO).

    How some people act over this capabilities that I have been used to for 5-7 years is somewhat embarrassing to read..

    I like the Kindle 1.0 ok.. but I can’t see spending $359 or even $259 for one again.

  5. I hear that! The expense thing is a biggie, and understandably so. I didn’t mean the negative reviews in the general press, just the customer reviews on the Amazon site itself.

    I read the Gizmodo thing and it was certainly lukewarm like you said. I’m personally disappointed by the lack of SD card and the boring design. Whereas the old version’s form seems to have hampered it’s function, now it’s the opposite.

  6. we’re all on the same page.

    my main kindle 2 review has this line in there –
    ” 3.If you own a Kindle 1.0 – I’m not sure it’s worth an upgrade. ”

    I’m hoping we can create a very clear picture of what the Kindle 2 is, and isn’t, and thus help people make a smart decision.
    My allegiance is with current and future kindle owners :)

  7. Seriously, can this thread be left alone for ACTUAL reviews from owners?!?! This blather can be read anywhere.

  8. I love it …EXCEPT….the promised (albiet slower) connection for those of us Kindle 1 owners in Montana…DOESNT WORK…i upgraded mainly for this reason…its very frustration

    • Am I understanding correctly that the Kindle 2’s expanded whispernet doesn’t really work in Montana as promised? If that is what you are saying, that’s really unfortunate. You really should contact Kindle customer support – calling 1-866-321-8851 or via email at kindle-cs-support@amazon.com.

  9. i called 3 times…told it is being worked on..that i should have a signal… nothing so far. no signal, no call back, no email… just frustration

  10. [...] can check out my extended post on actual Kindle 2 reviews for later updates including coverage on the 1st 600 or so Kindle 2 [...]

  11. [...] these details helped you decide whether to buy Kindle 2. You could also look at my compilation of Kindle 2 Reviews and Insights based on actual Kindle 2 owner [...]

  12. [...] negative reviews make you unhappy? I was really happy after going through and updating my post on Kindle 2 reviews from actual owners (I covered both pros and cons). Now, after half an hour of reading 1 star reviews and all the [...]

  13. I have to say reading these reviews has frightened me a little. I decided last night, a little spur the moment, to purchase the Kindle 2. It looked absolutely amazing, and while it is expensive I was willing to overlook that because the capabilities of the device seemed worth it. Now reading these reviews I feel pretty foolish for buying it. Is it really that bad? Yes most of you did outline Pro’s and Con’s, but mostly harped on the negative aspects. It seems maybe that were expectations that were too high and the 2.0 didn’t live up to them, but I think it is still an improvement from the 1.0 and still a wonderful device. I just feel like I might have made a mistake now based on these reviews. I think I’ll just have to wait till Tuesday When it comes and find out then. Let’s hope it isn’t as bad as most of you say it is.

  14. Lauren – I’ve thought about it a little bit and I don’t see what you see. Most of the reviews from actual owners of Kindle 2 are 4 star and 5 star reviews. I’m going to dig deeper and come up with exact numbers. However, I do feel you are unduly concerned.

  15. Lauren,

    The only negative reviews I read here were from me and from the guy in Montana.

    I am not a Kindle 2 owner but a Kindle 1. My ‘beef’ with the Kindle2 is that they took away some things I like on the Kindle 1. From my point of view it is a waste of money to consider upgrading.

    However If you are a new owner you won’t know what you are missing. Also I assume that the Kindle 2 will be as reliable as the Kindle 1 which is good.

    You will probably be very happy with your purchase if you get one.

    Sorry all I wasn’t going to post here after Fred said ‘shut up’ but I wanted to clear the air with Lauren over this.

  16. I did not owned the Kindle 1. Never heard of it until Kindle 2. Read lots and lots about the Kindle 2 and decided to try it. First one came 2 days early and I was disappointed. Screen was very dark. They said it should simulate a book page or piece of paper….well it didn’t. Difficult to read unless under a bright light. Called customer service and they were very helpful and totally thought I had a bad Kindle. Sent another next day air and guess what. Same screen. I knew I would not use it based on the screen alone. Too bad, I travel a lot. Sent them both back.

    Another issue I had but haven’t read others with the problem is the page turning. The flashing incited a headache and was very distracting to me. Maybe I’d get use to it or maybe not. I’ll wait for Kindle 3.

  17. I own a Kindle 1
    Thinking about getting the Kindle 2
    What a lot of prior owners don’t seem to realize is you can sell your Kindle 1 for about $250 – $300 so the upgrade cost is only about $100 to get the Kindle 2 when all is said and done.

    So many seem bothered about the lack of a memory card expansion slot. Yet it holds 1,500 books now as opposed to the 200 books. PLUS you can delete those books downloaded from Amazon and reload them at any time as they keep your history of books online. Or store the extras on your computer and swap out what you need via USB cable. I mean, if you need more than 1,500 books in your library, then you have money to burn, so buy a second Kindle. I am sure the cost of 1500 books far outweighs the cost of a second Kindle… and think of all the space you will save on your book shelves.

    The added greyscale is great for me as I like Manga Comics and the added detail is really going to help. Based on stories I have read color Kindle screens will be more like 2011 at the earliest. They exist, but are more expensive to produce. Why no touch screen Kindle to flip the pages? In the Sony version, which uses the same screen as the Amazon Kindle, you need an added layer over the kindle screen to put the touch elements in. Supposedly this extra layer cuts down on the visual quality of the page.

    The battery not being removable? Um, I figure I won’t be too far from a plug any time soon. So if the battery after several years starts giving me problems I can stand plugging my kindle in every other day instead of every other week due to the battery not holding such a long charge. I also figure there will be companies out there locally to me by then that can replace the battery same day just by dropping it off. Or I will have upgraded by then.

    Main reasons I would upgrade to the Kindle 2, seems odd for such simple reasons but I would love not having pages accidentally flip and a case where the Kindle is secure and wont slip out. Less likely to break that way. Yet at the same time, if it works better and makes my reading experience less cumbersome so I can enjoy the reading then I will do it.

  18. PS. To my thoughts above. I forgot to mention the other reason for my upgrading. The technology has improved on the Kindle 2 that I can now type in notes and other stuff 200 letters a minute. In real books I love to write comments in my books and highlight stuff, I even dog-ear my pages (gasp!) so this really improves my being able to do all that quickly and easily. I could do it in Kindle 1, but it is pokey.

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