Review of Kindle 2 with Video

It’s been 2 weeks and 2 days since I got my Kindle 2 and after reading through 4 full books I absolutely LOVE IT!   Here’s a comprehensive Kindle 2 review and a kindle 2 video review. 

It’ll help you get a very good idea of whether you ought to buy a Kindle  2 and the videos show the screen very well.

Kindle 2 Review – What It Looks Like

The Kindle 2 is a good looking device -

  1. The white color looks a bit plain – however, it makes it easy for the Kindle 2 to fade into the background and the book you’re reading to take center-stage.
  2. Kindle 2 is very, very thin.
  3. The keyboard is tiny – tiny buttons, tiny lettering.
  4. The Next Page and Prev Page buttons have been modified so there are no longer accidental page-turns.
  5. The back is now polished metal – however, the battery is non-replaceable.

Here’s a video of what the Kindle 2 looks like –

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Kindle 2 -  What the Screen Looks Like

A lot of discussions have focused on the Screen and my thoughts are -

  1. Its very readable.  
  2. The background is very light grey and not white, and the text is dark grey and not black.
  3. If you have eye problems and need high contrast black on white – it won’t work. If your eye-sight issues are related to font size it works very well. 
  4. The six font sizes make for a great feature and allow even people with low eye-sight to read.

Here’s a video showing the contrast and comparing it with a paperback and a hardcover book –

. There’s a video showing font sizes below.

What Reading a Book on the Kindle 2 is like

Reading a book on Kindle 2 is -

  1. Very enjoyable. I find it a bit faster than reading an actual book.  
  2. Much, much more enjoyable than reading on a computer screen.  
  3. Does not tire your eyes.
  4. The 6″ screen size is a little smaller than ideal – 8″ or 9″ would work much better. One out of Kindle 3 and KindleText is going to have a 9.7′ screen.
  5. The ability to change font sizes makes things very enjoyable.
  6. Read To Me is a good feature. Do note that now its up to publishers on whether to allow the feature or not. 
  7. Kindle 2 fades into the background.
  8. Page refreshes are relatively quick.

Kindle 2 Review – My 10 Favorite Features 

  1. Ability to buy books instantly.
  2. Light weight and thin Kindle 2 is convenient to carry around and hold in your hand. Also, reading with one hand is easy.  
  3. Changeable Font Sizes.  
  4. Using Read To Me Text To Speech feature to let the Kindle 2 read to me.  
  5. Battery life – it goes on forever, especially if you turn off the wireless. 
  6. Free Internet Access and Free Wikipedia Access (not in Canada though so I’m missing this).
  7. It fades into the background.  
  8. I’m reading much more – In 2 weeks I’ve read 4 full books and snippets of a  lot of other books.  
  9. Most books’ Kindle Editions are cheaper than print editions. I don’t buy any Kindle books over $9.99.
  10. 16 levels of grey-scale makes for much clearer pictures.

Here’s a video of changeable Font Sizes –

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Kindle 2 – Good Features

  1. 86% of Kindle 2 owners love it - check my post on Kindle 2 Reviews from actual owners.
  2. Whispernet coverage is extended to more areas, and you can buy books instantly over WhisperNet.  
  3. WhisperSync which lets you read across different devices.  
  4. Kindle for iPhone App to let you read on your iPhone or iTouch.
  5. 2 GB Internal storage. 
  6. Saves Trees.
  7. MP3 songs can be played in the background.
  8. Powers from USB cable in addition to charger. So you can charge it from your PC or laptop.

Kindle 2 – Things I Wish Get Improved in Kindle 3.

This is not a wish-list for Kindle 3. Its just things that need to be improved based on my Kindle 2 review experience -

  1. A better keyboard – the keys are tiny and difficult to read and press.
  2. Improved navigation – the 5 way controller is useful. However, its slow and a touchscreen or better navigation is desperately needed.
  3. Folders – The ability to organize content into folders.
  4. SD Card slot to let you add more storage.
  5. Ability to work well with non-linear content i.e. newspapers, web pages, etc.

Kindle 2 – Software/Firmware Updates that ought to be done.

  1. Improve screen contrast by letting people choose ‘Read in Bold’ option, and also turn off anti-aliasing for the 2 smallest sized fonts.  
  2. Allow 3rd party applications.  
  3. Put in support for Folders.

Should You Buy a Kindle 2?

Based on the 2 weeks of owning and using a Kindle 2, you should definitely buy a Kindle 2 if you fall into one of these categories -

  1. Love to read books.  
  2. Travel a lot.  
  3. Commute to work everyday with a longer than 30 minutes trip.
  4. Want to read more books than you currently do.  BTW, it makes a great gift if you want to encourage kids to read more.  
  5. Are running out of space for books or are tired of moving with lots of books.

The Read To Me feature also makes it great for when you’re driving. However, it’s now up to Publishers to enable or disable this feature for their books and they might turn it off.

You can see a whole bunch of Kindle 2 Videos and video reviews of features at the Kindle 2 Video Page. Since Kindle 2 isn’t available at any store this is a good way to figure out what you’ll be getting.

You can find a longer list of Pros and Cons, and additional data like Comparisons with Kindle 1 at my detailed Kindle 2 Review post.

Kindle 2 Technical Specifications

And finally, the 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. Turn wireless off and read for up to two weeks. Battery life will vary based on wireless usage, such as shopping the Kindle Store and downloading content. In low coverage areas or in 1xRTT only coverage, wireless usage will consume battery power more quickly.

Charge Time: Fully charges in approximately 4 hours and supports charging from your computer via the included USB 2.0 cable.

Connectivity: EVDOmodem 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 Warrantysold separately.

I hope the Kindle 2 Review helped you and congrats on reaching the end ;) .

16 Responses

  1. You do such a GREAT job with this blog. Thank you for providing such great information!

    Tami

  2. Why doesn’t Kindle have ability to read in the dark too. That is the only thing keeping me from getting it. does anyone know if future versions will have it? What about colored illustrations?

    • Barbara, the Kindle 2 doesn’t have lighting and probably won’t anytime soon. This is because having an in-built light affects the readability of the screen. Sony had a side-light for its Sony Reader PRS705 and it affected readability. You can get a reading light (I use a $5 GE reading light) and it works fine.

      Color isn’t scheduled until 2010 or perhaps later. This is because eInk is a new technology and they haven’t gotten it to the point that they can mass produce color screens cheaply.

  3. [...] more, check out my Kindle 2 Video Review or take a look at a bunch of Kindle 2 [...]

  4. Thank you for such a fantastic review on the Kindle 2 – I love the videos and it’s helped to make my decision on the purchase of the Kindle 2. I CAN”T WAIT to order it. Thanks again- Dee

  5. Dee – take a look at waterfield waterproof kindle cases.

    i’d say a kindle case and a kindle reading light. for the case m-edge cases are good and oberon makes some expensive, and beautiful, leather cases.

    the mighty bright flexlight is probably the best choice for lights. there are also some good skins to add color to the kindle.
    finally, you should look at zagg’s invisible shield screen and body protector – they have a half-off sale till tomorrow.

  6. also this post covers the periscope VS MEdge and Mighty Bright flex light.

  7. Hi –
    It’s me again! I have yet to take the plunge in purchasing the Kindle 2. What are your thoughts on the Kindle DX ? If it’s just the screen size that is different between the Kindle 2 & the DX would it be worth my spending the extra money ? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks-
    Dee

    • Dee, the big things you get are -
      1) double the screen size.
      2) pdf support.
      3) Landscape Mode

      The Kindle 2 has buttons on the left side so its easier to use for left handed people. With DX you can flip it so keyboard is on top and then use if you’re left handed – however, its not as convenient.

      If you can afford the extra $130 the Kindle DX is worth it.
      Are you going to read mostly books?
      what about newspapers and magazines?
      Do you read any documents that are PDFs? like technical documents, etc. ?

      • Hi -
        I will be reading mostly books, magazines & perhaps newspapers from time to time that we don’t receive at home. I won’t be reading any type of documents, etc. Do you think the Kindle 2 is better suited for me?
        Thanks again for all of your help, I greatly appreciate it.
        Dee

  8. Dee,
    At the moment i do think the K2 is better suited to your needs.

    the 2 main selling points of the dx are larger screen and pdf support and the pdf support doesn’t really apply to your needs.

    kindle 2 is much more portable.

    If you can wait for a week my DX should be with my friend in seattle and I’ll check up on details and let you know

    abhi

  9. Hi Abhi -
    I can certainly wait a week on what your friend thinks of the DX. I feel like I am on the cusp of this major purchase not knowing what to do, I appreciate all of your help & knowledge with the Kindle.
    Thanks -
    Dee
    PS…Nice to know your name.

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