Used Kindle 2 Vs Used Kindle 1 Vs Sony Reader 300

The introduction of the Used Kindle 2 for $169 and the Used Kindle 2 (US version) for $139 makes things really interesting for users looking for a ‘below $200′ Reader -

  1. You could get a Used Kindle 2 (refurbished by Amazon) for $169.
  2. You have the Sony Reader Pocket Edition for $169.
  3. You could get the Used Kindle 2 US Version for $139.
  4. Update: Not available at $149. The used Kindle 1 (also refurbished by Amazon) is available for $149.

Lets dive into the strengths and weaknesses of each and see which one emerges as the best choice.

Used Kindle 2 Vs Sony Reader Pocket Edition

Here’s a comparison video –

Areas Sony Reader Pocket Edition beats used Kindle 2

  1. It has better screen contrast.  
  2. It’s New.
  3. Its better looking and available in a variety of colors.  
  4. The Library Finder feature which lets you loan library ebooks is a good feature.
  5. ePub and PDF support are in-built. Kindle 2 only supports PDF via conversion (Amazon does it) and ePub via conversion (Calibre).
  6. Its lighter and smaller and very portable.
  7. A million free Google books although these can be converted for the used Kindle 2.

Areas used Kindle 2 beats Sony Pocket Edition

  1. Wireless Store and 60 second downloads.
  2. Free Internet Access. 
  3. Better usability.
  4. Larger screen i.e. 6″ compared to Sony Pocket’s 5″. 
  5. Better range of new books – Kindle Store has 300K+ while Sony store has just 100K new ebooks. 
  6. Read To Me feature and in-built speakers.

There are more videos and thoughts at the Kindle Vs Sony Reader Pocket Edition post.

Overall, the Used Kindle 2 narrowly beats out the Pocket Edition because of the free Internet and Kindle Store access from the used Kindle itself.

Used Kindle 2 Vs Used Kindle 1

Update: Not relevant as used Kindle 1 is no longer $149.

Here’s a short video comparison –

Areas Used Kindle 2 beats a used Kindle 1

  1. Slightly faster screen refreshes.
  2. No accidental page turns. 
  3. Lock-in tabs ensure Kindle doesn’t slip out of the cover. 
  4. Read To Me feature when publishers don’t turn it off.
  5. Thin and sleek looking.
  6. Better usability with 5-way controller and better dictionary integration.

Areas Used Kindle 1 beats a used Kindle 2

Prices are in flux so comparison is no longer valid.

  1. SD Card Slot allows memory expansion and flexibility. 
  2. Changeable battery.
  3. Arguably better keyboard.
  4. Experimental GPS Feature and other secrets.

There are some good videos at the Kindle 2 Vs Kindle 1 post.

This is a tough comparison because the Used Kindle 1 is so much cheaper. I’d actually go with the Used Kindle 1.

Used Kindle 1 Vs Sony Reader Pocket Edition

Unfortunately there is no video comparison so the above videos will have to do.

Areas Sony Pocket Edition beats out Used Kindle 1

  1. Sony Pocket Edition does much better on Screen Contrast.  
  2. Sony Reader is much, much more compact and much lighter than the Used Kindle 1.
  3. It looks better, and is available in a variety of colors.
  4. It’s New.

Also, all the areas Sony Reader beats Kindles in general i.e. Library Finder feature, in-built PDF and ePub support, etc.

Areas Used Kindle 1 beats out the Sony Reader Pocket Edition

  1. Update: not relevant as used Kindle 1 is now, for some strange reason, at $329. Price. At $149 it’s $50 cheaper.
  2. SD Card Slot.

All the areas Kindles beat the Sony Pocket edition i.e. 6″ screen, wireless store, free internet access, etc.

This is a really tough decision – Sony Pocket edition is much newer technology and probably edges the Used Kindle 1, unless the $50 price difference is non-negotiable for you.

Used Kindle 2 Vs Used Kindle 1 Vs Sony Reader Pocket Edition

We arrive at a rather cyclical, strange result i.e. Used Kindle 2 > Sony 300 > Used Kindle 1 > Used Kindle 2.

It just points to the fact that it’s a very personal decision, based on what’s important to you.

Here is what you should go with if one feature is exceptionally important to you -

  1. Owning Something New – Sony 300.
  2. Value for Money and/or Lowest Price – Used Kindle 1.
  3. Screen Contrast – Sony 300.
  4. Read To Me feature – Used Kindle 2.
  5. Best Range of New Books – Used Kindle 2 or 1.
  6. Best Choice of Public Domain Books – Sony 300.
  7. Expandable Memory – Used Kindle 1.
  8. Built-in GPS (a rough one) – Used Kindle 1.
  9. Free Internet Access and Wireless Downloads – Used Kindle 2 or 1.
  10. ePub and PDF Support – Sony 300.

Closing Thoughts

We have a much better status quo than just a few months ago when sub $200 eReaders were scarce. It really does show the importance of competition and Sony deserves a lot of credit for hitting $199 with its Sony Reader Pocket Edition.

It’s pretty amazing to have a used Kindle 1 available for $149. New Kindle 1s were $399 just 1.5 years ago.

All three of the options discussed are good ones – My favorite would be the used Kindle 1 as the value for money is unrivalled.

However, you could pick the $169 used Kindle 2, for its Read To Me feature and usability enhancements, or the Sony 300, for its Library ebooks feature and looks, and still do very well.

Kindle 2 Vs Kindle 1 – Video Review

Here are some Kindle 2 Vs Kindle 1 videos and notes that should help you see the differences between Kindle 2 (available at Amazon) and Kindle 1 -

  1. Kindle 2 Vs Kindle 1 Video Review -
     This clearly shows the visual differences between the first generation and second generation Kindles.
  2. Kindle 1 Vs Kindle 2 Image Display Comparison –
     Kindle 2, due to its 16 shades of gray, does a much better job with images. 
  3. Kindle 2 Vs Kindle Screen Contrast Review –
    Kindle 2′s screen contrast is not as good as that of the Kindle 1. The difference though is not that much.
  4. Kindle 2 Vs Kindle 1 Refresh Rate Comparison -
     Kindle 2′s refresh rate improvement seems more than Mr. Bezos’ claims of 25%. The refresh rate varies based on factors like images, amount of text, etc. However, Kindle 2 seemed to refresh 30-40% faster in general.

Kindle 2 Vs Kindle 1 – Kindle 2 Wins On …

Kindle 2 clearly improves on the Kindle 1 in some key areas -

  1. The ‘next page’ and ‘previous page’ buttons no longer get accidentally pressed. 
  2. The lock-in tabs when used with compatible covers ensures the Kindle 2 never falls out of a cover. 
  3. Text To Speech – The ‘Read To Me’ feature is very useful provided authors and publishers don’t turn it off for their books.
  4. Better Display of Images due to 16 shades of grey.
  5. Better Battery Life.
  6. Faster Screen Refreshes.
  7. Powers from PC via USB cable in addition to power outlet plug.
  8. Instant On-Kindle Dictionary.
  9. Thin and sleek looking.
  10. 5-way controller is better than the ‘magic sparkling strip’ of the Kindle 1.

Kindle 2 Vs Kindle 1 – Kindle 1 Wins On …

Kindle 1 does have a few advantages over Kindle 2 -

  1. SD Card Slot which allows you to expand capacity without any restrictions.  
  2. Replaceable Battery. With Kindle 2 you would need to carry an iGo type battery source.
  3. Better Contrast between background and text. 
  4. More of a unique look.
  5. Better keyboard.

Which Kindle?

My friend really liked the Kindle 1 and, since the Kindle 2 is with me now, I’ve given him my K1 (He was going to buy a K2 otherwise). The fact that everyone who actually gets to use a Kindle or Kindle 2 absolutely loves it continues to surprise me (well, almost everyone).  

His main feedback was -

  1. Reading  books on the Kindle is better than with paper books.
  2. He thinks Kindle 1 doesn’t do newspapers very well.  
  3. He much prefers the Kindle 1′s keyboard.
  4. He really liked the Kindle and its part of his life now, alongside his Samsung NC-10 netbook and iTouch.   

Overall, Kindle 2 does make enough improvements over the Kindle 1 to show Amazon is listening and on the right track. However, it’s an evolutionary upgrade and more of a Kindle 1.5 (as opposed to a true Kindle 2).

For Kindle 1 owners, waiting for Kindle 3 might be the best choice. On the other hand, if you don’t own an eReader I’d highly recommend a Kindle 2.

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