A cool thing to do with your Kindle 2 if you're getting Kindle 3

If you’re getting the Kindle 3 and don’t have need for your Kindle 2 then you can give it to the ‘Kindle 2 for Troops’ program.

At the Donate a Kindle 2 page you can donate your working Kindle 2 and it’ll be sent to a soldier deployed overseas who’ll almost certainly treasure it highly.

Details of the Kindle 2 for Troops Program

Here are the important details –

  1. To participate you must be a US citizen living in the US.  
  2. The Kindle 2 US or Kindle 2 International you donate must be in good working condition with battery charger.
  3. Kindle DX and Kindle 1 are. unfortunately, not eligible. 
  4. You’ll have to de-register your Kindle and erase the content before you send it out.
  5. You’ll get a receipt for your donation.

A lot of people deserve credit for the program –

  1. Len Edgerly of Kindle Chronicles and Ken Clark – They’re the co-founders.  
  2. M-Edge are donating a Kindle case and a Kindle light to match every donated Kindle 2.
  3. Probably others.

The program started on February 9th, 2010 and a few Kindles have already been sent to soldiers. The mission page has details on what the program is about.

The mission of E-Books for Troops (EB4T) is to provide U.S. military personnel with free e-book readers and quality reading material in order to enhance their opportunities for recreation and renewal while defending our nation at home and around the world.

It’s in the early stages and if a few of us help it could really take off. They’re pretty straightforward about what happens to donations –

The majority of your donation goes directly to e-books, e-book readers, or related accessories for our troops.  

No one involved with E-Books for Troops takes salary or other compensation for our work.  It is completely voluntary, and we operate as lean as possible.  

We use a percentage of the donations to pay for administrative fees to run the non-profit such as domain ownership, PayPal processing fees, required legal filings, etc.

They mention that they have applied for 501 (c)(3) status but until the application is approved (or not) they won’t know whether your donation will be tax-deductible.

Kindle 2 $189 – Kindle 2 price drop

June 21st, 2010 update: International Kindle price has been dropped to $189 and the two Kindles are rolled into one i.e. only the Kindle 2 International remains and becomes the default Kindle.

Older Version:

Amazon has, in parallel with the introduction of the Kindle US & International Wireless version, dropped the price of the Kindle 2 to $259.

  1. This is great news as it’s a drop of $40 and brings the Kindle 2 ever closer to the magical sub $200 mark.
  2. There are also some naming changes as Amazon has begun to refer to the Kindle 2 as the Kindle US Wireless, Latest Generation.
  3. It gives US customers something to be happy about as the Kindle goes International.

Do check my Kindle 2 Review for an in-depth look at the Kindle US Wireless (earlier Kindle 2).

What does a $249 Kindle 2 mean?

Amazon now have a very compelling value proposition when compared to other eReaders –

  1. The $149 refurbished Kindle 1. 
  2. The $219 refurbished Kindle 2. 
  3. The $259 Kindle 2 aka Kindle US Wireless.

This ensures no other eReader company currently beats Amazon on prize or value for money. Especially when you factor in Free Internet Access via WhisperNet.

The Kindle 2 is also at 6,693 Kindle 2 reviews (from customers) and the new lower price and the Kindle US & International Wireless version ought to boost Kindle Sales and significantly increase the number of reviews at Amazon.

Why cut the price in parallel with the International Version?

It’s probably a combination of factors –  

  1. Amazon are probably reaching better economies of scale.
  2. Sony’s new offerings are threatening to take some portion of holiday sales.
  3. The postage, custom duties, etc. mean they had to optimize on the price of the Kindle International Version. Those savings carried over to Kindle 2 too.
  4. Amazon sees the opportunity to greatly expand its Kindle customer base before Apple and Plastic Logic jump in (early 2010).

It wouldn’t make sense to sell the International Version for a lower price than the US version. It would make US consumers feel they were getting a worse deal.

For International customers it makes sense that international wireless ability costs a bit more. Although you have to emphatize with their pain of paying custom duties and postage.

So what we get is a nice $40 cut, a new name (Kindle US Wireless) and a great, low priced, $259 Kindle 2.

Kindle, Sony Reader Review via PhotoSynth

PhotoSynth gives you a 360 degree view of the Kindle 2 and the Sony Reader Touch Edition.

You have to check it out – especially the PhotoSynth comparison of the Kindle 2 and the Sony Reader Touch which is, in some ways, better than a video would be. All the images are excellent clarity and you can change the viewing angle and zoom as you like.  

Kindle 2 Vs Sony Touch Comparison via PhotoSynth.

If you don’t have PhotoSynth, check out this page to download it – Kindle 2 Vs Sony Reader Touch Edition.

The individual photosynths they are on the same page, and include –

  1. Kindle 2 PhotoSynth  – In case you want to see more of the Kindle 2, which you can buy at Amazon.
  2. Sony Reader Touch Edition PhotoSynth – See the Sony Reader from all angles. The 300 Pocket Edition and the Touch Edition are available at Amazon.

If you haven’t used PhotoSynth before you’ll love it – it basically stitches together a bunch of images to give you a panoramic view. You can –

  1. Watch a SlideShow. 
  2. View a single picture and choose one of various angles to get a different perspective.
  3. Hold down your mouse button and rotate through view angles. 
  4. Zoom in and Zoom Out.
  5. Expand the Viewer to fill the whole screen. 

Its basically an absolutely great way of experiencing an object or view or a landscape. In this particular case it’s the best way to see what the Kindle 2 and Sony Touch Edition look like without holding them in your hands.

Thoughts on the Kindle and Sony Reader PhotoSynths

  1. The contrast PhotoSynth really highlights Kindle’s advantage in screen contrast and Sony’s advantage in looks and size.
  2. The amount of reflection on the Sony Reader is annoying. There was none of this on the Pocket Edition so it must have to do with the touch layer.
  3. Neither the Touch nor the Pocket Edition have any side lighting. Again, removed because it messed up readability.
  4. The Sony looks really pretty in red. The navy blue pocket edition looked really good too.
  5. In an alternate reality Kindle and Sony would tie-up to produce absolutely amazing eReaders.
  6. Sony really should add a Journal Application.

The PhotoSynth technology itself is marvellous.

Wonder how long it’ll be before product pages are using PhotoSynth and Videos instead of images?