Kindle 2 review · Curiosity is bliss

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Kindle 2 review

 

Kindle 2
As a happy Kindle 1 owner, I have been impatiently waiting for Lina's Kindle 2 to arrive. The unboxing experience was quite nice (the package is quite small), the new design is prettier and convenient (the wider edge and the less sensitive buttons make it easier to grip the unit by the sides, although I never had much trouble with the v1 model), the book cover anchoring is sturdy this time around, and the charger is very well designed.

The first thing I noticed aside from the new form factor is the faster screen refresh. It makes the reading experience a bit smoother, but confers most benefits in the navigation (menus) and interaction (inputting text provides faster feedback). Also, the "white" in the screen is slightly whiter and less grainy than on the v1 displays.
The enhanced gray scale dramatically improves the rendering of images. It's probably good enough for Kindle formatted mangas to make sense.

The joystick input on the other hand is not that impressive. It may improve the selection of form inputs, but it seems to take longer to select hyperlinks or words (for look up in the dictionary).

The browser software shows noticeable improvement. It supports simple styling (grayed background and text) and layout (table support, paragraph spacing), offering a good rendition of pages like search results.
We haven't tried WhisperSync to sync current locations across devices, but did encounter the limitation that both Kindles need to be associated to a single account to share books.

I briefly tried the "Read To Me" Text-To-Speech feature. It's a great idea (which caused a brouhaha), but the voice is too robotic to make it comfortable..

The v2 is a good iteration overall, and is already successful in getting more attention onto e-books, but probably not worth upgrading for v1 owners. The core issues remain, such as the closed platform approach, the DRM , the PDF conversion trouble and the cost of convenience for transferring external content.


Here is another comparative review worth reading, as well as Jakob Nielsen's review.

In related news, Amazon released a Kindle app for the iPhone.
O'Reilly is publishing some of its books available in Kindle format.

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hello ! do you know if this reader is available in europe ? i´ve searched a lot in the internet, but havent found something yet.

Posted by: Lucia (October 9, 2009 08:59 PM) ______________________________________

The international version, which will work in Europe, is available for pre-order already. It will be released on Oct 19th 2009.
See the product page for more details:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0015T963C

Posted by: Julien (October 11, 2009 08:34 PM)
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