The Amazon Kindle 2
The Amazon Kindle 2 is the revolutionary e-book reading device created by Amazon.com. This device allows a reader to get the look and feel of a real book in a handheld device. The Kindle 2 uses an electronic paper display to read the proprietary file format, and downloads content over the Amazon Whispernet network. The Amazon Kindle 2 can be used stand alone without a computer, and Whispernet is accessible through Kindle without a subscription, which means no access fees. And now with the Kindle 2, major improvements have been made over the original, but the pricing is basically the same!
One thing that hasn't changed very much is the height and width of the Kindle 2. Some people have complained that the original Kindle should have been shorter and forgone the keyboard, like the Sony Reader. Whether you're a fan of the keyboard or not, it's worth noting that the Kindle 2 is about the same size as the original, measuring 8 inches top to bottom. According to the specs, the screen itself is a 6-inch, diagonal, E-Ink, electronic-paper display, with 600x800 pixel resolution at 167 ppi. Another nice, new perk is that while the original Kindle had a little rolling wheel to assist with navigation, the Kindle 2 moves to a five-way rocker button that's more straightforward and helps solve some--but not all--of the quirky navigational issues the device has.
The Kindle can store about 1500 e-books, and there are over 230,000 titles available. Books, newspapers, and magazines are availabe for the Kindle at prices typically cheaper (and lighter!) than the hard copies.
In addition to reading the books with the Amazon Kindle, the user can bookmark, highlight, and lookup content. The Kindle dog-eared feature allow page references to be stored. Kindle menu options allow user to search for word definitions and synonyms from the built in dictionary. The Kindle also remembers the last page read for each individual book that you have, and pages can be saved as a 'clipping', which is a text file containing the text of the current page, and all the clipping can be downloaded to a computer easily over a USB cable.
The Kindle Link
Amazon Kindle Review
Kindle: The Good
The Amazon Kindle has an excellent high-contrast screen and does a great job of simulating an actual printed page. This is very life-like, to the point where I would call it amazing. The Kindle and Amazon have a substantial library comprised of tens of thousands of e-books, newspapers, magazines, and blogs via Amazon's familiar and easy online store. The pricing on items is fair, and the convenience of not carrying around heavy books is a huge plus. The built-in free wireless "Whispernet" data network makes it easy to connect and find titles without a PC at any time. Easy to use built-in keyboard for notes and the SD card expansion slot makes it compatible with Windows and Mac machines if you want to connect your Kindle.
Here are some of the features of the Amazon Kindle eReader (from Amazon description):
-- 25% longer battery life than the original Kindle - go days and days without charging! And charge via USB when you need it.
-- New 5-way controller enables precise on-screen navigation.
-- Revolutionary electronic-paper display provides a sharp, high-resolution screen that looks and reads like real paper.
-- Now Kindle can read to you! With the new Text-to-Speech feature, Kindle can read every book, blog, magazine, and newspaper out loud to you. Anything you can read on Kindle, Kindle can read to you, including books, newspapers, magazines, blogs and even personal documents.
-- Simple to use: no computer, no cables, no syncing. Wireless connectivity enables you to shop the Kindle Store directly from your Kindle—whether you’re in the back of a taxi, at the airport, or in bed. Now with a fast 3G network - get books in less than 60 seconds!
-- Buy a book and it is auto-delivered wirelessly in less than one minute. More than 160,000 books available, including more than 98 of 112 current New York Times® Best Sellers. New York Times® Best Sellers and New Releases $9.99, unless marked otherwise.
-- Free book samples.
-- Download and read first chapters for free before you decide to buy.
-- Top U.S. newspapers including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post; top magazines including TIME, Atlantic Monthly, and Forbes—all auto-delivered wirelessly.
-- Top international newspapers from France, Germany, and Ireland; Le Monde, Frankfurter Allgemeine, and The Irish Times—all auto-delivered wirelessly.
-- Hundreds of top blogs from the worlds of business, technology, sports, entertainment, and politics, including BoingBoing, Slashdot, TechCrunch, ESPN's Bill Simmons, The Onion, Michelle Malkin, and The Huffington Post—all updated wirelessly throughout the day.
Kindle: The Bad
The Amazon Kindle design is user friendly and ergonomic, but not especially elegant. The black-and-white screen is great for books, magazines and written material, but less impressive for the Web content. And with the Kindle 2, they didn't include a cover anymore. If you get a Kindle 2, be sure to get a cover!
Kindle: The Bottom Line
With its free built-in wireless capabilities, vast library of available content, and PC-free operation, Amazon's Kindle holds a distinct advantage over Sony's Reader and is a promising evolution of the electronic book. Amazon has done a great job creating a device that is appealing to the masses, and this second version is a huge improvement on the first, but they need to work to keep the supply of the Kindle 2 available for shoppers this time around. Get your hands on a Kindle 2 now, and don't wait in line for year!