Before I ordered my Amazon Kindle 2 from Amazon, I read several reviews on the web. There are literally hundreds if not thousands of people out there that have written their own personal Amazon Kindle reviews. But, there are some people that truly do not understand the magnitude of this new innovative device (it’s current stage in development and how fast it’s market is growing) and there are some that do. While reading these reviews, it becomes very clear which category people fall in. To put it in another perspective, I work at top well-known investment research firm and without getting into too many specifics, lets just say we are very bullish on AMZN stock most specifically because of the huge potential of the Amazon Kindle in the emerging e-reader market. No I am not trying to give investment advice (that’s not part my job) but I just want to make it very clear how excited I am about the product and its market in general. My Amazon Kindle 2 review is no holds barred and no BULL SHIP!
In the few weeks prior to the announcement of the Amazon Kindle 2, you couldn’t turn a virtual corner without stumbling over alleged rumors and “insider” information regarding the new innovative device. Last month, having played with my boss’s Amazon Kindle 2 at the office, I found myself in absolute lust for this gadget. Before I decided to order the Amazon Kindle 2 as Christmas gift for myself;), I reviewed, reviewed, and REVIEWED several Amazon Kindle 2 websites, articles, and reviews. This is my personal take / response to some of those good andbad reviews. The following is my Amazon Kindle 2 review:
1. The Amazon Kindle 2 is not cheap! First of all, let’s not beat around the bush; I certainly wanted to know how much I was in for right away! As is the case for all other new / “hot” items, such as the iPhone 3Gs, Playstation 3, and LCD tv’s, (which were originally priced for hundreds more than the Amazon Kindle 2), the Kindle 2 is priced a little on the high-end. Currently, the Amazon Kindle 2 is on sale for $259. Recently, Amazon’s CEO announced an “amazing” deal for Kindle 1 owners at a press conference: If they ordered within the next 24 hours, they could jump to the front of the line for pre-orders! There wasn’t even a discount offered, just the “privilege” of spending $259 quicker than non-existing Amazon Kindle 1 owners. What a great deal huh?? Later though, I considered some other factors. Relative to purchasing new books and best sellers on a regular basis, the Amazon Kindle 2 really isn’t that expensive. Have you looked at the price of new books lately?? They can be pretty expensive themselves, especially at big name stores like Barnes and Noble and Borders. Even online at Amazon, you’ll pay $50 for the Twilight Saga Collection and $15 for Sarah Palin’s new book (not that I would want to read her book anyway but you get the point!). Most e-books are $9.99 or less. Over the long-run, especially if you are enthusiastic book reader like me, the Amazon Kindle 2 is essential.
2. What does it look like? According to its creators, the key design objective was to make the Amazon Kindle 2 “disappear”. When we read a good book, we tend to get so immersed into the author’s world / story that the physical book eventually disappears. The thinking behind the Kindle was to make sure we are still able to get lost in the reading, not the technology. The Kindle 2 has a black-and-white 6″ screen and uses electronic-ink display technology: the screen displays ink particles electronically to make it look like real books, newspapers, magazines, etc. As aforementioned, I sit on my butt all day in an office in front of a computer screen. During my lunch breaks and when I get home, the LAST thing I want to do is look at a computer screen!! However, I actually found that the Kindle’s screen has a pretty soothing contrast and looks like a real page. Also, the Kindle 2 does not use backlighting which eliminates glares for daytime / outdoor reading.
The Kindle also has six adjustable font sizes and utilizes 16 shades of gray. So when your eyes get tired or if you have a book that has small font, you can make it bigger on the Kindle screen. Compared to the first version, the Amazon Kindle 2 is MUCH slimmer and more refined. It is about 1/3 of an inch in profile and weighs 10.2 ounces. That’s about the size of most magazines, only this gadget can hold up to 1,500 books in one!
3. The five-way joy stick: piece of crap?? The five-way navigation is like those pencil-eraser mice that come on laptops (in between the keys); I found it pretty intuitive but not that convenient. Sometimes I felt that the joystick was a little slow, but not a deal breaker. Something like a track ball on the Blackberry would probably be a better solution. A touch screen would be ideal! There are also page-turning buttons located on both sides and the screen can be rotated from portrait to landscape views for optimal comfort.
4. “Monotasking Hardware”. I read several reviews and comments on how the Amazon Kindle 2 only does ONE thing. First of all, let me just say that the Amazon Kindle 2 is NOT, I repeat NOTan iPhone!! Most cameras do only “one” thing, but like the Kindle, they do one thing very well. The bottom line about my digital camera is that as long as it takes high-quality pictures, I am perfectly content. The 2 GB storage capability is not for storing all kinds of content (music, maps, FaceBook, Shazam, Table Tennis, Air Hockey, ESPN, etc.), it is for storing 1,500 BOOKS! If you’re in the market for an innovative reading device, why would you want to have all the aforesaid distractions? When you finish a book, you simply download another one and begin again. In short, the Amazon Kindle 2 may have one main function (reading) but you can still download a number of different formats in addition to books, like newspapers, magazines, and blogs.
5. Simplicity. The Amazon Kindle 2 is simple and easy to use. It is wireless and ready to go right out of the box; there are no cables, no setup, and no software to install. During the Amazon Kindle 2 review presentation, Amazon’s CEO showed a video where one lucky tester said he never read manuals (who does??), and he had no trouble at all using the Amazon Kindle 2 right away. The design team also claims to have improved the battery life on the Kindle 2. The Kindle 2 will stay charged for a week with wireless on and two weeks with wireless off (varies based on usage). However, I did see a few comments on the web that since both the Kindle 1 and 2 have long battery lives, the difference is hardly noticeable.
6. Is the Kindle too fragile? This is a touchy subject for some people. I read several reviews regarding the durability of the Amazon Kindle 2 and I found that it really depends on the person using it. Some people go through their day worrying that their Kindle may be too flimsy and that it might break in their bags. Of course nothing can replace the durability of a good-old-fashioned book; you can drop it, throw it, use it as a door stopper, and it will still be readable. Personally, I didn’t think it is that flimsy at all. I guess I can see how jamming a few books and magazines into your bag, and even the laptop (all together with the Kindle) can cause apprehension. However, when I have my Amazon Kindle 2, I’ll be carrying half as many magazines and books. Sounds like the problem is solved to me! On a side note, just like cell phones and laptops, there are also various Kindle cases you can buy separately for more protection.
7. The Amazon Kindle 2 can read to you! True. With the Text-to-Speech feature, the Amazon Kindle 2 can read English books, newspapers, magazines, and blogs out loud while you’re on the train, as you’re walking, or when it gets too dark outside, at which point you can turn on the audio and listen to the rest of the chapter. You can even have the Kindle read to you while you drive from point A to point B. You can also choose between a male and female voice that can be sped up or slowed down according to your preference. Every now and then however, the reader will mispronounce items and may give wacky emphasis. For example, the reader has been known to pronounce “dash” instead of pausing at one; still not a deal breaker though.
8. eBooks are the FUTURE. The Amazon Kindle 2 review presentation featured testimonials from Kindle 2 users, saying that they read now more than ever. I concur with this because I often leave books, magazines, and articles behind because I simply can’t carry all of them. Plus, I only read what I have on hand… doesn’t everyone?? The Amazon Kindle 2, with its instant access to over 390,000 books, will surely expand my reading horizons as well as yours as popularity continues to intensify.
As is the case with all new cutting-edge technology, the Amazon Kindle 2 has several negatives, but in my opinion, the benefits far prevail. Amazon has nailed the eBook market and will probably dominate for several years. I expect that we’ll be reading eBooks while we rocket to Mars in 2100. Whether you join the bandwagon now or later, it is inevitable. Send me a message at my website if you have any questions regarding my Amazon Kindle 2 review.
Lately, I’ve been working on a website that reviews the Amazon Kindle 2 even further: reviewing Amazon’s main e-reader competitors, emerging issues / stories, Kindle accessories, and user tips!CLICK HERE to get the latest scoop / reviews on the Amazon Kindle 2 and related products.