Kindle 2 Review after a few days of use
February 27, 2009
The Kindle 2 As just about everyone knows, the latest generation of Kindle was released this week. All hail our new robotic voiced overlord, the Kindle 2 (K2). Of course, I bought one. It is shiny, new, and I had to have one. Plus my mother really wanted a Kindle after I loaned her my Kindle 1 (K1), so now she’s gotten it. I’ve taken a few days to actually use the device, and I thought I’d share my impressions.
Back of the K2 The first impressions you get from the K2 are from the redesigned hardware. It most definitely has an “iPod-esque” feel to it, the corners are rounded, the back is now some sort of brushed steel look. They also flattened the thing, which is a godsend. One of the strangest parts of the K1 was the angled back and the odd slight angle changes. The screen, outwardly, looks mostly the same as it did before (it now features slightly rounded edges). The keyboard has been redone into small circular buttons, and much to my glee, is no longer curved. While I understood the ergonomics of the K1’s keyboard, it was just silly looking and frankly the keyboard wasn’t that useful. One of the largest complaints of the K1 was the fact that the “Next Page” buttons were so damnably easy to hit. Once I got used to the device, it wasn’t a problem, but there was not a single person I handed it to that didn’t immediately accidentally hit one of the page buttons. The new buttons are smaller, possibly a little too small (as they don’t go low enough for my hands), and much more difficult to push. Specifically, they changed it so the outside of the buttons is anchored and the inside “clicks”. This is going to take a little getting used to for me, since I was a fan of hitting just the edge of the button on the K1.
The Kindle 1 (left) and Kindle 2 (Right) I will address the couple complaints I have heard: Removal of SD card slot & the no longer removable battery. In the K2, they bumped the usable internal memory up to about 1500 MB, which works out to about 1,500 books. Really, no one needs removable storage at that point. You can look at it this way: Say you were going to be traveling for 4 years straight, you load the K2 up with 1,500 books before you left and read 1 full book every day (which means you aren’t doing ANYTHING else with your life) for those 4 years… You would still have books left over on the Kindle. If you are out of the country, where the wireless downloads don’t work, you can use USB to transfer new books on to it, just like every other ebook reader (so no, you don’t need Wifi you whiny bastards). You have to have the USB cable anyways — as it is the charging port as well. As to the removable battery, yes, I agree that is sort of annoying. Though, most of the batteries these days are designed to go hundreds of charge/discharge cycles before they significantly lose juice. Say the K2 battery was only good for 200 charges before it lost a good amount of juice, if you were recharging it every week (because you read a book every day), you’d still have about 4 years. At that point, the K2 is still going to work, just for less page turns at a time, and there will be a K3 or K4 out by then.