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Kindle 2 – The verdict is in

March 18, 2009 / in Information Technology / by

Amazon Kindle 2
Amazon Kindle 2

So here is the story of how I got my Kindle 2 and what I think of it as a replacement for paper books. I ordered the Kindle 1 on December 25th, 2008 as a Christmas present from my family. The Kindle 1 was out of stock because Oprah did a show on it. I was told to “get in line” and that my Kindle would ship sometime near the end of February 2009. (8-12 weeks!)

In the middle of January, I received a great email from Amazon explaining that I was going to get a free upgrade to the Kindle 2. My supposition is that it would be more costly for Amazon to provide me with the 1st edition Kindle than to give me one of the new Kindle 2’s that had already been riding along in a container ship.  So I got the Kindle 2 at the end of February. As always, I tried out every feature on it and proceeded to read 2 books on it over the course of the following week. The verdict is in. I love the Kindle and what it represents. Why?
Here is a list:
  • Instant gratification. Shop for and buy a book directly from the Kindle or from Amazon.com. Downloads wirelessly via Sprint’s wireless network at no additional cost.
  • Great battery life. I have a raft of tech gadgets and this device has the longest lasting battery of them all. Why? Because the Kindle 2 hits the battery when it redraws the screen and then stops. It is not always sucking on the battery to display a page.
  • Looks great and feels good in my hands. They took design ideas from Apple and created a much smoother and swankier looking device. One of the other reviews I read compared the design of the Kindle 1 to a Snowspeeder in Star Wars. Ha ha ha. If you are a Star Wars fan, it will make complete sense to you when you see the 1st edition of the Kindle.
  • Opens new ways to enjoy reading and share with others. So I am sitting at a business networking event and complaining about my lack of focus. One of my associates recommends the book Eat the Frog that deals with this issue. Pulled out the Kindle 2, did a quick search, found it, bought it, and showed my friend. He wanted me to look at a certain chapter. Click, click, click… there. How freaking cool is that? Oh, and by the way, it is a great book on staying focused, an area I need a lot of help with.
  • No more lugging books around. I travel often and usually take 2 or 3 books to read. A scifi novel or two and a business book. I am no wimp, but carrying around 3 or 4 pounds of books from here to Belize versus 10 ounces is a no brainer.
  • Kindle or iPhone 3G = choices. So they came out with a Kindle application for the iPhone 3G. I happen to own an iPhone 3G, so this was great news. You can view your Kindle book purchases on either device. The cool trick is that when you read a chapter or two on one device, then switch to the other device to continue reading… you guessed it… your location in the book gets synched up. For example, I read a chapter of a book in my truck before a sales call. That evening before I went to bed, I picked up the Kindle to continue reading. A message popped up asking me if I would like to synch to the new position based on my earlier reading. Click. There. Nice.
  • Amazon stores all this stuff, including your notes and bookmarks. You never have to worry about losing a book or your notes because they are all stored on the Amazon S3 servers. Lose your Kindle? Besides being bent, all you have to do is get a new Kindle and link it to your Amazon account. Download the books again and continue. Sweet.

This is not just a cool toy. It is changing the way I read books and gives me more frequent access to my reading material. This means I am reading through business books more quickly and using a few spare minutes here and there more effectively. I highly recommend the Kindle 2 and commend Jeff Bezos for his vision in creating the product.

Full Disclosure: I am not receiving compensation for any of the comments above. :)

  1. Cool…

    I wonder if magazine subscriptions will be next? Of course, they’ll have to put in a printer for those annoying little inserts that are always falling on the bathroom floor. :-)

  2. Jason – thanks for your realistic review. I have read a lot of reviews on the kindle and a lot of them are not as good as I thought they would be. I think of the usage etc.. and you took the words out of my mouth :) I think I know what my next gadget is going to be..
    -Jason Bowne

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