Amazon introduces Kindle 2 book reader | iLounge News

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Amazon introduces Kindle 2 book reader

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Amazon has introduced the Kindle 2, the second iteration of its E-Ink based portable book reader. The new device features a slimmer design with rounded edges and a tapered back, much like Apple’s iPhone 3G and second-generation iPod touch. It weighs 10.2 ounces, is .36 inches thick, and features 25 percent more battery life than the original, allowing for two weeks of reading on one charge. Additional storage gives it seven times the book capacity of the original—1,500 books, Amazon estimates—while an improved 6-inch display features 16 shades of grey, and other UI improvements have been made: a new five-way controller enables 20 percent faster page turning, the full QWERTY keyboard has been redesigned, audiobook support and a 3.5mm headphone jack have been added, a new Text-to-Speech feature is included to let printed books be read to users, along with basic web browsing and MP3 player capabilities, and the same Sprint-powered 3G wireless connectivity as the original. While not a direct competitor to Apple’s portable devices, the proliferation of book reading applications for the iPhone and iPod touch has made comparisons between them increasingly common. The Amazon Kindle 2 is available for pre-order now and will begin shipping on February 24 for $360.

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Comments

1

I’m not convinced. At least, not yet. The design leaves it with as much nothing as there is page. And for the price of it, well, wouldn’t that be better spent buying actual books?

It’s not like an iPod. When you buy music, you still need something to play it on, be it a CD player, car system or iPod. So the cost of an iPod works on that level. When you buy a book, that’s it. That’s all you need.

So this doesn’t fill a need. You’re just sort of chucking $360 away.

Posted by BeefJerky on February 9, 2009 at 11:10 AM (CST)

2

It’s a good start, but they will never sell a lot of these until they get the price down. Way down. Like $100 or less kind of down.

Posted by ort on February 9, 2009 at 11:59 AM (CST)

3

Listen, BeefJerky, apparently you don’t read alot.  Imagine having all of your books with you at one time.  You don’t have to spend the paper and environmental cost of having the paperback, or finding a book when you travel.  You ust load them onto this machine.

Posted by deedpt on February 9, 2009 at 12:04 PM (CST)

4

I do read a lot. I usually tend to stick to one book at a time though. It’s not like music where I can listen to a few tracks, then fancy something else.

Am I alone in reading just one book at a time?

Posted by BeefJerky on February 9, 2009 at 12:21 PM (CST)

5

BeefJerky—The Amazon Kindle doesn’t suit your needs, so for you, it would be a waste of money. That’s fine.

But there are a *lot* of people in this world who aren’t like you. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s a diverse world.

If I had the money, I’d order one today. As it stands, I’ll probably order a Kindle 2 next month, and I’m hoping they aren’t backordered too deep by then.

Posted by BJ Nemeth on February 9, 2009 at 1:16 PM (CST)

6

I tend to read one book per format at a time. I may have an audio book going, a physical book, and there’s usually an electronic book in process on my iPod Touch.  Even so, the Kindle seems very appealing. For one thing: there’s more to read than just books, and some of those items (newspapers, short stories) take considerably less time to read, so even if you’re only reading one at a time, you may want to have more then one of them with you. Also, when I travel, I’m always trying to guess which books I want to bring with me.  By the time I finish my current book, I sometimes find I’ve changed my mind about what to read next.  If a big chunk of my library could travel around with me, I would see that as a pretty big benefit. It may not fill a “need” for everyone, but it definitely fills a “want” for me.  Also a huge advantage is that you don’t have to go searching for your next book and co-ordinate with your computer to get it where you can read it. Shop for books from your device, and get the book on your device. That’s something the iPod hasn’t had until fairly recently.  And if you’ve ever been away from home, holed up somewhere enjoying a good book only to have it end, leaving you with nothing to do but stare at the wall, I think you can see the benefit of that.
I’ll be looking at reviews for the new Kindle and hopefully buying one before too long, but we’ll have to see. One difference I’m noticing is that Kindle 2, while having considerably more built-in memory then the original, does not list an SD slot among its features, so it actually has potentially less storage than the original, and no way to transfer large files without a computer if I’m reading it correctly.

Posted by Rob E. on February 9, 2009 at 1:21 PM (CST)

7

Let’s not forget how helpful readers like this are for students. In that case for sure you need more than a book…

Posted by Woodstock on February 9, 2009 at 1:47 PM (CST)

8

I own a Kindle and use it everyday. Well, when I can get it away from my wife. We were averaging $100.00 minimum evry 2 weeks and buying $8 and $9 paper backs as I have a 3 hour round trip train ride every day. The Kindle was a god send. The books are cheaper by about 25% for new books and some old titles are as little as $2. You can also find a lot of free media out there. The ability to look up a word or phrase that you dont know on the fly and google subjects is huge. Buying the books online where ever you are is a bonus. The web browser is not great but it is fast and gives you the info just not in a pretty format.

As far as functionallity, the Kindle needs some work. The page back button is too big and easily hit. and the the right side page ahead button is too big, those problems were fixed on the Kindle 2. The on/off switch is inconvienent but a better case fixed that. The capacity of the Kindle is a subject that has NO bearing on the device. I keep 30 to 40 books on it at any given time. All the books I buy from Amazon stay in my account and I can load them as I wish, not much need in 150 or 1500 books on the device. Battery life is a full week with no issues.

I will probably buy a Kindle 2 for myself very soon and give my wife the hand me down.

Posted by neillarson on February 9, 2009 at 2:26 PM (CST)

9

deedpt: except for the small detail that I’d have to repurchase all of my current books in order to use them with the Kindle.  I can’t simply rip them the way I can rip CDs for iTunes.  And most of my library isn’t yet available in Kindle format.

I have a first-generation Kindle.  It’s not bad, especially when I’m travelling.  But I don’t see it replacing my paper library in the next five years.

Posted by celtic_elk on February 9, 2009 at 3:42 PM (CST)

10

As much as I’m a fan of electronic book reading, I don’t really see the point of the Kindle for anybody who already has an iPhone or an iPod touch….  It just ends up being yet-another-device-to-lug-around.

With the proliferation of eBook readers and RSS readers for the iPhone (and iPod touch), these seem like much more practical solutions….  You can store dozens of books on an iPhone and apps like eReader allow you access to your entire online bookshelf over-the-air.

Mind you, I’ve been a PDA user for over ten years, and started reading ebooks on my Palm about seven years ago, and continue to do so today on the iPhone.

Don’t get me wrong… I think the Kindle fills a need among users who may not be toting around a lot of other electronic devices, but I still think it’s more of a niche product.

Posted by Jesse Hollington in Toronto on February 9, 2009 at 4:05 PM (CST)

11

The price is justified, considering the new Sony E-Reader (700 series) that was recently released is going for $399.

Before you think this can be replaced by an iPhone, Touch, or PDA, you have to use one first.  The reading experience is very “paper like”.  I could only imagine the eye strain I would have using any portable, other than a reader.

The real question would be, would you like the higher end viewer, with touch screen capabilities of the Sony E-Reader, or the wireless capabilities of the Kindle?

Posted by jwc110869 on February 9, 2009 at 6:41 PM (CST)

12

The Kindle is a really cool device, no doubt about it, and I’d love to have one.  But the price needs to drop way, way down before I’d even consider buying one…. like less than $200.

Posted by Frank N. Stein on February 10, 2009 at 7:46 AM (CST)

13

So with the purchase of the Kindle device you also get lifetime wireless connection to the Amazon book store.

You can carry your whole library of reading material in the device to read whatever you want whenever you want (this is the part that reminds me of an ipod).

You can get books, magazines and newspapers all delivered without going anywhere.

You save money on the cost of the book (someone figured out that you need to by 50 books to save enough money to pay for the device).

It just seems like the right device for me, so I guess I’ll buy one.

Posted by gear on February 10, 2009 at 7:47 AM (CST)

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