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Old 02-09-2009, 10:46 AM   #1
spec2
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Thoughts on Kindle 2.0?

I'm curious what everyone's thoughts are on Kindle 2.0. To me it looks like Kindle 1.0 in a nicer dress, which is saying a lot. It's still kinda inelegant looking though with that massive keyboard. Why not a tiny cellphone like keyboard and a bigger screen? Or even a touch keypad like the iPhone. It's a reader how much do you rely on the keyboard anyway.

The only thing that makes me jealous as a 505 owner is the Wispernet. But that alone is really tempting me to switch now that it's in a less goofy casing. I'm feeling so conflicted now. Thankfully the Kindle is still overpriced so that should stop me right in my tracks.

What's everyone else thinking?
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Old 02-09-2009, 11:11 AM   #2
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Still seems overpriced, but it seems a major ergonomic improvement over Kindle 1.0, which I tried for a while last fall and ultimately ditched in favour of the 505. Whispernet doesn't really tempt me, but the Amazon ebook pricing is still nice. Based just on the promotional video sample, the automatic text-to-audio feature brings to mind the "dog dancing" analogy. If version 3.0 uses plastic screen technology rather than glass (which I've heard is in the works and will be available to manufactures in the next year or two), I could see transitioning a Kindle 3.0 as my next ebook reader.
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Old 02-09-2009, 11:14 AM   #3
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I have the Kindle 1, and I don't feel the keyboard gets in the way at all. And it makes searching, annotations, web browsing a breeze. A smaller keyboard or some on screen keyboard or other method would be much more frustrating.

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Old 02-09-2009, 11:15 AM   #4
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The ONLY thing that makes me jealous of the Kindle 2.0 compared to my Sony 505 is the Cole Haan line of covers.

That's it.

Besides being more ergonomic, there is really nothing the Kindle 2 has over the Kindle 1, in my opinion. TTS, ya, cool. Loss of expandable memory= bad. Pay extra for cover = bad. No drop in price (actually, increase, because you will need a cover) = bad.
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Old 02-09-2009, 11:18 AM   #5
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Looks much nicer, and small is good (thinner than iPhone!)

I'm disappointed in a number of things, however:
  • No mention of software update for either device
  • No mention of other mobile devices (timetable, etc.)
  • no comment on further compatibility
Am happy about battery length, 16 shades of grayscale, new form factor in general.

But most importantly... for all Kindle users - THE NEW YORKER!! WOO!!!
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Old 02-09-2009, 11:56 AM   #6
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Swindle 2....

More seriously, prettier package, less functionality. Underwhelming. Don't like the always visible keyboard. Proper design should have a slide-out keyboard like many cellphones today. Slide it out if you need it, slide it back when you don't. I would trade thicker gadget for smaller dimensions when not using keyboard. And no external memory, which means no flexibility.

As you may gather, I won't be a customer.....
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Old 02-09-2009, 01:17 PM   #7
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I actually don't mind the look of the kindle 1. It's not as cool as my PRS-505, but it has a kind of apple IIe retro look that appeals to me. I think keyboards are great. I would like the next PRS to have one (maybe like the Libri). And the whispernet is way cool, not for book ordering, but for Wikipedia. I don't like the larger size. I think going smaller would have been the way to go. Text to speech is interesting... I wonder how good it is.
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Old 02-09-2009, 01:50 PM   #8
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I was thinking seriously about buying one. My PRS-500 is just not as easy to read as a second gen screen. I was disappointed that the Kindle 2 STILL lacks a lock function. You're supposed to leave this thing sitting around that's pre-authorized to spend your money at Amazon without any sort of password/PIN. Even the Sony Reader has had this function since the beginning. After your kids lose your place a couple of times, and you have to trace through the history, I suspect most folks turn the PIN on. It's a deal-breaker for me.

Otherwise, I might trade a inch of keyboard for a new screen. The cover connection also seems much better thought out than the PRS-505 scheme. Of course, I have the very secure PRS-500 leather cover so I have high expectations.
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Old 02-09-2009, 01:56 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RSaunders View Post
You're supposed to leave this thing sitting around that's pre-authorized to spend your money at Amazon without any sort of password/PIN. After your kids lose your place a couple of times, and you have to trace through the history, I suspect most folks turn the PIN on. It's a deal-breaker for me.
There are a couple of easy fixes for these issues...

Loosing your place:
Use the book mark if you think kids will move your place.

Buying...
1. You can return any Kindle books "accidently" purchased within 5 days I think it is.
2. Turn of 1-Click ordering on your account. Granted that disables your purchase of it also.
3. Unregister the reader. It requires your Amazon credentials to re-register it to your account. Of course, if you get periodicals auto-delivered this isn't the best choice.

Deal breaker fixed. Go forth and buy.

BOb
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Old 02-09-2009, 02:19 PM   #10
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No ePub support -- still a closed system. Still need to send certain files to Amazon for conversion. Still has a keyboard that reminds me of my laptop. All negatives. However, version 2 looks better than version 1, which is a positive.
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Old 02-09-2009, 02:47 PM   #11
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I just listened to a text to speech demo on the Amazon Kindle site, what a hoot...sounds EXACTLY like those announcements from the National Weather Service. 2 thumbs down on that feature.
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Old 02-09-2009, 02:47 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhadin View Post
No ePub support -- still a closed system. Still need to send certain files to Amazon for conversion. Still has a keyboard that reminds me of my laptop. All negatives. However, version 2 looks better than version 1, which is a positive.
Rats! You found something you sort of liked. Somebody screwed up.
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Old 02-09-2009, 04:48 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pilotbob View Post
Buying...
1. You can return any Kindle books "accidently" purchased within 5 days I think it is.
2. Turn of 1-Click ordering on your account. Granted that disables your purchase of it also.
3. Unregister the reader. It requires your Amazon credentials to re-register it to your account. Of course, if you get periodicals auto-delivered this isn't the best choice.

Deal breaker fixed. Go forth and buy.
You're kidding right? These are supposed to be "fixes"?

My thoughts on the 2.0 version of Kindle:

1. No epub, no way. Deal breaker.
2. Ergonomics seem OK now. Would have to hold it to make sure, but I don't see a problem here anymore.
3. Not in the US, so no Whispernet and no Amazon store. But I can't really hold that against it, Amazon isn't targeting the international audience.
4. Extra for the cover? Seems like a dick move, but I wouldn't really mind. I'd buy the cover, curse at Amazon, and then shut up a about it a week later.
5. Not really ugly anymore, but not pretty either. But it crosses the acceptability threshold, and after that point I stop caring.
6. Better screen. Niiiiice.
7. Text-to-speech? Yeah, like I'd ever use it.
8. Larger dimensions: actually, I rather like this. It would probably make it easier to hold, as long as it's light, and it seems it will be.

Possibly a few other things I can't think of right now. Bottom line, an improvement over 1.0. Would still go for the PRS-505 though. If I were living in the States, then we could maybe talk about it, because I doubt Amazon won't be bringing epub support in a subsequent firmware update. Not supporting the industry standard (and Amazon is a founding member of the IDPF) would be a ridiculously stupid thing to do, and Bezos is not stupid.

A dick? Perhaps... But stupid? No.
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Old 02-09-2009, 05:01 PM   #14
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I just upgraded my PRS-500 to a PRS-505 a month ago, and am surprised to find myself not feeling the usual gadget-lovers remorse that comes when a new gadget comes out! While the Kindle 2 is an improvement in looks over the original, I still don't like having to have a keyboard on the face - though I could probably get over that, just as I'd get over having to buy a cover. The biggest appeal to me with the Kindle/Kindle 2 is the bookstore, but as ePub is coming along, I have a lot of hope that before long we'll see a standardized ebook marketplace. And I have loved being able to check out books from the library - that is going to save me some money in the long run, even if some of the Sony book prices are higher then the Amazon prices.

At this point, I will probably get a Kindle app for my iPhone if they release it, but overall am pretty satisfied with my PRS-505 - and nothing is today's announcement changed that.
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Old 02-09-2009, 05:50 PM   #15
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Excuse my ignorance... but can you actually connect the Kindle to your PC and transfer files across manually, or are you limited to their whispernet thingy? To me half the fun of ebooks is playing around with format conversion and transferring your own personal documents, etc...
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