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Old 02-24-2009, 06:08 PM   #1
sfernald
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My Short Kindle2 Review

Got it in the mail today and I've been able to play with it for a few hours now. I own the kindle 1 and sony 505 as well.

Here are some of my observations:

It is really thin and small, especially compared to the original kindle. I mean the old one was like a book, this one is like a pamphlet. The fit and finish is outstanding. The buttons aren't loose like the original kindle. The device is sturdy and sharp looking and feels well put together. I would say the quality closely matches something that Apple or Sony would produce. It has a strong metal backing and although I really liked the rubber backing for the original kindle, this one won't be popping out if I put too much pressure on it.

The buttons now press inward (toward the screen) rather than outward. This was really weird and I'm still adjusting to it. I'll have to retrain my hands because it is so foreign compared to my kindle. The result is no accidental presses. Also, when you set it down, no accidental presses. I can't tell you how many times, with my original kindle, the page would jump randomly when I put it down or pressed it accidentally. Buttons still big enough to press easily but not nearly as big now.

The thing is beautiful. I thought the original kindle was actually quite attractive in its own way, but this one blows it away. Much cleaner.

Screen seems better (a little maybe). Hard to tell difference from original kindle. Looks about as good as the 505 I would say.

The page changes are much faster now. It is a big improvement.

I like the little joystick. I liked the quicksilver scrollbar, but this is definitely faster and more useful. Flipping through the links in a table of contents is a little too slow for my liking. Should be better.

I redownloaded all my books from amazon.com and then I copied everything over from my original kindle documents directory. What I found then is that some of my books would not open. I had to delete them and then have them resent from amazon.com. I think you can transfer non drm files via usb, but drm files have to be transferred via amazon.com. By the way, the usb access seemed faster and files copied very fast.

The text to speech is really good. Much better than I expected. I could actually see listening to a story on a plane or something if I felt like an audio book. This will be a much praised feature of the kindle 2.

Overall, I love my new kindle 2. It is a great upgrade and I'm sure everyone will love it even more than the Kindle (which was great on its own). Keep it up Amazon!! Great job!

Last edited by sfernald; 02-24-2009 at 08:56 PM.
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Old 02-24-2009, 07:30 PM   #2
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what about the screen savers....hows the clarity? gotta have good screen savers
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Old 02-24-2009, 07:36 PM   #3
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The clarity is great - but we are going to have to refigure out how to get our own custom images in there. The old method will not work.
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Old 02-24-2009, 08:16 PM   #4
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The clarity is really wonderful. Now that I've used it a bit more, I think it seems much clearer than the original kindle. I just love the screen.

I haven't seen many screensavers yet but the ones I've seen I like and they are sharp as heck!

Couple more things:

I'm currently reading a collection of short stories by Stephen King called After the Sunset. One thing I've noticed I love is the new bar that tells you how far along the book you are. It gives you a percentage and it has a little mark indicating each chapter (or story in this case). This is so useful because now I can see how long the next story is and I can decide if I want to try to read it before I go to bed. I can see when the next story is really short and just go right through it or if it is especially long, maybe then I'll just skip it for a shorter one. This is a really nice feature. Also, the joystick has a great feature if you push it to the right, it will skip to the next story/chapter (very slick).

Also, noticed no Alt-T. That is a shame I think. I'm sure there must be another way to get the time.

The graphics on the screensavers look especially nice with the 16 color graphics. Very nice indeed.

I love the overall speed of the thing. They must have beefed up the processor nicely. Also, It doesn't really have an on/off switch really so I don't have to feel guilty about reading it during takeoff on a plane flight. The wireless off button is gone as well; it's now a menu option.

Everything seems improved to me over the original Kindle. I highly recommend the upgrade but then I am a new gadget aficionado who has a real lust for new toys!

One wish: I wish it had a more elegant, faster, easier to access table of contents.

Last edited by sfernald; 02-24-2009 at 08:19 PM.
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Old 02-24-2009, 08:44 PM   #5
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If you hit menu, the top of the screen contains the time.
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Old 02-24-2009, 08:52 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sfernald View Post
the new bar that tells you how far along the book you are. It gives you a percentage and it has a little mark indicating each chapter (or story in this case). This is so useful because now I can see how long the next story is and I can decide if I want to try to read it before I go to bed. I can see when the next story is really short and just go right through it or if it is especially long, maybe then I'll just skip it for a shorter one. This is a really nice feature. Also, the joystick has a great feature if you push it to the right, it will skip to the next story/chapter
Excellent to hear. I'm surprised more people are not mentioning this.
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Old 02-24-2009, 09:04 PM   #7
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How are you supposed to turn it off?
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Old 02-24-2009, 09:08 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by detacht69 View Post
How are you supposed to turn it off?
Since it is eInk it doesn't cost anything to keep it there. But, I am going to guess when you turn the page it will go off? No? Yes?

RTFM?

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Old 02-24-2009, 09:20 PM   #9
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There's a little slider at the top that will put it in screensaver mode, and I'm sure there's a way to do a full shutdown through menu or maybe by holding the slider for a certain amount of time or something. But really I don't think you need to turn it off. It is designed to run with minimal battery use when just sitting there. Only when the page is changed or wireless is accessed is the battery used much.

With the wireless off, I think it's designed to last two weeks without ever touching a switch. Just set it down when you are done reading. What will be interesting is if that's two weeks of constant reading or just two weeks of standing by.

But the important thing for me is that the there is no labeled on/off switch which means the flight attendants won't make me turn it off (well, I can't actually because there's no on/off switch right? At least that's my rationale).

Last edited by sfernald; 02-24-2009 at 09:22 PM.
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Old 02-24-2009, 09:27 PM   #10
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oh ok.. so there is SOMETHING... i guess that slider is what you hold for 14 seconds to reset... also I remember on airplanes they say "If it has an on/off switch, then turn it off" I don't know if that counts either though.

Thanks bob for reminding me to RTFM I just got excited

congrats on becoming a mod!
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Old 02-24-2009, 11:11 PM   #11
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Hold the switch for 4 seconds to turn it off. The screen blanks. It recovers from off very quickly -- it's not a restart the way it was on the K1.
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Old 02-25-2009, 02:52 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Matches Malone View Post
Excellent to hear. I'm surprised more people are not mentioning this.
One negative thing I've noticed is not that many books seem to support this feature. I think books have to be specially prepared to have the chapter markers. That is unfortunate. Most of my books don't indicate the chapters.

Also, periodicals have a new advanced article list which is a lot nicer than before. It really is a slick way to choose articles, a lot better than before. However, any older periodicals don't seem to have this feature and I haven't found any way to get to the article list at all. For example I can't get to the article lists of any of my Asimov's or Analog's back issues. That really sucks. I guess I just have to read them straight through. At least they work at all on the new kindle. I wasn't sure they would be viewable at all because periodicals can't be downloaded to more than one kindle, but if you copy them via USB it seems to work.
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Old 02-25-2009, 03:10 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by sfernald View Post
One thing I've noticed I love is the new bar that tells you how far along the book you are. It gives you a percentage and it has a little mark indicating each chapter (or story in this case). This is so useful because now I can see how long the next story is and I can decide if I want to try to read it before I go to bed. I can see when the next story is really short and just go right through it or if it is especially long, maybe then I'll just skip it for a shorter one. This is a really nice feature. Also, the joystick has a great feature if you push it to the right, it will skip to the next story/chapter (very slick).
FBReader has a similar feature (see 20090222 snapshot), which keys on the table of contents. Is the Kindle always marking every entry in the TOC (the one you get from a menu item, not just a set of links embedded in the body of the ebook)?
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Old 02-25-2009, 03:24 PM   #14
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The Kindle 1 had an option to select either Full or Left Justification that worked in some books. Is there something similar in the Kindle 2?
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Old 02-25-2009, 03:42 PM   #15
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The Kindle 1 had an option to select either Full or Left Justification that worked in some books. Is there something similar in the Kindle 2?
Based on My kindle2 has arrived!!! It's GORGEOUS! this might not be available (although screenshots work). I think I also heard mention of ALT-J, so you might try that.
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