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Old 02-10-2009, 08:38 PM   #1
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Exclamation Amazon comments on lack of SD card slot and user-removable battery

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Users of Amazon.com Inc.'s original Kindle are registering disapproval that the Kindle 2, due out Feb. 24, doesn't have a slot for an SD card or a removable battery.

"I'm pissed at Amazon," said one person named Vicki, commenting on an Amazon.com forum after the Kindle 2 was unveiled. "I've had my Kindle for almost a year and I really like it. When it dies, as all electronics do, the 'upgrade' will be a downgrade that won't be as useful as my current Kindle."

She joined more than 20 other current Kindle fans on the Amazon site voicing concerns about the Kindle 2's lack of an SD slot and its use of a battery that's not user-accessible.

Elsewhere on the Amazon site, other fans griped about how the online retailer has given less-than-ideal treatment to original Kindle users with the announcement of Kindle 2. Amazon offers more than 1,000 Kindle-related discussion topics, underscoring the e-reader's popularity.

Many of the complaints that have bubbled up since the Kindle 2's unveiling Monday came from users who like to add an SD card to the original Kindle so they have enough storage for plenty of books. Some said the 2GB of storage offered in the Kindle 2 won't be enough.

Users also criticized the new battery, saying they have grown accustomed to removing the battery in the original Kindle to reboot the device. After a year, many said the battery needed replacing anyway because it wouldn't hold a charge.

While the changes seem like downgrades to some, Amazon's Kindle unit director, Charlie Tritschler, said both moves will actually improve the Kindle 2. "Compared to the original Kindle, the Kindle 2 makes it convenient to keep content in one place," Tritschler said today. And the built-in 2GB of storage in the Kindle 2 means 1.4GB is available to the user -- almost eight times the 180MB of storage offered in the original Kindle, he said.

"That's room for 1,500 books," Tritschler said, noting that any book a Kindle user buys is backed up on Amazon's servers -- and is available to the reader at any time. "There's no need for additional storage."


Some users complained that Amazon might be eliminating the SD slot to force its Kindle customers into buying only Amazon content. But Tritschler said the Kindle 2 still allows users to access non-Amazon books, text files and even some music that is not protected by Digital Rights Management systems. They can do so via a USB cable connected to the Kindle 2 or through e-mail, since each Kindle has an e-mail address, he said.

As for the battery, Tritschler said it was made nonremovable to accommodate the Kindle 2's thinner size. "We really pushed to make it as thin as possible," yielding a device that is just 0.36 in. thick.

A nonremovable battery does not require solid casing like the removable kind do, meaning they take up less space, he said. And Kindle 2 now has a chip for active battery management that was not in the original. That chip regulates charge flows and helps make the battery last for two weeks when not in wireless mode, or four days when connected wirelessly, he said.

Tritschler announced today that the Kindle 2's battery can replaced under warranty for a year. After that, it can be replaced in the Amazon factory for $59.


Asked how users can reboot Kindle 2 since there's no removable battery, Tritschler said a new command takes care of that problem. "We've solved that as well," he said. "You hold down the power switch for 14 seconds."

Expanding on Amazon's explanations about the changes, Gartner Inc. analyst Van Baker noted that Amazon -- and all device makers -- constantly seek to cut down on the cost of materials. An SD card slot on top of the added built-in storage might have cost too much, Baker conjectured. "With any new product, you always get some complaints about how 'stupid' the manufacturer is for not doing something," Baker said.

Tritschler's final take on the SD card/battery brouhaha: "The Kindle 2 is a better product in both respects."
http://www.computerworld.com/action/...icleId=9127739

The lack of SD card doesn't really bother me but the $59 charge to replace the battery after a year definitely urks me. I've never been a fan of having to send my device in to have something as simple as a battery replaced.

Last edited by Sporadic; 02-10-2009 at 08:59 PM.
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Old 02-10-2009, 08:41 PM   #2
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Yeah, the lack of SD doesn't bother me either, i dont know why people are so bent out of shape. Especially with the expanded storage.
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Old 02-10-2009, 08:47 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by KindleKat View Post
Yeah, the lack of SD doesn't bother me either, i dont know why people are so bent out of shape. Especially with the expanded storage.
Perhaps its the arrogance of the following quote from the article.

"That's room for 1,500 books," Tritschler said, noting that any book a Kindle user buys is backed up on Amazon's servers -- and is available to the reader at any time. "There's no need for additional storage."


As the Kindle is now, I can choose what there is a 'need' for'. By downlgrading and telling me what is necessary, THEY are choosing. Perhaps you don't feel the need for the expandable storage.

I feel the decision should be mine, as was given in Kindle 1.
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Old 02-10-2009, 08:52 PM   #4
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I've never put an SD card in mine. I've got 5 dozen books on there and only a fraction of the internal memory is being used. The battery is still doing fine after 9 months, but I have had to remove it a few times when the device locked up. But that's a hassle, it would be nice to just hold down the power button instead.
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Old 02-10-2009, 08:53 PM   #5
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"Tritschler announced today that the Kindle 2's battery can replaced under warranty for a year. After that, it can be replaced in the Amazon factory for $59."

Oh yeah, thats a BIG improvement. Going from a $20 replaceable battery, which I haven't needed to replace, to having amazon replace for me for $59, plus shipping both ways? I can't see them paying for it.

Tritschler's final take on the SD card/battery brouhaha: "The Kindle 2 is a better product in both respects."

In your dreams, Tritschler! You did the same thing auto makers have done. The Kindle now looks like many other readers out there.

You are offering less for more money.
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Old 02-10-2009, 08:56 PM   #6
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Huh?

Quote:
"That's room for 1,500 books," Tritschler said, noting that any book a Kindle user buys is backed up on Amazon's servers -- and is available to the reader at any time. "There's no need for additional storage."
I love definitive comments like this. Can you imagine if several years ago Apple had said there was no need for additional storage? Is this guy a moron or what?

Matt
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Old 02-10-2009, 09:10 PM   #7
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I hate to wade in on this subject since I have never owned a Kindle and have only just ordered the Kindle 2... but here goes.

I believe the underlying motivation for designing the K2 in its current configuration is to appeal to the widest possible group of consumers. They knew there would be "blowback" from the K1 users on the removal of the SD card and user accessible battery, but if they sell 2 million of these or more then they accomplished what they set out to do.... dominate the electronic book market and start the paradigm shift from paper to electronic when it comes to books.

To help soften the expected negative response they did put in a better battery that will hopefully NEVER have to be replaced. If this is the case then this is a non-issue. As for the storage capacity, it is more than enough for the AVERAGE consumer. Those power users will still be able to store material in excess of 1.4GB online at Amazon or on their PC's.

Amazon tried to strike a balance between the hardcore users and the potential customers they hope to gain with a sleeker design, better graphics, longer battery, greater storage and text-speech. This all coupled with Whispernet and access to Amazon's large E-book library makes it very attractive to new users... like me.

What is nice is that K1 users are not left out in the cold... you are fully supported, got a nice little upgrade where you can now zoom into pictures and will have more Kindle users which will drive more content to be available in Kindle format.

All of this will contribute to more research and development into the K3 where all of your dreams will come true!
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Old 02-10-2009, 09:11 PM   #8
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"That's room for 1,500 books," Tritschler said, noting that any book a Kindle user buys is backed up on Amazon's servers -- and is available to the reader at any time. "There's no need for additional storage."

This reminds me of another quote "640k should be enough for anyone". Granted that quote was never really said by Gates. But, the above quote is going to come back and bite him.

How many audible books do you think you can fit in 1.4G? Also, you can't add your own stuff to the Media library. Now, if they allowed for that it would be a much different story.

BOb

Last edited by pilotbob; 02-10-2009 at 09:18 PM.
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Old 02-10-2009, 09:14 PM   #9
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The lack of the SD card is the only thing that I really don't like about the K2. Since we don't have folder support still, using SD cards can serve that purpose by having a different card for different categories.

Not to mention, I don't like loading my Kindle up with everything because I don't like scrolling through pages and pages of books. I usually only keep about 6-8 pages of books on at any one time. So I'm not going to come close to using 2gb of space anyway.
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Old 02-10-2009, 09:14 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by NavyDad6 View Post

To help soften the expected negative response they did put in a better battery that will hopefully NEVER have to be replaced.
And yet they've already quoted a price of $59 to have it replaced..........after the first year. Doesn't sound like they have much faith in it.
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Old 02-10-2009, 09:18 PM   #11
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And yet they've already quoted a price of $59 to have it replaced..........after the first year. Doesn't sound like they have much faith in it.
As with any company that manufactures "things", I am sure they have a replacement cost on every replaceable item. That is not indicative of the expected failure rate, but just good business practice.

Plus it is free for the first year!
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Old 02-10-2009, 09:19 PM   #12
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I doubt the non user-replacable battery is beneficial to the "average" user. Amazon just made it that way because it makes the Kindle 2 thinner. Non replaceable batteries are a pain in the arse! No matter what people say, they DO die and need to be replaced. Instead of going online and getting a new one for cheap, you have to pay 50+ bucks PLUS shipping to get it replaced, not to mention being without your device for a while. It's the one thing I hate about iPods!

With the SD card...I actually was REALLY surprised they got rid of it. Kindle has support for Audible audiobooks, and it's fairly easy for the average person to transfer them over to the Kindle, no fancy process needed. If one has a lot of books and audiobooks, plus magazines/newspapers, there WILL be a need for more storage. I'm with desertgrandma in that I don't like how Amazon is telling me what I do/do not need. I bought the device, I can use it how I'd like to! (within law and reason of course). I love my SD card because I put all my manga (Japanese comic books) and hefty PDFs on there. It's so useful.

Anyway, that's just my $0.02. I am just lucky that I got my Kindle for Christmas and it is a Kindle 1, not a Kindle 2. I will do my best to make it last. (hope I can! Both my Palm TX and iPod are each 3 years old!)

Let's hope Kindle 3 will be better.
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Old 02-10-2009, 09:22 PM   #13
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Do you think the message is that you should go two weeks before recharging this battery if that's what it takes to run it down? They were very clear in the User Manual for K1 that frequent charges would produce a longer life for the battery, but the User Manual for K2 is silent on this point.

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Old 02-10-2009, 09:23 PM   #14
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Ipods have never had replacable batteries, and the vast majority of its users dont know how/dont care to know how to replace them on thier own. And yet there is no public outcry about that....
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Old 02-10-2009, 09:24 PM   #15
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And yet they've already quoted a price of $59 to have it replaced..........after the first year. Doesn't sound like they have much faith in it.
Right! What's much worse as far as I am concerned, is not just the ridiculous cost, but the fact that you have to ship it to them and pay for that and insurance, but you will be without the thing for, what, 2-3 weeks. Just that alone prevents me from even considering a K2.
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