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Old 03-09-2009, 11:52 PM   #1
pshrynk
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K1 to K2, a one week comparison

First of all, let me say this: Alex Turcic made me buy a Kindle 2. When he first annoounced that he wanted new moderators for the upcoming release of the Kindle 2 and the wave of new members he expected, I sent an e-mail saying I might as well sign up, because I spend all my time here, anyway. I never heard back from that, so I figured someone else was going to get the nod.

Then he announced that MR was gioving away a K2, I signed up. I fully expected to win, so I didn't buy one on the announcement date. (Actually, I was waiting to get some early reviews.) Then I came on one day and found my name had been shifted to green overnight and was no longer eligible to win, so I had to buy a K2 on my own dime. (Actually, I failed my saving throw against shiny.)

So, it arrived last Monday while I was at work and I quickly ran home and got it. The first thing I noticed was the packaging was much smaller and more "recycle friendly" than the K1. The box was clearly meant to be recycled. The K1 box was shaped to look like a book and it seemed that it was made to be kept.

Form
The K2 is sleek and rounded, with an aluminum back. The keys are rounded and much smaller. The shape is uniformly thin, whereas the K1 was angular and thicker on the left side and the keys were more raised and square. As far as the over all "slickness" goes, the K2 is ahead in this aspect.

Screen
The screens are the exact same size. The corners on the K2 are rounded as compared to the square corners on the K1. The print seems to me to be about the same in clarity and the pcitures are definitely sharper. It is easy to see the difference between four and sixteen shades.

The refresh rate is definitely faster, as is the speed with which a book opens from the home menu.

Main Menu
The initial difference is the lack of the wheel and the little shiny bar on the right hand side of the screen. The K2 uses what is called a five way button to navigate the screen. The refresh rate is faster with the new controller, so a toggle function is possible. You push the button up, down, side to side and in to navigate. It is fairly easy once you get used to it. The lag in response can sometimes throw you off, if you want to go too fast.

Many of the functions of the K1 menu button are accessible from the screnn. To sort the items, you push the cursor to the top of the screen. To change from "show all items" to "periodicals" or "books" or the new "Personal Docs," push the cursor to the left. To sort by most recent, title, and author, push the cursor to the right.

To navigate to a perticular screen, either by number or by first letter, you now push on the number or letter and the K2 actually waits for you to confirm before going to the page. This is particularly an improvement over the K1. I was always annoyed by the K1's habit of jumping to the first number of a page as I was trying to navigate to pages higher than 9.

I don't have enough books on it yet to see if it will jump to a specific book if I input two letters as opposed to just the initial one.

The really juicy thing about the main menu is that I can now jump to the last page of the list and then to the "Archived Items" which takes me directly to the books stored on Amazon. On the K1, I had to click on Menu, click on SHow and Sort and then click on Amazon Items. "Archived Items" takes me there right away. I then highlight the book I want to bring to the Kindle and click. It shows up quickly.

The main difference here is that with the K1, I could go back to the main menu and open another book while waiting for the book to load. witht he K2, I have to wait.

Reading
Finally, while reading, I can turn the Whispernet off and on buy accessing the menu. This could be done with the switch on the K1, but the reaching behind the unit and finding the switch was a bit of a chore.

The page refreshed quickly, as noted above. The one and only Topaz book I have actually refreshes qute a bit faster. It is still slower, but better. It still loads more slowly from Amazon, however.

Overall
I have to say that the form and function of the K2 is a winner. It is slim, light, and the buttons work nicely. The page turns are more predictable and the size of the buttons seem more reasonable. I feel that navigation is more intuitive. The loss of the shiny bar is not aproblem for me, since the five way button is more direct.

Getting definitions are much easier, as well. Just bring the cursor to the word and it pops up. And, if you want to get a definition without having it in a book, you can now access the OAD directly from the main menu.

Some downsides
Okay, I'm a bit worried about the battery life. I have never had any luck with batteries in any electronic device. They all die prematurely. I had to get a new battery for the K1 after one year.

I wonder about the lack of SD card capacity. However, I had over 400 books on the SD card on the K1 and had less than .6 G used up. I cannot imagine for myself going much higher than that. I can understand that others out there might not have enough with 1.4 G, though.

The thing that I find easier, is that the K2 access to the Amazon Items is way more handy and therefore the management aspect is easier to do righjt from the main menu. Having books stored on Amazon's servers is a lot more practical, now.

Summary
Have I discovered that I really needed a K2? Nope. The new one has some really nice features and if I was choosing one over the other, I would probably get the K2.

However, I am glad I made the purchase and will probably eventually start leaving the K1 at home. Maybe.
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Old 03-10-2009, 08:43 AM   #2
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If one owns Ks 1& 2, don't all the Amazon items show up on both devices?
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Old 03-10-2009, 08:46 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krisk View Post
If one owns Ks 1& 2, don't all the Amazon items show up on both devices?
Not exactly. My K2 showed a folder of "archived" items (yes a folder), everything in my Media Library. I just chose which ones to download into the K2.
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Old 03-10-2009, 08:57 AM   #4
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That folder is on the K2?
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Old 03-10-2009, 09:56 AM   #5
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Quote:
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That folder is on the K2?
Yes. On the K2, there is a folder at the end of the items menu that when clicked on, yields the contents of the Media Library. You click on one to upload it to your K@.

Addendum. This morning, as i was waiting for a book to load, I hit the "Home" button and went back to the main menu and could bring up another book while I was waiting.
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Old 03-10-2009, 09:58 AM   #6
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Archived Items is only on the K2, yes.
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Old 03-10-2009, 01:03 PM   #7
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great detailed writeup!
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Old 03-10-2009, 01:11 PM   #8
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Quote:
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Archived Items is only on the K2, yes.
Well, yes that is how it is presented. On the K1 there is the "content manager" which you get to from the Menu option on the home screen.

The bottom line is that if both kindles are registered to the same account they will have access to all the books in your Kindle media library.

Keep in mind, this is NOT the case for periodicals... they are only available for the single specified kindle.

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Old 03-10-2009, 02:00 PM   #9
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what does "green name" mean ?

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Then I came on one day and found my name had been shifted to green overnight
what does "green name" mean ?

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Old 03-10-2009, 02:06 PM   #10
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what does "green name" mean ?

People with "green" names are forum moderators... and have powers that would make a mere mortal's head spin.

BOb
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Old 03-10-2009, 02:14 PM   #11
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Enjoying the show....
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People with "green" names are forum moderators... and have powers that would make a mere mortal's head spin.

BOb
Yeah, but they still put their pants on one leg at a time.......
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Old 03-10-2009, 02:16 PM   #12
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Yeah, but they still put their pants on one leg at a time.......
Is that your web cam in the corner of my room?

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Old 03-10-2009, 02:53 PM   #13
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Well, I'm also a physician, so that means I put my pants on by telekinesis.

Oops. I wasn't supposed to say that. There will be a nice gentleman coming around with a flashy thing to help you forget that.
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Old 03-10-2009, 03:00 PM   #14
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The broad question I'd ask is:

Is it worth an upgrade for Kindle 1 owners? Is it worth the $100-159 people will pay after selling their Kindle 1?

To me it doesn't seem like it as the improvements are all relatively minor and I have no gripes with the K1 so far. But I'm glad as hell so many people did upgrade since it allowed me to get a K1 for $200 which was my max limit to pay for an e-ink reader.

But as reviews go, I'd say that's a key question to give a clear opinion on why you feel it is or isn't worth an upgrade.
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Old 03-10-2009, 03:10 PM   #15
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If you really like your K1, then not really. If you really like shiny things, go ahead. The K1 continues to function well, and I would have no problems continuing to use it. In fact several members of the forum have stated that they are not upgrading. If you especially think that you will have more than 1K books in th future that you want on your Kindle, then no. The battery questions are still unanswered.
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