Toward the end of last year, I more or less decided that I wanted to get myself a Kindle, but I wanted to hold off for the next generation. So when Amazon announced the Kindle 2 in February, I put my order in right away.
I've now had it for a few days and have had a chance to play around with it a fair bit. Here are some early thoughts.
Yes, it's expensive. $359--and typically add to that at least $29 for a case. Although there are many free books available (more on this in a bit), and new releases are generally cheaper on the Kindle than in hardcover, it's a good bet that you're not going to save enough on book purchases to come close to paying for the device--especially if you buy a lot of books used (as I do) or get them from the library. This is a premium-price convenience device.
It's the convenience that the Kindle 2 offers that convinced me to buy one. I travel a lot, and the idea of having a library in the form factor of a single paperback is immensely appealing to me. Frankly, I probably would not have purchased a Kindle, if I didn't spend so much time traveling by air with as little luggage as I can get away with.
Plenty of others, including CNET Reviews' David Carnoy, have reviewed the device itself, and I agree with what seems to be the general consensus: the Kindle 2 is easy on the eyes, and the controls seem to work reasonably well.
For reading books, it is a qualitatively different experience from reading on a laptop or a phone. It's not that you can't read on those other devices--in fact, I do it all the time--but the Kindle's e-paper display and long battery life make it far better suited for reading books.
That said, I do believe that we're still in a relatively early stage of this device's evolution. There may or may not be any truth to these specific rumors from Fast Company. (After all, we heard various inaccurate Kindle 2 "leaks" and predictions throughout much of last year.) … Read more