Monday, June 1, 2009

Kindle 2 Review

I acquired a Kindle 2 a few months ago, and had been using it on my daily train commute. I spend 1st hour reading NY Times, and 2nd hour reading blogs and book samples. Having fun with it, and I am almost ready to cancel my NY times print subscription.

What I like:-
- It’s .3 inches thin, and very style-ly. Has that iPod/iPhone/Palm coolness feel to hold and touch
- Screen is easy to read in all but low light, no eye strain
- All buttons and controls are excellent from physical/mechanical perspective (see "don’t like" below on navigation)
- Power lasts a week, whereas iPod doesn't, although I find myself turning off wireless after daily NY times download, which triples battery time
- Wireless connectivity always works. Full books download in 60 seconds after purchase
- Daily subscription downloads (NY Times, Newsweek, Blogs) happens automatically
- Pictures in articles make NY Times feel like the NY Times. Has a Table of Contents (TOC) for NY Times, easy to browse around
- 14 day free trials of periodicals and first chapter free samples of books. Love this!
- Saving my place in what I read
- Looking up words in dictionary automatically (using this when reading bed-time stories to my son)
- Shopping for books on Amazon store works very well. Auto connected to my Amazon account
- Emailing documents to myself my 10 cents is good (they will be very long documents), although this can be done for free using USB cable to PC
- Seems to bounce well when dropped occasionally

What I don’t like
- Navigation is ok, but not intuitive like the iPod. Needs learning (i.e. difference between back and previous buttons)
- Almost every person in the office whom I demoed to thought it was touch screen for navigation
- Comes with no physical cover, what about just a cheap one?
- $15 for NY times monthly subscription? What about ½ price for existing print subscribers
- Paying monthly fee for blog subscriptions (basically subsidizing free wireless, which Amazon pays)
- Can't have automatic search against NY times (i.e. basketball, Australia, Drupal), has to be manual
- Can't tell which sections of NY times I’ve read, and which I haven’t
- No NY times crossword or KenKen (plus side is I spend more time reading)
- Article clippings lose all formatting, its like Unix (i.e. it just copied text appended to one long file of clippings)
- I don’t like the text-to-speech in general, but that’s just me.
- Cant read reviews of books in store, only overall rating
- I have been unsure about using it on subway.

UPDATE: Went to buy Harry Potter, Book 7 for recent overseas trip and was not available. And I thought initially that search was broken. Same experience as searching for Beatles in iTunes store. Had to carry heavy Harry Potter book 7 on plane, so that soured me a bit on Kindle, but guessing I will get over it.

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