Kindle 2 International Version
I’ve been reading books on laptops and PDAs for years. I still remember fondly of reading on my Clie NZ90. With the latest price drop and the new international version I decided it was time to give Kindle 2 a shot.
It arrived in a tiny brown box, with a cute opening tab
When you open it up, this is what you see.
The unit feels thin and light in your hand.
The manual is under the unit
The cable is under the manual
Here is the charging cable by itself
The back of the unit feels cheap to me. I don’t know why there are all these streaking marks all over the metal plate.
To show you what reading on Kindle 2 is like. I took this picture at normal reading distance using a normal view lens. I also use daylight in a cloudy day. The book on the screen is Programming in Clojure. You can see how it wraps the code due to not enough space.
When you buy Kindle, it comes pre-registered to the amazon account you used to buy it. If it’s a gift or for someone else you’d have to de-register on the buying account first. They did this so it works “out of the box”. Amazon has clearly take a page from Apple when it comes to packaging and presentation. The packaging feels small footprint, environmentally friendly and “green”.
The e-ink screen reading experience is good. I can totally understand why one of my friends said “This is so much better than reading on laptop. I don’t feel like someone is shinning a flashlight into my eyeballs”. But the e-ink display is still slow at refreshing the page. There is a 1-2 sec pause between flipping pages. When you press next page, the screen will go completely black briefly before rendering the next page.
I don’t think Kindle 2 is a good device for reading tech books though. If you look at the screen shot above, you’ll see how the code wraps very badly due to not enough space. I’ve also seen tables rendered very poorly again due to lack of space. When I read tech books, I tend to flip back and forth quite a bit. This is clumsy to do on Kindle 2. The navigation UI is not that great either.
On the other hand, I bought two mystery novels, two fantasy novels, and two political science books. Reading those on Kindle 2 is great. Because they don’t really have any tables/digrams. No color content existed at all. I’m just reading them through, page by page. In those situations, Kindle 2 works as advertised.
So for the time being, I’d say Kindle 2 is excellent if you are reading for fun. But as a tool for teachers/students/researcher, not so much.
I did run into two issues trying to buy books for Kindle 2. The first one was when I tried to buy 6 books rapidly in a row, since Amazon does this as six transactions in a row. The bank rejected the 6th transactions. I wish I can buy them as a single transaction. After all, it’s not uncommon for me to go to bookstore and buy 6 books together.
The second problem isn’t a Kindle one, but really more of a sad note. I was looking for tech books that works on Kindle 2. O’Reilly supports Kindle 2 using the mobi format, and I saw O’Reilly is doing a buy 2 get 1 free. I figured since O’Reilly used to be my favorite publisher, this should be no problem. Sadly after looking for about 30 minutes, I could only find two. One of them in fact is just the ebook version of the printed “Real World Haskell” I already own. Manning and APress really has taken over as the superior tech book publishers.