Monthly Archives: April 2009

Mon, April 13th, 2009 by Graves and Allen

Amazon’s Kindle 2

Picture courtesy of

(Picture courtesy of

I enjoyed my Kindle, especially its stand-alone ability to purchase and download books from the Kindle Store without the need to sync to a computer as I had to do with the Sony eReader. I had some issues with the basic structure of the Kindle though, particularly the almost impossible job of holding it without triggering the page advance contact on the right side of the Kindle. For more detail about my reactions to the Kindle and the Sony 505 eReader, see my comments on those subjects in this Blog.

A couple months ago, Amazon released the Kindle 2. Like its predecessor, the Kindle 2 retained the ability to access the Kindle Store and acquire new reading material on the fly using Amazon’s free (to Kindle users) WhisperNet.

The Kindle 2, although still mostly plastic, has a more substantial feel to it than the original Kindle. This may, result from the fact that the back has a metal plate now; it may also be a result of the reduced size of the page-advance button, which (happily) makes it much easier to hold the Kindle 2 and read it without inadvertently advancing the page.

The Kindle 2 takes up only a third of an inch in your briefcase or purse. For that matter, you can easily fit its 1/3 of an inch into a coat pocket (if you have a large enough coat pocket). The Kindle 2 has exterior dimensions of 8″ x 5.3″ x .36″. The new Kindle only weighs 10.2 ounces., so it won’t slow you down much as you travel. The Kindle comes with 2GB of on-board RAM and no ability to upgrade to more RAM or to supplement with a media card. Approximately 1.4 GB of the on-board RAM remains available for book storage.

Amazon’s WhisperNet network works at 3G speeds and covers you in most major metropolitan areas n the continental United States. It allows you to download most book purchases in 60 seconds or less. The Kindle Store sells some 260,000 books for you to choose from and prices of most new releases and best sellers at $9.99.

The new Kindle boasts a 25% increase in battery life. I didn’t get quite that much over the original Kindle, but I definitely noticed an improvement of at least 15%. You can prolong battery life by turning off the wireless connection and turning it on to download magazine, paper or other subscriptions once a day.

The new Kindle turns and refreshes pages faster than its predecessor. Amazon claims a 20% speed increase. The display also shows some improvement.

The new Kindle has some short-comings. First, it does not allow the use of a replacement battery. Second, it does not accept media cards. You get 1.4GB of book/material storage and no more.  Hopefully, Amazon will reconsider the media card issue in its next iteration of the Kindle.  The ability to use media cards is one area in which the Sony eReader gets a big plus over the Kindle.

All-in-all, I like the improvements, but I am not wild about the $359 price tag, even if it does include free shipping.

Copyright 2009, Jeffrey Allen.  All rights reserved.

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