Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Do you really need new Amazon Kindle 2?

Buzz in the online community has been driven today by Amazon presenting the latest generation of its Wireless Reading Device - Kindle 2. This item will be released on February 24, 2009, but you can pre-order it now, as it will be shipped on first come - first served basis. The price $359 includes free shipping. The current electronic portable reading devices fans seem to be excited on the new product.

Listed Characteristics:

1. Slim: Just over 1/3 of an inch, as thin as most magazines.

2. Lightweight: At 10.2 ounces, lighter than a typical paperback.

3. Wireless: 3G wireless lets you download books right from your Kindle, anytime, anywhere; no monthly fees, service plans, or hunting for Wi-Fi hotspots.
4. Books in Under 60 Seconds: Get books delivered in less than 60 seconds; no PC required.
5. Improved Display: Reads like real paper; now boasts 16 shades of gray for clear text and even crisper images.

6. Longer Battery Life: 25% longer battery life; read for days without recharging.
7. More Storage: Take your library with you; holds over 1,500 books.
8. Faster Page Turns: 20% faster page turns.
9. Read-to-Me: With the new Text-to-Speech feature, Kindle can read every book, blog, magazine, and newspaper out loud to you.
10. Large Selection: Over 230,000 books plus U.S. and international newspapers, magazines, and blogs available.
11. Low Book Prices: New York Times Best Sellers and New Releases $9.99, unless marked otherwise.

In comparison with the existing version, the software has been updated in many ways to reflect the firmware improvements. Some of the content, like newspaper articles, has also seen an update to make it easier to navigate and get a quick feel for a story. Music and Web browsing still reside in the "Experimental" section, and are joined by the new text-to-speech feature. The biggest feature, software-wise, seems to be the new, "Whispersync" feature, which can be triggered with a menu command. This will get both a user’s content and location within it-book and page-coordinated between different Kindles.

Video Presentation:

The Kindle 2 is a far superior device to the first iteration.
The Kindle 2 has enormous potential market.
The Kindle 2 replacing paper books.
The Kindle 2 - computer for smart readers.

These are just several of the titles related to the new device appearance on the market. But, I am somehow not completely convinced yet. Here are some of the reasons for me to be skeptical on the Kindle 2 device future:

  1. I personally like to read. I like to flip pages and keep the bed side book all the time. Can Kindle replace that completely? I doubt so.
  2. OK, the first one was emotional, and you can disregard that. Kindle is more convenient and handy. You cannot carry 1,500 paper books with you all the time. That is quite clear. But why the modern mini-computers cannot fill the niche? Just couple of months ago, I purchased mini-computer Asus, which can do whatever Kindle can do, and much more: full Windows XP functionality with entertainment package - work with Office, surf internet, read books, video-chat on Skype, watch movies, play games. The dimensions are almost the same as Kindle. The Asus storage is 160 GB versus 2 GB at Kindle. So, what is the point to get device with limited functionality?
  3. Price, price, price… Kindle appeared to be pricier than my new notebook ($300). So why pay extra for excellent, but single-purpose system?


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(no this is not spam--I am a real human typing) :)

email me:


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