Why Amazon Rules, And Kindle 2 Review

I’ve had a Kindle (original) since July 2008. Bummingly, it crapped out on Saturday. There is a known issue where if you press too many buttons at one time, it can freeze. So, using ye olde Interwebz, I located a few methods to try. Alas, no dice, totally frozen on the screensaver, even with the battery out for two hours. So, I called, as suggested, Amazon. I had a slight idea of what they would do, but, still, I was extremely pleased with how things worked out

I talked to a very nice gent who empathized, worked to try and reset 1 time only, because he had LISTENED when I told him I tried everything on their own website. He then did a good job in asking me to hold a second while he checked what he could do. I’m sure he already knew the answer, but, really, it makes people feel good if you, as the cust service rep, make it seem that you are going to do something special.

He came back, and offered to email a pre-paid shipping tag, and I could send it back and get 50% to 80% of the value I paid for it back, depending on condition. Did I mention that it was over a year old? It is. I paid $359 for it, so, that is a really good thing, which is why Amazon rocks. Sure, they will probably take it, refurb it, and resell it. Don’t care. I can get $179 to $287 back. And they know I will pretty much buy a Kindle 2. Which I did on Sunday. Received it Wednesday.

Many people are complaining about the non-removable battery and no memory card slot. Don’t care. It is very slim, though a bit heavier, much of that due to a much longer lasting battery and a metal back. I have already transferred some “emergency reading” books by hooking it up to my PC. Do not need the memory card. Much slimmer than the Kindle 1. The internal 2gb’s of memory is more than enough, especially if you delete, because Amazon holds your books in their memory for free re-download at any time!

I like that it uses the same cable for charging and transfer. It is a micro-USB cable, which means I need fewer cables for traveling. I typically have a regular USB cable for charging my Blackberry, and an adapter for it to use on micro-usb electronics (my main bluetooth headset is micro.) So, do not have to take a separate Kindle charger.

The buttons are much better than the original, especially the next and previous page ones, which are pressed in towards the screen, rather than out, so, much harder to inadvertently go to a different page. It has 165 shades of grey, instead of the 4 the original had. Much easier to read in low light conditions. Not sure if they changed the font sizes, but, I typically keep it on the 3rd smallest, and with the new one, it seems I get more words per page now, while still being good for lower light. (good comparison here)

Comparing it to the Nook, the Nook does have a few interesting advantages, however, where it matters, the Kindle 2 wins hands down. Who really needs a cute color screen for searching at Barnes and Noble? Sure, it has WiFi, but, with Kindle 2, you can use AT&T’s wireless system virtually anywhere to download a book. Amazon offers some good free books right from their website. Most of the Nook’s books are free ones, which means older, from Google Books. I can find the same just as easily on the ‘Net, and move them to the Kindle 2 (Kindle supports txt files, as well as some others the Nook doesn’t, which are major formats for ebooks). Amazon has way more current content, and often beats B&N on book prices. You can also use the “experimental” web on the Kindle, and get news, sports, etc. I can even access my Google feedreader (though, mostly, I would use my iPhone.)

The battery on the Kindle lasts longer then the Nook’s. It is easier to change pages. And, it is much faster. There are lots of advantages, depends on what is important to you. Me, availability of books, price of books, ease of access, ease of use, and battery are what matters. I can also sync it up with Amazon, then continue reading on my iPhone. Books are held on Amazon. Interestingly, it came already set up with my account, so, I simply went and re-downloaded the book I had just purchased from my on-line account, and started reading again. Check the link in the previous paragraph for full comparisons.

One thing, do not order the standard leather case ($29.99). It feels rather flimsy, is heavy, and, for Kindle 1 owners, you won’t like how the Kindle 2 flops around, and that there is no elastic cord to hold the cover together. I carry mine in my work backpack, so, do not like that things can open the cover and rub the display. The closest I can find is this canvas one. Would prefer leather, but, oh, well. Functionality first. Also, there is a good one for being outside, will purchase when the summer gets closer. Both come in multiple colors.

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2 Responses to “Why Amazon Rules, And Kindle 2 Review”

  1. Kevin says:

    I’ll be interested in finding out how difficult it is for you to re-download the books you purchased on your old Kindle. I had heard that it could be a problem for some books, and that they will ask for more money.

    If you don’t like your current case, check out M-edge. They’ve got a good case that comes with a tiny LED lamp that works surprisingly well.

    I don’t know if the case is any less flimsy than the kindle2 one though :(.

  2. Of the 23 books I have purchased, I redownloaded 2, and it was a breeze. They aren’t supposed to ask for money, because you’ve already paid for it, per their FAQs.

    Tried 3 more redownloads before responding, went easily, barely took any time with the ATT network.

    The case I am looking at is an M-Edge, never got around to ordering it today. They make some nice stuff. I just like that elastic strap to hold it closed.

    I probably should have written flimsy, but, written something like floppy. It looks like good leather, but, it doesn’t have that same stiffness the Kindle 1 case did.

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