I’ve had my Kindle 2 for a few weeks, so I thought it was time to do a preliminary review.
I forced myself to wait for the Kindle 2 to come out because I knew there were a lot of complaints about the first version, mainly regarding it’s crappy design.
And I’m really glad I waited, because this version is beautifully designed. It’s about the size of a very short trade paperback book. It’s pleasantly heavy for it’s size, giving it a substantial feel that you want with a piece of expensive electronics. It feels and looks well made. The back is stainless steel, and the front is made of white plastic that’s like a delicious candy coating. You kind of want to lick it.
The screen is a nice size, and it’s really easy to read off of. You get used to it very quickly. You may have seen some criticisms of the button placement on the Kindle 1, but they’ve fixed that on the Kindle 2. No accidental page turns. It becomes just as natural as turning a physical page after using it for a while.
The interface is also pretty easy to use. I’ve only had a problem with it once, and I’ll get to that in a minute. Navigation through your content options is straightforward. Navigation through a linear book is simple. I also find it quite easy to move around through the Kindle edition of the New York Times.
The only problem I’ve encountered so far is with using the Kindle to read something that’s not linear, like a cookbook. I downloaded the Cooks Illustrated How to Cook Library and tried to follow a recipe from it one night but found it to be a serious pain in the ass to click back and forth through the five pages taken up by the recipe and the variation I was using.
But for the things I really wanted it to be able to do—read books and read the newspaper—it’s perfect. I still like to read old-fashioned books, but I don’t think I’ll want to buy a physical newspaper ever again.
There’s more to mention—the Kindle store, the savings on the New York Times subscription (50 percent!), “throwaway” books vs. books you want to keep forever, the (thankfully) suckass web browser—but I’ll save those for a future post.