The Kindle 2 Price Drop

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Screen needs light to be viewed, but really approximates ink on paper

There have been many reviews of the Kindle 2, and I won’t repeat these. I had been on the brink of getting one, but was enjoying my Kindle iPhone application immensely. What pushed me into purchasing one was the recent price drop on the Kindle 2 combined with my increasing frustration with my inability to purchase Kindle books from Amazon on my iPhone without going into the full web page on Safari (and not via their wonderful Kindle app nor their very workable Amazon Store app).

I ordered mine with the leather cover which gives it the hand feel of a nice 100 page leather bound book. SNC10278The screen is incredibly readable and trumps the reading experience on iPhone. The only advantage iPhone has is that you can read your books in bed with the light out. Your progress on the book is updated for both iPhone and Kindle.

Reading on Kindle is a joy -the device, though not pretty in the way that Sony’s E-Reader is, is solid and very thin and basically unobtrusive. It’s always on Sprint data connection included in the price of the Kindle means you can buy books anywhere which I did from the golf course yesterday while waiting for people to process their golf (Wakonda had one of its interminable outings). If you are especially cruel, you can go to Barnes and Nobles, paw at a book that you might like, look it up and see if it’s available (currently 300k titles), and buy it electronically and put the real book back on the shelf.

Not carrying a hardback book is a nice convenience. Not carrying many, many books is miraculous. Particularly textbooks which when searching vascular comes back with about 74 text books, discounted for electronic format. The problem with textbooks is that you can’t carry one around for reference or just plain reading for pleasure (I know, I’m a huge geek but that is why I got a Kindle).

Is it something that everyone should get -yes if you buy a lot of books and believe that scholarship is a lifelong avocation. You can get just as much out of a library card, but you’ll have to carry physical books. You’ll likely pooh-pooh it if you’re in that “I love to fondle books” crowd, but more likely than not, you have never actually seen a Kindle.

I think this is the killer app that will make Amazon the iTunes store for books. The question is, will Amazon open up the Kindle to kindlish apps, including an MP3 player app for their very nice music department (cheaper than iTunes).

Review of iPhone Kindle App

img_0003It was with some dubiousness that I downloaded the Kindle application. I already have 8 pages of apps, and I really only use a handful at any given moment. The application runs without a hitch, but I didn’t have any books. 

I scooted over to Amazon, to my account, and I purchased the excellent book, Tales from Q School: Inside Golf’s Fifth Major by John Feinstein. I bought it with a gift certificate (another story), and then nothing. I shrugged, and went about my business.

Later, I fired up the application, and lo and behold, the book was img_0004on the list! Tapping on it, a very readable rendering of the book came up. 

The font is resizable, and the application takes it in stride. I have used other reader software, and this can be a complicated process. 

Turning the page is merely sweeping the page to the right. I read half the book with no eye fatigue. It is fantastically easy to read on the Kindle App. This is remarkable.

My prior experience with ebooks has been the awkward transfer of ebook files -the downloading and the purchasing is always a drag. The ebook stores that I have perused have a limited number of books that I actually want to read. This is substantially not the case with the Kindle app. img_00051

The NY Times bestseller list, the deep catalog of recent books on Amazon, this is the scale that Amazon brings. 

Whisper Sync is the killer app of the whole deal. I bought the ebook online, and it shows up basically instantly on my index of books. This is not only cool, but going to make Kindle the leader in all of this.

This leaves Sony out in the cold again. They just don’t get the modern economy and haven’t evolved past the cassette walkman in terms of business models. 

The drawbacks are due to the screen technology. The Kindle draws power when a page is turned. The e-ink maintains its image without drawing further current. Reading a book on iPhone results in a significant battery drain -about half the battery for half the book or two hours of reading which is on par with video watching or gameplay. 

And finally, the application does exactly what its suppose to which is convinces me to go and get a Kindle 2!