Amazon’s Kindle Portable eBook Reader Review

Amazon’s Kindle Portable eBook reader Review

by Steve Danlag

Glenn Magas dot Com contributor, Steve Danlag, takes on a portable eBook reader assignment with this comprehensive review of his Kindle 2 handheld eBook reader!
Straight from his iPhone!

This is a review for Amazon’s portable eBook reader, the Kindle 2, or just Kindle now since the 1st generation is no longer available. (buy it here: Kindle 2 handheld eBook reader)

The Kindle retails for $259.00 and is only available through Amazon.com It’s about the size of a DVD movie case (8″x5.3″x0.36″), weighs 10.2 ounces and has a 6″ diagonal E-Ink electronic paper display. The display is 600×800, 167 ppi, and has 16-level gray scale. In non geek-speak, it’s about the size/weight of a paperback, but thinner, and text also looks exactly like you’re reading from a paperback.

The Kindle has 2 gigs of memory built in which is about enough space for 1500 books. The memory is not removable or upgradeable, but books can be removed or archived through your Kindle account. Any book purchased on through Amazon is saved to the account and can be sent to your Kindle, iPhone, iTouch, or PC as needed. I think 2 gigs of space is way more than enough for an eReader. Removable memory (see Nook, Sony eReader) may seem good in theory, but I have yet to come anywhere close to the limit on the Kindle.

The battery on the Kindle is non-removable also, although it can be replaced by Amazon if the unit is sent in for around $60.00. It is charged via a supplied USB + power adapter, the USB can also be connected to a PC and charged that way. (see related post: “How to maximize your Nook eBook Reader Battery“)

On a side note, for iPhone users, you can also use the AC power adapter to plug your phone into for charging. On a full charge, I’ve been able to go two or three weeks before running low. I usually have wifi turned off though and turn it on only for syncing or when buying a book. Like any battery, the length that a “full” charge will get you will decay over time dependent on the amount of charges it has received. But according to tech saavy prognosticators using complicated formulas, it’ll be about 10 years before the battery will need to be replaced.

Buy the Kindle 2 here: Kindle 2 handheld eBook reader

The Kindle also has a built on basic web browser and FREE wireless 3G service through AT&T. Personally I’ve only used it once for the purpose of this review since I use an iPhone for any browsing on the go, but the Kindle browser is functional, a bit slow to load, but did I mention it’s FREE lifetime wireless web browsing anywhere you can pick up ATT 3G? Some other features of the Kindle are adjustable font size, orientation, text-to-speech, which is not enabled on all books and if you enjoy being read to by Hal-2000 or War Games movie voice…”Shall we play a game?”.

Now on to what the Kindle actually does: books. Kindle books are either purchased on Amazon’s website and then sent to your device or through the Kindle itself by browsing through the store. The Kindle has a keyboard on the bottom (aesthetically ugly, but functional) to type in the name of a book or author or you can browse by category, best sellers, etc. (see related: “Free handheld eBook reader books – are you addicted?“)

Amazon claims to have over 450,000 titles available and books are priced from free to $9.99. Most of the free titles are public domain, copyright free books (Little Women, Gullivers Travels, Alice In Wonderland, etc) or books that authors choose to make free for a limited time. (I just downloaded a Raymond Fiest book for $0.00 right now while checking to see what free titles were available).

There is also a “Try it free” for all the books where you get the first one or two chapters of a book to see if you like it. In general, if you like to read all the new release/bestsellers, expect to pay $9.99 per title. If a book has made it to paperback form already, the Kindle version will be around $4.00 to $6.00. If you only read classics, you’ll probably never have to ever pay for a book.

My overall reading experience on the Kindle so far has been good. I’ve read 7 books in the last two months which is about 6 more than I read last year. The E Ink display is like reading off an actual book page but requires an outside light source for low light conditions (no reading a book under the covers at night to fall asleep). Also if you’re used to falling asleep while reading and holding a paperback, you’ll have to break yourself of that habit. I’ve had a couple of near drop experiences while dozing off reading… not good. If you have an iPhone with the Kindle app, your books will wirelessly sync when you shut off, so you can pick up where you left off reading on the Kindle and continue reading on your iPhone and vice versa.

The Amazon Kindle is one of many portable eBook readers currently on the market. Considered by many to be the pioneer of the handheld ebook eReader wave, the Kindle is the (arguable) current leader of this growing market and does not look to go quietly into the night while being challenged by new competitors like Apple, Barnes & Noble, or Sony.

Thanks for reading – Steve.

Sent from my iPhone

Buy the Kindle 2 here: Kindle 2 handheld eBook reader

Related posts:
Listening to iTunes music on your Nook!”
14 Days with my handheld eBook Reader – 5 Reasons to buy the Nook
Handheld eBook reader – The Nook eReader – Is it worth it?
14 Days with the Nook handheld eBook Reader The Final Decision
What are you reading on your Nook Handheld eBook Reader?”
Is your Nook eBook reader completely frozen?

About Steve Danlag

Steve Danlag is an avid reader, that's why he loves his Kindle 2 portable ebook reader. He is a marathoner, a father of 3, and a loving husband who finds solitude from the normal hectic life by reading. He'll throw an ax kick and shoot you with a paintball marker if you make him mad - so read his contributions to Glenn Magas dot Com or he'll get mad.