Straight Talk Review: Amazon's E-reader the Kindle 2
The Kindle Rocks
I am going to confess something...it's a little secret of mine that only my close acquaintances know. I am SUCH a geek-wanna-be. I was the first person I knew, male or female - who got a personal word processor. I love technology, and I suppose that comes from wanting to find ways to make it easier to write. I'm no kid to be so ga-ga over this technology stuff, but I can't help it, I love to use gadgets and I even love to read about them. One of the few magazines we subscribe to is "PC Computing."
This cool gadget combines both of those things, reading and playing with gadgets - and I admit - I was a hold-out - as far as "I-gotta-have-the-latest-gadget" type of thing goes. I usually want the latest Windows operating system (I have to have a bargain - I don't like to pay retail for ANYTHING - thus - I still haven't taken the MAC plunge...). I waited for the Kindle to be improved upon, and for the price to go down. It hasn't improved as much as I would like it to, but the price went down twice - and since my life has now an additional long-distance grandchild, it's a perfect tool for travel.
I generally carry three sometimes four books around the house with me. I have bookshelves in pretty much every one of our five bedrooms to include our unfinished basement. I have book ends on my nightstand, so does my husband, and those bookends are never lonely. They are always filled with books. I love, love, love to read!
I held out on the Kindle though because while the concept was a marvel when I first heard of it in 2007 - the price was way too high when it first launched. They wanted me to buy a very limited electronic gadget that could download digital books, newspapers and articles for $400. Gee - I could buy a tiny PC for a bit more at the time, and do a heck of a lot more with my PC than their gadget. So no way.
Amazon's Kindle 2007 version
Plus, add the fact that it appeared to be a little bulky - I have fairly small hands, it was a bit thick and the strange thing to me - it had no backlighting - made it easy for me to resist purchase.
Then the Kindle 2 arrived in Feb. 2009. Now THAT launch tempted me. However, when I perused the selection of Christian fiction in the genre's I was most interested in - Speculative, horror, scifi- the pickings were slim. And again, there was no backlighting - so I stopped myself and I waited a little more.
Then Amazon dropped the price $50.00. Hmmmm, "Not enough to tempt me..." as Mr. Darcy said in Pride and Prejudice. Then they dropped it ANOTHER $50.00 this month and that was that. I couldn't wait any longer. I put it in my check-out basket, but before I went through the actual purchase process, I checked the Kindle books in the genre's I love. Aproximately three out of four books I found in my favorite genres could be sent directly to my Kindle on "Whispernet." SOLD!
My new Kindle 2 U.S. version
First of all, when the UPS truck brought the Kindle, as I began to open the box, I began to sing, "Heaven/I'm in heaven/and my heart beats so/that I can hardly speak..." I'm dating myself...I know...but that Fred and Ginger song was apropos for the occasion. I have to tell you, I was totally impressed by the packaging. If you sent this as a gift, once the receiver of the gift opened the box itself and got to the Kindle packaging, they would be impressed be they man or woman. The sleek, black packaging was very upscale, very impressive and yet simple. I've unpackaged laptops that had much less attention paid to the ascetics of the packaging and I've paid at least double to three times what I paid for the Kindle 2.
It needed a charge. so I just plugged it in and immediately began reading the welcome "book" that was already on my "Home" page. The first photo of the Kindle 2 here shows my homepage with 17 books already uploaded on it.
I bought the books on Amazon - not through the Kindle itself, although that is one option a Kindle owner has. Within seconds of my clicking "order", the book was on my list without having to tether the Kindle to the laptop. I got three books I wanted to read for $0.01! I'm not kidding. One - "Wives and Daughters" was FREE and there are numerous other selections that are FREE.
Otherwise, the average price for a download is $9.99, with some around $7.00.
I changed the print to one size up - and I can see the screen perfectly - and don't mind reading on the screen at all (something I thought I wouldn't care for actually). The "print" is supposed to be some new digital copy of actual lettering on paper and it works for me.
Still, the slight drawback is - no back light. But when I ordered the Kindle 2, I also ordered the "clip on" reading lights Amazon and a gillion other places sell - and that takes care of that.
There are speakers on the back if you want to download MP3's. I didn't get this thing at $259.00 to play music on - I can do that with my Blackberry. However, it has that option should you want it. You can see the speakers on the bottom back shot.
This E-book reader is SO sleek, SO lightweight, SO COOL! I absolutely LOVE it. And for someone like me with tiny hands (my ring size is size 4 to give you some idea) it's not too small, and it's not too big. It's perfect and will fit nicely in my purse with a slim cover for protection.
IF you buy one - I can't recommend a good cover -- not yet anyway. I CAN however recommend a cover NOT to get. Do not get the covers that have the binding in the middle as the attachment for your Kindle.
Cover NOT recommended
This is not to say this cover wasn't well crafted and very good-looking. But even though I was super careful - (I am ANAL about my electronic equipment. I have covers and screen protectors for EVERY laptop, cell phone etc. and am so careful about screens and scratching ANY surface of my equipment). In fact for the price, $9.99 this case was gorgeous. However, as I very, very carefully tried to attach the Kindle to the binding, the top hook snapped right off. I'm waiting to hear from the cover manufacture about a replacement. In the meantime, I've ordered another cover that has corner stretch attachments from a different company. I also ordered a custom made "skin" AS WELL as a silicone skin to go over that. Yeah --- I like my stuff to look like it's new.
Your Kindle 2 comes with an instruction booklet that is fairly thin, and the power cord. That's it. But the power cord can be used as both a USB tether to your laptop as well as a wall charger.
I always thought I'd love books and never want to change. I love the
pages, I love that I can GIVE the book to others. I love the SMELL of books in a bookstore or library. I admit - this
probably will not be my exclusive reading tool. I'm sure every once in
awhile, I will resort to going back to the printed page, but for a multi-book reader like myself, as a traveling book, or just something to take with you to the doctor's office - I'm going to be using this baby QUITE a bit. I'll give you an update if I find fault or flaws with my Kindle 2, but in the meantime..."Heaven/I'm in heaven..."
Amazon's Kindle 2
Amazon's Kindle 2 U.S. version