Amazon Kindle 2 Ebook Reader: The Pros & Cons

by Regina

book readers, books, Kindle

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Ebook readers are becoming more and more popular as e-books in general become more popular, and Amazon’s Kindle reader is no exception to this rule.

Amazon just recently introduced the new Kindle 2 wireless reader.

It has some nice features, but it is debatable as to whether or not it is better than the Kindle 1 (or any other ebook reader for that matter), as you’ll see.

Top 12 Features Of The New Kindle 2

#1 Kindle 2 ebook reader has a sleeker design.

#2 Amazon’s Kindle 2 holds more than 1,500 ebooks.

#3 It has more battery power. You can read for days before having to recharge your Kindle 2.

#4 As a wireless reader, you don’t need a computer connection to purchase books for the Kindle 2. This is one of the really cool features because it has 3G wireless technology for absolutely free. So, you don’t have to look for a wifi spot; you can purchase books wherever you are any time, any place.

#5 Any books you purchase will be downloaded to your Kindle 2 within 1 minute of purchasing them.

#6 You can read top newspapers and magazines on your Kindle 2 reader.

#7 You also get free online access to Wikipedia with Kindle 2. So if you need to do some research while you’re away from home,  you can. Or if you just enjoy reading and learning about new topics, then you have that option as well.

#8 You have access to over 1,000 blogs with your Kindle 2 ebook reader.

#9 You can e-mail Microsoft Word documents and PDF files to your Kindle 2. So, if you already purchased several ebooks in PDF format before getting your Kindle 2, you will still be able to read them with your new ebook reader.

#10 The Kindle 2 can read to you. That’s right! So if you don’t feel like actually reading the words yourself (or if you’re driving or doing some other activity that requires the use of your hands), you can listen to any of the books you have on your Kindle 2.

#11 The Kindle 2 has a 16 level gray scale screen and is much sharper than the Kindle 1 which only had a 4 level gray scale screen.

#12 New York Times bestsellers cost only $9.99 to download onto the Kindle 2 reader. Considering that many of these books are hardcover and are about $25 a piece in stores, downloading them on the Kindle 2 can save you money.

6 Reasons To Consider A Different Ebook Reader

As with any product, there are also some downsides.

Here are the things about the Kindle 2 that are likely to make some people opt for other ebook readers:

#1 It is expensive. The new Kindle 2 wireless reader costs $359. For me, this is way more than I would be willing to spend on a portable ebook reader. Quite frankly, it’s just too much money for a function that I can get with my pocket pc.

#2 The Kindle 2 ebook reader doesn’t have a color screen. This is a biggie for me. Personally, if I’m going to spend $359 on an ebook reader, it better darn well have a color screen!

#3 You cannot replace the battery. So, if you buy a Kindle 2 reader and a year or two from now it dies due to battery failure, you are out of luck and out of $359 as well. Now, I suppose from a marketing standpoint Amazon might think this was smart because then you’d feel obligated to simply go out and buy another Kindle, right? Well maybe some people would, but not me personally.

#4 While the Kindle 2 wireless reader has 2 gig of internal memory, it does not have a memory card slot to add more storage capacity. A big bad no-no as far as I’m concerned. I mean, okay 1,500+ books is a lot of books, but I purchase and download a lot of ebooks in one year, and I’m pretty sure I’d have the Kindle 2 full in that amount of time (or less) very easily.

#5 PDFs have to be converted before you can read them on your Kindle 2 reader. While you can e-mail PDFs wirelessly to your Kindle 2, you are still going to have to convert them before they are readable. Also, while there are free (and paid for) versions of software to convert PDFs so they can be read on the Kindle 2, in the words of some: “this is experimental at best.”

#6 Finally, unlike the Kindle 1 ebook reader, the Kindle 2 does not come with a cover. Instead, you have to pay an additional $30 to get the cover which really is necessary — because you don’t want your screen to get scratched or your Kindle 2 to get damaged in transit.

Should You Buy A Kindle Reader Or Not?

A few things I found interesting about the whole Kindle 2 debate…

The original Kindle ebook reader had the ability to replace the battery, while the new Kindle 2 reader does not. And many users of the Kindle 1 said they needed to replace the battery after a year, because it would no longer hold a charge. So why is this not an option with the Kindle 2?

Also, the original Kindle reader had a SD card slot, so you could add more memory for downloading more books. Many Kindle 1 users are very upset with Amazon because they feel that the Kindle 2 is actually a downgrade and they fear that once their Kindle 1 dies, they will be forced to buy a Kindle 2 reader if they want to continue to be able to read all their Kindle books. Incidentally, books on the Kindle reader can’t be read on any other ebook reader.

I can feel their pain. While the Kindle 2 has many good features, I personally feel as though it is a huge expense for a product that is going to eventually die — as all electronic products do. As electronics wear out, newer and better versions come out in their place. So, what are the odds that the Kindle 2 becomes obsolete before you can get your money’s worth out of it?

Those are the biggest reasons I’ve chosen not purchase a Kindle ebook reader. Though I do like many of its features, those features aren’t enough to make me want to spend that much money.

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