Kindle 2 Second Impression

I posted my first impression with the Kindle a few weeks ago and I wanted to follow up with my thoughts now that I've had some real time to use it.

I love it. I've read more in the last few weeks that I did in the previous 6 months, and while the newness of the Kindle is part of it, I believe the convenience will stand the test of time.

My thoughts here will be about the Kindle, but will be more focused on how it changes my behavior. At the end of the day* a new gadget isn't about how many pixels it has, but how using it changes what you do.

I now take the Kindle with me anytime I might be be waiting 5 minutes or more. I'm in Physical Therapy from my Achilles surgery, and I started reading during the warm up and ice down parts (10 minutes each). These are small periods of time, but escaping into another world makes the time much more enjoyable, and makes me a happier person.

I carry it in my work bag every day, just in case. I would never do this with a real book.

I find it much easier to read than a laptop, or even a book. Once you get the hang of it, it is really easy to curl up with the Kindle and comfortably page through your book with very little effort. I really noticed the difference when I took a break from my Kindle and checked my RSS reader on my laptop. It just wasn't as comfortable or enjoyable of an experience, and I found it much harder to read even moderately long posts.

I've read books through the Amazon store ('Daemon', and 'Predictably Irrational') and books available freely (an Algorithms book I've had on my laptop for years and have not read, and Cory Doctorow's 'Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom' and 'Eastern Standard Tribe' (just started this today).).

It is easy to convert books into Amazon compatible formats using either Amazon's free service (or pay if you have it delivered directly) or Mobipocket Creator (Non-DRM Mobi files are compatible with the Kindle).

It is easy to read. The page turning delay/flashing does not bother me (it may help that I have the older Sony Reader as a baseline) and the text/background is very readable in good light. My daughter was sick today and I spent the better part of the day reading the Kindle with no more eyestrain that I would expect reading a normal book.

It is easier to hold than a real book.

The battery is good enough. I'm not sure it'll last a week with real use but it certainly lasts most of a week. I did start turning off the Wireless (very easy to turn off and on) when I'm not using it to save battery life. I started today with a full battery and am still 3/4 after reading nearly the entire day (without wireless most of the day).

The built in dictionary is great. I've used it at least once with every book I've read (yes, my vocabulary is that bad). The web browser is passable, mostly useful to display Wikipedia pages when the dictionary is insufficient.

I have not tested any newspaper or magazine subscriptions yet. I currently read the Economist (on paper) but I plan on suspending my subscription and testing out the two week trial subscription to the Wall Street Journal (the Economist is not available through the Kindle store). We'll see how this turns out, but I look forward to not having to deal with propping the Economist open so I can read hands free while I eat my breakfast. We'll see...

All in all, I'm very happy with the Kindle 2. I'm headed on a relaxing week long vacation soon and am very excited to carry just the Kindle instead of a bag full of books. It is impossible to run out of books to read with the built in Amazon Store.

* I put this in there for you Brad.