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Review of the Amazon Kindle 2 Electronic Book Reader

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating

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Review of the Amazon Kindle 2 Electronic Book Reader Photo of Amazon Kindle 2 courtesy of Amazon.com

The Bottom Line

The Amazon Kindle 2 electronic book reader is a dream gadget for working moms and business travelers. With always-on wireless access on the Kindle 2, you avoid paying connection charges when updating your electronic reading library on the road.

Startup is a breeze thanks to the user-friendly design of the Amazon Kindle 2. I love the text to speech feature, which takes over reading a chapter book to your children when your voice goes hoarse. (Or when you overdose on Junie B. Jones.)

The only downside to the Amazon Kindle 2 is the high price, almost half of what you could pay for a bare-bones mini laptop.

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Pros

  • Light weight, compact size make Kindle 2 easy to carry
  • Always-on wireless access to e-book store and long battery life
  • No backlighting reduces eye strain
  • Text to speech feature gives you a break from reading
  • Idiot-proof setup and reasonably user-friendly design

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Limited functionality compared to a netbook or mini laptop computer
  • Controller takes time to learn

Description

  • Six-inch display with 600 x 800 resolution and 16 shades of gray
  • 8 x 5.3 x 0.36 inches and 10.2 ounces
  • Always-on wireless access to 230,000 books as well as top newspapers, magazines and blogs
  • 2 GB internal memory holds more than 1,500 books
  • 3.5mm stereo headphone jack plus built-in speaker
  • AC power and rechargeable battery that lasts for days with wireless on and over two weeks with wireless turned off
  • USB 2.0 connectivity
  • Text-to-speech feature converts page to spoken word
  • Automatically syncs with original Kindle and future Amazon devices
  • Add bookmarks, notes, and highlights and read personal documents

Guide Review - Review of the Amazon Kindle 2 Electronic Book Reader

Working moms and business travelers who can afford the price tag of the Amazon Kindle 2 will enjoy the convenience and wow factor of this compact electronic book reader.

Kindle 2 Design

At just over 10 ounces and a third of an inch thick, the Kindle 2 is easy to tote along in your purse or diaper bag. When you find yourself at loose ends in the pediatrician's waiting room or an airport lounge, you can catch up on your favorite newspapers or the latest bestseller.

The size is comparable to a large paperback and the buttons are relatively easy to figure out. Once in a while I hit menu instead of back, or clicked "select" instead of scrolling down, but I quickly got the hang of the controller.

Kindle 2 Features

The lack of backlighting takes some time to get used to, but is noticeably easier on your eyes than reading a traditional computer screen. With 2 GB of memory, the Kindle 2 can hold over 1,500 books and the battery lasts for 4 or 5 days -- or two weeks if the wireless is turned off.

My favorite feature is the always-on wireless access. Not only is it free, but you get to skip all that annoying troubleshooting to get online in Internet cafes.

My second-favorite feature is letting the Kindle 2 read aloud to you or your children. It's a great way to avoid motion sickness on long car rides or simply to take a break from reading a long chapter book to your kids.

Kindle 2 Drawbacks

Price is the only thing that keeps this review of the Kindle 2 from reaching five stars. When you look at the other fun gadgets out there -- a pocket videocamera or netbook -- it's hard to justify the price tag.

Some people will balk at buying the Kindle 2 because Amazon has a newer, big-screen model available. But I'm always a fan of buying a device that's been on the market for a while, after other people have discovered the bugs and the price has come down a bit.

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