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Kindle 2.0 is out...almost
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Tim Cheek
(hikerfan4sure) - MLife
Kindle 2.0 is out...almost on 02/09/2009 13:00:10 MST Print View

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At 10.2 ounces, it seems even better. Someone please buy one and report.

Edited by hikerfan4sure on 02/10/2009 09:06:28 MST.

JT Croteau
(Tobit) - F

Locale: Shadows of the White Mountains
Re: Kindle 2.0 is out...almost on 02/09/2009 13:25:09 MST Print View

For those, like me, who don't know WTF this is and don't want to click the link, this is a wireless reading device you download books onto.

Sean Nordeen
(Miner) - F

Locale: SoCAL
Kindle 2.0 almost there on 02/09/2009 17:26:14 MST Print View

From what I've read, it seems with the wireless turned off, it gets really good battery life (2 weeks; not sure if this is continously on or not). If you are going out for a long trip, the 10oz wt penalty doesn't seem bad since you can bring several books to read. The large display and thin device profile seems like it would be easy to read for a long period of time.

The fact that you can upload PDFs to it (though some more complex formatting may be displayed wrong) says you can now upload your topo map printouts to it. Though 16 grey scale colors isn't bad, a color display would be better for the maps. Now if only you could get the PCT or JMT guidebooks in pdf or kindle format, this would be ideal to take for a thruhike. Well sure, I could cut my guidebooks up and scan them into a pdf, but that seems like a lot of work.

Edited by Miner on 02/09/2009 17:27:53 MST.

Brett Tucker
(blister-free) - F

Locale: Puertecito ruins
Re: Kindle 2.0 almost there on 02/09/2009 18:17:57 MST Print View

I own Kindle v1.0. Although the reader has an on/off switch, the device isn't really "on," in terms of battery use, unless you're doing something that causes the electronic ink to refresh. If you leave a page displayed and are simply reading, virtually no battery use is occurring since the ink display is essentially "solid state." (The display goes to "screen saver" mode after 10 minutes or so, and again, this is the equivalent of having the device physically turned off, in terms of battery usage.)

One week of light to moderate daily reading per charge seems to be a reasonable estimate with the v1.0 battery.

The wireless receiver has its own on/off switch. Always leave this turned off for maximum battery life, as the drain is quite substantial, especially for the first version Kindle. (A few hours from fully charged to discharged if you're browsing the web.)

I wouldn't want to use Kindle for anything intensively graphics oriented. The original Kindle displays images quite poorly, unless they're specifically tailored to the device, as with the build-in screen saver illustrations (these are quite elegantly done, and beautiful to look at). Although the v2.0 Kindle offers 16 shades of grayscale, the actual display resolution for user-uploaded imagery could still be highly variable; nor did v1.0 offer any means of displaying images at full size, it doesn't allowing panning but just resizes down to fit the screen dimensions. To wit, Kindle is not a PDA, iPhone or the like. That's just not its niche.

Dirk Rabdau
(dirk9827) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Interesting features on 02/09/2009 18:43:44 MST Print View

I agree that this an evolutionary, rather than revolutionary, change from the Kindle 1.0.

Longer battery life but now the battery isn't user-replaceable. The Kindle 1.0 features a user-replaceable batter (although it took three months on backorder to actually get a spare battery.)

Removal of the SD card slot - this is not a huge deal since the Kindle 2.0 can hold hundreds of books.

The use of "Whispersync" technology that may allow the Kindle one day to sync with your iPhone or other mobile device. This is very interesting.

And it runs on a 3G network so theoretically you could be on a hike, find an area with cell reception, and actually download a book during your hike.

The thing isn't bulletproof. You would have to be careful backpacking with it as it is very thin.

The screen looks better and has improved the delay when you "turn" the page. The button placement is also better.

Verdict? I don't think it's compelling enough for a Kindle 1.0 owner to go out and buy the Kindle 2.0 at a cost of $350. I think the Kindle 1.0 is great, and if the Kindle 2.0 improves on that, even better!


Edited by dirk9827 on 02/09/2009 18:44:16 MST.

Brett Tucker
(blister-free) - F

Locale: Puertecito ruins
Re: Interesting features on 02/09/2009 19:49:08 MST Print View

The 1.0 user-replaceable battery is nice, since you can carry an extra on the trail for twice (eg) the range between charges, something the 2.0 wouldn't be expected to match, regardless of improved battery technology.

I'm not sure if 1.0 is on a 3G network, or if that's simply a function of the upgraded network itself, irrespective of the user's device version. In any case, during a long hike last fall I found the Kindle 1.0 wireless signal to be considerably less reliable than that of the Verizon cell phone I carried as well. Occasionally, I'd receive no signal at all in a fairly large town with otherwise strong wireless reception. I suspect the Kindle simply wasn't able to locate a supported network in those cases. Typically the device won't communicate with any network (or it gets hung up) unless the signal strength is at least 3 bars, as measured by the on-screen signal icon.

That said, when it works, the Kindle's Basic Web browser is a great tool for viewing mobile-based web pages and sending/receiving text email, given that there is no cost for unlimited use of bandwidth.

One other note: Kindle fits great inside a BPL 8x10 BubblePakit, and placed in one of the O.P. Aloksaks for extra weather protection.

Edited by blister-free on 02/09/2009 19:52:25 MST.

Timothy Foutz
(glad777) - MLife

Locale: Virginia
No SD card slot? on 02/09/2009 21:03:56 MST Print View

I have been looking at a sony ebook and this is making me lean more that way. The wireless thing is cool but I want more on board memory. 1.4 gigs free is just not enough. But I think I will wait on a color version.

Nate Meinzer
(Rezniem) - F

Locale: San Francisco
Color version on 02/09/2009 21:12:51 MST Print View

is it possible to do GOOD color with a e-ink? I'm not sure that this development is on the horizon.

Brett Tucker
(blister-free) - F

Locale: Puertecito ruins
Re: No SD card slot? on 02/09/2009 21:22:08 MST Print View

Timothy - The Sony generally gets lower reviews. I believe the concerns are A) long-term readability B) ease of use and C) content availability.

With Kindle, you get access to 230,000+ titles, plus major magazine and newspaper subs, and readability is first in class.

Your concerns about on-board memory may be unfounded, given that this is primarily a reader, not a PDA-type device. What you pay for is yours forever, as Amazon maintains a backup, so you can delete items from Kindle at will then add them again later. Same idea with user content, via USB to/from a PC.

Dirk Rabdau
(dirk9827) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
The Kindle may not win, but it will succeed on 02/09/2009 22:02:16 MST Print View

The biggest things the Kindle has going for it include:

Wireless purchase and delivery of content from

This is huge advantage over Sony for the following reasons:

a) sells books. It's their core business so they have every reason to want the Kindle to be successful. They are serious about the Kindle, so serious that they have made new releases very affordable ($9.99 for most new titles). And once you have an account setup on Amazon, you can just have them charge your account.

b) You can peruse the store from the Kindle, buy a book and download the book without ever having to plug into a PC. That's significant. Impulse buys are a major component of their business model. I can hear about a book on NPR and buy it no matter where I am at.

c) allows you to re-download your purchases at any time. is aiming to be a serious player in the cloud computing/storage game and keeps your purchases available for future download. Should you run out of space on the Kindle or replace it with a new Kindle, your books are still available for download.

Analysts I read believe the wave of the future is to have books on your mobile phone. I can't think of a worse screen to have to try to read a book. Maybe the iPOD touch. I think the Kindle screen is really easy on the eyes and its battery life is better than most phones. However, I am sure phones will be very different in a decade.

I know people who love the Sony model because of its versatility. This is not to disparage Sony at all. I just think the Kindle is successful because what it does, it does very well.


Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: The Kindle may not win, but it will succeed??? on 02/09/2009 23:12:00 MST Print View

Other factors to consider:

* Is Sprint available outside USA? (not in Oz)
* Can you load files any other way than wireless?
* Can you download .txt files directly to the Kindle?
* Can you load non-Amazon formats to Kindle?
* Can you replace the batteries in the field?
* Can you plug in external memory units?
* Is the system OPEN?


Sean Mantell
(SeanMantell) - F

Locale: SoCal
Kindle 2 on 02/10/2009 00:01:26 MST Print View

I didn't see anything definite but 'm pretty sure that it's an internal battery. But here is the other info you asked about.

Storage: 2GB internal (approximately 1.4GB available for user content).

Content Formats Supported: Kindle (AZW), TXT, Audible (formats 4, Audible Enhanced (AAX)), MP3, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively; PDF, HTML, DOC, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP through conversion.

Personal Documents
Kindle makes it easy to take your personal documents with you, eliminating the need to print. Each Kindle has a unique and customizable e-mail address. You can set your unique email address on your Manage Your Kindle page. This allows you and your approved contacts to e-mail Word, PDF documents, and pictures wirelessly to your Kindle for a small per document fee--currently only 10¢ per document. Kindle supports wireless delivery of unprotected Microsoft Word, PDF, HTML, TXT, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, PRC and MOBI files.

You can email your PDFs wirelessly to your Kindle. Due to PDF's fixed layout format, some complex PDF files may not format correctly on your Kindle.

If you are not in a wireless area or would like to avoid the fee, you can send attachments to "name" to be converted and e-mailed to your computer at the e-mail address associated with your account login. You can then transfer the document to your Kindle using your USB connection. For example, if your Kindle email address is, send your attachments to

Edited by SeanMantell on 02/10/2009 00:03:46 MST.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Kindle 2 on 02/10/2009 03:35:43 MST Print View

Hi Sean

Actually, I knew the answers to all of my rhetorical questions. So perhaps I should answer them myself my way.

* Is Sprint available outside USA?
It is not available in Oz or most other countries. What if I don't use Sprint anyhow?

* Can you load files any other way than wireless?
Yes, but there are complications and costs.

* Can you download .txt files directly to the Kindle?
I believe you have to email your documents to Amazon and get them to reformat them for you, into the proprietary Amazon format. You are therefore entirely reliant on a connection to Amazon. Ever heard of 'lock-in'?

* Can you load non-Amazon formats to Kindle?
By and large, no. Ever heard of 'lock-in'?

* Can you replace the batteries in the field?
No. You have to be near the mains.

* Can you plug in external memory units?

* Is the system OPEN?

* Does use of the Kindle cost you money?
Yes (unlike email which is free):
'This allows you and your approved contacts to e-mail Word, PDF documents, and pictures wirelessly to your Kindle for a small per document fee--currently only 10¢ per document.'

History has shown us that most of these innovations start being proprietary, with the vendors hell-bent on a lock-in aimed at maximising their short-term profit, but eventually the real market success comes from OPEN systems.

You have only to look at the public reaction to all the proprietary audio and video DRM systems which the consumers have overwhelmingly rejected. We just don't want to be told what we can and can't do with the things which we have bought.

The idea that I will be eternally dependent on the Amazon server for use of the Kindle is anathema to me.


Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Kindle on 02/10/2009 04:15:37 MST Print View

This seems to be a mixed bag, some great and innovative technology, and some annoyances and deficiencies.

I read through the specs and features on Amazon, and a few points and questions came to mind.

Screen tech: Great for what it's designed for. Low power consumption, daylight readability.

Formats: A bit limited, but considering there's no big power hungry cpu to run, I can live with having them converted by Amazon for free and emailed to me. It should even be possible to pick up the mail on a smartphone out in the field, and sync the document to the kindle via usb, assuming kindle will talk to windows mobile? Or just pay your 10 cents. ;-)

Web browsing. Cool, but can you post? It's be great to be able to converse with friends on BPL via this device.

Free books. project Gutenburg has a lot available, and you could convert these to .doc or .pdf to get them onto your kindle.

I read on the net that the company that makes the screens is also planning on producing smaller displays which will attach to smartphones. Cool idea. This would be lighter, and would be driven by a device which is always on anyway. Windows mobile is a fully fledged computer operating system, albeit limited in some ways, but with office mobile, acrobat reader, and other text handling programs including a simple web browser which can turn off images and simplify layout, this would be a winning idea IMO.

If this whole device weighs 10oz, a (say) 4.8" smartphone plugin screen without the keyboard and kindle battery would be a lot less. If it included a small keyboard, your smartphone suddenly becomes a more useful comms tool too.

Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
Re: Kindle on 02/10/2009 05:05:19 MST Print View

clck here for the best kindle review yet

Edited by jcolten on 02/10/2009 05:06:11 MST.

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Kindle 2.0 on 02/10/2009 07:04:32 MST Print View

Gotta love Opus.......

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Re: Kindle 2.0 on 02/10/2009 08:16:27 MST Print View

Doen't seem to be on sale throuh
Wonder why they don't want to sell it here?

Darryl Romm
(Lyrrad) - F

Locale: Greater London
Re: Re: Kindle 2.0 on 02/10/2009 09:07:21 MST Print View

I would guess that if and when it becomes available in UK it will be available in France, Germany etc. Will there be a country specific unit or will there be one for all of Europe? Then there is roaming charges to think about. So then there may have to be one for each country as I believe these units to not have a removable SIM card. So the complexity of the release in Europe is the stumbling block if the above is correct (I have read this kind of train of thought some time ago, but can't place it now).

Is it the future? Well I think a book is a book. I for one find it easier to digest info from paper rather than a screen.

In UK we have so many daily newspapers, and the idea of receiving your daily newspaper on one of these units seems very plausible. (I can't quite see the average Sun reader using one though!)

Edited by Lyrrad on 02/10/2009 09:08:14 MST.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Re: Re: Re: Kindle 2.0 on 02/10/2009 09:12:28 MST Print View

Good point, it may be using EV-DO rather than 3G for comms. Amazon UK would need to tie a deal with a UK telecoms provider. Oh well, I'll have to wait until someone makes an E-ink screen addon for a smartphone.

Darryl Romm
(Lyrrad) - F

Locale: Greater London
Re: Re: Re: Re: Kindle 2.0 on 02/10/2009 11:00:07 MST Print View


Here is info on Amazon Kindle UK and here is a thread discussing Kindle for EU

Edited by Lyrrad on 02/10/2009 11:02:10 MST.