RIP Kindle2?

Let me start by saying that I love love love my Kindle2.  It does what it does exceedingly well.  Here are my faves in no particular order, and how it compares to what we know of the iPad:

1) Offering free samples, and long ones at that (sometimes as much as 10% of a book – more than enough to get a fair impression).  It never occurred to me when I bought the thing that this would become pretty much my favorite feature.  I love knowing whether I *really* want to read a book before plunking down the $.  According to the keynote, the iBookstore will offer free samples.  And if book prices are indeed similar or equal, then this is a toss up.

2) Easy to change font size on the fly.  It’s amazing – if I’m tired, or in a car or plane which is a little jiggly, or for any reason at all I love being able to make the text bigger as needed.  Or smaller if my eyes are feeling strong and young 🙂  The iPad allows this.

3) It’s reasonably easy to hack the Kindle to get other fonts on it.  I did this and chose a sharper font which provides the benefit of added contrast, something otherwise lacking on the e-ink screen.  The iPad comes with multiple fonts (I believe 5 was the # specified) and my guess is that more will be made available.

4) I skinned my Kindle black for greater perceived contrast.  Google – there’s a great site prepared by someone who using simple optic principles figured out that the e-ink screen would look more contrast-y if the Kindle were black.  Well, the iPad already is black, but the screen is infinitely more contrasty than the Kindle’s.

5) Battery life is amazing.  To be honest it feels like I never have to charge my Kindle.  It’s crazy.  I’m talking every 1-2 weeks.  That’s definitely a one-up over the iPad.  But I can live with overnight charging of the iPad as I do with my iPhone.

6) Lightweight, portable size.  The Kindle2 is smaller and lighter than the iPad.  However, I don’t consider the iPad “large” or “heavy” especially when you consider that my Kindle will no longer be in my bag 🙂

7) Easy on eyes.  Bottom line: the amount I read has increased enormously since I got my Kindle.  It’s not only convenient, I can read focused for hours at a stretch without any hint of strain.  Not so on my MBP.  YMMV of course, but this is my experience.  It seems that iBooks use neat tricks to make the screen look like actual paper – a slightly textured off-white/cream color.  And I guess I can turn the screen brightness down.  This is going to be the major test for me.  If I can read on the iPad for 3-4 hours at a clip, then the Kindle is a goner.

8) Here’s one thing the Kindle does “okay” that the iPad will do amazingly: read PDFs.  I read scripts.  A lot of scripts.  They are “okay” to read on the Kindle, but the reformatting does some things that are not quite right, and the text in the non-reformatted versions are waaaay too tiny to read.  I should be able to read pages on the Kindle at more or less full size.  Amen to that.


About Tony Moody

I make movies. I wield a Les Paul and an iPad. I consume media - copious amounts. And I dabble in assorted nonsense. What do you do?
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5 Responses to RIP Kindle2?

  1. Del says:

    I am also undecided with regard to still carrying the Kindle2 which I love. Guess we will have to wait for the store to see the quantity and quality of books – as well as the price range. Although Jobs has stated the price will be same as Amazon….

    An interesting concept might be the inclusion of not just colour photos in a ibook such as with an autobiography but also the possibility of the inclusion of embedded video in the book…. That would be a deal clincher for me.

    Eye strain concerns me however as you said I think they have chosen texturing/colouring to help with that.

    10 hours battery life…12 hour long haul flight watch a movie on your ipad, listen to some tunes, play on the internet (if available on your flight) just before going to sleep for a few hours want to read some of your book….bang battery gone..

    Reaches for kindle2 in overhead locker……. ……

  2. yoyoyankees says:

    You know it’s funny Del. I fly quite a bit (though admittedly not often on the 12 hour flights) and I’ve been *shocked* at the prevalence of standard power outlets and USB charging ports on airplane seats these days. Just absolutely shocked. And this is in coach.

    I fly Delta almost exclusively (sorry if it sounds like I’m shilling, don’t mean to) and on my last dozen legs all my seats have had one, the other, or both. They’re usually sort of down under the armrest, almost impossible to see if you’re not searching. Even on older aircraft they’re in a box that’s been bolted to the underside of the seat/armrest.

    Long way of saying – the battery life may not be an issue, at least not in that context.

    We agree eyestrain as a possible problem. I’d love to wait to see one in a store, but I don’t want to have to stand there and read for 4 hours to make a judgement 😀

    I’m gonna just preorder one the second the link goes live…

    • Del says:

      I agree power outlets are on the increase in Asia and US although in europe I have travelled a lot of carriers that are still way behind the times.

      I am sold on the device and will order a couple for the house (kinda like throw pillows) and 1 for the road.

      I am kinda hoping they have some sort of user account system as for public access (I mean public as in household members guests) I want them to be able to grab the ipad do some surfing etc. but not have access to my Mail accounts etc.

      • yoyoyankees says:

        Hmm interesting hadn’t thought about the user account issue. I agree the iPad has a more social feel to it – they even show the screen flipping orientation when handing the iPad back and forth in the Apple promo videos. So this could certainly be an issue.

        Speaking of buying a few and having them “around” that’s a neat idea. I’m trying to sell my wife on retiring her MB for one. She’s not biting yet, though I think <30 days into having one myself she'll be more than eager to make the change!

  3. Ryan says:

    I too have been quite taken by the iPad, and have been thinking about the potential of retiring my Macbook when the iPad is released. I’ll be buying the 32gb WiFi version on launch. Ideally I’d like to retire both my recent Macbook and early 2007 iMac, and update to an iPad and 27″ iMac setup. There are so many complaints about the iPad, but realistically while I’m on the go I don’t need anything more than a web browser and somewhere to take notes (Pages in this case). I really don’t know what people were expecting from the iPad, but for me this seems the perfect device to replace my laptop.

    I’ve bookmarked this blog and will be checking back. Quite an interesting concept to *just* use the iPad though. I’ll only be using it while I’m on the go, rather than as a primary computer.

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