The Kindle2: Initial Reactions

Next Page Button

Next page buttons now click inward rather than toward the outside edge, which solves the accidental paging problem that plagued the old Kindle

The new back

Inspired by the iPod

On/Off button

Spring-loaded on/off button makes way more sense

New 5-way button

New 5-way button beats the hell out of the old vertical scroller

Text-to-Speech

Text-to-Speech, by far the most significant feature addition of the Kindle2*

* A note about Text-to-Speech: This is pretty amazing. I hadn’t thought much about this feature, other than the fact that it was pissing off the Author’s Guild but I just turned it on and let it run. The pages automatically turn to follow the read text. The voice is pretty natural. If it had been crappy, I doubt the Author’s Guild would be crying foul over lost royalties for audiobooks.

General impressions about the machine itself

  • It reminds me of a big, thin iPod.
  • The inward-facing buttons kind of make sense, but I don’t know why they feel weird. Maybe I’ll get used to it, just like I got used to being careful about holding it there because of the accidental page turn design of the previous buttons.
  • Keyboard is way small. Actually, the buttons are actually bigger than the keyboard on a Treo or a Blackberry, but because they’re spaced out, and because of the width of the thing, you can’t type as fast with two thumbs. Maybe I’ll learn to do it faster over time, like I did with my iPhone keyboard.
I’ll be posting more thoughts on the actual reading experience later, once I actually get around to reading something on it.

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