Friday, 27 August 2010

E Reader Review - Amazon Kindle 2

In late 2007 Amazon released it’s first e-reader device, the Kindle 1. It was called revolutionary, and it truly was. Being able to download books anywhere in the world, for only the price of the book itself with no download fee, is fantastic. I ordered a Kindle 2 from CeX and I instantly fell in love with it.

I’ve read two novels on it in two weeks, both of which are over 1,000 pages long. On top of that I’ve only charged it once, and that was the day I got it. Using the free 3G wireless connection and it’s limited text web browser does drain that battery but it’s very simple to turn the 3G on and off to make it last as long as possible. That 3G is put to very good use in Amazon’s WhisperSync service as well, which is their way of syncing all your books to all your Kindle devices and your place in them. I can read my books across my Kindle, phone and laptop all using free apps and keep my place using bookmarks. The free apps for desktop and Android are also really good, the Android one has the ability to turn the text to white on black as well which makes it much easier on the eyes.

The device is a really great size, about the same as a large paperback but as thin as an iPod Touch. It’s really lovely to hold and very light, which is good as you end up reading it for hours on end. I have a leather cover for my Kindle but I only use that to keep it looking good, not when I’m reading.

But enough of the technicalities, lets get to the meat of the review and talk about what it’s like to read books on the device. The screen is great, it’s a six inch e-ink screen and because of that is has no glare whatsoever. It also only uses battery power when you’re changing pages meaning that you can leave it on for days and not use a single second of battery. Reading and buying books on Kindle is very addictive as well, especially as the price of the books is usually lower than the print versions. I was able to pick up The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo for almost nothing and of course there are some less legal ways to get books onto your Kindle, though I’ve really not had to.

All in all the Kindle is a fantastic device, perfect for pretty much every situation you might want to read in. I’ve taken it to a festival, I’ve laid it on my lap whilst eating, I’ve taken it onto every form of public transport you can imagine and I’ve used it sat on the roof of my CeX store. It’s getting me to read more and more books and it’s saving me money on the print editions. Now I’ve used it, I can’t bear to part with it. You should definitely get a Kindle. As Amazon controls the sale of new Kindles through its website, CeX is the only high street retailer you can try a Kindle for yourself.

Sam Harrison
CeX, Bristol, UK
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