What Is the Difference between Amazon Kindle and Kindle 2?

Kindle has been a big success for the people at Amazon. For those who don’t keep up with every new trend in technology, a “Kindle” device was designed by Amazon.com for downloading electronic books or e-books. You go to Amazon, pay for the Kindle e-book like you would any other online purchase and then download the kindle book to your kindle device.

When the book is downloaded, the Kindle will allow you to read the book page-by-page just as if you were holding a real book. The Amazon Kindle device is designed to be the size of a standard book, to greater mimic the book-reading experience. The kindle screen is easy on the eyes, much easier than a computer screen would be. In fact, besides a gentle backlight, the Kindle text is rendered in real ink, which is perhaps the most amazing part of the Kindle tech to me. All of this means your reading experience should closely parallel reading a traditional book.

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Download times are slower than you would expect, but you can set up your Kindle, walk away and have the book you wanted in a short time. The battery life on a Kindle is greatly expanded, with battery life up to 36 hours. Standard storage space for a Kindle is generally 200 books or more at a time.

Kindle Prices

Kindle 2 retails for around $359.00. You can buy used, but like new, “Kindle 1” devices on Amazon starting at $250.00. Classic books on Kindle cost about $1.99, while New York Times best sellers cost about $10 on Kindle. If you want newspaper subscription for your Kindle, this will cost you between $5.99 and $14.99 a month. Those wanting a magazine subscription can get their monthly mag for between $1 and $3.50 per month.

Kindle 2 Improvements

Kindle 2, as you might expect, has several advantages over the Kindle 1, along with one or two inexplicable disadvantages. The advantages include an extended battery life, a faster “page refresh” function and a thinner Kindle device, to better simulate a standard book size. Also, the Kindle 2 now has an expanded text-to-speech feature, so you get the affect of audiobooks. Also, Kindle 2 holds more books than its predecessor (around 1,500).

Unlike the original Kindle, Amazon Kindle 2 does not have an SD memory card. This will prove a major disadvantage to some Kindle users who wish to transfer existing books over to the Kindle 2.

“Kindle 2” Next / Pause Button Improvement

If you ever used Kindle 1, you probably knew the frustration of accidentally tapping the next/pause button, causing the page to move forward while you were still reading it. This much-criticized button and a number of other awkwardly-placed button functions have been moved around the keypad, so you won’t have to worry about jumping ahead in the page count by accident.

“Kindle 2” Dictionary Function Improvement

Also, if you were ever frustrated by the dictionary function on the original Amazon Kindle, you’ll find the Kindle 2 has improved the efficiency and ease of looking up the definition of words. In the first version of Kindle, you had to look up an entire line of words and see the definition of each. This is gone in the Amazon Kindle 2, so readers can quickly search for the meaning of the word they just encountered and get back to reading the text as quickly as possible.

Text-To-Speech on Kindle 2

amazon-kindleThe text-to-speech option allows you to hit a key and have the Kindle 2 read to you, instead of having to read the text yourself. One word of warning about the “text-to-speed” feature, though: text-to-speech has the computer voice. So you’ll be listening to the old “speak-n-spell” voice read you the text of Moby Dick.

Whispersync on Kindle 2

Whispersync is a new feature on Kindle 2 used to sync the content on your various Kindle devices. While the book functions on Whispersync work perfectly, the magazines don’t always sync up the way they should. Guess we might have to wait for the “Kindle 3” to get a seamless syncing method on the Amazon Kindle.

Why Hasn’t Kindle Made Paper Books Obsolete?

Okay, that’s a cheap shot. I love Amazon Kindle. I’m an “impulse person”, so I love having a choice of a hundred or even a thousand books when I’m on a trip, instead of that one book I carried with me. I also love the fact that I save space with Kindle books, so I don’t slowly have a stack of old books piling up around the corners of the house. So when I joke that the Amazon Kindle hasn’t been the revolution many people predicted, I do so with love.

That being said, Amazon has limited the ability of Kindle to gain a wider customer base. For one, Amazon has avoided diversifying its user functions, turning the device into something more like an iPhone or iPod. Instead, Amazon is determined that Kindle will revolutionize book reading and nothing else. The price has remained relatively high, so Amazon Kindle books are limited to people who can afford $350 simply for their book reading hobby. This, along with several other marketing decisions, means that Amazon Kindle has a limited customer base.

To increase that customer base, Amazon Kindle is now partnering with Apple on the Kindle 2, so you can download kindle books from iTunes. So this is another major advantage with current Kindle downloads, and I’m hoping this convinces a few more iPod or iPhone users to try the Amazon Kindle. Reading a book on a Kindle is definitely superior than it is to reading text on their cellphone or iPod, so take that for what it is.

Get your Kindle wireless reading device at Amazon.com now.