I am so excited to have gotten the first wave of Kindle shipments from Amazon today. I do not own a Kindle 1 but have always an ebook reader since I first saw the Sony Reader on the Ellen show. So many features of these ebook readers really entice me, and my new Kindle 2 has it all. Ever since it arrived in the mail I have been playing around with my Kindle 2 and exploring all the fun options. Upon reading descriptions of the Kindle 1, I see the Kindle 2 has all the same great features, along with some new and useful ones.
This is a great invention the Kindle 2 has added as a new feature that was not put on the first Kindle. What it does it read out-loud any text to you by selecting the text-to-speech option, right on any page. You also have the option of a male or female voice and rate of speed. I was expecting the voice to sound just like a computer sounding out every word. In fact, I’m sort of surprised on how well the Kindle speaks the words. It still sounds like a computer but the words flow a lot smoother than expected and I haven’t heard any words the computer mispronounced or broke up into extremely choppy words. Although it does not compare to the quality of audio books, it is a sufficient tool for those on the go or blind individuals. I also plan on using this tool to read my textbooks out loud to me so I can catch up on my homework at a faster rate and not have to lug around heavy textbooks to do so.
Amazon’s Kindle 1 and 2 both have Whispernet as their web browser. It’s like having a free internet service, right on your handheld device. The Whispernet uses a service from Sprint, much like a cell phone, so its not like Wi-fi where you need to be near a hot spot. Instead, you should have good to excellent service virtually anywhere in the continental US. As I understand it from reading about the first Kindle, this newer version is more convenient because you don’t have to google a web page to surf the ‘net. This time you can type the link right in the browser, and bookmark it for later use as well!
The Whispernet feature was one I was highly psyched about. However, I now see it’s not as great as it could be. The pages take awhile to load and you have to keep pressing “next page” to get to where you want to be. Seeing as this feature came absolutely free on my device, I am satisfied. I’d rather have a slow and free internet on my reading device than none at all, like on the Sony Reader.
I love the convenience of my new Kindle. I can store thousands of books right on my device and read wherever I feel the need. The screen looks just like a real newspaper, not like a computer screen. In fact, I thought it was a sticker and tried taking it off! I really like it because its easy on the eyes and I can read in bright and low lights. However, you will need a book light if you choose to read in the dark, but seeing as these only cost $0.99 I think I can manage. The pages (during reading, not the web) are also very fast to turn as well which is a great (and new) feature.
Whispernet sends Kindle ebooks to your device within a minute. I have noticed ebooks coming from my personal email to my kindle email actually take around 5 minutes. Either way, there are so many free ebooks out there on the web I’m sure it will be months before I choose to actually purchase one. Another feature I like is the beautiful screen savers that pop up on my screen every time I turn off my Kindle. It is always a different picture, from a Da vinchi painting to a portrait of Marie Antoinette.
I’m very glad I purchased Amazon’s new Kindle 2 and will be sure to recommend it to anyone who has carpal tunnel like myself and loves to read. It’s so easy to hold and very easy on the hands. What a great combination that makes it worth it, for me.