So…the Kindle 2 has finally arrived!!! After months of anticipation and stalking the discussion forums, I have to admit, my expectations weren’t fulfilled. It would have been one thing if we hadn’t been told they were skipping 3 or 4 generations of the product with the Kindle 2, if our expectations weren’t crazy high. But…they were, and I guess that’s a risk when you try to break into unchartered territory (no, this wasn’t the first e-reader, but it was the first one that really “stuck” with a more mainstream audience). People expect greatness since we’re used to getting it with the iPod/iPhone. Was the first iPod even remotely good looking? No. Was the second? I guess kinda. The third version is where they really got it. And the iTouch and iPhone wowwed me. As did the price of the Shuffle…

THE GOOD

The design is improved. The keyboard looks much easier to use. The next/previous page buttons look like they don’t accidentally press as easily. The annoying back cover that liked to unhook itself is solved. The scroll wheel is now a joystick so you can click on individual words and phrases that you want to look up or highlight. The rounded corners are prettier (though, I wish the inside corners were still sharp to make it look more like a page). It still uses EVDO so you don’t have to have a wireless signal. The Kindle store has grown a LOT. The new read out loud feature is intriguing…wonder how well it works. Now supports PDF and Office documents. Uses a USB cable to hook up to a computer.

THE DISAPPOINTING

Many people are bothered by the fact that the Kindle 2 doesn’t have an SD slot. This does not bother me, but I am bothered that there’s still no way to put books into file folders. How hard can this possibly be? It’s obvious it’s a problem if people are using 5,6,7,8 SD cards just so they can categorize their libraries. Come on now. Also, the keyboard is kinda useless other than searching for books on Amazon.com. It’d be a lot better if it was a touch screen. Also need to deal with light issue…I know the e-ink technology doesn’t allow for backlighting, but what about sidelights? Or a cover with a built-in light? And while we’re on covers, kinda bothered that now you have to pay $30 extra for a cover, though admittedly it’s a lot sleeker than the one I own. I’d also be a lot more tempted to upgrade if the Kindle 2 was bigger…like big enough to read a textbook on.

Overall, this is still a great product, and if I didn’t already own one, I would definitely get one now. But there were a bunch of missed opportunities, so I don’t really feel the need to upgrade. I am excited to see what this “educational model” will be like… What do you think?

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