My friend Zack recently obtained the Kindle 2 and wrote up his initial impressions. Something I hadn’t considered was that the audio-book feature, where it will read the text aloud, is really useful for kids – his daughter loved it and I can see how my 2yr old would, too. Zack also found the bookmarks feature to be invaluable, though he hadn’t played with the annotations capability yet. The latter is really what interests me, because it’s really hard to review or discuss a book afterwards wthout notes taken during the reading process rather than after the fact.
It’s worth noting that Amazon just dropped the price on the Kindle 2 by $60, from $359 to the magic $299 price point. This puts it right in line with the iPod Touch or other high-end music/video players. I don’t have an iPod either so for me the choice would boil down to either music and video on the go, or books. Frankly, the idea of video to go isn’t all that appealing to me, since video is even more attention-monopolizing than reading. Since the Kindle supports MP3 audio, I’m more tempted by the Kindle than I am by the iPod, though it’s safe to assume that most people buying a Kindle already have an iPod and.or an iPhone as well. I personally prefer to minimize my technological footprint, though. The Kindle really is an ideal device in that regard, and with most bestsellers selling for $10, would make reading convenient and affordable. I drop that much every week on Starbucks alone!
I’m actually more interested in the Kindle DX because it has better PDF support, meaning I could use it to read research articles for my work. That would be pretty handy and almost justifies my buying one, but I just can’t rationalize it right now. I will probably wait until the end of the year, and maybe the DX will come down in price by then too. However if not for that, I’d have already picked up a Kindle at the reduced price. It’s just too tempting to ignore.