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Amazon Kindle 2 review

Amazon Kindle 2
Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £155
inc VAT

Kindle ties you into Amazon's proprietary format, but the hardware is good and you can buy books from practically anywhere.


The Kindle is slender, yet feels sturdy. The keyboard beneath the screen makes it a little larger and heavier than other readers, so it’s less comfortable to hold one-handed for long periods. There are Next Page buttons on both sides, but the only Previous Page control is on the left, whereas the main menu controls are on the right. These aren’t huge issues, but we prefer Sony’s original Reader, with its book-like cover and ambidextrous controls.

The keyboard has tiny keys and, like the main controls, they have very little travel. The original Kindle’s keys were angled inward, making it easier to type with your thumbs, and it’s a mystery why this new model doesn’t copy that design. Typing feels awkward, and using one finger instead of your thumbs isn’t much better. Thankfully, you’re unlikely to use the keyboard all that often.

Page turns are quicker than other readers. The menu shows all text sizes, so you can jump straight to your desired size instead of having to cycle through each, and it’s quick to reformat. While reading, you can use the tiny joystick navigation control to look up words in the built-in dictionary, or choose to add an annotation with the keyboard. Amazon doesn’t disclose the usual page turns rating for the battery life, but claims seven days of use with the wireless on and up to two weeks with it off.

An Experimental menu includes some work-in-progress features. There’s a basic MP3 player, and you can turn on text-to-speech mode, although the robotic voice completely mangles the natural rhythm of the prose. The web browser gives access to Wikipedia, but no other URLs are available.

To hold – and, most importantly, to read – we prefer Sony’s original Reader, though stock is running low and prices are rising. The Kindle is cheaper than other readers and better designed. We’re not big fans of proprietary formats, as once you’ve bought the hardware you’re stuck with the service provided. On the other hand, it’s great to be able to browse and buy books practically anywhere and without having to use a PC. If this convenience attracts you, then this is the eBook reader for you.

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Price £155
Rating ****


Viewable size 6.0in
Native resolution 600×800
Touchscreen y/n no
Capacity 1,434MB
Memory card support none
Size 135x9x203mm
Weight 289g
Battery and charge options Lithium Polymer, USB
Wireless networking support 3G
3G? yes
Ports USB, 3.5mm headphone

Format Support

eReader TXT support yes
eReader HTML support no
eReader RTF support no
eReader PDF support no
eReader ePub support no
eReader MOBI support no
eReader Amazon AZW support yes
eReader Microsoft Word support no
Audio MP3 playback Yes
Audio WMA playback No
Audio WMA-DRM playback No
Audio AAC playback No
Audio Protected AAC playback No
Audio OGG playback No
Audio WAV playback No
Audio Audible playback Yes
Image BMP support No
Image JPEG support No
Image TIFF support No

Buying Information

Price £155
Warranty one year RTB