Continuing its Apple-style marketing of the Kindle, Amazon.com gave four reporters early access to Kindle 2 and their reviews are surfacing today.
None raved, and they all said about the same thing: Some improvements, still a ways to go before the ideal e-book.
I’m still trying to figure out what to make of the one I picked up at Amazon HQ last night. (Here’s the conversation I had with Jeff Bezos about the Kindle 2 a few weeks ago.)
Here are the first reviews from the chosen. Presumably Walt Mossberg’s will run Wednesday:
Overall, the Kindle 2 addresses the key problems with the original, boosts performance and points to some interesting directions. Now we’re a little bit further down the road toward e-book Nirvana.
E-book readers won’t replace books. The iPhone won’t replace e-book readers. Everything just splinters. They will all thrive, serving their respective audiences.
With those caveats, the new Kindle edges even closer to the ideal of an e-book reader. The reading experience is immersive, natural and pleasant; the book catalog, while not yet complete, is growing and delivered instantaneously; and apart from the clicky keyboard (an unnecessary appendage 99.9 percent of the time), the design feels right.
The second edition of Amazon’s best-selling electronic reader looks better, reads better and addresses the first Kindle’s (metaphorically speaking) torn pages. Still, most of the improvements are marginal enough that owners of the original Kindle ought not feel compelled to upgrade, especially at a pricey $359.
Then there’s Jon Stewart’s take, during an interview with Jeff Bezos: