I’m a big fan of the Kindle1 and decided to splurge for the second generation of the device.  Thus far, I’ve got to say I am happy with my purchase, but here’s my twenty-four hour review.

Software interface – The software interface is significantly improved in a few key areas.  The most drastic change is the fact that the menu can now be navigated via the four way joystick which makes it a bit more intuitive.  I also like the fact that the screen refreshes quicker making the menus a little less cumbersome to work with.

The reading process is the same with faster refreshes and now includes a handy report of how far you are into the book (offered up as a percentage).

I also like the addition of the archive as a way to park my read books in the cloud with the ability to re-download them at any time.  This is a nice way to reduce clutter, but allows you to re-download without visiting the Amazon web site.

Graphics a crisper and noticeably improved

The most significant improvement for me is the fact that periodicals (like newspapers) are only kept for seven days unless your choose to save them.  My biggest gripe with the earlier Kindle ws the fact that papers had to be manual deleted and it was a very labor intensive and time consuming process.  At one point, I was subscribed to the Washington Post, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Mecury News, and Investors Business Daily.  I cancelled them all simply because I got sick on manually managing the content.  Given I submitted a feature request to Amazon on this issue, I am pleased to see it got addressed.

The hardware is sexier and has the coveted “Apple” look.  Honestly, while I like the new look, I think the first Kindle felt better in my hands.  I would not want to use the Kindle2 without some sort of case as it is too slick to comfortably hold.  Also, while the old Next Page button was a pain, I got used to it and got in the habit of locking the screen as I put it away.  The new Next Page button requires just a little too much effort.  I am sure I will get used to it as well, but right now I’d have to admit to liking the old next page button better.  Sure if I handed it to someone, they would advance the page, but how often are you passing your Kindle around unless you are Robert Scoble at a SV party?

As mentioned above, the joystick is a great improvement and I like the addition of a big and easy to locate home button.  I’d have loved to have a dedicated screen lock button, but I am sure I will get in the habit of hitting the power switch to put the device in screensaver mode.

The loss of the SD slot does not concern me.  I never used the old one and with the ability to archive to the Amazon cloud, I don’t think I will ever be concerned about storage space.

The text to speech capability is nice, but I don’t see myself ever using it.  If I wanted to listen to the book, I’d get it on Audible.  I suppose it would do in a pinch and for those times when I don’t want to stop reading, but need to get in the car, but so far I see a very limited use case for it.

All the other features are comparable to what I had with the Kindle 1.  Store still works great, etc.  Not much improvement there, but none was expected.

If your new to the Kindle, this is a great device as far as I am concerned.  If you already have a Kindle, I’m not sure the improvements justify an upgrade.