Kindle World is reporting that Amazon will be selling a limited number of Kindle 2s for $89 on Black Friday (November 26, 2010) starting at 9 am Pacific time. They may be trying to beat a $99 offer for Nooks at Best Buy.
And yes, the dastardly Amazon may only offer this in the U.S., but this head’s up may give you time to persuade a U.S. friend to order it for you. I’d check to make sure, but hopefully, once bought, you can activate it anywhere. Your U.S. friend might be able to find out about activation overseas at this Kindle support number: 866-321-8851
The Kindle 2 is a little larger and lacks some of the features of the current Kindle 3 (including no WiFi). But this price is also $100 less than the cellular Kindle 3. If your budget is tight and you read a lot of books that are available for less as ebooks, it could save its cost in a few months.
For what it is worth, I’ve found my Kindle 1 (bought used) and its notes feature a handy way to proof books. The screen is paper-like enough, that it’s like proofing a printed copy without the expense.
That’s a fantastic deal. An important difference to note between the 2 and 3 for note takers and proofers is that the Kindle 3 keyboard is less useful than the Kindle 2 keyboard. It lacks the number rows along the top, meaning you have to use the Symbol table to enter any numbers at all. I have no idea what possessed Amazon to drop that row; but on those grounds you might find the 2 to be a better tool for proofing drafts. As for form factor, it is still (in my opinion) a huge improvement on the original Kindle in terms of form factor. It’s slim, easier to hold without hitting buttons, and has good paper contrast.
Amber is right. The dinky keyboard is a major flaw with all Kindles, and shrinking it by eliminating the number row on the Kindle 3 didn’t help. I’m still hesitating about upgrading my Kindle 1 in part from the suspicion that, a few weeks after I do, the Kindle 4 will be released with a much improved keyboard. I like to take notes as I read.
For those considering this deal, I’ll point out some additional differences between the $89 Kindle 2 and the two models of Kindle 3.
The Kindle 3 has WiFi, the Kindle 2 doesn’t. That matters a lot if you’ll be using Amazon’s convert via email option to send your own documents to the Kindle. On a Kindle 2, you’ll either have to pay for sending files via cellular or go through a clumsy USB transfer process using your Mac. With the Kindle 3, you can use a ‘send free’ email address that will only download those files via WiFi, saving you those cellular charges.
The Kindle 2’s font set is limited to Western European characters. If that’s all you’ll be reading, that’s fine. The Kindle 3 has a much broader character set that includes most of the world’s major languages, including Chinese and Japanese. It really is a global device. The Kindle 2 was a US device tweaked (by making the cellular GSM) into an almost world device.
The Kindle 2’s is perfect for those who like pick up new books while traveling for work or vacation and read on the go. Its cellular connection will let you download books from Amazon free of all cellular charges in some 100 countries. Digital books are usually cheaper than their print counterparts and Amazon also offers many thousands of free public domain texts, most acceptably well formatted, that you can download for free on the go via cellular. Just check country availability, as there are a few exceptions.
Of course, the Kindle 3 also lets you download books via cellular, but for that you must get the $189 model. The $139 model only lets you download books where a WiFi connection is available. That’s why, if you fit Scenario 3, the Kindle 2 is a great bargain, while if you fit Scenario 1, it is less so, since what you need most is WiFi, which you can get with the $139 Kindle 3.
Thanks for all of that. Kindle has recently offered an Australian edition of both WiFi and G3. They are still negotiating with Oz publishers about some of our local titles being available.
Proofing seems to be the attraction for me so I think I’ll put it on my wifes Christmas list although it would not arrive here until mid January. I would have brought her a train set instead but, well, she might find this more useful!
The Kindle can be quite good for proofing. You can enlarge the font to the point where errors in punctuation, like colons versus semicolons are obvious. And if your wife is like me, shifting to a different and more print-like media helps to make the errors pop out. There are typos I can’t seem to see on a LCD screen.
The downside is that the Kindle’s Mobi format (like ePub) can’t handle things such as footnotes or anything more than the most basic formatting. Proofing a PDF would get around that, but if I remember right, the Kindle 2 won’t display PDFs. For that, you need the Kindle DX or Kindle 3. And depending on the page and font sizes, a Kindle 3 may not be able to display enough of a page to avoid painful scrolling. The Kindle DX with its larger screen would work, but it’s very pricey, almost $380 in the U.S.
If anyone bought one of these discounted Kindles, I’d be interested in their experience. I decided to wait for a discount on a Kindle 3 or perhaps the Kindle 4. No need to rush. My Kindle 1 does about 90% of what I need to do.
I do agree, putting the work on a physical device and sitting in a couch or something seems to cause invisible mistakes to leap out.
While .mobi and .epub do not support typesetting style footnotes (for there is no page to place the notes at the bottom of ), they do support endnotes and Scrivener’s exporter uses proper linking syntax between them. So you can select the note using the reader, click the action button, and it will jump you to the endnote with a helpful link back, though you can also just press the reader’s back button too.
This should be ideal in a proofing context, as it is easy to comment on any mistakes in the notes themselves, too.
I’d probably be in the same position were it not for my first Kindle getting stolen. It’s a good device, and once you get used to the weird buttons, they are quite efficient. While I think the aesthetics of the Las Vegas Scroller are a bit off, did prefer the immediacy of that method over the current e-ink based navigation system.