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Kindle 2 fever hits as shipments of new e-book reader begin

Customers post shipping notices from Amazon, congratulate each other in online forums

February 24, 2009 12:00 PM ET

Computerworld - The Kindle 2 began shipping Sunday, ahead of schedule, and even before customers received the new e-book reader from Amazon.com Inc., many indicated in forum posts that they were ecstatic about its impending arrival.

A few fortunate people did begin getting the Kindle 2 today. In a forum post, one such customer praised the device for offering faster response times and better navigation features than the original Kindle but complained that the Kindle 2 was "slippery." Earlier this month, meanwhile, users of the original Kindle voiced complaints that the new model doesn't have a slot for an SD card or a removable battery.

Even so, the overwhelming sentiment in forums was one of excitement about the new reader, which Amazon announced on Feb. 9.

"Oh joy, joy! O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!" a customer from Texas using the name Elsi wrote in a Kindle forum on the MobileRead community site.

"Add my voice to the collective cheer, to all who [are] about to get a Kindle 2. Enjoy!" wrote another user going by the name Joobies in the same forum. The thread began on Sunday, when a user named Lilly posted a copy of her Kindle 2 shipment notice from Amazon.

Elsi, Joobies and several other commenters on the forum compared notes on how much they paid for shipping and the exact day that they hope to receive the reader. Others promised to share their reactions once they activated the device.

With the Kindle 2 priced at $359 on the Amazon Web site, it would cost another $6.98 for standard delivery through the U.S. Postal Service, plus another $3.99 for overnight delivery, according to several forum comments. Amazon also offers super-saver shipping free of charge, although such deliveries typically take several days.

Several people in addition to Lilly said in MobileRead posts that they had received confirmation of shipments from Amazon starting Sunday, in advance of today's original shipment date. But only a few customers among the many who posted messages in several forums said they had actually received a Kindle 2 as of today and had given it a try.

For example, after an hour of playing with the Kindle 2 that arrived this morning, a user with the handle tvBilly said in a post on Amazon's Kindle Forum that the device was "really slippery" when compared to the original Kindle. "I miss the rubber on the back of the Kindle 1," tvBilly wrote. "I've almost dropped the new Kindle 2 once or twice already." TVBilly also said that the Kindle 2 didn't feel as well-balanced as the original model.

On the other hand, tvBilly said that the Kindle 2's new button navigation features and the response time for activating a button are much better than what the first Kindle offered. In addition, the screen is more legible and pictures are clearer, wrote tvBilly, who also called the Kindle 2's new charger "the best thing since sliced bread" because it's based on a USB connector.

Also on the Kindle Forum, a user called Frank of Doom said that he had received his Kindle 2 this morning. "I was clever enough to have mine delivered to my office," Frank of Doom wrote. "It's sooooooo pretty! First impression is very positive, I love how the page buttons tilt in when pressed instead of out, feels much more solid. Not sure I'm going to get much work done today."

Read more about Smartphones in Computerworld's Smartphones Topic Center.



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