Last year Amazon introduced their somewhat revolutionary electronic book reader called the Kindle, which we reviewed at launch time. Although the technology was excellent, the first Kindle had several design flaws that kept it on the far side of perfection. Recently Amazon brought out the next generation Kindle, aptly named the Kindle 2. We decided to check it out to see how the new Kindle stacked up to the original Kindle as well as other e-book readers.
Although packaging isn’t everything, last year we were impressed with the white book-like packaging of the Kindle. So this year we were surprised to find that Amazon has completely abandoned their attractive packaging for plain black Styrofoam and cardboard, shown in Figure 1.
Included in the box, as shown in Figure 2, is the Kindle electronic reader, a six-fold Getting Started Guide, and a USB 2.0 cable with removable power adapter. When the power adapter is attached to the USB cable it can be used to charge the Kindle from an electrical outlet. When it is detached, as shown in Figure 3, the USB cable can be used to hook the Kindle up to a PC or Macintosh computer for charging and data transfer. It should be noted, however, that you can use a Kindle including downloading books and magazines without ever having to hook the Kindle up to a computer. This is a big plus for many Kindle users.