It’s no secret to anybody that knows me that I read, a lot. To this end I jumped on board the Amazon Kindle shortly after the release of the original unit. Sadly due to a slight handling problem with certain entities at airport security who’s organization’s initials happen to contain a T, S, and A my original Kindle has a non-functional screen.
So I overnighted a new Kindle 2. After first I was rather disappointed about having to do so since there was never really any feature on the Kindle 2 that justified the upgrade in my book. Well that all changed with the latest software update released for the Kindle 2 (both GSM and CDMA versions) and Kindle DX.
Although the Kindle DX included native PDF support from day one the other models lacked this feature. This update brings native PDF support to the line (except the original unit). The Kindle has always had the option of reading converted PDF files but I’ve not had good luck with conversions of any document that was even remotely complex.
But reading a PDF on such a small device is rather impossible unless you could change the screen orientation to landscape mode. Guess what the new software update adds that feature as well.
I’ve been running the update for a week now and feel I can give a good review of it. The native PDF support is great. So long as you read the PDFs in landscape mode that is. In portrait orientation the PDFs are scaled to the screen making everything too small to actually read. I’m not surprised about that nor do I think it’s a problem. I’ve read several complex PDF files including the IEEE specification for 802.3at and they render perfectly on the Kindle. Loading PDFs doesn’t take dreadfully long and switching pages is no slower than native Kindle files. Overall it’s a great addition.
The update was also supposed to increase the battery life when wireless is enabled. I only turn the wireless on long enough to purchase and download new books so I don’t know what difference this update made in that realm.
But this update, in my opinion, brings the Kindle from a 1.0 device to a device ready for the mainstream. Booyah.