Review of Kindle 2 and Kindle for iPhone

It’s really a late review but I reckon instead of just repeat all the specifications and then recycle those as a review, I would rather write you my review after finished six books with the Kindle 2 and the Kindle for iPhone. In other words, it is a review from a book reader point of view, especially living outside US. And I believe, some of the items below also applicable to the Kindle DX.

Kindle 2

  • The Kindle screen is good, the eInk is really easy on the eyes, and when combined with variable font sizes it really makes a big difference to eReading experience.
  • The device is very portable (not the DX though), and you can bring as many books as you like.
  • You can read with one hand (or even one finger), it is really useful in bus, subway, restaurant etc.
  • However, it is good for linear reading only – i.e. forget the random access to certain pages and also flip the pages freely to skim the book.
  • I found that not all eBooks from Amazon are the same, some with better formatting, some with status bar indicator (it shows each chapter with a tiny dot and also your reading progress … with more dots), some without table of content – even though all eBooks are in .azw format. I suppose it depends on the digitize process from each publisher.
  • The bottom location indicator is useless, that will be better if it shows which chapter you’re reading intead.
  • Keyboard is usable but not great, it is a pain to add notes to a book, really.
  • You can bookmark a page easily, but to retrieve it thru a search is not that easy – the search result page is not that useful after all.
  • The built-in dictionary is good.
  • There is no Kindle 2 Cover shipped with Kindle2, you have to buy separately.
  • PDF support is a joke, but you can partially fix it.

Kindle for iPhone

  • The screen is surprisingly good, and easy to read (with different background colors)
  • Good for short books, and you can read it anytime even you don’t have the big brother Kindle with you.
  • Next / Previous page gesture is even better than buttons in Kindle 2
  • Version 1.1 includes orientational lock and paper color
  • Whispersync is good (I tried it once in a trip to US), but not for non-US users

In summary, the Kindle 2 is not cheap but I think it worths every penny.

So, what are the books I finished so far with the Kindle ? Here you go:

Note: The above URLs link to the physical books, from there you can choose Kindle version if you want to.

Kindle posts [Featured Post]

Since March, 2009 I wrote quite a few posts on how to buy, use, register the Kindle 2, and Kindle DX. I reckon it’s better to consolidate a complete list such that you can find the details more easily.

So, Here you go:

Enjoy !!

Update 1 : Some press coverage of this blog in one popular magazine …

“。。。月前訂購 Kindle DX,本來只因為它的 native PDF 閱讀功能,然而在本欄寫過 Kindle DX 後,有一熱心讀者 Michael 來電郵(應像在國內般,稱他做「老師」)說,在美國以外,其實都可以上 Amazon 購買電子書的!我走上他的網頁(,跟住照做,一試即靈,即時訂了幾本,在他網頁上又看到他讀 Guy Kawasaki 的新書《Reality Check》,Guy 的作品,我在早年讀過,以為他已經封筆,看了他的新作,又馬上訂了,現在帶著隨身捧讀。

多謝 Michael 的分享,在 Amazon 購書的確是一個奇妙的經驗。。。”

Simon Chung – “Home–Tech:如家.隨身”

Update 2 : For those friends / visitors who have sent me questions, emails and tips from Brazil, Dominican Republic, India, Hong Kong, Singapore, Afghanistan, France, Taiwan, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Norway, Australia, Philippines, Grand Cayman, Lebanon and Japan … I thank you !!

Update 3 : The Kindle 2 / 3 is now available for overseas market as well. So please read the blog posts if your country is not covered by the latest scheme, or you want to know more about other Kindle information.

Brand yourself – Twitter background- Part 2

Months ago I blogged about the importance of branding yourself in popular social networks, as well as the need of creating a unique Twitter background for your Twitter profile. After months of testing, I found that the design of the Twitter background needs to address two “display modes”:

  • The mode when your followers visit your profile / tweets;
  • The mode when only one tweet is displayed

I therefore redesigned the profile background – first find a good background image from Stock.xchng; then design your left hand side information panel; lastly, create some images (in my case, from my gallery) / graphics to cover the right hand side and lower half of the image.

Here is the new background image and check it out.

Twitter background

The background in “profile display mode”:

Twitter background - profile display mode

Twitter background in single tweet mode:

Twitter background - single tweet mode

照片背後 – 背影



為了我們,我知道他放棄了很多嗜好,只能夠在發黃的照片中知道他喜歡跳舞,吹口琴。但當唱音機播出 The Platters,Johnny Mathis 的歌曲的時候,他就會閉上眼睛,就像返回了他年青的時候,陶醉地欣賞。




Olympus E-P1

Couple of days ago, Olympus launched one of the most innovative cameras in recent years – E-P1 … a compact camera with a size of DC, but with quality and features of a DSLR. What strikes me most in the past few days is not the excellent feature set of the camera, but how people evaluate this new camera – even before they get one.

Some said they hate the body color – they want it in all black, instead of the current two offerings – White and Silver. Some said they want an EVF (Electronic View Finder) on top of the Liveview LCD, even though all the DC in the market except one has an EVF. Some said a built-in flash is a must, but according to the sample pics in DPreview, E-P1 can handle in-door shooting environment comfortably with ISO 3,200 and 6,400. And some said they will not buy it because the LCD is not high resolution enough, or because it is not water-proofed. Of course, some said it is too expensive, or too big, or too small etc., etc…

Seriously, are they real photographers, or just professional whiners ?

Olympus E-P1

So, is E-P1 a good camera ? I don’t know yet, but as put it:

Just when we thought it was all going to go SLR, Olympus … makes an introduction that changes everything.