Kindle 2 Usability Review

Jakob Nielsen likes the new Kindle.

The new version of Kindle,’s dedicated e-book device, recently shipped with an improved display and various other upgrades. It now provides good usability for reading linear fiction (mainly novels), though it’s less usable for other reading tasks.

As an experiment, I bought two copies of the same book: a trade paperback and a Kindle download. Alternating for each chapter, I read half the book in print and half on the Kindle screen. My reading speed was exactly the same (less than 0.5% difference), measured in words per minute.

Of course, one person reading one book is not a proper measurement study. So I can’t say for sure that Kindle has finally reached the nirvana of equal readability for screens and paper. But it did feel that way.

When I was carrying Kindle through the house, I felt like a Star Trek character with a datapad. But when I actually sat down to read the novel, I became so engrossed in the story that I forgot I was reading from an electronic device. This fact alone is high praise for the device designers…