Shame on You, Jeff Bezos.

I was prepared to love my Kindle 2. I can buy books cheap from Amazon, upload my own content, and read it “as easily in bright sunlight as in my living room.”
Amazon's 'Bright Sunlight' Claim
Except, um, no.

Here’s how the Kindle 2 screen looks in shade. It’s okay, but I would wish for a much higher contrast between the grey “white” of the screen and the grey “black” of the screen:
Kindle 2 e-Ink in the shade
Here, though, is how the Kindle 2 looks after being refreshed in bright sunlight:
Kindle 2 after screen refresh in bright sunlight
That is correct: when I refresh my Kindle 2 screen in bright sunlight, the text is entirely illegible.

I called Kindle support, hoping for a fix or a replacement, and their response was, “Yep, that’s the way the e-Ink works. Yes, they’re all like that.” In other words, “deal with it.”

The Kindle 2’s screen is refreshed each time it changes — for example, when you change pages. So if you want to read your Kindle 2 “in bright sunlight” you’ll have to move your Kindle 2 into the shade to move to the next page if you want to have any hope of reading it.

So no, the Kindle 2 can most definitely not “be read as easily in bright sunlight as in your living room.” That Amazon says so is a boldfaced lie. A fraud.


(Incidentally, here’s how the screen looks when it’s refreshed partly in sunlight and partly in shade.)
Kindle 2 e-Ink partly in shade

0 responses to “Shame on You, Jeff Bezos.”

  1. Not that this is an acceptable workaround or anything — but what if you hold it to your chest, or upside down on a surface, and refresh it?

  2. I tried this on my first edition Kindle, and do not see this effect at all. Admittedly, this was 6pm Dallas direct sunlight; I will try 12pm sunlight tomorrow. Did they give something up with the “better screen” on the Kindle 2? You might be getting baloney from Amazon support.

  3. Mark, if you look at the Kindle forums on Amazon, you will see that others are having this problem with the K2, but that Amazon is replacing these units. Put your lawyer hat on and get mean with their support!

  4. @brian tannebaum:
    Brian, see the comment from TexasYellowDog. You sound like a paid apologist doing damage control on a pretty obviously inferior product. Is Amazon paying you?

  5. “Re-kindle your relationship” – haha… oh wow he is funny.

    Also, what is the definition of watercraft? am I able in Houston to play with my model yacht intoxicated without fear of police intervention? I need to know!

    Otherwise, are you able to use the free download sites such as etc? It does look (other than this obvious flaw) pretty good.

    • Interested Counsel. You can download from ManyBooks and from many others. Details are in the “Kindle 2 Cookbook.”

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