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Kindle 2 buttons are too hard to push, like Sony e-book

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Initial post: Feb 28, 2009 8:27:41 AM PST
sf47 says:
Amazon overreacted to the kerfuffle that it was "too easy" to turn pages on the Kindle 1. Bezos didn't just change the size and position of the buttons. He changed their nature completely.

The buttons aren't any longer "panels" along the outside to which you apply gentle pressure, like tightening your grip on the device slightly. (That's how I'd describe the Kindle 1 buttons).

The Kindle 2 primary buttons are "rocker switches" facing *inward*. So, to turn the page, you must apply (not at all gentle) pressure on a very precise position, in the 25% of the button's area along the inside of the device. The less precisely you position your finger, the harder you have to press.

About the only finger capable of doing this conveniently is the thumb of either hand. You can press with the fingertip proper, if you bend your thumb to an extreme angle, or use the fingernail. Or you can apply pressure without bending the thumb, if you assume a precise position, with the thumb at the first knuckle above that spot.

Any of these movements can be very hard and painful to do if you have any repetitive stress pain, "carpel thumble", or regularly feel sore after a long blackberry session. For some users, it will be agonizing. I think the buttons will bother any user, over time -- they're just so darned inconvenient. A world of difference that will stun many who used the last version.

Turning pages is a chore instead of a pleasure, and takes three times as long as with Kindle 1 unless you hold a fixed position with your hands -- as you have to struggle to get your thumbs into the right place every time. I've found it so much harder to turn pages that it defeats the faster rendering.

I can't comfortably read for longer than about an hour, if I've done too much typing or texting the same day. After late night reading last night, I woke up with significant finger pain.

Adding insult to injury, with the news that Amazon is withdrawing universal availability of text-to-voice, users who suffer finger joint pain with Kindle 2 just can't catch a break.

Posted on Feb 28, 2009 8:33:01 AM PST
SeaLevel274 says:
I've heard that people who do a lot of texting may potentially be setting themselves up for thumb problems. I am having no problems with the page turning on my Kindle 2 and it only takes slight pressure to push the buttons.

Posted on Feb 28, 2009 8:37:03 AM PST
Nobody says:
I had a big problem with the buttons till folks here clued me in on the inward tilt and position of my fingers. I find that by planting my thumbs on the next page button on both sides of the Kindle and alternating which thumb turns the page, I'm staying comfortable.

I didn't have trouble with the Sony's buttons. Found them to be quite easy on my hands.

Something I miss on the Kindle is that section below the Sony's screen that lets you jump around in the book in chunks instead of one page at a time. Maybe the Kindle has that capability too somehow, but I haven't found it yet. I'm allergic to manuals and usually try to figure things out on my own before resorting to reading them.

Posted on Feb 28, 2009 8:38:44 AM PST
Jessica says:
the pressure it takes to turn the page is slight, since i used my thumb for the K1 page buttons it realy wasn't that difficult of an adjustment for me. Consider simply holding your fingers against the back of your kindle and letting your thumb rest along the page button now instead of rocking it outward rock it slightly inward.

Posted on Feb 28, 2009 8:42:20 AM PST
[Deleted by the author on Feb 28, 2009 10:43:57 AM PST]

Posted on Feb 28, 2009 8:52:47 AM PST
sf47 says:
My statement was accurate. Amazon is withdrawing universal availability of text-to-voice, period. The fight is over higher fees. That means, as a Kindle 1 user, I have no guarantee that my transferred library will be accessible in voice, or that any purchase from now on will be accessible in voice. Or, if they make some allowance for users with vision problems, whether they'll make any provisions for users with repetitive stress issues (given the K2's much less ergonomic and easy button configuration).

The worst of it is, I bought after watching text-to-voice promoted as a Big Feature with video coverage and everything. Now, it's being rebranded an "experimental feature" blah blah blah.

Posted on Feb 28, 2009 8:54:47 AM PST
The #1 complaint with the Kindle 1 was that the buttons were too EASY to accidentally push. That's why you have to click on the inner edger for the Kindle 2; it's intentional. You probably got used to it on Kindle 1, but it was a big problem for new users. You'll get used to Kindle 2.

And I use my thumb to turn the page, not my finger.

Posted on Feb 28, 2009 9:04:19 AM PST
sf47 says:
It wasn't enough to reduce the footprint of the buttons on the device by 60%? They had to change to rocker switches pointed inwards, making it impossible to hit "next page" *anywhere* along the outer edge?

If the 60% number is accurate, and the rocker switches require you apply pressure on the awkwardly limited 25% of the internal space of the buttons, that means they cut the usable button area by 90% !!!

OK, Mossberg, Pogue and Scoble won't gripe this time about "too easy to turn pages". But most of us -- the high volume readers at least -- figured out how not do hit the buttons accidentally. Surely, they could have remained easy to push, but confined to the new smaller area, again about 60% smaller.

Amazon, can I send my Kindle 2 back to you for an upgrade to outer facing rocker switches, with the pressure sensitivity turned way, way up?

Posted on Feb 28, 2009 9:30:44 AM PST
reader says:
I agree that it takes too much pressure to turn the pages on the K2. This makes it more difficult for users with dexterity issues (age or MS related, etc.) and those trying to avoid repetitive stress injury. There is nothing Amazon can do about it on the K2 now, but I hope they reach a better compromise for the K3.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 28, 2009 9:41:55 AM PST
sf47 says:
There is something Amazon can do. It can (i) offer to replace/modify the switches for users, as you put it, with "dexterity issues" and (ii) as a stop-gap, to permit changing pages with the joystick.

Posted on Feb 28, 2009 9:57:23 AM PST
Do you ever notice how girls hold their books differently than guys when carrying them? A girl will tend to carry her books on her arm tucked in close to her body. A guy will carry them, gripped in his hand, arm extended by his side. It has something to do with girls carry babies, guys carry tools. point is, I hold my kindle differently than my hubby. I rest it comfortably against me or a pillow, or in my lap and use my finger or thumb to push the buttons on either side of the kindle. Hubby clutches it (like a steering wheel) in his hands and presses the button with his thumbs. For me the K1 big paddle buttons worked easily, whereas, he cussed almost everytime he turned the page. LOL.

Posted on Feb 28, 2009 10:03:05 AM PST
reader says:
Well, that would be great if Amazon could and would service the device so as to soften the touch needed to advance pages. I'm not sure how practical it is to expect that Amazon has the resources to do so, but I would be grateful as a customer for such an option.

Posted on Feb 28, 2009 10:29:07 AM PST
I was rather irked about the far too easy nature of accidentally activating the page turn buttons on the original Kindle. Now I'm quite used to them, and am glad that they ARE so easy to use. I think Amazon should have left the way the page turn buttons functioned exactly the same on the K2, meaning pressing on the outside of the button rather then on the inside of the button (as is the case with the K2). I think making the buttons smaller, as they did on the K2, would have sufficed, and taken care of the "accidental" page turns for the most part.

Posted on Feb 28, 2009 11:06:04 AM PST
SeaLevel274 says:
Maybe it's an issue of different sized hands? With either hand I just tuck the Kindle in under the "heel" of my thumb, with the thumb on top and the other four fingers underneath. My thumb rests perfectly on the inside edge of the Next Page button - half on the button and half off. All I have to do is press lightly and the page turns. Holding it this way it's very comfortable for me to hold it with one hand - either the right or left. This is with the cover off. I hold it differently with the Kindle cover on which is why I will probably only use the cover while traveling.

Posted on Feb 28, 2009 7:12:51 PM PST
Some people having a hard time pressing the K2 buttons may have defective units. Does your Kindle squeak which you use the button? Are some of the buttons mis-aligned? Contact Amazon for a replacement.

Posted on Feb 28, 2009 7:38:33 PM PST
They're really not that hard to push. We just need to accustom ourselves to the new buttons and the "problem" will fade out of our consciousness.

The first day--Tuesday--it really irked me that the tap of my thumb on the outer edges of the buttons didn't produced results. And it seemed like a big hassle to have to push their inner edges. Now I don't even notice it.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 28, 2009 8:07:21 PM PST
P. M. H. says:
Ismcenter - your statement is NOT accurate. Here is Amazon's official statement posted tonight:

Amazon Kindle Customer Service
Good Evening. This is the Official Customer Service post for 2/28/2009:
Text to Speech Statement
We have absolutely no plans to remove the text-to-speech feature. Text-to-speech will continue to work for newspapers, magazines, blogs, personal documents, and for books - unless the rights holder has disabled the specific book title. We believe most rights holders, usually the publisher or author, will decide to keep text-to-speech enabled.

Posted on Feb 28, 2009 8:11:54 PM PST
JW says:
They do NOT seem hard to push to me.

Posted on Feb 28, 2009 8:14:16 PM PST
bani says:
the buttons are not hard to push at all.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 12, 2009 11:36:27 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 12, 2009 11:37:24 AM PDT
sf47 says:
My statement was that text-to-voice is no longer "universal", but limited. It doesn't necessarily apply to your existing library or any new book you decide to purchase.

Amazon absolutely confirms my statement is accurate. They merely "believe" (i.e., *hope*) publishers/authors will come around to Amazon's point of view.

Did you read the scathing NY Times commentary by an industry representative? He most certainly disagrees with Amazon's positions on text-to-voice. It's requires blithe wishful thinking that every book will support text-to-voice

Posted on Mar 12, 2009 11:39:52 AM PDT
JW says:
I don't find them hard to push at all. Maybe it has something to do with age or strength I don't know???

Posted on Mar 12, 2009 4:46:28 PM PDT
maybe you should send it back and stick to the K1. I can push the buttons very easy with my pinky, heck if I tried I could probably push them with my nose. Yup just tried it with the K2 lying on my bed I can push the button easily with my nose. Also if you have an injury from texting, maybe you should QUIT TEXTING.

Posted on Mar 12, 2009 4:52:51 PM PDT
Bonnie says:
No, I don't have a problem with the buttons on the Kindle 2. They are so much better as far as I'm concerned.

Posted on Mar 12, 2009 4:59:47 PM PDT
M. Reader says:
I preferred the K1 buttons.

Posted on Mar 12, 2009 5:05:28 PM PDT
Spad says:
Ergonomics is one area where I think the K2 really excels, especially compared to the PRS-505--and particularly the page buttons.
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Discussion in:  Kindle forum
Participants:  29
Total posts:  45
Initial post:  Feb 28, 2009
Latest post:  Mar 15, 2009

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