Mine arrived today, with the leather cover. First take, I love the high-resolution front-lit screen, and the redraw is fast enough to make the touchscreen navigation workable, if still a bit pokey. My custom PDF Japanese novels look great, and page-turning performance is excellent.
It’s a bit sluggish at handling PDFs with lots of line graphics (like the JNTO tourist guides), but better than my old 3rd-gen, and the multitouch gestures work reasonably well for zooming and navigating large images, and quite well for zooming in on text.
The front-lighting is almost perfect, only becoming irregular at the very bottom of the screen, which in ordinary use is simply the status line. However, if you switch to landscape, with the default margins it can intrude into the text a bit, so a slight negative.
The wireless setup fails to correctly handle WPA2 Enterprise EAP-TTLS/PAP; it lets me set everything correctly, but my Radius logs show it still trying to use EAP-MD5. Minor nuisance, since I didn’t buy the 3G version, but I can work around it.
The worst thing I can say about it right now is that they shipped a crappy USB cable that kept losing the connection while I had it plugged into my computer. Visually it’s identical to the cable from my older Kindle, but that one fits fine, and this one is flaky.
Oh, and they added an onscreen Japanese keyboard. I’ll have to play with that later, but it seems to work.
The leather smartcover feels nice in the hand, and does the auto-on/off trick the kids are so fond of today.
However, attempting to queue up a bunch of my books for download made Kindle go boom:
This was after becoming non-responsive for about 90 seconds, and after I hit “close”, it threw up another error and rebooted itself.