As expected, Amazon announced the next generation of their Kindle device at a press event in New York today. While the device is still basically the same, there are a couple improvements that we're quite happy about. Details and pics below.
The Kindle 2
retains the ability to download books without a Wi-Fi hotspot and still has the excellent e-ink screen. The first thing you'll notice is that the Kindle 2
design is much easier on the eye than the blocky first edition. The new Kindle is a little taller and much thinner (thinner than an iPhone).
The thing that we're most excited about is the new button arrangement. We've been promised that it will keep you from turning the pages accidentally whenever you so much as twitch, which was
There are a few nice improvements inside the device as well. Here's a rundown of the new specs:
- New 5-way joystick controller allows for easier navigation and highlighting
- The 6-inch screen now has 16 shades of gray (four times as much) and a 20% faster page turn (nice!)
- Memory has been expanded to 2GB, holds an average of 1,500 books
- Battery lasts 25% longer (not that we were complaining about battery life before, but we'll take it)
- Comes with Instant Dictionary Lookup in the New Oxford American Dictionary
- New Read-To-Me feature gives your books text-to-speech capability, in other words, the Kindle 2 can read your books to you (although most people won't be thrilled with the choppy, electronic voice)
- The Kindle 2 can automatically sync with other Kindle 2s, original Kindles and "future devices" (whatever that means)
- The Kindle Store has more than doubled its number of titles since the last Kindle launch, with 230,000 ebooks to choose from (including a Stephen King novella, Ur, that will only be available by Kindle)
And here's the news you're probably most anxious to hear: the price. Sorry, but it didn't go down. It didn't go up either. The new Kindle 2 will sell at $359 from the Amazon site. People who are still in the waiting list for the original Kindle will automatically receive a Kindle 2, and people who already own a Kindle will be served first if they order a Kindle 2. Enjoy.
Check out our Kindle review (and if you're looking to pre-order the Kindle 2, follow the links in the review).