The Amazon Kindle contained pretty much the killer ap of e-book readers: an onboard EV-DO card lets you buy books from Amazon where ever you are, so you never have to go to the bookstore again.
Though, you probably will anyway, since bookstores are so wonderful.
But the Kindle left something to be desired. My Sony Reader is a sleek and beautiful thing with a leather cover and brushed aluminum case. The Kindle, on the other hand, was a geometric nightmare that looked like it was cut out of styrofoam by a futurist in the 1980's.
It might have been the more useful of the devices, and because of that, it sold better. But it was not something I'd be 100% pleased to show off to my friends. The Kindle 2 is starting to change that.
The Kindle 2 is thinner...much thinner, about the width of a pencil. And it's beefier too, with seven times the storage capacity. Not that storage is all that important when you're dealing with books. The old Kindle could already hold 200 books. Battery life has also been increased by 25%, allowing for two weeks of reading before a recharge is needed.
The design, as you can see in the gallery below, is much more simplistic. And I like the dual-side page turn buttons, a surprisingly important feature on these devices. But I'm still a little underwhelmed by the design. The screen is small while the device is large. It makes it easy to hold onto, yes, but it also looks clunky and offers significantly less page-space than a mass-market paperback. Too much room is left for the keyboard, in my opinion.
Other features I find less interesting include the ability for the Kindle to read a book to me...no thanks...that's why I have an iPod. And a whispersync (not sure why they aren't calling it bluetooth) link between the Kindle 2 and "other devices" including the Kindle 1.
The Kindle 2, of course, still uses e-ink technology that makes reading the thing just as pleasant and real-feeling as reading a book. The high-resolution, no-backlight display lets you sink into the book just as easily as reading from the page. Or, at least, that's my experience.
The device is available for pre-order now for $349 and will ship on February 24th.
written by Rob Chant, February 09, 2009
written by BrokenGirlSoldier, February 09, 2009
written by Paul, February 09, 2009
written by Nick Wright, February 09, 2009
written by Charles Redell, February 09, 2009
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