kindle2Amazon has officially announced the release of the Kindle 2, and all of the new features it promises.

We mentioned over the weekend that it looked like Amazon was set to release the Kindle 2 today, and right on cue, they did.  So were there enough changes to make it a worthy upgrade for owners of the first version?  Are there enough features to make those sitting on the fence finally pick one up?  Lets take a look.

The most notable change is that all of the odd angles are gone.  All we can is thank goodness for that.  The original Kindle was not the most physically attractive gadget, but it still got the job done.  This one is a lot more rounded, and a looks a lot less like a 1980′s cell phone.  It’s super thin at only .36 inches thick, which brings it at even thinner than the iPhone.  It only weighs in at 10.2 ounces, which is actually lighter than the original version.

As for what is inside the device, well the memory got an upgrade from 256MBs of memory to 2GBs, meaning it can now hold up to 1500 books.  It can also now “turn” pages 20% faster then the previous version.  It is also now sporting a 3G connection so that you can download a new book anytime, anywhere.  They have also added a text-to-voice feature which will allow the Kindle 2 to read to you so that you can do other things at the same time, but people who have heard the voice say it would get old pretty quickly.

I think the biggest let down is in the screen.  The previous version’s screen had 4 shades of gray, and the new one has upped that to 16 shades.  While a nice increase, one still has to wonder where the color screen is.  True, colors would make the battery drain faster, and this one’s battery does last 25% longer than the original, but until this goes color, I just don’t see it being much more than a niche product.

The device will be available on February 24th, and will sell for $359.00

Categories: Gadgets, News   

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