Amazon.com, Inc. introduced Amazon Kindle 2, the new reading device that offers Kindle’s wireless delivery of content in a new slim design with longer battery life, faster page turns, over seven times more storage, sharper images, and a new read-to-me feature.
At just over a third of an inch thin (0.36 inches) and weighing just over 10 ounces, Kindle 2 is pencil thin and lighter than a typical paperback. New buttons make it easy to turn the page from any holding position. The new 5-way controller on Kindle 2 allows for more precise note-taking and highlighting both up and down and side to side in lines of text. The new controller also makes it easy to quickly jump between articles and sections of newspapers. Kindle 2 comes with a redesigned power charger that is more portable than the previous Kindle charger.
The official Amazon.com cover for Kindle 2, which is sold separately, has an integrated attachment hinge to ensure a secure fit and features a leather cover for style and durability. Patagonia, Cole Haan and Belkin also designed covers for Kindle 2 that are available in the Kindle Store.
Kindle 2’s 6-inch, 600 x 800 electronic paper display provides 16 shades of gray versus 4 shades available in the original Kindle, resulting in crisp text, and sharper images and photos. With the latest electronic paper display, pages turn an average of 20 percent faster than the original Kindle for an even smoother reading experience.
With 2 GB of memory, Kindle 2 can hold more than 1,500 books, compared with 200 with the original Kindle. And because Amazon automatically backs up a copy of every Kindle book purchased, customers can wirelessly re-download titles in their library at any time.
Kindle 2 customers can read for four to five days on one charge with wireless on and for over two weeks with wireless turned off.
The company says more than 230,000 books are now available in the Kindle Store, including 103 of 110 current New York Times Best Sellers and New Releases, which are typically US$9.99.
Top U.S. and international magazines and newspapers plus more than 1,200 different blogs are also available.
The new Kindle 2 is available for pre-order for US$359 and will ship 24th February 2009.
“Kindle 2 is everything customers tell us they love about the original Kindle, only thinner, faster, crisper, with longer battery life, and capable of holding hundreds more books. If you want, Kindle 2 will even read to you — something new we added that a book could never do,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com Founder and CEO. “While we’re excited about Kindle 2, we know that great hardware is useless without vast selection. That’s why the Kindle Store offers customers over 230,000 books.”
The device uses the same wireless delivery system as the original Kindle — Amazon Whispernet. Customers can wirelessly shop the Kindle Store, download or receive new content, and read from their library — all without a PC, Wi-Fi hot spot, or syncing. Whispernet utilizes Amazon’s optimized technology plus Sprint’s 3G data network in the U.S. and is expanded to cover all 50 U.S. states. Amazon still pays for the wireless connectivity on Kindle 2 so books can be downloaded in less than 60 seconds — with no monthly wireless bills, data plans, or service commitments.
Amazon’s new “Whispersync” technology automatically syncs Kindle 2 and the original Kindle, which makes transitioning to the new Kindle 2 or using both devices easy for customers. Kindle 2 will also sync with a range of mobile devices in the future.