Amazon announced that the Kindle 2 will start shipping on Feb. 24 and is giving all Kindle 1 owners who order before midnight on Feb. 10 first priority.
The price of $359.00 is unchanged but this version will not ship with a cover. An original Amazon cover can be purchased for $29.95 or you can choose to buy one from other alternative sources.
The new device is just over 1/3 of an inch thick and weighs in at only 10 ounces. It has a 600 x 800 e-paper display that’s capable of 16 shades of gray, as compared to only 4 shades of gray on the original Kindles.
Amazon reports longer battery life per charge; 5 days with the wireless power on and up to 2 weeks with the whisper-net turned off.
On board memory capacity of 2GB as compared to 180MB on the original Kindle has apparently led the design team to a decision to eliminate the SD memory slot. Personally, that’s something that I don’t like to hear, but you can hold alto of books on 2GB of memory so it’s really not an issue.
Kindle 2 also includes text-to-speech software so if you get tired of reading, you can let it read to you. Later, you can pick up right where you left off.
The file formats for the Kindle are unchanged but page turns are reportedly 20% faster.
One thing I didn’t care to see was the apparent lack of a replacement battery. That reason alone may be the deciding factor as to whether or not I’ll upgrade. I absolutely love my Kindle, it serves me well and I really just don’t have a need to replace it anyway.
Here’s my advice…
If you own a Kindle 1, the choice to upgrade is clearly a personal decision. Myself, I’m in no hurry to ditch my Kindle, I’ve only owned it for about 7 months, and I’ve read around 23 books; it certainly hasn’t paid for itself yet.
If you don’t own an ebook reader… you can’t beat a Kindle. I can just about guarantee that you’ll fall in love with it. I mean seriously, at the time of this writing, there were 7,646 user reviews that averaged 4 stars.