Amazon Kindle 2: What’s New, When’s it Available, and Everything Else

Amazon has launched its new Kindle 2.0 e-book reader. The updated device will run $359 and will begin shipping February 24. Pre-orders are already being accepted, with priority being given to current Kindle owners.

Amazon Kindle 2.0: Device Changes

The Kindle 2.0 weighs slightly more than the first-generation product, coming in at 10.2 ounces compared to its predecessor’s 10.1 ounce weight. The new reader is far thinner, however, measuring only 0.36 inches thick. The iPhone 3G, for comparison, is 0.48 inches in thickness. (See image below for a side-view illustration.)

Kindle 2.0: New Features

The new Kindle 2.0 boasts a revamped navigation system and an improved display with 600 by 800 pixel resolution. Its memory size is seven times the original device’s, up to 2GB from 180MB — a change Amazon says leads to 20 percent faster page turns. The Kindle’s battery is also said to last 25 percent longer than the first edition’s.

Some “experimental features” being debuted in Kindle 2 include a text-to-voice function that lets you choose to have books read aloud to you, an MP3 player, and a basic Web browser. The new Kindle also has an “instant dictionary look-up” option to help you figure out any unknown words you might encounter.

You can read the full technical specs on Amazon’s official Kindle 2 page here.

Kindle Synchronization

Kindle 2 will support Amazon’s newly announced Whispersync service, which lets you sync up books across numerous devices. With Whispersync, you can view your purchased books on a first-generation Kindle, a new Kindle, or on any number of other compatible mobile devices that may hit the market in the future. Whispersync will even keep track on what page you were on, regardless of which device you’re using.

More Kindle 2 Images

Click on any of the following Kindle 2 images to enlarge to a full-sized view.

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