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Amazon Announces Kindle 2, With Slew of New Features 451

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the dr-spatzo-finds-a-new-job dept.
Engadget is reporting that Amazon has announced the new Kindle 2 for release on February 24th at a price point of $359. Thinner than an iPhone and coming standard with "Read-to-me" text-to-speech capability, the new device also has seven times more storage, faster page turning, a 16-level e-ink display, longer battery life, and a new five-way joystick. Looks like life just got a lot more interesting for fans of the original device. Engadget also has live coverage from the Kindle 2 press conference.
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Amazon Announces Kindle 2, With Slew of New Features

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 09, 2009 @01:40PM (#26786123)

    The problem isn't the cost of the reader. The problem is the cost of the books. Recently, the cost of an ebook for the Kindle has been comparable to the cover price for a hardback copy. Even after the paperback has long been on the market. We should be looking at a lower cost, due to manufacturing and supply savings, but, instead, we have to pay a fortune.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 09, 2009 @01:41PM (#26786129)

    Convince me not to.

    DRM. Your books now have a limited lifetime (probably measured in years, not decades, let alone centuries) and cannot be passed on to anyone else. When the Kindle service disappears, which can happen at any time, say goodbye to your books.

  • Cute. (Score:5, Informative)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Monday February 09, 2009 @01:48PM (#26786269) Journal
    "Information Received. The Device Software will provide Amazon with data about your Device and its interaction with the Service (such as available memory, up-time, log files and signal strength) and information related to the content on your Device and your use of it (such as automatic bookmarking of the last page read and content deletions from the Device). Annotations, bookmarks, notes, highlights, or similar markings you make in your Device are backed up through the Service. Information we receive is subject to the Amazon.com Privacy Notice."
  • by rolfwind (528248) on Monday February 09, 2009 @01:54PM (#26786395)

    Especially since this story:
    http://www.alleyinsider.com/2009/1/printing-the-nyt-costs-twice-as-much-as-sending-every-subscriber-a-free-kindle [alleyinsider.com]

    Printing (and sending) The New York Times (over a year) Costs Twice As Much As Sending Every Subscriber A Free Kindle

  • by rinoid (451982) on Monday February 09, 2009 @02:05PM (#26786579)

    DRM!

    You can't share anything folks. NOTHING. The books are not yours!

  • by anethema (99553) on Monday February 09, 2009 @02:09PM (#26786673) Homepage

    I'm not sure how a Kindle works, but on my Sony Reader there are plenty of sources for books both legal (usually older books) and non legal.

    You can go on the pirate bay right now and download a library of like 10k sci-fi and fantasy books by hundreds of authors. All DRM free!

    If you have that conscience telling you to pay for your stuff, pay amazons price then just download the DRM-free version elsewhere. There may be legal connotations but you'd have to find quite a stickler to say there is a moral problem with that.

  • by topher_k (622399) <topher.kersting@com> on Monday February 09, 2009 @02:16PM (#26786771) Homepage
    I have a ton of PG books on my Kindle. It's very easy to load them with the USB cable, or I could pay 10 cents to send them via Amazon's server.
  • by topher_k (622399) <topher.kersting@com> on Monday February 09, 2009 @02:19PM (#26786815) Homepage

    Recently, the cost of an ebook for the Kindle has been comparable to the cover price for a hardback copy.

    Nah. Most current NYTimes bestsellers go for $9.99, which is normally less than half the cover price for the hardback.

  • by joebok (457904) on Monday February 09, 2009 @02:22PM (#26786883) Homepage Journal

    That has not been my experience - new best-seller books are typically 9.99. Older paper-back stuff is between used books store and new prices - $3.50 or $4 for stuff I like. Certainly there are books outside this range - but for my reading tastes the cost per book is definitely cheaper than dead tree.

    To say nothing of project Gutenberg texts - for free.

    I doubt I have saved enough to pay for the initial cost - but the convenience is great. I'm also a gadget hound so that is just par for the course... I'm a happy kindle user!

  • by Thornburg (264444) on Monday February 09, 2009 @02:30PM (#26787043)

    Jesus, M$ only charges $199 for an Xbox360, is the kindle really that much more expensive technologically? Is the screen worth so much? Where is the cost coming from, anyone?

    Free usage of Sprint's 3G network. Not only for browsing the book store, but you can also check some blogs/news sites (including Slashdot), and you can access Wikipedia. No monthly fee, your $360 covers that "forever". Or until they change it, whatever comes first.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 09, 2009 @02:32PM (#26787099)

    I haven't seen any info about the Kindle II's PDF handling. Kindle I's PDF "handling" was: convert to native Kindle format and hope for the best. If the PDF is mostly text, it should work fine. If it's graphics, or if text layout in the PDF is important, you're likely in trouble.

    Which means to say, there wasn't really any PDF handling ability in the Kindle I. You could convert it, to various degrees of useful-/useless- ness.

  • by AgentSmith (69695) on Monday February 09, 2009 @02:48PM (#26787383)

    I have a 1.0 Kindle.

    This is what I gather. Yes, it's a proprietary format, but
    according to Amazon
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?ie=UTF8&nodeId=200140600 [amazon.com]
    (no I'm not going to hyperlink it)

    they will convert personal documents you email to them.
    They will email it back and you can download it to your Kindle or get
    it over their Whispernet (aka cel phone tranmissions) for a small fee.
    The do say PDFs are tricky to convert and might retain their original formatting
    which will cause viewing problems.

    The Kindle 1.0 beefs I had:

    Page buttons placed to almost automatically get in the way when holding the device (Fixed in 2.0)
    Page transitions slow (Fixed in 2.0)
    Picture and diagram handling in books. (Possibly fixed in 2.0)

    Color screen (not fixed in 2.0) I know it's going
    to take a couple years for electronic ink to catch up with normal screen displays.

    Why is a color screen an issue for text? Highlighting and diagram distinction for starters.
    I work at a university. I looked at the Kindle as an inexpensive way for students to get most (or all)
    their textbooks digitally. The $349 is nothing compared to the cash amounts students are bilked every year.
    Amazon's Kindle content management hangs onto a copy for another download if necessary due to Kindle loss etc.
    Although without color it makes most graphic examples in scientific texts impossible to read.

    For straight text the Kindle is still the strongest Ebook reader out there for text. Plus Wireless download, basic internet surfing, audiobooks, mp3 player. OK, you get this all with a laptop, tablet, or now notebook, but not in
    such a compact form.

    If you can find anything better good on ya mate. Otherwise, I'll hang onto my 1.0 for awhile and upgrade
    as time moves on.

    I'm probably not playing to the crowd here, but in this case DRM whiners can either go home or hack around it.
    For all my beefs the Kindle's still a nice reader.

  • by TheModelEskimo (968202) on Monday February 09, 2009 @03:47PM (#26788533)
    >For straight text the Kindle is still the strongest Ebook reader out there for text.

    Sorry, I have to disagree there. Looking at the oldest PDA I have a Dell Axim X3i, which I use almost solely for eBook reading, here's what it's got:
    -eBook reading via at least 5 different programs for different formats - everything from RTF and TXT to HTML to zipped HTML to CHM to PDF to .lit to just about every format out there. Great support via ebook sales sites (which I never use, being a big fan of PG)
    -Wireless internet access
    -Internet surfing (Pocket IE, but on my intranet or at my public library it's super-convenient)
    -Note-taking and audio note-recording
    -MP3 playing
    -One week's worth of usage (extended battery)
    -NES Games and normal PDA games
    -Japanese Kanji dictionary (something I need)
    -Astronomy applications for night-time viewing
    -Alarm clock that wakes me every morning with the Mr. Rogers theme
    -Music composition software (oops, yes, I am a musician)
    -Lightweight, small form factor
    -Religion-related software (you might not need it)
    -...probably other things I missed...

    Price:
    -Dell Axim x3i on eBay: $75
    -New extended-life 2000mA battery $25
    -Hard case (life-saver): $15
    -2GB SD Card: Already had one

    I use this with my Linux laptop by loading everything (.cab files for app installs, etc.) via the SD card.

    This is why I don't own a Kindle already. I'm guessing the PDA will last me another 2-4 years. I wouldn't recommend a PDA like this for somebody who's a daft idiot or a usability nazi that ruminates about friends not being able to use their device to look up a phone number when they're lying under an overturned bus, but for Slashdotters with guts and a bias toward making things work, it's perfect.
  • by Timmmm (636430) on Monday February 09, 2009 @04:22PM (#26789137)

    I'm waiting for the plastic logic reader:

    http://www.plasticlogic.com/ [plasticlogic.com]

    It is almost A4 size, mm-thin and doesn't look like shit.

    Unfortunately it won't be out until 2010 and will probably be quite expensive ('aimed at the business market').

    Still, it will be awesome for reading scientific papers, sheet music, manuals, reports and of course books.

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