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Supposed Shot of the Amazon Kindle 2  (Source: Gizmodo)
Amazon is said to be announcing a new Kindle 2 reader today with an exclusive novel from Stephen King has been around for years now and offers a wide array of gadgets, electronics, books, and other wares at prices often better than you can find in local stores. The giant e-tailer has become such a popular shopping destination that it is one of the reasons many states are seeking to tax online and digital sales.

One of the most popular products on is one that it makes itself -- the Amazon Kindle. The Kindle is an eBook reader that offers a large screen with high contrast and is about the size of a typical book. Amazon launched the device and was quickly overwhelmed with the product demand leading to significant shortages of the device.

In fact, Amazon was unable to meet the demand and the product was unavailable over the important Christmas holiday shopping season last year. The current Kindle isn’t expected to be available until this month, if it is available at all.

Amazon is set to release a new version of its Kindle reader called the Kindle 2. The new reader hasn't been officially announced yet, but according to The Wall Street Journal, today is the launch day for the device.

Only little tidbits of information are known about the Kindle 2, one of which is that it will have a larger screen from the same maker as the original screen. Amazon is also expected to announce something that will put fear into the hearts of traditional publishers. Amazon will have Stephen King's newest novel as an exclusive for its device for an unknown period. The King story reportedly has a Kindle-like device at the heart of the tale.

As for the long and much talked about delays in getting stock of the original Kindle, official reasons haven't been offered by Amazon. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos would only say, "We had anticipated strong demand and what we saw was stronger than that. So, we're extremely grateful for that, and we will keep marching forward here."

The Wall Street Journal reports that the screen of the original Kindle and the Kindle 2 are made by Chinese firm Prime View. When Prime View was asked about the delays a spokeswoman told the WSJ, "It wasn't about delivery delay. The sales were just faster than expected."

An analyst from iSuppli, Vinita Jakhanwal said, "Amazon might be managing the Kindle availability as it wants to keep the buzz on its product and improve features and performance with the launch of the second generation product. There doesn't seem to be any specific reason why Amazon was unable to meet the demand with its first generation product."

Amazon has been mum on exactly how many of the Kindle devices it sold so far. Estimates put the number at 500,000 to date based on data from Sprint Nextel, who provides the mobile broadband connection that the Kindle uses to download books wirelessly. Jakhanwal predicts that the Kindle will bring Amazon $1.2 billion in sales by 2010. The hoards of people still waiting for the original Kindle will presumably be receiving the new model, assuming Amazon can make enough Kindle 2 readers.


The Kindle 2 is now official and listed on the site for pre-order. According to the official page, the Kindle 2 is set to ship on February 24 for $359. The device is a bit more than 1/3 of an inch thick, weighs 10.2 ounces, and has integrated 3G wireless connectivity with no monthly fees.

Amazon says that the battery life is 25% longer and pages turn 20% faster than on the original. The new device offers text-to-speech and can read stories to you. The display is a 6-inch diagonal E-Ink unit with a resolution of 600 x 800 pixels at 167 ppi in 16-level gray scale.

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RE: Vertical screen netbooks.
By theapparition on 2/9/2009 12:54:56 PM , Rating: 3
Kindle lasts far longer. E-ink easier to read. Can download books virtally anywhere vs. wi-fi, etc.

While you don't think it's worth it, considering the cost of one book of around $20, this thing pays for itself rather quickly.

RE: Vertical screen netbooks.
By tdawg on 2/9/2009 1:11:35 PM , Rating: 2
While you don't think it's worth it, considering the cost of one book of around $20, this thing pays for itself rather quickly.

You still have to pay for books, unless you are only interested in the free classics available online. While ebooks may be cheaper for new releases and such than their physical alternatives, the point at which the Kindle2 pays for itself is much further out.

The benefit of these ereaders is the convenience factor and form factor. You can carry around a bevy of NYT bestsellers in one device, rather than 6 new hardcovers in your luggage (frequent travelers and the like). Oh, and these e-ink devices are much easier on the eyes than a laptop/netbook lcd screen when it comes to reading for long periods of time.

I'm still not sold on these, but if this or the sony hit the $100 threshold, I'd probably bite. However, I still enjoy having a physical book in my hand and the ability to loan good books to friends, so I don't know if I'll ever be able to convince myself that an ereader is the way to go.

By theapparition on 2/9/2009 1:18:37 PM , Rating: 1
Yes you have to pay for the books as well, but at a substantially cheaper price. If your an avid reader, it will absolutely pay for itself.

If you spend more time playing COD or browsing the web, than obviously this is not the product for you.

RE: Vertical screen netbooks.
By afkrotch on 2/9/2009 2:59:53 PM , Rating: 2
My only complaints on an e-reader is battery. Mine is pretty much worthless at home, as I use my computer to read, so I just keep it sitting in the bathroom or kitchen. They are pretty inconvienent when the battery runs out.

Not sure how the kindle works out, but the Sony e-reader is worthless while charging. It charges via USB and you cannot read from it while it charges. I don't have the a/c adapter as it's $30 and I really don't feel like buying it, so don't have a clue if it's useable while it charges with that.

I don't buy the a/c adapter as I can charge it via USB at home and can do the same from my notebook while I'm on the go.

RE: Vertical screen netbooks.
By tdawg on 2/9/2009 5:24:30 PM , Rating: 2
How quickly does your battery die? I thought the typical ereader was good for 7500+ page turns? Are you listening to music or audio books?

"If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion." -- Scientology founder L. Ron. Hubbard
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