When the first Kindle was launched, it brought about a revolution in the concept of reading, since this tiny and ultra-portable device allowed users to purchase and their read their favorite literature (be it a novel or a magazine) wherever they might have been, without requiring a connection to a computer. The Kindle 2, launched in February 2009, builds on this concept, but brings about some very interesting innovations, while maintaining those features that made the first model so popular.
The first improvement in the Kindle 2 and in the same time one of the most important is related to its display. Hence, the device comes packed with a 6-inch E-Ink electronic paper display that provides a 600 x 800 pixel resolution at 167 ppi, 16-level gray scale. Furthermore, the form factor is even slimmer and more slender that the first Kindle, the second versions measuring 8 x 5.3 x 0.36 inches, at a weight of around 10.2 ounces.
The control systems has also been modified, the Kindle 2 featuring a redesigned keyboard, plus a 5-way control button, which can be used either for browsing through the pages of the books or magazines one is reading or for simply accessing the device's various options. And speaking of options, it's also very interesting to note the fact that the Kindle 2 allows users to actually search the meaning of a word within its built-in New Oxford American Dictionary. Moreover, they can also search for specific words or phrases on Wikipedia, as well as the whole Internet.
Another innovation implemented within the Kindle 2 is the Whispersync technology, which allows users to seamlessly switch back and forth between their several Kindle devices while keeping the reading location synchronized. Hence, whether they're reading off the Kindle 2 or a mobile phone (in the future, Amazon will provide this service for Android smartphones as well), they cab simply pick up reading right where they left off.
The amount of storage space has also been upgraded (the Kindle 2 sports 2GB of memory, enough to store up to 1500 eBooks), and the same goes for the battery life, the eBook reader being able to provide up to 4 days of reading after a single charge. Of course, if you switch off the wireless module, the battery life will visibly increase.
The Kindle 2 provides an extensive file compatibility list, including here the following formats: Kindle (AZW), TXT, Audible (formats 4, Audible Enhanced (AAX)), MP3, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively; PDF, HTML, DOC, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP through conversion. And if you're wondering what's with the Audible and MP3 formats, we must inform you that the new Kindle actually comes packed with built-in stereo speakers and text-to-speech technology, the device being actually able to “read” to the user audio books.
Last, but not least, let's take a look at the Kindle 2's connectivity options. Hence, the device relies largely on the EVDO modem with fallback to 1xRTT that uses the Amazon Whispernet to provide U.S wireless coverage via Sprint's 3G high-speed data network. However, the reader also sports an USB 2.0 port, used either for charging the battery or for connecting to a PC or Mac.
The Kindle 2 sells for around 360 US dollars, which is a pretty OK price point, given the extensive list of attractive features this thing can provide, as well as the fact that Amazon takes care of all the costs required by the Whispernet wireless service.
I'm very much impressed with the features of the device. But I'm from a small Indian town. U R aware that 3G service has just been launched in Indian matros. In that situation how your device will be useful to my grand son aged 6 yrs to whom I want to gift the device.
V A Pujara
Adnl. General Manager
Bharuch, Gujarat State, India