Get In Line for the New Amazon Kindle 2

February 10, 2009 | Erik Miller | Comments 0

By Erik Millerkindle2-300x250

The new $359 Amazon Kindle 2 is already in high demand. If you want Amazon’s newest ebook reader out there you will have to order now and get in line — it won’t ship until February 24. Will it sell out?


There are two technologies used in the Kindle that make it astoundingly (and unassumingly) wicked. First, it uses Amazon Whispernet, which is not new but is still cool. Basically, Whispernet lets the Kindle use the same 3G network that cell phones use, which means you don’t have to go hunting for a Wi-Fi hotspot just to buy a book. In fact, you don’t even need a computer to buy from the Kindle Store — and this is a feature that many people still seem to be unaware of.

The more interesting technology is the electronic paper technology which allows for easy-on-the-eyes reading. The screen works using ink but it displays the ink particles electronically. Plus, it reflects light like ordinary paper and doesn’t use backlighting, eliminating glare. The Kindle 2 also leaped up to 16 shades of gray (still no color), up from just four shades of gray used in the original Kindle.

Lighter Than Ever

The fact that it can replace my paper-based library instantly makes it a must have on moving day. The Kindle 2 comes in at just 10.3 ounces and is only 1/3 of inch thick — and yet it can hold around 1,500 books, magazines, papers, and blogs.

Plus, if you’re driving, the Kindle 2 has a new text-to-speech capability that can read to you. (And no, this doesn’t replace your 20 minutes a night of reading with your kids.) has some good videos on the Kindle as well as many reviews. The Kindle Store currently holds over 230,000 books, magazines, and blogs. It features a basic browser for text-heavy sites like, will play MP3 files, and it even lets you use Amazon’s Whispersync technology to sync your ebook content between your Kindles, or more importantly, with a range of mobile devices in the future — mostly likely Amazon is alluding to (but not talking much about yet) syncing with smartphones.

The battery in the Kindle 2 is no longer removable, but it’ll last two weeks between charges.

In comparison, the Sony PRS-700BC Reader Digital Book weighs in at 10 ounces and is .4 inches thick. Sony’s offering also has a 6-inch touchscreen and holds about 350 books. Plus, it requires an Internet connection to get new material, costs $399, and comes with 100 free ebooks.

Our only beef with the Kindle 2? As you might have guessed, the high cost of acquisition — $359. On the upside, most New York Times Best Sellers and new releases are just $9.99 . . . which is a lot cheaper than your average hardcover. Hover Links:

Filed Under: FeaturedGear


About the Author: Erik Miller is a contributing writer for, as well as an IT project manager for a Fortune 500 tech company. A former Marine, Erik once had to navigate across a desert at night with a broken flashlight. A glowing watch face provided just enough illumination to get the job done -- it's the kind of experience that makes a guy appreciate technology. To contact him, try firstname.lastname@ . . . etc.

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