Popular Kindle Book Reader Gets a Sequel

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AFP/Getty Images
    People test a Kindle 2 after a press conference unveiling latest version of Amazon's popular electronic reader, the Kindle, in New York, February, 9, 2009.

    The book reader that was the sold-out hit of last Christmas has a new version: Kindle 2. The second iteration gets a slimmer profile, improved battery life, reads books to you and improves the storage to 2GB or about 1,500 books.

    The device is just over a third of an inch thick and weighs about 10 ounces. Amazon has improved the battery life by 25% and enhanced the paper-like LCD display with a crisper 16 grey-scale version (compared to 4 on the previous one). And if you don’t like reading, Kindle 2 will do the work for you using a text-to-speech function that converts books into speech.

    Amazon Shows Off Kindle

    [LA] Amazon Shows Off Kindle
    Amazon.com shows off its newest electronic book reader. (Published Monday, Feb 9, 2009)

    Buttons have been added to the side making it easier to flip pages and a new five-way controller helps with note-taking and highlighting text. Kindle 2 also offers word definitions which come from the New Oxford American Dictionary.

    "Kindle 2 is everything customers tell us they love about the original Kindle, only thinner, faster, crisper, with longer battery life, and capable of holding hundreds more books. If you want, Kindle 2 will even read to you — something new we added that a book could never do," Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com founder and CEO, said in a statement. Some estimates say Amazon may sell as much as $750 million in Kindles by 2010.

    The unit is available for pre-order starting today for $359 and will ship February 24.