New Kindle Still Missing Out On 99% Of The Web

Feb 9th, 2009 | By | Category: General

Amazon.com today introduced Amazon Kindle 2, the new reading device that offers, in their words, Kindle’s “revolutionary wireless delivery of content” in a slimmer, sleeker package. The book reader retails for $359 and is scheduled to ship beginning February 24. Amazon is taking pre-orders here.

Amazon enthuses that the new Kindle model has a longer battery life, faster page turns, storage capacity that is seven times larger than the original Kindle, sharper images, and a new “read-to-me” feature. Users can choose reading material from among over 230,000 books are now available in the Kindle Store, including most of the current New York Times Best Sellers and New Releases. Those bestseller titles for the Kindle typically sell for $9.99.

The Amazon press release gushes, (italics mine),

Over 1,200 blogs are available on Kindle today — up from 250 when Kindle launched. New blogs added to the Kindle Store recently include the Wired blogs, VF Daily and James Wolcott’s Blog from Vanity Fair. Blogs are updated and downloaded wirelessly throughout the day so Kindle customers can read blogs whenever and wherever they want. Wireless delivery of blogs costs as little as $0.99 each per month and includes a free two-week trial.”

The new Kindle looks sleek and snazzy, but the Kindle is still a closed, proprietary system. Amazon now offers a range of DRM-free music — why not DRM-free books as well?

And yes, Kindle users can now access to five times more blogs than before, which is nice. But that access, which is free on other Internet-enabled devices, costs the Kindle user. A dollar per blog, per month. Which would cost me hundreds of dollars a month, to do something I currently enjoy for free (on several different Internet-enabled devices).

And access to 1,200 blogs is puny in the face of the tens of millions of blogs that are out there.

What do you think about the new Kindle?

More about Kindle 2 specs and features after the break –

New Design

Kindle 2 measures just over a third of an inch thin (0.36 inches) and weighs just over 10 ounces, and is lighter than a typical paperback book. New buttons make it easy to turn the page from any holding position. The new 5-way controller on Kindle 2 allows for more precise note-taking and highlighting both up and down and side to side in lines of text. The new controller also makes it easier to quickly jump between articles and sections of newspapers.

Kindle 2 features a redesigned, more portable power charger. Patagonia, Cole Haan and Belkin offer covers for Kindle 2 that are available in the Kindle Store.

New Display

Kindle 2’s 6-inch, 600 x 800 electronic paper display provides 16 shades of gray, versus the 4 shades available in the original Kindle. The reading experience on the Kindle 2 more closely approximates printed words on paper, because the screen works using real ink and doesn’t use a backlight. Pages turn an average of 20 percent faster than the original Kindle for an even smoother reading experience.

New 2 GB Memory Holds Over 1,500 Books

With 2 GB of memory, Kindle 2 can hold more than 1,500 books, compared with 200 with the original Kindle. And because Amazon automatically backs up a copy of every Kindle book purchased, customers can wirelessly re-download titles in their library at any time.

25% Longer Battery Life

Kindle 2 customers can read for four to five days on one charge with wireless on and for over two weeks with wireless turned off.

New Instant Dictionary Lookup

Kindle 2 comes with the New Oxford American Dictionary and its 250,000 word definitions built-in, and with Kindle 2 definitions appear instantly at the bottom of the page.

New Experimental Read-To-Me Feature

Kindle 2 offers the experimental read-to-me feature “Text-to-Speech” that converts words on a page to spoken word so customers have the option to read or listen. Customers can switch back and forth between reading and listening, and their spot is automatically saved. Customers can choose to be read to by male or female voices and can choose the speed to suit their listening preference.

Automatically Syncs With Original Kindle, Kindle 2, and future devices

Amazon’s new “Whispersync” technology automatically synchronizes Kindle 2 and the original Kindle, to simplify the transition to the new Kindle 2, or for using more than one Kindle.

New Stephen King Exclusive

Author Stephen King announced today that he is releasing a novella, “Ur,” which will only be available on Kindle. The story centers around an English professor who orders (you guessed it) a Kindle. Ur is available for pre-order beginning today and will be released later this month. For Kindle customers who pre-order, King’s new novella will download automatically when it becomes available.

The Kindle Store now includes many additional magazines and newspapers, such as The New Yorker, which is available for the first time on Kindle starting today. Magazines and newspaper subscriptions are auto-delivered wirelessly to Kindle overnight so that the latest edition is waiting for customers when they wake up. Monthly Kindle newspaper subscriptions are $5.99 to $14.99 per month, and Kindle magazines are $1.25 to $3.49 per month.

Same Popular Kindle Features

Kindle 2 includes all the features Kindle customers enjoy every day, including:

  • Choose from six text sizes
  • Add bookmarks, notes, and highlights
  • Read personal documents such as Microsoft Word and PDF, and view images, all delivered wirelessly
  • Search Web, Wikipedia.org, Kindle Store, and Your Kindle Library where customers’ purchased content is stored
  • No setup required — Kindle comes ready to use — no software to load or set up
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No Responses to “New Kindle Still Missing Out On 99% Of The Web”

  1. Cori says:

    The new Kindle looks like it’s a lot better hardware than the old one, but I’m still holding out for something that’s not so closed, and I think a lot of people will feel the same way.

    I can’t see paying extra to get a censored view of the web.

  2. Mike Wills says:

    Gimme an iPhone/iPod Touch app for Kindle books, then we’ll talk.

  3. Frank B says:

    What is the audible speed of listening versus the speed of reading.
    Would I “read” 10 pages in the same time of reading the same text.

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