Hump Day Hardware: Kindle 2

February 11, 2009

I think it was a little over a year ago that Amazon released the first iteration of the Kindle Wireless Reading Device (an e-book reader). It looked interesting, but I wasn’t really tempted to run out and get one. Now they have announced Kindle 2 with a shipping date of February 24. It is smaller in size, but not price, and has more features than the original.

Let’s first talk about what the Kindle can do and what it can’t. It is grayscale and the new model features 16 levels of grayscale. So if you need color, that will have to wait for a future model. It only can read publications in a special Kindle format. So you can’t just load any old file on the Kindle. Of course, the only place to purchase Kindle-format products is from Amazon. This includes a huge library of books and other popular periodicals.

I got to see a Kindle in action last summer and it was slicker than I had first expected. If you read a lot of non-computer books, you might find the Kindle to be a very useful device. For the mainstream, I think we are still 2-3 iterations away from being a runaway bestseller.

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