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Amazon Announces Kindle 2, With Slew of New Features

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 5 years ago | from the dr-spatzo-finds-a-new-job dept.

Hardware 451

Engadget is reporting that Amazon has announced the new Kindle 2 for release on February 24th at a price point of $359. Thinner than an iPhone and coming standard with "Read-to-me" text-to-speech capability, the new device also has seven times more storage, faster page turning, a 16-level e-ink display, longer battery life, and a new five-way joystick. Looks like life just got a lot more interesting for fans of the original device. Engadget also has live coverage from the Kindle 2 press conference.

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A bargain price, based on that hype. (5, Funny)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 5 years ago | (#26786029)

Cripes, after reading the post, the only thing missing was the soundtrack from the Six-Million Dollar Man...

Better, stronger, faster than ever before...

Oh, c'mon, what do you mean you've never heard of The Six-Million dollar man? Steve Austin, you know the pilot who...shit, nevermind.

Damn, I'm getting old.

Re:A bargain price, based on that hype. (4, Funny)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 5 years ago | (#26786075)

Having that sound effect play every time you turned the page would get annoying.

Re:A bargain price, based on that hype. (0)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 5 years ago | (#26786669)

You'd also see hordes of nerds with kindles in their hands running in slo-mo and pressing the page turn button every step.

Re:A bargain price, based on that hype. (-1, Offtopic)

eclectro (227083) | more than 5 years ago | (#26786755)

Because if you have a kindle, you'll need a bionic arm to open that PDF ??

Re:A bargain price, based on that hype. (5, Funny)

willworkforbeer (924558) | more than 5 years ago | (#26786797)

No, you're old when you recall that you HAD a six-million-dollar-man doll... er, action figure, plus his boss Oscar, and Oscar's exploding briefcase. You could look through Steve's head through his bionic eye and see the girls at the playground giggling at your, um, action figure set.

Very tempted to get this (4, Interesting)

Deag (250823) | more than 5 years ago | (#26786035)

Convince me not to.

It is the ease of getting new material that appeals to me, I like to read but I am terrible at buying books.

The price is a bit steep. Eventually these have to come down in price? Anyone any ideas when there will be a decent sub $100 ebook reader?

Re:Very tempted to get this (4, Interesting)

jasonhamilton (673330) | more than 5 years ago | (#26786105)

The thing with the kindle is that it includes "free" online access to locate and deliver books. so you can be anywhere and look for and purchase a new book. the book is then delivered to your kindle.

most other ebooks are just displays.

I think until there is any significant threat to kindle, you're going to see the price stay high.

Re:Very tempted to get this (3, Insightful)

vivek7006 (585218) | more than 5 years ago | (#26786293)

My beef with kindle is use of DRM and its high price. For $350, I would want unlimited access to books.

Re:Very tempted to get this (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 5 years ago | (#26786667)

You can't upload books from project gutenberg to the kindle?

Re:Very tempted to get this (4, Informative)

topher_k (622399) | more than 5 years ago | (#26786771)

I have a ton of PG books on my Kindle. It's very easy to load them with the USB cable, or I could pay 10 cents to send them via Amazon's server.

Re:Very tempted to get this (1)

berend botje (1401731) | more than 5 years ago | (#26786713)

The only way I'm ever going to buy an e-book reader is when my current book collections can be transfered to the machine.

Until that time, no thanks.

Re:Very tempted to get this (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26786123)

The problem isn't the cost of the reader. The problem is the cost of the books. Recently, the cost of an ebook for the Kindle has been comparable to the cover price for a hardback copy. Even after the paperback has long been on the market. We should be looking at a lower cost, due to manufacturing and supply savings, but, instead, we have to pay a fortune.

Re:Very tempted to get this (4, Informative)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 5 years ago | (#26786395)

Especially since this story:
http://www.alleyinsider.com/2009/1/printing-the-nyt-costs-twice-as-much-as-sending-every-subscriber-a-free-kindle [alleyinsider.com]

Printing (and sending) The New York Times (over a year) Costs Twice As Much As Sending Every Subscriber A Free Kindle

Re:Very tempted to get this (5, Insightful)

Yewbert (708667) | more than 5 years ago | (#26786407)

Exactly, and moreover, as someone whose personal library (easily several thousand books, 'bout half of which I've read) came mostly from USED bookstores, specialty dealers, random online sources, yard sales, etc., the idea that I don't have an option of buying used/wholesale/opportunistically-on-sale is pretty much a deal-killer for me.

Re:Very tempted to get this (5, Insightful)

Sancho (17056) | more than 5 years ago | (#26786707)

That's the point of DRM-encumbered digital media. They want to kill the second-hand market. If they can keep people from selling their books/music or loaning them to other people, then they get to sell that a few more copies.

Re:Very tempted to get this (2, Insightful)

cthulu_mt (1124113) | more than 5 years ago | (#26786817)

Good thing its a free market. You can choose not to use their services.

Re:Very tempted to get this (1)

Sancho (17056) | more than 5 years ago | (#26786873)

Indeed. I choose not to buy DRM-encumbered media.

I'm just not looking forward to the day when it's all DRM-encumbered. I guess that's the day I start up a personal library.

Re:Very tempted to get this (1)

anethema (99553) | more than 5 years ago | (#26786549)

Just like the cost of DVDs and music! Oh wait no one pays for those either :D

Many of those with readers just pirate their books like many with iPods and PMPs.

The cost of the books was really the least of my concerns when buying a reader.

Re:Very tempted to get this (1)

c_jonescc (528041) | more than 5 years ago | (#26786703)

That is simply not true [amazon.com] .

Re:Very tempted to get this (2, Informative)

topher_k (622399) | more than 5 years ago | (#26786815)

Recently, the cost of an ebook for the Kindle has been comparable to the cover price for a hardback copy.

Nah. Most current NYTimes bestsellers go for $9.99, which is normally less than half the cover price for the hardback.

Re:Very tempted to get this (1)

bev_tech_rob (313485) | more than 5 years ago | (#26786905)

Agreed...haven't seen hardly any Kindle book over $10 and that is for the new books. The older they are, the cheaper they are. Been getting some romance novels for the missus for less than $1. For some reason, Whispernet is not available in our area, so I have to download them onto my computer, and then transfer the books to the memory card....

Re:Very tempted to get this (4, Informative)

joebok (457904) | more than 5 years ago | (#26786883)

That has not been my experience - new best-seller books are typically 9.99. Older paper-back stuff is between used books store and new prices - $3.50 or $4 for stuff I like. Certainly there are books outside this range - but for my reading tastes the cost per book is definitely cheaper than dead tree.

To say nothing of project Gutenberg texts - for free.

I doubt I have saved enough to pay for the initial cost - but the convenience is great. I'm also a gadget hound so that is just par for the course... I'm a happy kindle user!

Re:Very tempted to get this (2, Interesting)

pvera (250260) | more than 5 years ago | (#26786897)

This is a publisher issue. When the current W.E.B. Griffin novel was announced about two months ago, it was announced first as hardcover. A few days later they announced it for the Kindle, it was more expensive than the hardcover. Couple of day later it was priced a few dollars under, but still a lot. By the time I paid for mine, it was $9.99, which is what we were told to expect for main releases.

I see it a convenience thing. Tom Clancy finally caved-in (I doubt it was Penguin's fault, since W.E.B. Griffin is with Penguin too and he has been selling on the Kindle for months) and started releasing his catalog. Hunt for Red October is $6.39. Is that fair? I don't know, but it is hopefully the last time I will have to buy that book. I re-read certain novels, to the point that I destroy them so my wife forced me to buy hardcovers, the extra price would account for it lasting as long as 2-3 paperback copies.

A new problem: hundreds of hardcover books, gathering dust and bugs. Wall-to-wall bookshelves are awesome and I am sure there's not a nerd here that would love to have one, but they are a pain in the ass to keep clean and organized. The Kindle solves this for me very well: all my books are online, I don't even need to keep them in my device if I don't want to. And I don't have to worry about deleting a purchased copy by accident.

Just having my library organized that way, and not taking space in my house, and knowing that for the time being Amazon is not going anywhere (Amazon dropping their ebooks push sounds as weird as Apple deciding to walk away from digital music) makes it a little less painful to pay a little more for SOME of these books. And now my wife is hooked on it too, so on the long run I'll probably save money.

What I would really like to see is Amazon to take on the college books scam. I finished college more than 14 years ago, and I still feel like I got raped as far as the cost of my books went. My friends that are currently going through college break my heart when they tell me about what they are paying for their books, it is just unreasonable as hell, especially when the subject matter on some of these doesn't change from year-to-year.

Re:Very tempted to get this (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26786129)

Convince me not to.

DRM. Your books now have a limited lifetime (probably measured in years, not decades, let alone centuries) and cannot be passed on to anyone else. When the Kindle service disappears, which can happen at any time, say goodbye to your books.

Re:Very tempted to get this (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26786203)

Fool! Amazon will live 4Evuh!!!

Re:Very tempted to get this (3, Informative)

anethema (99553) | more than 5 years ago | (#26786673)

I'm not sure how a Kindle works, but on my Sony Reader there are plenty of sources for books both legal (usually older books) and non legal.

You can go on the pirate bay right now and download a library of like 10k sci-fi and fantasy books by hundreds of authors. All DRM free!

If you have that conscience telling you to pay for your stuff, pay amazons price then just download the DRM-free version elsewhere. There may be legal connotations but you'd have to find quite a stickler to say there is a moral problem with that.

Re:Very tempted to get this (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#26787013)

What you say sounds reasonable, but it ignores the used market. You see I object to downloadable books for the same reason I object to downloadable DVDs or video games. I like to watch 24 on DVD or play Kingdom Heart 2, and then sell it online for almost the original price.

That way I can pay $20, and get back $18-19, thereby minimizing my costs. With downloadable media, which cannot be resold, it ends up costing me more overall.

But can't you load PDF's on it? (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 5 years ago | (#26786699)

I agree that between the cost and the DRM, I'd be loathe to buy a book for the Kindle...

But just like the iPod line, the existence of DRM does not necessitate the use of it. I was under the impression you could take any PDF (or perhaps other text formats) and bake it into something the Kindle could read. That combined with Oriely's Safari with the downloadable PDF's may work well for technical material, and over time perhaps more publishers could be convinced to sell PDF's of books - until then there is project Gutenburg and the like.

I like the form factor for reading and the device seems nice, although the overall cost is still a bit high for me.

Re:Very tempted to get this (5, Insightful)

blueZ3 (744446) | more than 5 years ago | (#26786739)

DRM is 100% the deal killer (for ebooks) for me.

I don't mind iTunes (though I've only bought maybe 30 or 40 songs) since I can burn the songs to CD and I have them for as long as Apples is around or my CD doesn't degrade, whichever is longer. And I've bought some TV episodes for my daughter to watch on my iPhone--same deal: it's not a huge loss to me if I can't see Backyardigans for some reason :-)

But my affinity for books is such that I just cannot accept losing access to ones that I've paid for based on the service going under. It might not be rational, but I just don't have the same feeling about music.

I'll buy eBooks from Baen based on the fact that I can download text/HTML versions that I can keep even if their bookstore goes under. But I'm not buying DRM eBook content and I'm not subsidizing Amazon's DRM efforts by buying their reader.

Re:Very tempted to get this (5, Interesting)

MHolmesIV (253236) | more than 5 years ago | (#26786811)

Which is why I strip the DRM off my kindle books, and archive them as an EPub. I do the same with .LIT books I buy. It's a simple procedure, and should be cake for anyone with enough skills to use a linux box :)

But seriously, with the crappy paper they print paperbacks on, their lifespans are only measured in maybe decades. I had to convert my Eddings series to EBook because the paper versions I bought in the late 80's are now crumbling and falling apart.

EBooks I can move from device to device, and storage medium to storage medium for as long as I care to.

Re:Very tempted to get this (1)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 5 years ago | (#26787035)

DRM. My 15 year old paperbacks are falling apart. Cheap glue and paper.

Re:Very tempted to get this (2, Interesting)

flitty (981864) | more than 5 years ago | (#26786249)

Even a "Kindle Lite" would be awesome, if made significantly cheaper. About $129-169 is more in the range where mass adoption begins for something like this. No keyboard, no nifty features, just the nice e-ink screen and some storage space (enough for say, 20-50 books, these files aren't huge) and a way to turn the pages. I would most likely get one for that range, even if it was slightly thicker. Nearly $400 for a way to read books is a toy. Jesus, M$ only charges $199 for an Xbox360, is the kindle really that much more expensive technologically? Is the screen worth so much? Where is the cost coming from, anyone?

Re:Very tempted to get this (1)

gnick (1211984) | more than 5 years ago | (#26786507)

Where is the cost coming from, anyone?

High market demand and little apples-to-apples competition.

Re:Very tempted to get this (1)

LaughingCoder (914424) | more than 5 years ago | (#26786837)

some storage space (enough for say, 20-50 books, these files aren't huge)

Many people don't know this, but when you purchase a book for your Kindle you can download it to your device as often as you want, free of charge. Because of this, you technically don't need more than 2 book's worth of storage (the one you are reading and the one you would like to re-download) unless you find yourself in places where there is no wireless signal (they use the Sprint network). Regardless, the books take very little storage so it doesn't much matter. The cost is in the display, the battery, and the wireless access. The amount of storage is mostly just a marketing gimmick.

Re:Very tempted to get this (1)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 5 years ago | (#26786251)

Very tempted to get this
Convince me not to.

Ok, how about this...

In another year, the Kindle 3 will be out, have the same order of magnitudes improvement, and if you have bought the Kindle 2, you'd probably still be trying to reach the 'breakeven' point where your savings matched the cost.

Plus, eventually these will reach $100 mark, still be orders of magnitude better, and you'll be stuck with a $300-$400 Kindle 3 trying to justify not throwing more money out on another reader (which may or may not be compatible with what you already have on your Kindle.)

Re:Very tempted to get this (3, Interesting)

blueZ3 (744446) | more than 5 years ago | (#26786827)

"Break even" on a Kindle?

You're never going to "break even" on a device like this--it doesn't appreciate in value and it doesn't offer any savings over what you might have spent on books, since eBooks are currently the same price as paper books.

To add insult to injury, once you've bought in to Amazon's DRM'd eBooks, you'll have to go on buying a new Kindle each time one reaches the end of its useful life just to maintain access to content that you've already paid for.

If the parent wants one and is willing to accept the compromise of the current high price and DRM'd content against having it now, he should go for it.

It's not for me, though.

Re:Very tempted to get this (1)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 5 years ago | (#26786923)

Don't own a Kindle, don't plan on it. I agree with 90% of your comment. My "break even" point was from the related stories blurb right below the summary:

Related Stories
On the Economics of the Kindle
perlow writes "Just how many books a year would you need to read before the cost of Amazon's Kindle is justified? The answer is not so cut-and-dried. If you're a college student and all of your texts were available on Kindle (possible but unlikely), you could recover the cost of the reader in a semester and a half. For consumers to break even with Kindle's cost in that time, they would have to be in the habit of buying and reading four new hardback books per month -- if the convenience factor wasn't part of the equation. At two books per month, breakeven would be in three years." Here is the spreadsheet if you want to play with the numbers.

Re:Very tempted to get this (1)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 5 years ago | (#26786473)

Ive also been looking for a sub-100. This is what Ive found:

1. Nokia tablet. These things run linux and can be gotten used on ebay for under $100. Youre not getting e-ink or anything fancy, but its small and light and can display a variety of formats.

2. Used old laptop or netbook. Its overkill for ebooks but they work in a pinch.

3. OLPC. A bit out of the pricerange, but a used one might make for a good ebook reader.

None of these solutions support DRM, but you can at least view text, doc, PDFs, and comic book format. Right now I just have an old laptop permanently in the bedroom as a defacto ebook reader/slingbox client. I dont read much outside of the house. I sometimes read on my treo, but the screen is sub-optimal.

The downside is that Amazon and Sony see ebook readers as premium items. They start at $300. No one seems to be selling a budget ebook reader. Im guessing the market for the low end is simply too crowded with devices that can double as ebook readers in a pinch.

Re:Very tempted to get this (1)

Abreu (173023) | more than 5 years ago | (#26786635)

I used my Palm Zire 72 as a glorified ebook reader until it stopped working a month ago, so I started looking for a replacement.

My requirements are simple:

* .txt, .pdf and comic book format support
* pocket-sized (the new kindle would be the upper limit)
* more than two hours of battery life

Anyone on slashdot have a suggestion?

Re:Very tempted to get this (1)

monopole (44023) | more than 5 years ago | (#26786789)

Amen to that! My N810 internet tablet is a near perfect ebook reader w/ fbreader and evince installed.
Also my EEE 900a is exquisite as well, once you set the page advance in fbreader to the space key and activate portrait mode the EEE has the same form factor and page size as a trade paperback. Public domain PDFs from Google books work beautifully w/ evince.
I've even pressed an HP Journada 820 into a passable ebook reader.

Both the eee and the n810 have internet access and direct download capability for project Gutenberg and other sources.

Re:Very tempted to get this (1)

c_jonescc (528041) | more than 5 years ago | (#26786625)

There is a large up-front cost, but long term you could come out ahead, depending on what you read.

You can get most beyond copyright works for free from several sources, and if this is your primary interest, then any device is just as good.

But if you want to read the newest out hardbacks, this is where the savings really lies. These books are $10 on the kindle, as opposed to the ~$25 you'd pay at your local book store (or $18 you'd pay to amazon). Depending on how much you read and buy books this could be significant.

Paperbacks, too, tend to be a couple bucks less than the standard $7.99.

I've had a kindle for about a year (which I got as a gift, so the initial cost wasn't part of my emotional commitment), and I've noticed a significant savings in what I spend on reading.

YMMV, of course.

Re:Very tempted to get this (4, Funny)

smitty97 (995791) | more than 5 years ago | (#26786655)

No music or games. Less space than a usb stick. Lame.

Re:Very tempted to get this (1)

bev_tech_rob (313485) | more than 5 years ago | (#26786841)

You can install a mini-SD card in the back and expand the storage....got a 2GB card in my wifey's Kindle 1. Each book is less than 1 Mb in size....can hold a TON of books! She loves hers, only gripe is the page turning buttons are way too easy to hit.....

Oh, BTW you can also put music on the device. It plays as background music while you read. You have little control over how it's played. You just turn it off or on...

If you want games, get a Sony PSP.....

Re:Very tempted to get this (1)

berend botje (1401731) | more than 5 years ago | (#26786685)

Convince me not to.

Ok, my best shot: you can only get new books on it, there is no way to get your current collection digitized for the Kindle.

That means you are going to get, maybe, ten books on it over the lifetime of the device. Is that worth the price? The paperbacks are way cheaper, that's for sure.

Re:Very tempted to get this (1)

linzeal (197905) | more than 5 years ago | (#26786687)

The kindle is far less robust than the Sony Reader 5xx series [amazon.com] in terms of being able to be tossed around, scratch resistance and options for memory. With A SDHC and a Sony Mem Slot you can carry around 16 gigs of books, try that with a kindle. The only thing I would ever use a Kindle for is the Wikipedia anywhere feature.

Re:Very tempted to get this (1)

ZombieRoboNinja (905329) | more than 5 years ago | (#26786709)

>Convince me not to.

You know what, if you've got $400 to burn on a device that'll let you read glorified txt documents of stuff you could get on paper for half the price on AbeBooks... knock yourself out.

Very tempted to get this (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26786057)

Usually [goatse.fr] ships in 1 to 2 months.

600 used & new from $699.

Amazon's reviews (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26786085)

One would hope that Amazon actually turned their review system to something useful for the company (instead of a massive drain of resources) by taking the 700 Kindle reviews [amazon.com] into account.

I have to ask (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26786107)

Will it blend?

Also, what will happen to DRM on the device? Is it still going to be essentially rentals, since they don't like to let people own what they buy?

And Still Ugly As Sin. (2, Insightful)

Rinikusu (28164) | more than 5 years ago | (#26786113)

Come on Amazon. It still looks like a plastic toy. For god's sakes, team up with Sony or Apple (kidnap Jonathon Ives). Alternatively, license out your DRM tech so Sony can build a reader compatible with your service.

Frankly, I can't wait until someone figures out a way to make a digital version of the public library. Make it like O'Reilly's Safari: Monthly subscription, X amount of titles on your "shelf" at any given time (tiered subscription?), with the option to "buy it" for permanent downloads (or just buy it outright and skip the sub-shelf), etc. I'd gladly pay $15/month for something like this, much like I already do with Napster To Go.

Re:And Still Ugly As Sin. (1)

Budenny (888916) | more than 5 years ago | (#26786237)

"Alternatively, license out your DRM tech so Sony can build a reader compatible with your service"

Yes, this is the point. As long as Amazon has the aim of only allowing its ebooks to be purchased by its own proprietary software, and only readable on its own proprietary device, we should not want it, and we should boycott the whole idea.

What is wanted from ebooks is something that preserves the rights we now have with CDs. The ability to play it or read it on terminals from multiple vendors. The ability to give or sell it to others. The ability to download it and make backup copies on a hard drive. The ability to buy it using the credit card of my choice and nothing more proprietary than a web browser.

Anything less, its not good enough, have nothing to do with it.

And no, the ability to load pdfs on it or texts on it is not an answer to that. Not even close!

Re:And Still Ugly As Sin. (2, Insightful)

A. B3ttik (1344591) | more than 5 years ago | (#26786359)

Come on Amazon. It still looks like a plastic toy. For god's sakes, team up with Sony or Apple (kidnap Jonathon Ives). Alternatively, license out your DRM tech so Sony can build a reader compatible with your service.

It actually looks... clunky to me... like an "Electric Book of the Future!" from the 1970s.

The screen appears too small, but that's really because there are far too many buttons, and way too much unused space.

For the price of an iPhone, can't they make it touchscreen?

Re:And Still Ugly As Sin. (1, Funny)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 5 years ago | (#26786643)

For the price of an iPhone, can't they make it touchscreen?

It's not a screen, it's digital paper. There's no touchable form of this yet.

Re:And Still Ugly As Sin. (3, Insightful)

retupmoca (932711) | more than 5 years ago | (#26786819)

It's not a screen, it's digital paper. There's no touchable form of this yet.

http://wiki.mobileread.com/wiki/E-book_Reader_Matrix

One sony and both iRex devices seem to have touchscreen capability, according to this page.

Re:And Still Ugly As Sin. (1)

Zerth (26112) | more than 5 years ago | (#26787021)

It'd be trivial to put a touch sensor over the paper, same as the aftermarket touch sensors for EEEpc, but it'd add like $50 to the already annoying cost.

Apple should really have gone into this market (2, Interesting)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 5 years ago | (#26786147)

with the release of the original Kindle. Perhaps they still can.

The Kindle here is somewhat of a disappointment to me but its aesthetics are much better than than the first generation. Yet, the screen is only usable for fiction novels and the like, and the form factor is such that the keyboard takes up half the space. Either way, they should have eliminated the physical keyboard for an onscreen version (really, you can't exactly type a thesis with that thing as it is now) for that searching or annotation convenience. For serious annotation, the iRex iLiad and DR1000S have a wacom enabled screen with stylus. In this way, you can really go for a small reader that fits in a purse, or use that existing or slightly bigger form for 10x8 screen, allowing to display 11x8.5 pages sans margins.

I don't know how they sell the new york times on something like that. I can see it on the even smaller iPhone but only because of multitouch and reverse pinching (zoom in) to the exact story someone wants. But I would not pay for an ereader at current prices in the fiction novel page size; I would glady pay money for something that allows me to read reference guides and textbooks without scrolling horizontally, perhaps not vertically.

All the other readers I see on the market are toys. Like iRex, which sells there models as finished products but are woefully in the prototype stage even after years of development and being on the market because lack of serious money behind it, I suppose. One symptom there is that despite the promise of e-ink not using energy other than when the page is being changed, their CPU doesn't really go to sleep, requiring daily recharging of the device and thoroughly defeating half of the purpose of a good ereader in the first place. I tried the Sony, it wasn't bad but nothing great.

If the Kindle should get credit for anything, it was the Sprint EVDO connection in the first and now 3G in the second without stupid monthly fees - it just being there. That alone will make it the winner in time, everything else stay the same.

If Apple had been keen on building their media empire, they'd should have gotten into ebooks when the 1st gen kindle was released tbh. The market was ready for something with a decent interface and good hardware/software integration. They already sell music, movies, tv shows, and this will consolidate the last major piece of the list. Before someone says "color" screens, or Plastic Logic's flexible screens or the like, that's precisely what upgrades are for. Now, I'm afraid, the worse is better philosophy won out again.

Other than screen size, this model looks like a winner.

Re:Apple should really have gone into this market (1)

Yetihehe (971185) | more than 5 years ago | (#26786881)

Apple should really have gone into this market with the release of the original Kindle. Perhaps they still can.

iPhone should be enough for anybody. Or maybe do you think different?

Funny this. (5, Insightful)

thesolo (131008) | more than 5 years ago | (#26786187)

I was considering buying one of these once the new version came out. One of the media release photos, meant to show the slimness of the device, has the Kindle leaning up next to a copy of pop-sociologist Malcolm Gladwell's new book, "The Outliers."

A few days ago, I was invited to the Union League in Philadelphia to see Mr. Gladwell speak to a group of roughly 550 local leaders, CEOs, etc. We were all provided with a "free" (in quotes because there was an entrance fee on all tickets, so the book was paid for by that cost) copy of his latest book and breakfast, and then afterward Mr. Gladwell did a Q&A session followed by a book signing.

It was the collaboration at the event, with people scribbling notes in the margins of the book, discussing certain paragraphs, and having the author sign each copy, that made me relish having the hardback with me. (Even if I do find his work a bit trite at times.)

In the end, I've opted not to buy this gadget, because ultimately, it's just not as satisfying or lasting as having a book. I have books given to me by my grandparents that they had as teenagers, what do you think the odds are that a Kindle or the formats it supports will last even two decades? I'm going to stick to my dead trees, thank you.

Re:Funny this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26786557)

I thought "Outliers" started off really well, then fell down hard in the last few chapters. The long section about the special school for kids in the Bronx was kind of weird, rambling, depressing, and not particularly illustrative of any point.

Re:Funny this. (4, Insightful)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 5 years ago | (#26786743)

And yet, some of us just want to read the books, not treasure them as eternal keepsakes. That's what eBooks are about.

I won't say I don't have books that I treasure because of who gave them to me (Grandma's gift of Mark Twain) but those books are few and far between. I read a -lot- of books, and 12 years ago or ago, I had so many that it wasn't possible to move to a new house without getting rid of some. I moved across the country. Most of my books were sold then, with only a precious few kept.

Had I had eBooks, I'd still have most of the those books instead of the $.50 each I got from them. And yes, I'd probably re-read most of them.

So now I buy eBooks. I can read them whenever I want and they weigh nothing. If I lose them, I can re-download them for free and all I might lose is a bookmark. (Losing a book while reading it would be an odd event, though.)

What I'm trying to say is that you're closing off the idea of eBooks without ever having given them a chance. There will always be things that real books do better, but eBooks have things as well.

Re:Funny this. (4, Insightful)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 5 years ago | (#26787039)

Do you realize your entire argument could have been based around a backstage pass, having your boxed CD or Vinyl Record, and being glad that they signed it and vowing to never turn that in for one of those new-fangled iPod thingies with the same basic effect, right?

corrrection (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26786227)

Looks like fans of the original device paid a steep bleeding-edge tax for seven times less storage and 25% less battery life for the same price.

Re:corrrection (4, Insightful)

c_jonescc (528041) | more than 5 years ago | (#26786481)

uh, except the first version already held a few hundred books (without using an SD card), and the battery would give several days of reading and several weeks of standby already.

Sure, the new numbers are better, but not so much that one would now find their older version 'useless'. 7 times more than you need is still more than you need.

Books aren't like songs - there's not really a lot to gain by having 1500 with you at all times. I keep ~5 books on mine at any time usually, just because there's not really any motivation to have more. I tend to only read one book at a time or two in parallel.

My main complaint with the gen 1 device is that even though it has a mini USB port, it can't be charged that way with any standard cell phone charger. It has it's own charger and connection, which means one more charger that I have to travel with. I haven't seen anything that says if this has been changed with the updated device.

Re:corrrection (2, Interesting)

berend botje (1401731) | more than 5 years ago | (#26786813)

For novels, sure, you read one or maybe two in parallel. But now consider reference manuals and other techie books. I'm sure anyone reading /. has loads of them. I sure wouldn't mind taking them all with me if at all possible on this device.

Not going to happen, as I'm definitely not going to buy my books again, just in a different format.

Give me my current bookcollection for free with the device, I already payed for the content and the duplication cost of e-books is zero.

Re:corrrection (1)

mikeee (137160) | more than 5 years ago | (#26786875)

Several of the stories (and amazon.com) indicate that, yes, the new version will charge via USB.

Re:corrrection (3, Interesting)

Sheafification (1205046) | more than 5 years ago | (#26787041)

I'm a mathematician and have frequent need to reference books and papers for particular results. When I'm away at a conference and I'm bringing some journal papers along for the trip I either need to (1)print out every reference the paper cites in case I need it, (2)rely on the host institution's library which, while usually very extensive, it not generally set-up for guests to have full access, or (3)hope I already know the results they're going to reference.

Being able to download a journal article and all of its citations, and all of their citations, etc. to a specified level would be a killer app for academics. Being able to have all the papers we need on hand is incredibly useful. Having reference books as well would be irresistible.

I imagine anyone that refers to technical documents would feel similarly.

Re:corrrection (1)

Coopjust (872796) | more than 5 years ago | (#26786565)

No SD card slot and when the battery starts to die the early adopters can just buy a new battery... and they paid the same price. Who really got the better deal?

Re:corrrection (1)

jasonhamilton (673330) | more than 5 years ago | (#26786865)

Why would you expect MORE from the older device? Why would Amazon put out an inferior new device at the same price? Look at what you're saying!

Re:corrrection (1)

Coopjust (872796) | more than 5 years ago | (#26786969)

I don't expect more from the older device. I find it laughable that Amazon axed the SD card slot, and the removable battery was a big plus- my 3 year old iPod has a 5 minute battery life (and it's a Video, so the battery is soldered in). That's a massive downside.
Page flip speed isn't a huge deal (unless they made it 50% or more faster) and the 25% battery life increase will wane over time, especially when the Kindle 1 owner can change the battery.

The new device has:
-No removable battery
-No SD card slot
-Is slightly thinner
-Gets slightly better battery life
Looks uglier (opinion).

I'd like to see the new one in person, but from what I can tell, the newer version is (pathetically) inferior to the original in a few critical ways.

Re:corrrection (1)

topher_k (622399) | more than 5 years ago | (#26786899)

No SD card slot and when the battery starts to die the early adopters can just buy a new battery... and they paid the same price. Who really got the better deal?

Thanks for the info. I was trying to convince myself that the Kindle 2 was better, now I know I should just stick with my trusty original.

Is it just me ? (0)

daveime (1253762) | more than 5 years ago | (#26786233)

Is it just me that thinks naming a device after a bunch of waste wood suitable only for burning, is possibly a huge marketing mistake ?

Re:Is it just me ? (1)

paranoid.android (71379) | more than 5 years ago | (#26786747)

Is it just me

Yes, it is just you, because the rest of us know the difference between "kindle" and "kindling."

Re:Is it just me ? (1)

SageinaRage (966293) | more than 5 years ago | (#26786835)

Just in case you're not just joking:

Kindling is the word you're thinking of. Kindle is the verb, of starting a flame, or an emotion. Which seems fairly appropriate.

Re:Is it just me ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26786941)

Yes it is just you. Because by your definition you're actually thinking of kindling. This device is called a Kindle.

PDF? (1)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 5 years ago | (#26786257)

I bought the Sony 505 over the kindle because of the it supported PDF and it had the ability just drag and drop books and not rely on their software.

I just wish one of these readers would support CHM (compiled HTML help file).

Re:PDF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26786401)

You can still drag and drop purchased books and free content(gutenburg, or webcomics) over the included USB cable, no software installed on your computer. Alternatively you can download books from feedbooks.com over the sprint connection for free. The PDF support does need to be better, as the free conversion tends to mess up internal links and most pictures.

Re:PDF? (1)

kprsa (1379613) | more than 5 years ago | (#26786523)

It is easy to decompress the chm to html or any other format so that you can read them. Just google "chm to html".
Cheers, K

Re:PDF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26786761)

CHM? In my country, chim is what we call sperm that has been in condom for few days. It smell bad! Also, CHM is MS. Use pdf or html!

greets

Cute. (5, Informative)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#26786269)

"Information Received. The Device Software will provide Amazon with data about your Device and its interaction with the Service (such as available memory, up-time, log files and signal strength) and information related to the content on your Device and your use of it (such as automatic bookmarking of the last page read and content deletions from the Device). Annotations, bookmarks, notes, highlights, or similar markings you make in your Device are backed up through the Service. Information we receive is subject to the Amazon.com Privacy Notice."

Re:Cute. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26787019)

"Information Received. The Device Software will provide Amazon with data about your Device and its interaction with the Service (such as available memory, up-time, log files and signal strength) and information related to the content on your Device and your use of it (such as automatic bookmarking of the last page read and content deletions from the Device). Annotations, bookmarks, notes, highlights, or similar markings you make in your Device are backed up through the Service. Information we receive is subject to the Amazon.com Privacy Notice."

Damn you, Amazon, for preserving my annotations and bookmarks! How dare you enable me to keep multiple devices in sync or to avoid losing my contents, place and notes if I lose my Kindle and buy a replacement device!

Sheesh.

Price point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26786281)

Is there some reason you can't just use "price"?

Re:Price point? (5, Funny)

Clover_Kicker (20761) | more than 5 years ago | (#26786465)

Verbogeny is one of the pleasurettes of a creatific thinkerizer. (Peter da Silva)

Read-to-me (2, Insightful)

NonUniqueNickname (1459477) | more than 5 years ago | (#26786381)

Having an e-ink screen and text-to-speech on the same device is an odd match. If you want to read, read. If you want to listen, get an audio book for your mp3 player. Spare yourself the synthetic voice. Unless you enjoy imagining Stephen Hawking is in your car reading to you.

Re:Read-to-me (1)

klx (458077) | more than 5 years ago | (#26786675)

Are you kidding? That feature is a MASSIVE plus for me. I flip back and forth between audio and text editions whenever I can easily obtain both formats, because I *want* to read but I also like for my 45-to-180-minute school commute to be good for more than just working on my death wish.

Yeah, I recognize that the Kindle isn't going to speak in the mellifluous tones of an audiobook presenter, but it's preferable to (a) the tedium of figuring out what page/minute I'm on this time and (b) paying twice or getting an interlibrary loan. (I know, I know, libraries are awesome and all, but my local branch holds more urban outdoorsmen than books.)

I'm still not sure if or when I'll get the device, but Read-to-me definitely bumped the buyometer forward by more ticks than any other feature.

Other readers are better (4, Interesting)

Henry V .009 (518000) | more than 5 years ago | (#26786417)

Amazon's Kindle 2 is the same as a Sony PRS-700 (out for a while now) without a reading light, without a touch screen, and with Amazon DRM lock-in. The only good thing going for the Kindle 2 is Amazon's marketing and their exclusive Kindle store.

Not really the same at all then (2, Interesting)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 5 years ago | (#26786843)

Comparing pictures of the two, they are totally different - in form factor, and external buttons. You mention the Kindle does not have a touch screen while the PRS-700 does.

So while possibly they may share the same OS (though even there I suspect large differences) they are not the same at all. And it seems to me that by "better" you very likely mean "has more features on a checklist".

I don't own either reader so I have no stake in which one is in fact better. But I have talked to a number of unlikely people (as in, not really gadget people) that owned and really liked the original Kindle so I think that Amazon may have something to the device they have built beyond the feature list that does make it more pleasing for people to use.

I myself am still wary of these readers but I like the concept, I just want something with perfect PDF/graphics support so I can use one to read technical books with diagrams.

If only... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26786425)

If only it was about the size of regular sheet of paper and could show pdf files, I'd buy one today just to read journal articles without having to stare at the computer screen all day or print them all out (or walk to the library).

"Read-to-me" is not exactly a killer ap.

iPhone or Android App (4, Insightful)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 5 years ago | (#26786435)

Will I pay $359 for a dedicated e-book reader? Not likely.

Would I pay $20 for an app on the iPhone or G-phone that would allow me access to the Amazon e-book store. Sure I would.

Pockets (1)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 5 years ago | (#26786487)

It doesn't look like that thing is going to fit into my pocket. It looks like they could have made it a bit smaller by cutting out some of the "frame" around the sides.

Even hollywood started to get this... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26786543)

Most consumers will not pay a barely discounted or not at all discounted price on a heavily DRMed good that's limited to a single device (be it iPod or Kindle) that could have the plug pulled at any time. Many DVDs now come with "Digital copies" with iPod and Windows compatibility, and they're selling like hotcakes. It's easier and it makes sense.

Want to spur consumers to use eBooks?
-Consider DRM-free books with the name embedded. The geeks will get it out, but for the majority of people, they'll buy their own books and not share.
-If you are going to use DRM, make it worth the hassle by making the book much cheaper. In essence, when I buy a DRMed eBook, I'm buying a license that can be revoked at any time to read the text. Why should I pay $18 for an eBook when it's from a $20 hardcover? Especially without distribution or even physical costs.
-If Amazon sold Kindle "codes" in the books to apply the book to your Kindle, you get the pride of owning a book (that can't ever be turned off) and the convenience of a Kindle copy too. And newspapers, if they don't want to go the way of the dodo, should include Kindle access for print subscribers. I get the WSJ and they want me to pay TWICE to get it on a Kindle. Even if I got a Kindle I wouldn't pay twice.

At $360, with a nonremovable battery (thinness is good, but I'd prefer being able to pop in a spare) and expensive (for the format) content, I can't bite. I've wanted to get an eBook reader for years, but this isn't ready yet.

I have one word in mind: (5, Informative)

rinoid (451982) | more than 5 years ago | (#26786579)

DRM!

You can't share anything folks. NOTHING. The books are not yours!

Re:I have one word in mind: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26786877)

That's my biggest problem.

Actually Jasper Fforde covered this whole issue in The Well of Lost Plots.

Looks big... (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 5 years ago | (#26786629)

...relative to the screen size. We've all been spoiled by the near-zero-bezel devices in the phone/music player market, this one just looks very 90s with the wide bezel around the whole screen. The keyboard doesn't even encroach into that space. Seems like the form factor could be reduced significantly, though they may have used a lot of that space for battery.

I just ordered one (-1, Troll)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 5 years ago | (#26786677)

Because I'm rich, and things like recessions don't affect me the same way they affect you little people.

P.S. Vote NO on Obama's spendy plans. Rich people like me need to stay rich if you working class types ever want to see a paycheck again. My best interest is YOUR best interest!

I'll stick with my iPhone thanks. (4, Interesting)

Blimey85 (609949) | more than 5 years ago | (#26786745)

For a long while I was set on getting an ereader. I just had to have one. I tried reading books on my crackberry but the screen was just too damn small and scrolling was a pain. The only thing that kept be from buying a Sony ereader or a Kindle was the price. For the money you can instead buy an Xbox 360 (I have two and the last was only $160 thanks to a coupon at CircuitCity), or an Iphone ($199 for an 8 gig) or hell, get both. So that's what I ended up doing. I bought both.

Is my ereader experience as great as that on a Kindle? I dunno. What I do know is that it's "good enough" for my uses. I just want to read some fiction. I want to kick back and read some Robin Cook or Dean Koontz in the can or at a theater while waiting for the show or whatever. I use Stanza on my iPhone and I downloaded a few collections via torrents and I'm all set for quite a while. Plus I have a phone and an mp3 player and God knows what else I've added to my phone. And like I said earlier, I also have a second Xbox 360 which obviously lets me play games but I wanted a second for streaming movies and tv shows into my bedroom.

Maybe if I had a train ride to work everyday a Kindle would make sense, but even then it's too big to be dropped in my pocket and I'd still have to have my phone with me. Who wants yet another gadget to lug around?

Readthemall (1)

Paul Carver (4555) | more than 5 years ago | (#26786751)

The only ebook reader program that I ever liked was "readthemall" for PalmOS. I saw a TV commercial for an iPhone ebook application with animated page turning as you slide your finger across the screen and I though it was the stupidest idea imaginable. Brains backwardly locked on an inappropriate old way of doing things.

The program "readthemall" would display one line new line at a time progressing down the screen and when it got to the bottom it would start overwriting old lines at the top. As long as the pace was reasonable your it would never change the part of the screen your eye was looking at and when your eye reached the bottom of the screen there would already be new lines at the top waiting for you.

The controls were up and down buttons. The down button incremented the lines/minute rate. The up button paused the display at the first press and decreased the lines/minute rate on subsequent presses. These two buttons allowed you to fine tune the rate. Once you got the right rate you could read for long periods of time without touching a button simply by scanning your eye from top to bottom of the screen over and over.

Any ebook reader where you have to take some action to "turn the page" is enormously inferior in my opinion. Turning the page is an outdated idea dictated by paper media.

But can I read Slashdot on it? (1)

Hobadee (787558) | more than 5 years ago | (#26786765)

Well, can I?

Can it read pdfs yet? (4, Interesting)

scubamage (727538) | more than 5 years ago | (#26786871)

If not, still not interested. I don't want to pay amazon to convert something I've already paid for. Postscript is a standard, and they should make it compatible if they want to increase their market share. Period. I have my entire o'reilly and cisco library in PDF on my laptop. The only reason I'd get a kindle is to have them in a more convenient form for study and reference when I'm unable to access my laptop. Oh yeah, so far as I know kindle books can't be read outside of the kindle appliance.

TTS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26787029)

Bitches! They made a java text to speech engine that doesn't suck? (freetts does).

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