For those playing along at home, the Kindle 2 was announced yesterday. I personally believe that it doesn’t deserve the “2” moniker, maybe “1.5”; it does have some nice changes. Those changes include: USB Recharge, Faster screen refresh, 16 shades of gray (as opposed to the previous 4), stereo speakers, longer battery life, 2GB internal storage (up from 256MB) and an overall slimmer/sleeker/better designed case.
Now the unit definitely looks nicer from the pictures, how it actually handles remains to be seen (on February 26th, when mine arrives). Obviously some of the changes are for the better, like 2GB of internal storage and longer battery, but they come at the cost of the battery no longer being user serviceable — at least so far as we have been lead to believe. The back is now sealed, which is good for having a sleek device, though bad for user serviceability. As for the screen, the faster refresh will be nice. Not that I think it is such a big deal, but I’m really curious to see how graphics turn out. With the Kindle 1, anything other than a very basic diagram looked terrible. Though sadly, the screen is not any higher resolution than before, which I wish they had done.
When all is said and done, I did buy one. To the current generation Kindle owner, if you place your order for the Kindle 2 before tonight at Midnight PST, you get preferential placement in the queue (Read: You get one first). In about 2 weeks, I should have a much more in depth review, but if you want a Kindle in the next few months, order it now. Last I read, Kindles were on track to out paces sales of the original iPod by something like 30%.