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Amazon Launches the Kindle 2; Stephen King Helps today introduced the company’s second generation electronic reader, the Kindle 2. The follow up from the company’s successful Kindle ebook reader offers customers a slim new design with longer battery life, faster page turns, over seven times more storage, sharper images, and a new read-to-me feature.

Rumors that Amazon was about to unveil the next Kindle did the rounds at the very end of January. The company announced it would be holding a press conference at the Morgan Library in New York City on February 9; and while there was no mention as to whether or not we’d see the revamped Kindle, the notice on the Kindle site that says orders placed for the device will ship in 4-6 weeks didn’t go unnoticed, especially when you consider the Kindle drought a result of the device’s Oprah debut. 

Despite the fact that the newest Kindle sports a 600 x 800 6-inch electronic paper display that looks and reads like real paper, most will be a little disappointed to find out there’s still no touch screen on Amazon’s reader. With 2 GB of memory, Kindle 2 can hold more than 1,500 books, compared with 200 with the original Kindle. More memory is always welcome and Amazon has kept the price for this version the same as the old: $349

A few hours before the event, word went around that Stephen King would be launching the Kindle and true enough, the novelist was there. King said he would be writing a story for the Kindle and he read an excerpt of 'Ur' to the crowd, which is actually about a Kindle and sounds completely dire, but there you go.

"Author Stephen King announced today that he is releasing a novella, “Ur,” which will only be available on Kindle. At the center of Ur is lovelorn college English instructor Wesley Smith, who can't seem to get his ex-girlfriend's parting shot out of his head: "Why can't you just read off the computer like the rest of us?" Egged on by her question and piqued by a student's suggestion, Wesley places an order for a Kindle. Smith’s Kindle arrives in a box stamped with the smile logo and unlocks a literary world that even the most avid of book lovers could never imagine. But once the door is open, there are those things that one hopes we'll never read or live through."

Customers can preorder now and units are set to ship February 24.

Jane McEntegart works in marketing communications at Intel and was previously Manager of Content Marketing at ASUS North America. Before that, she worked for more than seven years at Tom's Guide and Tom's Hardware, holding such roles as Contributing Editor and Senior News Editor and writing about everything from smartphones to tablets and games consoles.

  • The_Blood_Raven
    Here I thought the original Kindle was a failure financially, though I always thought it was a neat little gadget. I'm going to go research the damn thing because it seems cool!
  • bf2gameplaya
    I so glad technology has finally allowed the fusion of book and credit card number input system. It's like a life-long dream come true for me.

    Most Sincerely, The Devil.
  • jsloan
    price is too high... once you get it you then have to buy the books.
  • LightWeightX
    It sounds interesting, however $349 can buy a lot of books.
  • jsloan
    i looked into it and while it first looked promising, when i saw i could not have kindle books on my pc, i needed to first get kindle device, they don't have pc reader, i would have to pay extra to get the books without kindle drm, also i noticed that while they had some books at reduced prices, many of the books that i wanted actually cost more than the printed ones, and on top of that i had to pay them $350 up front for some hardware that i did not want, i would prefer that they offered a software solution that would work on pc, mac, ipod, iphone, blackberry, e-book reader device, ect and they would sell all the books at deep discounts, for got sake they don't have to print them how can they cost more. plus it's all drm, look at what is happening with all those people that bought all that drm music and the servers that hosts them are being turned off because the company is going out of business, they can't play them ever again when the servers are turned off.
  • techguy911
    You get 100 free ebooks has no drm and is same price point....
  • gm0n3y

    My thoughts exactly. The price is much too high and I need to be able to store the files on my PC when I want. It should be able to run offline. It needs to work over wifi, not just cell networks. And yes, book prices should be at least slightly lower than printed books.
  • blackbeastofaaaaagh
    I wonder if the display is good enough for reading B&W graphic novels like Manga books or if the pictures will be too pixelated.
  • TwoDigital
    The ebook market is kind of scary with the rate it evolves. Personally, I'll spend a tiny bit more than the Kindle price for a tablet pc... then I know I can read books in PDF, HTML, MS-Reader (.lit), and other formats without having to worry about the industry passing me by with the next version of the hardware.

    Now if only you could buy a legal license to convert Kindle books to .lit format :)
  • Still don't look as good as a Sony PRS-505,nor can do as much as a Astak Mentor or plastic logics reader