Home Amazon’s Kindle Gets an Update, But Doesn’t Wow

Amazon’s Kindle Gets an Update, But Doesn’t Wow

Amazon today announced a new version of its highly successful Kindle eBook reader. The new Kindle now features 2GB of memory, and a new 5-way controller for easier navigation. Amazon has also upgraded the screen, which can now show sixteen shades of gray instead of just four, and the battery, which now lasts about 25% longer. The old retro look of the Kindle 1 has given away to a far sleeker, more high-tech looking device, but nothing about the new Kindle is really more than an minor evolutionary step forward. Even the price ($359) has stayed the same.

The new Kindle also feature a new text-to-speech mode.

Sync with Mobile Devices Coming Soon?

Maybe the most interesting part about the announcement was that the new Kindle will be able to sync with the Kindle 1 and that it “will also sync with a range of mobile devices in the future.” Just last week, we heard rumors about a Kindle reader app for the iPhone and other mobile phones. For now, however, Amazon is clearly more interested in selling its own hardware than in providing software solutions for other devices.

Still the Best

But don’t get us wrong – the announcement of the new Kindle didn’t exactly wow us, but the Kindle store now features over 230,000 electronic books and the Kindle 1 and 2 are still the best dedicated eBook readers available. As we mentioned last week, the momentum towards eBooks is gathering steam, and even if the Kindle 2 doesn’t quite have the wow factor of the first device, it is still a great device and the quality of the screen really as to be seen to be believed (though our experience is obviously limited to the Kindle 1).

If you currently own a Kindle 1, there is probably very little reason to switch to the new version, but if you were holding out for a new version, and assuming the $359 price-tag doesn’t shock you, the new Kindle, with it’s sleeker design, additional memory, and better battery life is as good as it gets.

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