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Kindle 2.0 Details. Still no Folder Support?

The press conference pertaining to the Kindle 2.0 has been completed and the details are out. (Manual here).

The new Kindle is very thin, only .36 inches wide. It’s lighter than a typical paperback and has a new “5-way controller” to allow for “more precise note-taking and highlighting both up and down and side to side in lines of text.” It comes with a portable charger but no cover. All covers are extra.

It has the same 6″ display size but with 16 shades of gray versus the previous 4. The internal memory has been upped to 2GB with 1.4 GB being available to the user. The SD slot appears to be removed. It has 25% longer battery life. According to the release, “Kindle 2 customers can read for four to five days on one charge with wireless on and for over two weeks with wireless turned off.”

It also offers a “Text-to-Speech” so that customers can have the book read to them from a, well, probably robotic voice.

Finally, there is a new “WhisperSync” feature that allows Kindle 1 and Kindle 2 devices to speak to each other. “Kindle 2 will also sync with a range of mobile devices in the future.” This suggests perhaps that if there is a Kindle iPhone App that the two would be able to synchronize the books purchased as well as annotations and last page read marks.

There’s no indication that there is “folder” support. Folder support is what ebook readers use to organize their reading collections. Additionally the device is still available only in the US. You can preorder today at Amazon

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

21 Comments

  1. Silver James
    Feb 09, 2009 @ 11:13:13

    Uhm…why would I want to? Just askin’….

    If I hop off the non-ebook fence, I’m probably going to come down on the Sony side.

  2. Lisette Kristensen
    Feb 09, 2009 @ 11:21:19

    Broke down over the holidays and bought a Kindle and it is great! I do miss the feel of a paperbook, but overall have no regrets.

  3. Janine
    Feb 09, 2009 @ 11:33:01

    The SD slot appears to be removed.

    Where do extra books (that don’t fit on the 1.4 GB available to the user) get stored then? On Amazon’s site?

  4. Teddypig
    Feb 09, 2009 @ 12:31:36

    They still have the USB connection so instead of providing 2 gigs from SD Slot, which was I heard as large a SD Card as it accepted, they just installed that memory into the Kindle and so you can still download from Whispernet or your desktop. I liked the idea of switching out cards even though for the life of me I cannot imagine wanting that many books having to be listed in memory.

    Just remember the more books on the device memory the slower it will go because it is having to keep track of them and list them for your browsing.

  5. Janine
    Feb 09, 2009 @ 13:18:54

    Thanks, Teddy. I love my new Sony, but even so, I have some Kindle envy.

  6. Shannon C.
    Feb 09, 2009 @ 13:28:10

    Text to speech, huh? Is that the Amazon nod toward accessibility? Because if so it kind of fails, since as I understand it a person like me still couldn’t make use of the device without assistance from someone who could see.

  7. Jane
    Feb 09, 2009 @ 13:34:31

    @Shannon C. That’s a great point. Thank you for pointing it out.

  8. Flight into Fantasy » Monday afternoon amusing links
    Feb 09, 2009 @ 14:05:23

    [...] Author reports on Kindle 2.0. It has a text to speech engine now. Which still makes it useless for an actual, y’know, [...]

  9. Courtney Milan
    Feb 09, 2009 @ 14:25:19

    You know, it’s kind of disheartening that they included text to speech for the book text but not for the menus. This is the kind of thing that could have easily been made the Kindle into a fully-blind-accessible device, if they’d just taken it forward a step. Rockbox has had read-aloud menus for six or seven years. It’s not like this is new or hard to implement.

    Then again, file-systems have supported folders or their equivalent for like a bazillion years, and that didn’t stop the Kindle.

    (In fact, the Kindle *does* support folders on its physical drive–you can create them when you plug it into a USB port–it just won’t render them on the Kindle screen. Argh! Why, Amazon? Why?)

  10. Robin
    Feb 09, 2009 @ 14:46:10

    The longer the Kindle is out there, the less interesting to me it becomes. Except for the wireless downloading capability that would allow me to circumvent the Mac compatibility issues, I can’t see what the advantage over a Sony would be.

  11. Lam
    Feb 09, 2009 @ 14:57:33

    I like the idea of the whispernet and the ease of the Kindle’s book buying process, but the fact that it’s not available in Canada kills it for me. I have a Sony and absolutely love it. I know that there are probably numerous legal reasons for the Kindle not being available in Canada, but I still don’t understand how the Sony can be so readily available in Canada, and the Kindle not at all.

  12. Janine
    Feb 09, 2009 @ 15:27:04

    The longer the Kindle is out there, the less interesting to me it becomes. Except for the wireless downloading capability that would allow me to circumvent the Mac compatibility issues, I can't see what the advantage over a Sony would be.

    Keyboard? Two chapter excerpts free of charge? New hardcovers and bestsellers for just $9.99?

  13. Joy
    Feb 09, 2009 @ 15:43:56

    Keyboard? Two chapter excerpts free of charge? New hardcovers and bestsellers for just $9.99?

    The keyboard does nothing for me. I don’t write in books (or crack spines or anything I see as damage) so I don’t miss it. I have enough issues with book buying that the 2 chapter excerpts and wireless buying would be bad for me.

    I’m likely not going to buy a new hardcover unless I know the author already – and will still get paper for my standard hardback purchases. Honestly, my hardback purchases are few and far between so I’ll just wait for paperbacks (e or print)

  14. Bianca
    Feb 09, 2009 @ 17:01:31

    I thought the $9.99 hardcover e-books from Amazon was a Kindle urban legend…? As in, not exactly true…?

  15. Robin
    Feb 09, 2009 @ 17:15:59

    Keyboard? Two chapter excerpts free of charge? New hardcovers and bestsellers for just $9.99?

    I couldn’t care less about the keyboard, but I am not a note-taker in digital format (doesn’t the Sony 700 have a note-taking capacity, though?). I rarely read excerpts before buying books anymore (and can’t you get at least one chapter at an author’s website?). And I don’t think the 9.99 price is still holding, based on some other post I saw not that long ago. Plus, isn’t Amazon planning to release Kindle books for other devices?

  16. Miki
    Feb 09, 2009 @ 18:06:26

    I think the 9.99 for hardback/TPB books will continue (for a short window of time for each book) while Amazon is still enticing readers to ebooks.

    When Amazon was enticing readers to buy online, they had great discounts on all the (paper) books they sold. Now not so much.

    So – while the 9.99 may be around for awhile yet – I wouldn’t use it in my “pro” column, because I don’t think it’ll be around in the long-term.

    A greater enticement for me would be the greater number of books that seem to be available at Amazon only. I think Fictionwise is making a real push to catch up with it’s eReader format, but the last time I paid any real attention, there were still books available only at Amazon that I’ve wanted to buy.

    Sadly, I still think the Kindle is ugly. I just hate that keyboard! So I’ll stick to my Sony (and PDA). They have served me well so far.

  17. Yep, the Kindle 2 is here | WriteBlack
    Feb 09, 2009 @ 18:09:18

    [...] Still no folder support? (Dear Author) [...]

  18. Tina Burns
    Feb 09, 2009 @ 20:43:38

    As much as I’d love a dedicated reader, for about the same amount of money I’m leaning toward a netbook. It just makes more sense for me to have a multi-functional device that’s super portable. I really wish they’d come down on the price of dedicated readers which would open up the market for book readers. :)

  19. Alyssa
    Feb 10, 2009 @ 03:47:19

    As much as I'd love a dedicated reader, for about the same amount of money I'm leaning toward a netbook. It just makes more sense for me to have a multi-functional device that's super portable. I really wish they'd come down on the price of dedicated readers which would open up the market for book readers. :)

    I have a netbook and I love it. I have an new Acer Aspire One and paid approximately $350 for it. It’s the size and weight of a hardcover book, it works as well as a full size laptop (but with no internal disk drive) and reads all my formats. I love it. I have for the past years been flying back and forth across the Pacific splitting my life between two countries. I’ve been buying ebooks for over five years now. I have so many different formats but can read them all on my net book. No worries about folders or memory. It’s not quite as small as the Kindle or Sony, but still completely portable with good battery life for a laptop. In comparison the Kindle and the Sony seem very limiting to me.

  20. DS
    Feb 24, 2009 @ 10:36:25

    My Kindle 2 just arrived. I ordered 2/19 which means they seem to have control of the “out of stock” problem. I waited 11 weeks for Kindle 1. I’m not sure that I like it better than Kindle 1, but the 16 shades of gray screen improves the way illustrations appear on the screen.

  21. rebyj
    Feb 24, 2009 @ 11:27:07

    Jon Stewart’s interview with Jeff Bezos showing off the Kindle 2
    here http://www.thedailyshow.com/video/index.jhtml?videoId=218392&title=Jeff-Bezos

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