First thing this morning (I am on the West Coast) I check for the exciting new Kindle 2 announcement. Surely they have given a new twist and price that will move it into a new market! Meh. Nope. Little upgrades and no price change. Sigh. What you now get is:

–    A changed and still unremarkable industrial design
–    The same 80’s color (reminiscent of my/the first hand held Nintendo video game)
–    More storage capacity
–    More battery life
–    The incomprehensibly unchanged price of $359
–    A tenth of an ounce lighter (no, really)
–    4x’s more grayscale color.
–    It is skinnier by .36 inches.
–    A text-to-speech reader (which, if any good, is in my opinion the most significant change)
–    The standard features from Kindle 1 have not been dropped you can still buy your books online, bookmark passages and so on.

There is talk of a new feature yet to come called “whispersync” that will allow the Kindle user to sync with another Kindle (assuming you actually own two or know someone else with one. Do you know anybody who owns even one yet?). Interestingly the whispersync should also allow you to sync with mobile devices, ahhh now we’re talkin’. Sync with my iPhone and we might be closer to doing business.

Standing back and looking at the new big picture. Do we get more value for our money? Yes. Is it enough to make me find the money? No. My business is online services for a library if you can’t sell me I don’t know how you sell anyone but the traveling business consumer and the lucky few techy bibliophiles that have too much money. I admit the Kindle has the best business model out there but you’re killing me Amazon, you really are.

For a more detailed and admittedly more positive spin I would suggest taking a look at the review from Fast Company who actually got their paws on the Kindle 2.

In another world I would love it if  Amazon would take a page from the yet unseen Readius.

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