Amazon Kindle 2 announced: $359 on February 24

Just as expected, Amazon announced the second-generation Kindle ebook reader with the exclusive Stephen King novel UR today -- the page actually went live during the press event. The new version will still cost $359, but it's much thinner than the angular original -- in fact, it's thinner than an iPhone at just .36 inches. Arguably the biggest new feature is Read to Me, which can read any content on the device back to you in a decent-sounding computerized voice, but there's also seven times more storage, a sharper 16-level e-ink display that turns pages 20 percent faster, 25 percent longer battery life, and a new five-way joystick that improves navigation. Amazon's Whispernet service is also getting a feature bump, adding in Whispersync bookmarking -- if you start reading a book on one Kindle, you can pick up again on any other Kindle automatically. Sadly, it's still only available in white -- the pink Kindle here is just a one-off made to promote UR. Video after the break.

A few more informations:

  • Amazon is still working on international release, but has nothing to announce at this time, and wouldn't even confirm a launch this year.

  • Battery is non-removable.

  • There will be no Kindle 2-exclusive content, and some of the software improvements will be pushed to the original Kindle -- Whispersync is a shoe-in, text-to-speech is a no.

We spent some time playing with the Kindle 2 hands-on -- check it out right here!