Editor’s Note: The following article is reprinted from the Today@PC World blog at PCWorld.com.
Leaked pictures of the forthcoming incarnation of Amazon’s ebook reader, Kindle 2 have surfaced this weekend on the Web. The new device features various improvements and a design overhaul which reminds us of the early iPod days.
After Amazon dismissed the launch of a new Kindle this year, delaying the new device until “sometime next year at the earliest” we got our hands on pictures of the forthcoming Kindle, courtesy of The Boy Genius Report. As usual, Amazon hasn’t made any comments on the leak or publicly announced a price or launch date.
The first improvement that you will notice is the unified keyboard, which is not split into two sections anymore. The new Kindle’s corners are now rounded and the white case with the metallic backplate reminds us of the first iPod models launched a few years back.
The size is similar to the old Kindle’s and the screen size seems to be unchanged as well. The screen is still black and white and backlight doesn’t seem to be present. The top of the device has a 3.5mm headphone jack and a sliding sleep button, which again brings up iPod’s layout. The volume controls are placed on the right and the speakers are placed on the back of the device. Also, Amazon is not using its own charger for the new Kindle, but a miniUSB plug that serves as a charging port and syncing with the PC.
On the right side of the device there are five buttons: Home, Next page, Menu, a navigation joystick and Undo while on the left there’s Previous Page and Next Page. All the buttons are significantly smaller than of the original Kindle, probably to avoid accidental page turning. As mentioned, the scroll wheel in Kindle 1 was replaced with a joystick. Unfortunately, there isn’t any SD card slot on the new Kindle, but apparently the device comes with built-in storage, speculated at 2GB.
Kindle 2 still uses EV-DO for downloads, so not much improvement on this side. Nevertheless, the improved looking device will come in a leather pouch, unlike the plastic binder it used to.
Meanwhile, Sony released its new ebook reader range, in what is seems to be Kindle’s main competitor.