In a staggering announcement that jellied the brain meats of all who were present through the sheer concussive force of stupefaction, Amazon announced the Kindle 2 today, which looks exactly like the soothsayer mockups of one psychic Photoshopper that leaked to the Internet the other day.
As rumored, it costs $359. The battery has been improved by 25%, giving 4 days of straight reading with EVDO on, and 20 days without. Internal storage has also been improved, up to 2GBs. Amazon's bizarre conversion process remains for most of the common ebook formats. It has text-to-speech built in, which will finally make an ebook reader accessible to the visually impaired, and an improved screen. It is also staggeringly thin... little thicker than a magazine.
Essentially, it's a prettier, thinner Kindle with an improved screen and better button placement and a few other cool new features that will largely go unused. From this side of the press conference (the non-attending side), it seems to be an incremental revision that doesn't muck too much with the formula of its predecessor, besides some slight tweaking of both aesthetics and power. But Joel's slurping down comped booze and playing with a Kindle 2 as we speak, so we'll have his report in a bit.
Kindle 2 [Amazon]