Amazon's follow-up to the Kindle rounds the corners and smooths the keyboard, dropping the "crushed origami hat" look of the original for something that looks (sort of) like it came out of Cupertino.
The spy shots were sent to Boy Genius Report, which says that the refinements, which include USB charging, come at a price: the battery no longer appears to be user-accessible, and it's lost the SD card slot and fancy leather carrying case. The hallmark features of Amazon's e-book reader, however – EVDO internet and lots of memory, remain.
It's markedly uglier than Sony's reader, and more of a blandification than an improvement over the original. When it comes to looks, Amazon is somewhat clueless. It first opted for a love-it or hate-it geometric sculpture. Now it's plumped for the "fake Chinese iPod knockoff" look.
With its excellent store and cellular hookup, though, I'll wager that it will maintain a sharp edge over Sony's machine for those who aren't fastidiously baking their own text files.