Amazon’s New, Slimmer Kindle 2 Due Feb. 24

dell takes a slice at apple with super thin latitude z dellz closed

Amazon has taken the wraps off the Kindle 2, a new version of its popular ebook reader. The Kindle 2 aims to improve on the original Oprah-beloved Kindle reader by offering a sharper screen, a sharper 6-inch e-Ink display, substantially expanded storage, a new slim design, and an experimental “read to me” feature that uses text-to-speech technology so users can listen to books, magazines, newspapers, and other content using the Kindle.

“Kindle 2 is everything customers tell us they love about the original Kindle, only thinner, faster, crisper, with longer battery life, and capable of holding hundreds more books,” said Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, in a statement.

The Kindle 2 features a 6-inch 800 by 600-pixel e-Ink display that supports 16 shades of grey, rather than the four shades on the screen of the original Kindle—Amazon also says the new display is about 20 percent faster than the original Kindle’s screen. The new Kindle is also slimmer, coming in at just over a third of an inch thick, with new buttons that enable users to easily turn pages regardless of how they’re holding the unit. The Kindle 2 also sports a five-way controller for easier navigation and note-taking, and a more-portable power charger for taking Kindle on the road.

Under the hood, the Kindle 2 comes with 2 GB of memory (which Amazon says should be enough for up to 1,500 books) and a battery life 25 percent longer than the original Kindle. And, of course, it still supports Amazon’s WhisperNet wireless capability, using Sprint’s 3G network to pull books into the Kindle throughout the United States with no monthly fees or subscription plans. The Kindle 2 also automatically syncs up with the original Kindle and (Amazon hints) future Kindle devices, so users can easily transition between units. Amazon says the Kindle 2 will be able to sync with mobile phones in the future.

And where does Kindle content come from? Amazon’s Kindle Store, which currently offers over 230,000 books, an increase from the 90,000 available when the original Kindle launched in 2008. The Kindle Store also offers many current magazines and newspapers, along with more than 1,200 blogs.

Amazon will start shipping the Kindle 2 on February 24 at a price of $359; pre-ordering is available as of today.

Emerging Tech

Google wants to map the world's air quality. Here's how.

For the past several years, a growing number of Google’s Street View cars have been doing more than just taking photos. They’ve also been measuring air quality. Here's why that's so important.
Emerging Tech

Soaring on air currents like birds could let drones fly for significantly longer

Birds are sometimes able to glide by catching rising air currents, known as thermals. This energy-saving technique could also be used by drones to allow them to remain airborne longer.

Volkswagen is launching a full range of EVs, but it doesn’t want to be Tesla

Volkswagen is preparing to release the 2020 ID.3 - an electric, Golf-sized model developed for Europe. It sheds insight into the brand's future EVs, including ones built and sold in the United States.
Emerging Tech

Get ready to waste your day with this creepily accurate text-generating A.I.

Remember the text-generating A.I. created by research lab OpenA.I. that was supposedly too dangerous to release to the public? Well, someone just released a version of it. Check it out.
Emerging Tech

Think your kid might have an ear infection? This app can confirm it

Researchers at the University of Washington have developed a new A.I.-powered smartphone app that’s able to listen for ear infections with a high level of accuracy. Here's how it works.
Emerging Tech

San Francisco won the battle, but the war on facial-recognition has just begun

San Francisco has become the first city in America to ban facial recognition. Well, kind of. While the ruling only covers certain applications, it's nonetheless vitally important. Here's why.
Emerging Tech

Purdue’s robotic hummingbird is nearly as nimble as the real thing

A team of engineers in Purdue University’s Bio-Robotics Lab have developed an impressively agile flying robot, modeled after the hummingbird. Check it out in all its robotic hovering glory.
Emerging Tech

SpaceX calls off Starlink launch just 15 minutes before liftoff

High winds above Cape Canaveral on Wednesday night forced SpaceX to postpone the launch of a Falcon 9 rocket in a mission that would have marked the first major deployment of the company’s Starlink internet satellites.
Emerging Tech

SpaceX scraps second effort to launch 60 Starlink satellites

Wednesday's planned SpaceX launch of 60 Starlink satellites was pushed back due to bad weather. Thursday's launch has also been postponed, so the company said it will try again next week.
Emerging Tech

UV-activated superglue could literally help to heal broken hearts

Scientists at China's Zhejiang University have developed a UV-activated adhesive glue that is capable of efficiently healing damage to organs, including the heart. Here's how it works.
Emerging Tech

USC’s penny-sized robotic bee is the most sci-fi thing you’ll see all week

Engineers at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles have built a bee-inspired robot that weighs just 95 grams and is smaller than a penny. Check it out in action here.
Emerging Tech

Watch this drone dodge an incoming soccer ball autonomously

Most drones aren't very good at avoiding incoming objects. But now a team from the University of Zurich has developed a drone which can dodge, swoop, and dive to avoid an incoming football.
Emerging Tech

Experts warn 5G could interfere with weather forecasts, reducing accuracy by 30%

Experts and officials have warned that interference from 5G wireless radios could seriously compromise the ability to forecast weather, including the prediction of extreme weather events like hurricanes.
Emerging Tech

Chang’e 4 mission may have found minerals from beneath the surface of the moon

China's Chang'e 4 mission has made a major discovery: minerals that could be from beneath the surface of the moon. The lander spotted two unexpected mineral types which match what is believed to exist in the mantle.