After rumors surfaced on the Web a few months back that a new Kindle might be on the way, Amazon.com did its best to shoot them down, saying a new Kindle was not coming this year. Well, Boy Genius Report has gotten a hold of some photos that appear to be the Kindle 2, so we're curious what Amazon has to say now.
From the looks of the new device, Amazon has tried to address some of the criticisms of the Kindle, most of which revolve around its somewhat homely design and a few poorly placed buttons. The shape has been modified to make the new Kindle more attractive, but it appears Amazon is sticking with the same off-white color scheme--for better or worse.
The Boy Genius Report's mole or "ninja," has some comments about the new Kindle. First, ninja says the device is basically the same size as the older model, but is thinner and has "a slightly heavier feel, and it feels much sturdier." The source indicates the new model uses the same cellular EV-DO network for downloads (it's Sprint's network in the current model) and a metal back is visible in some of the pictures. I particularly appreciated the look of the new leather carrying pouch for the device, since I don't like the existing Kindle's protective case. There are more photos here.
Boy Genius Report also notes:
As far as buttons go, on the right side, the bottoms from top to bottom are: Home, Next Page, Menu, a joystick, and Undo. On the left side, there's Previous, Page, and Next Page. We're told the buttons are significantly smaller, to avoid accidental page turning. The joystick takes the place of the scroll wheel and it "takes a little getting used to." As far as the redesigned keyboard...it "has a good layout, but lettering on the keys could be darker." Continuing our tour around the unit, next to the sliding sleep button, there's the headphone jack, and on the right-side edge you've got the volume up/down buttons. What's interesting (and you can see this in the photos) is that the backside of the unit is mostly metal, with the speakers at the bottom of the back. One more plus? They've finally ditched their own charger. The Kindle 2 can be charged with a miniUSB cable.
No word on when the next-generation Kindle will arrive, whether there will be a European model, or how much it will cost. However, I have a feeling we'll soon get an announcement from Amazon--if indeed this turns out to be a real product that will go up against the upcoming Sony Reader, the PRS-700, which features a touch-screen display and will hit stores next month in time for the holiday buying season.
As always, feel free to post your comments. What do you think of the design of the alleged Kindle 2? And how much do you think it will cost?