Monday, February 09, 2009


Ah, feel the flame light, the spark ignite, the interest flare... the burning desire to... BUY IT NOW.

Amazon finally released Kindle 2.0, and so far reports are positive. Granted, this just happened today, so we need a little time for the shakedown and real feedback to filter back from the stratosphere, but I am hoping.

According to an article in the NYT,

Amazon said the upgraded device had seven times the memory as the original version, allowed faster page-turns and had a crisper, though still black-and-white, display. The Kindle 2 also features a new design with round keys and a short, joysticklike controller — a departure from the previous version’s design, which some buyers had criticized as awkward. The new device will ship on Feb. 24. Amazon did not change the price for the device, which remains $359.

And, according to an article in Business Week, "it can stay charged for up to two weeks on a single charge and holds up to 1,500 books."

Now, what I find sort of interesting is the claim that the new device can hold up to 1500 books. "Seven times the memory" is something which is fairly easy to arrive at mathematically, 1500 books, on the other hand, doesn't really seem so easy to define. I mean, War and Peace, Atlas Shrugged, the seven Harry Potters and the four Twilight books alone come to over 8300 pages, or 2.68 million words. And that's just 13 books... for which I could actually find word counts... which is not as easy as you may think. If you think I'm slacking, here's a short list of books for which word count is not so readily available: The Brothers K (generally over 600 pages), Shogun (the paperback is over 1100 pages and weighs a pound and a half), The Lord of the Rings (over 1100 pages if you consider all three books in the cycle and that's without The Hobbit, another 300 pages).

I know what you're thinking. That's very interesting, but what's her point? (I know that's what you're thinking.) Her point is, what does 1500 books mean? A book is not a measurable unit, last I checked. It's like saying your hard drive will hold 1500 files. Really? 1500 1GB photos are now the same as 1500 10k Word docs? Good to know.

Not to mention, getting back to the Kindle, what about the whole newspaper and magazine thing? Which, in my opinion, is way nifty, and evidently much improved on the new Kindle with its new 16 shades of gray. How does that impact the 1500 books? I'm just saying, "1500 books" sounds like a whole lotta you-know-what to me. Still, seven times the memory—now that sounds promising. And the improved control, navigation and form factor—also promising. My hopes are high(er).

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