Friday, October 03, 2008

Kindle, Meet Kindle 2

Image representing Amazon Kindle as depicted i...Image via CrunchBaseThe Boy Genius Report strikes again, and comes up with a trove of photos of Amazon's still-unannounced Kindle 2. I'll let you go over to their report for the details, but it certainly has a cleaner design than the original model. The basic functionality of the original Kindle appears to be intact (it still has an EV-DO modem), but the SD card slot for expansion memory is gone.

I continue to have a number of problems with the current generation of e-readers, the new Kindle 2 included. First, it's essential that they be open to as many document formats as possible, so that as many publishers as possible can access them. Second, they've got to support many different methods for loading content, including USB, WiFi and Bluetooth at a minimum. 2G and 3G wireless modems are fine, but they should be an add-on, and support for multiple carriers should be available. With Bluetooth compatibility, most modern mobile phones can serve as a wireless modem for the e-reader.

There are two other things that I'd really like to see, but that await future technology. The first is a full 8 1/2" by 11" or A4 display, and the second is full color. The fundamental premise of most e-readers is that books are the only things that people want to read, hence a large screen size and color are unnecessary. I would love to have an e-reader that can show me a full, readable magazine page at a time. I'd be willing to compromise color for size. The Plastic Logic e-reader addresses most of my concerns (except color), but I'm withholding judgment until it goes into production.
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