Kindle 2, released by Amazon today, takes off from where the original Kindle features came to an end. It claims a 25% increase in battery life and it can hold as many as 1,500 books with its 2GB memory. Kindle 1 had a capacity for only 200 books.

Perhaps the neatest feature of Kindle 2 is “talk to me” that enables Kindle to read the book aloud for you, albeit in a monotonous robotic voice. You can select between male and female voices. The Kindle Store offers customers a selection of more than 230,000 books.

The new iteration of Kindle will cost the same as the earlier version - $359 and will ship February 24 onwards. Kindle 2 is a little more than one-third of an inch thick and weighs just 10 ounces. The device facilitates note-taking and text highlighting via a new five-way controller. It also features buttons for turning pages. The wireless connectivity with Kindle 2 is powered by Sprint.

Other developments over Kindle 1 include 16 shades of gray on the 600×800 electronic paper display as against 4 shades on the original Kindle. A single charge will keep Kindle 2 on for five days with the wireless turned on and for two weeks with the wireless turned off.
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