Amazon Kindle 2
Amazon Kindle 2
- Made by: Amazon (Manufactured by Foxconn)
- Released: February 24 2009, Oct 19 2009 for International version (also called Global Wireless)
- Predecessor: Amazon Kindle 1
- Languages Supported: English
- File Types Supported: AZW, TPZ, PRC, MOBI, TXT, MP3, AA, AAX
This product is no longer available new.
The Kindle 2 offers a 6" (15.2 cm) display using E Ink with a cell-phone style connection to permit purchase and download of eBooks. This means that no computer is needed for the Kindle although a USB connection is provided so that a computer can be used with this device. A keyboard is built into the device which can be used to add notes to documents. DRM is supported only on AZW and TPZ files. Amazon has two versions of this Kindle model. The USA version will not work outside of the USA because the Whispernet EVDO is only available there. The USA/International version will work in 100 countries across the globe. The Kindle Version 2 has a new, faster controller chip and includes TTS (Text-to-Speech) capability.
Kindle 2 can read to you. With the new Text-to-Speech feature, Kindle can read every eBook, blog, magazine, and newspaper out loud to you, subject to permission from the Author/Publisher. You can switch back and forth between reading and listening, and your spot is automatically saved. Pages automatically turn while the content is being read, so you can listen hands-free. You can choose from both male and female voices which can be sped up or slowed down to suit your preference. Anything you can read on Kindle, Kindle can potentially read to you, including books, newspapers, magazines, blogs and even personal documents. In the middle of a great book or article but have to jump in the car? Simply turn on Text-to-Speech and listen on the go.
Unfortunately, some books available through Amazon now have the text-to-speech (TTS) facility disabled. Because of protests by an author's group that TTS may adversely affect revenues generated by audio books, Amazon has agreed to disable this facility when requested by the publisher.
- Display: 6" (15.2 cm) diagonal E-Ink® electronic paper display, 600 x 800 pixel resolution at 167 ppi, 16-level gray scale
- Size (in inches): 8" x 5.3" x 0.36" (20.3 x 13.5 x 0.9 cm)
- Weight: 10.2 ounces (0.289 kg)
- Internal memory: 2G internal; 1.4 Gig available for the user
- Expansion Memory: None (USB capable bus master but this feature has not been enabled)
- Wireless: EVDO or 3G with no subscription required
- System requirements: None, because it doesn't require a computer
- USB Port: USB 2.0 (micro-B connector) for connection to the Kindle power adapter or optionally to connect to any computer that has a USB port that can mount USB drives (Linux, Mac OS X, Windows).
- USA Wireless Connectivity: EVDO modem with fallback to 1xRTT; utilizes Amazon Whispernet to provide U.S wireless coverage via Sprint's 3G high-speed data network. Check Sprint for wireless coverage map on availability. This expanded coverage is only available for Kindle 2. See Wireless Terms and Conditions at Amazon.
- International Wireless Connectivity: 3G using partner networks. Web browsing is not available.
- Battery Life: Read for up to 4 days on a single charge with wireless on. Turn wireless off and read for up to two weeks. Battery life will vary based on wireless usage, such as shopping the Kindle Store and downloading content. In low coverage areas or in 1xRTT only coverage, wireless usage will consume battery power more quickly.
- Charge Time: Fully charges in approximately 4 hours and supports charging from your computer via the included USB 2.0 cable.
- Audio: 3.5mm stereo audio jack, rear-mounted stereo speakers.
- Content Formats Supported: Kindle (AZW), TXT, Audible (formats 4, Audible Enhanced (AAX)), MP3, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively; PDF, HTML, DOC, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP through conversion. Simple HTML can be read by changing the file extension to .TXT.
- 5-way controller: Kindle has a new easy-to-use 5-way controller, enabling precise on-screen navigation for selecting text to highlight or looking up words.
- Annotation and highlighting are supported.
The Amazon Kindle 2 is a newer version of the previously released Amazon Kindle. Lab126, a small Amazon subsidy, worked for several years on this product. They are charged with "producing highly integrated products to serve Amazon consumers".
For specifications on the display technology see: E Ink display. Note that this device has 16 level gray scale.
To compare this device with other electronic ink devices see: E-book Reader Matrix
To check the status of Amazon services see: http://status.aws.amazon.com/
Here are some guesses as to the internal hardware based on examining the Linux source code and other data (applies mostly to Kindle 1):
- The base system is based on a Gumstix board.
- The CPU is XScale PXA250 running at 400 MHz when at full speed. ARM compatible.
- The I/O chip to talk to the PN-LCD, keyboard, scrollwheel and battery is from Foxconn.
- Flash chip is OneNAND from Samsung.
- The CDMA modem is AnyData DTG.
- USB controller is Philips ISP1761 (it has On-The-Go!).
- EPD controller: Broadsheet (Epson S1D13521) update for Kindle 2.
- Audio is WM8971.
All Amazon Kindle devices include a cell-phone data service that Amazon calls Whispernet. This service uses EVDO facilities from Sprint but the user does not need to sign up for the service. It provides free download of purchased eBooks and free browsing of the Wikipedia encyclopedia. This is a wireless service and may be turned off independently from the device itself. Note that the new International version has both Sprint and AT&T 3G service. International sites use 3G service and include VAT in the price of the book but the download is still free. If you are using Roaming such as visiting Europe with your US based product you will be charged $1.99 to download a book.
User content conversion
Some other formats can be converted to Kindle format by sending them to Amazon's web site. This user converted content can also be optionally be downloaded via Whispernet for USD$.15 per Megabyte in the US and USD$.99 per megabyte internationally. User content conversion is free if you don't use Whispernet.
Formats that can be converted include:
- Microsoft Word (.DOC)
- Structured HTML (.HTML, .HTM)
- JPEG (.JPEG, .JPG)
- GIF (.GIF)
- PNG (.PNG)
- BMP (.BMP)
- PDF (.PDF)
Note that the cost is per MB (rounded upwards) and mail. In other words, two mails with 400KB each, costs USD$1.98 in total. But a single mail with two attachments of 400KB each, for a total of 800KB for that mail still costs USD$0.99.
Note that it is possible to convert .ePUB and .PDF files on the Kindle 2 itself using a program called Savory. The files can be downloaded via the built-in Kindle browser and are then converted on the fly.