Amazon has officially announced its second-generation wireless reading device, Kindle 2.
The reader, pictured right, is the highly-anticipated successor to its popular Kindle device from November 2007. This time around, Amazon's handheld library boasts a selection of useful upgrades. Kindle 2's refined design measures in at just 9mm thick, and the device weighs a fraction over 10 ounces.
Despite its sleeker appearance, it's armed with built-in wireless and promises entire-book downloads in under a minute. The improved e-Ink display now boasts 16 shades of grey - up from the original Kindle's four - and it'll turn pages up to 20 per cent faster, says Amazon. Throw in improved battery life, the ability to read PDFs, and all-new text-to-speech functionality, and you're looking at what could be a bibliophile's dream come true.
Unfortunately, Amazon's Kindle 2 launches in the U.S. on February 24th with a lofty asking price of $359, and making matters worse is the fact that the retailer doesn't appear to be in a hurry to announce international availability.
With the original Kindle failing to ever reach international shores, Amazon goes only as far as to say it does have plans to sell the device outside of North America. Exactly when that may be is anybody's guess, and it's a shame as this is one recent gadget that we'd really like to try.
Official product page: Amazon.com