E-book The updated reader turns pages and heads

AMAZON KINDLE 2

The second Kindle riffs on some old Apple design tricks — all smooth, white curves and brushed metal. Alas, in its rush to be more beautiful, it’s dumped some of the cool features we first fell in love with; the removable battery has been removed for good, as has the SD slot and the original scroll wheel.

Forget the hype about a faster screen; the six-inch, e-ink display takes just as long to flick through pages and while images benefit from 16-shade greyscale — bumped up from four — the text appears softer, with less contrast. Browsing and buying books, magazines, newspapers and blogs over the Kindle’s 3G link is still incredibly simple. New titles don’t come cheap — they’re around £10 a pop — but you can now share them across Whispersync.

This means you can purchase a book on your Kindle and read it on your iPhone, should you so desire — that’s progress of a kind.

The Kindle’s Achilles heel remains web browsing. Painfully slow, you could get through a decent chunk of War and Peace in the time it takes to load complex PDFs. Text-to-speech is now included, but it sounds unsettlingly like a satnav — “At the next plot twist, turn the page.”

Only slight improvements, then, but the Kindle wasn’t in need of a massive rethink — it’s a great gadget. You can mull over the wisdom of buying an electronic book that costs the same as around 40 normal books as you wait for it to hit the shelves, later this year. Look up www.amazon.com

Price: Rs. 18,000

Specifications

Storage: 2GB

Battery: Two weeks

with Wi-Fi off

Connectivity:

Wi-Fi, 7.2Mbps HSDPA

Dimensions:

203x135x91mm

Weight:

289g

The details

DIMENSIONS

The K2 swaps its boxy corners, removable battery and card slot for a new sleek, streamlined look

SPEAKERS

Turn any of Amazon’s 240,000 e-books into audiobooks with the new text-to-speech function

SCREEN

The upgraded, 16-tone greyscale, e-ink display, looks fresh, but there’s still flicker between pages

NAVIGATION

Page navigation is easier with smaller, more sensitive buttons. We miss the scroll wheel, though

SOFTWARE

Whispersync keeps your library brimming, letting you share books between

multiple devices

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