Amazon announced the Kindle 2 today. Basically, it's a nice looking device, but I see no compelling reason to upgrade from my current device. Screen size is the same, but crisper and faster. Obviously both are good things, but I never really felt that the screen was inadequate, so it's not a big deal. I also don't really see the need for more storage. Being able to store only 200 books (more with an SD card inserted) instead of 1500 is sort of like the difference between a 200 ounce soda and a 1500 ounce soda. Both are more than I need. The read to me feature is pretty cool, but not something I could see using. I'm a little surprised they put this in though, since it would seem to be bad for audio books. I'm sure they worked that out somehow, but it still feels weird. The size is similar enough, with the Kindle 2 thinner than the Kindle, but longer. That's a little weird, but hopefully someone I know will buy one and I can see how that changes the feel. Anyway, the real news is that Stephen King wrote a novella featuring the Kindle which will be available on February 24th when the Kindle 2 launches. Naturally, I have to read this even though it would be a stretch to say that I like Stephen King's writing. I don't think I've read anything by him in 20 years, with the exception of some of his Entertainment Weekly columns. So good job on getting me to read something you wrote Stephen. I'm sure that was your sole goal in writing the piece.
One more thing. I just noticed that the Kindle 2 doesn't come with a case anymore. I guess they couldn't keep the price point they wanted without taking something away. It does mean that the effective cost of the device is a little higher, since a case is essential in my mind.
Oh, and apparently they've taken away the SD card. So actually, I can hold more books on my Kindle than the Kindle 2 can hold.