Kindle 2: First Hands On

We've playing with the spankin' new Kindle 2 right now. Check out our live impressions, photos and video here, updating live.

• Hey, it's downright iPod Touchy. Nice rounded aluminium back with a plastic top. Will it stay on the toilet seat?
• Controls are almost exactly the same as Kindle 1, just slightly re-arranged, for the better. You can still page forward from both sides. Although now, with more non-button room on the sides, you can definitely pick it up without turning the page. They nailed the buttons.
• What we're really sad about: the Sparklemotion scrolling indicator is gone. Nooo! Now, as you scroll through lists, the active choice gets a black underline. It's not as slow as turning pages, but nowhere near as fast as the magical sparkle pixie trapped inside of Kindle 1. It definitely makes the overall experience a little more sluggish-feeling.
• The refresh is faster, but not super-noticeably so. It could definitely be zippier still, despite the ads saying it's just like turning a page. I don't turn pages that slow, except when I'm reading like, Deleuzian theory.
• The display is definitely crisper, and the book covers are a lot prettier, for black and white anyway. We wish it was a little bigger—it's the same size as the original—and there's definitely some room for it.
• The overall handfeel is a lot nicer. While part of me loves the snowspeeder original, this just feels better in your hand, and it obviously looks a lot slicker. Though at the same time, that iPod-like slickness is a bit less daring than the original.

• UI wise, it looks very, very similar to Kindle 1. Aside from the change in scrolling lists (sans Sparklemotion), it's all very very similar.
• Storage is hefty at 2GB - that's 1500 books Amazon claims, more than I can see any human ever actually needing at one time. Probably the smallest chip the factory could get their hands on.
• Web browsing and MP3s are still relegated to the "experimental" menu, and browsing seems equally awkward. Although images do look prettier.

Here's a quick run-through on video:

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