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Kindle 2 debuts in New York with guest star Stephen King

February 9, 2009 |  8:41 am

Kindle2 Move over Kindle, your new, improved baby brother is here, pictured at right. His arrival was announced in an invite-only, not-that-secret hype-ready press conference in New York. Just like Kindle 1.0, it'll cost $359 to hold one in your well-manicured fingers.

According to Gizmodo, which did a great job live-blogging the event, the leaked Kindle 2 photos were real. It is .36-inch thick, 25% thinner than the iPhone.

Earlier today, the Wall Street Journal broke the news that Stephen King would write a Kindle-only (for now) piece that includes a Kindle-like device. King, who read from the work at the event,  has a one-of-a-kind Kindle, according to Gizmodo -- and it's not black and creepy, but pink.

King's involvement may say less about where Kindle may factor in the publishing production chain (an inevitable leap, discussions sure to follow) than it does about the author's willingness to explore new technologies. In August 2008, he launched a Web-only animated series, "N." For King, who's made a habit of writing more than his publishers can keep up with, these new venues provide a way of getting his writing out into the world instead of waiting until it's time for a new book.

But back to the Kindle 2. Its pages turn faster than the old Kindle. It's 3G, so can download books anyplace with 3G networks. It will read text aloud to you. (Gizmodo was unimpressed and gave the robot-y voice a "meh.") And it begins shipping Feb. 24.

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: Amazon.com

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