Secrets of the Kindle 2

The Amazon Kindle 2 has been revealed! But did you know there’s a lot more underneath that redesigned shell than simple e-reader skills?

We’ve unearthed several secrets of the Kindle 2. Want us to spill the beans? It’s all after the jump!

No PDF, Doc or HTML support
The Kindle 2 will happily display text files, but don’t go thinking you can throw just anything at it. Load it up with a PDF, Doc or HTML file and it’ll fail to open them. You’ll need to convert them, which can be a time consuming process since it involves sending the file to Kindle’s service centre. It’s inexcusable if you ask us, especially since HTML will load through the web browser with a live internet connection, but not if it’s pre-loaded.

Text to speech
The new Kindle 2 will read books to you, using clever text to speech technology. OK, so in the words of author Stephen King, present at yesterday’s launch, it sounds a bit like a satnav, but it’s a neat trick nonetheless. Audiobooks from any standard e-book? Sounds good to us.

Web browser inside
One of the Kindle 2’s least shouted-about features is its web browser. It’ll let you view basic websites on the e-ink screen. Webmail, Wikipedia and even Google Maps work just fine, and since the Kindle only uses its battery to change what’s on the screen, it means you can keep lengthy messages or maps on screen for quick reference without draining it of juice!

Backlight blackout

The new Kindle 2 might have a faster screen that refreshes itself 20% quicker than the original, but there’s still no backlight. In a way, we’re a little disappointed, since Sony’s newest Readers come with light-up screens as standard. Then again, maybe it’s not such a loss. After all, have you ever seen a backlit book?

Memory mix-up
The first generation Kindle used SD cards to store books. That feature has disappeared with the Kindle 2. Instead there’s now 2GB of memory inside, 1.4GB of which is accessible to users and ready to be stuffed with digital books.

  • Charlie Martin

    Even though I wrote to support at the kindle 2 site I was told there were no hidden features,,,,, Well guess what they lied to me!!! I found the minesweeper game, and various other goodies as well!!! I just cannot believe that the people who made the kindlw actually lied to me about this!!!
    for those who want to play minesweeper on kindle 2 just press HOME button, then type Alt-Shift- M…. there you go,,,,And they LIED about it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Charlie Martin

    PS since the buttons are close together, it is kinda hard to do,,,, also dont mistake the shift key for the space key like I did at first LOL,,,, HOME-Alt-Shift-M,,,,,,,

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