Amazon has officially unveiled the Kindle 2 – its second digital e-book reader. It’s been the subject of much speculation and leaked images in the last couple of weeks, much of which turned out to be correct. And while it’s slightly off our regular digital music beat – although it does play MP3 files – as a consumer gadget it’s certainly of interest.So, the basics: it’s a handheld e-book reader measuring 8×5.3×0.36 inches, with a six-inch E-Ink electronic paper display, that has a 600×800 pixel resolution. It weighs 10.2 ounces and has 2GB of internal storage, and claims a single battery charge will let you read for up to four days (or two weeks if you turn off the wireless feature).It’s got an internal EVDO (3G) modem to download e-books over US operator Sprint’s mobile network, meaning no PC is needed. There’s a new text-to-speech feature allowing you to tell the Kindle 2 to read an e-book out to you, a basic web browser, and the new ability to play MP3s and podcasts. It costs $359 in the US, although it seems those of us elsewhere in the world will have to continue to wait for Amazon to roll the device out globally.

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