Pictures of the next generation Amazon Kindle have appeared on the web.

The information surfaced on a forum last week and reveals a thinner Kindle but without the speculated price increase. Amazon is expected to officially announce the Kindle during a press conference today.

Improvements in the Kindle 2 design bring a thinner footprint, a metal back plate and stereo speakers. The design has been likened to Apple's first iPods. As usual, the information is purely speculative but the Kindle 2 is thought to be made available in the US on February 24 for $359 (£242).

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The new-look Amazon Kindle

Kindle 2 features rounded corners, a black and white screen (apparently the same size as the original Kindle), a 3.5mm headphone jack with a sliding sleep button at the top and a unified Qwerty keyboard under the screen. Smaller navigation buttons are placed on both the left and right sides of Kindle 2. A joystick now replaces the original Kindle scroll wheel.

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Amazon's new Kindle will use the same EV-DO wireless technology for over-the-air downloads as the original. Storage wise, Kindle 2 is said to come with a 2GB on-board memory. The leaked pictures don't show SD card slot, but analysts do expect users to be able to expand the memory of the Kindle 2, some are predicting a microSD slot.

There was no information as to whether the new version of the Kindle would be made available in the UK.

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PC World

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