Amazon Kindle 2 coming early Q1 2009?

Amazon are "tentatively" preparing to launch their Kindle 2 ebook reader in early Q1 2009, according to the latest rumors.  Leaked shots of the second-generation device emerged back in October, with a launch tipped to take place before the holiday season, but Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos apparently postponed the release to allow for last-minute software tweaks.

Meanwhile a version of the Kindle 2 with a larger display is planed for the first half of 2009, targeted at students who want to view textbooks on the device.  The Kindle 2 has a sleeker, less angular casing than the original ebook reader, with new circular QWERTY keys, a joystick and smaller page-turn controls to minimize accidental movement.

Like the first Kindle there'll still be integrated EVDO cellular wireless for downloading ebooks directly to the device.  Storage has apparently been boosted to around 1.5GB, while the SD slot has been removed.