While Amazon has not yet officially released images of the upcoming Kindle 2 (word is Monday is the day), a set of photos of the device have recently been leaked. If the images are true to reality, the Kindle 2 looks to be a significant step up for the "popular" eBook reader, not only reducing the physical width of the device but also incorporating a sleeker design and speakers.

The new device appears to be no thicker than a pencil, which indicates that its weight has been reduced significantly. Because the Kindle was designed to be small enough to hold with one hand, weight becomes an important feature. From another standpoint, this may remove much of the tactile pleasure of holding a book in the first place. But it's only after Amazon announces official specs and shows it off, we can avoid speculating.

It's still assumed that the Kindle 2 will carry the same hefty price tag as the original, which to date has probably been the biggest hurdle to overcome.