Kindle Touch and New Kindle

No one announces just one product at an event these days, and Amazon is no different. Along with the Kindle Fire, Amazon saw fit to refresh their line of e-readers. E-reader enthusiasts, you know who you are, will recognize the technology behind the new Kindle Touch from the likes of the new Nook and the Kobo. The IR sensor laden e-ink display allows touch inputs to be received and elicit page turns and other UI interactions. Now devoid of many of its buttons, including the full QWERTY keyboard of its predecessors, the Kindle Touch is smaller than the Kindle 3 and comes at a new price point, $99. For that you get the WiFi model which promises faster page refreshes and so on. Free global wireless internet for life is the promise of the 3G variant, which at just a $50 premium makes it a terribly good bargain. 

 

Also joining the keyboardless clan is the new Kindle. This device shares the new e-ink panel with the Touch, but makes do with a hand full of navigation buttons in lieu of the touch screen. The device is significantly lighter and smaller than its predecessor, no doubt owing much to the loss of the keyboard, and brings the e-reader market to a new price target at just $79. The new Kindle will be offered in WiFi only guise, so bibiliphilic globetrotters will have to make do with the Kindle Touch 3G. Amazon also saw fit to unite its AmazonLocal deals service with the Special Offers that graced the last generation of Kindles. The new ads will be displayed as screensavers on the entire e-ink line and are promised to maintain a certain aesthetic so that a buyer would hardly notice that it's not just a pretty screensaver. 

Wrap-up

Leading up to the announcement, I expected that Amazon would leverage its media offerings to make a tablet that could compete with Apple on content. Beyond that I had no idea what would be in store. It comes as little suprise though that Amazon saw fit to completely obfuscate the Android platform beneath a UI that steers the argument decidedly in favor of the tablet as media consumptive device. Based on these first looks, the UI is elegant and friendly, and the hardware is sufficient enough to provide a good media experience. And at $199, no other tablet offers as compelling a combination of services, content and value. We can't wait to get our hands on the Kindle Fire and discover whether Amazon has set the tablet market ablaze, or simply joined the other kindling. 

The New Kindle Family
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  • JoeMcJoe - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    yep, all the new e-ink kindles include lots of advertising. Reply
  • marvdmartian - Thursday, September 29, 2011 - link

    Agreed on the US only pity.

    My niece just moved to Japan (to teach), and I'd love to get her one of the Kindle Fire's, as I know she was looking to get an e-reader before she left (but don't believe she did). She would LOVE the multi-media capabilities of the Fire, but when I contacted Amazon, they stated that not only is the Fire selling only the in the US, but that they are only supporting it's functions (buying material from Amazon, storage on the Amazon cloud, etc) in the US also.

    Seems a little bit short sighted to me. :(
    Reply
  • etamin - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    so who is handling the 3G? and just curious why there is a ? next to the (2x Cortex A9s) in the spec chart. The OMAP 4430 does indeed have 2x Cortex A9s in it. Reply
  • z0mb13n3d - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    I think the '?' is because they might not sure if it does have the OMAP 4430 in it, although almost everything is pointing at that being the case. Reply
  • Wolfpup - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    As the article says, they don't know for sure if that's what it's using.

    Not bad hardware, but I'm done with Amazon and Kindle after the crazed right-wing moderation going on there...
    Reply
  • Craig234 - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    "Not bad hardware, but I'm done with Amazon and Kindle after the crazed right-wing moderation going on there... "

    Hear, hear.

    I've ended my near boycott after they made a deal with CA, but I'm still wary.
    Reply
  • A5 - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    There is no 3G on this yet. I assume that's on the list for version 2... Reply
  • etamin - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    Ah sorry about the wording. My question about 3G was actually meant to reference the Touch. Reply
  • Guspaz - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    To be honest, it's largely irrelevant who does the 3G service, since it's free once you've paid the up-front cost. It might only be relevant in terms of coverage; even performance isn't that big a deal when it's primarily used for whispersync of books.

    In Canada, the 3G service is provided by Rogers. But to be honest, I find that I leave wireless turned off (all wireless, 3G and wifi) 99% of the time on my Kindle 3. It drains the battery, and I only need it when I want to buy a book, it's useless the rest of the time.

    In hindsight, I would have bought the wifi, not the 3G.
    Reply
  • Lord 666 - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    ;) Reply

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