Amazon announces new Kindle

Amazon's e-reader, the Kindle, has today received a makeover, with a new, slimmer range announced.

The Kindle, one of the first e-reading devices to hit the market, still remains one of the most popular e-reader devices on the market, although in recent times has become overshadowed by hot new tablet devices including Apple's iPad, which allow users to read e-books and do much more despite being priced higher.

But Amazon hopes the latest makeover -- which will see the Kindle become 21 percent smaller, 15 percent lighter, have up to one month's life of battery use and double the storage from the previous iteration -- will keep the device attractive to those seeking a quality e-reader without the high price tag of a tablet device.

Other features include improvements on the device's 6-inch e-Ink screen, quieter page turn buttons, the ability to share meaningful passages with friends and family over Twitter or Facebook, an improved PDF Reader, updated web browser and new Text-to-Speech capabilities. Users can also purchase a new leather cover which features a reading light to allow you to read the screen.

And in a first for Kindle devices, Wi-Fi connections are now supported alongside 3G connections, with users able to select from a Wi-Fi only edition of the Kindle or a Wi-Fi and 3G capable model.

The updated Kindle models will begin shipping to around 140 countries from August 27, with pre-orders for the Wi-Fi model (US$139) and 3G-capable model (US$189) now being taken.

Amazon's new Kindle e-reader (Credit: Amazon)

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36 Comments

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i11usive said,
Aw crap!!! I just bought the old one for my missus for her birthday .. arrived today! *Sigh*

At least you have 30 days to return it. Just enjoy it for the month then return and get new one.

TRC said,
They should really get rid of the stupid keyboard.

and do what exactly? onscreen keyboard on e-ink isn't the nicest thing in the world... sometimes button keyboards are nice, and if you dont like it there are other devices out there

neufuse said,

and do what exactly? onscreen keyboard on e-ink isn't the nicest thing in the world... sometimes button keyboards are nice, and if you dont like it there are other devices out there

Why does an ebook reader need a keyboard at all? They've done fine without them for years.

I think for the price it would be rather nice to have a go. My Dad has a Sony e-reader and absolutely loves it. My only negative feelings are what are the book prices going to be and not being able to pass it along to someone else after you're done reading it.

Not too exiting for me - since I'm planning to get one of those graphite DX's soon. But does anybody have any idea whether wifi will be incorporated into the DX? Sucks that they'd release the new DX several weeks before then announce the new Kindle with wifi included. It'd be nice to have both on the larger device.

spenser.d said,
nook > Kindle for sure, but this looks like a nice update

I can't stand slow page turns, which the Nook is known for. Not to mention the nook is heavier.

Evolution said,

I can't stand slow page turns, which the Nook is known for. Not to mention the nook is heavier.

Actually page turning has been sped up quite a bit as long as about two firmware updates ago (I think in the Feb. firmware release). And heavier? The thing weighs damn near nothing.

Been toying with the idea of a kindle for some time, sounds like a great opportunity to get one, so cheap now as well.

MR_Candyman said,
What would be the purpose of a wifi version if the 3g connection on these things is free anyways?
Probably because there are areas where one can use Wi-Fi and not be able to use 3G. Not to mention it's cheaper...

MR_Candyman said,
What would be the purpose of a wifi version if the 3g connection on these things is free anyways?

Amazon's free 3G is very slow. Using wifi will likely to be faster and use less battery power.

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Maysky said,
Amazon's free 3G is very slow. Using wifi will likely to be faster and use less battery power.

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I dunno about that, all my books download in a matter of seconds. It is purely a way to save money.

Maysky said,

Amazon's free 3G is very slow. Using wifi will likely to be faster and use less battery power.

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Sounds like Amazon is worried about the recently-launched (Monday, in fact) Augenus Gentouch wireless Android-powered MID (the Gentouch includes access to the Android Market, and thus the free Kindle for Android); unfortunately for Amazon, the Gentouch is available today (at Kmart), while the wifi Kindle won't be available until late August.

Augenus Gentouch: http://www.augenus.com/indexhome.html/GENTOUCH.html

Of course not, reading from an LCD screen is terrible. The kindle is not competing with this device. Barnes & Noble released a wifi-version of the Nook just a month ago at $149... perhaps they're competing with them?

Evolution said,
Of course not, reading from an LCD screen is terrible. The kindle is not competing with this device. Barnes & Noble released a wifi-version of the Nook just a month ago at $149... perhaps they're competing with them?

And the Kindle (new version) has what kind of screen?

And besides, most flat-panel PC displays are LCDs (including my 23" and Mom's 24") and neither of us have any issues.

Lastly, even if the Kindle *does* have a better screen, just looking at format issues alone, Gentouch well and truly trumps the Kindle and Nook by being compatible with Kindle format, via Kindle for Android, Nook format via Nook for Android, PDF, etc., for a mere $10 premium over either Nook *or* Kindle. With a Gentoucch, you're not trapped into taking along two (or even three!) e-reader devices (Nook, Kindle, and a MID for documents in other formats), so, in practice, a Gentouch would cost less than the very real possibility of having to buy both.

Evolution said,
Of course not, reading from an LCD screen is terrible.

I've read on both. I find it incredibly easy to read text on an LCD - especially with ClearType. Maybe you are defective?

PGHammer said,

Sounds like Amazon is worried about the recently-launched (Monday, in fact) Augenus Gentouch wireless Android-powered MID (the Gentouch includes access to the Android Market, and thus the free Kindle for Android); unfortunately for Amazon, the Gentouch is available today (at Kmart), while the wifi Kindle won't be available until late August.

Augenus Gentouch: http://www.augenus.com/indexhome.html/GENTOUCH.html


I never knew about the gentouch before and would like to know where online I could buy one

I doubt however Amazon is too worried about it competing

Neb Okla said,

I've read on both. I find it incredibly easy to read text on an LCD - especially with ClearType. Maybe you are defective?

I for one can't read for hours on end from an lcd as efficiently as I can from paper and there are many people like me.

The kindle uses an e-ink display, so it only requires power to change pages and check for updates. It's battery lasts for weeks and is just as clear inside as it is in direct sunlight.

MR_Candyman said,
What would be the purpose of a wifi version if the 3g connection on these things is free anyways?

Amazon charges for data if you download content abroad, so Wifi gets around that (obviously) and you don't need a PC (Which you would if abroad and you want to avoid the download charge).

IsLNdbOi said,
Because reading on an e-ink screen is much better for the eyes than reading on a LCD screen.

Based on...? Surely not Science.

IsLNdbOi said,
Because reading on an e-ink screen is much better for the eyes than reading on a LCD screen.

Prolonged reading of any sort can strain eyes. But a tablet device currently cannot match the focued use of an ereader in the battery life. Although Pixel Qi just created a new LCD tech, Transflective LCD to be the next tech over e-ink, it will provide a good reading experience and have some motion qualities that will allow animation/video properties. All I want is a reading device that has a super long battery life, does not hurt my eyes, and has color and a big enough screen to support they layout of most color and none color reading situations. And of course, an interfacte that is not crippled and is functional so I can get to my books and other content quickly.

The iPad is pretty and a nice portable computer for light reading, but I like the e-ink experience better... it is the closest thing to book to me, and can be read in natural light. I'd like nothing more than to get that e-ink device I dreamed of and can store all my books, and technical - books of software development, web design, photo shop, etc. in that little device. It will be like the dawn of the music on the iPod classic. Except this time I would like to have a centralized store for backup and will be able to download things to my device. I cry out in joy for this day.

Looking forward to purchasing one after I get my new Apple Touch Pad. Also have to pick up a new Cobra #5 fairway metal (golf club) before either one of the fore mentioned. Priorities.

Pam14160 said,
Looking forward to purchasing one after I get my new Apple Touch Pad. Also have to pick up a new Cobra #5 fairway metal (golf club) before either one of the fore mentioned. Priorities.

Why would you get a Kindle if you have a Apple iPad? Don't get it...

jporter said,

Why would you get a Kindle if you have a Apple iPad? Don't get it...

I think he was refering to the Touch Pad for Mac computers as opposed to the iPad...

jporter said,

Why would you get a Kindle if you have a Apple iPad? Don't get it...

It's not the same as the iPad anyway. You know the touch pads on laptop computers? Well, imagine one of those but external for use with a desktop computer. Awesome stuff if you're into graphics.