New Kindles

Summary:

New Kindle Paperwhite

from CNet

New E-Ink Kindle (Paperwhite) with higher resolution screen (212 ppi).  A whiter screen, new fonts and a lighted touch screen.  The battery (with light) on will last 8 weeks at a charge.  Paperwhite 3G (free worldwide) version will be $179 and the Paperwhite wifi only will be $119. They new kindles can be ordered today and will ship on Oct 1.

The current Kindle 4 will be now $69 (ad supported).  The new lighted kindles do not seem to be ad supported.

Kindle Fire HD7 inch version for $199 (ships Sept 14), 8.9 inch version $299 (ships Nov 20)

Kindle Fire HD 4GLTE – $499

Slightly updated Kindle Fire – $159

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Thoughts on the Paperwhite.  It is touchscreen only.  I do not like touchscreen only reading devices because you have to touch the screen to move forward or back. But you also touch the screen to highlight, look up definitions, etc.  I like the option for touchscreen, but I want buttons as well, not instead of.

The most important feature for an eink kindle is the screen and this is a much better screen and the light seems to be better and more even than the Nook Glolight.  212 ppi (up from 167 ppi).

8 weeks of battery is huge!

It is still only 7.5 ounces (1.5 ounces more than the Kindle 4).  It only has 2 GB of storage, which is less than the previous Kindle Touch, but still is enough if you don’t want to keep every book on your device.

I am not a fan of covers, but Amazon is stealing Apple’s idea and it waking the kindle up and putting it to sleep with the cover.

It also includes instant translation inside the text using Bing Translator.  Nice feature!

The fonts have also been completely redesigned for the new screen.  I will have to see this, but a better screen, whiter backgrounds, cleaner fonts mean much easier reading.

Another new feature is that the kindle monitors your reading speed and makes estimates on how long the current chapter you are reading will take.  (Something like “13 minutes to end of chapter” instead of or inaddition to the percentage monitor.)

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Bezos said that kindle customers read 4.6x more than what they did before. (This is a problematic stat.  Probably means that Amazon Kindle readers are reading 4.6x more than what they purchased from Amazon prior to ordering a kindle.  But it is pretty consistent that I hear new kindle readers suggest that they do read more after they by a kindle.)

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Current Kindle Fire is around 22% of all tablet sales. (Roughly 5 million sold so far is my estimate.)

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Current Kindle Fire is slightly updated and drops to $159.  Its battery lasts 40% longer than original Kindle Fire.  The operating system is upgraded to include the new features listed below.

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New Kindle Fire HD, has HD screen, 8.9 inch screen.  It is clearly thinner.  It has “25% less glare”. Better speakers, starts at 16 GB, $299 for 8.9 inch screen, $199 for 7 inch screen, Front Facing Camera

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New features for Kindle Fire HD:

Whispersync for Audio

from CNet

Favorite Feature: Whispersync for audio.  You can now listen to audiobooks and it will sync to a kindle book or vice versa.  This is a very interesting feature for me.  Especially if the kindle version might be included in the purchase of an audiobook. (Remember Amazon owns Audible.com)

Also a similar whispersync for games that allows you to change devices with the same game.

Different Users also some strong parental controls with timers and the ability to time limit features by user. Also can have separate timers for games, movies and books.

X-ray – ability to find background details in books or movies.  Character studies, outline of the book or movie, etc.  The x-ray is also a search tool that will work with textbooks.

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Kindle Fire HD 4G LTE

from CNet

Fire Fire HD with 4G LTE – $499.  It is 8.9 inch, 32 GB.  It has a $50 a year for 250 MB a month.  Cheap, but too little to do anything with the any of the Fire features.  You can’t stream a movie or even much music with 250 MB a month.

Bezos  talked about the good email software, so maybe the thought is that this might be a replacement for travel, but it isn’t going to complete well with the iPad for business use.  And the home user wants it for video and games, not email.  And video and games will eat through 250 mb very quickly.  One article that I was reading about iPad data usage said that he used 10-15 MB every time he refreshed his rss feed in the morning.  So just rss would use more than the limit.

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Special Offers – I missed this until Lilliputing talked about it. But it looks like every new Kindle Fire will have ads on the lock screen.  And there will be no way to pay extra to not have them.  I thought ads were dead.  I have not had any new ads on my Kindle 4 for months.  I do think that this might have been a mis-step for Amazon.  I don’t mind ads for my eink kindle.  But they do not move and are not distracting.  Ads on a Kindle Fire will likely be more distracting because of color and the potential of video.  And the fact that there is no way (that I am aware of right now) to turn them off is bad.

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