Exciting day in the Kindle world with the announcements of new e-readers and new Kindle Fire versions. The next few posts will cover some of the initial information that has been announced.
Kindle Paperwhite is the new kid on the block of kindle e-readers. When Barnes & Noble announced the Nook Simple Touch with Glow Light earlier in 2012, it was only a matter of time before Amazon sat down at the poker game and either raised the bid or folded. My guess was that they were going to stay competitive and hopefully, for them, the Kindle Paperwhite will be the answer.
The Kindle Paperwhite is replacing the Kindle Touch. I’m not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing. When I got my Kindle Touch last year, I thought it was the worst Kindle ever created and a major step backward (even more than the Kindle that was released right before it). No buttons, much slower in some aspects, and very few apps being ported over to it. I was hoping they would update the Kindle at least with a backlight, but the gurus at Amazon obviously didn’t want my opinion.
I do admit that I am very interested in a Kindle with a backlight. I think e-ink is far superior in many circumstances to carrying a heavier tablet around and the ability to read in low or no light has its appeals. I’ll probably break down and add one to my collection.
What looks interesting about the Kindle Paperwhite? Here is some basic information:
Price: $119 for the basic model with special offers, $139 for the basic model without special offers. $179 for the 3G model with special offers, $199 for the 3G model without special offers.
Screen size: 6″ – same as Kindle and Kindle Touch
Display Technology: Paperwhite Built-in light (as opposed to e-ink pearl for Kindle and Kindle Touch)
Resolution: 212 PPI (167 PPI on other Kindles)
Audio: No speakers – so don’t count on Text To Speech either
Storage: 2 GB on the device plus Amazon Cloud storage
Weight: 7.5 oz / 7.8 oz (3G)
Battery Life: up to 8 weeks with WiFi off. (4 weeks with WiFi off for the Kindle and 8 weeks with Wifi off for the Kindle Touch). They made this sound like such a big thing – but you can see we already had the 8 weeks on past models. It is neat that the extra light doesn’t appear to drain the battery more.
<——–Things not mentioned but that should be considered———->
Charging – Amazon likes to announce that you don’t need a computer at all when you have a Kindle. Everything can be downloaded wirelessly. They do forget to mention that the newer Kindles actually need to be plugged into a USB port (I guess some people have these in their cars) and most people will need to either buy the additional power adapter or plug it into a computer to charge.
Apps – the Kindle store at Amazon does not seem to think much in advance about apps. They don’t really let developers know if an app will work on a new device until the new device is released (we learned this the hard way). They are no longer requiring all apps work on all e-readers since late 2011. Only a small percentage of apps that work on the earlier Kindle e-readers work on the Kindle Touch. This is a replacement for the Kindle Touch. However, that doesn’t mean that any Kindle Touch apps will work on the Kindle Paperwhite (which might make it a Kindle Paperweight for app lovers). If apps are important, you might want to hold off making a decision on this device.
Who will the Kindle Paperwhite be great for? Lovers of Kindle e-readers that read a lot and those who no longer want to hook a portable light on their Kindle e-reader. This should be a very good addition to the Kindle e-reader fold.
To keep competition strong, Amazon has reduced the price of the Kindle (with 5 way controller) from $79 to $69. Already one of the lowest priced e-readers on the market, this makes it even more of a deal. More affordable for people who want a solid and simple e-reader in their hands. Great price to risk on a child that loves reading but might be rough on a device.
Well played game on the e-reader front. I think I’ll award Amazon a 3 point shot for this portion of the press conference.