New Kindles Announced by Amazon

Amazon held their press conference today, Sept 6, to announce their new products. I will highlight these products here, and try to give you an overview without getting you overloaded with details you probably don’t want to know. For those who are interested in learning more, I will provide links to two reviews at the end of this post, and product links to each as they are mentioned.

In a nutshell: Amazon kept the basic Kindle and reduced its price; they are no longer carrying the Kindle Touch; they added a new model that they call the Kindle Paperwhite; and they improved and expanded their Kindle Fire line.

Kindle (the basic version)

They have reduced the price of their smallest and lightest Kindle to $69.

This basic model weighs less than 6 oz, and has built in wifi. You use buttons to turn the pages. The $69 version is sold with “special offers” and if you want to buy this basic model without “special offers” it will cost you $89.

* A note about “special offers”:

The “special offers” translated into real-speak means: advertisements. The Kindle that I am using now is a “special offers” version, and to be honest it is not a big deal at all. The ads are NOT intrusive. They do NOT show up on a page when you are reading. They only appear on the screen when the Kindle is resting. Once you wake it up and go to your book, there are no ads to be seen. (I have made a purchase from the special offer page. Ever on the alert for a good deal, one day I saw an offer for a $10 Amazon gift card for $5. I thought that was too good to pass up.) Personally, I’d buy a “special offers” version, and save the extra $.

The Kindle Paperwhite

Amazon introduced their NEW Kindle, the Kindle Paperwhite. (People are already bashing the name, and I will admit that in my mind I’ve been referring to it as the ‘paperweight’ or ‘paperlight’. I can’t seem to get my mind to wrap around this name.)

There are 2 versions of the Paperwhite.

A wireless version for $119 and a 3G version for $179.

* another note about “special offers”

The Paperwhite versions break down a little further because of the “special offers” option. The wireless $119 is WITH special offers. If you don’t want special offers to appear on your device, the same Kindle will cost you $139. And for the 3G version: With “special offers” is $179. Without “special offers” is $199. (Remember… you get the same device, just with or without ads.)

I was hoping for a lit screen, and the rumors were that this was coming. Hurray! I’m pleased. This new Kindle is not backlit, so it is still easy on the eyes as is all the e-ink technology. It will also not wash out in the sunshine, so the Kindle remains an awesome choice for outdoor reading. The difference here, from previous Kindle versions, is the screen light. The text is illuminated by light spread across the surface. Apparently this is incredibly difficult to perfect, and I am anxious to see it. Reviews so far are coming out strongly that this is an awesome device.

If you are interested in more detail, you can read about it on the Amazon website here (for the $119 version) and here (for the 3G version).

The major difference between these two versions is that the more expensive one includes 3G. That is free 3G access from anywhere in the world.

The Kindle Fire

There are now 4 versions of the Kindle Fire.

The 7 inch Kindle Fire tablet with an LCD display, wifi, and 8GB of memory is $159.

There is another 7 inch WiFi Fire, but this one has an HD display and comes with either 16 GB or 32 GB. Priced at $199 and $249, respectively.

Kindle Fire HD 8.9 inches, wifi, in both 16 GB or 32 GB versions, priced at $299 and $369.

Kindle Fire HD 8.9 inches 4G LTE Wireless, in 32GB and 64GB, priced at $499 and $599

With all these new tablet choices, it is clear that Amazon is not going to roll over and let Apple dominate the field. These tablets are full of awesome features, and with so many choices in size and power, it gives the consumer a lot of flexibility.

Amazon also announced a few new features. One in particular will be very popular with parents. Free on all Kindle Fires, it is called Free Time, and it allows parents to manage what their children do on the Fire. Parents can limit access to some things, set time limits on others, and create separate profiles for several individuals. After all… a game that your 14 year old loves to play might be too violent for your 6 year old. This can all be tweeked to make it suitable for everyone in the household.

There are many more features and if you are considering any of these devices, just follow the links on the products above to learn more.

Reviews are starting to appear all over the internet. Here are a few:

CNET reviews the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

CNET Kindle Fire HD

22 thoughts on “New Kindles Announced by Amazon

  1. Okay..!!! The review I have been waiting for.!! Now I can rush out and buy my Kindle….NOT! What’s the problem.?? I will tell you. I still don’t know what I want, because I don’t know anything about them!! Maybe I will just buy the absolute cheapest one….that way if I make a mistake, I will be out the least amount of green. Of course, I might end up buying one of each just to figure out which one I like best….that wouldn’t be cheap!! Come on Howard, don’t be so waffle headed….Just make a d**n decision will ya! Okay, Okay…..Eenee, menee, minee, moe—-shoot, now the stooges are involved in my decision..

    • As of this moment, I have the Kindle Keyboard 3G. I had ordered the Touch last year (upgrading from the Kindle 2) when it came out, and I didn’t like it at all, and sent it back for the older Keyboard version. I have ordered the Paperwhite because the lit screen is so important to me (a night reader), but I will say I am worried because the screen is the touch-kind and not one with physical buttons. I’m hoping it has been improved. Nothing wrong with the basic model, that is a fine choice, altho you will have to set it up for wireless. A 3G version simply works when you take it out of the box. I will write a post about my experiences with these Kindles in the next few days.

  2. I saw this on CNN during my lunch break. Of course, your post offers more info than what I saw on TV and even the small blurb posted online through my local news source. I keep holding out on buying a tablet because newer and cheaper ones keep coming out. Am still waiting to see if/when the iPad mini ever materializes. Rumor is: expect an announcement in October.

    • It does sound like the iPad mini is going to happen. I love my iPad, and although I have not experienced a Fire, I have heard that the responsiveness, etc, just isn’t quite as great as the iPad. But that was the first Fire, now with all these new ones, it might be a closer race. I love my Kindle and Amazon’s whole book experience, but I’m not going to switch to a Fire. I have my feet firmly planted in both worlds. 🙂

  3. Great post about Kindle. I have an older version that was old a few days after i recieved it as a gift thanks to the Kindle fire. However, I only use it to read and I am good with that. In the future I will think about upgrading, for now, I am sticking with what I have. Great info!! 😉

    • I’m reading on an old Kindle Keyboard version, and I love it. But being the techy that I am, I am anxious to get my hands on the Paperwhite so…….yes, I ordered one. 🙂 Yet, I hated the Kindle touch and sent that back. I’m going to post a summary of all my Kindle-y experiences in the next few days.

  4. Okay….I will wait for your additional information before making a fool out of myself again. I do have a serious question though–maybe you will answer it in the coming update post…I will wait…
    Thanks for putting up with me…really!! 🙂

  5. Daniela says:

    Ok, just what I need … just like Howard I will wait!
    Luckily we have you to keep us (‘dinosaurs’ -:)) up to date -:)!


  6. Okay, I’ve read everything now…or it seems like it anyway!! I am still unsure about this. Please let me try to explain my dilemma….If, as you do, I decide to utilize a tablet (iPad.??) for the browsing experience and a reader for well, reading……….If I understand this correctly, these readers are capable of holding MANY books in their internal “storage.” I guess I am confused as to why I would even want to consider a 3G or 4G enabled reader.?? I completely understand the necessity to be able to connect….to download books, texts, white papers, etc. to the reader. Wouldn’t a person be better advised to do this at home via home computer or wireless connection rather than attempting a download over cell towers that may or may not provide reliable data streams?? You obviously use your devices a lot, so please tell me….why do I need the connectivity (however reliable or unreliable..) offered by 3G?? I KNOW I can download books etc. a lot faster across my home network than I can over the cellular system, and with a lot less data problems. (At least I THINK I know I can..???) Now, if you plan to stream video or audio in real time, I see where the 3G or 4G connectivity would be necessary. But if you use a tablet for that purpose…..??????? And the readers don’t have built in phone (voice) capability, so you still have to carry your phone as well…..

    I don’t know girl…..Maybe I cannot see the forest because of the trees…….HELP ME. I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.!!! ………………. Thanks, Your Loyal Servant, Howard

    • You’re so funny! 🙂 Yes, the Kindle can hold massive amounts of books ON the device. So if you are traveling, just load it up and you don’t need any connectivity at all. It sounds like your basic question is “wireless vs 3G” for a simple e-reader. There is NOTHING wrong with a wireless version, especially if you have wireless in your home. Send a book to your device and it downloads in seconds (yes, seconds). As for 3G, if you don’t have wireless in your home, it means that you can download books whenever you want without having to go out on a planned wireless hunt to a hotspot. 3G = Convenience, only. If you order it from Amazon, the 3G version also arrives out of the box ready to go, no set up needed, since you bought it from your Amazon account. Another advantage is traveling. You can be anywhere (where there is coverage … living in the busy Northeast I never think about the lack of that) on a train, in the middle of the woods in a secluded campground, and download anything. It even works internationally (that is especially great for traveling). My post about “Choosing your Kindle” covers this, I hope, but looking back, I probably glossed over this too quickly. So let’s take an example of a homebound older person, not at all computer-comfy, probably no computer at all. Obviously not a wireless home. Well, a 3G is perfect for that person. But as wireless hotspots become more numerous, and wireless in your home is more common, a wireless only model is pretty easy, too. When I bought my first Kindle, I did not have wireless in my home, and the 3G was just so wonderful. But now I have wireless and so I just purchased a wireless only model. One more point….. 3G can be helpful if you are a syncing-reader. Let’s say you are reading your Kindle on a train and later you are in a doctors office and you pull out your phone to read where you left off, well, you would pick up at the exact spot that you stopped on the other device. If the kindle was not connected to the internet, then obviously the phone wouldn’t know where you were. But again…. this convenience would be a matter of something that the lifestyle of the reader would dictate the need. Bottom line: if you have wireless in your home, and you plan ahead when you travel with the Kindle, a wireless model should work for you just fine. 🙂 I enjoy your thoughtful questions…. please don’t hesitate to ask anything, and I promise do my best to answer. If this isn’t clear, just go ahead and ask whatever I’ve missed!

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