Amazon unveils its latest Kindle
In a move that clearly states they are in the e-reader business for the long haul, Amazon this week unveiled the third generation Kindle, which includes a Wi-Fi-only model that will sell for the eye-popping price of just $139. This comes just weeks after lowering the price of the previous Kindle from $259 to $189.
The new Kindle is smaller by 21 percent and is 15 percent lighter. It has much improved contrast – Amazon claims 50 percent better than before – responding to complaints that the e-ink screen of previous versions wasn’t sharp enough.
Previous Kindles have used a wireless connection to a 3G network to get books and manage subscriptions. The $189 version of new Kindle will continue to have both Wi-Fi and 3G capability, while the cheaper model will be Wi-Fi-only. The more expensive version is available in graphite and white, while the $139 version will be graphite-only.
The $139 price tag helps further distinguish the Kindle from Apple’s iPad, which has laid claim to the e-reader market but which costs hundreds of dollars more. It also gives Amazon the low-price leadership when compared to other e-readers, notably Barnes & Noble’s Nook and Sony's Pocket Edition Reader, which both currently sell for $149.
Along with a smaller, lighter design, the latest Kindle boasts a number of other new features. There is a voice guide that reads all menus aloud, so sight-impaired readers can access content. There’s also a quieter page-turn button, which eliminates the click-click noise of the earlier versions.
But perhaps the most startling feature is one you can’t see at all: the Kindle has a one-month battery life. Yes, that’s one month! This is truly the one device you should pack for the desert island.
The new Kindle can be pre-ordered now at amazon.com/kindle, but won't ship until Aug. 27.