Amazon recently announced its newest line of Kindles. They are the Kindle, Kindle Touch, Kindle Touch 3G, and the Kindle Fire (great pun, right?). Affordable, simple, functional, the new Kindles prove Amazon hasn’t been completely asleep in the tech-race.
The price is what immediately caught my eye. When my husband bought me the Nook last year, it cost $149. I remember wincing and thinking, “Gee, that’s a lot of money.” Nowadays, though, $149 sounds reasonable for any device, especially with the astronomical price tag on the iPad.
That is, until Amazon’s new Kindle, which costs … (drum roll, please) … $79. The Kindle (not to be confused with the very first Kindle, though they have the same name), is very basic. It’s a read-only device. It comes with Wi-Fi capabilities and has a six-inch, E-Ink display. It’s very simple, for those of us who only want an e-reader for books.
I do find it funny, though, the description says it will fit in your pocket. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have any pockets that are six inches deep.
The next model up is the Kindle Touch, which is $99. Similar to the Kindle, it has a six-inch, E-Ink display with Wi-Fi capabilities. The difference? It’s a touch screen. It also can play audio books and your mp3s, and it allows you to borrow books from your public library. The Kindle Touch 3G, as you can guess by its name, has 3G as well as Wi-Fi capabilities. You pay a little bit more for this feature, bumping the price up to $149, but if you just have to have online access almost anywhere (I’m thinking you regular business travelers), I think the extra $50 is worth it.
Now, the one we’ve all been waiting for: the Kindle Fire. I’m not easily impressed by tech devices, but I’m completely in want with this one. The Kindle Fire costs $199, and according to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, this is the first tablet on the market that is able to successfully compete with Apple’s iPad. Price-wise only, the Kindle Fire is at least half the cost of the iPad, which means more people will be able to afford it.
Tech-wise? I was surprised by how amazing this device is. Granted, as it has not actually reached the market yet, I don’t know what kinks are going to come up yet. I’m basing this on what Amazon is saying.
The Kindle Fire does not need to sync or back-up, unlike the Apple products. You never, theoretically, have to plug this into your computer. You can store up to 8 GB on the device itself, and then (I’m assuming through an archive type feature) you can keep the rest of your stuff on the free cloud. The device plays movies, TV shows, apps, and games, and runs on an ultra-fast (reportedly) web browsing system called Amazon Silk, which lives half on the device and half in the cloud.
I could go on and on about the Amazon Silk, but I think the developers tell it best in their video:
Can’t wait either? For the basic Kindle, you won’t have to, as it is available now. The Kindle Touch, Kindle Touch 3G, and Kindle Fire, however, are only available for pre-orders. The Kindle Touch and Kindle Touch 3G will hit the market officially on Nov. 21, and the Kindle Fire will be available Nov. 15, just in time for the holidays.