Posts Tagged ‘Kindle’

New Amazon Kindle DX Coming July 7

Thursday, July 1st, 2010

Following the Kindle price drop and Kindle for Android, Amazon has another announcement. The new Kindle DX is coming with improved features, and a lower price.

Here are some of the key features:

  • 9.7″ high-contrast e-Ink screen
  • 4GB internal memory (3.3GB available)
  • USB 2.0 (micro-B connector)
  • 3.5mm stereo audio jack and rear-mounted stereo speakers
  • Supported File Formats: Kindle (AZW), PDF, TXT, Audible (formats 4, Audible Enhanced (AAX)), MP3, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively (can convertHTML, DOC, RTF, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP)
  • Buy Books Once, read on Kindle, Kindle DX, PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, Android phone, and BlackBerry
  • Whispersync saves and synchronizes your library and saves your last page read across all the devices
  • Free 3G service for downloading and syncing (available in 100 countries)
  • Books downloadable in less than a minute
  • Battery ranges from one to two weeks depending on usage/storage
  • Kindle DX is 1/3″ thin
  • New Twitter and Facebook integration
  • Built-In PDF Reader with zoom capability
  • Auto-Rotating Screen
  • Text-to-speech features can read content to you

The new Kindle DX can be purchased for $110 off the original price, running at $379. It is available for pre-order now and begins shipping on July 7.

Here’s how it stacks up against the $189 version:

Feature Kindle Kindle DX
Display 6″ E Ink 9.7″ E Ink
Size 8″ x 5.3″ x 0.36″ 10.4″ x 7.2″ x 0.38″
Storage 1,500 books 3,500 books
Rotating Display Manual Rotation Auto-Rotation
Price $189.00 $379.00

Both devices share the following features

  • Books in Under 60 Seconds
  • Free 3G Wireless
  • Native PDF Support
  • Text-to-Speech
  • Whispersync

Considering that the new Kindle DX will immediately be compared with the iPad, it is still a little high on the price scale. It is certainly loaded with features, and has some limited html support, but it is still an e-reader. The cross-platform availability is one of the best features Kindle offers. There are enough features to really allow this device to do well, but it would do much better at a lower price. The leap from $489 was drastic. Hopefully for Amazon’s sake it was drastic enough.

This looks like a solid device. If you are in the market for a Kindle, this should suit you. The main questions are those of which size you want (6 or 9.7″), how much memory (2GB or 4GB), and what price you are willing to pay ($189 or $379). If you are comfortable paying for E-Ink when an iPad is in the same relative ballpark, go for it. I would probably wait it out myself.

Kindle Winning the E-Reader Wars?

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

From the moment the iPad was announced, pundits began speculating as to the future of Amazon’s Kindle reader. Kindle offers an e-ink screen that is easy on the eyes, but it is still black and white. “The iPad is in color, has video, plays music and such”, they say. “How can the Kindle compete with the iPad?” Well, the pundits are getting their answer directly from Amazon.

Kindle is now available as an Android app. Android devices now have access to what was previously only available on the iPhone and iPad, or the Kindle reader itself. The app is available for free, naturally.

Using Whispersync, the Kindle app can synchronize your devices and show you the last page you read, whether on a Kindle reader or a phone. It automatically synchronizes your last page read and annotations between devices with Whispersync. Amazon has optimized the Kindle Store for Android, and allows wireless downloads. Amazon offers more than 620,000 books, among which are 109 of the 110 New York Times bestsellers. Not all of Kindle’s features have transferred over. Kindle newspapers, magazines and blogs aren’t available.

So, which is better? To have a top-selling device or a top-selling product on the top-selling device? Amazon seems to think it is better to have the top-selling product, and it appears to be a sound argument. Kindle has a much larger selection than iBook or even the Barnes & Noble Nook. It offers compatible software available on the iPhone, iPod, and Android phones. Kindle has put itself into a very strategic vantage point. It looks like Amazon has been making all the right moves. Will Amazon improve on the Kindle reader? Maybe, but it doesn’t really matter. Amazon can win without an upgrade. It just has to keep the software working on the competition’s device.

E-Reader Pricing Battle Begins

Monday, June 21st, 2010

With the launch of the iPad, a lot of comparisons have been made between tablets and traditional e-readers. While the iPad is in its own class, the Kindle from Amazon and the Nook from Barnes & Noble have been compared against it. Both devices came up short at their asking prices due to their limited features by comparison. However, when classed appropriately among peer devices, the Nook and Kindle are more directly competing for the non-iPad crowd.

Barnes & Noble announced the Nook Wi-Fi, a lower-priced version of the popular Nook e-reader. The Nook Wi-Fi offers familiar features, and is available on all of AT&T’s Wi-Fi hot spots. The Nook Wi-Fi is priced at $149. The original 3G/Wi-Fi Nook is now $199, a drop of $60.

Amazon moved quickly on the news of the Nook announcement. Perhaps it was just a coincidence, but landing at $10 under the Nook 3G looks pretty intentional. Either way, it was about time the Kindle came down. With no color screen, no touch screen, and no Android tablet features, it was way too expensive. There has been some discussion (likely not at Amazon) that the ideal price point for the Kindle is $100, if it is to gain a lasting foothold in the e-book market. I think it would be a much more reasonable price, but at least it dropped as far as it did this time. An e-reader needs to compete against other e-readers, not a “full”-featured tablet like the iPad.

The e-reader pricing battle has begun. I am looking forward to a counter-move by Barnes & Noble. It may not happen soon, but I am sure something will happen. Let’s see if Sony jumps in on this price scheme. At $200, the Reader Touch remains on the top of the price tier. Let’s hope for a continued collective drop.