A Slew of New Kindles

To Buy or Not to Buy

Today, Amazon announced it is releasing a whopping seven new versions of the Kindle and the Kindle Fire. I’m guessing this is an attempt to steal Apple’s thunder before the announcement of the new iPhone. If so, well played, because those who love and/or lust after tablets and eReaders will certainly take notice.

You can read more about it in this article from the LA Times, including these important details:

Amazon’s seven new devices are a cheaper Kindle e-reader for $69; two versions of its new front-lighted Paperwhite e-reader; an upgraded Kindle Fire tablet for $159; and three HD Kindle Fires: a 7-inch Wi-Fi version, an 8.9-inch Wi-Fi version and an 8.9-inch 4G model. Prices for these HD models range from $199 to $599. Paperwhite, which comes in $119 and $179 versions, features a higher resolution, up to eight weeks of battery life and a slimmer design. The Kindle Fire HD family features 25% less glare, dual antennas for faster Wi-Fi and a front-facing HD camera.

You can also read the CNET reviews of these new products:

I have to say, I was mighty mighty tempted by the Paperwhite. If you look at the specs on Amazon, the resolution of the Paperwhite seems much superior to the Touch. The built in light means no more turning on lamps or opening blinds so I can read.

However, a couple of things have put me off. The Kindle Touch holds up to 3,000 books. The Paperwhite holds up to 1,100 books. That’s a significant difference. The Touch also has a nifty audio function that can play audio books and even read your book to you in a robotic voice. I haven’t used it much, but I like that it’s there. It makes for less juggling between devices.

The deal breaker for me, though, remains the screen. I bought a Touch because I didn’t want a backlit or frontlit screen. I get tired of sitting in front of a computer all day. I was attracted to a device that was very much like reading a book. With a book, you do need to turn on a light or open the blinds. No big whoop.

Sadly, the Touch has been discontinued. However, a six-inch button-controlled Kindle with the unlit screen is available at a nice price, starting at $69, and a keyboard Kindle is still available as well.

You can see the new line-up of Kindles eReaders and tablets here.