The rumours have been everywhere for the last month or more that Amazon was going to release an Android-based tablet in the form of the Kindle Fire – and those rumours were true. But alongside that, they have also launched a new slimline keyboardless Kindle, named just “Kindle”, and the touchscreen Kindle Touch and Kindle Touch 3G.
The Kindle Fire has a whole post dedicated to it, but it is safe to say that whilst the 7″ WiFi Android 2.3-based tablet is not an iPad killer, at $199 (no UK price or release-date yet) it is an excellent media consumption device – more akin to taking on the iPod Touch. It is not the best tablet available, but it is most definitely a game changer – and gives Amazon a new form through which they can sell content.
The all new Kindle (with old Kindles renamed “Kindle Keyboards”) offer just a 6″ e-ink screen and weighs 170g, with enough storage for 1,400 books (or about 2GB), and a month-long battery life. If all you want is a reading device then this is about perfect – small, light, and costing just £89 ($109 in US). It doesn’t do very much, but it does it very well indeed. It also comes with the Kindle bells and whistles like WiFi, cloud backup, and WhisperSync so you never lose your place in a book across any Kindle-enabled device.
The Kindle Touch and Kindle Touch 3G bring touchscreen technology to the 6.8″ e-ink displays and weighs in at just 213g with a two month battery life. The touchscreen makes the devices much easier to use, and allows users to do more with the device – with an on-screen keyboard allowing users to annotate the books, browse the internet, and the addition of a headphone jack means the Touches can play mp3s and audiobooks. It also comes with the Kindle bells nd whistles like the Kindle, but shamefully has no release date or pre-order form in the UK as yet. In the US the Kindle Touch is priced at $139 and the Touch 3G at $189.