Print 14 comment(s) - last by namechamps.. on Sep 30 at 10:20 AM

Kindle, Kindle Touch/Kindle Touch 3G, Kindle Fire

Kindle Touch/Kindle Touch 3G
Amazon expands the Kindle family

Not to be outdone by the 7", $199 Kindle Fire with its full color screen, Amazon today announced an all-new “e-ink” Kindle family. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos today revealed an all-new Kindle Touch that features a primitive IR touch-based interface with configurable zones.

Since the Kindle Touch doesn't have a keyboard like previous models, it is also 75 percent lighter. For those that want "anywhere access", the Kindle Touch 3G will cost you $149 and includes free global roaming.

For those that still think that even $99 is too much, there is also the $79, 6" Kindle. This model is 30 percent lighter than the Kindle 3 and doesn't feature touch capabilities. It also loses the keyboard of previous Kindle models, but gains dedicated buttons for navigation. 

The lowest price Kindle currently available is the $114 ad-supported "Offers" version.

The new Kindles also include a new feature called "X-ray" which allows readers to dive deeper into the text:

With a single tap, readers can see all the passages across a book that mention ideas, fictional characters, historical figures, places or topics that interest them, as well as more detailed descriptions from Wikipedia and Shelfari, Amazon's community-powered encyclopedia for book lovers. 

The new 6" Kindle is available to purchase later today and will ship today. The Kindle Touch/Touch 3G is available to pre-order today, but won't ship until November 21.

One thing to keep in mind is that the stated "low" prices are for models featuring "Special Offers". If you don't want ads displayed on your screen, you will have to tack on $30 to the Kindle and $40 to the Kindle Touch/Kindle Touch 3G.

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No keyboard?
By ElementZero on 9/28/2011 11:16:24 AM , Rating: 2
Given that I've never used a Kindle before - is the lack that it's missing a keyboard now going to be an issue? What was the keyboard used for before?

RE: No keyboard?
By mfenn on 9/28/2011 11:21:34 AM , Rating: 2
It was used for searching, making notes, and such. How big of a pain the keyboardless ones will be will depend on what they did in the OS to provide an alternative.

RE: No keyboard?
By Aikouka on 9/28/2011 11:51:32 AM , Rating: 3
Both the normal Kindle and the Kindle Touch feature an on-screen keyboard. Here are images (from Amazon's product page) for the two new e-ink devices:


Kindle Touch:

It appears the Kindle's keyboard will be navigated using the directional pad, which is similar to how game consoles handle it. I would assume that if you use the keyboard a lot, you may want to opt for the Kindle Touch given it will be a tad bit easier to enter information.

RE: No keyboard?
By snakeInTheGrass on 9/28/2011 4:30:20 PM , Rating: 2
The physical keyboard was truly awful anyway, it's hard to imagine touch not working better. (Love my DX, hate the keyboard - I'd rather go use my computer to search & order books than type on that crap.)

Too bad there's no larger form-factor touch model. :/

RE: No keyboard?
By Stacey Melissa on 9/28/2011 11:22:47 AM , Rating: 2
The keyboard is used for jumping to specific pages/locations. It's also used for making annotations, if you're brave enough.

RE: No keyboard?
By Smilin on 9/28/2011 11:54:22 AM , Rating: 3
The keyboard is most used to type a market search directly from the device. I myself do most browsing from my PC (just a click to send wirelessly to device).

Considering the power of search even a few cursor emulated keystrokes would work in a pinch I suppose.

It's a pretty limited device beyond reading and some built in wikipedia + reference books. It can do mp3s and such but in reality that's not why you get this thing. Since I never use the extras I wouldn't mind losing the keyboard. All that said..I've already got a Gen1 and the newest black ones so I don't think it's worth the upgrade for me.

I'm about to snag a Fire though. 200 bucks for a coffee table web browser is spot on.

The Fire looks too heavy like the iPad(the Kindles are a feather) and doesn't have E-ink so I won't use it for very much reading...especially poolside.

RE: No keyboard?
By AmbroseAthan on 9/28/2011 12:00:16 PM , Rating: 2
I have a Kindle (2nd Generation, from Dec '09) and in that time I have read about 130 books on it. For myself, I can only think of a few times I have ever used the keyboard.

One is during initial registration. And after that, it has been times I wanted to jump to locations. For both of those, a virtual keyboard would suffice being it is a pretty limited amount of typing and highly infrequent.

If you do like to take a lot of notes, I guess it is useful, but for myself I have not seen the need.

RE: No keyboard?
By TakinYourPoints on 9/28/2011 4:32:33 PM , Rating: 2
It is mainly used for searching the store. I have owned Kindles since they first launched and I personally have used the keyboard very rarely. If I buy a book it is usually through the Amazon website on my desktop.

If I was in the market for a new on, I'd get it without the keyboard. I'd lose very little functionality while gaining in even more portability (its gonna end up being as light as a sheet of paper at this rate). If I wasn't on my desktop and wanted to do a product search I would make do with the little dpad. As it stands I'm hanging onto my 3rd generation Kindle, no reason to upgrade and it is a fantastic device.

RE: No keyboard?
By nocturne_81 on 9/29/2011 7:27:35 AM , Rating: 2
I never got the point of the keyboard... is it an eReader? Is it a tablet? Is it a mobile platform?

The original design, to me, seemed to be ruined by the addition of features such as the web browser, email app, and keyboard.. Who in their right mind would actually attempt to use a Kindle in this manner when there's almost certainly a pc or more capable mobile device within an arm's reach..?

The new series is quite intriguing though.. def not in Kansas anymore..

RE: No keyboard?
By namechamps on 9/30/2011 10:20:30 AM , Rating: 2
Keyboard has lots of uses.

Most people connect via wifi at home which hopefully protected by WPA. So entering passwords is much easier with keyboard.

On the road is no better. Most airport/hotel wifi requires you to access a login page before you can go online. Can't do that without a browser.

The keyboard is useful for making notes, searching for text, looking up titles in amazon store, etc.

I don't know anyone who uses a Kindle reader as a general purpose computer but that doesn't make keyboard useless.

Amazon has always indicated they wanted to move to touch display but they tech wasn't there (cost & glare). The physical keyboard was/is a compromise.

I expect in a generation or two they will only have a single unit and it will be wifi + 3G + touch and be ~$70.

"Intel is investing heavily (think gazillions of dollars and bazillions of engineering man hours) in resources to create an Intel host controllers spec in order to speed time to market of the USB 3.0 technology." -- Intel blogger Nick Knupffer
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