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Amazon launches new Kindles and Kindle Fire

Amazon launches new Kindles and Kindle Fire

From left to right: the new Kindle, the Kindle Touch and the Kindle Fire.

Amazon launched two new Kindle eReaders and the Kindle Fire Tablet yesterday. Here are the summaries of the three main devices announced.

Kindle
There’s new basic Kindle eReader that’s set to cost £89 (or, weirdly, £79) for the ad-supported version. Ars Technica reports that despite the low price, ‘the device feels solid and robust.’ The new Kindle is based around a 6in e-Ink screen and weighs only 170g, but has ditched the keyboard of the current model in favour of a D-Pad and on-screen keyboard.

The physical page turn buttons have also moved to the sides of the device, rather than the large buttons on the bezel. This is because the current buttons are too easy to press accidentally, as Ars says, ‘the new hardware buttons are unobtrusive and might actually be a bit difficult to spot until you're used to the device

The new Kindle is available for pre-order now on a first-come, first-served basis, and will be released on 12 October.

Kindle Touch
Amazon also revealed a touchscreen version of the new Kindle, with infrared sensing rather than the capacitive screen of the iPad or the resistive screens of rubbish touchscreen from ten years ago. Set to cost £99 for the ad-supported version or £139 without ads (there’s no UK price or release date as yet), this 6in device weighs 213g. It’s said to be ‘8 per cent lighter [than the current Kindle, and] 11 per cent smaller.

The 3G version is set to cost either $149 or $189, depending on ad support.

Kindle Fire
Possibly the most intriguing new Kindle is the Kindle Fire, an Android tablet based around a 7in, full-colour touchscreen. The Android Silk OS has allowed Amazon to closely link the Kindle Fire to Amazon’s cloud service, meaning that the device can offload complex tasks such as rendering complex web pages to an Amazon cloud server, and receive a more manageable stream of data back. The cloud servers can also cache popular content, again speeding up the browsing experience.

It’s this ‘split’ architecture that has likely allowed Amazon to include a dual-core processor and reasonably large touchscreen in a device that’s set to cost $199. The CPU really doesn’t have to be all that powerful or advanced if it can rely on servers to do a lot of the grunt work.

Ars Technica got to have a look at the Kindle Fire and said, ‘The screen itself looks very good, and the demos that Amazon representatives performed seemed to indicate it was quite responsive to touches.

Interested by any of the new devices? Let us know which ones and why in the forum.

29 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
justicefornone 29th September 2011, 14:24 Quote
Have to admit, the Fire actually looks like what I want in a tablet. Hoping to hear more about it (and a UK pricing and release date), however it really does look quite intriguing.

The other ones, not so much however!
MrJay 29th September 2011, 14:30 Quote
Im interested!
Love my Kindle, and the pricing for the Kindle Fire looks very very apealing...
TheLegendJoe 29th September 2011, 14:30 Quote
I also think the Kindle Fire looks quite good, if I was in the market for one I'd definitely consider it but with a desktop and a smart phone I really don't see the need.
Fujukami 29th September 2011, 14:31 Quote
Very happy with my 3rd gen Kindle. The Fire might be interesting as tablet but not as a reader, only if color e-ink tech is involved.
As for that touchscreen kindles, can't say I love the idea, the smudges you can get on the screen will make yer head hurt!
sotu1 29th September 2011, 15:16 Quote
Does the Fire have Flash? Flash Fire?
memeroot 29th September 2011, 15:24 Quote
love my kindle not sure I need to upgrade - but nice releases....

personally I dont want or need a tablet - my phone is fine.... I would have bought them for mothers/grandmothers though if and only if it worked with skype and had camera - it doesn't - so I wont.
thehippoz 29th September 2011, 15:29 Quote
took that idea from onlive.. pretty cool
gilljoy 29th September 2011, 15:36 Quote
I really love the way the kindle touch looks, love the simplicity that its literally just a screen with nothing else.

I'd buy one in a heartbeat as well as buying a kindle fire, tablet + e-book reader for less than the cost of an ipad? Where do I sign?

Fair enough the kindle touch's on screen keyboard wont be the fastest in the world due to e-ink refresh technology but I'm pretty much always near a computer / my smartphone if i need to search the amzon store to find a book I can do it there

Shame amazon are being colossal cocks and not releasing the touch or fire in the ukch or fire in the uk
gilljoy 29th September 2011, 15:37 Quote
Somehow managed to double post and quote myself :S
Huge 29th September 2011, 16:10 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by gilljoy
Shame amazon are being colossal cocks and not releasing the touch or fire in the ukch or fire in the uk

I believe that is down to copyright issues in the UK, they are trying to work out a solution and as soon as that happens you should expect to see them in the UK quite quickly!
Tangster 29th September 2011, 16:10 Quote
I've already preordered the new baby kindle(yesterday). Was hoping for the fire to be released in the UK though.
Psy-UK 29th September 2011, 18:09 Quote
There is no ad-supported UK version. We only get the US $119 version san adverts.
ch424 29th September 2011, 18:28 Quote
Quote:
It’s this ‘split’ architecture that has likely allowed Amazon to include a dual-core processor and reasonably large touchscreen in a device that’s set to cost $199.

It's more likely the lack of cameras, large flash memory, I/O connectors, Bluetooth and 3G that make it cheap. It still has a TI chipset with a dual-core Cortex-A9 which doesn't count as cost-cutting at all!
Picarro 29th September 2011, 19:19 Quote
A bit disappointed. I have the 3rd gen 6" Kindle and I would have a liked a somewhat larger 7-8 inch display.

As for the Kindle Fire I do not understand people who can live with 7" tablets. I find my 10" Xoom to be just a bit too small for my liking. For me, a 7" tablet would only be useful as a tv remote, or to control music/lightning in my room. I couldn't image myself browsing the web with such a small tablet. It's too large for a pocket and yet if I have a backpack with me I would always have room for a larger 10" version.
shanky887614 29th September 2011, 19:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheLegendJoe
I also think the Kindle Fire looks quite good, if I was in the market for one I'd definitely consider it but with a desktop and a smart phone I really don't see the need.

im with you, i got a zte blade it has a 3.5" screen its not very powerful (600mhz) but has the perfect screen size for watching vids and runs internet very well for the price
Grimloon 29th September 2011, 20:33 Quote
Hmm, I've not found the page buttons anything other than convenient on the 3rd gen Kindle. I can understand dropping the keyboard as I rarely use it but it is handy occasionally to look something up on the web. Definitely not keen on the touch screen version though but I'm so conditioned not to touch the screen that I doubt I'll ever like the idea. The pricing for the Fire looks good, as does the spec, but it's the whole touch screen issue.

@Picarro: One of my brothers has a 7" Galaxy because it fits neatly in a jacket pocket, no bag necessary, but has a larger screen than a smart phone. Another carries a man bag with a 10" iPad 2 all the time. I prefer the former option to the latter but have no need for a tablet, I only want to read my books on the go, my Kindle fits the same criteria - it fits neatly inside my jacket pocket so I don't need to carry a bag as well. Horses for courses mate, if I have to carry a bag I'd prefer something with a keyboard anyway.
MiNiMaL_FuSS 29th September 2011, 21:49 Quote
you missed the fact that the kindle fire has an IPS screen :) major win.
2bdetermine 30th September 2011, 04:49 Quote
If you wanted your products to standout from the rest, why there is so much (upper, lower, left, right) wasted space on the devices look just like every competing tablet currently available.
BradShort 30th September 2011, 08:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2bdetermine
If you wanted your products to standout from the rest, why there is so much (upper, lower, left, right) wasted space on the devices look just like every competing tablet currently available.

Its ergonomics. That "wasted" space allows users to handle and rotate the devices without catching the sensitive touchscreens. Slim bevel design is something you don't want on a tablet.
Xir 30th September 2011, 08:56 Quote
So the fire doesn't run "offline"? :?
2bdetermine 30th September 2011, 09:31 Quote
When you came late into the tablet war at least tried to offer something refreshing. That wasted space could have been adapted with extra screen space. The only refreshing about this device is the price.

With the recent Microsoft, Google Cloud services outage. Cloud rendering? Hmm...
Brooksie 30th September 2011, 10:36 Quote
I love my kindle but the new one makes mine look dated!

Amazon are going to release a 10" tablet early next year. If they keep the price low, add a camera and expandable memory it will rape the ipad. I will definitely get one.

The problem with the ipad is there is no competition so this is sorely needed.
Anneon 30th September 2011, 11:47 Quote
Bought my Mrs. a kindle when it first came out and she uses it every day. I am very tempted to upgrade her to the new fire as it looks very nice.
Roskoken 30th September 2011, 13:45 Quote
Kindle Touch?

Surprised assholes at Apple haven't launched a lawsuit yet for using the word Touch.
cowtc 30th September 2011, 14:03 Quote
lol @ the apple hater
sstteevveenn 30th September 2011, 20:04 Quote
Anneon that's hardly an upgrade. They're totally different devices. For use as an e-reader it would be a serious downgrade.
Anfield 1st October 2011, 13:20 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roskoken
Kindle Touch?

Surprised assholes at Apple haven't launched a lawsuit yet for using the word Touch.

Don't worry, they will eventually, but like all good patent trolls they are giving the other company some time to make millions with the device first so they can then inflate the numbers more when they go to cry in Court.
mucgoo 2nd October 2011, 14:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anneon
Bought my Mrs. a kindle when it first came out and she uses it every day. I am very tempted to upgrade her to the new fire as it looks very nice.

The fire isn't an upgrade to a normal kindle. It us the normal backlit display so isn't meant for use as a ereader.

If she wants a device for web browsing and TV watching on the move then it looks very good owever it not designed tobe used for reading books.
gilljoy 6th October 2011, 15:25 Quote
Anyone got one of the new £89 kindles? Looking to get one to replace my kindle 3 that I had to sell a while back and wouldnt mind some views
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