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Smaller, faster, cheaper Kindle e-Reader on the way


July 30, 2010

Amazon has updated its Kindle e-Reader to be 21 per cent smaller, 15 per cent lighter and significantly faster. The third generation model is also available as either 3G and WiFi or WiFi only.

Amazon has updated its Kindle e-Reader to be 21 per cent smaller, 15 per cent lighter and significantly faster. The third generation model is also available as either 3G and WiFi or WiFi only.

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The graphite and display overhaul that Amazon gave its Kindle DX earlier in the month has now been applied to its third generation 6-inch model. The new Kindle will be available with 3G and Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi only, is 15 percent lighter and 21 percent smaller than its predecessor but still retains the 6-inch display and now comes with double the storage capacity.

The 6-inch Kindle will now be available in two options, one with 3G and Wi-Fi and one with Wi-Fi only. The 3G model weighs 8.7 ounces and retains the pencil-like thinness of the previous generation. The Wi-Fi only model is similarly 1/3 of an inch thin but is marginally lighter at just 8.5 ounces. Either way, both models come in lighter than a paperback and thinner than a magazine.

Both have a smaller 7.5 x 4.8 x 0.335 inch body but retain the 6-inch reading area, which has now received the same e-Ink improvements recently given to the DX. As well as 50 percent better contrast, the company has given its proprietary waveform and font technology a bit of a tune-up, which it says results in significantly faster page turns and crisper fonts. And, like the DX, the new Kindles are offered in a graphite option.

Storage capacity has been improved as well, the new devices now capable of storing 3,500 eBooks and the inclusion of Whispersync technology lets users read an eBook across numerous devices and keep track of progress on all of them.

The U.S. Kindle Store now has over 630,000 titles, with the vast majority of those coming in at under US$10. There are also more than 1.8 million out-of-copyright eBooks available for free download and any books purchased from the Kindle Store are automatically backed up online and available for subsequent free download in the event of accidental deletion. Kindle users also benefit from wireless coverage in over 100 countries and territories.

The new models claim up to a month's battery with the wireless off or up to 10 days with it switched on, but readers are likely to experience something in between as they toggle between online and offline modes. There's an improved PDF reader with new dictionary look-up, notes and highlights, and support for password protected documents. A WebKit browser is included with a new article mode that simplifies web pages to appear as just text for easier reading on the device and built-in Twitter and Facebook integration gives users the option to share favorite quotes or passages with network contacts.

The new models are available now for pre-order with an expected shipping date of August 27. The 3G and WiFi model is priced at US$189 and the WiFi only Kindle will cost US$139. Amazon says that it's also arranged for free wireless access at AT&T; Wi-Fi hotspots across the U.S. for shopping and downloading content with no AT&T; registration, sign-in or password required.

Kindle lovers from the UK might also be interested to learn that the new devices are now available for pre-order on dedicated Amazon UK pages. Details of the WiFi only model can be viewed here and the 3G and WiFi Kindle here. A new UK Kindle Store is also expected to open its virtual doors on August 27.

About the Author
Paul Ridden While Paul is loath to reveal his age, he will admit to cutting his IT teeth on a TRS-80 (although he won't say which version). An obsessive fascination with computer technology blossomed from hobby into career before the desire for sunnier climes saw him wave a fond farewell to his native Blighty in favor of Bordeaux, France. He's now a dedicated newshound pursuing the latest bleeding edge tech for Gizmag. All articles by Paul Ridden

With a lower price, I think it will do well; IMO. Being an ebook reader, it could save money since one does not have to reprint text books by having them downloaded to an ebook reader and deleting the older version. Since it can carry many books in a light weight device, it will help reduce the weight of back packs and other carrying bags thus reducing back injuries. It would be good for travellers since it is small easy to carry and one would not have to chose which books to bring since one can bring them all as ebooks.


Kindle -- holds 3500 books -- that\'s $35,000 worth of books! You want to walk around with $35,000 in your backpack?

I read about a book a week. I read a lot because I don\'t have a TV. That would be $520 a year. That\'s a lot of money year after year.....


It\'s interesting to me that all of the articles I\'ve read on the kindle fail to either sufficiently compare it to the nook, or make some asinine comparison to the Ipad.

I have a nook; I bought it when B&N came out with the wifi only 149 version. I can\'t say it\'s better than the Kindle, \'cause it\'s the only one I have. I would like to know how they compare though. I do love my nook, but I\'ve never been some brand fanboy.

As far as keeping all the books on your nook, I use the Calibre software and only keep 8-12 books on my nook at a time. The rest are on the computer. At first I loaded all my ebooks onto the nook, but I quickly realized that was stupid and just load up the few I think I\'ll be reading.

If you are someone who is trying to decide between some tablet pc and a dedicated ereader...Well, if you like to read there really is not choice. By something with eink. It\'s like reading a book. Hours with no eye strain.

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This is moving in the right direction, but still more then I want to pay for a ebook reader. I saw one the other day developed in India I think that was selling for $35. Why can\'t we build a basic reader here that more people can afford, say less then a hundred bucks? Not only will Amazon sell a ton of them, but more people will get used to the idea of reading books from a Kindle. Once people get used to the idea, many will want to upgrade to a more expensive model to enjoy more features. I see that as a win-win solution.

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