Amazon launches whole fleet of new Kindles

We were expecting new Kindle hardware at Amazon’s keynote event today, and that’s precisely what we got. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos took the stage to introduce no fewer than six new devices—three tablets and three e-book readers. Among the new introductions are a Kindle Fire with an 8.9", 1920×1200 display and a revised version of the Kindle with a backlit, higher-PPI screen.

That 8.9" device was probably the star of the show. Priced at $299 with 16GB of built-in flash storage, the 8.9" Kindle Fire HD features an IPS panel with a whopping 1920×1200 display resolution. That means a pixel density of 254 PPI, just 10 PPI less than on the new iPad. Amazon says it’s laminated the touch sensor to improve contrast and reduce glare, too, so the slate must be a sight to behold.

 

Amazon has also outfitted the 8.9" Kindle Fire HD with dual stereo speakers that have Dolby Digital Plus certification. The device offers 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi with dual antennas and MIMO support. A Texas Instruments OMAP 4470 processor sits at the core and purportedly delivers higher floating-point performance and memory bandwidth than Nvidia’s Tegra 3. This new Kindle Fire is only 0.35" thick, and it tips the scale at a pleasantly light 1.25 lbs.

According to Amazon, the 8.9" Kindle Fire HD will ship on November 20 for folks who pre-order today. The $299, 8.9" model will be supplemented by a $499 variant with 4G LTE connectivity and 32GB of flash storage. To feed that monster, folks will be able to sign up for a $49.99-a-year 4G LTE plan with 250MB of data transfer per month, 20GB of cloud storage, and a $10 app store credit.

Amazon also intends to offer a $199 Kindle Fire HD with a 7" display, but "HD" here means a display resolution of only 1280×800. At the very low end, cheapskates will be able to snag a new-and-improved version of the original Kindle Fire (sans HD display) for $159. That device will have a faster processor, twice as much RAM, and longer battery life than the old model. It’s scheduled to ship on September 14.

So, what about those new e-readers?

The updated Kindle e-reader lineup includes the Kindle Paperwhite, a $119 device featuring a backlit display with an increased pixel density—212 PPI, or 62% more pixels than the Kindle Touch. Amazon has thrown in more fonts, so there are now choices beyond Helvetica and the default slab serif typeface, and it’s added Time to Read, a feature that estimates the remaining reading time until the next chapter or the end of the book. The Kindle Paperwhite weighs 7.5 ounces, measures 0.36" thick, and purportedly gets eight weeks of battery life with the backlight on. Amazon plans to ship this puppy on October 1.

Last, but not least, Amazon has announced a 3G version of the Kindle Paperwhite priced at $179, and it’s updated the cheapest Kindle with new fonts, 15% faster page turns, and a lower price tag—just $69.

Comments closed
    • NeelyCam
    • 7 years ago

    THE BEZELS ARE TOO BIG!

    Seriously: the first one that gets a 7″ tablet in to a 7.1″ diagonal space has my money.

      • Price0331
      • 7 years ago

      How would you hold it without touching some object on the screen then?

    • Anarchist
    • 7 years ago

    if miscrosoft can hit $199 price with their arm slate … then I think it will start to get really interesting.

    • trackerben
    • 7 years ago

    Those who say Amazon’s a hardware company, raise your hands now.

    • ronch
    • 7 years ago

    I wish there’s a 32GB version of the KF HD that costs less than $499. I don’t really care about LTE. Or, perhaps Amazon could equip the 16GB KF HD with a microSD slot for memory expansion. You see, I don’t live in the U.S. and their LTE package doesn’t really apply to me.

      • insulin_junkie72
      • 7 years ago

      There is a $369 32GB, WiFi-only KF HD:

      [url<]http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008GFRB9E/ref=kindle_dp_comp[/url<]

        • paulWTAMU
        • 7 years ago

        that one makes me WANT. I wish it was cheaper but still DAMN

    • brucethemoose
    • 7 years ago

    The new Nokias use Snapdragon S4s, why can’t these.

    Wait… don’t answer that.

    The S4s have major supply issues… which means they’re out of the question for Amazon as alot of people will buy these. Nokia doesn’t have to worry about that.

      • Goty
      • 7 years ago

      I’m assuming that, by “major supply issues” you mean, “the HTC One X, Samsung Galaxy S III and Motorola Atrix HD are selling like hotcakes.” I probably missed a few others there.

    • egon
    • 7 years ago

    Not too keen on the more garish appearance for the e-ink Kindles (blacker bezel framing whiter ‘paper’), but the illumination option will be a key improvement if it works well and is without negative side-effects.

    The moderate increase in pixel density is nice but not something people have been crying out for – other potential improvements for which there’s been visible demand going back years, such as more robust PDF support with free zoom and reflow for compatible documents, seem to be absent.

    Also have to give credit to Amazon for continuing to make their Kindle Keyboard available, which suits many people more than the touch screen models.

    • steelcity_ballin
    • 7 years ago

    Let’s see: Ads that display on the lockscreen that you can’t disable. Ridiculous data cost. PASS.

      • JohnC
      • 7 years ago

      Have you actually tried to use one of the Kindles? I have, and I specifically bought the “Ad-sponsored” version, for lower costs. The displayed Ads are absolutely non-intrusive, especially the ones on lockscreen and have 0 negative effect on actual usage (such as reading the books). I’m really glad that Amazon offers such versions, and this is coming from a person who uses AdBlock on EVERY website with Ads and who prefers to PAY for TV series and all the movies instead of watching them on “regular” Ad-polluted TV channels.
      Besides, I’m sure someone will still find a way to disable Ad offers (without a total re-flash with custom Android build) completely 😉

        • Diplomacy42
        • 7 years ago

        And to underscore that, a lot of times the ads are actually useful–spend 60 dollars on tools and get a 20 dollar gift card, use that gift card to buy a movie(9.99) get a 10 dollar gift card(so free) use that 20 dollars on whatever. net result 30 bucks worth of free stuff.

      • JoJoBoy
      • 7 years ago

      $49.99 a YEAR….
      Including 4G LTE plan with 250MB per month,
      20GB cloud storage
      ….$50 a YEAR is too high?

      • Metonymy
      • 7 years ago

      I bought a Kindle a year ago, and decided I’d try the cheaper one with ads because the alternative was authors’ portraits and that didn’t seem appealing.

      My experience has been that I find the ads useful, like the times when you spend $10 for a $20 amazon credit, and there have been a few others.

      I might have paid slightly more for the ads.

      • albundy
      • 7 years ago

      so what’s stopping you from from installing custom roms like the rest of the world to take the headache out of the picture?

        • hiro_pro
        • 7 years ago

        I have the old one with the keyboard. there is a simple jailbreak that lets you get rid of the authors picture. i love it. changed my screensaver to my favorite lcars backgrounds.

    • lilbuddhaman
    • 7 years ago

    Amazon is going to make a great pre-holiday splash with these. If they market november right they’ll carry it into new year and sit on Galaxy S3 level sales….though it’ll be a peppering of each of their new devices, i’m thinking centered on the new low-end HD model.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 7 years ago

    Paperwhite is unfortunately close to ‘paperweight.’

      • Diplomacy42
      • 7 years ago

      so close that C-net reporters had a Freudian mix-up in their initial copy

        • Ringofett
        • 7 years ago

        Freudian? They called it papercock?

    • drfish
    • 7 years ago

    Yeah, I’ll probably be getting the new Paperwhite. Looks nice and my Kindle keyboard is starting to look old… My apologies to the new Fires, my heart belongs to Surface, but they look nice.

    [i<]Edit: Read some hands-on impressions and had to place my order. The frontlit display sounds amazing.[/i<]

      • JohnC
      • 7 years ago

      Yeap, I also pre-ordered one. My current Kindle Touch is not that bad, but reading it in poor lighting conditions is not very pleasant since it requires some external light source and I just couldn’t find any clip-on lights for it which would produce an acceptably uniform, non-glare lighting.

        • Diplomacy42
        • 7 years ago

        did you try the leather cover sold by amazon? its pricy, but i like it.

          • JohnC
          • 7 years ago

          The one with “flip-out” light? Yea, I did. Doesn’t really make the screen look better than the other similar clip-on lights, so I returned it and got cheaper cover (without any lights).

            • alphacheez
            • 7 years ago

            I used a Mighty Bright XFlex2 rigged up with some cardboard and electrical tape so it only shines on the display with no light-spill. Keeps my wife happier if I’m up reading.

            • JohnC
            • 7 years ago

            Yea, I’ve used this too (haven’t returned it to the store, though). Kind of a “bulky” device (especially the battery compartment), doesn’t “like” to stay clipped on exactly same spot especially if you move around (unless you clip it on something other than Kindle or its cover) and changing batteries (and recharging them) was kind of annoying… That’s why I can’t wait for the new Paperwhite and its fully integrated solution. I was even thinking about trying the Nook Simple Touch with built-in lighting, but ultimately decided not to since I’m making most of my purchases on Amazon and using B&N’s own service would be somewhat inconvenient, plus I’ve read plenty of stories about some people receiving the defective “batches” with uneven lighting and its battery life doesn’t seem to be that great when using the lighting (about 1 month on single charge, whereas Amazon promises 2 months when using the Paperwhite in similar way).

            • moose17145
            • 7 years ago

            Yea I also am looking at that paperwhite and thinking “i want it”. I enjoy reading, but being in the National Gaurd makes it hard to carry boat loads of books around sometimes, and half the time when I would like to read the lighting is rather poor, and at the same time I wont always be able to charge the reader every night, so a tablet like the Fire is out of the question.

    • superjawes
    • 7 years ago

    Apple: “We’re releasing one updated iPad and maybe a smaller iPad this year.”
    Amazon: “What’s that? BAM. Three tablets and three e-readers, bitches! Let’s see you top that with your iPhone 5!”
    Apple: “…how did you know about the iPhone 5?”

      • alwayssts
      • 7 years ago

      Not gonna lie, I effin’ lol’ed.

    • blastdoor
    • 7 years ago

    So is Amazon subsidizing the LTE? It’s a little puzzling how they are offering such a low price if they aren’t subsidizing.

      • mph_Ragnarok
      • 7 years ago

      its 50 bux a year for 3GB of total data, and it looks like they’re using AT&T.

      I get 3GB per month from AT&T for 30 bux.

      This isn’t really subsidized… The vast number of expected users evens out the monthly amount, so really Amazon is just paying upfront for its customers for data usage and charging a 67% premium for doing so.

        • MadManOriginal
        • 7 years ago

        Yeah it looks like it’s just a special plan for the Kindle is all. There are lots of AT&T data plans and I’m sure AT&T would let you sign up for any of them instead (the Amazon special is actually cheaper if you’re going to use just 250MB/month):

        [url<]http://www.att.com/shop/wireless/plans/dataplans.html[/url<]

      • WillBach
      • 7 years ago

      Paying almost $200 for the LTE modem must cover some sort of subsidy. Update: MadManOriginal got me to think more (see below). An entire year of LTE for $250 – no contract and $50 a year after that is a steal.

        • MadManOriginal
        • 7 years ago

        Maybe…but then again, take a look at the price difference between an iPod and an unsubsidized iPhone. Sure, they aren’t completely the same otherwise but it seems like cellular connectivity costs a whole lot.

          • WillBach
          • 7 years ago

          You have a good point, although unsubsidized iPhones have faster SoCs, better camera, front-facing cameras, and sometimes better displays IIRC.

          I’ve been been giving this more thought, and while it seems like Amazon is charging a lot for an LTE modem, you an entire year of LTE for $250 – no contract. In Germany I was paying €19.99 for a one-month SIM card with something like 2 GB of 3G or Edge connection. Amazon gives you less data, but at only a slightly higher cost, and at a much greater connection speed. Then, if you get a second year, you’re paying something like $15 / mo. If your Kindle lasts three years it’s less than $10 / mo. One year is an okay deal, two years is a good deal, three years might not be for everyone, but it seems like a steal, esp. considering that LTE is fast enough for low-latency SSH connections and really, really fast browsing and email.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 7 years ago

    Lovely how tablets are getting 16:10 IPS high resolution screens…meanwhile laptop displays are heinous 99% of the time and desktop displays are mostly 16:9.

      • drfish
      • 7 years ago

      Its just sick and wrong.

      • NeelyCam
      • 7 years ago

      [quote<]desktop displays are mostly 16:9.[/quote<] As they should be. Quit fighting the quicksand - you'll only be pulled deeper

        • BobbinThreadbare
        • 7 years ago

        My 2 monitors and laptop disagree with you.

          • xolf
          • 7 years ago

          Out of curiosity, do you have a particular attachment to the ratio 16:10, or is it more about not wanting to feel ‘cramped’ with 1080 pixels height of workspace?

          If it’s the latter, don’t the 27″ panels with 2560×1440 resolution cover that off nicely enough?

            • BobbinThreadbare
            • 7 years ago

            I find 16:10 to be a more pleasing shape.

            • Deanjo
            • 7 years ago

            [url<]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_ratio[/url<]

            • EtherealN
            • 7 years ago

            The golden ratio: another example of a self-fulfilling prophecy. 😛

            [url<]http://skeptoid.com/episodes/4325[/url<]

        • MadManOriginal
        • 7 years ago

        Why should they be?

        And I already own a 16:10 IPS display which I’ve had for almost 4 years. So if by ‘pulled deeper’ you mean ‘put my money where my mouth is’ and have a superior display, then sure.

          • NeelyCam
          • 7 years ago

          Your display will look stoopid when you’re watching 16:9 movies on it.

            • MadManOriginal
            • 7 years ago

            No, it won’t. There will be just some black bars above and below the video content which are not harmful to my viewing enjoyment, and then when I use the monitor for something other than that single scenario I get more pixels to display more information.

            If you think the display looks ‘stoopid,’ well, the problem is somewhere else other than the display 😉

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            I’M GUESSING YOUR IPS PANEL HAS AT LEAST 1080 LINES, HOWMCHUNEED?

            • OneArmedScissor
            • 7 years ago

            I’m guessing somebody did at least 1080 lines!

            • JohnC
            • 7 years ago

            Yes, but not all people prefer to watch movies on such tiny displays. I, for example, only watch movies on our large-screen TV’s, since they are connected to a proper audio system and create much better overall enjoyment.
            Also, how about giving people a CHOICE of having different aspect ratios for their displays? Or is “having a choice” also a bad thing for you?

            • kvndoom
            • 7 years ago

            No it doesn’t look stupid. Unlike the OCD yuppies of the world, I can comfortably ignore the damn black bands when watching a movie, and still cherish my extra screen real estate for games, office apps, and many other purposes.

            • helix
            • 7 years ago

            Few films are shot at 16:9 so you get black bars (or cropped video) anyway.

            • travbrad
            • 7 years ago

            I know you’re probably just trolling, but most movies aren’t 16:9. They are usually much wider aspect ratios, so there will be black bars on both 16:9 and 16:10 displays.

            If you had said “TV shows” your point would have made more sense, although I’ve never understood why some people find black bars so annoying.

            • Bensam123
            • 7 years ago

            OCD

            • BobbinThreadbare
            • 7 years ago

            Me either. It’s not like the image is smaller, either you have black bars or you see more of your wall. Big deal.

            • eofpi
            • 7 years ago

            Clearly, there must be a huge pent-up demand for 47:20 screens, which must be met imminently to stop more whinging on the internets.

            • kureshii
            • 7 years ago

            Black bars can be annoying on low-quality panels, where the background black appears more grayish than black.

            Non-issue on good IPS monitors though.

            • kroker
            • 7 years ago

            That’s because watching movies on a computer monitor is stupid in the first place. Plus, MPC-HC has the “Touch window from inside” option (and other players have similar options) if you don’t like black bars, at the cost of some horizontal cropping.

            • Beelzebubba9
            • 7 years ago

            That’s what a TV is for!

            • sschaem
            • 7 years ago

            You look stupid watching a movie on your desktop monitor.

            FYI, 16:9 is NOT a common movie aspect ratio.

            The industry want to move TV to an even wider aspect…. will you want that for your Pc?

            Cinemascope computing ? great for documents editing… sigh

            • Deanjo
            • 7 years ago

            Although a curved 48:10 monitor would kick ass (7680×1600).

            • sschaem
            • 7 years ago

            Nice product, when can I buy the slightly curved 48″ 32:10 model? 🙂

            This would certainly turn heads, pun intended, “thats a wicked monitor” they would say….

            • Deanjo
            • 7 years ago

            [quote<]Nice product, when can I buy the slightly curved 48" 32:10 model? :)[/quote<] Right after You and I get our kickstarter funding unless apple beats us to the punch.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 7 years ago

            Nobody makes 16:9 movies, they’re all 2.33:1.

          • DeadOfKnight
          • 7 years ago

          There’s no way I could go from using a 1600×1200 resolution screen for years to 1080p, which is why my monitor is 1920×1200. However, I think I could get used to using a 2560×1440 display.

            • Bauxite
            • 7 years ago

            Don’t settle, go for 2560×1600!

            Still waiting for the korean oems to get working on shipping 30″ 16:10, they did a good job making the 27″ 2560×1440 panels cheap and available.

        • Sargent Duck
        • 7 years ago

        Why should desktop displays be 16:9?

          • Malphas
          • 7 years ago

          Because 16:9 has – for better or worse – become the default industry panel size. There are advantages to having the same aspect ratio across different displays. Also, the fact that 2560×1440 is becoming the new mainstream standard, means most of the gripes people had about dropping from 16:10 to 16:9 in the late 2000’s are mostly moot now.

            • sschaem
            • 7 years ago

            For a gaming PC, or HTPC, 16:9 is not a bad choice.
            But for a workstation, not the best choice.

            Should OEM use those cinema wide panels when the TV industry start to use them ?
            21:10 might be the standard with 4K / future TVs…

            • Bauxite
            • 7 years ago

            New tablets with 16:10 screen sizes that never shipped before are still being introduced… (1920×1200 8.9″ is a completely new part, never been in channel)

            The plans for some future high dpi tablets have already indicated they will go 2560×1600.

            So clearly 16:9 has [b<]not[/b<] become the default, despite the sea of 1366x768 garbage.

        • Bensam123
        • 7 years ago

        Wow Neely, sometimes… just sometimes… I don’t know.

          • NeelyCam
          • 7 years ago

          I don’t mind 16:9; I’m used to it, and I like buying my stuff cheap (and I mostly use it to watch movies, anyways)

          But I mainly do it because people are [i<]sooo[/i<] sensitive to the 16:9/16:10 issue. Seriously - look at the responses. 16:10 is like a religion now! Honestly, why is 16:10 so magically better than 16:9?? Why does it invite in all the rabid fanbois?

            • BIF
            • 7 years ago

            Wow, with all those downvotes, it’s a wonder you can still come up for air. Do you need some oxygen?

            Honestly, I didn’t get that; it seemed like an over-the-top response from 29 people. Or maybe from one person with 29 ids and a mean case of OCD…

            • MadManOriginal
            • 7 years ago

            It’s better because it can display more information.

            I wouldn’t say I’m a rabid fanboy, although I would prefer if the price was somewhere near proportional to the display size. What I don’t like about 16:9 is the misperception and deceptive marketing that surrounds it. The misperception is on full display 😉 here with the whole ‘omg black bars – they are bad!’ statement. The reason manufacturers would rather make 16:9 panels is they can get more product out of a given sheet. And yet 16:9 gets marketed as ‘Full HD’ and ‘1080p’ when it’s actually delivering less than 16:10 displays. Do we ever see ‘FullER HD’ or Full HD+’ or how often do we see ‘1200p’ marketed?

            • NeelyCam
            • 7 years ago

            16:16 is even “fuller”. What’s your point?

            • MadManOriginal
            • 7 years ago

            That you’re wrong and poopy-faced!

            • NeelyCam
            • 7 years ago

            Oh ok, point well taken

            • Bensam123
            • 7 years ago

            I don’t necessarily agree with how people present themselves, but I do appreciate having a taller screen. It definitely makes a difference in games. You get like a sort of tunnel vision going on with narrower and narrower screens. Honestly I think 16:10 is a good ratio, maybe even a little less, like 16:12 or something like that.

            All you have to do is play a game of Tribes Ascend or League of Legends to realize how much you’re being hurt by a narrow FoV (FoV goes up and down, not just left to right). It makes laning in MOBAS really hard when you have to go up and down instead of diagnoal or left to right (you essentially have to move your screen twice as much).

            16:9 definitely does fit movies and if I were just going to watch TV or watch movies, I would buy a 16:9 screen, but not for a computer. especially not for one I play games on.

            Unfortunately I’m starting to think 16:10 is becoming like a religion as supplies for such screens is getting cut off due to the huge demand and popularity of 16:9. My current screen is a 16:10, if only 1680×1050, but in order to get a better monitor with the qualities I look for (response time, refresh rate, and latency) it’s impossible right now in the 16:10 form factor.

      • moog
      • 7 years ago

      This is likely to change with Win8 laptouchs.

        • HisDivineOrder
        • 7 years ago

        Then we’ll get super thin laptouch’s that can’t handle anything beyond Angry Birds. So we’ll have the proper aspect ratio, but the wrong hardware again.

        Or they’ll cram that into an all metal shell without vents and call it magical when it burns up just outside the warranty period. Because that’s how Apple does it.

      • FatherXmas
      • 7 years ago

      Blame economy of scale or mature manufacturing techniques or design budget constraints, 1366×768 TN panels of various sizes are manufactured in high quantities which makes their price attractive for an engineer tasked to design a laptop on a mandated budget. The 16:9 ratio is because, of course, US HDTV standards where 1366×768 is the actual panel resolution of 720P HDTV sets.

      It’s just when you get toward the end of your parts budget, what to do with that last $10-$30 to make this laptop stand out from competitors models at the same MSRP, amount of memory, size of hard drive and speed of processor are bullet points that the customer can compare while upgrading the panel to an IPS with a higher resolution, which may actually impact battery life, graphics performance, isn’t a feature that sells more units while more memory, larger hard drive (or SSD) and faster CPU do (according to your marketing department).

      Now in the tablet market, the New iPad is the gold standard and it’s big feature over the previous iPad 2 is it’s glorious Retina display so if you are putting together a list of must haves for the tablet you are designing, a high resolution for high DPI with good color reproduction display is rather high on your must haves. You start there and compromise elsewhere (like lack of an SD slot or rear facing camera).

      #savecoh
      We are Heroes. This is what we do!

    • BobbinThreadbare
    • 7 years ago

    Why would you back-light eInk? Why?

    Anyways, my ideal e-reader right now: Mirasol display, front lit, ~7″, runs on android for hacking potential, 3G/4GLTE connection would be nice, but not required. Have this available for $200 by December and you have a sale.

      • drfish
      • 7 years ago

      Summary is wrong, it is front lit.

        • BobbinThreadbare
        • 7 years ago

        Ok, that makes more sense.

    • SsP45
    • 7 years ago

    And yet none of them (I’m talking about the eReaders) appear to be available here in Canada this time. Disappointing to say the least. Here’s hoping the new Kobo Glo is decent, since I really want a front-lit eReader.

      • gigafinger
      • 7 years ago

      I think the Paperwhite Touch sounds great with the backlit eInk. What’s better about front-lit?

        • BobbinThreadbare
        • 7 years ago

        You aren’t staring at a light, which means less or no eye strain.

        • SsP45
        • 7 years ago

        The Paperwhite is front-lit, like the Kobo Glo. I’m hoping the Glo is at least comparable in how even it lights up the screen. The Nook Glo looks terrible – very uneven lighting.

      • gigafinger
      • 7 years ago

      It looks like it is frontlit according to other sources.

      [url<]http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2012/09/amazons-new-kindle-paperwhite-e-reader-comes-with-frontlit-screen/[/url<]

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