On e-Reader Tech News we track down the latest e-Reader news. We will keep you up to date with whats hot in the bestsellers section, including books, ebooks and blogs... and we will also bring you great e-reader tips and tricks along with reviews for the latest devices and accessories.

Recent Comments

March 2018
« Jan    

Kindle Fire 2 Expected This Week

At long last, it seems we might get to see what Amazon has really accomplished in their efforts to update the Kindle Fire to be competitive with other big name tablets like the Nexus 7.  Signs point to a hardware upgrade coming in the next few days, which would be good news given that the previously speculated initial release date was two weeks ago now.  This week may just give us a good idea of exactly how much of a chance the Kindle Fire has of retaining its now-dominant position in the Android tablet market.

It seems safe to say that Amazon intends to at least announce their new products in a batch.  This would include a new Kindle Fire, possibly a larger scale variation on the Kindle Fire, and at least one new Kindle eReader.  This is based on a combination of intersecting timetables and the previous Kindle eReader release that brought us the Kindle Touch.  Since Amazon is basically required to put out a front-lit Kindle at this point if they want to stay competitive in terms of hardware, it would make little sense to miss an opportunity to join that side of the business with the more versatile tablet side.

To make room for the expected new release, Amazon has quietly discontinued a large part of their eReader selection.  The Kindle Keyboard WiFi is simply gone.  The Kindle Touch 3G appears to be gone as well.  Even the WiFi version of the Kindle Touch is currently listed as having delays from 3-5 days for the Special Offers option and no stock at all for the ad-free model.  We also noticed that earlier this week Amazon used the Kindle DX as one of their Daily Deals selections, discounting it by $110 for a day.  The basic $79 Kindle is still available, but it would be surprising if anything else is shipping out right now at all, regardless of rough delivery estimates made by the Amazon.com site.

The Kindle Fire, on the other hand, is still listed as in stock and shipping immediately.  Whether this is true or not is open to speculation, but it would fit with some of the rumors we have reported here previously.  Amazon may be planning to continue offering the existing Kindle Fire at a discounted rate for a while in order to increase the rate at which users attach themselves to the Amazon digital services ecosystem.

A lot has been done lately to prepare for this release.  Amazon has updated their music, video, and Android gaming capabilities significantly since a year ago when the first Kindle Fire was announced.  While nobody really expects that the Kindle Fire 2, or whatever Amazon decides it will be called in the end, will be able to claim superiority over the Nexus 7 on paper, that doesn’t mean that it will necessarily have trouble competing.  A decent facelift, improved software, and more integrated services than ever before are a guarantee.  Somehow it doesn’t seem like they’re likely to stop at that, though.

Kindle Fire 2 To Get July 31st Launch Event With Front-Lit Kindle eReader

Naturally, there is a new Kindle Fire on the way.  We are also expecting there to be a new E Ink Kindle eReader released alongside it.  The Kindle Fire 2, or whatever Amazon decides to label their new device, has aroused a lot of interest over the past few weeks and the release of a Kindle that matches or exceeds the capabilities of the Nook Simple Touch w/ GlowLight will be a big thing for the company.  Now, citing reliable sources rather than simply the less than reliable DigiTimes reports, CNET has come up with a July 31st launch event to introduce both of these products to potential customers.

Rumors have indicated that the Kindle Fire 2 will be improved in a number of ways.  It will have a higher resolution 1280 x 800 screen while maintaining the same 7” size, according to most of the rumors today.  This latest report indicates that it will also have a camera and physical volume control buttons.  Both of these features will be welcome additions for many Kindle Fire users.  One can only assume that with the addition of a camera Amazon will also have seen fit to include a mic to make their tablet into a viable communication tool.

The new Kindle eReader will also have minor improvements across the board.  The most important of these will obviously be the ability to light up the screen.  We saw several months ago that Amazon had bought a patent that would allow them to add a refraction layer for front-lighting their eReaders, but Barnes & Noble beat them to the punch.  Given how well B&N has done in making a great lit eReader, we have to hope that Amazon has used the intervening time to improve more than just the lighting.  Expect to at least see physical page turn buttons return to the Kindle Touch version of the next generation.

Amazon is expected to be selling these new devices for the same price as current models.  The new Kindle Fire 2 will be going for $199 while the basic model of the new Kindle eReader will be just $79.  While it is too early to say for sure, it wouldn’t be at all surprising to find out that Amazon was including lighting in all their eReaders at no extra charge, thereby undercutting Barnes & Noble’s prices yet again.  The Kindle Fire that we know today will continue to be available in its present form for the indefinite future, but it is believed that the price will drop to just $149 as the new version hits shelves.

None of this tells us anything about a new larger Kindle Fire model.  While reports still indicate that such a tablet is on the way, the rumor mills are surprisingly quiet about the details.  Presumably it will be more powerful and have features comparable to other large tablets, but things like price and release date are completely unknown and barely speculated on.  We’ll try to bring you more on this when the information becomes available.

Just Received My Kindle Touch Early

It’s only evening of the 15th here in Woodinville, WA but I’ve already received one of my new Kindle Touch devices and both Kindle Fires. Why would I need two of each? Remembering how Keyboardless Kindle 4 prerished during my last disassembly attempt I decided to stock up in advance. So stay tuned to hands-on review and disassembly photos…

Kindle Touch Weight

Kindle Touch Weight

Kindle Fire On Sale Tomorrow!

Amazon’s new Kindle Fire has been available for preorder since they first officially announced its existence several weeks back, and millions of people have jumped at the chance.  On November 15th, shipping begins and we should finally begin to see more hands-on user experience with what many are hoping will be the best thing to happen to tablets since the iPad.  Competitors have been springing up and existing products have had their pricing slashed to try to match what appears to be the new standard, but so far nobody has come close to drumming up this kind of enthusiasm over their product.

Prospective buyers who have not yet ordered their Kindle Fire have a couple options.  Chances are good that orders at this point will be delayed slightly due to overwhelming demand.  The numbers grew so quickly that Amazon reportedly was forced to increase production significantly.  They’ve done a good job of shipping out massive releases before with previous Kindles, but some things take time.

If you just can’t wait, apparently some of Amazon’s retail partners will be stocking the new tablet on release day.  Certain sources have indicated that the Kindle Fire will be on the shelves at Best Buy in limited quantities on Tuesday, just in time for the launch.  Online preorders through the websites of these vendors may or may be available immediately depending on unique situations, but at present Best Buy is indicating In Store Only as its purchasing option.  We have to assume that similar situations will prevail among Amazon’s many Brick & Mortar partners.

The Kindle Fire is Amazon’s new 7″ Color Multi-Touch Tablet featuring 8GB of storage (extended by Amazon’s Cloud storage), Widescreen Display, 7.5+ Hours Battery Life, and access to the full range of Amazon services.  Users will enjoy the new Amazon Silk web browser, which reportedly speeds up internet browsing by as much as a factor of ten by anticipating your habits and making the servers do most of the work so that your device doesn’t have to.  It weighs just 14.6 ounces, is less than half an inch thick, and remains approximately the size of the popular Kindle Keyboard eReader.

While the specs are not necessarily the most powerful, especially compared to the industry leading Apple iPad, they are enough to do everything the tablet is designed for.  From movie viewing to app use, reviewers who have gained early access to it have been almost universally pleased with performance.  The interface will also not be the standard Android front end that many might be used to.  Despite being based off of Android 2.3, Amazon has spent significant effort in creating a unique experience that both works efficiently and directly connects you to their store.  Anything you might want to purchase for the Kindle Fire is only a click away.

We will try to keep you up to date on Kindle Fire news, information, and reviews as the week goes on.  Check back in for more information as we come across it.

Kindle Hardware Update Likely, Color eReader Not So Much

A combination of the high expectations surrounding the upcoming Amazon Kindle Tablet and the lack of substantial information regarding the expected hardware update to the existing Kindle eReader line has led to some speculation about secretly substantial change being just around the corner for the bestselling eReading device.  Domain name acquisitions have pushed some people into a belief in the importance of a touchscreen for the Kindle, but more ambitious sources are holding out hope for a truly impressive jump forward.  Wouldn’t having the first affordable Color E INK eReader be quite the coup for Amazon, after all?  It would certainly make the Nook Simple Touch a bit less shiny by comparison.

Still, and I say this with nothing but regret, there is next to no chance that we will be getting a true Kindle Color any time soon.  Sure the Kindle Tablet will have the ability to read, but only in the same way that the Nook Color or your average smartphone can technically be an eReader if the user so desires.  Until screen technology advances a bit further, nobody is likely to want to gamble on a good color reading display.

The problem right now is the tradeoffs.  To make a Kindle Color worthwhile, Amazon would need to have a vibrant color display that didn’t detract from the existing touted benefits of the Kindle’s display.  That means you can’t have a back-light, high battery draw, or less than crisp text.  Nothing currently being produced meets all those criteria while still being affordable enough to keep things competitive.  If they did, the Kindle Tablet would be looking at such a screen and would have a significant advantage over every other Tablet PC on sale today.

Naturally something has to give.  The Kindle device is going strong at the moment, but that’s mostly sue to a combination of momentum and strong backing from the platform as a whole.  If the hardware faces too much competition that can match or surpass it, Kindle sales and by extension Kindle eBook sales will suffer.  Amazon has to know this.  As such, I would say that getting your hopes up for an updated Kindle is totally safe.

What can we expect if not a color screen?  Well, a touchscreen is inevitable to match the competition from B&N, Sony, and Kobo, if nothing else.  Given the Kindle Scribe rumors, it wouldn’t be at all shocking if a stylus were included in the design.  Since nobody else is using 3G coverage Amazon could technically let that slip, but the recent ad deal with AT&T would seem to indicate that they value the ability to bring that sort of thing to customers.  Beyond these things, however, it’s anybody’s guess.  Higher resolution screens?  Bluetooth?  Strange magical powers?  All possibilities!

Current speculation places the updated Kindle‘s release in late October, but that information is several weeks old now.  Given the most recent Kindle Tablet developments, and the fact that Amazon is likely to emphasize the new branch of Kindle products heavily for this holiday season, we may not be seeing new Kindles before late November.  More updates will show up here as we dig them up.

Amazon Kindle UK edition perhaps in the autumn?

Wireless Access with WhispernetThere has been an interesting development for UK Kindle fans, user TadW on MobileRead forums stumbled upon an article in the London Evening Standard which reviewed the Kindle, whilst the review offers nothing new in terms of information, there was a glimmer of hope for a UK autumn release date.

For now, in any case, at the moment, the Kindle is only available in America. There have been reports that Amazon. co.uk plans to launch a version of it here in the autumn (perhaps using wi-fi, rather than a phone system?) but when I asked a spokesman for the company about this, he refused to comment, monotonously repeating we dont talk about future plans.

But it seems the Kindle has now begun to acquire some of the momentum that iPods picked up over other MP3 players; just as iPods changed the way we listen, so the Kindle may, by next summer, say, be impacting on the way many of us read.

I say glimmer because that’s all it was, a tiny glimmer. A UK release would present some challenges for Amazon, the dominant standard for cellular communication in the UK is Global System for Mobile (GSM) whereas in the US it is Evolution Data Optimized (EVDO), Amazon would also have to negotiate a contract with a UK carrier. Amazon recently revealed that it had optimised its supply chain which was one of the reasons for the $40 price drop, with the supply problems behind them Amazon could now concentrate on developing the Kindle for new markets, and the UK & Europe would be a huge market for Amazon.

Amazon will most likely offer different versions of the Kindle in different countries, but for now I think Amazon will see how the Kindle performs in the US before they think about releasing it in the UK or anywhere else, which makes the autumn release seem a bit premature.

Source: MobileRead Forums