All new Kindles – Kindle 4th Generation, Touch, Touch 3G and Fire

Guess you know all about the new Kindles from the search engines, technical blogs etc. But what you probably don’t know are the impacts to you – if you’re a Kindle 2 / 3 owners, iPad owners or not living in USA. OK, here you go:

Your Kindle 3 is now named Kindle Keyboard or Kindle Keyboard 3G. The new prices are US$ 99 and US$ 139 (with sponsored screensavers) … but they are still selling at US$ 139, and US$ 189 for non-USA customers.

The Kindle 4 is now just called Kindle. This is a basically keyboard-less Kindle 3 but with only 2G of RAM (Kindle Keyboard has 4G RAM). It costs only US$ 79, but US$ 109 for non-USA customers. It’s also 30% lighter, 18% smaller and supports WiFi only. It supports six languages now – English (US and UK), German, French, Spanish, Italian, or Brazilian Portuguese. Since the Kindle now doesn’t have a physical keyboard (and the next / previous page buttons are very “low profile”), but at the same time it is not a device with touch screen – you need to use the non-QWERTY virtual keyboard and use direction keys to “type”.

 

And what about the new Kindle Touch

The Kindle Touch is 8% lighter, 11% smaller than Kindle 3 and of course with a 6″ touch screen to turn pages (it’s called “EasyReach”). There are also one new feature – X-Ray. According to Amazon, this feature “Explores the bones of a book. With a single tap, see all the passages across a book that mention ideas, fictional characters, historical figures, places or topics of interest, as well as more detailed descriptions from Wikipedia and Shelfari.” Yes, don’t really know what it is … I think we have to see it to believe it.

Another significant feature is the new Kindle Touch now support the display of non-Latin characters, including Cyrillic (such as Russian), Japanese, Chinese (Traditional and Simplified), and Korean characters, in addition to Latin and Greek scripts.

The Touch has a Wi-Fi version (US$ 99 with special offers) and a Wi-Fi / 3G version (US$149 with special offers). But guess what ? It is available for U.S. only. Looks like I need to use the tricky method to get it.

Kindle Fire

Lastly, the really cool Andriod-based, colorful, dual-core processor Kindle Fire. Cost only US$ 199 and (also) available in U.S. only, it is really the cloud-enabled device. It includes a cloud-accelerated browser – Amazon Silk, free cloud storage, streaming of songs and videos. In addition, similar to Amazon’s Whispersync technology to automatically sync your library, last page read, bookmarks, notes, and highlights across your devices. On Kindle Fire, Whispersync extends to video. Start streaming a movie on Kindle Fire, then pick up right where you left off on your TV – avoid the frustration of having to find your spot. Not a new technology but it sounds like really easy and as smooth as silk.

iPad-like screen, 100,000 movies and TV titles, runs Android apps, free cloud services, 17 million songs … hey, it is really as good as iPad and a great tablet.

So which one will you get ? I will probably go for Kindle Fire.

(Check out other Kindle related posts for evaluations, tips and tricks)

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Author: Michael Yung

Michael possessed over 30 years of experience in Information Technology with focuses on complex application development, database technologies and IT strategy. He also spent the last 20 years in Internet technology, eCommerce development / operations, web usability, computer security and Public Key Infrastructure technologies.

15 thoughts on “All new Kindles – Kindle 4th Generation, Touch, Touch 3G and Fire”

  1. Fire is very interesting device, though some people wonder why the lack of 3G connection but I think as a device for media consuming, no need to be permanently connected. Once you are at home or nearby wifi spot, download your book, magazine or movie, and ready to go.

    Sure it will open another market, but of course is not an iPad or more powerful android tablet direct competitor. Just for entertainment and ocasional fun with games 🙂

    Like

  2. Hi Michael,
    I haven’t owned a Kindle before but am seriously wanting to get one.I am tired of carrying books around and paying for shipping fee them. I know Kindle 3 Keyboard is available for Hong Kong ($139) , but another Kindle Touch looks very attractive as it’s smaller with touch screen tech. The problem is it’s only available in U.S.( for only $149!).

    Is it worth all the trouble in getting a Kindle Touch or do you think a Kindle wannabe like me would be happy with just a Kindle3 and save all the trouble in setting a US address, etc.? Looking forward to your expect opinion!!
    Tammy

    Like

    1. Hi Tammy,

      I think unless you need the keyboard to jot down notes or browse the web, otherwise I think the Kindle Touch is a good choice. Or if all you need is to read books, then the 4th generation Kindle is equally fine (but with some limitations).

      For Kindle Touch, I think international version will available soon. So, wait for a few more months and you can save the US address hassle (actually it is quite easy with service like onenow.com).

      Hope It helps.

      Cheers

      Like

  3. Hi, Michael, I indeed have the same questions as Tammy. Tempted to buy the touch, because I really can’t stand for reading books on my ipad. As to buying the US-version, what will be other downside, other than, getting somebody in the US (or with a US address) to get the device? Is there any other limitations like buying books at Amazon with my HK account? I have heard international version of kindle is always more expensive… Thanks and look forward to your views 🙂

    Like

    1. Hi Wing,

      Yes, the limitation of books offering and the more expensive price are the key issues. I actually don’t think there are other major issues. So, unless you read a lot of books that are not available outside US, otherwise I think you can wait for the international version.

      Hope it helps.

      Like

  4. Hello Michael,

    According to your last comment, the limitation of books offering and the more expensive price is the issue about getting the Kindle Touch for non-US customer. I live in El Salvador, Central America and I can get a friend of mine to bring me the US-version of the Kindle Touch but is my country available to buy the books? I want to be sure before investing that I will continue getting books from them. Thanks a lot for your kind help.

    Best regards,

    Roberto

    Like

    1. Hi Roberto,

      As far as I know, Kindle Touch is available within US only. You can buy books (and transfer to the Kindle via USB), but don’t think you can cheaper US books because it will detect your IP. You can also wait for the Kindle Touch International version (just a few more months I guess) as El Salvador is supported by Amazon. In addition, Kindle (4th generation) is available now to ship to your country.

      Hope it helps.

      Like

  5. Hi Michael,
    I’m new to Kindle product. Do you suggest Kindle 4 or Kindle touch. Also, any news about the shipment of Kindle touch to HK?

    Like

    1. Hi Blackcow,

      If I have to pick one, I will probably go for Kindle Touch. It gets more memory, lasts longer and have the “touch” interface. I don’t know when it will ship to HK, but probably in a few months there will be an international version.

      Hope it helps.

      Like

  6. I want to know whether the Kindle Touch 3G will really be available for those in Hong Kong. When will that day be? As I want to own one desperately especially for the coming long trip.

    Like

    1. Well, the Kindle Touch 3G (and Touch w/o 3G) is available in US only, for now. So we all have to wait … If you really need one, get the Kindle 4th Generation, or Kindle 3rd Generation (Kindle Keyboard). Hope it helps.

      Like

  7. Hi Michael,

    As I chased back to some of the news about kindle touch 3G, I just want to know what does it mean by starting to ship on 15Nov 2011? Usually how long does it take to have the Kindle product available worldwide? If i find someone to order it for me in US, will it be compatible for HK? How about the books order from the website, will they be compatible?
    Thanks.

    Jake

    Like

    1. The mid November date just means they will ship that to U.S. customers from that date … and I think they will offer to international users in a few months. But the device and the books are of course “compatible” …

      Hope it helps.

      Like

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