I have waxed lyrical about my love for the Amazon Kindle before so I’m naturally interested in Amazon’s revamp.
Regular readers will remember that my only complaints about the Kindle were its annotation features (particularly export) and the keyboard. Therefore, I’m quite happy to see what they’ve done now:
- faster hardware
- slightly smaller
- lower price
- eInk display
- touch screen
- that awful keyboard is gone
I’m focusing on the eInk device still because I think it suits my purposes better. I just want to read a large number of documents on the bus without having to kill someone’s printer.
The Kindle Touch is not available in the UK yet but it’s surely a matter of time. I think the new touch screen should make the annotation feature more friendly than it used to be. The iPad’s great advantage for marking up documents is that you can swipe your finger across the text you want to highlight. This is a bit of a half way solution as it’s still necessary to get your highlights off the Kindle unless you want to type it out manually and I haven’t heard anything about that. I’m not sure that I’ll ever justify an upgrade to a touch screen device just for easier highlighting.
I also think I’d some how miss having a button to press to change pages when reading. I’m not convinced about swiping between pages.
The Kindle Fire seems like an interesting device but it’s very different from the Kindle Touch. It’s an Android based device with an LCD touch display. I suspect it’s going to be fantastic for media use. It’s fundamentally a Kindle with a colour screen but I don’t think it’ll be as good at living in your bag overnight. The Kindle Fire will need charged much more often than an eInk Kindle.
However, if you need more power and any sort of colour graphics in your Kindle this is the only option.
My recommendation though, based on what I know of the Kindle 3 and what I don’t like about it, is the Kindle. It’s essentially a slightly smaller, faster, cheaper Wifi Kindle 3 without the rubbish keyboard (it has a probably much, much worse virtual keyboard instead).
The new low end model, the Kindle, is now keyboard-less and operated by a small 5-way control and 4 buttons (I assume Home, Menu, Back, and Text) with a virtual keyboard available. Amazon.co.uk is selling it for £89 and that’s a tempting price. The photocopy metric on that is “only” 1780 pages. I think that’s the the one to go for if you’re buying a new Kindle today.