I was happy to see Amazon’s new Kindle Fire tablets at the company’s press event yesterday, as I’m sure they’ll inject much needed competition in the tablet space. But as an avid reader, what I was most looking forward to was news on the eInk Kindle updates, since intriguing details had been leaking for weeks.
I didn’t get the news I had hoped for, though.
Amazon announced two new Kindle eReaders yesterday, the Kindle Paperwite and a 5th Gen Kindle. The Paperwhite model (which was the topic of all of those leaks, as it turns out) is the replacement for last year’s Kindle Touch, but with a new, crisper touchscreen display and front-lighting technology for reading in the dark or low-light conditions. The new base-model Kindle with buttons, though, was the model I was most interested in. Sadly, this new Kindle doesn’t offer the lighted screen, just a modest performance bump and new font choices.
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We’re coming up on one year since the last batch of new Kindle eReaders were announced, and recent evidence indicates that the 2012 models are nearing announcement/release.
In the last few days, the Kindle w/ Keyboard Wi-Fi model was quietly removed from Amazon’s Kindle listings, though the 3G version remains. This doesn’t mean much alone, but taken with the fact that B&N just lowered the prices of their Nook tablets, and that the rumor mill has been churning with Kindle rumors would suggest that something’s coming soon.
We’ll almost certainly see a front-lit eInk Kindle eReader in the coming days or weeks, and perhaps even a first-gen color eInk Kindle, too (but I’m thinking 2013 on that one). Amazon will also certainly be releasing a newer, higher-spec Kindle Fire to compete with Google’s very well-reviewed $199 Nexus 7.
The 4th Generation Kindle is my favorite model ever; I didn’t like the Kindle Touch at all, and actually returned it for the cheaper model. Hopefully, Amazon will release a non-touch 5th Generation Kindle that improves on the near-perfect 4th Gen model.
The West Wing – one of my favorite TV shows of all time – is now part of Amazon’s Prime Instant Video library, meaning Prime members can now watch all seven seasons free. Like all Amazon Instant Video, you can watch on your computer, the Kindle Fire, or any number of compatible Smart TVs and set-top boxes. The XBox and PS3 game consoles are also compatible with the service.
If you’re not a Prime Member you can join, of course, pay to watch The West Wing on Amazon Instant Video, or purchase the DVDs.
Irrespective of your political leanings, it’s a great show.
A clip from The West Wing
My favorite Kindle of all time also happens to be the cheapest, the 4th Generation, non-touch Kindle. It’s $79 with the ads (aka Special Offers) and it rocks.
Amazon has just released a new firmware update for this model, version 4.1.0.
Well, according to the support page, you get an “improved reading font that is higher contrast and crisper so that you can enjoy a paper-like reading experience,” parental controls, Airplane Mode, automatic keyboard, new Kindle Format 8 support, improved table and image viewing, and more.
You can find out more about the update here. The update will be pushed to compatible Kindle readers in the coming days, or if you’re like me and would rather have the update now, you can download it here, and update manually.