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.
Continue reading »
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.
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.
No company has prodded Amazon to improve its eInk Kindle readers more than Barnes & Noble. Last year B&N’s Nook Simple Touch preceded the 2011 Kindle refresh by several months, and Amazon adopted elements of the reader for each of its 2011 eInk Kindles: the smaller, boxier, keyboard-free design for its 4th Gen Kindle, and the IR touch interface for its Kindle Touch.
And the same may happen in 2012.
B&N just announced the Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight, a reader with an LED front-lit screen for reading in the dark. In theory, this type of front lighting should allow for comfortable, long-term reading without the eye strain caused by backlit displays. The Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight ships in May, but if you’re interested you can pre-order today.
I wouldn’t be surprised if at least one 5th generation 2012 Kindle includes this technology, or something very similar to it. In fact, I’d be quite surprised if it didn’t. Front lighting the eInk screen takes away one of the major downsides to the technology – the requirement of an external lighting source – without impacting its strengths
UPDATE: Well, it looks like Amazon will indeed be adopting this technology. Devin Coldewey of TechCruch said on April 6th that he’d actually seen a prototype Kindle with a front-lit screen.