Friday, August 13, 2010

The Various Kindle Models - Names and 'Generation'

UPDATED Aug 13, 2010 to correct UK info, reorganize, and add common Kindle titles.  (Original posting Aug 5)

NOTE that the webpage titles for the images on the left (click on them to show page titles) display:
"slate-shasta-main-3g" and "slate-shasta-main-3g-white" and that they're both placed (as seen in the URL) under the Amazon subfolders "kindle/shasta\"

The gadget-news rumor was accurate about the coming "Shasta" model. (on May 31).


  While showing the Amazon listing of the Kindle devices for which the two new word games work, it occurred to me that the listing is probably confusing to those new to the Kindle scene.

I tried to clarify what each model 'is' in an update to the Word Games posting.

While doing that, I felt I should put that section in a post of its own, so this is it.
Re the two Kindle-3 photos at the top.  Amazon likes to call the latest Kindle just "Kindle" but that is just not going to work very well these days.

Amazon's mistake here may be in refusing to recognize former models, in a way, by almost immediately calling the later Kindle-2 just "Kindle" as if Kindle 1 no longer existed, but it certainly does, as a great many stayed with that model and still read on it the many books they currently buy from Amazon.
  In the small picture of the Kindle 1 (below, right), which you can click on to see the enlarged photo, the original Kindle (released in 2007) was displaying, in 2008, some Google search results.

 The Kindles are more like Cablevision receivers.  They exist so we can order media for them.  It's too bad there's no upgrade path to a later Kindle the way there is with cable receivers that exist to receive and help display the media content in which we're interested.  It's easier when there are model numbers for receivers, rather than spelling out the "generations,"  Apple started this -- StarTrek must have been the inspiration for that? -- but they don't call the latest iPod just "iPod" - they identify the latest model with an alpha-character combo so people have a better fix on what they have.

Kindle 1
"Kindle, 1st Generation [etc, etc]" is a mouthful.
We did and many of us still do have a Kindle 1, which some dubbed "Kindle Klassic."

  Its storage capacity is very low and its screen speed capability is so slow that a cursor could not be placed by the programmers IN the screen and we have to go to the ROW for a given word and then choose one of the words from all the words on that row when we want the Kindle to perform an action.

 These are reasons that software updates will not easily work with the Kindle 1.  My Kindle 1 continues to work very well as an e-book reader.  But Kindle-1 owners shouldn't expect complex updates to that, as it requires different programming and this is usually considered economically not feasible for a company.  I noticed other customers putting 1-star reviews on the word games product-review page just because they weren't re-programmed to also work with the Kindle 1.

  (Below: Amazon's identification of Kindles for the new wordgames,
    plus customer identifiers
      I add -- after the Amazon title & description -- the more common identifer (in italics) that customers use.

Kindle 3 - 3rd Generation
  1. Kindle (Free 3G + WiFi, 6")  - (Kindle 3  6" with 3G/WiFi)
      {UK:  3G/WiFi}

  2. Kindle (Wi-Fi, 6")  - (Kindle 3  6" with WiFi Only)  
      {UK: Kindle-3 WiFi-Only}

   These are the Latest Generation 6" Kindles not shipping until Aug 27 or so.

Kindle 2 - 2nd Generation
Kindle (2nd Generation) International  and  Kindle (2nd Generation) U.S. - These are Kindle-2  6"-screen models and the latest 6" versions in-hand until Aug 27, 2010 or so.  The International model uses wireless globally when accessible.  The U.S. version uses U.S. wireless only (Sprint).

Kindle DX Graphite - Latest Generation
Kindle DX (Free 3G, 9.7", Graphite) - the Kindle DX Graphite with higher contrast screen, latest generation.
   Released after the next two devices just below, which are able to run the games as well.

Kindle DX International and also U.S.-only - 2nd Generation
Kindle DX (Free 3G, 9.7", White) International  and  Kindle DX (Free 3G, 9.7" White) U.S.

I've wondered if some may not have noticed that there is a White Kindle 3 as well ... the Graphite model is the one heavily featured.  And the Latest Generation DX with higher contrast comes only in the Graphite color.

UPDATED 8/6/10 to include that the UK Amazon store offers the Kindle 3 only in the Graphite color and doesn't sell the Kindle DX currently.

 ( See the updated blog article on how WiFi and 3G wireless access differ.   There is also some information on that in the first half of E-Readers with Web Browsers, WiFi vs 3G cellular access, which should give a basic idea of the situations
    in which each type of wireless is used and what's involved.)

Basically, and in the least words (for once):
1. 3G - cellular or mobile networks -- this type is, as with cellphones, accessible over the air almost anywhere.  You can be on a bus or at the beach and it can work there.
  And if your country has web-browser enabled through 3G, you'll be able to use that feature in other countries as well.
  Personally, I wouldn't give this free access up for a one-time $50 cost when it normally costs $30-$60/month for this type of feature on a smart phone.

2. WiFi - wireless local area networks (WLAN) -- You need to be near a 'local' area network in this case, so these are usually set up in homes or offices and you can find "hotspots" at places like Starbucks, McDonald's and other cafes though some require a per hour charge and/or a password/passkey.

  While the Wifi is about $50 less (U.S.), you give up Free 3G cell-phone-type wireless access for the life of the unit.

Kindle Touch 3G   Kindle Touch WiFi   Kindle Basic   (UK: KBasic)   Kindle Fire
Kindle Keybd 3G   (UK: Kindle Keybd 3G)   K3 Special Offers   K3-3G Special Offers   DX

Check often: Temporarily-free recently published ones
  Guide to finding Free Kindle books and Sources.  Top 100 free bestsellers.  Liked-books under $1
UK-Only: recently published free books, bestsellers, or £5 Max ones
    Also, UK customers should see the UK store's Top 100 free bestsellers.

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(Older posts have older Kindle model info. For latest models, see CURRENT KINDLES page. )
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  1. Hey people,

    What do you think if the new kindle dx graphite will soon come out with WiFi option (together with 3G); at the moment with this new small kindle and with a feature that is not offered on the big one, they are just complicating the buying decision! I hate this! :)

  2. It's a good question, bjelinksi, and many are asking it, but I haven't heard any answers, I'm sorry to say.

  3. Are you aware of French language books available for Kindle? A francophile, I'm the proud owner of a new Graphite Kindle DX, but am having trouble finding French books... The search features on and are poor, and display few results...

  4. Anonymous, I lost track of comments that were coming in. Apologies.

    Re French language books, try this link at Amazon Kindlestore:

    Hope that one helps.

  5. As always, a great review of the current tech offered by Kindle.

    My comments regarding the Kindle DX 2.0 reading experience can be found

  6. Todd,
    That was a very interesting take on the physical advantages in many cases.

  7. I really liked your blog quite informative and interesting facts and figures you have discussed on your blog even the comments are very fruitful and helpful in enhancing the knowledge regarding the topic.

  8. Shazad,
    Thanks for your thoughtful note. The comments do add good, often corrective info and are a balancer too.

  9. so what IS the difference between Kindle 3 UK and Kindle 3 "International except UK"?

  10. k,
    The Kindle 3 "Int'l except UK" is the one sold in the U.S. and shipped from the US to wherever.

    It tends to have a different modem in it and the one sold in the UK would be a better match.

    ALSO, the UK store is a better deal for those in the UK and has local delivery for UK residents, AND no one but UK residents can even buy anything from the UK Kindlestore.

    Does that make better sense?

  11. Thanks Andrys, I guess I knew some of that, except about the modem. However what I was really wondering about was whether there would be differences in the models as regards global 3G/wifi access when travelling.

    The reason is that I usually buy stuff like this in UK where the family home is, but most of my work and travel time is spent in Latin America at the moment, and then Europe.

    So the question is which model would be better in those regions...

  12. k,
    No, that's determined by your country of residence (registered w/Amazon) and the country that issues your credit card.

    You'd be able when traveling to use the global 3G/WiFi access for downloading of Amazon books wherever they have wireless and Amazon Kindle agreements. As for the 3G web browser, the Amazon UK table of countries is shown at and there's also real-life experience of some UK customers linked there (to a message forum at Amazon-UK).

    UK residents have full access, similar to U.S. residents but where there's no availability in some countries, that'll depend on Amazon and the carrier...

  13. Andrys, thanks.

    Since my country of residence is Bolivia, the country that issued my credit card is Belgium.. and I buy from amazon UK.. I guess I'll just have to try it out and see!

    PS I already noticed Bolivia is listed in the Amazon UK table, but on the UK Kindle wireless coverage map linked above it, Bolivia is a blank space..


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