Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Back from vacation! Video review and demo of $79 Kindle Basic + a few pros and cons from me. Amazon is talking Early "Black Friday" deals

Vacation ended
Am back and will start up the free-book alerts again.  Thanks for your patience while I was in a place with very little Internet access -- not even cell phones tended to work, so it was hard to communicate even when trying to coordinate with others there.
  But it was worth it!

Back to things Kindle and Amazon - a good video review/demo on new Kindle
  Jon Rettinger at TechnoBuffalo has done a good video demo of the new $79 Kindle Basic which is smaller and lighter than even the coming Touch models because there's no physical keyboard and no touchscreen.

  In the UK, there isn't a less-expensive version with Special Offers, and this model is £89.00 there, the equivalent of $143 U.S. today (free shipping included) while the U.S. version w/o Special Offers is $109.

  Since this is WiFi only, it does not have 3G and therefore doesn't have the free (slow) 3G web browsing from almost anywhere that the Kindle 3 or "Kindle Keyboard" model has.  Both of these models are currently offered in the UK and U.S.

  Rettinger demos the VCR-style keyboard from which you select characters when you need to type a word or phrase or numbers.  It would tend to annoy ME to use it since I do a lot of searches and enjoy doing small notes while reading, but many friends insist they never care to type and they own a Kindle just to read.  Doing one keyword for a search is not difficult, but any more than that could be tedious.

  The video is in HD and you can click on the default "360p" and select "1080p" (which will stutter on most systems) or "720p," which gives a good picture for the demo.  Rettinger explains well (including the 'Special Offers' situation and gives good advice on several aspects of this Kindle.

  Bear in mind that this scaled down model has no audio, no music player, no Text to speech, and it has half the storage space and battery life of the Kindle 3 ("Kindle Keyboard") and the coming Touch models.   But the equivalent of 1400 novels and two weeks of battery life if reading 1/2 hr each day will be enough for many.

  There's no choice to get this with cellular network 3G for almost-anywhere downloading of Kindle books or free access to Wikipedia (globally), so you would rely on a local WiFi network at home, office or cafes or download to your computer and transfer Kindle books via a USB cable.

Early Black Friday Deals (already)
 Amazon is already starting Black Friday deals (UK also) since, they say, people are already on the old Black Friday deals page looking to see what might be there.

  I just checked and saw no early BF deals for today.  But their press release previews "some of the deals that will be available at various times leading up to Black Friday.  (Link: ):
  • Fujifilm FinePix F505 Digital Camera (includes 4 GB Memory Card): $179 (list price: $399.95)
  • TomTom XXL 5-Inch Widescreen GPS Navigator: $79.99 (list price: $169.95)
  • Philips Speaker System for iPod/iPhone with LED Clock Radio: $49.99 (list price: $79.99)
  • Altec Lansing Digital Boombox: $199.99 (list price: $299.95)
  • Invicta Men's and Women's Subaqua Watches: $169.99 (list price: $995)
  • "Arrested Development: The Complete Series" (DVD): $28.99 (list price: $89.98)
  • Up to 20% off Disney Nintendo video game bundles
  • Buy two, get one free on select Electronic Arts sports video games including best-selling titles like FIFA Soccer 12, Madden NFL 12 and NHL 12
  • Sony 9-Inch LED Digital Photo Frame: $69 (list price: $139.99)
  • $20 off purchase of $100 or more on select Porter-Cable power tools and accessories
  • Up to 50% off contemporary clothing for Women, Men, Kids and Baby

I hesitated to place what is essentially a straight ad there but felt many probably would like to know what kind of deals will be available.

I see no Kindle items though.

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 late-listed non-classics or recently published ones
  Guide to finding Free Kindle books and Sources.  Top 100 free bestsellers.  Liked-books under $1
UK-Only: recently published non-classics, bestsellers, or £5 Max ones
    Also, UK customers should see the UK store's Top 100 free bestsellers. Below are ways to Share this post if you'd like others to see it.
-- The Send to Kindle button works well only on Firefox currently.

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(Older posts have older Kindle model info. For latest models, see CURRENT KINDLES page. )
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  1. At the moment in the UK, the only options are the "Kindle" (Kindle Basic) at £89 or the Kindle Keyboard 3G at £149 [$238] - the Kindle Keyboard (wifi only) is no longer offered.

  2. Stephen, I'm on the Amazon UK page and at the bottom of the Kindle Basic, it says:

    "Also Available
    Kindle Keyboard 3G/(Free 3G + WiFi) for £149"

    and if you click on it, it takes you to the product page where it says, "In stock"...

    and that's what I referred to re the free 3G Kindle 3 or Kindle Keyboard...

    I don't think they've offered the WiFi-only for some time. The Kindle 3 with 3G is a great buy though. I am buying the Touch only because I blog on the Kindle and have to know about it :-)

  3. I'm glad you are back from vacation, Andrys. So many Kindle things are happening, and we need you to report on them. First, we find that the Kindle Touch 3G will only have limited access to the internet. Then we find that the Touch probably won't do landscape mode. Then we find that the Kindle SO (special offers) are now limited to one special offer per account, not per kindle as it originally was. Lastly Gizmodo reports that 1Q84 can only be downloaded to one device. Fortunately, that was an Amazon glitch, as noted finally by gizmodo. It seems like every day there is more bad Kindle news.
    I'm glad you're back to report your findings and ferret it all out.

  4. It may be that in some places Amazon UK is refering to the "Kindle Keyboard" as the 3G version, but in general they are using the terms "Kindle" and "Kindle Keyboard 3G", and when they did offer the wifi-only model too it was by contrast the "Kindle Keyboard" - see

    Indeed those are the terms you're showing in your sidebar under "The New Kindles" which suggests that there are three models available in the UK.

    Your meaning was clear: I was only nitpicking, something I'm rather prone to, I'm afraid.

  5. Stephen,
    I've always LIKED your 'nitpicking' (which has been very helpful for osme time) although this time you didn't mention where you saw the WiFi-only mention when you were replying to a blog report on UK's Kindle Basic and the Kindle Keyboard with 3G that I mentioned).

    But you're adding now that you saw it in the Reference column(sidebar), which is important.

    I had put that info in Sept. 29 but if the WiFi one is no longer available (and it isn't currently), I do need to know that.

    So, many thanks for clarifying and pointing it out. I've struck that model from the UK Reference column although I'm leaving in the link in case they decide to carry it later.

    Since cases are on sale for the two Kindle Keyboards in the U.S. the Keyboard model MIGHT mean it will not be 'renewed' if they do sell them all (which would be the end of free 3G web browsing even if slow, but I hope not. I want the Landscape mode and the physical keyboard so I can see the full page when typing etc...)

  6. Betty, things are hectic and am gone all day again but I will get back to your note and mention a few things. Thanks.


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