Wednesday, September 28, 2011

FROM Live event - the Four New KIndles

Preliminary information - a lot of it, on product pages for these new Kindles (links below)
Videos are at the pages along with the usual voluminous information.

ALL prices are, first, with "screensavers" (meaning "Special Offers")
 (Amazon's front page omits 3G touch Kindle 4.)

  NOTE: An added $30 to $30 gets a Kindle with No Special Offers or ads on screensavers.  But as someone mentioned, one special offer was $200 off even Mac laptops at Amazon.  See the product pages.

Kindle 4 NoTouch
  NO touchscreen, no audio - Controller at bottom -- $79 w/screen-offers, $109 w/o (Shipping now)
CAUTION To do searches or to type anything, you'll need to click through an onscreen keyboard and select each letter. No $20 saving can be worth that kind of pain, BUT it is smaller and lighter, so those wanting only passive reading and lightest pocketable mode might go for this.

Kindle 4 Touch, WiFi
  Touchscreen, WiFi, audio, etc. -- $99 w/screen-offers, $139 w/o

Kindle 4 Touch, 3G/WiFi
  Touchscreen, 3G, Wifi, audio, etc. -- $149 with w/screen offers, $189 w/o

Kindle Fire
  An amazing assortment of unusual features that are sped up by Amazon's Cloud feature.
  MULTI-touch despite early reports from TechCrunch - $199 Period :-)

The all new web browser, why is it so much faster?
From the the About Amazon Silk webpage with video (definitely for tech-heads), here's the opening paragraph:
' As you’ll see in the video below, Silk isn’t just another browser.  We sought from the start to tap into the power and capabilities of the AWS infrastructure to overcome the limitations of typical mobile browsers. 

  Instead of a device-siloed software application, Amazon Silk deploys a split-architecture.  All of the browser subsystems are present on your Kindle Fire as well as on the AWS cloud computing platform. 

  Each time you load a web page, Silk makes a dynamic decision about which of these subsystems will run locally and which will execute remotely. 

  In short, Amazon Silk extends the boundaries of the browser, coupling the capabilities and interactivity of your local device with the massive computing power, memory, and network connectivity of our cloud.'

EXCELLENT Gizmodo article on Amazon Silk browser.  And, as they did often in the live blogging, they use the word "awesome" again.

From live event today - tweeted sporadically. Use 2nd link for better reading -- Just a few thoughts that stood out while watching the feeds.  Not really worth clicking on these.

Sorry for the link mixups earlier today.

The second one has the images from Gizmodo during the event, as they were doing them.

These are just notes I made to the page at the time, while reading & tweeting:
$149-$199 Kindle Fire with fast web browsing because the Cloud caches portions of it for you. Switch from your Kindle Fire to your TV and back.

Comments at Gizmodo tended to be about how awesomely fast and capable it was.  The entire contents of Amazon digital are available to the Kindle Fire (didn't say which portions of it were for x number of $)

Kindle Fire delivered Nov. 15
The Kindle-Touch models, November 21
Basic Kindle No-Touch/No-Keyboard ready now
All are availble for pre-order

Prices with special offers as quoted during live event
Amazon Kindle $149 - FREE 3G (and WiFi) with touchscreen (W/o special offers, $189)

Kindle $99 - Touchscreen with WiFi - (W/o Special Offers, $139)

See That Kuo! to see just how accurate his report against the trends was the day before.
Kuo was the only one to say Touchscreen Kindles were being announced
Details in his tables are still of interest.
He also had said the Kindle Fire would be $199, more likely, than $250-$300.

Glad it has a dual-core processor rather than the single-chip mentioned earlier.
It's also great that they didn't just call this "The Kindle" -- that seems reserved for the wee $79 one that has no touchscreen and no keyboard, and is meant for passive-reading most, although you can use an onscreen table to 'select' your alpha characters (Ouch!)

See Amazon's page
  and their short video on it there, to learn more about how new Fire browser, Amazon Silk, works using "raw computational horsepower of Amazon EC2 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.

Send to Kindle

(Older posts have older Kindle model info. For latest models, see CURRENT KINDLES page. )
If interested, you can also follow my add'l blog-related news at Facebook and Twitter
Questions & feedback are welcome in the Comment areas (tho' spam is deleted). Thanks!


  1. As of 7:28am (Pacific time), both of the above links are redirecting me to what looks like a Romanian blog site.

  2. I can't wait to compare impressions of the Fire. Having used the iPad (daily) for over a year, they nailed it one how the majority of consumers use a tablet, IMO.

    They might have missed the boat on not including at least a front facing camera, but I expect that will be included on the larger model for next year.

    My only lingering question for now is if the custom browser prevents access to the Google marketplace or if app installation is prevented at all or by some other method.

  3. Anonymous,
    Thanks very much for those notices. Could I goof up my links more? It's not wise (for me) to multitask, w/ 3 monitors going :-)

  4. Jazz,

    AppleInsider pretty much nailed it, no? Except for delivery dates.

    I never thought they'd use Cloud that way -- normally it's slower to depend on web instead of offline (as for movies) unless you have a blazing high-speed connection. But this calculation thing being done in the background, is pretty amazing. Will their servers hold up ?

    Front facing camera will be for the next, 10" one - agreed. It seems the 8.9" hybrid one is due in late 2012, now that we know we can trust Kuo's basic information.

    The custom browser might let you go to the Android marketplace but it wouldn't let you install things on this device. It is super-controlled. Definitely Walled. It would be not feasible for them to open it, as they would kill Customer Support Team with outrageous amount of work.

    People can just go get full Android tablets. The slower RIM Playbook is now $200 ! for the 7" but it'll pale in what it can do next to this, with full customized access to Amazon Digital.

    Others will want to root it of course, and then you can, but then they'll lose all those Cloud features (unless they can keep both going at once -- which would be tricky).

    I think that with their clout, we'll be seeing some amazing apps in maybe 3 months.

  5. I'm such a sucker: I pre-ordered Touch 3G and Fire.

    The X-Ray feature, who saw that coming? (will that be coming to Fire or the apps?) Wonder if they've tweaked the browser much, or addressed the 'no new window' issue. It could be much better experience with touch if it supports double-tap to zoom, etc., and definitely worth 3G if so. Also wonder if the PDF support will be like Kobo, i.e. easy to pan/zoom.

    I think the cloud-accelerated web browsing pushed me out of the frying pan and into the Fire. I'm sure I'll discover other reasons why I needed this thing, eventually.

  6. Tom,
    Color me Sucker II.

    I bought both Fire and K4 Touch 3G.

    I wouldn't bet on going through new window since it would encourage people to stay on 3G through the day. (Facebook / Twitter) But I want that for the LIBRARY Lending pages.

    Yes, for the same reason as you I got the Fire. I already enjoy my NookColor and the now-rooted Pocket Edge as I mentioned, which gets youtube in full-screen so nicely.

    I am really looking fwd to this. They did amazing work on these and it's so nice to know that AppleInsider had all the details on eInk and pricing right despite Siegler's raising the price estimate. Kuo went down, and he was spot on. I'll pay more attention to him from now on.

  7. Preordered the Fire to replace my rooted Nook Color. More speed, better screen and full integration into the Amazon ecosystem. I couldn't resist. I've never preordered anything like this before. I hope I don't regret it!

  8. Maybe I missed it when I read through this and other sites posting about the new Kindle Fire, but does it say anywhere if this is the same free 3G as my regular ol' Kindle 3 (WiFi and 3G)? Or is there a fee somewhere for 3G??

  9. Is anyone talking about a Kindle Phone? It would be awesome to have the accelerated browsing, excuse me, 'Silk', on a smartphone.

    Or I wonder if they'll license the technology (assuming it lives up to hype, and doesn't break many web sites). One can only imagine how much money Amazon could make if everybody (not just KF users) were using AWS just to surf the web faster.

    It seems like it could be more eco-friendly also if mobile bandwidth were used more intelligently like this. More server farms, yes, but saving even more on mobile infrastructure.

    It was interesting how they pointed out that Netflix uses AWS. There have been some recent rumors that Amazon might buy Netflix, now that they are spinning off the disk business.

  10. GroteKaas,
    I pre-ordered it too and actually have nto done that before either! Except for maybe 3 days before with Kindle 2. I don't think you'll regret it. I have a NookColor but they'll have a new NookColor2 out soon -- however, BN cannot compete web-wise with Amazon's Cloud offerings and what they have done with Silk - that is very sophisticated. I imagine they need time to make that as stable as possible for the hordes that will be using it on the first day.

  11. Looks like some of the magazines (Wired, etc.) are using Adobe's DPS technology, not just marked up PDFs like Zinio (and Nook Color?). And nice that it runs Flash out of the box.

    I hope Dropbox shows up in App Store. Either that, or Amazon Cloud needs to deploy apps for desktop & iOS.

    Wonder if it 'safe' to buy App Store apps now with the expectation that Fire will let you install them? It does not sound as if they will intentionally block apps from Fire, unless they require hardware capabilities Fire does not have (e.g. webcam, aGPS).

    No video out or USB host or Bluetooth. The latter would be especially welcome for audio and input devices.

    I would like to see ability to install additional TTS voices as I can on my Xoom. They do sell SVOX (which I use) on App Store but you'd need access to settings to change the default TTS, not sure Fire will let you in there.

    Of course many expect a more 'advanced' model next year, but I think I'm pretty much 'tableted out' for awhile...

  12. Anonymous,
    Kindle Fire has no 3G at all and once it ever does, will require a data plan (probably a lower-cost one). Apples basic model also doesn't have 3G, nor does NookColor.

    I won't be giving up using my free-3G Kindle for reading and outside use but will still probably enjoy the KFire on another level, as a web animal.

  13. Tom,
    There's been a lot of speculation that Amazon IS working on a Kindle phone.

    Netflix uses AWS for infrastrue but not, from what I remember, delivery of streaming video, unless they changed that. I love Netflix streaming and hope no one changes the better features of that. Great HD video.

  14. @Tom Semple: "It would be awesome to have the accelerated browsing, excuse me, 'Silk', on a smartphone."

    Proxy-based browsers are already common in the cellphone world. That's how the Opera Mini, Bolt, and Skyfire browsers work. Doing most of the work server-side and using compressed data between the device and the server really speeds things up.

  15. Tom,
    NookColor is likely not using PDF for Nat'l Geo? -- PDF on my NC doesn't zoom, or do multi-touch or go to landscape mode on PDFs. I love Article View on NC's mode of delivering Nat'l Geo. I'd better check my storage. The Adobe based zines are HUGE.

    Amazon's AppStore will, for sure, allow KFire to install compatible apps. I wish I had downloaded the wireless PRINT from Android tablet when it was free the other day. But I didn't get my Pocket Edge until later. It's normally $12.

  16. Anonymous,
    Thanks for that added info.

  17. I noticed that none of the models, except, I think, the Kindle Fire, come with a wall wart. I got a wall wart with my K3. Maybe they're trying to shave off $10 off the price, or increase their profit margin by $10, by not including it.

  18. Dear Long Number,
    Good observation! I imagine that cable is the same and at least we can use our old wall plugs.

    I depend on those, although the K3 charges very fast on a computer for some reason. I just don't want to have to depend on a computer being around.

  19. Looking at the product page, notice the DX is GONE. So no more 10" Kindle!
    Means all of us for whom a 7" display is too small will have to go and look elsewhere, probably to Sony, unless we want to pain ourselves by reading from a tablet.
    The writing was on the wall of course, with no new model for 2 years when the 7" version got several hardware and software upgrades, but it's still a severe disappointment.

  20. Oh, no!...people over on Amazon Kindle forum are worried that Touch 3G will not allow web browsing over 3G. I'm worried also, the wording is suggestive of this. In that event, I have no reason for 3G on the Touch. Hope we can get clarity.

  21. Nook Color may well have two PDF rendering systems: one for ebooks (courtesy of Adobe RMSDK), one for a more specialized PDF flavor used for magazines (developed somewhere else).

    Not sure what you mean by 'Adobe based zines'. I was talking about the output of Adobe's Digital Publishing Suite, which delivers interactive content that runs as a native app on iOS & Android, and Blackberry, maybe, someday. At the moment most are on iOS, but a few have shown up in Android Market and more are probably on the way, so they may show up in AAS as well:

    So I'm speculating for sure about the technology, but whether it is PDF or something else, these are going to be comparatively large files.

  22. I've been a DX user from the first DX (have the Pearl one now). I use it to carry around all my sheet music in PDFs too. Do you really think they'll phase out the DX as a previous poster posted? I'd be bummed if they did...

  23. James, I replied that the DX Graphite is still for sale and still in stock. It's a screen they can't get in mass quantities as most would not want to pay that much and so no e-Ink readers except Amazon even carry that large screen e-Ink mode.

    As long as people are willing to pay $379 I guess they will carry it. I put lots of sheet music PDFs on my DX also...

  24. As if the new devices weren't enough, it looks like Personal Document archiving is getting rolled out (using Amazon Cloud Drive). The Manage Your Kindle page has some new options around this, and I think it is supposed to support synching of reading position, maybe notes etc? This will be great for integrating 3rd party (non DRM) content that is available (feedbooks, gutenberg etc.).

  25. Tom,
    Yes, Nate and a commenter (I think Felix) found the personal doc code and were on this before the announcements. It'll be great if they can sync them, which would be one thing above and beyond the call of 'duty' for Amazon since they are not Amazon-purchased docs...


NOTE: TO AVOID SPAM being posted instantly, this blog uses the "DELAY" feature.

Am often away much of the day, and postings won't show up right away. Posts done to use referrer-links may never show up.

Usually, am online enough to release comments within a day though, so the hard-to-read match-text tests for commenting won't be needed this way.

Feedback and questions are welcome. Thanks for participating.

Technical Problems?
If you're having problems leaving a Comment, Google's blogger-help asks that you clear the '' cookies on your browser's Tools or Options menu bar and that will fix the Comment-box problems (until they have a permanent fix).

IF that doesn't work either, then UNcheck the "keep me signed in" box -- Google-help says that should allow your comment to post (it's a workaround to a current bug).
Apologies for the problems.

TIP: There's a size limit. If longer than 3500 characters or so, in a text editor, make two posts out of it.

[Valid RSS]