Amazon unveiled all the new toys today including the Kindle Paperwhite, available with WiFi only and with 3G access, and new Kindle Fire options with jaw-dropping cheap 4G dataplans.
There's been a good amount of chatter and coverage, and you can read a lot of the news articles about it at FastCompany (which is fast (hur) becoming one of my favorite magazines) and Mashable, and you can read a biiiiiiiig long page of specs at Amazon, too.
But wait, there's more, though without paperwhiteage: the Amazon WiFi Kindle also received an upgrade in the pageturn speed and the rendering of text (said to be “crisper”), and is on sale now for $10 less than it used to be. That Kindle is $69 with Special Offers and $89 Without.
A few thoughts of mine own:
Amazon also sells paperwhite bulbs, should you wish to buy both (if someday on the Kindle Paperwhite page it says, “Customers also bought” and there's a picture of some bulbs, I will laugh for hours).
Could there be a more meh name than “Kindle Paperwhite?” It's a vowel sound away from “paperweight,” which is not how I use my Kindle.
Well, to be honest, my first Kindle Fire was a paperweight for awhile, until I flew to and from Anaheim for RWA, and loaded it up with rented videos and cheap tv show pilots that I'd never seen. It was marvelous for travel, and is much less of a paperweight now.
Speaking of the Fire!
The Big Daddy Fire HD is $499.99 with 4G LTE Wireless that's available for $50.00 for the YEAR. Some folks pay more than that per month on their cell phones. It's also available as a WiFi-only model for $299.00.
The Kindle Fire HD is also new, and costs $199 for 16GB and $249 for 32GB.
The HDs come with Fire-y upgrades, including more memory, more gadgetry, bigger scenes, more space, and Whipsersync for audio, which keeps the reader's place in the book between listening and reading, provided the reader has purchased both the print and audio versions. That's freaking nifty.
Kindle Free Time also allows parents to set time limits per child for reading, games, videos and apps, and turns the screen blue when their time is up. Plus, the HDs have solved one of my problems with the Kindle, which was that it only had speakers on one side, and made for a crappy listening experience when used without headphones.
That's all very cool, but as I learned during the panel I moderated at RWA, the devices themselves are not universally accessible, and as @bardsong pointed out on Twitter, there was no mention of improved accessibility in the new devices. For example, for a visually impaired reader, there is no way to navigate the device itself with audio cues. It doesn't look like Amazon has added that accessibility to the present devices, which is a big ol' bummer, and will keep many blind readers on Apple devices, which have integrated accessibility.
That said, my Kindle keyboard, which I love, is cracked and slow, and I'm thinking I might upgrade to the Kindle Bulb – sorry, Kindle Paperwhite.
What about you? Are you going to upgrade?