- October 5th 2011
Here on the blog, we’ve been running an occasional series on best travel gadgets. One of the recent travel accessories featured was my Amazon Kindle. But with the recent launch of 4 new Kindles (including a tablet), does my own Kindle suddenly look less shiny? Let’s have a look at the new options.
First of all, the Kindle 3 is now the Kindle Keyboard, with Wi-Fi and 3G versions – no particular appeal there, except the graphite finish and the slightly smaller size and weight than my Kindle 2. These also hold 3,500 books and are priced at $99 and $139. Not much change either to the Kindle DX, as far as I can see.
Then there’s the Kindle, an entry level Wi-Fi Kindle with a 5-way controller and no keyboard. If you’ve already got a Kindle, I don’t see the point, as it holds fewer books and has a one month battery life, but at less than 6 ounces the weight is appealing and you can’t argue with a $79 price tag.
Then there’s the Kindle Touch, the cheapest new Kindle with its new touchscreen interface. I have to admit this one appeals. Compared to my Kindle 2, these have a longer 2 month battery life, are lighter at 7.5 ounces for Wi-fi and 7.8 ounces for Wi-Fi plus 3G), hold more books (3,000) and will stop me from ever having to click again. I’m wondering if the narrow area for paging back will work well, as this is a function I use a lot. The two versions are priced at $99 and $149 respectively.
The new hotness, as my sister would call it, is the $199 Kindle Fire, which aims to take market share from the iPad. This is the first color Kindle device and it looks good. Touch enabled, this Kindle has a 7 inch color screen, has 8GB of onboard storage, runs on Android, has a new browser (far better than the experimental version on other Kindles) and more. It allows you to run apps and games, play movies and browse the web. What it doesn’t have is a camera or microphone, so you won’t be able to Skype your friends (at least, not using video).
There’s no denying that the idea of seeing magazines in color is appealing and at $199, the price tag isn’t too shabby either. If you want a reading device on which you can also play games, watch movies and browse the web, then why wouldn’t you have the Kindle Fire? If you want a more interactive web experience, then it probably won’t cut it compared with the iPad. However, if you don’t need to Skype and want an all purpose entertainment gadget for your kids, then this will knock the socks off other gaming devices.
As for me, I just like to read on my reading device, so the Kindle Fire isn’t likely to be my favorite travel gadget anytime soon. However, I could be tempted by an upgrade to the Wi-Fi Kindle Touch once the international edition is available. Which one would you choose? Check out all the options on Amazon.