When Apple launched the iPad, many people said that it would be the demise of the e-reader. After all, the iPad has a color touch screen capable of multimedia compared to the monochrome e-ink Kindle which had no support for multimedia.
This week however, Amazon revealed more details on its new Kindle. From the NY Times:
“This week, Amazon unveiled what everyone (except Amazon) is calling the Kindle 3. You might call it Amazon’s iPad response. The Kindle 3 is ingeniously designed to be everything the iPad will never be: small, light and inexpensive.
The smallness comes in the form of a 21 percent reduction in the dimensions from the previous Kindle. The new one measures 7.5 by 4.8 by 0.3 inches, yet the screen has the same six-inch diagonal measurements as always. Amazon’s designers did what they should have done a long time ago: they shaved away a lot of that empty beige (or now dark gray) plastic margin.
Now, the Kindle is almost ridiculously lightweight; at 8.5 ounces, it’s a third the weight of the iPad. That’s a big deal for a machine that you want to hold in your hands for hours.
Then there is the $140 price. That’s for the model with Wi-Fi — a feature new to the Kindle that plays catch-up to theBarnes & Noble Nook. A Kindle model that can also get online using the cellular network, as earlier models do, costs $50 more. But the main thing you do with the wireless feature is download new books, so Wi-Fi is probably plenty for most people.
That $140 is quite a tumble from the Kindle’s original $400 price, and a tiny sliver of what you would pay for an iPad ($500 and way, way up).
Yes, of course, it’s a little silly to compare the Kindle with the iPad, a full-blown computer with infinitely greater powers. Although it’s worth pointing out, just in case you were indeed considering the iPad primarily for its e-book features, that the Kindle’s catalog of 630,000 current books is 10 times the size of Apple’s.
No, the Kindle’s real competition is the gaggle of extremely similar, rival e-book readers, all of which use the same E Ink screen technology.”
Read more on Amazon’s new Kindle and its competition at: New York Times – New Kindle Leaves Rivals Farther Behind