Old habits can be hard to break, and while Amazon made the point pretty clear that it's shifted toward a world of touch controls on its devoted e-readers, the company hasn't completely abandoned the Kindle Keyboard. The reader formerly known as the Kindle 3 is still available on Amazon's page in its 3G form and will continue to be so, at least for the time being, at $139 for the Special Offers version and $189 without. An Amazon spokesperson told us that part of the justification for continuing the offering is the device's accessibility features.
Hey, check out this beaut. It's the 8.9-inch version of Amazon's new Fire HD tablet. The company trotted several of the 7-inch models, but the big daddy was a rare bird indeed -- thankfully, however, we were able to get up close and personal with the thing. It's almost a shame that this guy shares a name with last year's model. This feels like a completely different bird -- Amazon set out to make a slate that can compete with some of the top models out there, and from some passing impressions, this thing seems to stack up. Of course, we're going to have to wait until we can actually spend some more time with it before passing judgement. Peep some more photos of the newer, bigger Kindle Fire in the gallery below.
It's a big day in the world of e-books, and not just for the crew at Amazon. Today, Judge Denise Cote approved settlement terms for three of the publishers accused by the Justice Department of price fixing. Hachette Book Group, Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins each agreed to settle with the government, rather than face trial -- as Apple, Macmillian and Penguin Group will do in June of 2013. As part of the settlement agreement, each of the publishers will be required to terminate their contracts with Apple within one week. Similarly, they will be required to end contracts with other e-book retailers where clauses exist that would hinder the seller's ability to set pricing. Further, the settling companies won't be able to form contracts for the next two years with e-book retailers that would hinder the seller's discretion to set pricing.
During the settlement approval period, individuals and companies alike were given 60 days to weigh in on the matter, which included objections from the American Booksellers Association, the Authors Guild and Barnes & Noble. Ultimately, Judge Cote determined that arguments against the settlement were "insufficient" to block the approval.
Sometimes it's hard to keep abreast of the dizzying product announcements that flutter out at press events. Sometimes you just wish you'd actually been there. In that event, Amazon's now offering up video of its entire Kindle conference from today. So, you can relive the excitement and confusion surrounding the Kindle Fire HDs and Kindle Paperwhite from the screen of your choice. Head to the source below for a download now or keep checking the company's YouTube page for the full Bezos-packed play-by-play.
Well, Amazon unveiled a trio of tablets today, with last year's champ elbowed out of the spotlight by the Kindle Fire HD with its beefier processor and display. While we'll pour one out for the downgraded former flagship, we here at Engadget are more concerned with stacking the stats side-by-side to see what's changed in the 12 months since were here last. If you're curious yourself, why not join us after the break, but we warned, things are gonna get seriously nerdy.
Those prone to throwing their e-readers into backpacks and messenger bags know the value of a good case -- and Amazon clearly does, as well. Last time around, the company offered up a lighted version for the Kindle Touch -- obviously that technology's no longer needed on the Paperwhite. The design is fairly similar, however, with a form-fitting plastic back and a leather front -- this time out, however, the front and back are bit more textured.The case also has a magnet on its front and inside, helping it close more securely. As with its predecessor, the inside is cloth, to help protect the Kindle's screen and bezel. Best of all, there's a light sensor built-in, so the reader sleeps and wakes as you open and close it. The case is up for order now on Amazon's site for a cool $40. It comes in a rainbow of six colors.
Well, that didn't take too long. As promised, Amazon's entire line-up of new Kindles is now available to order on the retailer's site (in the US, at least), from the basic $69 Kindle to the top-end Kindle Fire HD 8.9 with 4G LTE. Of the lot, however, that $69 Kindle is the only one that's actually in stock (despite the September 14th ship date quoted at the event). The rest are up for pre-order, with the Kindle Paperwhite and Paperwhite 3G (with or without Special Offers) both set to ship on October 1st, while the new $159 Kindle Fire and 16GB 7-inch Fire HD ship September 14th, and the Fire HD 8.9 (with or without LTE) ships November 20th. Those interested in the 7-inch Fire HD with 32GB of storage will have to wait until October 25th. And, in case you were wondering, you can also still order the Kindle Keyboard and Kindle DX at their regular prices.
Update: No word on the rest of the line-up, but Canadians can now at least order the updated basic Kindle, which runs $89 (sans Special Offers) and is set to start shipping on September 12th.
Kindle Fire, meet the new hotness. The holiday shopping crowd may have fallen in love with Amazon's tablet last year, but there's a new Fire in town. We snuck a Fire into today's Amazon event, and placed up next to the new model, the difference is clear: the Fire felt a bit OEMed and boxy, sort of a remake of the BlackBerry PlayBook, from a hardware perspective, at least. This is clearly not the case with the seven-inch HD -- it really feels like a reasonably high-end tablet with an extremely nice price point. And what about the Kindle Touch versus the Kindle Paperwhite? The difference aren't quite as extreme, but they're definitely apparent. The new devoted e-reader from Amazon is an extremely well built device at first glance. Check out a picture of the two after the break.
Of course, today's event wasn't just about the Fires. Amazon's still got a dog in the devoted e-reader race as well. The big news here, of course, is the company's entry into the world of lighted E Ink readers -- coming several months after the release of Barnes & Noble's own Nook Simple Touch With GlowLight. The front-lit technology here is proprietary, of course. Amazon mentioned some four years in R&D on glowing alone. And the difference is pretty immediately clear: it's all about distribution. Looking at the Nook for a second, you can immediately isolate the top as the light source, with a stronger concentration and somewhat even distribution. The Kindle's light however, is hard to spot, thanks in part to a much thinner bezel: you can't just angle the reader and see the lights here.
Hold the new Kindle up to the old and something else is immediately obvious: there's a reason the company is calling this thing the Paperwhite. The contrast is like night and day here. That tinted display we've become accustomed to has been traded in for something much lighter, and the text is that much sharper. There's a reason Amazon went hog wild with the font styles and sizes: they're all visible here. Also, at first glance, there doesn't seem to be any degradation in sharpness due to the addition of glow technology, which we saw in the new Nook.
The glow is quite bright, even with the lights on -- we get Amazon's point about wanting to keep it on at all times, so that increased battery life (eight weeks with the light on) is certainly a huge bonus here. We find ourselves turning it on and off a lot with the Nook -- not here. Adjusting the light is also quite nice, with a dimmer switch that runs up and down and a whole lot of brightness levels.
The reader also just looks better. Physical buttons have been dropped altogether here (which is either a curse or a blessing, depending on who you ask) and the reader is a bit shorter and thinner than its predecessor. In place of the menu button is a white Kindle logo along the bottom bezel. The silver of the last version has been dropped for a matte black, which is really just nicer to look at, with a rubberized back that makes it harder for it to slip from your hands. Weight-wise, we're talking roughly the same ballpark as the Kindle Touch. We still prefer the Nook's trademark design for long-term reading -- one of the downsides of a smaller bezel is that there's less place for your fingers to go. And while there's an indented Kindle logo on the back, we still prefer the Nook's concave rear.