Amazon’s much anticipated event earlier this week on 6th Sept finally revealed their new line of Kindle for the electronic book readers amongst us. They announced a refreshed line of their Kindle Fire tablets as well as a new e-ink reader.
Those residing in US (and recently UK) will now be able to pre-order their Kindle Fire tablets (operating on a heavily modified version of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich) in 7″ or 8.9″ flavour. The original 7″ Kindle Fire is now available at USD$159, improved 7″ Kindle Fire HD at USD$199, 8.9″ Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ at USD$299 and the 4G LTE Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ 4G LTE Wireless at USD$499.
This is not so relevant to us outside US and UK, as even though you can order and have these Kindle Fire tablets shipped to us in Malaysia, it is rather pointless as we would not be able to get access to all the Amazon services that comes with this devices. Kindle Fire tablets are not your average Android tablet. it’s restricted to Amazon services offering you a host of all books, magazines, movies, music and Amazon’s own app store.
The big news (for me, at least) is the announcement of an improved e-ink based e-reader from Amazon. With the success of multiple versions of Kindles over the years, Amazon has now launched Kindle Paperwhite.
Here’s a quick overview of what’s new and hot about the new e-ink reader:-
- 62% more pixels (212 ppi) & 25% better contrast (16 level grayscale) than the previous version
- Patented built-in front-lit light that illuminates the screen
- Wi-Fi enabled (or 3G enabled version for those in US)
- 8 weeks battery life, even with the light turned on
- Thinnest at 9.1 mm thin
- Weighing only 213 grams
- 2GB internal storage, where approx 1.25GB for content, which is about 1,100 books
- Free Amazon cloud storage
- Wirelessly purchase your e-books from Amazon, without connecting to USB cable from your PC
It was time for me to refresh my now bulky e-reader with something a little more portable. A few other points comes into consideration for me:-
- Light, thin and easy to carry (my original nook is bulkier than my tablet)
- Supports my library of e-book formats (epub and pdf mostly)
- Access to big library of ebookstore
- Allows seamless access to purchase and download ebooks straight from e-reader (without having to connect via USB to my laptop)
In April 2012, Barnes & Noble announced their Nook Simple Touch with Glowlight. Nook ticks majority of my requirement, but still doesn’t allow me to purchase books without a US credit card. On the other hand, I was also super excited that somebody has finally created an e-reader with built in light. Many times, when I was reading in bed in the dark, I have to use a book light to illuminate my e-reader, so I don’t disturb my husband while he sleeps. A big plus, in my opinion.
I was tempted to just order this Nook Simple Touch with Glowlight, selling at USD$139. Check out this review from Engadget about the Nook Simple Touch with Glowlight (long product name, huh?) here.
But Amazon being the No. 1 e-bookstore and Kindle being the No. 1 e-reader in the market, is truly tempting. So, I decided to wait after hearing about this launch event and rumours of a refreshed e-reader.
The new Kindle Paperwhite was a good response to the Nook Simple Touch with Glowlight. It’s finally got their e-reader version with built-in light. Furthermore, they added a few more killer extras with this and the contrast is superb.
With improved contrast on the e-ink display and the built in light, the Kindle Paperwhite is perfect for reading in any lighting condition. E-ink display is always the best choice for daytime reading. There’s no glare on the screen, unlike reading on your tablets or iPads. Now, with the built in light, you can finally read in bed, without an additional book light or keeping your bedside lamp on.
Amazon said they spent 4 years looking into the technology of the built in light and the touch display. It’s capacitive touch screen, which means it recognises the input of your fingers like your smartphones. The other touch screen type is resistive, which means you need to press harder or use your fingernails to navigate. The other technology for the front lit lighting means it won’t strain your eyes. The light is shone from the front to the display screen, and not from the back of the screen to your face. This is apparently much easier on your eyes.
I like the case that they introduced along with the Kindle Paperwhite. It fits your e-reader perfectly, protecting the back and the front. The front cover has a magnetic lock, which works much like your iPad Smart Cover. When you open the cover, it wakes up your Kindle.
It even comes in an assortment of different colours to suit your style and preference. The case is an optional accessory that you can purchase for USD$39.99 each.
As soon as I read all the news on the announcement of the Kindle Paperwhite, I found out that it’s already available for pre-order on Amazon and first batch will be shipped in 1st October 2012.
Once you go to Amazon.com, you’ll be immediately greeted with a pop-up message from CEO, Jeff Bezos on the new line of Kindles announced.
Being an existing customer of Amazon, having bought multiple items from them over the years, I also got an email telling me all about their new Kindle series.
I contemplated (not too hard, really) if I should get this new Kindle. It ticks quite a lot of checkboxes in my requirement. With a US Amazon account, I can actually even purchase e-books at ease. If not, there are workarounds (like purchasing gift cards) to purchase from the US site. The only trade-off is that Kindle supports Amazon’s proprietary format (azw file formats) which I will have to rebuild my ebook library from scratch, or use 3rd party softwares like Calibre to convert all my current epub formats to azw format.
After weighing the pros and cons, I decided to keep my nook e-reader for those copyright ebooks in epub and go ahead to build a new library with Kindle.
And so…. I did it.
Being the early adopter and impatient person that I am, I went ahead and ordered mine…
— Winnie Chen-Head (@winniekepala) September 7, 2012
Side note : I maintained a freight forwarding address with VPost from Singapore, which gives me a US address for me to buy anything that only ships to US. Then once the item arrived in their warehouse in US, I pay for the shipping charges to have it shipped to me here in Malaysia. The last time I bought the Kindle Touch for a friend from Amazon.com, the shipping charges was a little more than SGD$30.
Once Hubby caught wind that I pre-ordered my Kindle Paperwhite, he told me to go ahead and order one for him, too – since it’s so cheap.
Did you notice the email, too? Yeah – not only did I pre-order another Kindle Paperwhite, I also ordered the case cover for both me and Hubby. The black (Onyx) coloured one for him… and the red (Persimmon) coloured one for myself. Muahaha.
So, now we play the waiting game. Come early October (about 3 weeks to go), Amazon will ship our Kindles to my US address. Another week for Vpost to ship it to me here in Malaysia and I will have it in my hands, hopefully in mid October. You have to play the waiting game if you don’t wanna pay for the express shipping (for cheapskates like me) and uses freight forwarding services like Vpost.
Rest assured, once it arrives in my doorsteps, I will share an unboxing and first impression post with you guys.
I already know a couple of friends who have pre-ordered their Kindle Paperwhite, too. Are you going to order one yourself?