The New Kindle LIneup for 2012

Amazon announced new Kindles as well as updates to existing Kindles.  The current $79 Kindle will get a price reduction to $69 while the Touch and Touch 3G are being replaced by the Paperwhite line. Kindle Fire gets a reduction in price, a bump in performance and memory and several siblings. 

The 9 inch DX is history.

The Paperwhites

kindlePaperwhiteThe Paperwhites have a white background and are of higher resolution. They also are backlit, presumably to better compete with the Nook Glow from Barnes and Noble. The Paperwhites will come in two flavors: WiFi only and WiFi + 3G.  They are $119 and $179 each.

Features include:

  • built in light that is evenly distributed across the whole screen
  • 62% more pixels
  • eight week battery life, even with the backlight on
  • six fonts in 8 sizes
  • feature that will estimate your time to completion, based on your reading speed
  • 25% better contrast

As with the previous generation, the lower end versions have Amazon’s ‘special offers’ which are ads that display on the devices lock screen. For $20 more, you get the ad free version.

Kindle Fire Lineup

The original Fire gets a boost in speed from a faster processor, twice the memory and longer battery life. The processor is now a 1.2GHz processor and the device features 1GB of RAM, making it 40% faster than the original Fire.  Battery life is up to 9 hours as well.

The Kindle Fire HD comes in a 7 inch version and a 9.7 inch version. The HD features a 1280 by 800 hi-def display with a polarizing filter and anti glare technology. Audio has been beefed up and now includes built in stereo speakers, Dolby audio that gives an immersive, virtual surround sound feature. The processor is 1.2GHz with the Imagination PowerVR 3D graphics core.  This thing was, clearly, designed with gaming in mind.

A forward facing HD camera will allow for free Skype (included) video calls. You also get free unlimited cloud storage for your Amazon stuff. Like the Paperwhites, it also features the ‘special offers’ and sponsored screensavers. Unlike the cheaper devices, you cannot turn this off or pay more for ad-free.

kindlefireHDThe software that drives the Fire has been revamped as well. The bookshelf appears to be gone and a more XBOX like feature (From a few years ago) now makes the interface. Items are presented as a scrolling row icons.

Kindle Free Time, another new software feature, is a personalized experience just for the kids.  Essentially parental controls and customized interface, parents can set time limits and restrict the content they have available.

WiFi has been enhanced as well. Amazon offers up two antennae and MIMO, resulting in a 40% increase in performance.

Memory sizes are 16 and 32 gigabytes.There are no expansion slots, though they do include HDMI ports and BlueTooth.

A 4gLTE version is available for $499.

These new devices, coupled with the Surface and the Galaxy Nexus 7 are all sure to give Apple a run for the money. If I were not waiting for the Surface, I’d have to get me a Kindle Fire HD. These are some serious devices.


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