At long last, Amazon has unveiled the latest upgrades to their line of Kindle devices this morning. Most of the announcements didn’t come as a surprise if you’ve been following the rumor mill leading up to today’s press event. Here’s a short rundown of some of the most interesting annoucements:
- Paperwhite display – more pixels, higher contrast, with built-in light for reading in any environment
- 8 weeks of battery life!
- Wi-Fi version: $119 with special offers, $139 without. 3G version: $179 with special offers, $199 without.
- Preorders start today, with the Kindle Paperwhite shipping on October 1st
I recommend checking out The Verge’s live blog of the entire event.
If you’ve been following this blog (really, who isn’t??), you would know that I’ve been eagerly awaiting this splendid day. I’ve never preordered anything in my life so this is uncharted territory for me. Yes, the 3-4 week wait sounds like a lifetime for my impatient self, but it does give me more time to carefully decide which model I really want.
I could order the latest-generation Kindle which is available for shipping by next week; it received some marginal improvements (better font rendering, faster refresh rates) and is even cheaper at $69. But, the technophile in me cannot stop salivating over the superior Paperwhite device.
Let’s buy all of ‘em!
At this current time, I’m leaning towards the wifi model without special offers for two reasons. First, I’ve grown accustomed to depending solely on wifi for internet access, so the benefit of 3G connectivity is not very compelling to me. I imagine I could download any reading material before I leave my home if I plan on reading on the go. Plus, wifi hotspots are so easy to find these days.
I’m a bit uncertain about whether the $20 price difference between the model with and without the special offers. I haven’t seen what the ads look like to really know, but I’ve read that the ads only appear outside the reading experience. If you’ve owned a previous Kindle device with special offers, what has your experience been like? Was it worth the savings, or would you rather not have the ads?
Is my new Kindle here yet??
Anyhow, I’ll likely preorder a Kindle Paperwhite during the ensuing days. Probably throw in a case while I’m at it. The horror!
Also, I’ve been strongly considering purchasing a subscription to Amazon Prime. I was able to enjoy Prime membership as a student for one year and I absolutely loved the free 2-day shipping. Plus, you can even share your Prime membership (the shipping aspect only I believe) with other people. Amazon also has a steadily improving Netflix-like library of media content, but a quick browse through its selection leaves a lot to be desired.
The main impetus for subscribing to Prime is partly influenced by the impending sales tax that will be levied on California purchases starting September 15th. I’m hoping free shipping will help offset some of the tax burden from Amazon purchases.
Take my credit card and run, Amazon!