new kindle – new kindle review

This new kindle review will cover the new Kindle (Kindle 3) which Amazon will ship on August 27th. The new Kindle 3 is available in graphite or white for $189.

This is a review of features and is rather detailed – Please check my Kindle 3 Review for a shorter review of the new kindle. If you’d rather read up on the new Kindle WiFi (just $139) please check my Kindle WiFi review.

New Kindle – What are the best 5 features of the New Kindle 3?

Here are the 5 best features of the new Kindle in my opinion -

The eInk Pearl Screen on the new Kindle

The Kindle DX 2 Video page will give you an idea of the eInk Pearl screen and its excellent contrast.

For its new kindle Amazon has added some software improvements (tweaking waveform algorithms to change how eInk gets painted – yup, I don’t understand that either) and made the fonts sharper and the blacks darker so the new Kindle screen is supposed to be even better than the Kindle DX 2.

The difference between the new Kindle 3 screen and the Kindle 2 screen did seem to be larger than the difference between Kindle DX 2 and Kindle 2 screens.

eInk is very close to paper – It doesn’t tire the eyes, it’s readable in sunlight and bright light without glare, and it has great battery life (now up to a month when wireless is off).

The low price of the new Kindle 3 and value for money

At $189, the new Kindle provides you a LOT of value for money -

  1. The great eInk screen.
  2. Book downloads in 60 seconds.
  3. Choice of using WiFi or 3G.
  4. Lots of features built around reading like text to speech, sharing passages with friends via Twitter and Facebook, in-built dictionary, free Internet access for reference, free Wikipedia access.
  5. Free 3G – Your store browsing and book downloads are free. Internet browsing is free.
  6. Free 3G in 100+ countries (for US kindle 3 owners). Also, book downloads are free in all these countries for US Kindle owners.
  7. A ‘worry-free’ archive where your books are stored – download them any time.
  8. Kindle Apps – You can read your books on PC, Mac, iPhone, Android, Blackberry, and iPad.
  9. Whispernet to synchronize your reading across devices – your position in the book, notes, and highlights are all transferred as you switch the device you’re reading on.

There are a lot more features but hopefully you get the idea – The new Kindle is very solid value for money.

If you don’t need 3G or have WiFi within easy reach whenever you want to download books then consider the new Kindle WiFi which, at $139, is a steal.

new kindle’s uncompromised focus on reading

Mr. Bezos, Amazon’s CEO, mentioned this on the Charlie Rose show last night – Amazon’s new kindle has an uncompromised focus on reading.

While other devices treat reading like an afterthought the new kindle is built from the ground up for reading. If you love to read there’s nothing that’s as well targeted at reading as the new kindle 3.

All the features center around reading. This is apparent in a lot of ways -

  1. To ensure readability in direct sunlight and to remove glare from bright lights the new Kindle chooses eInk instead of LCD.
  2. To help focus on reading the new Kindle is free from distractions like video and tv shows (the eInk means you couldn’t get them to work on Kindle 3 anyways). 
  3. All the features are related to reading – text to speech, in-built dictionary, changeable font sizes, line spacing options, and more.  

The new Kindle is even more of a readers’ device than the Kindle 2.  

Amazon is constantly improving and new kindle 3 owners will benefit

Amazon recently introduced a huge free software update for Kindle 2 owners – The Kindle 2.5 upgrade had Collections (Folders, although a single level), supersized fonts, sharper fonts, PDF pan and zoom, and some social features.

With the new Kindle 3 Amazon has again shown how quickly it improves – We get sharper fonts, faster page turns, double the memory, up to 1 month battery life, better PDF support, and half a dozen more improvements.

As a new kindle owner you’ll benefit from this constant focus on improvement.

A lot of the big features you see now are additions over the last 9 months – PDF support, free Internet browsing worldwide (for US kindle owners), Collections, faster page turns. Over the course of the next year you’ll probably see a Kindle App Store, further improvements in PDF support, and lots of improvements that add up to a great reading experience.

new Kindle – most portable and easy reading device

 The 5th huge benefit is the ease of using and carrying the new Kindle -

  1. At 8.7 ounces it’s really light and one-handed reading and reading are comfortable.
  2. It’s very compact and thin at 7.5″ x 4.8″ x 0.335″. It’ll fit into your purse and it’s easy to hold.
  3. It can store up to 3,500 books. There’s 3GB of memory available so you can carry your entire library with you.
  4. The battery life is up to a month with wireless off and 10 days with wireless on. An entire vacation without needing a charger.
  5. The buttons are placed very sensibly and a lot of thought has been put in to make the new Kindle easy to use.

The new Kindle 3 continues Amazon’s focus on making Kindles very easy to use. You don’t need a computer to use it and there’s no learning curve – Your turn on the new Kindle, click on a book, and read.

New Kindle – the drawbacks of Kindle 3

We’ve spent a lot of time discussing the benefits of the new Kindle. There are also certain disadvantages. The Kindle 3 might be the best eReader overall – However, the new Kindle has specific disadvantages you ought to factor in.

  1. Kindle 3 is great for reading and terrible at everything else – no video, no 3D games, and it’s not good for wasting time.
  2. Kindle 3 does not support library books.  
  3. It does not support ePub. 
  4. New Kindle does not have color. If you need color in your books or for your diagrams the new Kindle will not work for you.
  5. There is no touchscreen. This is because the touchscreen layer adds glare and reduces readability – It’s a trade-off made to ensure better readability.
  6. New Kindle is for $189 for the 3G model which might be outside your budget.
  7. The new Kindle uses the Kindle Store and Kindle Store books only work on Kindles and Kindle Apps.
  8. You might have a philosophical issue against the use of DRM on Kindle Store books.
  9. There is no SD card slot. The new kindle’s 3GB of memory is a lot but you might want to carry more than 3,500 books or documents that are really big.
  10. The Nook has a LendMe feature that lets you lend out some books (when Publishers allow it) a single time to one friend for 14 days. It’s just once – however, it is a plus. Kindle does not allow this.  

In my opinion the new Kindle more than makes up for these drawbacks with all its improvements – the new kindle page at Amazon discusses most of these and you can also refer to my Kindle 3 Review for an easy to understand list of pros and cons.

New Kindle really benefits from Kindle Store and Kindle ecosystem

A big positive for the new Kindle 3 is that it’s tied to the Kindle Store with its 630,000 books -

  1. More new books than any other ebook store.
  2. Great prices – 510,000 of the 630,000 books are at $9.99 or less.
  3. There are sites that have 1.8 million free public domain books in Kindle Format. These include Internet Archive, Gutenberg, and ManyBooks.
  4. You can download a book as many times as you like. You can download it on up to a maximum of 5 to 6 different devices and read it on all of them at the same time.
  5. Multiple Kindle 3s can be linked to 1 Amazon account and can share books (the ‘one book can be downloaded to a maximum of 5 to 6 different devices’ limitation comes into play again).  
  6. Kindle Store has more magazines, newspapers, and blogs than any other store. Newspapers and Magazines will be delivered wirelessly to your new Kindle each morning.
  7. You can return a Kindle book up to a week after purchase. If you buy a book by mistake there’s an ‘instant return’ button. If you decide later, you can contact Amazon and they refund your purchase up to a week after.

Basically, the Kindle Store goes very well with your new Kindle and lets you make the most of it.

new Kindle – Does it meet your needs?

There are lots of pros and cons to consider -

  1. New Kindle Pros include – Kindle Store, free 3G (Internet and downloads), great eInk screen, solid PDF support, compactness, lightness, focus on reading, simplicity, ease of use, Collections feature, changeable fonts, accessible menus, text to speech feature, 3GB of available memory, up to a month battery life (with wireless off).  
  2. Kindle 3 Cons include – you can’t do ‘more than just read’, no color, no touchscreen, lack of ePub support, no support for library books, no SD card, and no lending of ebooks.

Depending on which eReader qualities you value the most the new kindle is either a spectacular ereader or merely a good one.

In my opinion, the new Kindle is the best eReader currently available. However, whether it’s right for you depends on what you would like from an eReader and it’s worth considering – Does the new Kindle meet your needs? Does the new Kindle 3 meet your needs better than any other eReader?

13 Responses

  1. Great review, but i have a question about the 3G connection. You always mention that free 3G applies to US owners, but i live in Europe (Portugal to be precise), and i would like to know which internet features are available here.

    • Ricardo,
      You have to go down to the ‘Kindle at a Glance’ section below the girl with the smirk and the glasses in her greenish zombie chair. Click on ‘Check your country’ under ‘Massive Selection’ – It’s right next to the amazon kindle image with ‘Past is Prologue’.

      For Portugal –
      free downloads of books.
      downloads of books when outside Portugal are not free.
      420,000 english language books.
      Wikipedia free access.
      Internet access only through Wifi

      In general –

      Kindle Store browsing is free everywhere.
      Book downloads are free in your home country.
      Free browsing via 3G is available in some countries. You’ll have to see the Kindle product page drop down for your country.
      WiFi based browsing is free – presumably everywhere.

  2. What about the micrphone? nobody has mentioned something about it. The manual says “is not currently enabled but is provided for future use”. the obvious usage for it, would be to take voice notes, can you think of another use?

    • John,
      thanks for a great tip.
      With a microphone you could get –

      Taking Notes or Ideas.
      Voice Activated Page Turns.
      Voice Activated Menus.
      Hands Free Usage.
      Adding Notes to books.

      • gald to see you did a post just for this unnoticed feature :-)

      • yeah – thanks a lot. It’s a very promising feature – it plays into my fascination with hands free reading and taking voice notes.

  3. Guys, do you think kindle wifi, 3 will affect kindle dx price? New kindle has become very nice, but i still love dx more because of its larger display(not like laptop`s). I often read pdf, mostly scanned pdfs. That`s why wider display is needed. i think buying dx soon. Should i wait some time ? What do you think guys. Any suggestion or thoughts will help tnx [smile]

    • Hard to say. I do feel $379 is way too expensive – Hopefully they get in a WiFi only DX 2 for $249.
      Would recommend waiting for a month or two.

      • Thank you for your suggestion. Mmm i agree it is really expensive. I will wait for price drop or newer better version.

  4. I want to treat myself to the new K3 but not until I find a loving & caring reader to provide a new home for my trusty K1.

    • Kathleen – I know the feeling. It’s hard to let go of my Kindle 2 even though the DX 2 screen is so much better and Kindle 3 is going to be so cool.

  5. Very disappointed they didn’t go for a 7 or 8″ screen. I still find 6″ too small and the DX too large.

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