Kindle Touch has a new version, Kindle Touch 2, about to be unveiled on September 6th. Here are some Kindle Touch 2 thoughts and analysis based on what we know so far.
Kindle Touch 2 – What we Know about Kindle Touch 2
A few Kindle Touch 2 images have been leaked and the following details are now clear:
- It will have a lighted display. All that unmet demand B&N was talking about (for its Nook with GlowLight) – Well, guess who is going to help B&N meet that demand.
- Kindle Touch 2 might be called Kindle Paper White. Because, obviously, if you are replacing an earlier technology you should keep referring to it endlessly. That’s why Ford named his Car the Ford HorseFast.
- It promises better contrast and higher resolution. Or as Bing Translator translates it – High Resolution and Marked Contrast. Which could mean anything.
- It promises integrated lighting and 8 weeks of battery life – even with the lighting on. That’s impressive. Please Note: 8 weeks = 8 weeks with half an hour of reading every day. AKA 28 hours.
- You can see the power button at the bottom, what looks like a microUSB port, and also something that might be a headphone jack.
- The physical design of the Kindle Touch 2 seems to be very similar to the Kindle Touch 1. No page turn buttons?
- One of the screenshots shows WiFi being on. There will probably be a 3G model too.
Kindle Touch 2 Images are viewable at Pocket Lint.
Side Note: My designer says that the Kindle Fire 2 images leaked so far are possibly fake. The borders are all fuzzy and seem photoshopped. Of course, if it is fake, it somehow matches Amazon’s Cardboard Box Bland Design Aesthetic perfectly. So the other possibility is that someone photoshopped the real images to look fake (which makes zero sense).
The Kindle Touch 2 images, on the other hand, seem real. Translating the entire interface into French is more effort than someone would go to for a fake mockup.
Kindle Touch 2 – What can we deduce about Kindle Touch 2
- The main selling points seem to be – Lighted Screen and Higher Contrast, Higher Resolution display.
- The Kindle PaperWhite name seems a bit strange. However, it does fall in with Amazon’s crazy naming patterns. We are talking about a company that named its Long-Term Data Storage solution ‘Amazon Glacier’.
- Given past Kindle models it’s safe to say that Kindle Touch 2 would be available in these variants (with guesses for prices) – Kindle Touch 2 with Ads and WiFi only for $99, Kindle Touch 2 with 3G and Ads for $149, Kindle Touch 2 with no Ads and WiFi only for $139, Kindle Touch 2 with no Ads and 3G for $189. It must cost something to add the lighting and it’s unlikely Amazon can cut prices in spite of adding lighting and presumably a better battery.
- Kindle WiFi and Kindle 3 (Kindle Keyboard) have not gone out of stock. This suggests they are not getting a refresh. Kindle Touch and Kindle Fire have (in case you missed the Most Pointless Press Release of All Time) and they probably are getting replaced by new models – Kindle Touch 2 and Kindle Fire 2 (more than one, if the rumors are correct).
- There are rumors of a new Kindle DX. However, I find that unlikely given how little the Kindle DX seems to sell (just an uneducated guess).
- The Marketing push will be – Best Reading Experience in Sunlight, Best Reading Experience at Night, Best Screen, Free 3G, Feels/Looks Just Like Paper.
- Kindle Touch 1 screen was 600 by 800 pixels resolution at 167 ppi. If Amazon is touting both higher resolution and higher contrast it’s safe to say we might see the ppi and resolution both increase.
- Kindle Touch 1 was 7.8 ounces (220 grams). Kindle Touch 2 will be adding lighting and still have the same battery life. That suggests a bigger battery and might mean the weight increases a bit.
It’s quite impressive. The Lighted Screen is a big, big deal. Battery life of 28 hours of reading with the lighting on is also very impressive. 8 weeks at half an hour per day = 28 hours. Not quite as impressive sounding as 2 months. It does translate to 4-7 books read without the hassle of a recharge.
Kindle Touch 2 vs Nook GlowLight
How would Kindle Touch 2 compare with Nook GlowLight?
- Both would have screen lighting. At this point we don’t know enough to say whether one would have (slightly) better screen lighting.
- Kindle Touch 2 promises 8 weeks of reading with the light on. Nook GlowLight promises ‘over 1 month’. Kindle Touch 2 would probably win here by quite a margin.
- Nook GlowLight comes with a power adapter and a screen protector. It’s nice that the anti-glare screen protector is pre-installed (I can never figure out how to get those on without air bubbles and endless frustration). Kindle Touch 2 might follow the Kindle Touch 1 ridiculousness of selling a power adapter separately – No Computer Required. Unless you want to Charge!
- Nook GlowLight has the same resolution and contrast (or similar) as Kindle Touch. If Kindle Touch 2 comes with better resolution and contrast it would have a big advantage (if the improvement is quite stark).
- Nook GlowLight has a microSD card slot which is a big advantage if you want expandable storage and flexibility.
- Nook GlowLight has ePub support but doesn’t support Kindle format. It does, however, support ePub books from other stores.
At the moment it seems that SD Card Slot and ePub support would be the B&N Nook GlowLight’s main advantages. Kindle Touch 2 would have better battery life and better screen contrast and resolution. Both would have the dual benefits of eInk+In-Built Lighting for – the best daylight reading experience PLUS the best nighttime reading experience.
Amazon would use Ads to perhaps price Kindle Touch 2 at $99 – about $40 less than the $139 Nook GlowLight. That might be the key difference.
All in all, it seems that Kindle Touch 2 will be a strong successor to Kindle Touch and will displace Nook GlowLight as the #1 eReader choice. We’ll have to wait until Kindle Touch 2 is actually out and available to figure out which eReader is going to be the #1 choice for 2012 – Kindle Touch 2 or Nook GlowLight.