Friday, September 9, 2011

Amazon will soon release a Kindle Tablet

Rumors about a new Amazon Kindle device have been flying for several months. Now "Amazon's Kindle Tablet is very real. I've seen it, Played with it," according to MG at TechCrunch. My first reaction? Ooh, shiny! I love gadgets.

Here are the highlights:
  • Color tablet
  • Android
  • 7 inch screen
  • Two-finger multi-touch
  • WiFi
  • Kindle app book reader
  • Kindle Cloud music player
  • Instant Video movie player
  • Amazon's Android Appstore
  • Possible free subscription to Amazon Prime
The new Kindle Tablet is expected to sell for $250, and Amazon is purportedly working with carriers toward a 3G version. The latter would be a huge selling point for me; I love the integrated 3G on my Kindle.

The initial inclination is to compare the Kindle Tablet to the iPad, but it isn't. Rather than taking on Apple on their own turf, Amazon is actually designing their device to fit into the e-reader market that they already dominate. They are keeping the tablet small and comfortable to read. The smaller form factor also means that it will be cheap, about half the price of the cheapest iPad. Amazon is also moving away from the direction taken by most other Android tablets. Instead of trying to do everything, the Kindle Tablet is keeping it simple by putting the focus on books, movies, and other media.

I would never give up my Kindle ereader. The E-Ink screen simply can not be beat if you do a lot of reading, and I'm an avid reader, at least as much as I can fit in between my numerous other roles. However, I am eagerly anticipating the release of an Kindle Tablet. I envision my Kindle coexisting beside the new device, with each having its own purpose.

Based on the substantial rumors circulating the Internet, I expect to see an Amazon announcement about their new Kindle Tablet in the next two to three months. I have never regretted coming in on the ground floor with the launch of the original Kindle in 2008. Despite the marked improvements and drastically lowered price point of four successive Kindle generations, I have enjoyed many happy hours reading on each of my Kindles. The Kindle is the ultimate device for someone, like me, who is passionate about reading and writing. I envision the Kindle Tablet as an expansion into other types of media.

Contrary to many who are looking for an all-in-one device, I look forward to the day when I can replace the functions of my smart phone with my third or fourth generation Kindle Tablet. Devices like my Kindle, Roku, and iPod have taught me that a device dedicate to a certain function is often superior to one trying to be a jack-of-all-trades.


  1. Nook Color Android-based tablet/eReader from Barnes & Noble has been on the market for over a year and sold millions of units at $250. Gives Flash, apps, videos, color magazines and ebooks with video inserts, and the best anti-glare coated screen on the market. Technology "leader" Amazon is finally catching up with the book store company by copying its device.
    Kindle only supports eBooks in its proprietary AZW format. Nook, on the other hand, supports both DRM-protected and DRM-free ebooks in ePub format thus it supports ebooks from B&N store, from any other DRM-free source on the web, and from public libraries.
    If you walk in with the Nook to Barnes & Noble store, you’re allowed to read any available eBook for free while in the store via free provided in the store Wi-Fi.

  2. Anonymous: I think which ereader you prefer is a matter of personal preference, so we'll have to agree to disagree. My loyalty goes to Amazon. They have always given me exceptional customer service, and I personally prefer the features of the Kindle over the Nook. I researched all available ebooks before I committed to my first dedicated ereader in 2008, and that preference hasn't changed. Amazon's backing and rapidly-expanding ebook library were a large part of my decision to go with the Kindle. The other big selling point was free 3G; Amazon was the only one to offer that feature at the time. Incidentally, I have a collection of DRM-free books on my Kindle (from sources like Project Gutenberg and Baen's Webscription). Amazon is also in the process of implementing library ebook lending, which will be available later this year.

    While it would be nice to walk into a book store and sit down to read, I just don't have the opportunity to do so with a toddler to keep me hopping. Again, it comes back to personal preference. I am always happy to see another reader, whether their platform of choice is paper book, Kindle, Nook, Google ebook reader, iPad, or one of the numerous other options. Ebook options are only expanding, for example, Waterstone's (a UK bookseller) is planning to launch their own device.