(Credit: James Martin/CNET)
A: Amazon has unveiled a pair of new e-ink readers and three newtablets -- but each one is available in several versions. Here's a breakdown, with pricing and availability.
- Kindle e-reader: A new bare-bones e-ink reader. Slight upgrade from last year's version (improved display, still no touch screen), and a tad cheaper: $69 (ad-supported), $89 without ads. Available now.
- Kindle Paperwhite: Amazon's first self-illuminating e-ink reader, and now its only touch-screen model. It's $119 with Wi-Fi, $179 for 3G (both ad-supported; add $20 for ad-free versions). Ships October 1.
- Kindle Fire: Amazon's new baseline tablet. For just $159, you get a faster CPU and longer battery life than the older model. Ships September 14.
- Kindle Fire HD (7-inch): The cheapest "new" tablet in Amazon's lineup. It's $199 for 16GB, $249 for 32GB. Fully featured tablet with Amazon's customized version ofAndroid, 1,280x800-pixel display, front-facing camera, dual-band MIMO Wi-Fi, ships September 14.
- Kindle Fire HD (8.9-inch): Same as above with bigger, more-high-res screen (1,920x1,200 pixels). The 16GB model costs $299, 32GB is $369. Ships November 20.
- Kindle Fire HD (8.9-inch, 4G LTE wireless): The same big dog as above, but with a built-in LTE connection (on AT&T). It's $499 for 32GB, $599 for 64GB, plus $50 a year for 250MB of data a month. Ships November 20.
All of the above products are available for preorder today from Amazon.com.
Q: OK, so what are the big new features in the Paperwhite?
A: The Paperwhite replaces Amazon's previous flagship e-reader, the Kindle Touch. The new model comes with a higher resolution (1,024x768 with 212 pixels per inch), yielding 62 percent more pixels than the Touch. But the bigger selling point is the embedded fiber optic light circling the display. That means you don't need a separate light source to read. Another cool feature is that the Paperwhite keeps track of your average reading speed, which lets it display an estimate of how long it will take you to finish a chapter or an entire book. Note that the Paperwhite no longer offers the audio support found on the Touch -- but we doubt anyone will miss that.
A lot more at C/NET