Kindle A Fire

September 28, 2011

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Okay, okay I’m sure I’m not the first person to use this headline, but I couldn’t resist the bad pun. In case you haven’t heard, Amazon is releasing new versions of the Kindle and their pricing strategy (itself not new) is expanding to their new offerings. The low end Kindle won’t have a Keyboard (though for now at least you can still get both versions) and a few bucks off its price.

Back to that pricing model for a second. For all of their hardware (except their tablet, the Fire) you can chop $30-$40 dollars off the price if you let them pipe you some ads for your power saver mode wall paper. This caused a little stir when it first came out. Personally, so long as it sticks to the powered off screen, I’m okay with it considering how much it will save you. And if it gets more Kindles in the hands of readers I’m all for it.

The real star of today’s show though is arguably the Fire. It will run you $199 and there is no subsidy option. Still, that price for a color touchscreen with access to Amazon’s cloud storage isn’t bad. Perhaps the most interesting thing to me is that the Whispersync tech on the Fire extends to video. Amazon says, “(s)tart streaming a movie on Kindle Fire, then pick up right where you left off on your TV”. It won’t be too long before I think they’ll be subsidizing this one. It’s also likely to be a huge boost to their Amazon Prime membership since you’ll be able to watch 20th Century Fox’s catalog now.

I don’t think this will be an “iPad Killer”, but it will be interesting to see how this goes.

So what do you think of the subsidy? Would you buy the more expensive version? Will the lower price make you run out and get one? Sound off in the comments!

1 Comment

  • A Kindle tablet is EXTREMELY tempting. As cool as e-ink is as a technology, I’ve tried to use the regular Kindles and the way the screen goes black when it updates gives me a headache, so that’s out; I usually read Kindle books on my iPhone instead. I don’t really have the $200 to spend on a Kindle Fire right now anymore than I have the $500-700 to spend on an iPad so while that’s theoretically a great deal it doesn’t mean much for me practically. I have an urge to keep all my devices in the same family, but Android’s no slouch and it’s not like I’d have to worry about syncing it.

    A large part of my interest in a tablet is writing on the go, and I imagine the Kindle Fire’s not likely to get an external keyboard. Cost aside, I’d probably wait until I could get some reports from writers about how well it works for that purpose.