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|Description: Latest Kindle specs: brand new Kindles, brand new features.
No matter what your specifications, this year Amazon Kindle is making a device to fit every need. Amazon currently offers 6 kinds of Kindle for the 2011 holiday season, ranging in price from $79 to $199. Depending on your choice of device, product specs for the “all-new Kindle family” cover everything from an extremely basic ebook reader to a long-awaited Kindle challenger for tablets like the iPad 2.
On the low end of the price spectrum, Kindle specs start with the basics. The $79 model is a 6” E-ink, no glare display with simple buttons and basic wireless for downloading ebooks. It is by far the cheapest e-reader for sale new on the market, with the 1st Edition Nook making a close second at $89.
The next class of Kindles is the touchscreen Kindles, Kindle Touch and Kindle Touch 3G. Added features include nearly double the storage space for ebooks and the simple-to-use “multi-touch” display. The basic model is $99. Or, for $149, you can get all the same Kindle features with free 3G wireless internet.
The Kindle Keyboard and Kindle Keyboard 3G are in the same price range and have all the same specs, except they trade the touchscreen for a complete mini-keyboard and scroll buttons.
Both the Kindle Touch and the Kindle Keyboards come with some fancy hidden features. The free 3G wireless internet allows basic web-browsing for email, social networking, and other simple sites. All the Kindles have audio, allowing them to double as MP3 players for audio books and even music. There is also a text-to-speech feature that will read out loud for you.
The newest feature is a lending feature that lets you send ebooks from your own Kindle library to other Kindle users for 14 days, so friends can share your books for free. Other features include the ability to quickly highlight or bookmark passages onscreen, a great function for students. Kindle Keyboards also let you take notes easily, and Kindle’s selection of e-version textbooks is growing daily.
But the top of Kindle features for this year is the Kindle Fire. The full-color 7” touchscreen device goes far beyond the realm of e-readers. Kindle specs for this device portray it as a one-stop media, internet, and entertainment portal, maybe even a replacement for tablets at large. If the Kindle Fire can do everything Amazon says it will do, the versatile device will bring you high-speed internet, streaming video, music, books, games and apps from Amazon’s new, extensive apps store, Cloud storage, automatic sync, and much more.
The Kindle Fire’s hardware is an Android tablet platform like the Nook Color and Samsung tablets, but reviews suggest the new Kindle will offer much more bang than its competitors for a radically lower price—only $199, reportedly less than it costs Amazon to manufacture. This is a startling contrast to the $500 iPad 2 and may be a hard market hit to the Nook Color and other $250-300 Android tablets.
Some drawbacks to the Kindle Fire may be a sacrifice of storage space and battery life, and, unlike some tablets, there is no camera or GPS capability. So Kindle Fire is not a perfect substitute for the iPad. But for users with simpler needs who long for a simpler interface, this new line of Kindle products may be right on the money.