Not a fan of touch? Fear not! Amazon hasn’t left you behind just yet. In addition to launching two brand new “Kindle Touch” models today, the US company has also announced an update to the traditional Kindle.
Like the new touch models, the latest generation Kindle no longer has a physical keyboard. Instead, users will have to search content and use the built in browser using a virtual on-screen keyboard which will be controlled by the 5-way controller beneath the screen. In short, if you use the keyboard on your current Kindle a lot, you won’t want to upgrade to the new model anytime soon.
Like the touch models, the new generation Kindle has been hitting the gym and shedding a bit of weight. It’s now 30% lighter than the previous generation, weighing just 170 grams. Thanks to the lack of a physical keyboard, it’s also 18% smaller, but the screen is the same size – 6-inches – as the previous generation, so you won’t lose any screen estate.
In addition to this, it’s been fitted with a new e-ink display which will allows you to turn pages 10% quicker than the previous generation. It may not be lightning quick, but every little helps, right? You’re not losing any battery capacity with the size reduction either; the Kindle’s built-in battery will last for up to a month, just like the previous generation.
The build quality of the new Kindle looks solid, and shies away from the black, plastic casing of the previous generation. Instead, it has a more glossy look to it, and the back of the unit looks similar to the 1st and 2nd generation units with what looks like etched metal. Whether this is merely an effect of coloured plastic, which is a strong possibility looking at the price of the unit, I don’t know, so we will have to take a closer look at this when we get our hands on one for review.
Like the Kindle Touch models in the US, the new generation Kindle has been aggressively priced to sell as many units as possible. An ad-supported model is available for $79 in the US, although there are no ads in sight on the UK version. For this reason, it will be available for £89 when it launches, which is taken from the $109 ad-free US price. Not a bad conversion rate, given the addition of various taxes which are present in the EU.
Overall, the new Amazon Kindle looks like a decent upgrade to the previous generation, but I wouldn’t like to use the on-screen keyboard and physical controller together for any long period of time, so it will be interesting to see how awkward that experience actually is. If you want to get a new Kindle, you can pre-order one from Amazon UK today, and units will begin shipping from October 12th.