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Amazon intros $99 Kindle Touch, $79 Kindle to dodge tablets

updated 10:30 am EDT, Wed September 28, 2011

Amazon Kindle Touch and 79 Kindle set records

Amazon in the same introduction as the Kindle Fire tablet also revealed its own direct answer to the current Nook. The Kindle Touch is based entirely on an infrared-based, six-inch touchscreen with a unique interface known as EasyReach. Tapping the top quarter of the screen brings up the menu, while tapping near the left edge goes back; tapping the rest of the page goes forward.

A new X-ray feature can also give an at-a-glance view of all the relevant content on a given page, chapter, or the entire book, such as names and places. Both the dictionary and Wikipedia entries for a book are pre-cached in X-ray so they don't have to be used online.

The Kindle Touch will be available for as little as $99 in a Wi-Fi only version and will have a $149 version with AT&T-supplied 3G.

A conventional, button-guided Kindle should also be available in a Wi-Fi only version for $79. The new version is 30 percent lighter than the outgoing model even as it includes a faster E Ink display from the Touch. The new version drops the built-in keyboard, however, and makes users rely on the navigation buttons for control.

The pricing of both e-readers is both a step to help mass market e-readers but also to distance conventional e-paper readers from tablets. Owners of iPads and other full-fledged tablets often drop plans to get e-readers and, until now, have sometimes seen the price difference as too narrow to get a high-end e-reader instead. Readers at $79 and $99 may help either get those who only wanted a digital e-book device as well as those who can afford to get both a full tablet and an e-reader for circumstances where a tablet would be too risky or unreadable, like bright sunlight.

by MacNN Staff



  1. MacAssemble

    Joined: Dec 1969



    You now match the Nook! The Nook touch and Kindle touch are almost 100% identical in size, specs and price (without that "Special offers" $*&@) The new non-touch Kindle is very similar to the Nook 1st gen which BN is still selling for $89 (but you get a nice color preview screen as well.) When you first see the new Kindle prices, you are like WOW but then you actually do a little research and realize that you are required to watch/view Advertisements unless you pay more. Then you realize that BN already has comparable products and you are luck yup, not so revolutionary.

  1. Bengt77

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Screen resolution?

    Do these new models sport higher screen resolutions than the current model? I'd really like the displayed text to be of higher quality.

  1. joecab

    Joined: Dec 1969


    check out the slides

    somebody's ganking Apple's presentation style

  1. Jeronimo2000

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Shameless copycats

    That video? Looks just like a "I'm a Mac, I'm a PC" commercial, including the cheesy background music and the two people in front of a white background. That presentation underneath? Could have been an Apple keynote preso, including the gradient background and the typography.

    Jeez. Try something new, Amazon, why don't you.

  1. SockRolid

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Amazon now owns the low end

    Now there's nowhere for the rest of the Android iPad cloners to go. Apple controls the "high end," even though the base iPad is still affordable. And now Amazon has locked up the low end. It all makes perfect sense.

    Apple makes most of their money on hardware right now (but that will change over time as Apple builds out iCloud.) Apple's massive software infrastructure adds value to their hardware, attracting buyers and justifying their 30% hardware margins.

    Amazon makes most of their money on retail markup, just like always. The Kindle and Kindle Fire serve as sales tools for their digital offerings, and I have no doubt that they will do very well. They're sold at cost because Amazon doesn't need to make any money on their hardware. They're just at-home sales terminals, really.

    Too bad for Google. The one Android-based iPad clone that will actually succeed will generate little to no revenue for them. Amazon has replaced Android's "profit layer" with their own Appstore. Now *that* is what I call "open".

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