Last weekreleased (a little earlier than everyone was expecting) a new model, the . Not just is the device better in many ways (and cheaper!), but have also launched a UK Store, and a UK directly using a UK mobile SIM. Currently, a International or International will have a US mobile SIM built into the device, and hence will roam onto the UK networks (although it could roam onto multiple networks, the does seem keen to stick with O2), whereas the will have a UK mobile SIM built into the device (which is still sealed, so there’s no access to the SIM or the battery). What’s interesting is that with the release of the v2.5 firmware, all International Kindles in the UK have had access to the “full” internet experience (as opposed to the launch wikipedia-only access), so actually this internet access isn’t that different to the experience available to existing users.
So, what’s new and different with the new device…
- Firstly, it’s available (from 27th August)
- 21% smaller and 15% lighter, and has a 20% faster refresh of the e-Ink screen
- There are two models, the , and the /WiFi, which uses as already mentioned
- The will only come in Graphite, whereas the will come in White or Graphite
- The same 6″ screen size of the existing , but with the better contrast of the screen
- Storage up to 4GB
- Prices are £109 for and £149 for , with neither having any ongoing costs
- Minor changes to the keyboard (improving the 5 way cursor), and providing “previous page” buttons on both sides of the device
- The buttons (especially the next / previous page buttons) are quieter
- Updated web browser technology, to make every element faster
- Whereas before numbers were accessible from the top row of keys, you can now use the Symbol feature (which doesn’t turn off after the selection of the first symbol). There are rumours that you can also use Alt-Q (for 1) etc., although the numbers are not marked on the keys
- Battery life now listed as 10 days for 3G version, and a month for the WiFi version
- There’s a microphone at the bottom, marked as “for future use”
Another interesting feature; a light for reading at night! No, not included with the, but the all new leather cover from includes a built in light (and what’s more, it gets powered directly from the via contacts in the hinge mechanism); personally on my , I have an M-Edge case with the M-Edge e-Luminator light which works well, but building it into the case is even nicer (and cheaper).
Theshould be available in Black, Orange, Brown, Pink, Blue, Green and Red (do watch out, the case will also be available without the light!) for £49.99 in the UK.
So, what about the pricing? Thewas roughly £200 last Christmas, so the price of the WiFi version is nearly half that, and I think that will make the a plausible Christmas present, and with devices like the 3 , there’s no need to pay extra for the 3G version.