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Amazon announced a whole range of new Kindles today, mostly Fires. The Paperwhite is the only one I’m interested in for now, it’s the only one I’ve preordered, and it’s probably the only one I’ll review. (See my big Kindle review from the previous generation.)
The new $69 Kindle looks like a “Kindle 4.5”: it appears to have almost the same hardware as the Kindle 4 (my review), but with “15% faster page turns”. It’s probably the same relatively old E-Ink Pearl screen as before: Amazon says it has “darker, hand-tuned fonts”, but that probably just means antialiasing tweaks, not a higher-contrast screen.
The Kindle Fire was a terrible product with abysmal hardware and software. The new Kindle Fires might have fixed one or both of those, but I’m not willing to spend any money or time to be among the first to find out.
My recommendation: if you’re itching to preorder one of the new Kindles and absolutely can’t wait until the reviews are out, go with the Paperwhite Wi-Fi with ads.
- Why not 3G? You can’t do much with it. You can’t browse the web with it or use any real “apps” to speak of — you can only download new books and periodicals. So only get the 3G model if you frequently need to download new books and periodicals away from Wi-Fi, which for most people is probably not the case.
- Why with ads? With all previous models, you can remove the ads after purchase from the Kindle control panel on Amazon’s site by just paying the difference. So get the ads, see if you care about getting rid of them, and if so, pay the difference then.
I’m just hoping that the Paperwhite has solved many of the Kindle Touch’s original software sluggishness. Some of it was fixed in a software update a few months ago, so I think there’s a good chance that the Paperwhite won’t have that issue.
And if it does, Amazon’s really great at accepting returns.