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Amazon Refreshes The Basic Kindle Line

by Sean P. Aune | July 29, 2010July 29, 2010 8:00 am PST

As some suspected when the Kindle mysteriously sold out at Amazon the other day for the first time in ages, it was a sign that Amazon was ready to update its basic Kindle model for the first time since Feb 9, 2009.

Back in April we were wondering when we would see the Kindle 3, which was followed up in May with rumors that a new version would appear this Aug., just in time for the holiday shopping season.  Well, there were announced on July 28th, and they begin shipping on Aug. 27th, so everything looks to have proven to be true.

kindlev3The new Kindle followed in the footsteps of the Apple iPad tablet and is offering up a Wi-Fi only version for $139 and is also a model that will also connect via 3G for a $189 price tag.

As for the hardware stats:

  • The Kindle got even thinner with a six-inch reading area.
  • The e-ink screen received a 50 percent bump in its contrast settings, matching it now with the larger DX version.
  • The weight dropped by 15 percent to 8.7 ounce in spite of the battery getting more juice to now having a month-long stand by period.
  • Now available in charcoal or white shells.
  • Page turning speed has been increased by 20 percent.
  • Storage has been expanded by more than double, allowing the Kindle to now hold up to 3500 books at a time.

If you go with the $139 version, you are getting a heck of a reader for a great price.  The big question now is if any of the other e-readers will follow suit.  With the pricing down to this range, enough distance has finally been placed between the Kindle and the iPad for it to make sense to just go for the reader if all you are looking for are books.  When it was at the higher price, it made sense to go for the Apple device because it gave you so many other features, but now we could see Kindle sales beginning to creep back up.

Last year the Kindle was the best selling item at Amazon for the holiday season, and with this new pricing and features there isn’t any real reason to believe that will change this year.

What say you?  Will this new pricing tempt you into buying a Kindle?

Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...