New Amazon Kindles Start Shipping Today : This week, Amazon unveiled what everyone is calling the Kindle 3. You might call it Amazon’s iPad response. The Kindle 3 is ingeniously designed to be everything the iPad will never be: small, light and inexpensive.
The updated Kindle has sold more units in the first four weeks of its release than any of its predecessors in the same time period. More Kindles were ordered on Amazon and Amazon.co.uk in that timeframe than any other device, Amazon said.
The smallness comes in the form of a 21 percent reduction in the dimensions from the previous Kindle. The new one measures 7.5 by 4.8 by 0.3 inches, yet the screen has the same six-inch diagonal measurements as always. Amazon’s designers did what they should have done a long time ago: they shaved away a lot of that empty beige (or now dark gray) plastic margin.
The e-book reader has become the most gifted product on the site, as well. It has been shipped to customers in 125 countries on six continents, including Mongolia and the Northern Mariana Islands, according to Amazon.
Now, the Kindle is almost ridiculously lightweight; at 8.5 ounces, it’s a third the weight of the iPad. That’s a big deal for a machine that you want to hold in your hands for hours.
Then there is the $140 price. That’s for the model with Wi-Fi — a feature new to the Kindle that plays catch-up to the Barnes & Noble Nook. A Kindle model that can also get online using the cellular network, as earlier models do, costs $50 more. But the main thing you do with the wireless feature is download new books, so Wi-Fi is probably plenty for most people.