Amazon announces $99 Kindle Touch and $149 Kindle Touch 3G

Just as predicted, Amazon refreshed the Kindle lineup and with touchscreens. Both will be extremely low-priced. $99 for the Wi-Fi-only Kindle Touch and $149 for the Kindle Touch 3G. Boom. Cheap touchscreen Kindles for everybody.

A New Way To Read

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos says the new 6-inch Kindle Touch and Touch 3G are smaller, lighter and built for readers who love to switch hands when reading. At 5.98 ounces, the Kindle Touch is 30 percent lighter, 18 percent smaller and the E Ink pages refresh 10 percent faster. The keyboard's gone.

Basically, the Kindle Touch is built with lefties in mind. The touchscreen menu has been completely rethought to accommodate easier finger access.

Instead of a screen that's split into three equal sections: one to go back a page, one to advance and a last sector in the middle for the menu, tapping anywhere on the screen will now go to the next page. To go back a page, you tap a small sliver at the left, and the menu is now up top.

It may not put as much emphasis on the menu or going back one page, but plowing through a book on Kindle just got a lot easier with either hand.

X-Ray

The newest feature to the Kindle is X-Ray — an offline database that lets you look at "the bone of the book." Easily look up definitions, historical information and public figures with just a tap. Information is sourced from Wikipedia. No Internet access required.

The clear competitor that the Kindle Touch and Touch 3G are going after? Obviously Nook's touchscreen e-reader.

"Free 3G"

When have you ever heard that? Well, it doesn't look like Amazon is going to force customers to sign up for a contract or pay as they go through a cellular service. Instead, paying for the $149 means you've got a 3G-capable device ready to go. That means you can access your library and download books anywhere. It's a pretty sweet deal, and one that's probably unique to the e-reading space, as they consume far less bandwidth-intensive media than fully featured tablets.

Special Offers

How does Amazon manage to get away with such a cheap Kindle? Well, that's because both the $99 and $149 Kindle Touches come with Amazon's "Special Offers" — you may know it as the screensaver ads.

What if you don't want Amazon to serve you ads? It'll cost you an extra $40. So again, with ads: $99 (Wi-Fi) and $149 (3G). No ads: $139 (Wi-Fi) and $189 (3G).

Pre-orders for both Kindle Touch models start today and ship on November 21.

Say Hello To The Whole Kindle Family

Via Amazon

All photos for DVICE by Raymond Wong

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