Amazon introduces new Kindle Paperwhite e-reader

Amazon has made a new Kindle Paperwhite e-reader available for pre-order. The device will be released on November 7, 2018.

Features:

Here are the features of the new device:

  • The new device is thinner and lighter than the previous generation of Paperwhite. And, yes, that means a new size cover. According to the specs for the new cover, it will not fit any of the previous Paperwhites.
  • The new Paperwhite has more LEDs so it is brighter than the previous generation.
  • The screen is now flush with the bezel of the e-reader.
  • It’s waterproof:  IPX8 rated to protect against accidental immersion in up to two meters of fresh water for up to 60 minutes.
  • It’s got more storage: The basic version comes with 8 GB (twice the previous model). Or, you can choose 32 GB to hold more content. (This is a must if you are going to use the content for comics and audiobooks.)
  • Audible compatibility. Amazon had added Bluetooth so you can pair with headphones or speakers. The device is now Whispersync For Voice compatible, so you can not only sync across devices, but can switch back and forth between the ebook and Audible versions of a book.

The new Kindle Paperwhite also includes the ability to invert black and white text, allowing for nighttime reading with white text on a black background. That is one of my favorite features from the Kindle Oasis and it is exciting to see it available on the Paperwhite.

Covers:

Currently, Amazon has three covers available for the new device:

I will be on the look out for 3rd-party covers for this new model and will do a post as soon as new covers are available.

Bonuses:

  • Kindle Unlimited – Amazon is offering 6 months of Kindle Unlimited free with the purchase of a new Paperwhite. The Kindle Unlimited a subscription service that offers unlimited reading of books, magazines and audiobooks. Offer is only available after purchase and terms and conditions apply.
  • Trade in – Take advantage of Amazon’s trade in program and trade in your existing Kindle before you buy a new one. Besides a gift card for your old Kindle, you will get 25% off the purchase price of your new one. (And, yes, some Fire Tablets are eligible for trade in, too!)

The new Kindle Paperwhite prices start at $129.99 (only $10 more than the previous model). It is available in both Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi + 4G LTE models. Complete specs are here.

So, what do you think? Are these new features worth an upgrade to you?

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Get $20 off Amazon Kindle e-readers

paperwhite_bwRight now, you can get $20 off several of the e-ink Kindle models. Through Thursday, all Kindles e-readers except the Oasis are discounted. The models are:

Amazon is also offing savings on Essentials bundles for each device. The bundles include the e-reader, a Amazon cover and a power adapter.

Recently, Amazon has been offering five month payment plans for its devices. The payment plans are as follows for devices with the default configuration of WiFi and special offers:

Also note that Amazon’s Holiday Return Policy is now in effect. This policy gives you extra time for returns for items, factoring in gift giving. The policy states:

Items shipped by Amazon.com between November 1, 2016 and December 31, 2016, may be returned until January 31, 2017, for a full refund, subject to our other return guidelines listed below. Items shipped from sellers other than Amazon.com are subject to this same holiday return policy unless otherwise stated in the seller’s individual Return Policy.

And don’t forget to buy a cover! Any Kindles on your Christmas wish list?

Sunday Daily Deals: Amazon Tap, Fire TV and Tablets on Sale

TapToday, lots of books and devices on sale; Get 20$ off the Amazon Tap and various model Fire Tablets. You can also get $15 the Fire TV  and several bundles.

Deals of the Day for Sunday, June 12, 2016:

Amazon’s selection of Kindle Daily Deals includes a selection of over 15 popular books for 2.99 each.

In Today’s Deals, there are so many goodies today. You can find a Goal Zero 23000 Yeti 400 Solar Generator and 40% off Vanguard 10×42 Sprit ED Binoculars.

Amazon is having a huge sale on devices! For a limited time, here’s what you can find:

The Barnes and Noble Nook Daily Find is Canyon Sacrifice by Scott Graham for $1.99.The Romance Daily Find is Ignite: The Wildwood Series by Karen Erickson for 99 cents.

Kobo’s Daily Deal is Deja Dead:  A Temperance Brennan Novel by Kathy Reichs for $1.99.

iTunes’ Weekly Bestsellers Under $4 includes Evidence of the Afterlife: The Science of Near-death Experiences by Jeffrey Long for $1.99.

Google has a selection of Hot Deals This Week.

(A note on Daily Deals: All prices current at the time of posting and subject to change. Most items marked Daily Deals are good for only the day posted.

Many large promotions have discount pricing that is set by the publisher. This usually means that titles can be found at a discount price across most platforms (with iTunes sometimes being the exception). If you have a favorite retailer you like to patronize, check the title on that website. There is a good chance that they will be matching the sale price.)


Daily Links are interesting links I discover as I go about my online day. The frequency and number of links posted depend upon the daily news. I also post other, different links of interest on Twitter, Facebook, and on the Google Plus eBook Evangelist Page.

Amazon introduces a hardware solution for accessibility

access_pwIf you’ve still been hoping for Amazon to bring back the text-to-speech for the e-ink Kindles, you may be out of luck. The death knell for that sounded today when Amazon announced it’s new VoiceView For Kindle feature today.  The feature uses Amazon’s text-to-speech language system (Ivona) to help visually impaired customers navigate the Kindle Paperwhite.

Previous generations of e-ink Kindles offered by Amazon used speakers are or a 3.5mm jack to provide the sound for text-to-speech. This solution uses a separate USB dongle that requires the use of headphones. According to Amazon’s blog:

Visually impaired customers will be able to use VoiceView for Kindle with the new Kindle Audio Adapter—an Amazon-designed USB audio dongle—to connect headphones or speakers, which then allows the ability to listen to and navigate the user interface, in addition to listening to books. The Kindle Audio Adapter was designed specifically to be used with VoiceView for Kindle.

The new Kindle Audio Adapter is available now as part of the Kindle Paperwhite Blind and Visually Impaired Readers Bundle.  The bundle includes the Kindle Paperwhite with Wi-Fi and Special Offers and the Kindle Audio Adapter. According to Amazon, purchasers receive a $19.99 Account Credit back for the purchase of the adapter, “so they won’t have to pay extra for accessibility.”  The dongle is promised to be available at a future date for other Kindle e-readers.  Update: the adapter is now available separately for $19.99. New story here.

My reaction to this? I am seriously underwhelmed. IMHO, the hardware dongle is the wrong approach and one much too late in coming.

As a bit of background, I should note that I myself am vision impaired. In the past, I worked managing federal grants (which included monitoring ADA compliance issues) and had also represented my community at an Easter Seals Project Action Seminar. So this is an area that really interest me, personally and professionally.

Text-to-speech has been a thorny issue for Amazon since the feature was first introduced on the Kindle 2. The Authors Guild strenuously objected to the feature and claimed it was, in fact, illegal. Amazon finally backed off and let the publishers decide whether text-to-speech should be enabled on a title. While the Kindle Keyboard, the Kindle DX and the 2012 Kindle Touch were text-to-speech enabled, subsequent models have not included the feature.

The hardware USB dongle approach is problematic for several reasons. First, the dongle solutions limits independence. It means that, at least for right now, I have to buy a special Kindle bundle in order to have accessibility instead of all Kindles providing that accessibility. In order to use the dongle, I would also have to purchase or provide headphones or a speaker in order to make the device in order to use the disability features. (This is a barrier a sighted person would not have if using a Kindle Paperwhite.)

What about people who already own Paperwhites? The Kindle Audio Adapter is not available separately so that I could make one of the Paperwhites I already own accessible. From the product page: 

Kindle Audio Adapter [is] only compatible with VoiceView enabled Kindle e-readers (does not support music or audiobook playback)

Will there be a software update for current Paperwhites? It will be interesting to see how Amazon handles that issue (if at all). According to ADA regulations, Amazon can’t legally charge for the adapter,  so I really doubt that we will see the item available separately.

This hardware solution also seems to dramatically affect battery life on the Kindle Paperwhite. According to the product page:

A single battery charge provides up to 6 hours of continuous reading while using Kindle Audio Adaptor [sic]

Notice the difference in battery power. Current Paperwhites are supposed to get 30 days use at a half an hour of use per day or the equivalent of approximately 15 hours. That’s two and a half times the battery life you will get when using the dongle.

That battery life becomes a real concern as the dongle is using the same port that the Kindle uses for recharging. That means that you cannot use accessibility features and charge the Kindle itself at the same time. I see that as an issue that is going to severely limit the usefulness of the connected Kindle.

I intend to be watching this feature very closely to see how this story develops. We will see how this new feature actually performs in practice. It will be interesting to see if Amazon opens this up to existing Kindles and just how quickly it rolls out to other Kindle models.

Found via KindleChronicles / Teleread

Finds and Deals: Kindle Bundles and Fire Tablets

fire_6_2If you are still thinking about a tablet or e-reader, Amazon is listing discounted prices for most of the Fire line of devices under its 12 days of Deals. You can can find discounts on the following:

Fire Tablets:

Fire HD 6, 6″ HD Display, Wi-Fi, 8 GB – Includes Special Offers, Black ($79.99)

Fire HD 8, 8″ HD Display, Wi-Fi, 8 GB – Includes Special Offers, Black ($129.99)

Fire HD 10, 10.1″ HD Display, Wi-Fi, 16 GB – Includes Special Offers, Black ($179.99)

Amazon also is offering discounts on several other models of Fire Tablets, including the HDX:

Kindle Fire HD 7″, HD Display, Wi-Fi, 8 GB (Previous Generation – 3rd) ($99.99)

Kindle Fire HDX 8.9″, HDX Display, Wi-Fi and 4G LTE, 16 GB – Includes Special Offers (Previous Generation – 3rd) ($429.99)

Fire HDX 8.9, 8.9″ HDX Display, Wi-Fi, 64 GB – Includes Special Offers ($429.99)

Fire TV:

Amazon Fire TV ($84.99)

Bundles:

Fire HD 6 Kids Edition, 6″ HD Display, Wi-Fi, 8 GB, Blue Kid-Proof Case ($79.99)

E-Ink Kindles:

Kindle Paperwhite Essentials Bundle including Kindle Paperwhite 6″ E-Reader with Special Offers, Amazon Leather Cover – Onyx Black, and Power Adapter ($159.97)

Kindle Voyage Essentials Bundle including Kindle Voyage 6″ E-Reader with Special Offers, Amazon Leather Cover – Black, and Power Adapter ($249.97)

And a note for those of you looking for book bargains: Stay tuned! In my experience, a lot of e-books go on sale on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day so that all those folks who just got a shiny new e-reader can find lots of goodies!

Daily Links: Aereo files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

Aereo_logoFrom Talking Media, Aereo files for Chapter 11.

Oyster starts its own web magazine, from Digital Book World.

From Teleread, news on collections in the latest Kindle Paperwhite update.

Adobe plans on bringing Photoshop to the cloud, From Ars Technica.

Also from Talking Media,  subscription service Readly adds 50 new titles, including Rolling Stone.

Daily Links are interesting links I discover as I go about my online day. The frequency and number of links posted depend upon the daily news.

Refurbished Kindle Paperwhite $85 Deal of the Day

paperwhiteToday’s Kindle deal of the day is a Certified Refurbished Kindle Paperwhite (current generation) with special offers for only $85.00.

My Paperwhite has become my go to ereader. The front lit screen is easy to read on and is a very bright white when compared to the screens of the other Kindles or either one of my Nook e-ink ereaders. It is great for reading in bed without an external light! 🙂