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Are the New Kindles Tablets-In-Training? 134

Posted by timothy
from the one-can-hope dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "TechNewsWorld reports that Amazon's new, slimmed-down Kindle devices are notable for several things, including upgrades to their experimental WebKit browser that makes it faster and easier to navigate, and the new 'article mode' feature extracts the main text-based content from Web pages for easier reading (as Safari does), suggesting the possibility that the Kindle may grow up to be a real tablet computer someday. Eventually, the tablet and e-reader categories 'are going to slam together,' says Rob Enderle, adding that they are 'held apart, largely because we don't yet have an affordable display that will do both tasks well.' One current problem 'is that TFT displays like the iPad uses suck for reading because they aren't outdoor viewable and are very power hungry. Display technologies like the Qualcomm Mirasol stuff will change this over the next 18 months, and by the end of next year — likely before — we'll begin to see converged devices.' Mirasol uses tiny mirrors, known as microelectronic machines, to create its display, which has the low power characteristics of E-Ink displays and the video-playing and color abilities of LCDs."
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Are the New Kindles Tablets-In-Training?

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  • Wi-Fi-only Kindle (Score:5, Interesting)

    by aunchaki (94514) on Sunday August 01, 2010 @08:20AM (#33100570) Homepage

    I want one of these, and think it's a great idea (de-innovation?) to remove the 3G support. I'm often in wi-fi areas, but don't really see the need to download books while I'm actually AT the beach. I can download enough when I'm at home (or at McDonalds, at Starbucks, etc...). Save money, save power, save bandwidth. I'm getting one!

  • by bgfay (5362) on Sunday August 01, 2010 @09:00AM (#33100694) Homepage

    I agree that the 3G is not necessary for my experience and that this thing should sell for $99. Amazon has just moved to selling more eBooks than hardcovers, why not just keep going with that.

    As for the full tablet experience, an incremental approach sounds right to me. Next, how about an audio player for Amazon MP3s. Then color screen and the ability to download Amazon video. That way they keep generating revenue and utilize it as a tool for selling more stuff which is all it was ever designed to be.

    Me, I'm sticking with my Netbook as well. I watched a few people during a summer course I took trying to make it with just an iPad. It's not there yet. Hell, I like a keyboard and there's that whole printing thing and...

    But if it comes below $100, I might get me a Kindle.

  • Re:Does not follow (Score:5, Interesting)

    by macshit (157376) <[gro.ung] [ta] [selim]> on Sunday August 01, 2010 @09:31AM (#33100780) Homepage

    I agree that the new kindle is very enticing, and I also think the article is stupid: the kindle is definitely not a "tablet computer," nor should it be, and the two markets are not going to "slam together" any more than people are going to start replacing their cellphones with ipads. The ipad, at least, is a very different thing, with very different strengths and weaknesses and it's useful for a very different set of tasks. Trying to make the kindle into one would be stupid, because it would entail giving up most of the advantages of the current kindle, regardless of new display tech. Even ignoring the non-optimal-for-reading display, the size of the ipad, the weight, the CPU power necessary to run general apps, the battery power required to run it all, and the high price, are all attributes that make some sense given Apple's target, but which do not make sense for an e-reader.

    Luckily Amazon (unlike Rob Enderle) is smart enough to realize that, and seem to be focusing relentlessly on making the kindle as good an e-reader as they can.

  • Re:Cheaper ebooks! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dodobh (65811) on Sunday August 01, 2010 @03:32PM (#33102770) Homepage

    I recommend reading Charles Stross' blogposts on Ebooks and the publishing industry.

    http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/2010/04/common-misconceptions-about-pu-1.html [antipope.org]

    I take no stand on the issue, Charles does and he backs up his claims with numbers.

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