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Android Books Handhelds Hardware

Hands-On Account of Amazon's Upcoming Color Kindle 156

Posted by timothy
from the nook-nook-who's-there? dept.
jcgam69 writes with a description at TechCrunch of what's claimed to be an all-but-finished version of the upcoming color Kindle. "It's called simply the 'Amazon Kindle.' But it's not like any Kindle you've seen before. It displays content in full color. It has a 7-inch capacitive touch screen. And it runs Android." That last part inspires sharp words from some of the TechCruch readers, because the GUI described is an older version of Android wrapped so thickly in Amazon livery that it's hard to recognize. The author speculates that this new Kindle might be sold with a tempting sweetener — a free subscription to Amazon Prime.
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Hands-On Account of Amazon's Upcoming Color Kindle

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  • by Marble68 (746305) on Saturday September 03, 2011 @01:57AM (#37294720) Homepage

    $250 is a *great* price point, IMHO. We know quality hardware sold for $99 ($300 loss) sells like hotcakes because of HP.

    Will be interesting - especially since they're not working with Google on it... FTFA "At all".

    I have a nook color and nook touch (the nook Touch is awesome) - I'll gladly add one of these. Amazon is shaking things up. Killer.

    When will Apple start suing them?

    • by giorgist (1208992)
      Even better than that, the real sweet spot is actually about $250 -$300 given that is the ebay going price. So people are willing to pay $300 for a discontinued peace of hardware. I think Amazon has hit it right on.

      I wonder what it will do to the market. It might hurt other Android tablets, but I doubt it will put too much pressure on iPad for a while.

      G
      • by SomePgmr (2021234)
        I think you're right about leaving well-enough alone on the iPad front. As TC put it, they're pimping a very, very nice ereader.... not an iPad wannabe. It just happens to be able to do a lot of what an ipad does too. It'll be interesting to see what happens.
    • by DrXym (126579)
      $250 is still too much for a 7" tablet, especially one which should be subsidized by a service but I expect they'll sell a lot anyway. What I want to know is how long it will take before someone mods them to run vanilla Android.
      • by iamhassi (659463)

        $250 is still too much for a 7" tablet, especially one which should be subsidized by a service but I expect they'll sell a lot anyway. What I want to know is how long it will take before someone mods them to run vanilla Android.

        Agreed. That's not much larger than a iPod Touch, and this thing is so locked down that it's really just a portable Amazon.com viewer rather than a tablet I can surf, check email and install apps on.

    • by creat3d (1489345)
      Why do you need a third reader?
      • by Tharsman (1364603)

        Family of 3 where everyone loves reading?

      • by VanessaE (970834)

        Same reason that, every once in a while, one might see one or two people working from several PADDs scattered across a table in an episode of Star Trek.

        It's easier and perhaps more "natural" to be able to just pick up a reader/tablet and start reading whatever's already showing on it, put it down, pick up another, repeat ad nauseum, than to switch between multiple documents on a single device. This is especially true with reference materials.

    • by Tharsman (1364603)

      This must be scaring the hell out of Google.

      This platform, if as good as described, will take over the entire non-Apple tablet market very very fast. I know I would get one even if just to play with it and development.

      This thing, again if as described, will be successful and developers will focus their support for it, not Honeycomb or subsequent APIs. Some developers may keep their support on 2.2 API, others may venture deep into whatever exclusive APIs the Kindle Tablet offers. This means at best, the Andr

      • by Rich0 (548339)

        Well, Google will have shot itself in the foot in this case. I'm sure they'd have used Honeycomb if Google had bothered to release the source for it. They're using the latest and greatest version of Android that is actually available.

        • That's not what the author of the article thinks:
          "My understanding is that the Kindle OS was built on top of some version of Android prior to 2.2"
          So it's at least two versions behind the latest open source release.
    • by gad_zuki! (70830)

      So wait, $250 is a good price now? For $150 more you can get a full blown 10 inch Honeycomb tablet - the Transformer that gives you google apps, google market, both nook and amazon stores, a tablet experience, etc.

      Kindles big market penetrations happened when they started getting cheap. Now everyone has one. This "me too" Color Nook isn't that appealing. Techies will want real tablets and non-techies are happy with their e-ink devices.

      Amazon could have released a Honycomb tablet with the google apps and goo

    • by Phoghat (1288088)

      When will Apple start suing them?

      Tomorrow actually. Can't wait too long. OTOH, Root ! Root ! Root !

  • so much for e-ink... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by spacecoyotefarva (2384168) on Saturday September 03, 2011 @02:00AM (#37294730)
    The technology had promise.
    • Well, the problem with e-ink is that it the atten- oh look some colorful moving images... come to me Rainbow Dash!
    • by itsdapead (734413) on Saturday September 03, 2011 @03:38AM (#37294990)

      The technology had promise.

      ...and it is unbeatable for sequentially reading large quantities of flowing text - but until it has a much faster response rate, that is about all it is good for. Paper books have better random access! Aside from the lack of colour or video, it can't even implement a decent multitouch interface (sure, you can add the touchscreen but you can't give the sort of fluid visual feedback on which iOS and Android depend).

      I have an iPad and a Kindle - the Kindle is far more relaxing for reading novels on, but for anything else, even for reading reference books and other PDFs, the iPad is more practical.

      On the other hand, Amazon have kept the price of the e-ink Kindle down to the point where it is viable as a single-purpose device. If the price given in TFA for the Amazon Tablet is correct (presumably they will be subsidizing it from media sales) then you could get a tablet + an e-ink Kindle for the price of most half-decent tablets...

      Wonder if its going to have "free" worldwide 3G like the Kindle?

      However, it does sound a bit like Kindle Tablet owners are going to be able to tell iPad owners "Lock-in? That's not a lock-in... This is a lock-in..."

    • I'm surprised actually, because E Ink does have a colour product available. Maybe it just came too late for Amazon product development.

      http://www.eink.com/display_products_triton.html [eink.com]

      • by _Shad0w_ (127912)

        Yeah, I was really hoping for a Kindle based on the colour e-ink display. I really like e-ink displays, it's just monochrome e-ink is pants for a lot of reference books.

    • by Man Eating Duck (534479) on Saturday September 03, 2011 @05:50AM (#37295276)

      so much for e-ink... The technology had promise.

      Promise? I'd say that the technology is wildly successful for those of us that actually read books. I don't have a Kindle, but I have a Sony PRS-650 which is a comparable device (slightly better IMO). I've read more than 300 books on it, and it's just about perfect for its purpose. No eyestrain whatsoever, only needs charging every third week. For Internet and media on the go I have my phone, but you just can't find anything better than E-Ink for reading novels. I really don't see how my reader could be significantly improved.

      • ... for those of us that actually read books

        ... yet you're talking about e-readers.

        • ... yet you're talking about e-readers.

          Yes. I work at a publishing company, we publish books in hardcover, paperback, and electronic versions. It's still a book. If I needed to specify a format I could have written ebooks, but in this case I was referring to content, not format. I'm not arguing about this, this is just how the terms are used in the business. Oh, and if you're in the "only-paper-books-are-real-books"-camp, that's pure BS, I will not argue about that either. Go huddle with the vinyl record fanatics over there :) (I actually like

      • They should put a solar panel on it so it never needs charging. Even a small, calculator size panel would be enough to negate the need to ever charge it.
      • by Solandri (704621)
        Eyestrain comes about from a mismatch between the brightness of the page you're reading vs the surrounding environment. If you adjust the room's lighting to match that of a backlit display, you will not get eyestrain (in fact if it's perfectly adjusted, you won't be able to tell apart the LCD from the e-ink display). Yes, this means don't use your tablet (or laptop) in a dark bedroom at night. Turn on a desk lamp. The only place e-ink devices really have an advantage when it comes to eyestrain is outdoo
      • I really don't see how my reader could be significantly improved.

        In no particular order:

        1. The background color of e-ink is not ideal, and should be able to display something resembling white, if not actually a user-selectable color.
        2. The resolution of e-ink can be improved, at least to 300 dpi or so.
        3. While the flashing refresh is bearable, it's obviously not ideal.
        4. Depending on what you're reading, rich color.
    • The article said it would likely be able to switch between e-ink and back-lit.
      • Oops, wrong article. Here's [cnet.com] one that mentions reports [informationweek.com] of dual-mode screens.
    • e-Ink's not going anywhere. BN has had a tablet out for a while, and they're still releasing new e-Ink models. So I wouldn't worry about it.

      And in the longer term it'll be interesting to see what comes of the OLPC's screen, which was a dual mode back-lit + color/ambient light + monochrome thing. Personally, I think that's the way to go if this whole "Tablets and eReaders are the same thing yo" mindset really becomes standard, but never having seen the OLPC I don't know how well it worked in practice.

    • I got a kindle some months ago, and what makes it great for me is the e-ink display - both the sunlight readability, and the low power consumption which means I don't have to bring a charger on week long vacations. I looked at the color nook in the store, and thought "oh look, a crappy iPad".
  • There were a lot of potential positives in the story. Amazon has demonstrated it knows how to put together a device people want, after all.

    But there may be a big gotcha. This is a fork of Android, and Amazon's not working with Google *at all* on this. More importantly, there are no Google applications on the device (with the implication that they aren't available, period). You can use the Amazon app store, but not the Android app store.

    I'm only one guy, but when it comes to my Android phone... I think the s

  • Do not want (Score:5, Insightful)

    by narcc (412956) on Saturday September 03, 2011 @02:11AM (#37294770) Journal

    Who wants an e-reader without an e-ink display? The display is such a vital part of the experience!

    I get that you can "do more" with traditional display, but I don't *want* to do more. A big part of the appeal, for me at least, is that it's a very quiet piece of technology. It doesn't encourage me to check my email or browse the web; the display just isn't well suited for that task.

    It does encourage me to read, however, as the display is so easy on the eyes. As a bonus, the thing has amazing battery life. So much so, that it can go weeks without a charge. It's not even something I think about. I don't worry about charging, or running out of juice in the middle of a chapter. In short, I don't have to manage it the same way I'd need to manage a tablet. It stays out of the way, letting me read in peace.

    If I wanted to stare at a light bulb, I'd just read on the computer. Here's hoping Amazon doesn't abandon the tried-and-true e-ink display.

    • by ctid (449118)

      The article states that Amazon are working on an e-ink device with a multi-touch screen but that is nowhere near ready yet.

    • by MacTO (1161105)

      narcc: I agree with you in every respect except "who wants an e-reader without an e-ink display?" I can see a lot of people wanting that, for things like curling up in bed and reading without needing a lamp (or candlelight, as I had to do with my Kindle during power outages) or simply being able to see colour pictures and diagrams.

      Still, the new Kindle sounds like a multifunction device which defeats the "quiet" part (which I also think is important), it wouldn't last long in a power outage, and a true tabl

    • No kidding (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Saturday September 03, 2011 @02:47AM (#37294860)

      The e-ink display is what makes these things worth owning and why not to just get a tablet. If you want a tablet, fine and well, go right ahead, but don't say it is a replacement for an eReader until you've tried one. It is no more a replacement for an eReader than a stove is a replacement for a toaster.

      The reason is the display. It really does look like paper. The e-ink name isn't bullshit, it really does work like ink and is fully reflective. The battery life is also really nice. It is a device that doesn't have to be plugged in every day.

      I've played with tablets and they hold no interest for me. I don't find they fill any useful niche what with owning a laptop and smartphone. However I do have a Kindle and like it very much. It is because while it only does one thing, it does it very well. I would liken it to my toaster, or rice cooker. Those are specialty devices. I have another device that can do everything they do and more. However though they only do one thing, they do it really well, and that makes them worth owning despite having a stove, oven, microwave, and so on.

      • Re:No kidding (Score:5, Interesting)

        by berj (754323) on Saturday September 03, 2011 @02:58AM (#37294890)

        The e-ink display is what makes these things worth owning and why not to just get a tablet. If you want a tablet, fine and well, go right ahead, but don't say it is a replacement for an eReader until you've tried one. It is no more a replacement for an eReader than a stove is a replacement for a toaster.

        The reason is the display. It really does look like paper. The e-ink name isn't bullshit, it really does work like ink and is fully reflective. The battery life is also really nice. It is a device that doesn't have to be plugged in every day.

        I've played with tablets and they hold no interest for me. I don't find they fill any useful niche what with owning a laptop and smartphone. However I do have a Kindle and like it very much. It is because while it only does one thing, it does it very well. I would liken it to my toaster, or rice cooker. Those are specialty devices. I have another device that can do everything they do and more. However though they only do one thing, they do it really well, and that makes them worth owning despite having a stove, oven, microwave, and so on.

        I have a kindle DX and before the iPad came out I *loved* it. The display is *amazing* and is extremely easy to read.

        The problem is that in addition to reading books I read *alot* of pdf scientific papers. the Kindle (neither the small one nor the DX) is just plain old not suited to this task. The rendering is *very* slow. The display has the resolution but I find that the iPad's display can render the text so much cleaner and readable. I ended up turning the kindle sideways and reading that way but that's a sub-optimal way to read multi-column text (especially when coupled with the slow rendering). Add to that instant zooming and full color images and in the arena of reading not just books but also pdfs the iPad (and any other tablet for that matter) wins hands down.

        If e-ink tech can get rendering and refresh rates similar to an LCD then I would return to that market because the screen really is incredible. But until then I can't justify a single purpose device that doesn't fill the actual purpose (for me).

        • by MacTO (1161105)

          IMHO, it isn't even a refresh rate issue. The problem is with how quickly the Kindle renders a PDF page. I have found that Duokan (a replacement for the Kindle software) is much better in that respect. After my Kindle broke, I picked up a Kobo. Rendering PDFs is much faster (though the tiny screen is a problem).

          Amazon needs to fix the PDF reader on the Kindle, as well as offer other improvements. (Example: offer ePub support, so that it works with existing mechanisms that libraries use to lend ebooks.)

          • by cduffy (652)

            Of course a colour e-ink display would help tremendously too, especially on the DX, but I don't know if the technology for that even exists.

            It does. [eink.com]

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by bemymonkey (1244086)

        The thing is: Most people don't want to lug around a separate device that can't be used for *anything* other than reading text, especially when the devices are reliant on proprietary (i.e. device specific) software, restricting the available input formats and causing rendering problems on more complicated PDFs and such. I've heard many a complaint about eBook readers' PDF rendering - they don't seem to be suitable for anything much other than reading fully reflowable text.

        A tablet, on the other hand, will d

        • The thing is: Most people don't want to lug around a separate device that can't be used for *anything* other than reading text, especially when the devices are reliant on proprietary (i.e. device specific) software, restricting the available input formats and causing rendering problems on more complicated PDFs and such. I've heard many a complaint about eBook readers' PDF rendering - they don't seem to be suitable for anything much other than reading fully reflowable text.

          That's not really an e-ink problem, it's not like e-ink and PDFs are incompatible

          • It's a bit of an E-Ink problem, because the E-Ink devices are all single-purpose devices - that significantly reduces the size of their target audience and will therefore keep devs away. Take Adobe - do they have PDF reader software for E-Ink devices? Because Android has an official Adobe Reader app that renders complex PDFs more or less perfectly...

            That's just an example though - what if a new format for, say, technical books, shows up in the next year or so? On Android, you can be sure you'll have an app

            • by narcc (412956)

              If you're lugging a tablet around already, which works perfectly fine for eBooks, are the E-Ink advantages really worth carrying around a whole additional device?

              Yes, it's undoubtedly worth it.

        • Re:No kidding (Score:5, Insightful)

          by demonlapin (527802) on Saturday September 03, 2011 @06:54AM (#37295386) Homepage Journal

          apps are available to do so, and if they aren't, you could write one yourself

          The number of people who can actually write PDF display software that is both accurate and fast may not be small in an absolute sense, but as a percentage of the market it's so small as not to be worth bothering with.

          The eInk devices have succeeded because they're cheaper, lighter, longer-lived, and better at one specific task than the real tablet alternatives.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          When you say "most people" you really mean "I".

          The Kindle replaces books. It doesn't replace your laptop. If you want to replace your laptop, then you're not in the Kindle's target audience - you're in the tablet's target audience.

        • by ErikZ (55491) *

          The thing is: Most people don't want to lug around a separate device that can't be used for *anything* other than reading text,

          Why not? They already do that, they're called "Books".

          • The weight of books was the main reason for me to go the e-Reader route... what other reason could there be?

      • The reason is the display. It really does look like paper. The e-ink name isn't bullshit, it really does work like ink and is fully reflective. The battery life is also really nice. It is a device that doesn't have to be plugged in every day.

        This, a hundred times this. If they can get the contrast looking like real paper, make it in colour, slap in a solar charger somewhere and ruggedise it, I'll buy three on the spot.

        • by shmlco (594907)

          That's an awful lot of "ifs" for a device that's supposedly already perfect for reading. I'll buy one the very second they eliminate that headache inducing let's-invert-the-entire-screen double-flash that occurs every single time you want to turn the page.

          I've had about every Kindle shipped. And all were shipped back.

      • by shmlco (594907)

        Having read literally hundreds of ebooks on a HP Compaq PDA, various iPhones, and several iPads, I disagree.

        First, I never read ebooks (or books) outdoors in direct sunlight. Too hot where I live.

        So that means that I read indoors, often in dim rooms where a backlit display has several advantages over a low-contrast device that needs extremely bright ambient light in order for one to be able read practically anything. E-Ink has terrible contrast ratios, and I hate to tell you this, but reading low-contrast

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by SomePgmr (2021234)

      Who wants an e-reader without an e-ink display?

      Well, Apple sold quite a few iPads. Besides, Amazon has a lot of stuff to sell beyond ebooks. Not least of which is video content.

    • Then why not just use one of the already available Kindles or the other E-Ink based competitors? It's not like they're going to phase out E-Ink completely in favor of LCD... they're just adding an LCD-based device to their portfolio... no harm in that. :)

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Who wants an e-reader without an e-ink display?

      People who buy iPads (currently massively outselling kindles) and use them to read books, and the net, and watch videos etc. apparently do.

      The display is such a vital part of the experience!

      For you. For most people, the disadvantages of an e-ink display outweigh the advantages. That's why more people buy tablets. I'm not sure why e-ink aficionados constantly insist that they can't be compared to a tablet - the two devices do similar things in different ways. They are both good in their own way, and yes they are (for many people) comparable. On some things t

      • by rolfwind (528248)

        Reading this thread, I'm thinking, isn't it great we have choices and aren't subject to just one approach?

        Having tried both devices, I prefer the iPad, but I can see why people prefer e-ink.

      • by artor3 (1344997)

        Compare apples with oranges much? You keep citing sales figures to "prove" that most people prefer to read off tablets over e-ink. But how many people are buying tablets as e-readers?

        You may as well say that since more people own stoves than barbecue grills, they must prefer to grill their food on stovetop.

        You even then go on to admit that for reading, e-readers are better. So then why even post an argument to the sentence you quoted, "who wants an e-reader without an e-ink display?"

        • You even then go on to admit that for reading, e-readers are better. So then why even post an argument to the sentence you quoted, "who wants an e-reader without an e-ink display?"

          I said 'if all you want to do is read novels' eink is better. For all the other forms of reading and writing I do, and because I don't only want to read novels, I prefer a tablet. That's not to say that e-readers are inferior or useless, but they are only really useful for one particular kind of reading, and the majority of reading and writing nowadays goes on on the web, not in novels, plus in addition to text-only books I like a few books which have images, are more interactive, some magazines, etc. Thus

    • I am with you. I bought my Kindle a month ago, after very very long hesitation. And I love it. It's light, small, portable and the display is amazing. I love the fact that I can sit in the sun and read, just as I would with a book. That I can read in the evening in bed, without having to look at a back-lit display (some people may not mind, I do).

      I love the fact that it does nothing else - I was impressed how immersive the reading is and I guess the fact that it does not have Skype, email, news, facebook, o

    • by DThorne (21879)

      Agreed. My wife and I have a bunch of gadgets, couple of nexus phones, xoom, and we use them constantly. My kindle, however, is my 'book'. Different tech, different use. Sure, I can and do read on a light emitting screen, but long hours reading print needs e-ink.

    • by DinDaddy (1168147)

      Who wants an e-reader without an e-ink display?

      Amazon wants you to use their video service on it. So they do.

    • If they put solar panels on e-ink devices they would never need to be recharged. A calculator sized solar panel wouldn't even add $10 to the cost.
    • Who wants an e-reader without an e-ink display? .

      I do. Reading most Manga/Comic Books just doesn't work for me on E-ink.

      For me, the battery of a tablet is not as critical as the battery of my phone. Besides, it's not like I'm reading twelve hours a day, and even if I were, I can still read it just fine plugged in. And it's not like my tablet would be far from an electrical outlet even if it didn't need charging. I just do not use my tablet the same way I use my phone (I don't even have my notifications turned on - on my tablet).

      My only complaint with thi

  • by Andtalath (1074376) on Saturday September 03, 2011 @02:15AM (#37294774)

    Relating the two products will dilute the name of kindle.

    Expanding a name is very risky and you need to be very careful since people will still buy it to read on and will notice that it's garbage for it (too heavy, doesn't work in sunlight, needs to be recharged quite often).

    Poor decision.

  • That last part inspires sharp words from some of the TechCruch readers, because the GUI described is of an older version of Android wrapped so thickly in Amazon livery that it's hard to recognize.

    Respecting a fine tradition, I didn't read TFA, but isn't the point of Android (a version of Linux wrapped so thickly in Google livery it's hard to recognize) to be hackeable & modifiable by any company, organization or individual? Why would someone object to this?

    • by giorgist (1208992)
      This is a good thing. People can choose what they want. If you want a Google device ... there are lots, with hardly any differentiation. Most have one feature that differentiates them.

      I am happy with my Xoom and my nook touch, but I hope this device goes very well, even at the expense of my Xoom. Pressure to make em all innovate I say
  • Very disappointed (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bhunachchicken (834243) on Saturday September 03, 2011 @02:26AM (#37294808) Homepage

    If the initial report is to be believed, and I've read this all correctly, this is very disappointing news.

    Amazon's tablet is basically just that: a tablet that is linked into Amazon's store.

    That's it. Nothing more, nothing less.

    I was expecting something more: some sort of LCD / eInk combo or even a colour eInk screen, that Amazon may have been keeping secret to hit the competition with.

    As it stands, this is basically just an Android tablet, capable of downloading and listening to music, downloading and watching films, and reading books (and not as well as a true Kindle at that, given that it's a LCD screen..!!) Just like any other damn tablet out there!

    Probably the only thing going for it is the price. Other than that, this seems... pointless.

    • There is already color e-ink technology but it is very washy and not vivid. Amazon will release an updated Kindle based on this technology when it's mature enough to represent a significant upgrade from black and white e-ink tech.

    • by torako (532270)
      I think this could actually be the first tablet that might have a chance of challenging the iPad. The hardware+OS quality is important, but I dare say that the integration with a healthy apps and media ecosystem is just as important, and that is where Amazon could really shine:

      As it stands, this is basically just an Android tablet, capable of downloading and listening to music, downloading and watching films, and reading books (and not as well as a true Kindle at that, given that it's a LCD screen..!!)

      The excellent tie-in with for-purchase or for-rent media is one of the big things that make the iPad so interesting. You only need to enter your Apple ID and you're set. Amazon could do the same thing with their huge MP3, video and bo

    • sounds like a more expensive version of an archos 7, I have a version 2 archos with android 2.1 running the kindle app.

      It did have a problem with drm when i bought a book from amazon it downloaded but it said to delete it and download it again, which happened repeatedly.

      In the end i got a kindle pc version running in wine and used deswindle in wine (had to install python for windows too) to remove the drm from the book and side load it to my archos 7.

      my archos 7 cost around 120 euro's from car phone warehou

    • by eples (239989)

      Probably the only thing going for it is the price. Other than that, this seems... pointless.

      If I can read in direct sunlight, in color, you can expect to see this device appearing on beaches everywhere.

      I love my iPad but it never goes outside.

    • Not to mention Engadget previewed a $200 7-inch tablet just yesterday.
    • by gruntled (107194)

      Price is a lot. I waited for the price of the Kindle to come down under $200 before getting one; I've been waiting for usable pad to come out for the same price point. I expect there are a lot of people who share my opinion, based on the fact that the HP pad sold out nearly instantly when they priced it under $200.

  • by Namarrgon (105036) on Saturday September 03, 2011 @03:17AM (#37294944) Homepage
    • * Price is the same
    • * Size is the same
    • * Hardware is (pretty much) the same
    • * Display is the same
    • * Lack of Google apps is the same
    • * Heavily-skinned, older version of Android is the same

    You could buy a Nook Color and root it (to enable sideloading), install the Amazon apps (market, books etc) and get the best of both worlds (and Google apps as well). So I suppose the only real difference is Amazon's custom UI instead of B&N's, or if you prefer Amazon's services and don't care to root it.

    Either way, I don't see why pundits are suddenly predicting it'll disrupt the market. Maybe if they'd put a Mirasol display in there...

    • by DrXym (126579)
      I expect the Kindle device would be higher specced to be able to push out streaming video and games. I think Amazon will suffer heavily from rooted tablets, especially if the default experience is perceived as constrained or broken.
    • by tsj5j (1159013)

      Either way, I don't see why pundits are suddenly predicting it'll disrupt the market. Maybe if they'd put a Mirasol display in there...

      I'll hazard a guess here: don't underestimate Amazon's branding and market reach.
      The Kindle series is massively popular and has raised awareness in the e-reader market far better than any of its competitors.
      Many people might actually give an Android tablet a shot (not referring to geeks here) considering the stellar track record Kindle presents.

      Time and again, /.ers always predict a product's performance based on it's technical merit (e.g. Apple products).
      What many fail to realize is that the vast majority

      • by shmlco (594907)

        "Time and again, /.ers always predict a product's performance based on it's technical merit (e.g. Apple products)."

        I wouldn't even give them that much. Time and again they compare checklists, and the cheapest device with the most ports and other checklist features "wins", regardless of how well it's designed, or how well the features are actually implemented.

        It's got 32 USB ports for only $19.95???? SOLD!

  • ... if the display is indeed an e-ink color. That is it, nothing else mattered (for a Kindle).

    • by DrXym (126579)
      E-ink color is wretched technology. It's a conventional e-ink display stuck behind a transparent layer which "tints" the pixels with different colours. If you want to get an idea of the effect, print out a gray scale picture on some cardboard and colour it in with felt tip pens. If there is a future in e-ink displays it is likely to be Mirasol [mirasoldisplays.com] which offers vivid colours, high screen refreshes and optional backlighting.
  • An important piece of the article is where is says that this device will come with an "Amazon prime" subscription. Amazon prime provides 2nd day delivery to all orders at no cost.

    So why on Earth would someone want to get *physical* stuff from amazon if they have a reader that gets its content electronically? This alone makes me thing that amazon doesn't intend this to be a book reader (even if it can display PDFs). It's probably just another tablet, and amazon doesn't expect people with kindles to buy it.
  • Now you know ... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DrXym (126579) on Saturday September 03, 2011 @04:45AM (#37295130)
    ... why the Android 3.x source didn't get released. Google didn't want want Amazon lifting it, forcing them to either fork or come back to the negotiating table. The publically cited excuse that the 3.x codebase broke stuff and the code needed to be fixed probably had some truth but IMO this was the real reason.
    • by LWATCDR (28044)

      Ice cream sandwich will be a full source release. I am willing to bet that this will have the Amazon market on it as well as all the Amazon shopping software and video on demand. I would have gotten the Nook except for the lack of Kindle software for it. Now that I can root it it would be interesting except that my wife just got a 10.1 Viewsonic for the same price and rooted it.
      I know why BN wanted to keep all the purchases but I already had a Kindle so I wanted to keep my books. If I could have had Kindle

  • I hope that if they produce a full scale Android device, that they actually produce a quality app!

    I've been using the Kindle app on Android for about a year now.. or at least, since whenever it came out. It has *tons* of failings, including the ability to navigate it, backlight annoyances, and so on.

    Even the Amazon store through the app, for some bizarre reason, is less function than the full web.

    Heck, there are probably about 20 e-book reader apps, for free on the market, that actually provide more functi

  • My prefered reading format isn't supported by anything but a webpage ;( Anyone willing to pop it on the Android store for >$2.99?

    Here's http://spreeder.com/app.php.
  • http://spreeder.com/app.php Anyone seen this before? Can someone port it to Android for >$2.99? Please please please!
  • For $290 you can get an uncrippled 8" tablet.

    The only reason this will succeed is the Amazon name.

  • Then that leaves me out.

    The ONLY reason i would upgrade is to color e-ink. I already have a LCD 'tablet' and it sucks for long term reading. The only reason i use it to read it is that tech manuals suck in b/w. But if i don't *need* color at that moment its back to my e-ink device, which i can read for hours on end and not hurt my eyes, or worry about the battery for weeks ..

    Oh well, perhaps hancom will bring one of theirs to the states that isn't stupid priced.

    We need 'just yet another tablet' like we nee

  • by shimage (954282)
    Considering that I have no interest in using any of Amazon's cloud services, I'm not sure why I would choose this over a Nook Color. Maybe I'm just weird.
  • The 10-hour battery life is a non-starter for me. That means you can't go to Europe and back, without dragging the charger along.

    I'd much rather they introduced a 10-inch version of the current Kindle.

It was kinda like stuffing the wrong card in a computer, when you're stickin' those artificial stimulants in your arm. -- Dion, noted computer scientist

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