back to article Amazon revamps E Ink Kindle line

It's official: the Amazon Kindle Fire will debut at $199 (£130), sport a 7in colour screen and run a customised version of Android with its own UI. It'll be accompanied by a touch-sensitive Kindle, the Touch, and cheaper alternative with no touchscreen. Both have E Ink displays. The Fire - codenamed 'Otter', by the way - …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    How many idiots

    Will actually buy this thinking it's a viable alternative to proper e-ink Kindle/Sony Reader?

    I'm guessing quite a few unfortunately, as in todays age, it only matters that you say the right things in the TV advert, if your product ultimately sucks, nobody cares...

    1. DrXym

      It is a viable alternative

      As long as the display is readable and the battery lasts 8+ hours, it will be a perfectly viable e-reader. I realise e-ink snobs will brag how their battery lasts for weeks or months etc. which may be true but it doesn't do much good for people who want to have a responsive colour display that can read books, stream content and other stuff.

      1. Dapprman

        The advanatge of e-ink

        The advantage of e-ink is not necessarily the battery life - though that does help, but the fact that you can quite happily read one with tired eyes, or for long periods of time, some thing LEDs prevent.

    2. Ralthor

      Bah humbug!

      In my day we made do with a stone tablet and chisel and liked it!

      1. vic 4

        Re: stone tablet and chisel and liked it

        You should count yourself lucky, in my day we had to paint on walls in caves and like it

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Re: stone tablet and chisel and liked it

          You had CAVES?

          (My animal skin, if you will... the one with the thigh bone sticking out of the pocket..)

          1. Lockwood

            @AC 1031

            Welcome to Norfolk?

  2. Wyrdness

    UK prices

    Are those prices (£130 for the Fire, £63 for the Touch) actual UK prices, or just wishful thinking based on the $ to £ exchange rate?

    1. bolccg

      The front page is all about the Kindle and has some pricing info:

      Kindle Wi-Fi, 6" E Ink Display - £89

      Kindle Keyboard, Wi-Fi, 6" E Ink Display - £109

      Kindle Keyboard 3G, Free 3G + Wi-Fi, 3G Works Globally, 6" E Ink Display - £149

      No obvious mention of the Kindle Touch or Fire so I'd say it's a straight exchange swop, since ti would be odd if they were to use the front page to pimp the kindle and leave off news of the Touch and Fire if they had any.

      1. Juillen 1

        The touch and fire aren't being released in the UK, or Europe..

    2. JeepBoy

      When have electronics *ever* been sold at an exchange rate price?

      The UK market has and will ever be a "Treasure Island" for importers.

      I was pleasantly surprised that the usual £1=$1 idea hadn't been applied and we can get the touch for *only* £89 instead of £99!

  3. This post has been deleted by its author

  4. Dick Emery

    infra red touch screen? will have to see how it responds before buying. even so you can bet $130=£130 when it gets to the UK. £50 for a Kindle keypad sounds good though. I have no need for such niceties as a keypad anyhow.

    1. MGman


      I don't think dollars will equal pounds in this case...

      Not if it's like current prices as $189 = £152 for the current Kindle 3G.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      No touch and no keyboard?

      How do you search for a book? How do you search for a location in a book? How do you look up a word in the dictionary? (I often use the Kindle's dictionary to look up a word I've encountered in a paper book.)

    3. GettinSadda

      It will be worse...

      From the article - the basic Touch model will be $79 in the USofA but £89 in the UK

      Total rip-off!

  5. John Riddoch

    On a serious note, the pricing looked really good until I spotted the "UK pricing not announced" bit, so we can add at least 20% (for VAT) to those prices, probably more. Still, it makes me glad I didn't go out & buy a Kindle now just to have it be out of date; there might be some good bargains to be had on the old ones pretty soon.

    1. Tim Walker

      I hope so...

      Is it too much to wish for, that Amazon will hold a "fire sale" of the current Kindles (pun not intended), around the time of the new ones being launched?

      If there's a chance of picking up one of the WiFi models for £50-£75 (say), I'd run with that, especially as none of the new models have a QWERTY keypad.

  6. Tegne

    I'm excited.

    I was recently thinking of getting my own Kindle after the success of the Wife's I bought her last year. Only question now is what model out of all these new shinies.. I wonder whether they will diddle us on the exchange rate too?

    1. Rob
      Thumb Up

      Ditto... wife takes her Kindle almost everywhere, I ended up not waiting for Amazon's version of a Pad and bought an Asus Transformer instead and I definately haven't regretted that decision :)

  7. JimmyPage Silver badge

    not a very good review, El Reg...

    no mention of the display technology ... is it e-ink or not ?

    1. Tegne

      To be fair Amazon have only just announced it.

      Full tech specs weren't fully available at the time but there's some further details of the non touch e reader on their uk website now.

    2. Tony Smith, Editor, Reg Hardware (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: not a very good review, El Reg...

      Er... it's not a review, it's a news story. And it has been updated with extra info now we have it.

      1. JimmyPage Silver badge

        Sorry :-(

        I'll take myself outside and shoot myself ..

        1. Darryl
          Thumb Up

          No need for such drastic measures as shooting yourself.

          Flogging will suffice

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Err, try reading?

      Updated It's official: the Amazon Kindle Fire will debut at $199 (£130), sport a 7in colour screen and run a customised version of Android with its own UI.

      It'll be accompanied by a touch-sensitive Kindle, the Touch, and cheaper alternative with no touchscreen. Both have E Ink displays.

  8. Sklar

    No free 3G - no deal.

    Being able to check BBC news and mail accounts while being on a beach pretty much anywhere in the world for free is awesome.

  9. LPF

    Even with UK TAX added, those are damed good value, cheap enough that if it breaks, you dont want to die, I predict will sell like no ones business!

    1. miknik
      Thumb Up

      Mine broke

      I knelt on my 3G Kindle 3 and it emitted a nasty cracking sound, screen dead. I searched on amazon (it was midnight on a Saturday) there was a button to click, put in your phone number and hit the button. Within seconds my phone was ringing, I was put through to a guy and told him what happened and he said we'll send you a new one for £50.

      I can't argue with service like that. These new Kindles all look great but I love mine so no real point changing it, but given the quality of the product and the after sales service I wouldn't hesitate recommending one to anyone. They are bargain basement cheap too!

  10. Mark Dowling

    Hope they sent a nice bunch of flowers to Waterloo, Canada

    apparently it's built on almost identical hardware to Playbook by the same manufacturer - RIM gets the production bugs out, Amazon reaps the rewards...

  11. David Evans

    non-story for the UK

    No way is this coming out in the UK any time in the next year. Look at all the content integration; hardly any of that stuff is available outside the US.

    1. Rob


      ... this line of products is what they were waiting for before they launched those services in other regions. Let the US market determine take-up and help set some figures for predicted uptake in other regions.

      At the end of the day Amazon will release those services over here eventually, just like the 'Prime' service.

      1. mrweekender

        Yeah, not gonna happen... deals on the media side of things is going to make it worthless in the UK. Unless Amazon can sort it out but that's unlikely any time soon.

  12. Greencat

    Any of these use e-ink...

    or are they all LCD displays?

  13. Peladon

    To me.......

    ... not that anybody needs to care about what I think :-P... the importance isn't so much the technical quality of the touch or the Kindle3. It's the breaking of the $100 barrier. That's a headspace barrier that may (and I have no hard figures to back this up) only accelerate e-reader take-up and e-book sales.

    Declaration of interest:

    Yes, I write, and my next book is coming out as an e-publication. I'd tell you what it is and where, but that would be advertising :-P.

  14. Anonymous Coward

    If it tanks...

    they can easily rename it the 'Fire sale'

  15. jay_bea

    I'm quite excited too

    but I wonder how long it will take them to appear in the UK. There was quite a lag with the original Kindle wasn't there?

    At $199 (or whatever that turns into in £s), the Fire would be quite a good option for children. I wonder whether Amazon will do any content filtering as part of the back-end processing of web pages to exclude malicious or adult sites?

  16. Hnk0
    Thumb Down


    Add 20% VAT and the Fire comes up to 240GBP, whereas you can get the Archo 80 G9 for 200GBP, it has cameras and isn't tied by the nuts to Amazon. I know where my money goes.

  17. dave 46

    I'd quite like to see one device with both an lcd screen and e-ink screen (either side if they can't think of a more ergonomic way of doing it).

    I like e-ink for reading long passages but for quickly flipping through a book or for flipping around managing collections (or accessing other material - like a website) an lcd would be nice.

  18. JDX Gold badge


    So are ANY of the new range actually "Kindles" with e-ink, or are they all different LCD tablets? For those of us who want a Kindle to read on, do we pay more for something without all the fancy features or what?

  19. DrXym


    I have a PRS-350 and touch works great on it. E-ink is vastly overrated though. It does make for a readable screen but the contrast is awful.

  20. Ian Yates


    I'll stick with my Sony, but the keyboard on the Kindle was the reason I didn't go for one, so it's interesting to see they've finally dropped it.

    A portable movie-rental device sounds interesting, though.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    What's the proper spec of the thing? It's all very well saying dual core but speed, memory, etc? Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!

  22. Valerion

    Kindle UK Pricing is availabe here:

    And it's crap... .$79 (no sales tax) in the US should be about £60 including VAT here. But it's actually £90.

  23. Quando

    UK price

    £89 for the new smaller Kindle - for a pre-order. That's for a wifi only version (doesn't appear to be a 3G one).

  24. Lith

    Kindle touchless wifi only is £89.00 on Amazon with a release date of 12/10/11.

    So no, not £63, but lets be honest, who actually expected it to be that?

    1. Pessable
      Thumb Up

      The wacky exchange rate between 79USD and 89GBP doesn't factor in the fact that the US version has ad-supported screensavers. Non-ad US version is 109USD. So that's not so bad.

  25. big_Jim

    on Fire

    If Amazon hit the price point of £130-£150 for the UK market they will create a whole new mass market for cheap tablets. 3G access is not necessary at that price. Home connection via wireless/USB to Amazon will be enough for the masses to buy through their shop front and load up media for consumption later. I predict a win.

    If Amazon go over £200, it'll become an epic fail.

    People aren't that dim, btw, they will know it ISN'T an ebook reader.

  26. This post has been deleted by its author

  27. M. B.

    $199 is...

    ...probably right where it needs to be.

    That's not a bad price for a content consumption device. Sure, it's not easy on the eyes like a dedicated e-reader but selling a 7-inch tablet with a bit of brand power for two hundred bucks could be a roaring success for Amazon.

    I'm interested, this it the right price and right form factor for my needs.

  28. swisstoni

    Amazon site has just updated. At the moment it looks like we're only getting the $79 Kindle for..... wait for it......


    Rip off Britain strikes again. Now where my Daily Mail..........

  29. Nights_are_Long

    Prices just got confirmed starting £89

  30. Reticulate

    Pounds for dollars.

    The one you get for £89 is non-touch: you navigate an on-screen keyboard image using the 5-way controller. Pre VAT that's £74. The equivalent non-touch version is $79 in the USA. Takes me back to the good old days of Cisco pricing.

  31. Whitter

    UK costing rears its ugly head yet again

    Does anyone in large-brand marketing deparments understand the anger that UK price inflation causes? Anger that will be detremental to the task of luring people away from other tablet devices (this not being an e-ink device).

  32. swisstoni

    Special Offers

    I think the difference comes from there not being a 'with special offers' advertising supported option. The $99 Kindle touch is $139 without it, and the one we're being offered here is $109 without.

    So $109 in £ is £72.66 + 20% vat = £87.20. So all in all, fair doos really.

  33. CaptainObvious
    Thumb Up

    The UK one doesn't have adverts, quit ya whining!

    Compare that to the US price for the one without adverts and it's not too bad.

    Where is the Kindle Touch for UK however?

  34. simon 43
    Thumb Up

    "Special Offer" Sponsored pricing

    Almost everyone is reading the headline pricing...

    The US (standard, keyboardless) 'new' Kindle 3 is only $79 when sold with 'special offers' (read adverts) instead of normal screensavers. The non-advert version is being sold at $109!

    $109 at 1.5$:£ gets you to around £72, by the time you add VAT (because you have to) the pricing is £87 and a bit.

    What will be interesting is the pricing of the touch screen models if they ever make it to this side of the pond..

  35. andysw9

    Except we won't be getting the $79 version as that has 'special offers'.. the non ad-serving version is $109, so at 1.5 is £72.66 + 20% ie £87.19 - hardly a 'rip-off' difference.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    At least this explains the recent rash of Kindles being offered as prizes

    I even managed to blag one (sadly wifi only but I'm not ungrateful) for listening to a lot of marketing speak for a few hours.

    I need to try harder for the iPad however

  37. PaulM 1

    Can the Fire run standard apps such as a PDF reader?

    The Kindle Fire has a customised old version of Android. This leads me to ask whether it can run standard Android apps such as a PDF document reader, a Word document reader and an Excel spreadsheet reader.

    My reason for asking this question is that existing Kindles can not read PDF files without first mailing them to Amazon. I do not want Amazon to read work related PDF files and this had stopped me from buying earlier versions of the Kindle ebook reader.

    The fact that the Fire has a customised version of Android also leads me to ask whether the Fire obeys the copyleft restrictions on the Linux kernal. Richard Stallman would not be happy if the Kindle Fire is a closed source software product.

    1. Anonymous Coward


      I have a Kindle Graphite WiFi & Kindle DX. Both stuffed with PDFs. Have never emailed files to Amazon for conversion.

      Announcement material lists the supported files.

      Have pre-ordered new entry model at £89 (a steal) with ETA of 13th Oct.

      No music files or headphone jack on new basic Kindle.

      Mike Campbell - UK

  38. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Let the price wars commence

    Looks like Apple have been going after the wrong people - Ipad mini for USD 199? They'll probably sell like hot cakes and then Amazon will have them.

  39. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    and the question no-one has asked...

    How does it deal with the huge pile of non-amazon supplied books I already have (most in epub format with no DRM). Is it necessary to use Calibre (I assume that will provide a host as it does for the existing Kindles) to manage a library?

    I like the idea of the device. I don't like the idea of being tied to a particular vendor one little bit, and have no great interest in purchasing books, particularly if they're tied to DRM in any way. I do have an awful lot of my own books, y'know, folded paper things, which are slowly being scanned, proofread, and stored away.

    1. Edwin

      There is an answer!

      Buy a Sony (or Nook, or some other brand of ereader)

      Amazon is not the only game in town...

      1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

        I already have a Sony PRS 300

        but it's getting a bit battered and bent after a couple of years, and the interface bugs are starting to annoy me... so I'm looking at alternatives. This looks as if it has possibilities, but I have read reports about really long delays when used with many books... cheap enough to play with though.

  40. HP Cynic

    I've now seen the prices: that "£50" for the most basic model has warped into £89.

    VAT would have made it £60 so the other £29 is just a gouge.

    Still cheap but but still overpriced compared to the US.

    Won't be bothering until they price them fairly.

    1. Euchrid

      @ HP Cynic

      As other have mentioned, there are two versions available – the ad-supported version for $79 or the standard one for $109. Only the latter will be available in the UK.

      Based on today’s exchange rate $109 equals £69.54 – adding 20% VAT takes that to £83.45, so the mark-up is less than six quid.

    2. Martin

      yet another person...

      ...not comparing apples with apples.

      This is the non-advertising version - it's $109 in the US, so £89 isn't bad.

  41. ToonArmyBarmy

    Exchange Rate

    Didn't know Stirling was so low against the dollar! $79 in USA £89 in UK... What's that about?

  42. R J Tysoe

    "Didn't know Stirling was so low against the dollar! $79 in USA £89 in UK... What's that about?"

    Your lack of comprehension?

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