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Amazon Kindle Refreshed and Handed Official UK Release


Amazon Kindle Refreshed and Handed Official UK Release

The front page of Amazon.co.uk currently sports a letter from founder Jeff Bezos advertising two new Kindle e-Readers, both of which are finally now available directly from the UK store.

Previously, the Kindle could only be ordered from the US store, and users would have buy content for the Kindle from it in dollars. The two new Kindles however are available directly from Amazon.co.uk.

A dedicated UK Kindle store will be appearing on 27 August Amazon said and will offer more than 400,000 books, as well as UK newspapers, magazines and blogs.

Both new Kindles are available to pre-order now and will ship on 27 August. The new Kindles cost £149 for a 3G and Wi-Fi version, or its £109 for a Wi-Fi only variant. Visually both new Kindles look the same and both are only 247g, a 15 per cent weight reduction from the 290g of the Kindle 2. This is down to it having a 21 per cent smaller body. Despite this it keeps the same 6in display as the Kindle 2.

Amazon said that the new screen offers a 50 per cent superior contrast to any other e-reader and thanks to what it described as “Amazon's proprietary waveform and font technology”, it now has faster page turns and clearer fonts. A browser has been added, based on the WebKit rendering engine and it also has double the storage. The battery is said to last for one month.

The 3G Whispernet service on the 3G enabled model will be available worldwide in over 100 countries and is free at all times, enabling you to download and start reading a book in 60 seconds.

Bezos said Amazon’s vision is, “to have every book ever written, in any language, all available in under 60 seconds.”

Amazon has never stated how many Kindle’s it has sold, only boasting that the Kindle has been, “the most-gifted, most-wished-for product on Amazon.com for two years running.”

The new Kindles though are a clear response to Apple’s iPad, which many said would kill off the Kindle. Apple has said that it has sold over three million units of the iPad, which starts at £429 in the UK. Amazon has a Kindle reader application available for the iPad and iPhone.

Link: Amazon UK


July 29, 2010, 4:56 pm

Finally a price that hits the spot and makes an e-reader worth getting - and amazon kindle no less ;)


July 29, 2010, 5:14 pm

£109. Superb. I'd never considered getting an ebook reader until I saw that, now I just might. Then again, it's probably subsidised by the cost of the books.

On the whole though, this is looking like a breakthrough product.


July 29, 2010, 5:16 pm

Aaand, one of the barriers in my head for getting an e-reader has just been blasted away.

Now all that remains is to see whether the UK store will have reasonably priced books.


July 29, 2010, 5:19 pm

The £109 one looks the biz to me.

That and a pretty decent laptop for less than iPad. Perfect.


July 29, 2010, 5:26 pm

Impressive. Finally at a price that's very very tempting, with a device that looks lovely. If you want an e-Reader it's the obvious choice. I can't see how Sony & others can beat this.


July 29, 2010, 5:44 pm

Just treated how tempting this looks.

Is that picture just an illustration or can you really subscribe to a Kindle edition of The Economist. My sub is currently up for renewal and I'm hoping the saving on the Kindle edition could pay for the device!


July 29, 2010, 6:02 pm

Looks a lot classier in that graphite shade. Should've looked like that to begin with. I still think if e-readers want to seriously stand their ground against the oncoming tablet hurricane, they're gonna have to get under that magic £100 mark, so that they almost become a knockabout, disposable, easily replaced product.


July 29, 2010, 6:11 pm

Odd that the new charcoal DX has no WiFi built in, and is still only available shipped from the US. And no mention of new WebKit based browser either, even though the DX recently got a software update.


July 29, 2010, 6:26 pm

I agree, this is a breakthrough price. I'm considering buying an e-book reader for the first time.


July 29, 2010, 6:40 pm

I'm with Drazisaurus. I'm very tempted to dip my toes into the e-book reader market for the first time with this Kindle. I can see this being a potential Christmas present for many, me included.


July 29, 2010, 6:45 pm

Give me Economist, FT, and a PDF reader for documents, and maybe I can put this through on expenses.. :P


July 29, 2010, 6:50 pm


"If you want an e-Reader it's the obvious choice. I can't see how Sony & others can beat this." By offering broader format support, for one thing. Kindle STILL doesn't support ePUB and other popular formats. And there are plenty of other features (expandable memory, for one) where the new Kindle still falls short.


July 29, 2010, 6:56 pm

Of course, we don't yet know what the UK version of the Kindle store will look like, or whether every ebook will carry a 'because you're British' tax.

Still, I'm cautiously optimistic.


July 29, 2010, 7:15 pm

I notice that it has a webkit-based browser (experimental). That would make it a more useful device, both an e-reader and browsing tablet at 1/4 of the price of an ipad. Anyone know how functional the browser is?


July 29, 2010, 7:55 pm

@scotw: Don't expect an iPad-like web experience. The screen's black & white, isn't touch sensitive, can't handle motion and I imagine it won't support Flash. This might work for Wikipedia, but I'm not expecting wonders.


July 29, 2010, 8:19 pm

With regards to VAT on books; Surely since you could just log in to amazon.com and pay the us price without VAT since pretty much all books fall under the $20 barrier if they did try to screw the uk pricing?


July 29, 2010, 8:26 pm

@GT: From the Amazon page for the reader: "PDF Reader: Now with new dictionary lookup, notes and highlights, and support for password protected PDFs. Easily carry all of your documents on the go."


July 29, 2010, 8:43 pm

I think I might get the misses one for Christmas, hope by then its £99 ;)


July 29, 2010, 9:00 pm

@Ardjuna, sure but there are plenty of tools to convert from ePub to Mobi to get the files onto the Kindle (from what i've read, not got a Kindle myself). So sure it might be a slight hassle, but not a dealbreaker. Expandable memory would be nice (doesn't hurt Apple products mind you), but on a eReader you really don't need that much space. Sure they should offer cloud based storage and colour would be lovely, but really at this price it's just worth picking up to try it. Assuming that is books are reasonably priced, but given the press release it seems they'll be the "cheapest e-bookstore in the UK" so seems promising.


July 29, 2010, 9:44 pm


Not saying it's a bad eReader or that I don't want one ;)

Just saying the competition still has plenty of (sometimes significant) advantages, depending on what you want.


July 29, 2010, 9:46 pm

Another interested person here! At the very least, just for the free 3G for the £149 Kindle asuming the web browser is well implemeted.

It would be very useful for when im on holiday where the need to check my emails always has to be balanced against the data roaming charges!


July 29, 2010, 10:39 pm

@Chris "won't support Flash", just like the iPad experience then :)


July 30, 2010, 2:16 am

@OldTimer: Yeah, yeah, just like the iPad :)

I was waiting for someone to point that one out...


July 30, 2010, 2:32 am

Finally :) Amazon gets my £149 quid immediately ... at that price why wouldn't I :)

David Brophy

July 30, 2010, 3:21 am

>Is that picture just an illustration or can you

>really subscribe to a Kindle edition of The Economist.

I was going to buy a Kindle last year but cancelled my order when I realised that the Economist was US only. I haven't seen any information that says this has changed.

Additionally, newspapers and magazines delivered by 3G outside the US are missing pictures, diagrams and illustrations. This isn't too much of a problem for newspapers, but for technical publications like the Economist it would be a real problem.

I hope these shortcomings are solved with the new version...

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