Amazon has announced a new version of its ebook reader, the Kindle, which touts, among other things, “50% better contrast” than the current models. I’ve written about my experience with the Kindle, which was a second-generation model, and which suffered from headache-inducingly poor contrast. Amazon has clearly had enough complaints about this issue – even if many people don’t find the contrast to be a problem – to come up with this new model.
However, at $379, this is only $120 less than an iPad, which does so much more. I’m convinced that the Kindle won’t last, unless it eventually ends up costing less than $100, or unless it’s given free with a certain number of book purchases. While it has some advantages over the iPad – better in-the-sun readability, lighter weight, longer battery life – the iPad clearly has a thousand other advantages. Amazon is fighting a tough battle, and competition is good for everyone. At least for those who buy Kindles, they’ll know they can read their books on other devices when the Kindle dies – Amazon has Kindle apps for the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch; for the Android phone; and for Macs and PCs.