Amazon and Pottermore have announced that the entire Harry Potter book series--all seven books--will be available on the Kindle Lending Library beginning June 19, bringing a huge slice of legitimacy to the service.
“We’re absolutely delighted to have reached this agreement with Pottermore. This is the kind of significant investment in the Kindle ecosystem that we’ll continue to make on behalf of Kindle owners,” said Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com. “Over a year, borrowing the Harry Potter books, plus a handful of additional titles, can alone be worth more than the $79 cost of Prime or a Kindle. The Kindle Owners’ Lending Library also has an innovative feature that’s of great benefit for popular titles like Harry Potter -– unlimited supply of each title -– you never get put on a waiting list.”
In this episode we review the Amazon Kindle Fire tablet e-reader (also see our text version of our Kindle Fire review.) Amazon's looking to disrupt the tablet landscape with the Fire, and is pricing it aggressively at $199. The Kindle Fire weighs 14.6 ounces and packs a 7-inch IPS display, dual-core processor, 512 MB RAM, and 8 GB of on-board storage. It runs a forked version of Android that Amazon has customized in a major way. You also get Wi-Fi built-in as well. Purchasers of the Kindle Fire also get a 30-day trial of Amazon Prime, which'll let you get a nice sampling of what the company's Video on Demand service offers.
The browser, Amazon Silk, will be exclusive to the Kindle Fire for the time being, and it aims to speed up web browsing by a significant margin by offloading some of the heavy lifting to the Amazon EC2 cloud servers.
You can pick up the Kindle Fire for $199.
Big thank you to GoToMeeting and JackThreads for sponsoring the show - be sure to check them out! As for JackThreads, we've got exclusive invite codes that give you $5 to use towards anything you'd like.
Today, Barnes & Noble unveiled their revamped Nook e-reader, which they are calling the Simple Touch Reader.
The $139 device is available for pre-order immediately and will be in stores on or around June 10 at Barnes & Noble, Best Buy, Walmart, and Staples.
The Android-based, e-reader measures 5 x 6.5 inches and weighs less than 7.5 ounces, which is 35 percent lighter and 15 percent thinner than the first Nook. During a New York launch event, B&N CEO William Lynch promised the "longest battery life of any e-reader," or up to two months on a single charge, and 80 percent less flashing on the 6-inch touch screen; the white-out that occurs when flipping pages. There is 50 percent less contrast than the first-edition Nook.
The device has built-in Wi-Fi and will feature 2GB of onboard storage, expandable up to 32GB with microSDHC. It runs Android 2.1 and a 800MHz TI OMAP3 processor.
Read More | Nook Simple Touch Reader
This evening, Amazon introduced us to their new Wi-Fi Kindle ebook reader, and we’ve gotta say, we think they’ve done it again. Hot on the heels of the release of the newly redesigned Kindle DX, the new Kindle is 21% smaller and 15% lighter than the Kindle 2. You don’t lose out on screen real estate though, since the Kindle keeps its 6-inch display size, although the e-ink screen now sports 50% better contrast and 20% faster page refreshes. It now packs 4GB of storage space, which can hold up to 3,500 books. Even better, though, is that Amazon is pricing this at just $139. That’s a significant price drop from the Kindle 2. If you want the new Wi-Fi model, but also want the free 3G connectivity, Amazon will be selling a 3G model for $189, which is still a huge savings from what the Kindle 2 sells for. Here are the links for those who want to pre-order:
The new Kindle will be released on August 27th, and if you pre-order, you’ll receive it that same day. It’s available in both white and graphite.
Read More | Amazon Kindle
Barnes & Noble has finally releases nook update 1.3, which brings a couple of welcome upgrades and features to the ereader. One notable change is the presence of a web browser, which in turn, makes Wi-Fi a bit more useful. How so? Well, if a Wi-Fi hotspot requires a login, you can now use the browser to do that and hop onto the network, whereas before, you were just out of luck with the nook. Pages will now turn faster, which is always nice, and they’ve also got some apps and games available for your enjoyment as well. If you want to take advantage of the in-store nook perks, you can now read any ebook for free for an hour when connected to a Barnes & Noble hotspot, and later, you’ll be able to read newspapers and magazines for 20 minutes per day. If you wanna get your nook updates immediately, you can download the update and manually install it over USB, or if you’re in no rush, it should auto-update over Wi-Fi sometime over the next few days.
Read More | nook Update
It would appear that the ebook reader competition is now heating up as Endless Ideas’ has just launched their BeBook Mini in the United States. It has a price tag of $199, and a 5-inch display. Unfortunately, there is no wireless connectivity, and so you’ll have to download via USB for content. However, it probably is one of the cheapest ereaders around.
Read More | BeBook Mini
A new e-book reader is set to enter the market as IREX announced that their 8.1 inch display version is planned for an October release. Like Plastic Logic, IREX is partnering with Barnes and Noble for the digital catalog, and teaming with Verizon for the 3G wireless downloads. IREX has also partnering to sell its e-readers (model number DR800SG) to Best Buy stores nationwide for a price of $399. This price include 2GB of built-in memory, leather cover, and user-replaceable battery.
Read More | IREX
A lot of e-book readers get a lot of comparison with the Amazon Kindle, but Astak is the first one who is quoted saying that they will give the Kindle “a run for its money.” They already have the price point beat with their $199 price point ($100 cheaper than the cheapest Kindle.)
The 5-inch EZ Reader Pocket PRO will feature a 400MHz processor, 512MB of memory, 8-level grayscale E-ink screen, an SD-expansion slot, and a background MP3 Player. It plans to ship later this month in the colors seen in the photo. Just don’t expect any sort of wireless connectivity at this price.
Read More | Press Release
Barnes & Noble has just announced that they’ve formed an alliance with Plastic Logic and that they’ll be the exclusive eBookstore for the Plastic Logic eReader device. This is a definite play at Amazon, as the Plastic Logic eReader is definitely being positioned as a Kindle competitor. Up until now, many wondered how the Plastic Logic eReader would compete in a world where Amazon sold both the device and the content, and now we’ve got our answer. If Barnes & Noble pushes the Plastic Logic eReader in stores as their e-book reader of choice, the Plastic Logic device just may have a shot after all.
In related news, Barnes & Noble has also announced a brand new eBookstore. It is available now, and is currently compatible with the iPhone, iPod touch, BlackBerry, Mac and PC. Even better, if you install the app and sign in, you get six free eBooks right off the bat. No, you don’t get to choose. The six titles are:
- The Last of the Mohicans
- Sense and Sensibility
- Pride and Prejudice
- Little Women
- Merriam-Webster’s Pocket Dictionary
Still, free is free. Full release after the break.
Fictionwise, in an effort to compete with Amazon, has lowered its pricing in its company eReader. While Kindle customers pay $9.95 for newly released books, Fictionwise, now owned by Barnes & Noble, promises no e-book priced over $12.95, all new and New York Times best sellers will be $9.95 or less and buyers will get a 15% reward on all purchases. Now if they could find a way to incorporate “book smell” we might consider the expense.
Read More | jkOnTheRun