The next item in Gear Live’s 2014 Holiday Gift Guide is the Kindle Paperwhite. Why? well, as great as e-ink readers have been (and they've been pretty stellar,) since the original Amazon Kindle was released, their one tragic flaw has been that they become pretty useless in the dark. You either simply can't read them, or have to use a small light attachment accessory. Enter the Kindle Paperwhite. Amazon has designed what we consider to be the best e-ink reader to hit the market. It's flagship feature is the front-lit display, which works great when you're in the dark and want to read your latest ebook purchase without using a backlit tablet that's hard on the eyes, or an awkward clip-on light accessory. It also supports new features like telling you how much reading time you have before you finish your current chapter, and an all-touch display with virtually no lag. Check out our Kindle Paperwhite review, unboxing gallery, and video after the break for more, and head on over to Amazon to pick up the Kindle Paperwhite for $119 for that bookworm in your life.
Honorable mention: Amazon Kindle Voyage
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We covered StoryBundle back when they launched two years ago, and since then they've sold more than 500,000 books in all kinds of genres and continue to be a fantastic way to discover favorite authors you've never heard of. It's good. Good enough that we're kicking off our 2014 Holiday Gift Guide with them. If you're not familiar with StoryBundle, they offer about a bundle a week, and each bundle consists of around 9 full-length novels from all types of authors. Essentially they're like Humble Bundle for ebooks, and feature not only indie authors that are as good and deserving of your reading time as ones you find on the bookshelf, but big names too! They've featured Neil Gaiman, Jim Butcher and Clive Barker, just to namedrop a few folks you may already know.
If you've got a book lover in your life, or if or someone you know is getting a Kindle, tablet or smartphone this holiday season, StoryBundle's the perfect complement to that. Just hop on over to their Gift Card page and you can send anybody a gift card for any future bundle. Instead of guessing what your giftee wants to read, the gift card lets them choose their favorite genre at any time. Best of all, the gift cards never expire. Plus, when they redeem their gift card, they can choose to give part of their purchase to a worthy charity. What's more in the holiday spirit than giving?
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Amazon has released a new video that teases what we expect to be its new Kindle smartphone. You can see people in the video interacting with...something...whatever it is, it has been masterfully cut from the footage. The users are all impressed, saying things like "It moved with me!" and "How does it do that?" while swaying back and forth. Of course, the rumored Amazon smartphone was said to include six cameras near the display that would track the movement of your head in order to provide an interactive, glasses-free 3D user interface.
While the video, which we've embedded below, doesn't give away much of anything, what we are expecting is a smartphone with a 4.7-inch display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, 13-megapixel camera, and 2GB RAM. And that crazy software UI. As you can see in Amazon's teaser image above, the device is black, and has a beveled rear edge. The company has planned a big launch event in Seattle on June 18th, where we'll bring you all of the news as it's announced. For now, check out the video after the break.
Our friends at BGR is reporting that it has acquired an image of Amazon's upcoming smartphone with 3D display. Purportedly, this is a prototype, and if it's true, it has some interesting features that set it apart from the pack. The biggest feature is a 3D effect that is powered by a series of infrared cameras that are used to to track the eyes and face of the user, which then uses the data gathered to power the 3D effect without using the typical methods of deliverying glasses-free 3D (like found on the Nintendo 3DS.) The display is a 4.7-incher, along with a 13-megapixel rear camera.
Amazon has been rumored to be working on its own smartphone for years, ever since releasing the first Kindle Fire tablet. According to the Wall Street Journal, Amazon's 3D smartphone should ship to customers this September.
If you're looking to pick up an Amazon Kindle or Kindle Paperwhite, today is the day to do it. Amazon has discounted both models by $20 today in recognition of National Reading Month, making it our Deal of the Day. Head over to Amazon now to take advantage of the deal, which ends at the end of the day today.
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Amazon has released an all-new Kindle Paperwhite today, bringing a few improvements and optimizations to the front-lit e-reader. For starters, it packs in a processor that is 25% faster than its predecessor, a display with higher contrast and better reflectivity (brighter whites and darker blacks,) smoother touch technology, and a battery that is rated to last for over 2 hours. Goodreads integration will also be coming to the new device, along with Kindle FreeTime for Paperwhite, bringing subscription books for the little ones. The new Kindle Paperwhite will go nicely with the new Amazon Kindle MatchBook service, and will start shipping on September 30th, and you can order it now for $119.
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Amazon has announced an awesome new program called Kindle MatchBook that it's set to launch in October, bringing free and cheap eBooks to buyers of paper books. Basically, if you purchase a paper book from Amazon, you can buy the digital Kindle version for $.99, $1.99, $2.99, or download it for free, depending on the book. Most interesting? It's completely retroactive, going all the way back to 1995 when Amazon launched. Any participating purchase you've ever made on Amazon is eligible, as long as it is a part of the MatchBook selection, which will launch at about 10,000 titles next month. Amazon says that there will be some big-name authors taking part:
Kindle MatchBook will launch with books from Ray Bradbury, Michael Crichton, Blake Crouch, James Rollins, Jodi Picoult, Neil Gaiman, Marcus Sakey, Wally Lamb, Jo Nesbo, Neal Stephenson, and J.A. Jance, among others. In addition, Amazon Publishing will include all its titles in Kindle MatchBook.
Definitely a cool service, and one that makes Amazon an even more attractive purchasing destination when compared to Barnes & Noble and the Nook store, and Apple's iBookstore (which doesn't even sell paper books.)
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If you've been thinking about picking up a Kindle Fire HD for Mom (or even yourself!), now might be the time, as Amazon is offering a nice discount its 7-inch flagship models through May 12th. Using promo code FIRE4MOM during checkout, you'll save $20 on the tablet, bringing the price down to $179 for the 16 GB model, and $209 for the 32 GB version. We're sure that Mom wouldn't mind receiving one of these for Valentine's Day, especially with all the Amazon Prime benefits, and we'll keep the fact that you got it on sale between us, okay?
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This morning Xbox SmartGlass made its long-awaited debut on the Amazon Appstore. You can now download Microsoft's second-screen app for the Amazon Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD, fitting perfectly on the display of all Fire and Fire HD tablet models. With Xbox SmartGlass, which has been available for iOS, Windows, Windows Phone, and Android for the past six months, users can navigate and control their Xbox 360 consoles right from the tablet or smartphone.
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Amazon has announced that it's Cloud Drive storage locker is now accessible from PC, Mac, Kindle Fire, and web browser, allowing you to sync your documents across all of your devices with the reliance of Amazon in the background. This puts the Amazon Cloud Drive, which gives users a free 5 GB of storage space, in direct competition with services like Dropbox.