Kindle Fire HD 8.9 4G

I was just drooling over Amazon’s latest Kindle Fire 8.9 HD. The 32GB version sells for $499, while the 64GB version is a hundred dollars more at $599. With the Kindle Fire HD, you get a 9 inch screen with a resolution of 1920×1200 HD display. It’s built-in polarizing filter, and anti-glare technology, giving you rich color, and deep contrast, from any viewing angle.

See Video.

In terms of sound, the Kindle Fire HD comes equipped with Dolby audio and dual stereo speakers for crisp, booming distortion-free sound. It’s powered by a high performance 1.5Ghz dual-core processor with Imagination PowerVR 3D graphics core, for fast and fluid performance. At least that’s what Amazon claims. The wireless connectivity features a dual-band, dual-antenna Wi-Fi for 40% faster downloads and streaming.

With the Kindle Fire HD, you have access to over 22 million movies, TV shows, songs, magazines, books, audiobooks, and popular apps and games such as Facebook, Netflix, Twitter, HBO GO, Pandora, and Angry Birds Space. It also has an integrated support for Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo and more, as well as Exchange calendar, contacts, and email. Skype video calls with the front-facing HD camera are free. You also get a free unlimited cloud storage for all your Amazon content.

If you can’t find a Wi-Fi hotspot. You can connect anytime using the Ultra-fast 4G LTE service. It’s limited to 250 MB a month for 12 months with a one-time payment of $49.99 – no monthly payments. That’s one year of service for $50 dollars. Also included is 20 GB of additional Cloud Drive storage for your photos and more, plus a $10 Amazon Appstore promotional credit. You can save hundreds of dollars in the first year compared to what you would pay for other tablets.

If $499 is a little too rich for you, there’s a Wi-Fi only version of the Kindle Fire HD for $299.

Or go with a 7 inch Kindle HD for just $199.

If you’re really in the market for a tablet, I suggest you wait for a couple of days. Apple is going to be introducing the iPad mini on September 12. Maybe. That’s the rumor. We won’t really know until that day what Apple has under it’s sleeve.

Kindle Cloud Reader on Ubuntu

Amazon has Kindle eBooks for both Windows and the Mac OS. With Kindle eBooks, users are able to access purchased books for the Kindle to be read from a Windows or Mac OS computer without a need for a Kindle device.

What about Linux users? Don’t fret. Although there is no Kindle eBooks application for Linux, users can still go directly to the Kindle Cloud Reader to access their books. Just hop to https://read.amazon.com, and login with your Amazon Kindle credentials.

You can now access and read your books directly from any of the popular browsers. It’s that simple. Kindle Cloud Reader even gives you the option to download the file to your computer for offline reading.

Kindle Cloud Reader works in any platform, not just Linux. It works in Windows, Mac and just about any flavor of Linux. Kindle Cloud Reader really is an incredible tool because you have access to your Kindle books anywhere.

Kindle for the Mac

I was browsing the Apple App Store the other night, and I came across an application called “Kindle” for the Mac. And, it’s free. So, I downloaded the application and installed it. Amazon recently made the “Kindle Apps” available to anyone with a smartphone and a computer. You don’t need a Kindle device.

Kindle Apps will work on the PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, Android, Blackberry and the Windows 7 phone. If you own a Kindle, you can synch any of the Kindle Apps to work in conjunction with your Kindle device. So, Kindle owners are now able to read the books they’ve purchased, not only in the Kindle devices, but also on their computers and smartphones.

The Kindle app for the Mac comes empty. There are no books. You will need to download the books from Amazon’s website. To download, just click on the “Shop in Kindle Store” link on the top hand right corner of the window. You can purchase thousands of books, including the latest releases, as well as download all the free public domain books that are available.

If you already own a Kindle, you just have to register the application with your Amazon credentials. To synch the books you’ve already purchased, you just login and the application will download all your books. It will also remember the last page you’ve read as well as synch any annotations you have created on your Kindle device.

I downloaded two free books, the Art of War by Sunzi and The Adventures of Sherlock Homes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I can see reading on the Kindle can be an expensive hobby. Reading electronically does have it’s distinct advantages. At least, you don’t have to lug around a book everywhere you go.

Kindle vs Nook

Here’s a side by side review of Kindle vs Nook. I’m leaning more towards the Kindle since its only $139. For that price, I can have an e-reader that stores up to 3,500 books, with a battery life of over a month, and a monochrome screen since that’s a lot easier on the eyes. I just wished the Kindle supported the ePub format. That’s all.

A Color Nook is Coming

A color Nook is coming to a Barnes & Noble near you. The latest e-Reader from Barnes & Noble comes in a seven inch display and retails for $249. It sounds like competition for the iPad in terms of the color display, although the Nook is mostly just an e-Reader.

The competition is tough in the e-Reader business. With Amazon’s Kindle at just $139, it’s a tough sell for B&N’s to get consumers to buy a Nook for $249. Who knows?  The market will very much decide if color displays is the way to go with e-Readers.

Color displays usually requires more power and can be an issue under direct sunlight.

The New and Kindlier Kindle

It’s kindlier to the pocket that is. I’ve never paid much attention to Amazon’s Kindle products because I thought it cost too much. It’s an extraordinary product. No doubt. Recently, Amazon made an announcement that raised my eyebrow. The price of the latest Kindle is now just $189. It’s still somewhat pricey, but that’s my opinion. In addition, there is WiFi-only Kindle for only $139.

With the 3G wireless, you can download and start reading books in 60 seconds. The screen has no glare in direct sunlight. A single charge can last one month. It can store up to 3,500 books and it weighs only 8.7 ounces. If you ever run out of space, you can delete books with abandon and Amazon will allow you to re-download your books at anytime for free.

The 3G network works in the US as well as abroad. There are no monthly fees. Getting a Kindle with 3G Wireless access at $189 is nice to have, but the Kindle WiFi-only at $139 is simply irresistible.

Check out the latest Kindle.

Kobo eReader from Borders

The eReader market just got crowded. Borders just introduced the Kobo eReader for $150. It’s set to compete with Amazon’s Kindle and Barnes & Noble’s Nook. The Kobo offers users access to over 1 million eBooks via USB or wireless Bluetooth.

Unfortunately, there is no WiFi support. The Kobo comes pre-loaded with over 100 classic books. It’s capable of storing 1000 titles in less than 1GB of flash memory. The Kobo can read a number of eReader formats including PDF, ePUB and Adobe DRM.

Here’s a Kobo eReader review.

One last thing, the battery life is 2 weeks. It’s a cheaper alternative to Amazon’s Kindle.

Amazon can reclaim your book

When you buy a book, it’s yours. You can read it, store it, sell it or even burn it. Not so if you bought a book from Amazon Kindle. There is very limited sharing. You can’t really sell it and apparently you may not even own it. Amazon apparently has the right to reclaim the book from you if they want to. They will refund the price of course (that is so nice of them), but they can still pull it away from you if they want to. Amazon also imposes the number of times you have downloaded a book. If you’ve reached a download limit, you may have to buy it again. What we need is a DRM free e-reader, but with the ability to preserve author copyrighted material. Book owners should have the freedom to buy, lend, share and sell books if they want to. If you are so sick with your Kindle, you can always burn it, but its probably not as good as burning an actual book. At least with a book, it’s an excellent kindle (pun intended) for your fireplace.