Amazon's Bezos unveils Kindle Touch, $99; Kindle, $79

Amazon's Bezos unveils Kindle Touch, $99; Kindle, $79

Summary: Amazon on Wednesday unveiled the Kindle Touch, the company's next-generation e-reader that uses an infrared touch display.

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TOPICS: Hardware, Amazon
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NEW YORK -- Amazon on Wednesday drew a line in the sand in the e-reader market by unveiling three new Kindle e-reader models priced to move at $79, $99 and $149.

Chief executive Jeff Bezos took to the stage here at Stage37 in Manhattan to reveal the devices, which he says are smaller and lighter than the current Kindle model.

KINDLE TOUCH + TOUCH 3G

The first: the $99 Kindle Touch, the company's next-generation e-reader that uses an infrared touch display.

"The infrared touch display means there's no extra layer on top of your display," he said.

A new feature of the device is called "X-Ray," which offers contextual information about the content you're reading. It's not unlike Times Topics pages on the New York Times' website, except it's available as you read.

A 3G version (with built-in, free, contract-less Wi-Fi) will also be available for $149. Both can be pre-ordered now for shipment in November.

"This is the top-of-the-line Kindle," Bezos said, holding up the device. "We're going to sell many millions of these."

THE CHEAPEST KINDLE EVER

Taking a page from Apple, which is known for selling its previous generation technology at half the price, Bezos also announced a $79 Kindle that's smaller and lighter (albeit a bit less attractive) than the current one but shares its innards, including wireless connectivity.

It can be both ordered and shipped today.

"We're making premium products and offering them at non-premium prices," Bezos said.

ALSO: The company subsequently introduced a full-color tablet computer, the Kindle Fire, for $199. Read more about it here.

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Topics: Hardware, Amazon

Andrew Nusca

About Andrew Nusca

Andrew Nusca is a former writer-editor for ZDNet and contributor to CNET. During his tenure, he was the editor of SmartPlanet, ZDNet's sister site about innovation.

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27 comments
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  • RE: Amazon's Bezos unveils Kindle Touch, $99; Kindle, $79

    Amazon is pulling all the stops. I am impressed and the Kindle Touch 3G looks awesome. I am not going to lie, I kind of want one.
    Bates_
  • RE: Amazon's Bezos unveils Kindle Touch, $99; Kindle, $79

    Soon any device with a screen taht doesn't respond to touch inputs is going to seem as antiquated as CRT televisions.
    dsf3g
  • Where is the Kindle Fire?

    That is the news we want.
    codecrackx15
  • RE: Amazon's Bezos unveils Kindle Touch, $99; Kindle, $79

    I'm disappointed that the touch does not still have page turn buttons. There are plenty of times when you do not want to touch the screen, such as when you are reading while eating. Not having them means you can't use it unless you are doing something that doesn't risk messing up the screen, which really cuts into the ability of users to multitask.
    void2258
    • Page turning

      @void2258 - agreed. Maybe you could shake it to change pages. Oh, but Apple probably patented "moving", so none of us can, uh, move, without licensing the idea from them.
      daboochmeister
    • RE: Amazon's Bezos unveils Kindle Touch, $99; Kindle, $79

      @void2258 use your knuckle.
      Zeroesque
    • RE: Amazon's Bezos unveils Kindle Touch, $99; Kindle, $79

      @void2258<br>You are absolutely right. Touch might be "cool", but the buttons make it clean and easy. The touch "page turn" metaphor when you're reading a book is just plain silly. The good news for us is that we can just buy the cheaper model! :)
      batpox
  • Are there free books online to download?

    I get all my books for free from our expansive local library system. I wish I didn't have to stop there on my way home from work every three weeks to return books but I don't have to pay $79 plus a per book fee. Am new to this e-reader thing. Are there free books online?
    kaneb80
    • RE: Amazon's Bezos unveils Kindle Touch, $99; Kindle, $79

      @kaneb80 Effective Sept. 21, many libraries allow download of books to Kindle through Overdrive program. Check at your library.
      rhubarb1951
    • RE: Amazon's Bezos unveils Kindle Touch, $99; Kindle, $79

      @kaneb80 Absolutely. There are thousands of free books online. Though obviously if you want the latest best sellers you are going to have to pay.
      kanati8869
    • free books

      @kaneb80 Amazon has a lots of free books in it's kindle store. It's amazing the variety of subjects available. It's worth a look--lots of classics
      Danimart
    • RE: Amazon's Bezos unveils Kindle Touch, $99; Kindle, $79

      @kaneb80

      Your local library may be part of the overdrive system. Overdrive is a system libraries can use to loan ebooks. I signed up yesterday. Looks pretty awesome
      ddavison50
    • RE: Amazon's Bezos unveils Kindle Touch, $99; Kindle, $79

      @kaneb80

      On Amazon there are literally thousands of free books. A lot of new authors basically give away their books for free on Amazon as enticement to buy their next book. If you have a smart phone, you can download the Kindle reader for free and sample reading ebooks before you make the jump to an ereader. I myself prefer reading books on my phone. I always have it with me.
      lizzzard59@...
    • RE: Amazon's Bezos unveils Kindle Touch, $99; Kindle, $79

      @kaneb80 Yes and Amazon gives many of them away. You can get others from Bean books in a format you can transfer to the kindel
      deowll
  • RE: Amazon's Bezos unveils Kindle Touch, $99; Kindle, $79

    I am very new to this but really want one! Do they work world wide if you buy one in the States?
    donnaeh
  • Andrew. are you going to compare these with the Sony Reader PRS t1?

    For those of us who didn't like the Kindle 3, except for how easy the display was to read, the new devices are looking interesting.

    The Sony device has a lot going for it. It would be good to see the difference between the $149 devices.
    rp518
  • RE: Amazon's Bezos unveils Kindle Touch, $99; Kindle, $79

    Do Amazon think UK residents are idiots?
    They are selling the Kindle, and Kindle Keyboards for 10 UK pounds MORE than the dollar price. Last time I looked the pound was at $1.50.
    We don't even get the Touch yet.
    alanlittlefield
    • RE: Amazon's Bezos unveils Kindle Touch, $99; Kindle, $79

      @alanlittlefield Maybe you are if you don't know that the extra goes to the government.
      deowll
  • RE: Amazon's Bezos unveils Kindle Touch, $99; Kindle, $79

    Much more excited about this product than the Kindle Fire. If I want audio/video/apps, I will get an iPad or otherwise fully functional tablet. At $99, it has the Nook touch beat on price for an e-ink (outside) reader.
    kingcobra23
  • Re: Are there free books online to download?

    Yes, there are free books. You can sign up ereaderiq . com. They'll send out a list approx. daily with a list of free kindle books. Or you can use Amazon's search function. You will also find books for $0.99 or less. And $2, $3. Most are new, independently published authors. But occasionally, you will get a best selling author releasing short stories. Or even early books from a series, hoping to drum up new readers I guess. I've had my kindle a little over a year and already have 600 books. Most of them I got free or for just a couple dollars.
    Miz_Fit