Archive for the ‘Kindle 7 (Mindle Touch)’ Category

“Mindle Touch” on sale for $59

March 2, 2015

“Mindle Touch” on sale for $59

In honor of March being National Reading Month (gee, isn’t that every month?) ;), Amazon is offering

$20 off the The entry level model, the one I call the “Mindle Touch”(at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*) making it only $59

This the least expensive Kindle at this point, and it’s certainly a serviceable device. It does have a touchscreen, but does not have the built-in light of the Paperwhite or the Voyage. As is the case with all current non-Fire Kindles, it does not have audio (so no music, audiobooks, or text-to-speech).

This could be a good “guest Kindle”, though, and might be a good Kindle for a responsible child.

I do like the Paperwhite better, but this is literally less than half the price of that $119 device at this point.

They don’t say how long the sale will last, and my guess is not long…

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

Valentine’s Day sale on Kindles and Fires

February 8, 2015

Valentine’s Day sale on Kindles and Fires

I think we tend to see sales on the Fires a lot more than on the EBRs (E-Book Readers…non-Fire Kindles).

That’s why it was nice to see this

Valentine’s Deals (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

Not only are some of the Fires on sales, so are some of the EBRs.

Those prices are all for the least expensive configurations: ad-supported where appropriate, lowest onboard memory.

Update: added for today only, Monday, February 9: Fire HDX 8.9 (at AmazonSmile*) 64 GB, wi-fi only for $299…instead of $479! That’s a savings of $180!

While not mentioned at the “presented by Sprint” page, it’s also

$15 off the Fire HD 7(at AmazonSmile*) making it $114 instead of $139

As a former brick-and-mortar store manager, it’s interesting to me that the top in the line items don’t tend to go on sale as much at Amazon…and that makes customer psychology sense.

The

Kindle Voyage (any configuration) (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

for example, is not included in this sale…and usually isn’t included. I’m trying to remember if I’ve ever seen that one on sale, in fact.

That’s because there are times when something being more expensive is more of an incentive to buy, not less of one.

Gifts are a great example.

If you can afford and want a luxury gift, you are impressed by a higher price.

When I ran a game store (I did that in addition to a bookstore…not at the same time), we would never have discounted a $500 chess set.

A $20 chess set? Sure.

In fact, we probably wouldn’t have had a $20 chess set…it would have been $19.99, to make it look like more of a bargain.

I think Amazon doesn’t price the Voyage at $200 because it is competing with other gadgets…not because it is competing with other Kindles.

They probably sell more with it as the most expensive Kindle.

Couldn’t they discount it for a short time, sell a bunch, and then raise it again?

Yes, but you don’t want people waiting for a sale on an expensive item.

The Mindle Touch is almost an impulse buy for some people. You might debate if you need another one, or if your kid needs their own, and be influenced by a sale.

For the Voyage, it should be a careful, reasoned decision…you have to consider the less expensive models, and decide in favor of the Voyage.

Having people waiting for price fluctuations on the Voyage could make “closing the sale” more difficult.

Regardless, this is a “limited time” sale, and may not be available in your country. Check the price before you click or tap that Buy button.

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

Updates bring new features to some Kindle EBRs

November 14, 2014

Updates bring new features to some Kindle EBRs

Amazon had told us they were coming, and in this

press release

they announce that new features are available for the current Kindle EBRs (E-Book Readers…non-Fires).

They will come automatically over-the-air, or you can get them by going to

http://www.amazon.com/kindlesoftwareupdates (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

If you do it manually, be careful to pick the update for the right model of Kindle.

Here are the specific models they have announced have the new updates. This doesn’t mean that older models absolutely won’t get them, although that is possible.

What are these new features?

  • Word Wise (at AmazonSmile*) (click links for screenshots): definitions of “difficult words” automatically appear above the words. You can then tap to see more information. You can control how many of these appear by using a slider. This may be particularly useful for children and for those learning English as a second language. It’s not going to be available on every book, but some popular books already have it. I’m sure you’ll be able to turn this off, in case you find it vexatious (annoying) 😉
  • Family Library (at AmazonSmile*): this allows you to share books from one account with a set number of people from another account. This will also only be certain books. This is a huge change, and we’ll have to see how the implementation is
  • Kindle FreeTime Unlimited: this is the subser (“subscription service”. You pay $2.99 a month, and your child gets access to curated content at no additional cost
  • Expanded X-Ray for Books (at AmazonSmile*): X-Ray gives you information about the characters, terms, concepts and more in the book which you are reading. Now you’ll be able to browse the pictures in a book and the meaningful passages as well.
  • Deeper Goodreads Integration (at AmazonSmile*): Amazon owns the immensely popular social reading site. Looking at this, it appears that this will have more of an impact when you are in the Goodreads app/function on your device than when you are reading a book. For example, it doesn’t appear to me that your reading status will automatically update as you read the book (I’d like to see that feature…with an ability to mask it, of course), but you will be able to buy books (not quite yet) directly from the Goodreads function
  • Enhanced Search (at AmazonSmile*): when you search for something, you’ll get results from your library, from the Kindle Store, and from Goodreads
  • About This Book (at AmazonSmile*): it’s unclear to me yet if this will work when you aren’t connected to wi-fi, but it definitely has some things people have talked about since the Kindle 1 in 2007. It will give you series information, author information (and in the screenshot, it shows a way to sign up to be notified when new books by that author are released), “mentioned in this book” (that looks like other books), and contrary to what I said above 🙂 gives you a way to at least update Goodreads with the fact that you are currently reading it

I’ll install this on our Paperwhite 2 and test it out.

One interesting note: the links above for each of the features also include links to the Fires. That doesn’t necessarily mean that every Fire gets every one of these features, or even that any of them do…they may just link to all products on the “Press Resource” pages.

Note that this is Amazon, as they often do, giving us more at no additional cost…thanks, Amazon!

If you’ve checked these out or have questions about them, feel free to let me and my readers know by commenting on this page. Which of these do you think you’ll use? What do you wish they had done which they didn’t (I figured I’d ask the question before people volunteered, as they always do 😉 )?

 

Join hundreds of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) By the way, it’s been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to “start at AmazonSmile” if I check a link on the original Amazon site. I do buy from AmazonSmile, but I have a lot of stored links I use to check for things.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

Review: new $79 Kindle

October 4, 2014

Review: new $79 Kindle

7th generation entry level Kindle: “Mindle Touch” (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

I’ve had the opportunity to do a hands-on exploration of the new Kindle.

Let me start out by saying that this is a considerable improvement over the former $69 Kindle, thanks both to the touch screen and the quality of the display.

If what you want is an inexpensive device for reading, this will work well.

In fact, comparing the same text of the same edition of the same book with the  same settings (font size 4, Caecillia) with the more expensive Kindle Paperwhite 2 (with the light turned all the way down), the KP7 (on the top) is easier to read:

K7vKPW2

The background seems lighter and the text seems thicker…that seems odd, because there are more PPI (Pixels Per Inch) on the Paperwhite…they are doing something different to optimize the appearance.

The device itself feels light, which is a goal for people. Irrationally, it also makes it feel a bit cheap…it definitely feels like plastic.

Another “feel” issue is that it is a tiny bit wider than the previous version, which would take a bit of getting used to, although it is only slightly wider (2mm…a tenth of an inch) and slightly thicker than the Paperwhite.

I think, though, it may feel wider than the Paperwhite in part because of the clear bevel of the edges:

Bevel

The KP7 is on your left, the Paperwhite on your right. The PW slopes away smoothly. The K7 has a perpendicular edge, and then it slopes. That’s kind of geeky, I know, but the bottom line is that where you are holding it is thicker. It’s not enough for me to be a problem, but I would say it is slightly less comfortable.

Other external differences with the Paperwhite include

  • The word Kindle on the front of the device is not in silver. Some people actually found the silver distracting when they were reading, so I would say that’s going to be an improvement
  • On the back of the new device, it says “Amazon” rather than “Kindle”

What about the software?

It looks very similar to the Paperwhite. The menu on the homescreen has the same choices.

When you tap the Settings choice, they’ve consolidated the Device Time choice into “Personalize your Kindle”…which makes sense (it didn’t need its own menu choice).

Within a book, they’ve changed the order of the menu…but the choices are the same.

“Long press” a word in the book, and again, the choices are essentially the same.

The choices in the store were a bit different. Tapping the menu there, the K7 doesn’t have a Kindle Unlimited choice (although it’s on the screen), and does have “Recommended for You”, which the Paperwhite doesn’t have.

Overall, it’s very much like the Paperwhite 2 in terms of software.

I’ve liked my PW2 very much, and I think people would like this also.

So, the question seems obvious: why pay $40 more for the

Kindle Paperwhite 2 (at AmazonSmile*)

?

The answer is equally obvious: the light.

The built-in light on the Paperwhite is a wonderful thing. It gives me the most comfortable reading experience I’ve ever had, including paper.

However, you may just want to have a guest Kindle, or a “spare”, or something more inexpensive for a young reader. Maybe you are working or going somewhere where you will the risk of loss, theft, or damage is high…and you’d rather bring one that’s easier to replace.

As has been the case with recent non-Fire Kindles, and is the case with all of the non-Fire Kindles being sold new by Amazon, including the top of the line

Kindle Voyage (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

the K7 does not have sound: no audiobooks, no music, and no text-to-speech. Personally, I’d like to see that as a choice: TTS is a big part of my life (I listen to it typically for hours a week in the car), and I’d be fine with it being done without onboard speakers (just a headphone jack, so I can plug it into the car’s sound system, or listen with headphones at home).

Bottom line: the K7 is a fine basic reader, $40 less than the Kindle Paperwhite 2, and an improvement over the previous “entry level” model. It has up-to-date features in the software. Some people will want to pay more for the light, and others will choose to pay $120 more for the top of the line Voyage.

If you have any specific questions about the device, feel free to ask by commenting on this post. I will probably have it for a few more days, while I document a bit more about it.

 Join hundreds of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

Round up #272: Fire update coming, Mindle Touch questions?

October 4, 2014

Round up #272: Fire update coming, Mindle Touch questions?

The ILMK Round ups are short pieces which may or may not be expanded later.

I have a Mindle Touch

I plan to write a review by Monday, but I wanted to let you know that Amazon has loaned me a

Mindle Touch (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

for review.

That’s the new $79 model. I called the old “entry level” model a “Mindle” (for minimum Kindle), and this one has a touchscreen, so…Mindle Touch.

Interestingly, Amazon refers to it in a few places as a 7th generation Kindle.

I’m guessing they are counting it this way:

  1. Kindle 1
  2. Kindle 2
  3. Kindle 3 (AKA Kindle Keyboard)
  4. Mindle
  5. Kindle Touch
  6. Kindle Paperwhite
  7. Mindle Touch

That would make sense to me: the Kindle DX was basically the same software as the Kindle 2…same generation, even though it was a different size.

Anyway, I thought I’d mention it in case you have any questions before I send it back. I’ve never asked them for review copies before, but really, I’m quite satisfied with our Kindle Paperwhite 2 (at AmazonSmile*) and our Kindle Fire HDX (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*) at this point…just didn’t want to buy new ones. After all, I’m apparently one of the very few people to pay close to $200 for the Amazon Fire Phone (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*) recently…that’s a chunk of budget. 🙂

I’ve also asked for a Kindle Voyage (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*) for review…if I get one, I’ll let you know.

Amazon announces Fire OS 4…on my device

I got a letter from Jeff Bezos on my KFHDX7 this morning…I’m assuming many other people did, too. 🙂

It’s alerting me that the devices will be updated (for free) to Fire OS (Operating System) 4 in “the coming weeks”. That will be on the new generation of Fires, but I’m sure won’t be on the first generation.

What is it bringing?

  • Profiles (to the USA, UK, and Germany): every “family member” (Amazon usually doesn’t require proof…you know, like DNA sequencing) 😉 can have a profile, including “individual email, Facebook and Twitter accounts, page in the book, spot in a movie, and game levels”. This ties in, in a way, with the Family Library which is coming, which will let us share books with people not on our accounts (we don’t know exactly what limitations that will have yet)
  • Office Documents: we’ll get WPS Office, so we can edit Microsoft Office documents (including creating new ones). It’s going to integrate with the Cloud Drive
  • Longer Battery Life: better battery management when sleeping
  • New Weather and Calculator Apps
  • Full-Screen Immersive Mode: apps and games will full the full screen in “immersive mode”
  • Backup & Restore: it will be interesting to see exactly what this done. It doesn’t look to me like it will mirror your entire device (your personal documents, which books you’ve already downloaded from your Amazon account), but can do “device settings, email and wireless configuration, notes, bookmarks, and more…” I never find the transition to a new device very difficult (I don’t keep a lot of content actually on my devices), but this may make it easier. It would be nice to get a new device and already have it on my network without having to enter a password, for example

Did you notice that Family Library wasn’t on the list? I assume that’s because that isn’t part of Fire OS 4, and that it will work with a much wider range of devices. This update could also affect the Fire Phone…and possibly, in some way, Fire TV.

Why send this announcement now, ahead of time? I think, in part, Amazon’s trying to patch its reputation going into the holiday season…and caring for customers with devices already helps them decide to buy newer devices.

Amazon sends more info on their crowd-sourced publishing program

I also got an e-mail from Amazon this week about their upcoming program. It explains it pretty well (and I’ve mentioned it previously). The basic idea is that authors can put up a sample of a complete but unpublished novel, readers “vote” on them, and Amazon will select some for publishing…paying at least a $1,500 advance. We could use a few more details, but I think this may work very well for Amazon…although it isn’t without risk (the main one being that it is seen as being fair). Here’s that e-mail:

Dear Author,

Thanks for subscribing to receive updates on Amazon’s new publishing program! We’re excited to announce that we’ll be opening for submissions in a couple weeks.

We’ll be welcoming submissions for English-language books in Romance, Mystery & Thriller, and Science Fiction & Fantasy genres. Any adult with a valid U.S. bank account and U.S. social security number or tax identification number is eligible.

It only takes 15 minutes to complete a submission. Here are the things that you should prepare to successfully submit your book:

  • Complete, never-before-published manuscript & book cover image – We’re looking for 50,000 words or more in Word format and a book cover image that reflects the essence and uniqueness of your book. Make sure your work is ready for others to read. Only the first pages will be posted to the website (approx. 3,000 words).
  • Book one-liner – A very short pitch (no longer than 45 characters) for your book that will be used on the homepage and throughout the website. Think of examples like “Space opera meets the Middle Ages” or “How far will one woman go to save her family?”
  • Book description- Help readers understand the content and quality of your book. Keep the description to 500 characters or less.
  • Your bio & picture – Give readers a chance to learn more about you. You will also have a chance to answer relevant questions regarding your book and personal story in a short Q&A section.

We’ll also ask you to review and accept our submission and publishing agreement that grants us a 45-day exclusivity period to post your excerpt and tally nominations. If chosen for publication, you will receive a $1,500 advance, 5-year renewable term, 50% eBook royalty rate, easy rights reversions, and Amazon-featured marketing. If not, you automatically get all your rights back at the end of the 45-day exclusivity period.
We’ll send you an email as soon as we’re open for submissions. Looking forward to hearing from you!

I don’t have a book written already that will fit this. I suspect it will have somewhat of a soft start: my guess is that people will write books specifically to try them for this program. Some folks have books sitting around…but how many of them won’t have independently published them already before they heard about this program?

You can contact Amazon about it here:

newpublishingprogram@amazon.com

Put in the subject “Question about Amazon’s new publishing program”.

Amazon still working on the KOLL/KU problem

Amazon’s been getting more information from me about the issue with being both a

Kindle Unlimited (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

member and a Prime member eligible to use the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library (KOLL).

If you are both (which I am), at least some people (including me) are finding it very difficult to impossible to borrow a KOLL book. All of the books which are in both the KOLL and KU only seem to want me to borrow them through KU. If a book is in the KOLL and not in KU (a quite small number, from what I can tell), then I could do it…but that’s not much of a benefit. It doesn’t bother me that much…I’m not a Prime member because of the KOLL, it’s just a nice perk. Still, it doesn’t seem to be working the way Amazon wants it to work…and it does feel like a bit of a takeaway.

I’ve given them information about my experiences with it…I’ll let you know if they let me know that they’ve figured anything out.

Seeking Alpha round-up

I continue to be impressed with the quality of stories about Amazon at Seeking Alpha. Here are some recent ones:

Update: Fire Phone And Kindle Voyage Developments by Paulo Santos

Santos sees both the Fire Phone and the Kindle Voyage as underperforming, and indicative of Amazon’s customers not being able to be brought to profitable price points.

2 Reasons Why Amazon Will Never Make Money by Shock Exchange

The two reasons? They don’t know how, and they don’t wanna. 😉 They recommend selling the stock.

How Amazon.com Got Into Yet Another Fight, This Time With Greenpeace by Paulo Santos

Santos starts out by apologizing for writing about Amazon so much. 🙂 This one did interest me, though: Amazon has had a rep as being an environmentally conscious company…not someone you would expect Greenpeace to actively target.

However, Santos noticed a massive drop in ratings for the Fire Phone…and thinks it is due to an active 1-star campaign by the non-profit.

I generally like Greenpeace, but this raises an interesting question for me: should you go after a company by rating one of their products at 1-star? What does their policy (with which you disagree…details on that in the article) have to do with the quality of the device? I don’t rate books as 1-star because the publisher chooses to block text-to-speech access…I don’t buy the book, but it doesn’t feel…honest to rate the book 1-star on that basis.

What do you think? What do you want me to check on the Mindle Touch? Is rating a product 1-star because of a policy something with which agree? Does it make a difference that this is an Amazon product, rather rating, say, an e-book not from Amazon 1-star because the price it too high or it isn’t available in your country? Feel free to let me and my readers know what you think by commenting on this post.

 Join hundreds of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.


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