Amazon's Kindle gets a face-lift

Faster processor and twice the storage

Amazon’s Kindle has always been a bit of a niche product. It sits alone in that uncomfortable space in the market, catering traditionally to book lovers with a foot in the past and an eye to the future. You would think this is a relatively small market, but Kindle sales figures would suggest otherwise.

The new $99 Kindle sports a processor said to be 20 per cent faster than the previous model. It has double the storage capacity at 4GB, up from 2GB. It also features a touch interface that is perhaps the biggest differentiator from previous iterations.

Amazon devices vice president, Peter Larsen, said “the new Kindle includes all the features readers love — Whispersync, books in 60 seconds, weeks of battery life — and new exclusive features like Word Wise. It’s never been a better time to be a reader.”

The new unit features other improved features such as Word Wise, for readers learning English, and children learning to read. The feature provides short and simple definitions that appear for complex words without readers having to look them up in a dictionary.

The enhanced search feature combines previews and results for searches from individual libraries and the Kindle Store. Other features include automatic Cloud backup; smart searches, integrating dictionary definitions with X-Ray and Wikipedia; time to read, letting readers know how long a chapter will take to complete based on previous reading speed; and a vocabulary builder, which compiles searched words for those who like to quiz themselves for… fun?

The new Kindle is available now for pre-order, units will ship from 2 October 2014.

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