November 11, 2008

New Kindle news starts to leak out

Original Post from October 6th 2008.

In a report (here) at the BoyGenius blog we get the first rumors and photos of an upcoming refresh to the Kindle. I say "refresh" because the changes don't seem that major to me (at least in terms of functionality) and it doesn't seem to be the rumored "Education Kindle" we've been hearing about.

The summary is:-

  • It's taller and not so wide - although I can't really see the reasons or the advantages in the change.
  • Overall it looks to have grown in area and the screen to have stayed the same size - a step in the wrogn direction in my mind. I think an eReader should be "all screen" and the content the UI.
  • They have reduced size of some buttons to reduce indavertant page chanegs I hear was a problem on the original.
  • They have replaced the scroll wheel for selection with a joystick. I don't come across many well implemented joysticks and that'slead to me hating them.... Blackberry-style ball seems to work much better, at least for me.
  • The vertical LCD column for selection (moves and refreshed much quicker than the eInk display) seems to have disapeared. I can only assume they have newer eInk formulation, or are using the newer eInk driver ASICS that provide faster, cleaner and "windowed" refreshes and that they have taken advantage of that to move the selection "graphics" onto the main display.
  • Moved away from proprietary cable to a mini-USB for charging also. Good move, less cables and charges when on the move.
  • No SD slot!Maybe considered an "interested" move to make all content go through Amazon, but with USb connectivity I think not. They seem to have beefed up the on-board flash and commentsin the blog suggest it could be 2Gigs of Flash standard on-board?
  • Thinner, heavier "feel", Sturdier - I hear of Kindles breaking (after a fall) and so this is positive I assume.

You can see a small gallery with additional photos here.

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