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Preview: Amazon’s 4th-Generation Kindle

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Amazon’s Flagship 4th-Generation Reader Nixes Buttons and Lowers Price
Preview: Amazon’s 4th-Generation Kindle

Amazon's 4th-generation Kindle was announced in September 2011.

Image © Amazon

The number “4” brought in a new sleek design for the iPhone. But what about Amazon’s Kindle?

Well, judging from appearances, it appears that the same is also the case. After several models that sported a plethora of buttons as a keyboard, the fourth-generation Kindle has Amazon opting for a more streamlined approach. Gone is the old keyboard of yore. Instead, it's been replaced by a few buttons that take up much less space. Folks, who pine for the keyboard need not worry. That’s still an option for the Kindle Keyboard and Kindle Keyboard 3G versions, which look eerily similar to the Kindle 3.

The Kindle 4 also one-ups the previous iteration in price. The basic Kindle 4 retails for $109, with Amazon also kicking up a $79 version for folks who don’t mind having ads on their screen when they’re not reading Kindle books.

Here’s a look at key specs and features for Amazon’s fourth-generation e-book reader:

  • Display: This Kindle rocks a 6-inch, black-and-white E-Ink Pearl display with high contrast and 16-level grayscale. The display also uses Amazon’s proprietary waveform and font technology for faster page refreshing and sharper text. Pixel resolution is 600 by 800 at 167 points per inch. The standard Kindle 4 does not come with a touchscreen. (Folks who want touch functionality can opt for its touch-feely siblings, the Kindle Touch and Kindle Touch 3G.)
  • Dimensions: Size-wise, the Kindle 4 is 6.5 inches or 165 millimeters tall and 4.5 inches or 114 millimeters wide. Thickness is 0.34 inches or 8.6 mm. Weight is 5.98 ounces or 169.5 grams. All in all, it’s quite the compact device. You can literally slip this in your jeans pocket.
  • Online and wireless features: The device features Wi-Fi and can connect to the Amazon Kindle Store wirelessly. The device also links with Amazon’s cloud storage service. Users can access the Web via a proprietary browser.
  • Connectors and formats: The Kindle 4 uses as USB 2.0 micro-B connector. Natively supported formats listed by Amazon are Kindle (AZW), TXT, PDF, unprotected MOBI and PRC. Formats supported via conversion are HTML, DOC, DOCX, JPEG, GIF, PNG and BMP.
  • Memory: The device features 2GB of internal memory, 1.25GB of which can be used for user content. The space translates to about 1,400 e-books according to Amazon. Free storage also is available through Amazon’s cloud service for Amazon content.
  • Battery and charging: Battery life is rated at up to 3 weeks with wireless turned on constantly. Turn it off and Amazon says you’ll get up to one month but that’s based on 30 minutes of daily reading. Charging a fully drained device takes about 3 hours.
  • Other features: The Kindle 4 uses Amazon’s Whispersync technology, which synchronizes your bookmarks, annotations and the last page you read across all your Kindle devices. Fonts come in three sizes and eight types. Controls are handle primarily by a five way controller button in the bottom middle of the device.

For more Kindle info visit our Kindle hub.

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