Two new Kindles are replacing the old one. For $139, you can get a Wi-Fi only Kindle that downloads books in AT&T hotspots.  For $189, you pick up wireless 3G signals plus Wi-Fi, which means you don’t have to be near a hotspot. Both versions  have a lot of new features and are thinner and lighter than the old one. We’re going to give away our Kindle 2 when our new Kindle 3 arrives August 27.

What’s new in the new Kindle:

  • Lighter Than a Paperback: The new Kindle has a 21 percent smaller body but keeps the  6-inch-size reading area.  At 8.7 ounces, it’s lighter than a paperback book and thinner than a magazine.
  • Has Double the Storage. Holds 3,500 Books.
  • Share Passages: Share meaningful passages with with built-in Twitter and Facebook integration.
  • Up To One Month of Battery Life with the wireless off.  Otherwise, it can go 10 days between charges.
  • Quieter Page Turn Buttons: Read all night without disturbing your partner.
  • Improved PDF Reader: Look up words, make notes and highlights, and use password protection.
  • Surf the Web (experimental): The new article mode converts a clunky Web story into a more readable form.
  • New Voice Guide: This is a boon to people with vision problems. With Text-to-Speech, Kindle can read out loud to you.  New Text-to-Speech enabled menus allow customers to navigate Kindle without having to read menu options. In addition to listening to books aloud, users now have the option of listening to content listings on the home screen, item descriptions, and all menu options

What Stays the Same

  • Free 3G Wireless on the $189 version: No annual contracts and no monthly fees.
  • Global Wireless Coverage: Travel the globe and still get books in under 60 seconds with wireless coverage in over 100 countries and territories.
  • Massive Selection: The Kindle Store has over 630,000 books, including 109 of 111 New York Times Best Sellers, plus audiobooks, periodicals and blogs.
  • Free, Out-of-Copyright Books: Over 1.8 million free, out-of-copyright, pre-1923 books such as “Pride and Prejudice” are available to read on Kindle.
  • Free Book Samples: First chapters of Kindle books are available to download and read for free before you decide to buy.
  • Low Book Prices: Over 510,000 of the 630,000 books in the Kindle Store are $9.99 or less, including 80 New York Times Best Sellers.
  • Archive: Books purchased from the Kindle Store are automatically backed up online in your Kindle library on Amazon where they can be re-downloaded wirelessly for free.
  • Read Everywhere with Whispersync: Read eBooks on your Kindle, iPhone, iPad, PC, Mac, BlackBerry, and Android-based devices.  It saves your place so you can pick up where you left off.

Both Kindles are available for pre-order at They arrive August 27. For our money, the $189 version with 3G is a much better option than the Wi-Fi only one,  if you’re a frequent traveler. Too many places don’t get a good Wi-Fi signal and you may want to download today’s newspaper on a sunny beach in Spain.  But if you have Wi-Fi in the home, you can always download your books and blogs at home and then go on journeys abroad or beyond the reach of a Wi-Fi signal. For an extra sum, you can get a cover with an integrated light for reading at night.

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