Although overshadowed by the Kindle Fire and the two new touchscreen Kindles, the tiny and light Kindle, new edition, is an interesting beast. It loses the dreadful easy-to-press-by-mistake keyboard, is a third lighter and 18 percent smaller. According to a picture on the Amazon site, it fits into a back jeans pocket. Impressive, but I wouldn’t risk it.
I have had a trawl through the user guide because I couldn’t understand how it could have no touchscreen, no keyboard and still function for buying books and tasks such as entering wifi access codes. The answer is an on-screen keyboard which is navigated by the five-way controller, Apple TV style. It will be infuriating, but then I never had much use for the Kindle keyboard and cursed it roundly on many occasions when that exposed back key was pressed my mistake.
As a simple, light, uncomplicated reader, the new Kindle is a very attractive proposition. It’s a pity, though, that British buyers have to pay 45 percent more than Amazon’s American customers. If we deduct our 20 percent VAT, the base price of the Kindle in the UK (£74) is over £23 more than the $79 charged in the US. If we had equal rights, the tax-inclusive price in the UK should be no more than £61.
Why should this device be 45 percent more expensive in Britain? Maybe Amazon think we are a soft touch and will pay more than the discerning US consumer. Or is the cost of doing business in the UK that much more expensive.