Amazon Slashes Pricing on Kindles and Fire TV for the Holidays

amazon holiday kindle saleIf you need that perfect last minute tech gift for the holidays, Amazon is hoping to entice you with some sales on their Kindle and Fire gear.

You can score $20 off Amazon Fire TV or a Kindle E-Reader, $30 off the Kindle Fire HD7 Kid Edition, but the big cuts are on the older Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 and Fire Phone.

The Fire HDX tablet is getting a $125 price reduction which puts the 16GB WiFi version at $224, and the Fire Phone is dropping by a whopping $220 unlocked, bringing the price down to $229 OFF contract. I feel like I should repeat a joke about the Amazon FireSALE phone, but that might be in poor taste.

Links below for all the Kindle sales!
Amazon Fire Phone ($229)
Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 ($224)
Amazon Fire TV ($79)
Kindle eReader ($59)
Amazon Fire HD Kid Edition ($159)

Amazon Fire Phone Coming Exclusively to AT&T – 32GB for $199 on Contract

feature-fireos._V349436017_The long rumored Amazon phone is official!

The Fire Phone builds off of Amazon’s Kindle ecosystem, delivering a similar “FireOS” user interface running on top of a custom build of Android. This means 3rd party Android apps will be compatible, but Google services wont be included as this will use the Amazon App store instead of Google Play.

The hardware is a mix of mid-range and high-end. I’m glad to see the slightly smaller 4.7″ screen, though it’ll come in at 720p instead of the terrific 1080p found on the HTC M7. The venerable Qualcomm 800 quad-core is on board backed up by 2GB of RAM, plenty powerful for gaming on this screen resolution. Storage comes in 32GB and 64GB flavors, with no MicroSD card expansion it seems like a good platform to push Amazon Cloud Storage, as you can upload photos taken from a Fire Phone for free. Continue reading “Amazon Fire Phone Coming Exclusively to AT&T – 32GB for $199 on Contract”

Amazon settles eBook Antitrust Lawsuits with credits for customers

amazon ebook anti-trust emailIf you’re an Amazon Kindle customer, chances are pretty good you got an email from them today about your eBook purchasing history, with a nice little surprise.

In December 2013, a federal court approved legal settlements by publishers Hachette, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan, and Penguin in antitrust lawsuits filed by State Attorneys General and Class Plaintiffs about the price of eBooks. Those settlements resulted in credits for qualifying Kindle books purchased between April 1, 2010 and May 21, 2012.

Depending on how many eBooks you’ve purchased, you’ll be issued credits for future Amazon eBook purchases, but that credit is only good for 90 days.

You can catch more info, and if you have any credits waiting for you, on Amazon’s settlement page.

SomeGadgetGuy’s 2013 Holiday Tablet Buying Guide!

ipad miniTis the season for shiny new glowing rectangles! Tablets are proving to be all the rage this year, and if you were thinking of shopping one for a loved one (or for yourself you cheeky bugger you), here’s the scoop on our favorite computing slabs.

Apple: iPad Mini ($399)

Ok. This one’s easy. The iPad Air is the big dog, but the Mini now sports a proper retina display and pretty much the same processor guts as its big brother. The Mini is a touch easier to leave the house with thanks to its smaller form factor, and you’ll save yourself a cool $100 opting for the little iPad over the bigger one. Thankfully that wont come with a performance deficit. This is likely going to be one of the hottest sellers of the year, so make sure you get that pre-order in before it goes on sale later this month if you want to secure a place in line.

Apple announces iPad Mini.

Microsoft: Nokia Lumia 2520 ($499, available later this month)

WP_20131024_19_19_31_ProWe’re restricting our discussion here to Windows RT powered devices. Microsoft is doing a great job of blurring the lines between proper PC’s and consumer tablets, but keeping the playing field equal here, we’re looking at ARM powered portable devices not X86. Sorry Surface Pro and Sony Tap.

The Surface 2 might be Microsoft’s example of what Windows RT should resemble, but Nokia looks like they might take the cake. The Lumia 2520 runs $50 more than the Surface 2, but it comes with LTE built in. Activate it on a carrier which supports it, and you can count on ultra-fast data anywhere you have cell service. To put it into perspective, for $499 you could get a WiFi only iPad Air with 16GB of storage (and no ability to add more storage), or you could get a Lumia 2520 with LTE, 32GB of storage, MicroSD card slot, and a proper USB port.

Microsoft’s OS is still geared a little more towards “work” than “play” but we should see the app ecosystem improve radically once Windows Phone and Windows RT merge early next year (Power Keyboard shown in this pic sold separately).

Hands on with the Lumia 2520!

Android: Tie – Samsung Note 10.1 2014 Edition ($599) vs Asus Google Nexus 7 ($229)

Samsung-Galaxy-Note-10.1-2014Sorry folks. I really tried. It was just too much of a Sophie’s choice to declare one clear winner. Thankfully these two exist at POLAR OPPOSITES of the Android spectrum. Samsung takes an “everything and the kitchen sink” approach to their devices and the Note 10.1 is audacious.

An incredible WQXGA (2560×1600) display exceeds the iPad by almost a million pixels, 32GB of on board storage plus a memory card slot, the ability to use two apps at the same time, Samsung’s excellent S-Pen stylus, and an IR port to use it as a huge universal remote for your TV. It’s a premium experience at a premier price point.

nexus 7 FHD side angle 2013Contrast that with with Google’s market disrupting Nexus 7. Asus helped Goog build out a high end mini-tablet with solid specs, and the two are offering it up at a price usually reserved for “disposable” gear. A 1080p HD screen paired up with a mid-range Qualcomm quad-core and 16GB of storage. You wont get some of the bells and whistles like expandable storage or an IR port, but it’s hard to be disappointed when you consider the bang for buck.

Honorable Mention: Kindles Galore

kindle paperwhite second generation ereader review somegadgetguy (3)So each ecosystem has its strengths and weaknesses, and there’s a lot of overlap.

If you’re an Amazon junky however, a Kindle Fire might be the content consumption platform for you. Powerful specs, great screens, and Amazon prices them low to encourage you to buy music, books, apps, and movies through their online shopping portals.

Lastly, if books are your thing, never underestimate the value of a proper digital ink eReader.

Those are our picks for the year! Did we miss your favorite slate? Is there another tablet which you think is better? Leave us a comment below.

PSA: Amazon thanks the FAA by selling Kindles for 15% off (Today Only)

kindle amazon faa thank you saleGetting a little cheeky and I like it.

Amazon is showing their appreciation to the FAA for opening up the restrictions on electronic devices. As long as they’re in Airplane Mode, our favorite glowing rectangles may now be used during take off and landing, and several airlines are already allowing passengers to geek out.

Today only, Amazon is running a coupon for Kindles, and if you use the promo code “ThnksFAA” at check out you can chop 15% off the price of a tablet or eReader. Well done FAA. Well done Amazon.

Get at it folks! Sale runs through today only!

Shop for Kindles on Amazon.

Kindle Paperwhite Review


Quick Review: 2nd Generation Kindle Paperwhite – Amazon Improves on the Best eReader

kindle paperwhite second generation ereader review somegadgetguy (3)This is the second generation of Kindle Paperwhite. The first gen was largely heralded as being the best digital ink eReader you could buy. Not much needed to be changed or altered for the 2nd gen Paperwhite, but Amazon still found some areas to tweak and improve.

Paperwhite stands as an excellent execution of an eReader. If you’re looking at a gadget to primarily read books on, a digital ink display is critical. For years now they’ve near perfectly replicated the printed page. Digital ink is static, and doesn’t refresh 60 times a second like LCD displays do. Once the page refreshes it stays in place until you turn to the next page. This also radically reduces battery drain, as electricity is only used when turning pages.

kindle paperwhite second generation ereader review somegadgetguy (5)In terms of design, Paperwhite is simplicity at it’s finest. There are no distractions. It’s built for one purpose: reading. We’ve even given up on the illusion that eReaders also have to be MP3 players. Nope. Reading is more than enough to justify the gadget’s existence. There’s a power button and MicroUSB port on the bottom. That’s it. You should only care about the screen and what’s on that screen. No buttons or switches or rockers. End of story.

Continue reading “Quick Review: 2nd Generation Kindle Paperwhite – Amazon Improves on the Best eReader”

Amazon announces brand new Kindle Paperwhite eReader

The all-new Kindle Paperwhite (Photo: Business Wire)In other Amazon news, after dropping the bomb on ebook purchasing with MatchBook, You’ll probably want some shiny new hardware to read all those digital books on yeah?

Amazon took the wraps off of the new digital ink Kindle Paperwhite. Boasting faster page rendering, a higher contrast screen, improved touch capabilities, and a brighter glow for night time readers. I’m personally very happy to see products continue to utilize e-ink. It really is the best high tech reading experience on the market, as it nearly perfectly resembles the printed page without the cycling of an LCD. After reading for hours my eyes don’t have that buzzy feeling like they do after reading on my Nexus 7. Plus e-ink is MUCH easier to see in direct sun. Just like paper.

New Paperwhite Kindles will sell for $119 for WiFi models which serve special offers and $139 if you want to skip those ads. Those models are ready to ship now. Come November a 3G enabled version will also hit the market for those who like to buy their books on the go.

Full PR after the jump.

Continue reading “Amazon announces brand new Kindle Paperwhite eReader”

Kindle Matchbook aims to move your paper book collection into the cloud.

kindle matchbook ebook somegadgetguyWhat’s the biggest complaint most consumers have with the ebook market? I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard people wish they could get digital copies of the physical books they buy. Like music, when buying a CD often we get an MP3 version, whether we rip it ourselves r if it comes included in the purchase.

Well Amazon looks like they’re taking the first steps in making our dual format wishes a reality. MatchBook looks at your previous new book purchases dating back to 1995 and offers you the ability to buy an ultra-cheap digital license for that book. Prices range from $2.99 to free for your cloud version, and this offer wont be applicable to books purchased second hand through the Amazon Market Place.

If you re-read books like I do, or if you maybe “share” your Kindle account with a buddy, this is welcome news. MatchBook is set to launch in October, and 10,000 titles are already on board from authors like Neil Gaiman, Michael Crichton, and Ray Bradbury.

Full Amazon press release after the jump:

Continue reading “Kindle Matchbook aims to move your paper book collection into the cloud.”