Not So Fast Tablets, Amazon’s New Kindle 3 is Smaller, Lighter and Faster

Not So Fast Tablets, Amazon’s New Kindle 3 is Smaller, Lighter and Faster

With the launch of the Apple iPad, along with the rise of tablet-based devices in general, the mainstream tech media began to sound the death knell for dedicated eReader devices, the Kindle included. Surely they would be eclipsed by tablets that could do far more than just read books, right? Well, not so fast. Amazon seems to have a trick or two up their sleeve with the latest iteration of their device, dubbed the ‘Kindle 3.’

Right out of the gate, the Kindle 3 has positioned itself at a price-point far below the iPad and even below some of the Android-based tablets that are starting to pop-up in the sector. The latest Amazon Kindle 3 ($139/Wi-Fi Only; $189/3G+Wi-Fi) lowers the price of entry while adding a long list new features and improvements.

The latest eReader from the retail giant features a faster 6-inch e-ink display with improved contrast, a sleek new graphite color, an included leather cover with integrated LED light, a new WebKit-based browser, and double the storage. It’s unclear why, however Amazon has dubbed their browser “experimental” at this point. Perhaps there are some bugs that need to be worked out with browsing on this device?

Be sure to hit the jump for all of the drool-worthy specs of Amazon’s latest Kindle 3.

If you’re considering a dedicated eReader, and don’t need or want the expanded feature set of the iPad, the lower price point alone should be enough to make you pull the trigger and order a new Kindle 3.

Still not convinced? Take a look at some of the many improvements Amazon has made:

• All-New, High-Contrast E-Ink Screen – 50% better contrast than any other e-reader
• Read in Bright Sunlight – No glare
• New and Improved Fonts – New crisper, darker fonts
• New Sleek Design – 21% smaller body while keeping the same 6″ size reading area
• 17% Lighter – Only 8.5 ounces, weighs less than a paperback
• Battery Life of Up to One Month – A single charge lasts up to one month with wireless off
• Double the Storage – Up to 3,500 Books
• Built-In Wi-Fi – Shop and download books in less than 60 seconds
• 20% Faster Page Turns – Seamless reading
• Enhanced PDF Reader – With dictionary lookup, notes, and highlights
• New WebKit-Based Browser – Browse the web over Wi-Fi (experimental)

I’ve been using my iPad on and off over the past few months and a few of my biggest complaints have to do with the weight of the iPad along with its poor legibility in full sunlight. Not to mention, the iPad will overheat in direct sun. Believe me, I’ve had it happen. There’s even a class-action lawsuit against Apple because of this very issue.

For pure portability and summer-time reading, I’d have a tough time not recommending the Kindle 3. Take it to the beach, take it to the pool and never worry again about getting your precious iPad wet when that jerky little kid does yet another cannonball in the pool.