Amazon Reportedly Set To Introduce Front-Lit Kindle In July

Since the introduction of the iPad, e-book fans have generally fallen into two camps — those who prefer the E Ink technology in Kindles and Nooks because it causes less eye strain and uses relatively low battery power; and those who prefer the backlit screens of tablet computers, which allow them to read without the need for a secondary light source. The Nook has come up with one possible solution, and now Amazon is reportedly set to launch a Kindle that would use a front-lit system to allow people to read in the dark.

Reuters has talked to sources that say Amazon is ramping up production on the new Kindle, which would still be monochrome — no color E Ink yet — but which would use a built-in front light source to solve one major gripe from Kindle users.

Of course, running that light will come at the expense of battery power, meaning you could no longer go weeks without charging your Kindle if you use the light.

Analysts tell Reuters to see a $10 uptick in the price for front-lit Kindles, but the source tells Reuters that the plan is to keep the price change minimal.

Amazon aims to launch front-lit Kindle in July [Reuters]

(Chuck Pepper Jr)


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  1. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot says:

    I have a Kindle, and I’ve tried reading on my friend’s ipad and I much prefer the kindle for the eyestrain issue mentioned in the article. I wouldn’t be willing to sacrifice battery power for a lighted Kindle, in addition there are many clip on lights that can be used with a kindle that run on a simple AAA or AA battery and work just fine.

    • ilovemom says:

      It would be a serious mistake not to include a separate no on/off switch for the light in the design. Battery life would only be reduced when the light is on, which likely would be a small percentage of the time for most users.

    • selianth says:

      I’ve had my Nook with Glowlight for 8 days now and am down to 72% battery charge. That’s with reading an average 2 hours a day, 1/2 hour of that being with the light on but at the lowest brightness setting. I don’t know if there’s any kind of “break in period” in terms of battery indicator calibration or what, but this is all from the initial charge last weekend.

      My original Nook Simple Touch would last about 5-6 weeks between charges, and my understanding is that the Kindles are about the same (as always, depending on reading habits.) If this one lasts 3-4 weeks instead? That’s still only 15 charges a year as opposed to 9 or 10. Once the battery lasts THAT LONG, I’m willing to sacrifice a small amount of the battery life to get the front-lit screen that is FAR more convenient than any kind of clip-on booklight I’ve ever used.

  2. Almighty Peanut says:


  3. AustinTXProgrammer says:

    Kindle’s are cheap.. I use the Kindle app on the iPad if I want to read in the dark without bothering my wife, and a Kindle touch for daytime reading.

    • AustinTXProgrammer says:

      I should note this plan only works if you already have the iPad. The kindle is a low cost addition, the iPad… Not so much.

  4. momtimestwo says:

    I have a Fire and an old Kindle Keyboard, and I prefer the Keyboard for reading. I hate reading on the Fire because of the touchscreen and the backlight. And you can’t read the Fire outside. In fact, I don’t really love my Fire as much as when I first got it.

    • Dr.Wang says:

      exactly the same for me. I love my old kindle, use it heavily. I bought a Fire but ended up not liking it for many reasons. I still think the android OS is not ready for primetime.

      I got a B&N Nook too, but the kindle has so many better features I use all the time; annotations, wireless internet, dictionary, MP3 player, and better fonts and control over fonts. If I could add some features to the kindle it would be for a better web browser, Micro SD card slot, and a built-in LED light source like the older Sony E-reader (which I guess the new illuminated Nook reader looks like).

      I’m sure if they release an illuminated kindle I’ll get one, but after being burned by amazon pre-ordering a Fire, I will wait and not pre-order.

    • George4478 says:

      I have a Fire ($139 at their recent sale) and a Kindle. I use them for different things but much, much prefer reading on the Kindle. I do keep some books on the Fire since I always have something to read handy but the reading experience on the bright, glossy screen is much poorer.

    • FLConsumer says:

      Same story here. Kindle Fire for playing, Kindle Keyboard for reading. Out of the two, the Kindle Keyboard gets far more use from me.

  5. yellowdog says:

    Perhaps I’m in the minority, but I cannot stand reading lots of text on backlit screens. I like the look of the new, front-lit Nook, and it’ll be interesting to see what the front-lit Kindle looks like. Might be time to finally take the plunge into the world of e-readers, especially since the libraries are expanding their e-book lending libraries so much.

  6. FatLynn says:

    Doesn’t this already exist on Nook? I could have sworn I saw it at B&N the other day.

  7. ckspores says:

    I am perfectly happy to sacrifice battery life for the ability to read eink in the dark. I use my Fire sometimes for reading at night but it disturbs my husband and bothers my eyes. I much prefer reading on my regular Kindle. I really despise the Nook and BN so while I applaud them for the Nook Glow, I am ecstatic that Amazon seems to be doing it, too.

  8. SPOON - now with Forkin attitude says:

    I like reading on the kindle fire.

  9. guspaz says:

    This seems like a great solution. I don’t know why anybody is concerned about battery life, as you’ll certainly be able to turn the light on and off.

    I use the official Kindle case with light for mine, and I love it. Being able to reduce the weight by building the light into the kindle seems like a win to me.

  10. djhspawn says:

    I came here to find out about that sweet panda hat. I can’t find anything as fluffy as that.

  11. rockelscorcho says:

    If I buy a book via the Kindle, do I have to start paying taxes on that digital purchase if live in Texas?

    • microphish says:

      It doesn’t matter what state you live in, you’re going to pay sales tax on e-books. Amazon is a facilitator of e-book purchases, not a re-seller. Most of the publishers set the prices for every book so technically you are buying from the publisher and not Amazon. Every book I have purchased has been charged sales tax.

  12. Beauzeaux says:

    Just buy the bloody cover with the LIGHT built in. That way, you only use the light when you need it and the battery lasts almost as long as it does without the light.

    • ckspores says:

      The ones I have purchased (both amazon and outside) have been really cumbersome, annoying, and cheap. I’d rather have the feature built in.

    • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

      Those cases are too expensive and the colors are ugly.

    • c_c says:

      a) The ‘bloody cover’ with the light built in is $60. The report says the Kindle with the light built in would be maybe $10 more than the normal Kindle.

      b) The lighted Kindle covers use the battery as well.

      c) You can turn the light off when you’re not using it, just like the ‘bloody covers’ with the light built in.

      d) I like using the Kindle w/o a cover because it’s very small/lightweight.

  13. Sad Sam says:

    As an avid reader, I love the e-ink technology of the Kindle, its so easy on the eyes and I like not having email and facebook distraction as I lay in bed at night reading my book. When its lights out, I often switch to my iPhone Kindle app if I’m not ready for bed and Mr. Sam is.

    When I travel, I bring my iPad and use the Kindle app to read, I travel with my iPad for work and I’d rather not carry both an iPad and a Kindle.

    Yes I have three devices, Kindle, iPhone Kindle app, iPad Kindle app for reading.