Amazon says that the latest version of the Kindle -- dubbed Kindle 3 -- is the fastest selling model yet. (Though, as usual, the company did not release actual numbers.) As it starts shipping today, two days ahead of schedule, the most popular books are Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy, "Star Island" by Carl Hiaasen and "The Rembrandt Affair" by Daniel Silva.
"Kindle is the best-selling product on Amazon.com for two years running and our new generation Kindles are continuing that momentum," Steven Kessel, senior vice president, Amazon Kindle, said in a prepared statement.
Kindle3 has a smaller and lighter body than its predecessors and double the storage to 3,500 books, the company says. The Wi-Fi- model costs $139, and the 3G model $189. Amazon apparently has been overwhelmed by demand for the new models -- orders placed today are expected to ship on or before Sept. 17.
Tp help you make your decision -- buy or pass? -- here are some early reviews (I'll update as new ones become available):
New York Times -- [C]ertain facts are unassailable: that the new Kindle offers the best E Ink screen, the fastest page turns, the smallest, lightest, thinnest body and the lowest price tag of any e-reader. It's also the most refined and comfortable.
CNET -- The third-generation Kindle's winning combination of noteworthy upgrades--an improved screen, better battery life, lighter weight, and lower price--vaults it to the top of the e-book reader category.
PC World -- For those who want the advantages of a dedicated e-reader--namely, long battery life, a paper-like screen that can be read in bright light--right now the third-generation Kindle can't be beat for its mix of price, features, and performance. ... I have to say it's the first e-reader in months that's left me wanting to read more. Its solid build quality, along with its improved design, integrated store, and cross-platform transportability (books are usable on any Kindle reader app, including iPhone, iPad, Android, BlackBerry, and PC) all add up to a winner that shoots to the head of the pack.