The Amazon Kindle took a major leap today, introducing models on both ends of the spectrum of price and capability. The pricier versions add a touch screen and color, as well as a web browser -- taking aim at the competition from the Nook and iPad. Here's a quick look at the offerings:
The latest generation Kindle is pocket-sized -- 30 percent lighter and 18 percent smaller -- and will cost just $79.
The Kindle Touch, priced at $99, has a (you-guessed-it) touch screen, and Amazon says it "eliminates battery anxiety with extra-long battery life and holds thousands of books."
The Kindle Touch 3G, priced at $149, offers the same design and features of the Touch – with free 3G that eliminates searching for wi-fi hotspots.
The all-new, be-the-envy-of-your-book-club Kindle Fire is a tablet priced at $199. Among the features that Amazon touts: more than 100,000 movies and TV shows, more than 17,000,000 songs, more than 1,000,000 Kindle books, and 100,000 exclusive graphic novels, including "Watchmen."
In one move, Kindle has taken on Barnes & Noble's Nook and Apple's iPad -- and lowered prices for gateway e-reader. Let's see how the competition sorts out winners and losers as the holiday gift-giving season approaches.