Get ready readers, Amazon will unveil the 8th generation of Kindle e-readers next week, CEO Jeff Bezos revealed in a post on Twitter on Monday. Amazon's founder took some time from tweeting about the latest success of his commercial spaceflight company Blue Origin to tease the new Kindle, saying the device is "almost ready."
Bezos' tweet is referring to Amazon's line of e-readers and not the Android-based Fire tablets. The 7th generation Kindle products include the budget-friendly Kindle 7, the Kindle Voyage and third generation Kindle Paperwhite. The Kindle 7 comes in an ad-supported version for $79.99 or an ad-free version for $99.99. The Kindle Voyage comes in Wi-Fi enabled ($199.99 with ads and $219 without ads) or Wi-Fi and 3G ($269.99 ad-supported or $289.99 without ads) configurations.
Heads up readers – all-new, top of the line Kindle almost ready. 8th generation. Details next week.
— Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) April 4, 2016
The 8th generation Kindle could replace or fall in line with the Kindle Voyage released in 2014. The Kindle Voyage is considered to be the best e-reader, but the quality comes with a hefty price tag. The Voyage is the first Kindle with a flush glass screen, the haptic touch "PagePress" feature for those who did not want to swipe to turn a page and the best e-ink display available. There are other improvements, such as the ambient light detection to automatically change the brightness, further add to the Kindle Voyager's value. The Verge rated it a 9.1 out of 10 with similar praise from Gizmodo, Cnet, Engadget and Ars Technica. Mny critics noted the much cheaper $119 Paperwhite that was excellent in its own right would satisfy digital readers.
A high-end 8th generation Kindle similar to the Voyage would face some of the same criticisms as its predecessor. With cheaper alternatives that provide a similar experience and full-blown tablets for the same price or cheaper, a top of the line e-reader could be a hard sel without a price reduction.