When Amazon introduced its most recent crop of Kindles, the company kept the devices and the press thoroughly separated. Which was a bit of a shame, because one of the newer introductions, the Kindle Touch, demanded some hands-on time to really appreciate. When we finally got our hands on the new low-end Kindle, we found a lot to like, as it provided a polished e-reading experience in a small, lightweight package. The Touch does quite a bit more, but you pay for it not just in price, but in some added size and weight.
The first Kindle came in hefty, carefully designed packaging with elaborate graphics, meant to make its buyers aware that they were getting a premium product. Today, Amazon's packaging is still carefully designed, but with the new emphasis on low prices, it's focused on functionality, with a box barely larger than the hardware itself. There's not much inside, either, just a USB cable and a small slip of paper with instructions about getting started.