Amazon Kindle Touch review
Amazon’s touchscreen ebook reader, the Kindle Touch 3G (£169 inc. VAT), has finally landed. Ever since the e-tailer unleashed the original Kindle back in 2007, we’ve all been waiting for a touchscreen variant to arrive. The long wait, according to its maker at least, was because it wanted to make sure that the technology was “right”. So while ebook reader rivals such as Kobo launched touchscreen products into the market in mid-2011, Amazon bided its time.
Its restraint may have paid off: the Kindle Touch sports the most responsive and intuitive touchscreen E Ink display that we’ve come across.
There are only two buttons on board – a home one on the lower part of the bezel and a power button underneath. There’s also a 3.5mm headphone jack and a couple of speaker grills. The rest of the controls are taken care of by that touch screen that Amazon spent so long perfecting.
When we say perfecting, we mean on the ereader front. The touch experience is in no way comparable with that of a capacitive-based tablet, even a budget one. Typing on the onscreen keyboard is a slightly laborious affair and there is still a notable lag when hitting the virtual E Ink buttons, but for general use – essentially selecting titles from the home screen and turning pages – the Kindle Touch doesn’t falter.
A real page-turner
The touchscreen page turning control, in particular, is brilliantly designed with a tap on the majority of the screen initiating a forward page turn. Only a small margin on the left-hand side is reserved for turning back a page and a touch up top brings up the menu and search bar. This means that regular reading, i.e. front to back, is
natural whether using your right, left, or even both hands.
The display itself is the same 800 x 600 resolution, 16-level grey scale Pearl E Ink one found on the latest non-touch Kindles. As usual, it’s superb with fantastic viewing angles and it holds up superbly under bright sunlight. There is an option to not refresh the E Ink display on every page turn (a default on previous models) which speeds up the process, but this can leave the occasional remnant, or ghost, of previous pages. A quick
refresh sorts the problem though. Fingerprints and smears are an issue, but it’s not as big a concern as it becomes on a tablet.
The touchscreen inclusion has come at a cost – both financially and physically. The Kindle Touch is 1.4mm thicker than the Kindle, 6mm wider and longer and 50g heavier. The non-3G Kindle Touch is £20 more than the non-touch one, at £109, and it’s £60 more if you need the 3G connection.
Despite the added bulk and strain on your wallet though, we have no qualms in recommending the Kindle Touch – both for new ebook readers and existing users looking for an upgrade.
on Thursday, June 21st, 2012 at 4:04 pm under Tablets.
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Tags: Amazon, ebooks, ereader, Kindle, touchscreen