Amazon rebranded Kindle 3 as Kindle Keyboard and launched 2 new Kindles – Kindle 4th generation (or just Kindle) and Kindle Touch. At $79 for the ad-supported version, the Kindle is created a new low price entry point. Without doubt, it will lure in a lot of customers. The Kindle Touch meanwhile made a belated entry in the touchscreen E Ink device market full of competitors like Nook, Kobo, Sony etc. Here is the hands on Kindle Touch Review.
Now Kindle is primarily available in 6 variants : $79 for Kindle, $99 Kindle Touch, $149 Kindle Touch 3G, $99 Kindle Keyboard, $139 Kindle Keyboard 3G and $199 Kindle Fire. Of course there is a ad-free version for most of these as well.
The lowermost entry points – $79 Kindle and $99 Kindle Touch are especially intriguing. Let’s see if Kindle Touch meets the expectations and is the $20 premium worth the step up from the fantastically affordable $79 Kindle?
Amazon Kindle Touch is not very different from Amazon Kindle. In fact, the only visible difference between the two is the bottom portion of the devices. Kindle has a toggle switch and row of buttons, while Kindle Touch a single home button, which comprises of four small horizontal bars.
Headphone jack makes a return in the Kindle Touch to make use of the MP3 player, text-to-speech functionality and the ability to play audio books from Audible. Sound is also handled by two small speaker grills located along the bottom of the device’s rear.
Kindle Touch measures 6.8″ x 4.7″ x 0.40″ and weighs in at 7.5 ounces (the 3G version weighs 7.8). Amazon Touch slips pretty easily into your pants pocket — it’s really an ideal size for one of these devices. The device fits nicely in the hand, never really feeling awkward when you’re trying to read.
Kindle Touch comes with a 4GB storage. Amazon suggests that additional storage isn’t necessary as this is enough to hold up to 3,000 books, apart from the fact that the Amazon Cloud gives you unlimited storage. The battery life is of 2 months. The device takes about four hours to charge fully when connected to a computer.
The touchscreen takes some time to get used to. You only need one hand to hold the device instead of two. Instead of swiping, a tap to the left or right sides of the screen changes pages. Tapping the top of the screen brings up the main navigation, including search and the Kindle’s new “X-ray” feature, which highlights some of the key terms on the page. Just like the iOS devices, the keyboard only appears when necessary, and is well-spaced and easy to use.
Those planning to buy 3G version (only recommended for those who hit the road way too often) will have to shell out an extra $50. However, it would be a one-time charge and Amazon would fit the bill for monthly charges.
The most important distinction between the Kindle and Kindle Touch is the touchscreen. It’s the feature that makes Kindle Touch dearer by $20. Kindle has a toggle wheel, which is just not an ideal way to interact with device like this.
The Kindle Touch is as good as any touch reader out there and makes a compelling buy at $99. But keep in mind, that price is for the ad-supported, WiFi-only version. If you already own a Kindle 2 or Kindle 3, Kindle Touch is not a compelling enough buy. If you’re new, you can definitely go for Kindle Touch or even Kindle.