Amazon Kindle Touch – Look ma, no buttons!

The Kindle has shed the buttons, and seems to be handling this facet of its personality very comfortably. While it is still not officially available in India, you can order it from Amazon or any of the shopping websites that allow global shopping. Amazon accounts work seamlessly across devices – be it the Kindle app for the PC, iPad, Android or the Kindle Reader itself. Buying books will not be a problem either.

Look & Feel

The Kindle Touch is slightly heavier than the Kindle (the plain-Jane edition), but is considerably less bulky than the one with the keyboard. Since the Kindle Keyboard wasn’t considered heavy or uncomfortable to hold and read on for long durations, this one certainly isn’t either! It is slightly thicker than the Kindle and the Kindle Touch, because of the touchscreen.

The bottom of the Kindle Touch has the standby/power button, and the micro USB slot for charging and data transfer. Press the power button for 7 seconds and that’ll put the Kindle in sleep more. Press it once and it goes into stand-by mode. For the version with the advertisements, it’ll show an advert, and pending any gesture, will turn off after 10 minutes.

Features

The Kindle Touch has a 6-inch display with multi-touch capabilities. The device has 4GB on-board storage – Amazon says that is good for about 3000 books. You can also email yourself ebooks (PDFs, MOBI and txt files) using the email address that gets created for you when you register the Kindle for the first time.

On-board is an experimental web browser, and “experimental” for a good reason. Some flash heavy websites do not render properly, but most sites have no such issues.

The Kindle Touch has a 3.5mm jack and built-in speakers to feed the audio books, text to speech and the built-in MP3 player functions. The speaker isn’t great, quite expected. Amazon doesn’t ship any earphones with the Touch, but the audiobooks and MP3s do sound a lot better if you have a decent pair of headphones in play.

Performance

It looks extremely unassuming. On the front is the 6-inch e-ink display with multi-touch, and is accompanied by one hardware button. With all the Kindle devices till now, you had to press a hardware button to flip pages – something that turned off a lot of book lovers who missed the feel of actually turning a page. The Kindle Touch brings that back, to a huge extent. Amazon have divided the fields on the display very well – tapping anywhere in the wide margin on the right side to flip to the next page, or tap anywhere in the thin left margin will flip to the previous page. Alternatively, you can just swipe on the screen like you would swipe a page in a book. Tap on the very top of the display to open the menu bar.

You can access Kindle Store from within the reader, but you need to access the Amazon Account from via a PC and register the Kindle there. This is a one-time process, and any purchases you make will be automatically sent to your Kindle, and any other linked devices.

The screen refresh capability also has two settings here – every page or every sixth page. If you set it to every page, the text is perceptibly crisper and better to read, but there is a flash of black every time you flip a page. If you choose the latter setting, the text quality does degrade slightly, but page turn is quicker and smoother. The Kindle Touch is set to refresh the display with every page, by default.

While reading a book, you can press and hold on any work or phrase, and after a couple of seconds, a pop up menu will open. This is where you can get the meanings, as well as social network integration – post to Facebook and/or Twitter.

Tapping on the top of the display opens up the menu bar – store access, search, change font size etc. to change font sizes though, you can just use the pinch-zoom gesture and the text size can be increased or decreased with every gesture. When you are doing that, a small pop up indicates what size it is now on, from a list of pre-set font sizes.

Amazon claims a battery life of about 2 months, with an hour of reading daily. We still haven’t been able to drain the battery on our Kindle Touch! It has been with us for two weeks, and despite a couple of hours of reading daily, the battery is slightly less above 50%. It had come out of the box with about 60%, and we haven’t charged it even once. Nothing suggests we should not believe what Amazon claims about the battery life.

Our Take

The Kindle Touch brings back the fun of flipping pages to an e-book reader. It isn’t officially available in India, but Amazon ships it here, and so do websites like ebay Global EasyBuy and Shop Your World. For someone who already has a Kindle, the Touch isn’t an enticing enough upgrade. But for someone who is looking to buy their first e-book reader, or want to gift someone one, then the Touch is the smartest choice at the moment.

Price: US$ 99 (Wi-Fi only, with special offers) plus shipping etc.

 

Specs:

E-book reader, 6-inch E-ink display, capacitive touchscreen with multi-touch, Wi-Fi (3G optional), experimental web browser, music player, access to Kindle Store

With multi-touch, the Amazon Kindle makes e-book reading an even more comfortable exercise. The slightly smaller footprint, because the keyboard has been removed, makes it comfortable to hold. If you are thinking of upgrading from a previous gen Kindle, the upgrade isn’t enticing enough. If however, this is your first Kindle, or you are adding to the e-book reader armory, then this is the one to consider.

Original link: http://goo.gl/oxI4E

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About Vishal Mathur

Geek by day, heavy sleeper by night!

3 comments

  1. I like your writing style truly enjoying this site. “I only regret that I have one life to lose for my country.” by Nathan Hale.

  2. very good post, i actually love this website, keep on it

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