The touchscreen Kindle Touch 3G has finally landed in the uk, but will its swipeable e-ink display make it a literary great?
The Amazon Kindle Touch 3G brings touchscreen operation to the online retail giant's ereader, giving it a advantage over it's sibling - the Amazon Kindle 4. The brand was beaten to the touch-based punch by the Kobo Touch Edition, which launched last year, but can it bring anything new to the table while we wait for the Amazon Kindle Fire to arrive on UK shores? We took a closer look to find out.
Amazon Kindle Touch 3G: Build
At a glance, the Kindle Touch looks little different from last year's Kindle 4: same lightweight grey body, same tasty e-ink, but now it’s on a multi-touch screen.
As a result, it’s been shorn of all buttons except Home. It’s also gained a little girth, being 6mm wider and 1.4mm thicker, but that can be accounted for by a doubling of the previous Kindle’s storage to 4GB, a boost to the battery life to two months, and the addition of 3G for those who simply can’t wait for a Wi-Fi hotspot to download books they want.
Amazon Kindle Touch 3G: Screen
The main change here however is the touchscreen. The e-ink is as crisp and readable as ever in any light, but now you can swipe to turn pages, drag to highlight text and tap your way around the Amazon ebook store, just like on a proper mobile device.
There’s a direct link to Amazon’s shelves on the home screen and searching for a new read using the touchscreen keyboard is much quicker – although searching on a PC or Mac then transferring via Wi-Fi is still preferable.
It’s not all good news though. The screen is extremely sensitive, flicking through a whole chapter with an accidental brush of a page and, using it one-handed, you now have to reach across the screen’s edges to turn the page. You’ll find yourself missing page turn buttons on both sides of the screen.
Amazon Kindle Touch 3G: Usability
Kindle Touch grants you quicker and easier access to Amazon’s e-store thanks to a direct tap link on the home screen and a touchscreen keyboard for swift input of titles and authors.
You can download titles on the go and have them delivered via Amazon’s Whispernet in under a minute. With a huge collection – over one million ebooks and stacks of newspapers and magazines – you’ll have plenty to choose from and it’s likely to be cheap.
Current New York Times bestseller and kinky housewive’s favourite Fifty Shades of Grey costs £8 in paperback, but just £3.99 as a Kindle ebook. There’s also social networking integration so you can keep friends agog at your bold literary choices.
Amazon Kindle Touch 3G: Battery
The battery life on the Kindle Touch has been doubled since the cheaper Kindle 4, so it'll give you around two months of power rather than one. It's a significant improvement, no doubt, but then one month wasn't too shabby either...
Amazon Kindle Touch 3G: Verdict
The Amazon Kindle Touch’s spec sheet is impressive - particularly the increased storage, the strong battery life and the addition of 3G connectivity. While many will view the touchscreen as an excellent addition, we found it to be more hindrance than help at times which is why, for us, the simplicity and price of the non-touchscreen Amazon Kindle 4 keep it top of our reading list.
Review by Clare Sartin
Amazon Kindle Touch 3G availability: Available now
Amazon Kindle Touch 3G price: £169
Check out our Amazon Kindle Touch video...