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New Kindle Touch reader – features, prices and realese date (video)

The Kindle is by far the most popular ebook reader in the world right now and for good reasons. In order to keep it the best, with facing competition from the Nook and the Sony eReader, Amazon just announced their revamped lines of ebook readers, including an updated new Kindle and the brand new Kindle Touch. More about these two below in our post.

We will focus more on the premium reader though, the Touch Kindle, and you have to know three things about this one: it’s cheap, light and now offers a touchscreen, being the first Kindle with such a feature. It’s not an LCD screen like you get on tablets, but an e-ink touch display, capable of merging the benefits of e-ink technology with the comfort of touch input.

So, let’s start with the basics. The Touch comes with a 6 inch e-ink display that uses IR in order to register multi-touch commands and gestures. The screen is still monochrome, can display 16 shades of gray and comes with 600 x 800 px resolution. Like any e-ink screen, it’s not backlit so it’s ideal for outside use; in fact, it requires a light source at anytime.

A premium ebook reader with a touchscreen - the Amazon Kindle Touch

A premium ebook reader with a touchscreen – the Amazon Kindle Touch

On the front size, you can see that there’s no keyboard anymore and no buttons either, cause everything is now done with the screen. The clip below shows you how taps work and you can see in the picture on the right that the keyboard has been replaced with a virtual one. Plus, there’s a new menu system Amazon calls easy-reach.

Virtual keyboard on the Kindle Touch

Virtual keyboard on the Kindle Touch

Now, the Kindle Touch is still not a tablet per-se, as it can’t display moving or color images. But for basic functions, like reading static webpages, books and magazines, it’s just the perfect device to have. The interface is pretty responsive, and as long as you’ll get used to the natural delay of these types of devices (caused by the e-ink screen), you’ll be just fine with your Kindle.

The Touch is also compact, measuring 6.8″ x 4.7″ x 0.40″ (172 mm x 120 mm x 10.1 mm) and weighing only¬†7.5 ounces (213 grams) , which makes it a perfect traveling or commuting companion. There’s 4 GB of storage space available, enough for thousands of books and written content, plus free access to all Amazon’s cloud stored content. The reader comes in two versions, one with Wi-Fi and one with Wi-Fi and 3G, both offering around 2 months of average use with a single charge (Grin!).

Of course, the Kindle Touch gets access to Amazon’s Kindle Store, but you can also borrow books from public libraries for a limited period of time, before you have to “return them”, aka can’t access them anymore, just like you did with a hardcopy.

Now, all these sound great for sure, but it’s even better when you’ll hear that the new Kindle Touch starts at only $99, with Shipping included. There’s a catch though, that’s for the Add Supported version, so you’ll have to get along with adds if you opt for this Kindle. Otherwise, the Wi-fi Only version of the Touch goes for $139.

There’s also the 3G version, selling for $149 (with adds) or $189 (without) and the good part is that it provides Free 3G access in all supported countries (yes, you get Free Internet connection – and while its use is limited by the characteristics of the e-ink display, it’s still a great feature to have especially when traveling a lot). All the available options described above are now available for preorder and will start shipping on November 21st.

Light and pretty cheap

Light and pretty cheap

In the end, it’s obvious that the Touch is the premium e-reader in the Kindle line, designed to meet with current demands that need a touchscreen on any gadget. If you don’t want the touch-display, there’s also the new version of the regular Kindle that starts at only $79, so you can check out this one as well.




About the Author
Mike
Andrei "Mike" Girbea is the Owner and Editor-in-Chief of TabletBite.com . He's a Computers Science graduate and technology has been one of his passions since childhood. After working as a Tech Journalist between 2005 and 2008, he now focuses on his own projects, like this one.


Last updated: November 1, 2011 | Published: September 28th, 2011
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