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Amazon Kindle Touch

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What's hot: Touch screen with improved ease of use.

What's not: UI is still largely text-based.


Reviewed November 16, 2011 by , Editor in Chief (twitter: @lisagade)

The Kindle Touch is Amazon's first touch screen E Ink reader. Sure, they're the last to the party with the popular Barnes & Noble Nook Simple Touch, Kobo Touch and a slew of Sony Readers including the latest Sony PRS-T1 preceding it. But we're glad it's here with the same IR touch sensors and clear Pearl E-Ink display as the rest of the pack.

Kindle Touch

The Kindle Touch looks much like its $20 cheaper sibling, the Kindle (or Kindle 4 if you find the simple name Kindle too simple). The design is basic without the slim and stylish look of the Kindle with Keyboard, but for $99 with offers (ads on the home screen and at the bottom of your book listing page) and $139 without ads, how much style can you get?

Kindle Touch

The screen is as sharp and clear as its non-touch companions in the current Kindle E Ink lineup, and touch is responsive. This is a 6" eBook reader with the usual 800 x 600 resolution and 16 shades of gray. The user interface hasn't changed much from the non-touch Kindle, and that's a shame since Amazon's competitors developed a touch UI that's more graphical and rich. You see a text-based listing of books and periodicals, and use the menu button to access standard Kindle style menu of a additional functions.

Kindle Touch

Top to bottom: Kindle Touch, Kindle Keyboard and the Kindle Fire.

The eReader has speakers, headphone jack and a basic MP3 player that can also handle Audible books. There's the usual text-to-speech feature (if allowed by the publisher), the new X-Ray feature (though not many books yet support this feature) and WhisperSync over WiFi. If you purchase the 3G model you can download and sync content over AT&T's 3G network as well (at no additional charge, but the 3G model is more expensive).The 3G version costs $149 with ads and $189 without ads. 3G is provided by AT&T and AT&T also includes free use of the WiFi Hotspots that are available across the US.

Amazon is still allergic to the ePub format, so you're still looking at .Azw and .mobi formats only, plus non-DRM PDFs. PDFs are a bit awkward since the Kindle Touch oddly lacks landscape mode.

Deals and Shopping:

Amazon Kindle Touch Video Review

Here's our in-depth video review of the Kindle Touch:



Kindle Touch

Above: the Nook Simple Touch and Kindle Fire.

Kindle Touch

Above: The Kindle Keyboard (Kindle 3), Kindle Touch and Kindle Fire.

Kindle Touch

Kindle Touch



If you're an Amazon person and don't take copious notes, the Kindle Touch is a no-brainer. It's much easier to navigate the device using a touch screen rather than the old joystick method, and even the on-screen keyboard is easy to use as a stand-in for the hardware keyboard. You get Amazon's huge book selection, great customer service and added features over the more basic Kindle 4 for only $20 more. These features include speakers and a heaphone jack with MP3 and Audible playback.The Kindle Touch lasts several weeks on a charge, and like all E-Ink readers, the screen looks great outdoors in bright light. We wish Amazon had evolved the Kindle UI for the Touch though: it looks the same as previous Kindles with none of the book cover bliss and graphical glory of the Nook Simple Touch and Sony Reader PRS-T1. And ePub? Still a no-go.

Price: $99 with offers (ads), $139 without ads, $149 for 3G with ads, $189 for 3G without ads

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Display: 6" Pearl E-Ink display with IR touch sensors, 800 x 600 resolution, 167ppi. 16 grayscale levels. Supports screen rotation in all 4 directions.

Size: 6.8" x 4.7" x 0.40", 7.5 ounces.

Wireless: WiFi 802.11b/g/n (a 3G option is available for more money).

CPU: Freescale i.MX508 ARM Cortex-A8 family CPU with 800MHz max clock speed.

Storage: 4 gigs with approximately 3 gigs available. Mounts as a mass storage device in Windows and Mac OS X for USB transfer of content.

Battery: Sealed in unit. Claimed 2 months battery life with wireless off when reading 30 minutes per day. Charges via USB in 4 hours (empty to full), micro USB cable included, charger sold separately.

Audio: Stereo speakers and 3.5mm stereo headphone jack. Can play MP3 and Audible files.

Formats supported: Amazon AZW, MOBI, PRC and PDF natively. Doesn't support DRM-d MOBI and PRC files. Other formats supported: HTML, DOC, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, MP3 and Audible.

OS: Kindle OS 4.0.



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