Kindle Touch Review

This Kindle Touch Review is based on information available about the new Kindle Touch eReader from Amazon. It won’t be released until November 15th – However, it’s worth going into features and comparing it against Kindle Keyboard (Kindle 3) and the $79 Kindle.

Kindle Touch Review – Main Features

Here’s what you get for $99 –

  1. eInk Pearl Screen. This is optimized for reading and is the latest eInk technology available. It’s readable in sunlight but doesn’t come with a backlight.
  2. 6″ screen with 600 by 800 resolution at 167 ppi.
  3. Touch Screen. Lets you do things easier and quicker. Also page turns are noiseless.
  4. Very simple to use. Touch adds even more simplicity to an already intuitive Kindle experience.
  5. WiFi. Also free WiFi access at AT&T hotspots.
  6. Solid Battery Life. If you read half an hour a day with wireless off you get 2 months battery life.
  7. Wireless Downloads of books in 60 seconds over WiFi.
  8. Kindle Store which has the best range of new books. It also has lots of free book offers and deals and the best book prices.
  9. Library Book Support.
  10. A compact and light eReader. It’s 6.8″ by 4.7″ by 0.40″. It’s also 7.5 ounces. It is supposed to be around 18% smaller than Kindle 3.
  11. Experimental Browser.
  12. 4 GB of memory of which 3 GB is available for you. Free Cloud Storage with unlimited capacity for Amazon content.
  13. Text to Speech. Only available when Publishers haven’t disabled it. Available on all your personal documents.
  14. Lending. One-time lending to one person. Only available when Publishers haven’t disabled it.
  15. Kindle Reading Apps, WhisperSync, and other Amazon Infrastructure based features. You can continue reading across devices. You can sync notes.
  16. PDF Support. Please Note: The 6″ screen is rather small for PDFs and there are still bugs with highlighting in PDFs etc. So this isn’t really a very good PDF reader.
  17. There’s a new feature called X-Ray which lets you explore the bones of a book. Somewhere, House is laughing at the ridiculous analogy.
  18. Faster page turns than Kindle 3.

Overall, you get a very impressive amount of value for money.

It is worth pointing out some disadvantages –

  1. To get the $99 price you have to get the Kindle Touch with Special Offers. That means ads instead of screensavers and an ad on your Kindle home page.
  2. There is no ePub support. That means you can’t really get ebooks from any of the other big ebook stores. It also means that if you decide to switch to another eReader you can’t take your Kindle books with you.
  3. Touch is convenient – However, the typing will not be as convenient as with a physical keyboard. The lack of physical page turn buttons is also an inconvenience.
  4. No 3G. The 3G version is $50 more expensive. It lets you download books via 3G and lets you do free Internet browsing in over 100 countries (only if your Home Country is the US).
  5. Perhaps some things I’ve missed.

To be quite honest, there aren’t that many disadvantages. The Ads are annoying but at $99 you can’t really complain.

Amazon has taken back its ‘Best eReader’ Crown. It’ll be interesting to see what B&N and Kobo do to counter.

Kindle Touch Review – Top 5 Kindle Touch Features

A quick summary of the 5 main benefits –

  1. An eInk Pearl eReader for just $99.
  2. Access to the Kindle Store.
  3. Text to Speech.
  4. Touch screen and generally very easy to use interface.
  5. Compact, Light and Portable.

Everyone expected Amazon to try for a $99 Kindle – No one expected it to deliver a $99 Kindle Touch.

Kindle Touch Review – How important is the Touch Kindle price of $99?

The Kindle Touch at $99 is really good value for money. The key figure here is $99. It’s a really important price since it means that we go below the mythical $100 price barrier and lots of people who were unwilling to pay $114 for a Kindle 3 with Special Offers will now supposedly be psychologically compelled to buy the Kindle Touch with Special Offers for $99.

My gut feeling is that it’s going to work and the $99 Kindle Touch will sell like crazy. The $79 Kindle and $99 Kindle make price and value for money their main selling points and with their sub-$100 prices they remove what was perhaps the last big barrier to wide eReader adoption.

Kindle Touch for $99 or Kindle Keyboard for $99?

Not even going to discuss the $79 Kindle because its lack of speakers and lack of keyboard/touch make it a horror in my opinion. Just pay $20 more and get Text to Speech and background music and easy typing of notes.

Kindle Touch advantages – touch-screen, more compact, lighter, 4th generation kindle, easier interface thanks to touch.

Kindle Keyboard advantages – keyboard, page turn buttons, known to be very good, available now.

If you prefer a keyboard and/or must have physical page turn buttons and/or can’t wait for a month and a half, then Kindle Keyboard is a better option. In most other cases the Kindle Touch is the better choice. They both are very similar in most other ways. I’ll update this Kindle Touch review when the Kindle Touch ships.