- Display / readability E-ink is great and the pearl display is still top notch for a reading device.
- Battery life It lasts roughly a week or 2 on standby with WiFi on.
- Store and selection of titles Amazon has the best selection of books around, bar-none, but it doesn't have everything.
- Ease of use The touchscreen makes this the easiest to use kindle ever.
- Document support You can view .mobi and pdfs, but there's no love to epub.
- Storage capacity I can't imagine anyone reads fast enough to even fill this up.
- Durability I wish the screen was less delicate. I can see it being damaged beyond repair if dropped screen side down.
- Design and form factor It's about the same size and weight as the Kindle keyboard. The touchscreen is its best/worst feature.
- Portability (size / weight) It's about the same size and weight as the Kindle keyboard. The touchscreen is its best/worst feature.
While having a touchscreen might sound more natural and appealing making the touchscreen its greatest feature, with the way it's implemented with the Kindle Touch, the touchscreen becomes its greatest flaw.
Whenever someone asks to see my Kindle (before purchasing the Kindle touch), the first thing someone did was touch the screen. It's been ingrained in our minds, if it has a large screen, people will try to touch it. So what did Amazon do? They decided that the Kindle needed that touchscreen and unsurprisingly they reveal the Kindle touch (at the same time they pushed out a new non-touchscreen Kindle, demoted the Kindle 3rd-gen to Kindle keyboard and released the much anticipated Kindle Fire).
The touchscreen technology on the Kindle touch isn't new, Sony's been using it with their e-ink based readers for roughly a year or two now as does the Barnes and Noble Nook Simple Touch. In summation, it uses IR sensors around the edges of the screen to detect your touch instead of embedding a touchscreen on the actually screen. Sidenote: Sony tried both approaches, first with the embedded touchscreen, which was actually extremely detrimental to the screen because it caused it to reflect light, contrary to the design of e-ink, then moved onto this IR tech in their latest touchscreen-enabled e-ink readers.
So how does the touchscreen add to the experience of the Kindle. For me, it's a double-edged sword. Navigation on the device became much easier and more natural. Rather than fumbling with the terrible keyboard on the Kindle keyboard to search for titles, ultimately causing me much frustration that I would just turn to a computer, the touchscreen was a joy to use. I found that I was actually using the device more for browsing for titles. However, the reading experience, which is the most important aspect of any e-reader, was the most frustrating. Since Amazon got rid of the side page-turn buttons, the only way to turn the page is via the touchscreen. It seems logical on paper, but in practice, it's a nightmare.
With the side buttons, it was more of a passive experience, you can have your hands (or hand) on the device and never need to move them to read, just click one of those buttons and you're off reading. But with the touchscreen, you have to literally lift your finger or thumb to turn the page, by either swiping from left to right or by touching the bottom left hand corner. A majority of the time, I was left with a touchscreen that wouldn't register my swipe or the device thinking I swiped, turning the page for me, completely interrupting my reading. It may sound like I'm nitpicking, but if my primary goal is to read a book or article uninterrupted and you're interrupting me, then that's a problem.
Another issue I had with the device, page turns were slow (it's on par with the Kindle keyboard though) when compared to the Barnes and Noble Simple Touch or the 4th-gen Kindle, but I wouldn't have noticed this unless I played with all three devices at a local Staples.
Overall, I'd say that if you're looking for a superb experience with navigation, thanks to the new touchscreen, and can put up with the miss/accidental swipes, then by all means, go for it, but if want a device with a frustration-free reading experience, then look to the Kindle keyboard or 4th-gen Kindle.
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