What You Need to Know About the Kindle Touch

Kindle Touch
The Kindle Touch is Amazon's touchscreen ereader and was released in late 2011. Like its predecessors, it comes with various configurations, each of which impacts the cost. You can purchase the ereader configured with ads, or for a little more, without ads. You also have the option of buying it with 3G connectivity or without 3G.
Features of the Kindle Touch
Let's first take a look at the features. This will help you decide if it is right for you.
  • Design & Display Features - The new design is one of the great new features of this ereader. The most noticeable change is that the onboard keyboard and the 5-way controller of earlier models are gone. They are replaced by an infrared interface, multi-touch screen. Consequently it is lighter and overall smaller than before. However, it maintains its generous six-inch E Ink Pearl display that makes the books really easy to read, with a resolution of 800 x 600 pixels.
  • Buttons and Ports - For starters, there is a "Home" button at the bottom of the Kindle, which is used to return to the home page at any time, and is very similar to previous models. In addition, there is the "Sleep/Power" switch which has an auto-off feature that puts the device to "sleep" if idle for ten minutes. There is also a micro USB port that can be used for charging the battery or document transfers. And there is a head phone jack for listening to MP3 files or Text-to-Speech enabled books.
  • Visual Features - There are three typefaces and eight different font sizes you can choose from. You also have the option of changing the screen orientation in four different directions plus changing the spacing between the words and the lines of text. As mentioned earlier, unlike other Kindle ereaders, the Touch has an Infrared (IR) Based touch interface instead of actual buttons.
Other key features of the Kindle Touch include the following:
  • 4GB of storage, which holds up to 3,000 books.
  • Two ways to connect the Kindle Touch; Wifi and 3G.
  • On a full charge, the battery will last up to two months.
  • There are two Touches you can buy depending on connectivity feature: the Kindle 3G Wifi connectivity and the one with only the Wifi connectivity.
Options: With 3G and Without 3G
Although very similar, there are a couple differences between the Kindle 3G Wifi and non-3G models. They are briefly listed below.
  • Kindle Touch with 3G will allow you to connect without cost anywhere there is AT&T mobile service available. Without the 3G, you will only be able to connect where Wifi is available.
  • Subscriptions to periodicals (like USA Today) are available on the 3G model.
  • Some games can be played on the 3G version.
  • The 3G option is about $50 more than the model with only Wifi.
  • Downloads of books, magazines, etc. are a bit faster with the 3G.
The Kindle Touch is certainly not the only touchscreen ereader on the market, but for anyone considering the purchase of one of these wonderful little devices it has to be included on the "short list" of possibilities.