Amazon Kindle Touch and Touch 3G first look [Video] [Updated]

by , Ebook Readers 01/05/2012
Amazon Kindle Touch

Amazon’s range of ebook readers now includes the Kindle Touch and Kindle Touch 3G, two versions that are operated using a touch screen. They look similar to the regular Kindle, though as there’s a touch screen they don’t have any buttons for navigating or turning pages.

The Amazon Kindle Touch is priced at £109 and the Touch 3G costs £169. Both are available from Amazon or selected retailers. The non-touch screen Kindle costs £89.

Amazon Kindle Touch first look video review

Find out the pros and cons of Ebook readers with our interactive tool.

What’s new?

As well as the touchscreen Amazon has included 4GB of internal memory storage to store up to 3,000 books (twice that of the regular Kindle), and the maker claims that the battery life can last up to 2 months without charging.

These features come at the expense of weight – the Touch 3G is 50g heavier than the regular Kindle – but it’s still a very managable 220g and easy to use to hold in on hand.

Click to enlarge

How does it compare with the regular Kindle?

Using the touchscreen to turn pages is easy, although whether you will find it easier than physical buttons will likely be down to personal taste. In my short hands-on trial, I found it easier to turn pages using the touchscreen, although when doing so it was hard to keep a tight grip.

The touchscreen makes looking up words in the dictionary much easier, while the onscreen keyboard makes adding annotations or searching for books in the Kindle store a lot faster.

One less obvious difference between the models is that the Touch supports audio files and includes a headphone jack. This means you can use it for playing music and listening to audiobooks – something missing in the regular Kindle.

It also means the Touch models support Amazon’s text-to-speech function, where the the device reads out the text to the user. While this is potentially useful, the voice is fairly robotic and it isn’t something you would want to listen to all the time.

Should I buy the 3G version?

If you’re already sold on a Kindle Touch and trying to decide which model to go for it’s worth having a close look at the 3G functionality. This lets you download books on the go – as long as you have signal – without having to pay a monthly fee. This may seem like a great idea, especially when you can download books when abroad on holiday, but it’s up to decide how often you’ll do this.

You can use the 3G signal with Amazon’s experimental web browser, but this is restricted to accessing Wikipedia. With wi-fi access becoming increasingly common, we’re unsure there’s much to recommended the 3G version – especially when the extra £60 increases the cost of the device by more than 50%.

In the full review…

We now have full reviews of the Kindle Touch and Kindle Touch 3G, based on our extensive lab testing.

For more on how we decide on ebook reader Best Buys, read our guide to how we test ebooks readers.

More on this…

11 comments

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ianh

Your first review of the Kindle Touch coincided with me buying one for my wife. She is very pleased with it. The reviewer said that the experimental web browser could only access Wikipedia which is not true, the whole of the web is available including Google. The limitation is that whilst static pictures are displayed, albeit in black and white, it cannot show moving pictures as it doesn’t support Flash. Using my own Kindle Keyboard I have successfully used the web browser in Cyprus and I recently followed World News for a fortnight on the BBC website whilst in Tenerife; all free of data and roaming charges. It isn’t as good as a dedicated laptop but as a free ‘Experimental’ add-on to an already superb e-reader it takes some beating.

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Mark

I spend so much time on planes and I read most popular ebooks. This device has just a amazing screen, feel and battery life that makes this a simple choice when reading compared to my new hi-res iPad that is left in the luggage rack above. The feel for turning pages and just the size makes me feel this is a 10 out of 10 product.

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Bill

I’ve had one since they came out in the USA.
Still use my “old” kindle quite a bit though. One big disadvantage with the “Touch” is the on-off button: it protrudes so very easily caught in a pocket or bag – not good on an aircraft during takeoff & landing.
The page turn can be a little unreliable – you either have to press quite firmly or include a little slide to get it to work every time. This is not so easy if using it one-handed in some situations.
I do like the extra battery life and the smaller size c/w the original version.

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Mike

Your statement on the Kindle touch: “One less obvious difference between the models is that the Touch supports audio files and includes a headphone jack. This means you can use it for playing music and listening to audiobooks – something missing in the regular Kindle.” is not correct for the Kindle Keyboard version which has an earphone jack and plays music and audio books.

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Robert

Pre ordered the Kindle Touch in the UK and it arrived a couple of weeks ago. Am very pleased with it and am using it a lot of the time, unlike an early Sony e-reader which I found rather cumbersome to use.
The other feature I like on the Kindle Touch is you can email documents (such as pdf files) to the …..@kindle.com and they are sent to your reader – very simple!

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Mary Hagger

I would like to point out the advantage of having a 3G kindle for people that do not have a wireless connection on their computer as the 3G kindle has its own wireless connection and can be used anywhere without reference to w

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Mary Hagger

I would like to point out the advantage of having a 3G kindle for people that do not have a wireless connection on their computer as the 3G kindle has its own wireless connection and can be used anywhere without reference to wifi.

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Millie

The Kindle Touch does meet all my reading needs. However the overall user experience could be improved. The touch screen is not as sensitive as a smart phone and similar to a previous comment I have to press quite firmly to turn a page which can be quite difficult to do one-handed. I also wish the Kindle and an option to display the number of pages to the end of a chapter so that I can calculate whether I should carry on reading before putting out the light at night!!

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rjsl

I have the original Kindle 3G model and it is great as you can download your daily newspaper almost anywhere in the world. However I also have the new Kindle Fire, currently only available in the USA and it is brilliant but unfortunately Amazon impose geographic boundaries on the world wide webh. You can still access your UK Amazon account but cannot get news content. You also have full colour access to the internet, the Fire is almost as good as the Ipad but a quarter of the price. Hopefully Amazon will relaes a full UK version soon…

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bryn

I’m not seeing the promised video showing both Kindles in action as promised on p12 of the June issue.

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David

Like Bryn I’ve been hunting for the promised video. In reviews I’ve read elsewhere there is a lot of debate about the page turning action being hit and miss, sometimes moving a lot more than a page. The difficulty then seems to be getting back to where you were. Also mentioned is ghosting and not being able to go back a page. But in the Which review these aren’t picked up as major issues. I’m still not certain what browsing can be done but ianh seems to have managed just fine.

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