Usually Amazon is at the forefront of eReader technology and features. However, both Barnes and Noble and Kobo released a touch screen navigated eReader before the eReading kingpin. To catch up, in early October Amazon announced that they would be accepting pre-orders for their first touch screen eReader, the Kindle Touch. Released in both Wi-Fi and 3G models, the Kindle Touch eReaders keep the same size 6 inch E-Ink Pearl screen as their predecessor, the Kindle 3, but have actually been designed to be smaller and lighter.
Approximately 8% lighter and 11% smaller than the previous Kindle, the Kindle Touch can hold up to 3,000 e-books at a time. There is no microSD slot on the Kindle Touch, but Amazon is offering free and unlimited Cloud Storage for all Amazon content to everyone who buys the Kindle Touch eReader. That basically means that the new touch activated Kindle eReaders have access to unlimited download capabilities.
Buy the Kindle Touch Wi-Fi for $99, and the Kindle Touch 3G for $149.
The Kindle Touch is currently the only eReader to offer text-to-speech, audiobooks and mp3 support, and both the Wi-Fi only and 3G models provide for 60 seconds or less downloads. The Wi-Fi only model retails for $99, and requires no contract to access Wi-Fi broadcasting. The 3G with Wi-Fi model retails for $149, and provides free no-contract access to the global 3G and Wi-Fi networks.
Rear mounted stereo speakers, a microUSB slot and 3.5 mm headphone/audio jack are the only exterior adornments on the Kindle Touch. Both models of the Amazon Kindle Touch offer 600 x 800 pixel resolution at 167 ppi, and 16 level gray-scale. Physically, the two versions are the same size, measuring 6.8 x 4.7 x 0.40 inches (172 mm x 120 mm x 10.1 mm), while the Wi-Fi only model weighs 7.5 ounces, and the 3G Kindle Touch weighs in at 7.8 ounces.
The web browser on both models is a customized version of the Android operating system, and the Kindle Touch offers a full screen digital zoom that does not water down the resolution of the image. In a feature that is unique to the Kindle Touch, Amazon unveils their X-Ray technology, which Amazon says “lets customers explore the bones of the book.” When you tap on a selective group of text or individual word, you are immediately shown historical figures, ideas, fictional characters, places and topics that are relative to your search item, as well as a more detailed description of your search term from Shelfari and Wikipedia. Shelfari is Amazon’s own community driven encyclopedia. Buy the Kindle Touch starting at only $99.