A TOUCH BETTER - Kindle

The new Kindle touch comes in WiFi only or 3G and WiFi models ,with the 3G version approx. $40 more.

After some consumer confusion about exactly what the 3G portion of the touch offered, Amazon released a statement  with an apology. The statement explained  the Kindle Touch 3G allows purchases and downloads anywhere on the mobile network( and access to Wikipedia),but won’t let you surf the web on that network. General web browsing is available in the WiFi mode.

Personal choice and circumstances will determine the need for 3G or no. A lot of people can easily find a WiFi hotspot , either at home or locally and even when travelling. On the other hand those who don’t have home WiFi and can’t get out to Hot spots will find 3G helpful.

The Touch is slim at ½” thick and has a 6” monochrome e-ink display. A new feature is 16 levels of grayscale adjustment on screen to suit all eyes. As with all e-ink displays, the surface is not glossy,nor is it illuminated with any sort of backlight.On screen qwerty keyboard is touch operated. Books are selected by finger touch reported to be ‘not difficult to use’.

4GB of built in flash memory holds about 3000 books.Amazon Kindles also come with a constant connection to Amazons S3 cloud storage solution-that storage is unlimited for every Kindle owner. This model has support for basic TXT files,Adobe PDF documents,MOBI files,PRC files, and even audio  wireless downloadimage viewer.

Kindle Touch does have one button ,located at the centre of the bottom edge, which takes you to the main menu.

There have been positive comments from new users: ‘we never had much of a problem with the controls of the original Kindle but the Touch interface does work well,and it is simple to use, you don’t have to touch it hard,it is plenty sensitive enough for just a gentle tap.’

One Kindle Touch website review stated : ‘ the Kindles whispersync wireless download and sync system is utterly brilliant .Click on ‘buy’and books are sent to your Kindle almost instantly. Newspaper subscriptions can also be sent to your device each morning,and we love this service too. It’s by far the best electronic newspaper service we’ve tried.’

Text to speech software is included on this model.

Pocket-lint.com gave the Kindle touch their ‘hot product’ award,saying: ‘Our score reflects the device and its abilities. In this regard,it is flawless and a joy to use.’

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