Amazon have launched one of their US-only products one week earlier than planned due to unprecedented demand. Unfortunately for fans of tablet PCs, it’s not the Kindle Fire – yet.
Kindle fans are likely to consider an upgrade since the navigation buttons on previous Kindles have been basic and clunky, making text entry cumbersome. But is it worth the money?
The new Kindle Touch 3G model sits at the top of the price band for Amazon Kindle products at £169 – that’s far more than the US price of around $150 (£99). A cheaper wi-fi only model is expected to follow next week and will cost £109. The non-touch, non-keyboard version is now the cheapest in the range at £89.
The tech in the Kindle Touch 3G is a little different from the touch screen in a tablet. The e-reader casts an infra-red layer over the screen, and when you touch, the Kindle Touch 3G detects the co-ordinates of your finger position. This means the screen is set low in the case, and if you hold the device while touching the screen, you can actually turn pages repeatedly without realising.
As with the previous 3G Kindle, buying books on the Kindle Touch 3G is free of charge anywhere in the world. However, people who have already used the touch version say it runs noticeably slower, taking more time to turn pages. There’s also the issue of putting fingerprints on the screen which can spoil the ‘paper-like’ look of the letters. Unlike the old Kindle, the Kindle Touch 3G must be switched off to avoid turning pages while the device is in its case, as any fasteners or protruding corners will break that infra-red beam and cause you to lose your page.
Will you be upgrading to the Kindle Touch 3G?