Kindle Touch UK Review
Top –of-the-range eBook devices often feature a touch screen interface – similar to that seen on tablet computers and many smart phones – to provide a reading experience that is even closer to that of a traditional paper book. Despite being the market leader, Amazon’s e-readers have always lacked this feature, until the introduction of the Kindle Touch.
With almost all its functions directly accessible from its 6” multi-touch e-ink display, the Kindle Touch features only two physical buttons. The first, on the bottom edge of the device, switches it on and off while the second is a ridged ‘home’ button directly below the screen which returns users to the main menu.
The bulk of the touch screen can be used to move forward through a book or document with a simple swipe or flick of a finger while a strip on the left hand side, about an inch wide, is used to navigate backwards. Touching the top portion of the screen on either side activates the menu options for that page. The system has been designed to enable the Touch to be read and operated with just one hand and works right out of the box with no need to connect to a computer or install any software.
Although the navigation zones work well regardless of whether you are left or right handed, it seems a strange omission that there is no option to reverse the standard settings, especially when you consider that previous Kindles have always featured page turn buttons on both sides of the machine.
When it comes to adding annotations or entering details of local Wi-Fi networks, a virtual keyboard appears on the bottom half of the reading screen.
Of special interest to lovers of talking books is that fact that the Kindle Touch has many of the audio features of the more expensive Kindle Keyboard model. These include rear speakers, a headphone mini-jacket socket and the built-in text-to-speech facility, but the Touch delivers them in a form factor which is only marginally larger than the basic, entry-level model.
One feature unique to the Kindle Touch is known as X-Ray. While reading traditional books, it is quite common to flick back and forth to check what a particular character said or did at an earlier point in the story, but this has always been far harder to achieve with digital books. The X-Ray system allows readers to see all mentions of a particular character and also provides background historical information and additional context to whatever is being read.
The Kindle Touch comes with 4GB of memory which enables the device to store up to 3,000 books. These are transmitted either over a Wi-Fi network or using a 3G connection, depending on the model which has been purchased. Although the 3G network is identical to that used my mobile phones, Kindle Touch owners do not need to sign a contract or pay a fee for the service as it is all included in the purchase price.
The Kindle touch UK release took place in April 2012, to get one checkout Amazon’s store now