Kindle Touch Quick Review, Specs and Features (Videos)

Kindle Touch

This Kindle Touch review is an outline of the new touchscreen Kindles’ features.

Since the Kindle Touch won’t be released until November 21st, this quick review is based on information from Amazon’s press conference and the Kindle Touch and Kindle Touch 3G product details pages. Check back in November for the full detailed review, or subscribe to keep updated on all ereader reviews and news.

The Kindle Touch is one of three new devices from Amazon. There’s also a basic non-touchscreen Kindle that starts at $79. Then there’s the Kindle Fire Tablet for $199. And the Kindle 3, now known as the Kindle Keyboard, is going to continue to be available for those that find the keyboard useful.

Four Variations

  • Kindle Touch Wi-Fi with Special Offers – $99 (link)
  • Kindle Touch Wi-Fi – $139 (link)
  • Kindle Touch 3G with Special Offers – $149 (link)
  • Kindle Touch 3G – $189 (link)

The Special Offers Kindles are cheaper because they display ads and coupon deals on the screensavers when the Kindle is asleep and at the bottom of the list of books on the homescreen. The vast majority of people find the ads to be unintrusive. A lot of people get the Special Offers Kindles for the exclusive coupon deals, which are generally pretty good if you do a lot of shopping at Amazon. They are starting to roll out local coupon deals too in some areas.

Kindle Touch – Touchscreen

Surprisingly, Amazon is the last major ereader company to launch a touchscreen ebook reader. The Kindle Touch has a 6-inch E Ink Pearl screen and uses infrared for the touchscreen just like Nook, Sony, and Kobo. That’s good news because infrared touchscreens have already proven to be ideal for ebook readers: They work great and don’t degrade the quality of the screen at all, and fingerprints aren’t a problem either.

My main concern with the touchscreen is this: Amazon has thousands of apps for the Kindle—games, calendars, notepads, etc—and they were all created for the non-touchscreen Kindles and are dependent on the 5-way controller and physical buttons for operation. How does Amazon intend to make these work on a touchscreen Kindle? Are they going start segregating the apps for non-touch and touchscreen Kindles?

Kindle Touch Specs

  • 6″ E Ink Pearl screen
  • Infrared touchscreen with multi-touch
  • 600 x 800 pixel resolution at 167 ppi, 16-level gray scale
  • 4GB internal memory (3GB available)
  • Wi-Fi
  • Optional 3G via AT&T’s 3G network in the US and partner networks outside of the US
  • 3.5 mm stereo audio jack, rear-mounted stereo speakers
  • USB 2.0 port
  • Supported formats: AZW, TXT, PDF, unprotected MOBI, PRC, Audible (Audible Enhanced (AA, AAX)), MP3 natively; HTML, DOC, DOCX, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP through conversion
  • Battery Life: 4-8 weeks
  • Dimensions: 6.8″ x 4.7″ x 0.40″
  • Weight: 7.5 ounces, 7.8 ounces Kindle Touch 3G
  • Kindle Touch 3G Dimensions: 6.8″ x 4.7″ x 0.40″

Kindle Touch Features

Aside from the touchscreen, the Kindle Touch has most of the same features as the other Kindles. One difference is something called X-Ray, a new feature that lets customers explore the “bones of the book.” With X-Ray, readers can see all the passages across a book that mention ideas, fictional characters, historical figures, places or topics that interest them, as well as more detailed descriptions from Wikipedia and Shelfari.

  • 8 Font sizes
  • 3 font types
  • Text-to-speech
  • Play audiobooks, podcasts, and MP3s (supports audiobooks)
  • 1 million ebooks, periodicals, blogs
  • Faster page turns
  • Supports Non-Latin Characters
  • Image zoom
  • Portrait and landscape modes
  • Real page numbers (Amazon said that months ago and I’m still yet to read a book with them)
  • Built-In dictionary
  • Wikipedia and web search
  • Free Cloud Storage for all Amazon content
  • Collections
  • Web browser (may or may not work over 3G)
  • Add bookmarks, notes, highlights
  • View popular highlights and public notes option
  • Lend ebooks (only works if publisher approved)
  • Get library ebooks
  • Whispersync keeps everything updated—last page read, annotations, etc
  • Set default language: English (US and UK), German, French, Spanish, Italian, Brazilian Portuguese.

Kindle Touch Videos

Subscribe to The eBook Reader Blog to keep updated on the latest Kindle reviews and news, or follow on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

16 Responses to “Kindle Touch Quick Review, Specs and Features (Videos)”

  1. Any news about the pdf support? If users can pinch and zoom as well as pan and scan a pdf with the Touch, I’d order one right now.

  2. I agree with Jonston, I’m curious as to how Amazon has progressed with .pdf support. From what I’ve seen Sony has implemented the best version so far. What would be very interesting to implement is search with the new embedded index feature so speed up searches and also conserve battery resources.

  3. Do you know when the kindle touch will be available internationally? I’m planning to buy a kindle reader, but I’m not sure I want to wait for several months for it to become available in East Asia.

    • The Kindle 4 is selling internationally, just not the Special Offers version. Here’s the international page. Most certainly the non-ad versions of the Kindle Touch and Kindle Touch 3G will be sold internationally as well, but there may be supply issues until after X-Mas. Last year Amazon started restricting international sales until January to keep enough stock for US customers seeking an X-Mas gift.

  4. If I bought a Kindle Touch with 3G on from a US seller, would the device (incl. wireless and 3G) function in the UK?

  5. Nathan,
    thanks for sharing the information.
    Whenever you make the hands-on review, don’t forget to compare the PDF features and performance (speed) with the K3.
    I also wonder if PDFF annotation will be suppoted.

  6. Nathan,
    Do you have any idea if the Kindle Touch will have the Landscape Mode, especially for the on screen keyboard? Thanks!

  7. Hi, I’m thinking in buy an ebook reader but i need to know how is about scanned pdf reading and zooming. The zooming is free or in steps?

    • No one really knows what the Kindle Touch will offer as far as zooming features yet. We’re all waiting for November 21st to find out. It will probably have like 5 pre-set zoom levels and pinch-zooming perhaps.

  8. I am planning to buy my first e book and i want to know if the cheapest version of touch the one with ads will it affect in anyway if i buy it in us and us in other country,, and can i download books in my computer and put them on ebook with a usb. in my country there is no copyright law so can an ebook downlaod from any site can be read in kindle or not?
    any help on this topic will really be appreciated

    • It should work outside the US without a problem. Amazon will surely release it internationally after the holiday rush; they probably want to hold off so they don’t run out of them for Christmas. Kindles support ebooks from Amazon and Drm free Mobi, prc, txt, and pdf.

  9. thanks nathan
    but i am planning to but the discounted version with ads only available in us and buy from there and use in another country,,will the wifi be working on it or not
    i’d also like to ask if the converted epub format is also esily read by it or not?

  10. and whatever DRM less books i have if i convert them to mobi they can be read well without wifi or going into amazons network isnt it???