Kindle Touch 3G Video Review and First Impressions

Kindle Touch 3G

My Kindle Touch 3G arrived yesterday at the same time as the Kindle Fire. I spent most of the day on the Kindle Fire but gave the Kindle Touch a test drive before going to bed and then spent most of today with it.

The first thing I noticed is that it doesn’t have the same kind of pleasing feel as the Kindle 4. It’s noticeably thicker and heavier, and the screen sits deep in the frame, almost an eighth of an inch.

Still, the Kindle Touch is comfortable to hold one or two-handed, and the touchscreen responds well and is easy to use, especially turning pages because most of the screen is dedicated to paging forward, making it easy for left-handers too. Just tap or swipe.

I’ve noticed that the Kindle Touch has more problems with ghosting than the Kindle 4, where you can see an afterimage of the previous screen. The advertisements are especially good at becoming ghosts, and the on-screen keyboard too, because of the dark coloring.

Luckily the Kindle Touch has an option in the settings to refresh every page, and that helps. But overall the ghosting effect is more noticeable than other touchscreen ereaders.

The Kindle Touch is also slower than the Kindle 4, and I think that helps contribute to the ghosting. Side-by-side, the Kindle 4 loads and closes ebooks faster, the menus open faster, and pages turn slightly quicker too. I think Amazon needs some more time to improve on the firmware for the Kindle Touch, and I don’t doubt that they will. After all, it’s their first touchscreen ereader ever.

Look what Barnes and Noble just did with a firmware update to for the Nook Touch. It was pretty quick before, but now it is blazing fast, and it doesn’t have near as much ghosting.

I liked the fact that when I first turned on the Kindle Touch the 3G wireless was already connected and ready to download books without having to setup Wi-Fi (this is the first time I opted for a 3G Kindle). You can browse Amazon’s website and Wikipedia with 3G too, but you’ll need Wi-Fi for all other websites. The browser has been improved. It supports pinch-zooming and can open windows that trigger new windows. It can probably download library ebooks directly, but I haven’t tried yet.

When I tested the reading aspect of the Kindle Touch, I noticed a couple of things missing.

Holding down on a word brings up options to add notes, highlights, access the dictionary, and to share via Facebook and Twitter, but the option to search on Wikipedia and Google has been removed. The Kindle Touch has the new X-Ray feature that references Wikipedia and Shelfari for common terms in the book, so the feature is still there, just not for any word or phrase you want to choose.

Another common feature that is missing is landscape mode. It’s nowhere to be found while reading or using the web browser. Someone needs to send out a search party to find it.

It probably sounds like I’m complaining a lot, but all in all the Kindle Touch is a nice device overall if you want a touchscreen Kindle, and starting at $99 it is hard to argue with. There is still some room for improvement, though. It’s not yet as polished as the Kindle 4 and Kindle 3.

That’s enough details for now. I’ll post the full review after more thorough testing. Subscribe to keep updated.

Kindle Touch 3G Review

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10 Responses to “Kindle Touch 3G Video Review and First Impressions”

  1. Nathan, you have been certainly crazy busy the last few days. My hat is off to you for keeping up with it, staying on top of putting reviews and information out for us with great detail and quality. Thank you.

    So if I understood you correctly, the good old days of “freebie” 3G connection are over. 3g can only be used for book shopping (at amazon) and wikipedia? Can you confirm?

    I know a lot of people ordered 3G Kindle Touch just because they felt it was such a giveaway given the free 3G connection that works anywhere…

    • That is correct. The Kindle Touch can only access Amazon and Wikipedia over 3G. The Kindle 3 looks like it’s the last with free 3G browsing.

  2. thanks for interesting review. I am somehow disappointed by the speed. I was expecting it to be faster. Another thing I would like to hear is quality of the display. I have already broken two Kindles. Does Kindle Touch have more solid display?

    • All E Ink ereaders have the same type of glass backing for the displays so none are going to be any stronger than another. E Ink is developing flexible plastic backplanes to help make ereader screens more durable, but that’s probably another 1-3 years away.

  3. Love this website!!! November 17, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    Can I ask you how does this Kindle touch support PDF?
    I want to use e-readers to read PDF files (college textbooks), which e-reader would you suggest?
    The Kindle Touch or the newest SONY Reader (PRS-T1)?

    Thank you so much for the efforts that you put into this awesome website!


    • Sorry to say but you are going to be hard-pressed to find a 6-inch ereader for college textbooks. Even the larger E Ink ereaders really aren’t there yet. I only tested one PDF so far on the Kindle Touch and I would say that it is worse than the Kindle 4 and 3, but I’ll have to mess with it some more to learn all the features–the manual is pretty thin. The PRS-T1 definitely is more advanced when it comes to PDFs but it has its shortcomings too. There’s a video on the second page of the PRS-T1 review that shows PDFs.

  4. I received my Kindle Touch (not 3G) yesterday. A few comments:

    – I think it’s actually too small. It feels strange to hold it with two hands, and I’m not used to one-handed reading.

    – I miss having the physical buttons on the side to turn the pages (Kindle 3). It just makes more sense to me, even though the slight click would sometimes wake my wife up.

    – Lame that Amazon didn’t include a power cord. It’s an electronic device; include a power cord!

    I’m just not seeing the big value of the touch screen with a device that I use predominantly for reading books.

  5. How about the onyx boox? I have seen videos of it being dropped.
    So do the ads on the kindle update via the wifi? If you don’t have I wifi connection do they end up getting old?

  6. I suggest to team show us a view and browsing of a original pdf file. (Will it rotate?)

    Steve, I think touch is important for use in several “types” of reading (my situation). So if besides books I have many pdf files and I need read many material of internet, touch is a great thing in 6″ becasuse I need to choice links e and to do zooms frequently.

  7. pronostic sportif September 19, 2012 at 5:01 am

    Agree with Bob. The onyx boox could be the solution! Anyone else can share his experience of it?