Review Price £109.00
Amazon Kindle Touch
Amazon has finally confirmed that the Kindle Touch will come to the UK - it's been on sale stateside for months. You'll be able to get hold of one from April 27, and it'll cost £109 for the Wi-Fi only model, or £169 for the 3G version - which, like the keyboard Kindle, includes free 3G access.
We'll be back soon with our full review, but for now here's a little more on the touchscreen eReader.
Although the touch layer means it's very different to the 2011 Kindle, the basic screen tech underneath is similar. It has an E Ink display, which uses black and white microcapsules to form text and images. It's still monochrome, it's still 6in across and the resolution is still 800 x 600. The touchscreen offers multi-touch, which will allow gestures and should make web browsing much better than it has been on previous Kindles.
The Kindle Touch has 4GB of internal memory, with around 3GB accessible once the system's had its way with it. There's no memory card slot to boost this, but as ebooks books take up so little room, we can't imagine many people will max-out the internal memory.
The touch ereader is actually significantly heavier than the current non-touch model. It weighs 213g, which is light enough to hold comfortably one-handed for hours, but the older model is just 167g.
The Kindle Touch does have a few more features, though. It brings back the voice synthesiser feature, the 3.5mm headphone jack returns and MP3 support is back in. The battery offers double the stamina too, with a claimed "two month" life, based on normal use of around a half-hour a day.
It doesn't, however, have physical page turn buttons, instead relying entirely on the touchscreen. Amazon calls its page turn engine EasyReach. This turns pages whenever you tap the screen - some touch ereaders need a swipe. The one concern about this is that it may make it too easy to turn pages accidentally - something we'll cover in our review.
Whispersync and X-Ray
Two other catchy named features of the Kindle Touch are Whispersync and X-ray. Whispersync is a way to transfer books to your ereader, and it also keeps track of where you are in any books you've started reading on your Kindle.
X-ray is new. It lets you explore further into elements within books - such as reading more about historical figures. This should work perfectly with the toucscreen. With the current non-touch Kindle, we imagine it would feel pretty clunky.
We'll be back with the full review soon.
The Kindle family - two down, one to go
The 3G version of the Kindle Touch may seem a bit pricey in the UK, but for £109, you can't really argue with the Wi-Fi only model. X-ray sounds interesting, and as long as Amazon hasn't fouled-up touch optimisation, this could become the best touch ereader in town. Kobo and Sony must be worried. We'll be back with the full review soon.