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Kindle Touch Range Revealed, Cheaper Than Ever

Andrew Williams

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Kindle Touch

The Eink Kindle series has joined the touchscreen revolution with two Kindle Touch models. The cheaper of the two undercuts the current most affordable model - the Wi-Fi only Touch edition set to retail for just $99. An even cheaper non-touch model has also been announced.

A trio of new Eink Kindles have already appeared on the US Amazon site, having been revealed onstage at a press conference by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. The readerly trio is completed by the $79 non-touch Wi-Fi only model and the $149 3G Touch edition. Sadly, the only one to appear on Amazon UK so far is the non-touch model, at a dispiriting £89.

Kindle Touch

The Kindle Touch and new bargain basement button model

These new ereaders mark a big change from the current Kindle 3 design, lopping off the Qwerty keyboard in favour of a minimal look popular with other ereader markers. Sony is perhaps the most apt design comparison, as the new Kindle Touch models also use the same touchscreen technology found in the Sony PRS-350 and PRS-650.

PRS-350

PRS-350 like? Amazon seems to be out for Sony ereader blood

Their screens use IR (infrared) to sense where your finger is on-screen, although they don't tend to require actual contact with the screen itself. The benefits we've found in using a touch interface on an ereader include that it makes looking up words in a built-in dictionary much easier, as well as skipping between any glossary or bibliography references built into the text.

You'll also be able to tap on the left and right sides of the screen to turn pages. Amazon is introducing its own way to exploit the avenues opened by touch navigation, too. The X-Ray feature lets you read up on facts, links and anecdotes online relevant to what you're reading. Best of all, IR-based touch won't compromise the screen contrast and clarity - so the Kindle reading experience should be just as good as it is with the Kindle 3.

We can't help but feel we're getting a bit of a bum deal in the UK, paying £89 for what costs $79 stateside, but these new products should further tighten Amazon's grip on the ereader market. The non-touch model is available to pre-order now, and will ship on 12 October. We'll keep an eye out for news of UK Touch models on the horizon.

USER2000

September 28, 2011, 9:55 pm

The author does realise the $79 Amazon Kindle is ad-supported??
The normal price is $109. If you add 20% VAT on top the price is around £84.

JGM

September 28, 2011, 10:13 pm

At todays exchange rate; £50 in the USA, £89 in the UK. Yea - tha's a brilliant deal - no-one in the UK will feel ripped off whatsover Amazon. We really don't mind subsidising USA sales at all... honest! :-/ It's hard enough in the UK suffering from the repurcussions of dodgy Bankers (rhyming slang) like Fred Goodwin never mind the unjustifiable exchange rates imposed by most manufacturers. What a joke!

Peter

September 28, 2011, 11:37 pm

Seriously impressed! Love the look of the Kindle Touch 3G . As I read quite a few technical books I could really do with an updated Kindle DX though.

lensmann

September 29, 2011, 4:13 am

I'm underwhelmed. They've finally gotten IR touch, well over a year after their competitors had it. It also looks like they decided to forego the Nook's innovation in relation to page turns. And still no expandable memory. All in all, nowt I can see worth the upgrade, even at £89 (or, at a rough guess, around £119 for the touch model). And I'd not be surprised if the Touch model doesn't make it to the UK, for that matter. Amazon have a history of that - their Kindle DX was never sold here.

@User2000: Good spot on the pricing, I'd missed that as I think have most sites.

Mark Walton

September 30, 2011, 1:03 pm

Looks like I'll have to acquire one of these in the US then, luckily I get to visit regularly on business.

Still really annoying that we can't have like for like prices?? And I'm funding the US economy by purchasing hardware over there each time I visit.

The Kindle Fire works out at about £128 at todays rate, that's got to be a bargain, even with the 6% tax added.

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