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on November 23, 2011
I've had my Touch for almost a day now, and it's pretty awesome. I'm not a big reviewer, but I figured several people may be in a similar position as I was yesterday, so here we go...

I'm definitely an avid reader. Actually, as I type this, I have roughly 1000 books sitting on a wall of shelves behind me. E-readers have always intrigued me, but I've never felt like they were worth $199 or more; however, when the Kindle Fire was announced, I thought they had released the Kindle for me.

I watched video reviews, "hands-on" videos, read numerous reviews, etc. I was pretty sure that I wanted a Fire, but as I thought about it, I wasn't convinced that the Fire really provided me with access to anything that I couldn't do on my phone (HTC Inspire 4g). Other than a bigger screen, the Fire was actually pretty limited (for my purposes). I mean, I would only be able to use the browser and watch videos in areas with WiFi (i.e. at home, at work, or at retail location with WiFi). If I'm at home, I'll probably just watch videos on my tv and access the internet on my desktop or my laptop. At work I'm too busy for the Fire to get much use. And other than the occasional trip to Starbucks (and by occasional, I mean like once a month), I don't really make use of hot spots.

SOO...I decided the Fire didn't really justify the extra money for something I already have access to through my phone, laptop/desktop, or tv. This caused me to run the gambit of reviews for the Kindle Touch and the Kindle Keyboard. Best Buy was advertising the Kindle Keyboard 3G (with ads) for $89, so price wasn't really a distinguishing feature for me. My thoughts:

- Kindle Touch is full-on touchscreen, and based on video reviews, it looked a little laggy
- Kindle Touch will probably drive me nuts with fingerprints/smudges
- Kindle Touch seems like a digress in touchscreen technology (like using a late 90s ATM)
- Kindle Touch doesn't have physical buttons for page turns, which seemed like it would be a negative
- The $99 doesn't have 3G, so I'd be limited to Wifi
- Highlighting and note-taking seems like it would be difficult on a laggy screen
- Looking up words will probably be easier

- Kindle Keyboard has a decent keyboard and physical page turn buttons
- Kindle Keyboard has strong support through reviews (not many people don't love it)
- The Best Buy sale lets you have free 3G for cheap
- Fingerprints/smudges won't be an issue

After considering all of this, I went to Best Buy absolutely intending on buying a Kindle Keyboard. I got there, and of course, they had demo models of both. I figured, "What the heck...might as well make sure I like the Keyboard more."

I played with both for over an hour. I read books, made notes, made highlights, looked up words, went to the menu, back to a book, back to the menu. I went forward through a few pages. I went back through the same pages. I did everything I thought I would normally do while reading. My decision?
- The Kindle Touch touchscreen does have a slight delay, but it's definitely not a late 90s ATM. It's a delay, but just long enough for you to demonstrate a slight bit of patience (and to be honest, if you're an avid reader, patience is probably a virtue you can easily put into practice. There's a reason you're reading a book and not watching a movie.)
- Highlighting/note-taking is actually much more convenient on the Touch. Just press where you want to start, wait a second, drag to where you want to stop, and click highlight. Much easier (in my opinion) than moving the cursor down to where you want to start with the d-pad, clicking enter, dragging the cursor to where you want to stop, and then clicking enter again.
- Note-taking is slightly more convenient on the Keyboard simply because you can just start typing (if you're not overly concerned about the exact line the note is attached to). If you are concerned about the location of your notes, then using the d-pad to move the cursor was not only inconvenient but also uncomfortable (I have pretty big hands, so doing all of this one-handed required me to contort my thumb in a very odd way to use the d-pad).
- I didn't really like the keyboard on the Keyboard. The buttons are very heavy, so you have to give them a decent push to register a keystroke. Also, the qwerty layout is not a true qwerty layout, so beware of that. I had to be very conscious of the keys I was pushing otherwise I ended up with notes like: "The Kimdle keynoard is very mice." VERY ANNOYING (especially if you take a ton of notes...which I do).
- The page turn button on the Keyboard was very annoying. The page turn button on the demo model gave two very audible clicks when I pressed it. The clicks were distracting, taking me "out" of the book after every page.
- After thinking about it, the free 3G wasn't a huge benefit. I could only think of a few scenarios where it would have been useful: 1) I'm somewhere with no WiFi and I've read everything on my Kindle and I'm absolutely going to die unless I read a book right then (which I could easily do on my phone, which DOES have 3G...not free, but it'd resolve this scenario). 2) I'm reading somewhere and I get an urge to share something via Twitter/Facebook. No 3G, no sharey sharey. Yet, again, if I ABSOLUTELY felt the urge to share something, I have a phone in my pocket that is fully capable of accomplishing this task.

Overall, I was almost dumbfounded that I preferred the Touch over the Keyboard. I actually delayed my purchase and took my wife to the store and had her play with both to see if I was just crazy. She agreed: the keyboard on the Keyboard is poorly designed, the clicking is annoying, and the screen on the Touch is actually pretty incredible. (Edit: The clicking page-turn buttons on the Keyboard may be confined to the demo unit I used. I played with another Keyboard at another Best Buy and there was no clicking. Regardless, the tapping/swiping on the Touch is a much more natural movement for me.)

So far, I love my Touch. It will definitely be more convenient than carrying my normal 3-4 books around in my backpack.

For those on the fence, I hope this helped.

UPDATE: Just a few additional notes worth mentioning (notes as of 12/ Touch has had a little over a month of use now):
- (This may only apply to those who are thinking of purchasing their first Kindle) While the ability to make notes and highlights directly on the device is very handy, a huge time-saver, and a pretty awesome convenience, the dictionary function is by far one of the more intuitive features. It is incredibly useful to simply touch an unknown word and have the definition pop up. I first noticed the convenience of this option when I literally pushed on an unknown word in a paperback book, an action that was observed by my wife, resulting in: 1) my wife laughing hysterically, 2) me feeling a little ridiculous, and 3) I still didn't known what the word meant. I'm definitely spoiled.
- For those not willing to flip through the additional comments: the ad-supported version is actually pretty useful. I've purchased a few Amazon Local deals and used one Amazon e-book coupon during the course of this month. (As I mentioned in one of my replies, the ads may not be as useful to those who live outside of a major metropolitan area.)
- The battery life is pretty legit. On 12/21, I decided to charge my Kindle for the first time since 11/22. A complete month of fairly heavy use, and I probably had at least a few more days to go, if not a full week, before I really NEEDED to charge it. WiFi was off for the majority of that time, but I'm not too sure why you'd need WiFi on when you're not downloading new content.
- Fingerprints have not been an issue at all. The only slightly negative thing I've noticed with the screen is the occasional hair stuck in the edge of the screen. Nothing major, but it is a little annoying.
- I love my Touch. I use it daily, sometimes for a few hours at a time. I find myself almost loathing reading a hard-copy book, primarily for no other reason than having to hold the book open (Ugh...), and turn the pages (Moan...), and find a bookmark (Groan...).

Maybe I'm just lazy.

Regardless, the Touch is awesome. Probably the best $100 I've spent in a while.

UPDATE (06/17/2012):
I still love my Touch. I use it a little less now because the novelty of e-ink has subsided a bit, but it still gets a fair amount of use. My Touch is my go-to when I'm reading for "enjoyment." When I'm reading for work, I still prefer paper, pen, highlighters, and sticky-notes.

As far as new features/updates:
- The latest update definitely sped things up. Page turns are almost instant, flipping back to the menu is almost instant, and typing is almost instant. Amazon has included a predictive text feature that I don't find particularly useful, but others may like it (the predictive text has a slight delay, making it faster to just type your words out).
- Highlighting has been improved drastically, both in speed and functionality. Highlighting no longer has a delay; it pretty much highlights what you drag your finger over WHEN you drag your finger over it. Also, they added the ability to highlight across pages (BIG improvement).
- Not an update but...: I wasn't aware that you can email .pdfs to your Kindle email address, and Amazon will convert the .pdf to Kindle format for you. I've used this several times to convert professional journal articles to Kindle format. I haven't noticed any major formatting issues. I've had a few with page headers lumped in with the actual text, but other than that, nothing too distracting has popped out. I would imagine .pdfs with several graphs/charts wouldn't convert very well, but you never know...
- I love having the ability to read samples from books I may find interesting. Most samples are the first chapter of the book, but occasionally you'll get the first two or three chapters. I've found a few really awesome books this way and avoided several bad books.
- The last update made the "Go to..." menu function as a hover menu with an embedded table of contents. Prior to the update, "Table of Contents" was an option on the "Go to..." menu, which meant if you wanted to access the ToC you had to tap the top of the screen, tap "Go to...", tap "Table of Contents", and then you would get sent back to ToC at the beginning of the book (i.e. if you didn't know where you were in the book, you just lost your page). Now the ToC is a scrolling list that "hovers" over what you're reading. This was a minor update that I have found very useful. (However, the ToC hover menu is NOT collapsible, so if a book has a really long ToC, then you could find yourself scrolling for an exhaustively long time to get to chapters toward the end of the book. For example, the ESV Study Bible ToC lists every chapter of every book of the Bible, so if you need to access something in the NT, you get to scroll through a list that includes every chapter (Gen. 1, Gen. 2, Gen. 3, etc.) of every book (Gen., Exo., Lev., etc.). VERY annoying.)
- Landscape mode IS an option now. Not sure if it's only with certain books or not, but it's an option on all of the books I've tried it on (30 books or so).

As I said above, I still love my Touch. The battery life is still amazing, it's definitely more convenient than lugging several books around in my bag, and the screen looks and feels incredible. As more and more libraries seem to be opting toward digital lending, I think e-ink readers will only improve in convenience and versatility.

Still the best $100 I've spent in years.
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VINE VOICEon November 14, 2011
UPDATE October 2012: This device is now discontinued, and I would strongly recommend the Kindle Paperwhite over it if given the option.

For my review, I'm going to focus it on the differences between the previous Kindle Keyboard, Wi-Fi, 6" E Ink Display - includes Special Offers & Sponsored Screensavers (which I'll refer to as the K3), and the Kindle Touch (KT)

USE - As far as the reading experience, I really like the touch compared to the physical buttons on the previous generation. At first I was worried that I would constantly be turning the page from accidentally touching the screen, but this didn't become much of an issue. The screen is broken up into mapped sections, so if you touch the far left side that covers about 1" of the left of the screen, it goes to the previous page. If you touch anywhere on the other 80% of the screen beside that, it goes forward. Touch the top 1" margin, and it will bring up the menu. There is also a physical button on the bottom of the touch that serves as the Home button and will take you straight to the Home menu. The area where I found the touch most useful is the dictionary. Previously, if I wanted to look up the definition of a word, I had to use the clunky joystick to navigate through the text. If a word was at the very bottom at the end of the sentence, sometimes I'd usually just ignore it rather than go through the trouble of pressing that joystick 15 times. With the Touch, I can simply touch the word and hold it down for about 1.5 seconds (so it knows I'm not trying to turn the page) to access the dictionary, which is incredibly useful and time-saving. Underlining phrases and highlighting works almost the same way. You hold down the first word in the sentence, then after two-three seconds it will recognize what you are doing, and then you drag your finger across the rest. I never used to do this before but now I do it all the time. The Kindle Fire actually handles the dictionary search much better. Though this is probably one of the only things the Fire does better than the Touch as far as ebooks. When you swipe your finger across the page or drag it down to change, the page changes just like it did with the Kindle Keyboard, in that it draws the next page. So there is a very short flash. It does not seamlessly and fluidly switch like it does with an iPad or what you would expect if you scrolled your mouse down a web site. This doesn't detract from it at all for me. There is a new X-Ray feature that you can click on to bring up more ideas and common features of the book, but it is apparently only available on select titles and none of my books had it so I couldn't try it out. The Kindle Touch does not allow you to switch the display to landscape mode like the basic Kindle does. I have no idea why but I would be surprised if they did not resolve this in a future firmware update.

Form Factor - Even though the changes are fairly small, they feel significant. The KT is only .1" less width, and a little over half an inch shorter than the K3, but after several hours of using it, I feel like I can hold it longer with one hand than with the K3. I think the main contributor to this is that this Kindle is one ounce lighter than the K3. This is a very noticeable difference from the K3. One ounce adds up after hours of holding it in front of you with one hand. I never had a real problem holding the previous version, but this one seems even easier.

Real Page Numbers - the K3 only displayed a percentage of the book completed or some weird "location" setting that I never understood. The KT displays the actual page number, regardless of what zoom setting you have it on. This is a big improvement for me, especially after I realized how difficult it is for them to be able to do this. This does not work on every book, but most of the popular books I have checked it with have it.

Book Lending - This is another huge improvement and just another reason to make the jump from regular books to a Kindle. You can finally lend your books to other people with Kindles. You can lend a book only once, and only for 14 days. I am okay with that because I understand the need to curb piracy. My only problem is that the book has to be eligible for this option and so far, most of the books in my collection aren't.

Display - Same as before on the K3, with a few improvements. The short flash that you get when turning the page (although I never really notice it) while the Kindle loads up the next page, occurs less frequently. This makes the Touch feel a lot more like a real book. Even though the display is monochrome, the KT delivers very crisp black and white images, and renders photos and images very well. I have tried out the Kindle Fire as well, but I still prefer the Kindle Touch due to E-Ink, which I think looks much better than backlit text, especially since I like to read for 4-5 hours at a time. Reading in the sunlight with E-Ink compared to a backlit screen is no contest. It is the difference between night and day (pun intended). Newspapers, magazines, and PDFs all look better on the Fire though (although with some limitations as you can see in my review for that product). If your main purpose of buying a Kindle is to read, I highly recommend the Kindle Touch over the Kindle Fire. Even though the E-ink on the touch is supposed to be improved over the K3, it must be very slight, because I noticed almost no difference. Even photos look pretty much the same across both devices. I have uploaded several photos into the image gallery so you can compare the two.

Wi-Fi - I originally ordered the 3G version of the Touch, then cancelled when I realized I almost never used it. If you travel a lot and are a voracious reader, it might be worth it. But if you have access to a computer it is so much easier to download a lot of books at once so you always have something available to read when you finish your current book. You can save a lot of money by foregoing the 3G option. If you don't have wireless, you can always transfer books through the USB. If you want to save even more money, make sure to order the Kindle with Special Offers. Not only do you save $40, but most people I have seen actually prefer it. The offers are very unobtrusive, and after a couple months with the regular Kindle, you will get sick of looking at that Agatha Christie screensaver over and over. The offers are even fairly useful and will pay for themselves. If Amazon added new screensavers every few weeks or let you add your own, it might not be so bad, but they get really boring after awhile. Trust me on this, and get the Special Offers version.

Battery - Advertised as 2 months. Battery life seems on par with the K3, which also advertised as 2 months. Be warned that if you add a lighted cover such as the Kindle Touch Lighted Leather Cover, Black your battery life is going to be diminished since it draws power from the device, however it is still going to be overwhelmingly sufficient for an electronic device. I use my Kindle Touch Lighted Leather Cover, Wine Purple during most of my reading and only have to charge my Touch about every three weeks.

Storage - Same 4gb storage as on the K3, which will hold roughly 3,000 books. The average 500 page book is around 500kb. Considering this device also comes with access to Amazon's cloud storage for saving backups, I think it's very unlikely anyone would ever need to store more than 3,000 books. If your device is getting full, just back up your old books to the cloud, and they're there if you ever want them again. 3,000 books on your Kindle makes things rather difficult to manage unless you have everything sorted into separate folders.

Text-to-Speech and Experimental Features - The Text-to-Speech option on the kindle is rather useless in my opinion. This is the same functionality as on the K3, and it is fairly difficult to listen to the automated (mostly) monotone voice reading your novels. I don't know many people who actually use this feature. Audiobooks are better, but I still think they're just too expensive for me. The experimental browser is nice to have in a pinch, but it is so slow and clunky to use (you can't really see anything unless you magnify certain sections of the screen), that I don't really see anyone using it either. The touch feature does make it much easier to use than the previous version, which required you to navigate through the links using a cursor and joystick, but the browser is still too slow to be of any use. I will look things up with Wikipedia occasionally but you can't do any real extended web browsing with it. If you really want this feature, you should look into the Kindle Fire. The MP3 Payer is back, and much improved since you can now see the artist and title of the song you're listening to on a visual display, although the Touch is definitely not to be confused with an actual music player. I use this feature sometimes as background music while I'm reading or when I go to sleep, since it uses very little battery.

Touch Capability - This is where the device shines. I originally thought it wouldn't be that much better than the previous version, however I have found the touch function is so intuitive and much more useful than I would have thought. I like to use the embedded dictionary a lot, and it is a bit of a pain to use the joystick from the K3 to scroll down to the word I want and look it up. With the Touch, I can just touch the word and have it jump straight to the dictionary. This is a GREAT feature. I have also found it useful when I read books like the Lone Wolf 1: Flight From the Dark series, which has you constantly using inline links to skip to different sections in the book. Navigating with the KT is so much faster and easier than with the previous generation. For anyone who reads a lot, I would say this is definitely worth an upgrade consideration. The built in touch keyboard is not as fast as the previous model, but it is extremely well designed and the buttons are spaced just right. I have no problems with the lack of a physical keyboard.

EXPERIMENTAL FEATURES - The MP3 Player is not designed to be a fully-functional music device. It was included because the capability to play audiobooks allowed it to be easily added. The MP3 player with the Kindle Touch is slightly improved from the K3, as you can now see a display that shows the artist and track while the MP3 is playing. This makes navigation much easier. I do use it occasionally to play classical music while reading or as an ad hoc music device while traveling, but don't expect much out of it. The nice thing about it is that it consumes very little battery life as compared to a traditional music player. The Web Browser included with the Kindle Touch is much better than the previous generation, however like the MP3 player, it is not designed to be a full-functioned browser. Don't plan on doing long periods of web surfing with it, but it does come in handy if you need it in a pinch for looking up more information. Pages display much better than the previous version's browser and load faster. If you're using the 3G version, please note that you can only access Amazon and Wikipedia with it. You will need to connect to wifi if you want to go anywhere else.

My one major problem with this new Kindle is that Amazon has decided not to include a power adapter with it. If you do not already own one, or have a computer, you cannot power this device! I don't know if they are trying to make more profit by getting people to purchase their Amazon Kindle US Power Adapter (Kindle, Kindle Touch, Kindle Keyboard, Kindle DX) (which is what you need to connect it to an outlet) separately, but this is completely ridiculous. The Kindle Fire contained a power adapter and no USB cable. The Kindle Touch contains a USB cable and no power adapter. Who is in charge of this ridiculous decision? It would not have cost Amazon more than $2 to include the adapter. If you have a previous generation Kindle, that adapter will work with this device. But I am still very disappointed in Amazon for this. There will be thousands (millions?) of people searching their boxes for a missing adapter to charge this thing. And with more people using tablets and getting rid of their desktops, it makes this even more important. If you don't already have an adapter or computer to plug the USB into, add the Amazon Kindle US Power Adapter (Kindle, Kindle Touch, Kindle Keyboard, Kindle DX) to your cart.

Overall, I definitely think that the Kindle Touch is an improvement over the Kindle 3 (Kindle Keyboard). It is probably not a big enough improvement for me to recommend that people replace their previous generation Kindle with it unless they really use it a lot, however at such a cheap price tag, it's almost difficult not to.

UPDATE: February 2012 - Software Update Version 5.0.3 makes page turning as well as menu navigation noticeably faster. Most users should receive the update over wi-fi within the next couple weeks, or you can download it manually from Amazon (do a web search for "Kindle Software Updates"). Still no fix for landscape mode though.
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VINE VOICEon November 20, 2011
 Please watch my video review here. Thanks for watching and I hope it helps.

General observations:

- Controlling/manipulating things on the screen is so much easier with the touch screen-it's a lot more intuitive!

- Athough I don't show it in the video, you can swipe instead of tap to turn pages. You may also use your left hand to page forward by tapping slightly more in from the left edge. It works quite well.

- Looking up a word is as easy as pressing on that word. No more fumbling with a 5-way controller. You can additionally highlight blocks of text quite easily by just swiping over it.

- Kindle Touch also has the new X-Ray feature which is really neat. It can be interesting to see a summary listing of facts from a given book about a person mentioned for instance. The Kindle Keyboard does not include this feature.
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on November 14, 2011
I have used family members' e-readers and even gifted a couple Kindles in the past couple years. But I could never justify plunking down for an e-reader for myself until now. The reasons are many, including convenience. But the biggest probably was the savings factor, when I learned about the new Amazon Prime program. Below is a summary of the decision points I considered. Hope it is helpful to you in your decision:

Cheaper than Paper - When you consider that Kindle-edition books are often the least expensive format on Amazon, even for new releases, if you read regularly it's a no-brainer. But that's the simple math. There are lots of low cost or free books available. And most impressive is the new Prime Lending program. With a Prime membership, one can borrow relatively new best sellers for free (up to 1 per month). Figuring one does this six times a year at $9.99 each, that alone covers the cost of the device over a 2-3 year life. Throw in library borrowing, which varies by area but is fairly broadly available, plus friend book lending for up to 14 days, and there are even more cost saving options.

Convenience - When traveling with paper books, I always fretting bringing along a book I was close to finishing as then I would need a second as well. With the Kindle, I always have all my books in one place. I also find myself reading in places I otherwise wouldn't: At doctor appointments, having my car serviced, waiting in the car for someone. The Kindle is so easy to bring with me that I nearly always have it.

3G or WiFi - This was a tough decision for me as I don't travel enough to alone justify the 3G $50 upcharge. But when I considered the convenience of being able to buy/borrow books anywhere in the world, it became tempting. Add in the new Prime Lending program, where one can't have more than one at a time, and it made even more sense. I hope that Amazon Kindle newspaper and magazine subscriptions become more affordably priced. One other benefit to 3G is being able to wiki (works great with new X-ray functionality) or otherwise lookup anything on the go, as well as keeping Whispersync updated. One change, as noted by others, is that this latest generation of Kindles does not allow for web browsing on the 3G conneciton (WiFi only). Not a huge deal for me since the web browser is so rudimentary, but it would be nice to have basic functionality when traveling abroad. For me it was worth the $50 one-time payment for the convenience.

Special offers - Because the special offers are limited to when the Kindle is turned off and the menu screen, it's not very intrusive. Also, I don't mind getting good deal offers right to the Kindle. Again, the 3G is nice here because I can act on it right then and there rather than waiting until I have a wifi connection. I figure I'm bombarded with ads on my TV, the Internet, and everywhere in between. So if it's something I don't care about, I just tune it out.

Touch - Based on my experience using family members Kindle 3s, it is a big improvement over the joystick if you do any text entry and nicer in general for navigation. It also just makes basic reading enjoyable and brings Kindle back up to the competitive landscape (B&N, Sony, etc all offer touch). The dual touch, not on the competition yet, enables pinch to zoom, very nice for PDFs and other documents. You can also tap on a word for the xray feature and look it up instantly. Plus that saved physical keyboard space results in a smaller device. One feature on the competition (rhymes with Book) is the physical page turn buttons as a non-touch option. I think this would be a nice add to the Kindle Touch so that one has the option to turn pages either through touch or side buttons.

Tablet or e-reader - I debated this long and hard. In the end I wanted the long battery life and ease on the eyes of the e-reader. The much lighter weight and size makes the Kindle practical for long reading periods (try that on an iPad or Galaxy). The lower cost and tight Amazon integration were also top of mind. I will take the plunge on a tablet over the next year but plan to use it more for media consumption and internet browsing. And for games for the kids. I like the fact that I can give it to my young daughter to read books in bed without worrying that she's playing games or watching videos. Plus, at this price point and per my notes above, the Kindle pays for itself so it's not an "either or" decision.

Case or Sleeve - The Kindle Touch has a wonderful feel to it naked in hand, so I choose not to get an attached cover and instead get the Built neoprene sleeve. As a side note, the Built sleeve is terrific, albeit a bit overpriced for what it is. I'm fairly careful with my electronics and also do not put my smartphone under a cover. For gifts to more accident-prone members of my family, I opted to get them the cover. I've also read very positive reviews of the Kindle Lighted Cover, which will be released soon.

On the negatives, this edition surprisingly does not include an AC adapter. It does come with a USB cable. Most newer smartphones come with USB AC adapters so it's not really a big deal for me. I also can simply plug in the included USB cable into a computer to charge and I'm good for what appears to be a very long time (haven't had it long enough to call but the claimed 2 months seems reasonable). On the bright side, I bet most people will make do without buying an additional charger, thus saving landfills millions of chargers over the next few years.
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on September 3, 2017
it has text to speech. i had to buy it used to get text to speech. all i want is a computer voice to read me to sleep - no emoting, just a nice monotone. amazon stopped selling this because the government stopped requiring them to provide text to speech. i guess they want to sell more audible books because you have to pay for each one.
one other thing i really really dislike about the kindle is that it is very difficult to sort large numbers of books. i like to keep about 500 to 100 books on the kindle and every time i get a new kindle i have to go thru a really tedious process of setting up new collections. why cant amazon let you set up collections on your desktop and then import the catalog structure.
its hard to say how many stars to give this because the seller was fine, no problems, product as promised etc. but every time i think about how amazon wont provide simple text to speech in an uncomplicated way it makes me mad all over again. and then the collection issue is just fat on the fire.
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on December 5, 2011
A little background about my experience with ereaders prior to this latest one: I bought the Kindle 2 shortly after it was first released and loved it. I pre-ordered the Kindle 3 (keyboard) and loved it. I've used the Kindle app for Mac and iPod Touch.

I must admit I was quite wary when the Kindle Touch (KT) was unveiled. I wasn't sure how I would like a nearly buttonless Kindle. I have a couple iPod Touches, but that's the extent of my touchscreen experience. I kept my Kindle Keyboard (K3) just in case I decided I hated the KT, but as soon as it arrived, I knew the K3 would be given to a friend.
I absolutely love how sleek and simple the KT is. The touchscreen is wonderfully responsive, and it's so nice not having to navigate to the collection or book I want or to the word I want to get a definition of.

I disliked how much real estate the keyboard and page turn buttons took up on the K2, which is why I was so thrilled with the K3. And even though the K3 was smaller, I still thought the keyboard took up too much room. For the KT, I love how much smaller it is, and I think the bezel is a good size. It's enough room for me to hold without having to worry about accidentally touching the screen. For those with much larger hands, a case would probably be necessary. I've decided to read mine without one (I've got a sleeve on the way).

Also, I think the fingerprint worry I read quite a bit about elsewhere is overblown. Since it's not the type of touchscreen you have to mash your finger against (the sensors are on the inside of the bezel, not on the screen itself), you're less likely to get smudges on the screen. The screen isn't glossy either, so you're going to notice them less than the iPod Touch's screen. You just need the lightest touch, and a lot of times, I can get away with just using my nail to turn the page. Now I'm not saying it's smudge-proof or that I never get fingerprints, but it's far less than I thought it would be based on all the concerns people were raising about it.

Addressing complaints of the screen being better for the K3 than the KT, I compared several books between my KT and K3 and noticed absolutely no difference. So I'm unsure what that's all about.

Regarding the x-ray feature, I haven't tried it enough to give a comprehensive review, but the couple of times I have used it, I found it useful. It's actually made me consider switching from my physical copy of Les Miserables--which I bought before my first Kindle and am finally getting around to reading--to the digital version. And it would have been indispensable when I read War and Peace.
You should be aware that not every book is x-ray capable.

The one thing I would love to change about the KT: I'd move the power button from the bottom to the top. I've never accidentally turned my Kindle off with previous models, but with this one I have. I need to be careful how I prop it up. I like the push button better than the slide button, but if Amazon makes a change like that, they need to consider how the placement will affect the functionality. Since they can't change the button position for this model, I'd appreciate it if I could change orientation. My K3 had the capability, so I find it odd that they took it out of the KT but left it for the new $79 Kindle (the keyboardless, touchless one).

Also, I will note that I wouldn't have minded the KT to have physical page turn buttons, but it's not a deal breaker for me at all. I understand the reasoning behind not having them. If you want more physical buttons, you can get the $79 Kindle. And I actually do like turning pages without any clicking sound--no matter how soft--which you get from the physical buttons.

A few things to note:
You don't have to swipe while in a book to turn pages. A tap will do.
When you're at the menu, you will have to swipe. If you tap, it will take you inside a collection or book--depending on how your Kindle is set up.
If you swipe up while in a book, it will take you to the next chapter--assuming the book is set up to do that. If you swipe down, it will take you to the previous chapter.
If you accidentally swipe up or down, you can tap at the top of the screen and hit the back button (top left) to take you back to where you were in your reading.
If your book has author's notes, just tap on it like you would turning a page (you have to tap right on it or it will move you to the next or previous page or the menu will pop up, depending on the location of the note). If you stay on it for long like you do when getting a definition, it will find you a definition of the note, e.g., if you're on note three, it will show you a definition for "3."

Overall, I'm very happy with my Kindle Touch, but I don't think it's necessary to go from the Kindle Keyboard to the Kindle Touch. Both have the Pearl screen, and if you like or are fine with the physical keyboard, then you might save yourself some money and wait until the next generation comes out. I really like having a touchscreen for my ereader, so for me, it was worth the upgrade (I got the special offers one and find the ads don't bother me at all; plus, I love some of the deals). If you have a Kindle 2, I definitely recommend upgrading whether it's to the Kindle Touch, the Kindle Keyboard or the $79 Kindle. The screen is just so much better.
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on November 25, 2011
I'm a new Kindle user who has waited until something like the Touch came out. I'm writing this from the perspective of an iPad user (Kindle app).

THE DISPLAY. The e-ink display lag requires some getting used-to, and I find that reading in low light is a bit straining because of the grayish background. In addition, you have to live with either a black flash upon every page turn (pick "full refresh" in the settings menu), or accept that the text occasionally shows some artifacts, looking as if the rear letters of a newspaper were shining through. Now these things sound like showstoppers, but you haven't seen SHARP until you've looked at this display next to the ubiquitous LCD. If you have enough light, reading on e-ink is like lotion for the eyeballs. Yes, it's that good.

TOUCHSCREEN. The arguments pro and con keyboard will never run out - it's a personal preference. I happen to believe that a physical keyboard is rather excessive in a mobile device intended for consuming content. If need be, I can type pretty well with the Kindle's virtual keyboard, although not as well as with the iPhone, as it lacks an autocorrect feature and the e-ink delay makes it awkward. But on the plus side, navigation is easy: tap or swipe sideways for back/forward, swipe up/down for chapter skip (on some books), tap top for menu or upper right corner to set a bookmark. Using the dictionary is a joy (good for us non- English speakers or with 19th- century literature!): just hold the word for a second and the definition shows up. I even found an undocumented feature: put two fingers on the screen and spread/pinch them to make the font bigger/smaller, just as if manipulating a picture on a smartphone! Clearly, we're dealing with a multi- touch screen, and it stands to hope that Amazon will add more gestures (perhaps to bring up the table of contents, etc.).

THE ADS. Let me get this straight: I can't stand advertisements, to the point that I browse with Adblock. Really, so why did I pick this ad- supported Kindle? Two reasons: (1) - it brings the price into the sub- Franklin sweet spot; low enough that you'll bring this to the beach and leave it on the chair, or just shrug and buy a new one if you break it. (2) - I heard that the ads had good offers and weren't intrusive. I can confirm this: the ads are either geographically targeted ("50% off dental services in the Upper West side", just where I happen to live...) or online special offers ("1 book out of 100 for $1"). Also, unlike one animated product photo here on Amazon might suggest, ads don't rotate or blink: every time you switch off the Kindle, a fullscreen ad shows, and when you switch it on again, the main screen has a 5/8" portion where you can "tap for details". That's it. There are no animations (good thing e-ink can't handle that!), and no ads within the books as promised.

THE VERDICT. I was tempted to subtract a star over Amazon's insistence on not supporting the ePub standard and forcing their thing on libraries which already have a vendor- independent eBook lending architecture. But.. I look at this little marvel and can't help but think that this is the future of books: it's a cheap, fantastic device with one purpose only, and Amazon is bringing it to the masses like no other. I love to switch it on and see my last page up; no codes to enter (it has that feature but why bother), no autorotate to turn off, no brightness to adjust, no facebook alerts to interrupt me, etc. It's simply - a book.
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on November 15, 2011
The Touch just joined out 'old' third generation Kindle (my own), the new a 4th generation Kindle and, since yesterday, the Fire - we are a 3 kids household so the more, the merrier :)

We like the Touch and, more importantly, our 9th grader son is extremely happy with it because, while as good a reader as the other 2, he's more of a smart phone/tablet user person and he prefers interacting directly with the screen rather than pushing buttons.

We all like the new Kindles mainly because they are smaller and lighter and because I wasn't using the keyboard much on my 3d gen anyway so the extra body required by the physical keyboard wasn't justified. I am still keeping my existing Kindle 3 because a family of 5 can use quite a few Kindles but I welcome the new keyboardless designs for the reason I stated above.

KINDLE TOUCH vs. KINDLE (4th gen) vs. KINDLE KEYBOARD (3d gen) - which one to pick?

It's not a 'who wins' context, really. Anyone who is a passive reader (like me) should welcome the new models because they are smaller and lighter but with the same screen size. Those who annotate a lot should probably get the 'keyboard'.

I find the text equally sharp on all three models but graphics appear to be more crisp on K3. Page turns... They're fast enough for me on all. Battery life was never a concern on Kindles. With Wi-Fi off they keep going for weeks. The Touch is as battery efficient as the other models.

And, speaking of 'charge', the new (keyboardless) Kindles comes without a dedicated charger. It's no big deal because you can always charge it off a computer or use just about any generic USB charger or you can buy Amazon's branded charger separately but it would have been nice if one was included.

With the display size/quality practically indistinguishable, see how they compare below. Note that I do not include the Fire in my comparison. The Fire is mainly a tablet that, like most tablets, would allow you to read books, including those purchased at Amazon but it's not a dedicated reader.

- KINDLE 4 TOUCH: no keyboard, speakers (text to speech, MP3 player), 2 buttons only, no dedicated charger, slightly larger than the 'plain' Kindle 4th gen.
- KINDLE 4th GEN: no keyboard, no speakers, buttons, no dedicated charger, smallest and lightest of them all.
- KINDLE 3th GEN: keyboard, speakers (text to speech, MP3 player), dedicated charger, largest and heaviest.

Both my 4th gen Kindles came with ads. They don't bother me at all because ads never appear while reading. You only get ads when the Kindle goes to sleep (full screen) or something at the bottom when in a menu mode.


The Touch is a reader, not a tablet so no one should expect the level of interaction you get from a tablet. There's no such thing as 'pinch zoom' for example. The touch interaction is confined to mostly page turning, bringing up menus of choices and browsing Amazon's bookstore. It's responsive enough for the above and the bottom of the screen, where the virtual keyboard appears, seems to be especially sensitive.

Other Touch-specific feature is the ability to highlight any word in the text you are reading, triggering the word dictionary definition. Finally, the X-Ray features that allows you to search deep inside a book and get interesting insights on characters and so forth is a Touch-only feature but none of the books I have were X-Ray enabled so I can't comment on it at this time.

I would also like to note that the browser, page numbers, the ability to borrow or lend books are NOT Touch specific features. All Kindles, at least 3d generation and beyond have them. It's also worth stating that no one should expect to use a Kindle reader as their main browser or, if they are a 'speaker' version as their MP3 player. These are nice to have features but what you get with these Kindles is a READER with some tiny bells and whistles.


Amazon's rating for 'I love it' is 5 stars and that's what this Touch gets. 15 months ago when I bought my first Kindle I was a little skeptical. I was concerned mainly about Amazon's proprietary format at the time but now I know that just about any electronic document that's not DRMed can be brought on the Kindle (there are many free format conversion apps) and read on it. I love Kindles because they allow me to carry dozens of books wherever I go without having to stuff my travel bags. And they allow me to read the books the way books are read, without the eye strain that I get when reading on a laptop or tablet screen.

If my first Kindle wasn't 'love at first sight', our second and this one are.
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on August 12, 2016
I love these old Kindle Touches.. they Never should have removed Text to Speech. It's sad that my new Paperwhite has an awesome light but no TTS.. It upsets me constantly! And shame on all the people who say TTS isn't needed! (usually because they never used it so never understood it's value).. I'm not a believer in the idea that you should have to own and lug around everywhere with you multiple electronic devices to do different things that only One Should Do. It's really annoying to have to transfer books between kindles depending on if I want to listen to a book or read in the dark (both of which I do often)! Amazon should make Text To Speech available as an extra option for Paperwhite.. I don't care if it's heavier! Just give those of us who love TTS the option! Don't understand why "heavy" and "light" are even issues for devices that weigh under a pound and a baby without any muscles could lift!!! I Never understood the obsession people have with "light" tiny devices. It makes absolutely no sense. They are already light!!! Functionality is way more important than another half ounce of weight and only illustrates to me that IQs must be plummeting to the depths of hell. Also if I wanted a kindle fire (that has tts) I would have gotten one.. the whole point of a kindle is the Battery Life and the paper-look screen!! Kindle Fire is just another tablet.. not the same thing! I have thousands of books on my kindles (yes, I use up All that storage space too)... I don't want to have to transfer every frakking book and constantly switch between devices just to be able to listen to it sometimes and other times read it in the dark!!! If the people who develop and design these kindles actually Used them as intended they would have realized how terribly inconvenient that is and would have included a light and tts in the same classic kindle!! They must not read much or use the very things they create! :-/
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I bought several of these on Amazon's Warehouse Deals when they were on sale at a huge discount. I believe reading and learning is power, and I wanted to make sure my niece had a Kindle so that she would have access to the knowledge of the world. And I wanted a backup for myself, and possible presents for people in the future.

I have the latest Kindle Paperwhite (7th generation), so I wasn't sure how good it would be to buy an older model. I wanted only Touch Kindles as having keyboards or other buttons on an e-reader is not convenient in my opinion. This Kindle Touch, while old, works quite well.

This feels like like a light paperback book. It won't strain your hand to read, and is the perfect size and weight for a book equivalent. Even with an official Amazon Kindle Touch Leather Cover, it only feels like a slightly heavier paperback.

The touch works just as well as the new Kindle models. All the touch rules are the same: far left is to go back, right side to go forward, top for menu items. The touch feature senses your finger accurately and knows what you intended to touch.

This is one feature my Kindle Paperwhite does not have, so it was a nice surprise to have this feature. I can now listen to my Audible books on here as well as my iDevices. You have two ways to listen: 1) you can plug a pair of headphones in on the bottom and listen instead of reading, so you won't bother anyone around you; and 2) if you're at home you can have it play through the built-in speakers on the back. The speakers are more than sufficient for its purpose, and I love this audio feature.

The 167 ppi screen is good enough for reading. If you have good eyesight and read this at a distance, it will appear nearly the same as newer models. And if your eyesight isn't good, there's always adjusting of the font size.

You get three fonts to choose from: Caecilia, Caecilia Condense, and Helvetica. You have three options for line spacing, and three options for margins. This gives you enough possible combinations to make sure the text shows up in a way that is convenient for you to read. I am sad that the exclusive Bookerly font is not available on older models, but it was design for the resolution of newer models so I can't complain.

I got a micro-USB cable with this, and it takes less than three hours to charge on a fast USB charger, usually four to five hours on regular chargers.

The four lines on the front bottom of the Kindle Touch is the home button. If you are in the Kindle Store, or reading a book, pressing that button takes you back to your library where you can see all your books. If they had a home button on the screen like the newer models, the physical home button wouldn't need to exist.

Then there is a power button on the bottom when you want to put your Kindle to sleep, or wake it up. I personally feel like the home button should also be able to wake up your device, but that's me, as it's slightly awkward to press when you need to turn it off and on.

I am excited for the two months of battery life per charge. I have a Paperwhite which requires more energy for the light which requires charging more often, so going two months without charging is a small convenience. Yes, I won't have the back-light, but I am using this as a backup Kindle to read in well-lit environments.

The used ones I bought didn't have included offers, and I love it! When your screen goes to sleep, instead of ads, it will show pretty pictures of books and pens and the words 'Kindle' in creative photos. It helps make the Kindle feel more like a book, than a sponsored product. Love.

This is a great touch Kindle, and I'm very happy to have another one as a handy backup. Recommended.
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