Customer Reviews: Certified Refurbished Kindle Touch 3G (ATT), Free 3G + Wi-Fi, 6" E Ink Display - includes Special Offers & Sponsored Screensavers
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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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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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250250 comments| 7,513 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
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 November 24, 2011
This is my first Kindle and first ereader. I've been using iphone, ipad2 and am very tech savy. After reading some of the reviews I was a little hesitant to pull the trigger on this purchase, but figured I would just return it if I didn't like it. I bought the version that has special offers. I've had it for two days and spent about 5 hours reading. Here are some thoughts regarding complaints in other reviews.

1) I have not accidentally turned the page ever! The screen is depressed about 1/8 inch from the bevel and unless you have some kind of death grip on this thing, or are a complete clutz than you're not going to touch the screen unintentionally.

2) Who cares if you can't plug it into the wall, plug it into your computer. If you really need to plug it into the wall then buy the adapter. I'd rather that Amazon charge less for the product then include a bunch of crap I don't need.

3) It is not uncomfortable and my hand doesn't cramp at all when holding it (mostly reading on the couch). It is so light that I can't see how it would ever be uncomfortable unless you were thinking about it because you read it in other reviews or because you were looking for something to be wrong. Also I have not unintentionally turned it off.

4) I read one review about the advertisements being inappropriate for young poeple and several others that were annoyed by the ads. If you don't want the ads then pay the extra money, if you're offended by Dove soap, Amazon or AT&T, then lock yourself in the house and never leave it. One ad bar shows up at the bottom of your menu screen and when you hit the power button an ad shows up as your screensaver. You never have to skip through an ad to get to your content, and ads don't show up when you're reading.

5) I haven't used this to read PDFs, and don't plan on it. I wouldn't expect it to work very well based on the size of the screen and the fact that most PDFs are built for 8.5x11 inch paper.

6) People are writing 1 star reviews who have never even used the Kindle Touch!!!

I love it so far. My main use is to read books and blogs. The screen is incredibly sharp and the touch screen/keyboard is extremely intuitive. There is a little delay, but it is not annoying. For $99, I'm not sure what else people want. Oh it also has your web browser so I can check my gmail from it and the display looks great when navigating gmail. I'm glad I bought this and figured that people writing reviews up here will whine about anything.
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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 November 15, 2011
I want to mention something VERY IMPORTANT for prospective buyers. The Kindle Touch 3G only allows free 3G web browsing for Wikipedia and the Amazon store. The experimental browser does not work on the Touch via 3G for other websites and for checking e-mail and the like. You need a Wi-Fi connection for that.

The facts about the 3G not being useable for web browsing has been discussed to death on the Kindle forums and many, many other websites since September 28. However, many people are still not aware of this. Amazon has not sent out any e-mails about this or clearly explained this limitation on it's product description page.

I chose the 3G because I do a lot of extended traveling where I do not have a Wi-Fi connection. This 3G version allows me to buy books, apps and use Wikipedia to look up information whenever and from wherever I am. If you want the Touch for it's easy interface and can wait until you are at a Wi-Fi hotspot or on your home network, save yourself the $50 and buy the $99 Touch Wi-Fi.

See first comment for website links about restricted web browsing.

UPDATE 11-25-11: If you bought a Kindle Touch or Fire and aren't real happy with it, don't be in a big hurry to send it back(unless you're asking for a replacement). You have until Jan 31 to return it. In the meantime you can still enjoy it through the holidays and beyond. I have a Touch and a Fire right now and if I decide against the Fire that certainly isn't going back until sometime after Jan 25th. We're having too much fun with it! This would apply to the $79/$109 Kindle as well if you bought it more recently(pretty much anything bought through or fulfilled by Amazon). You can check "Your Orders" in "Your Accounts" to verify that the return window is until January 31.

UPDATE 1-25-12: I have owned a K3, $79 Kindle, a Touch and the Fire and had all of them at the same time to compare against each other for over a month. There have been lots of other reviews you can read for the minor details, but I'd like to just leave you with my journey through the Kindle market in the search for the best possible e-reader:

"I never owned a K2 but I did own the K3(Kindle Keyboard) for a while back in August, 2011. It was the first Kindle I bought. As I was new to Kindle it was hard to get used to the controls. I'm used to my iPhone and other touch devices and the K3 seemed like a technological step backwards for me. I hated the key pad. It just took up a lot of space and made the unit heavier. So I returned it.

We then proceeded to purchase a Kindle $79, a Kindle Touch and finally a Fire. The e-ink screen on the $79 Kindle and Touch is no way as good as the K3. It may be satisfactory and look very good to millions of people but I can tell you without a doubt that it is inferior. It was a joy to read on the K3 for the short time I had it. So much like a real book.

Now, the Fire is another story. Never having had a tablet, the Fire is amazingly fun especially if you happen to be an Amazon Prime member. No one can put that thing down at our house whether it's because they are playing a game or need it to watch a movie at a friend's house. I love that little $199 play thing and if I have to get rid, it will sort of feel liked the dog died; it's almost like a family member. BUT, is it good for reading, even with the black text on white background, white text on black background and sepia options? A resounding NO! If you read on the Fire for 10 minutes and then switch to the K3 or Touch the text will look black on some lines and BLUE on others. What's that all about! For book reading the Fire messes with the cones in your eyes and that can't be a good thing. But it is a heck of a good little entertainment tablet that even with it's shortcomings and despite the problems people are having getting it to do what they want it to, is a great deal.

Anyway, so my search took me back to pick up one of the $89 Kindle Keyboard 3G's being offered around the holidays. Now I love it, love it, love it! So what if it has a keyboard taking up a lot of space at the bottom. So what if it is heavier then the $79 Kindle or Touch. It is SO much easier to read on it for longer periods of time(darker ink, lighter background, no weird refreshing flashing--let no one fool you into believing they are all the same e-inks quality, the K3 is the best!) and it has excited my passion for reading again in a way that the wonky Touch did not(turning itself off seemingly by itself, not responding properly to touch, skipping pages on a whim, some words darker than others on a page, ghosting). I am so glad I picked one up when I did. I have FREE 3G when I need to check some e-mail, I can read reviews of new books on the train, I can listen to audiobooks, I can play music anywhere and everywhere. And with a $12 very light leather case and a free Verso light(for after dark) that I got with my Visa rewards point I can read, read, read to my heart's content. I am not a happy camper, I am THE HAPPY CAMPER. Unless you have tried all the devices many of you will not know what you are missing out on. Friends will see me in Starbucks using the old, now last generation model and feel sorry for me. And I will say, "Yes, I have this old thing" and maybe they will buy me a free cup of coffee out of sympathy. And inside I will be happy and content knowing what they do not(even if they read a 1000 reviews), that I have got the last of the good Kindle e-readers at a great price."
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on November 22, 2011
Kindle Touch, Wi-Fi, 6" E Ink Display - includes Special Offers & Sponsored Screensavers
Picked this device up from Best Buy, because I couldn't wait even the two days it would take from Amazon--and my boyfriend thought I could wait until Christmas for this? Lol.

A lot of people have already written extensive overviews of the tech specs and basic features of this product, so I won't rehash them, but I will list some personal points I noticed.

1) CONTRAST. I'm pretty sure I know why a lot of people are saying the new generation Kindle screens has LESS contrast than Kindle Keyboard/3. When people think Kindle Keyboard, they think the graphite (read: black) version. When I compared the different Kindles side by side in the store, there was no question about it: the darker bezel of the Kindle Keyboard makes the screen look whiter than the lighter bezels of the Kindle 4 and Touch. In fact, when I blocked off the kindle touch's bezel with some black paper and whatnot, I saw the screen literally brighten before my eyes. I'm 25 years old, so my eyes aren't failing. Yep, the light does play tricks on people's eyes. I think Amazon did themselves a disservice by making this gen's kindles with lighter bezels.

2) TOUCHSCREEN/KEYBOARD RESPONSIVENESS. I do own an iPad 2, but I do not, by any means, intend to compare the Kindle Touch to the iPad. I merely mention it because I know that many people, including myself, will be approaching the touch screen of the kindle with a set expectations that comes from using Apple products. So here's what I think about it:

- The main event: Reading -
Touchscreen is GREAT for this! Being as how the sensors around the bezel (why the screen is indented, btw, not because Amazon hates you and wants to cast shadows on your kindle screen) detect WHERE you're touching the screen, not how, a very very light touch will do. Page turns are very fast and I notice barely any ghosting. When I use the browser though I notice a LOT of ghosting, but that's another story. Fingerprints have not been a problem. Really, common sense that one would use around ANY gadget would prevent any fingerprint problem on the screen. The matte screen feels really nice too!

I will say that I don't see how I can only hold this Kindle in one hand, as advertised, unless I hold it left-handed. I'm right-handed though. It's certainly small and light enough to be held comfortably in one hand, but perhaps because my hands are so small, I can't reach the left margin to page back. So it's fine if I hold it in my left hand or read and only page forward, but otherwise...

- Text-to-Speech -
I really like this function. Audiobooks are so expensive, plus I end up hating most voice actors' style anyway. Sad when I actually prefer the mechanical voice a lot of times! Okay the Kindle Touch doesn't have a set of surround sound stereo speakers but really what do we expect? I don't get why some professional reviewers have knocked this. It suits me just fine...I let it read to me in the car. Kindle apps on other devices don't have this feature!

-The keyboard-
Quite responsive, but alas, it is just as responsive when you hit the wrong key as when you hit the right ones! The keys are very small , so you still have to go really slowly. The especially frustrating thing is that the Backspace key is right on top of the Enter key. As you can imagine, this causes problems. And I have small hands too! My palm from wrist to middle finger is the exact same length as the Kindle Touch itself. I can actually type faster on a Kindle 2 (whose keyboard is very similar to kindle 3's) because it's like texting on a non-smart phone. Or even the Kindle 4, because the joystick controls are actually really snappy and I can be far more accurate on it. If you type something and notice that you made a mistake in the middle of the sentence, you have to delete the whole thing up to the mistake if you want to change it. No dropping the cursor right on the mistake itself.

-Touch screen -
Pinching and zooming is fine. Yes it's not fluid, but it's responsive enough so I don't mind. Also I discovered that you don't have to move your fingers far apart at all to trigger the zoom. So, to prevent the thing from zooming in and out several times with one pinch-in or pinch-out, keep the distance that your fingers are pinching very small.

Yes I mistakenly turn the page/touch the wrong thing a lot but so what? Touch screens will do that. I trigger the wrong thing on my iPad all. The. Time. But the screen is quick enough in both devices that a mistake is easily corrected (use and love the "back" arrow button on your kindle) and is not a problem. A "hold" key, to make it so that the device screen stays on but doesn't register your touches, is not necessary. The power button at the bottom work exactly like the iPad's lock button. One button press locks the screen and another single press turns it back on. Even iProduct owners are complaining about this on the Kindles? It's the same....

It has already frozen on me once though, less than an hour out of the box as I was setting up my collections. The home screen was frozen on a blank screen with only the Kindle Store top menu strip showing. Oddly enough everything else worked, the menu drop down , the search, I can still connect/disconnect from wifi...just nothing would show on the main part of the screen. Before I can fully plan for an angry trip back to Best Buy in the morning, I remembered from my Kindle 2 days that I can just PRESS AND HOLD DOWN POWER BUTTON FOR 20-30 SECS TO RESET. That fixed the problem.

-Browser responsiveness -
Ok, this one sucks on the Kindle Touch, far more painful than on the Kindle 2. While the Kindle store and books are very snappy, the browser is where I encountered 99% of the "ok I touched it, why isn't it doing anything" and the "here let me touch it again...still nothing" problem. Often it takes multiple touches in a text box before the keyboard would come up. I'm glad I got the wifi only version, because even if the 3G wasn't limited, I would not be using it much for the browser.

3) ADS (SPECIAL OFFERS). Haven't used any of the ads I saw yet, but honestly it doesn't bother me at all. Sometimes the screen registers your touch twice, so if you were touching something in the bottom of the screen it might trigger the special offers strip by mistake. But when people say that it's only on the sleep screen and at the bottom strip of your home page, they mean that it's ONLY there and nowhere else. In the books themselves there are no ads. If you go look at the list of books in a Collection, there are no ads at the bottom of that list.

TL; DR: I think this is a great device and a worthy upgrade over the Kindle 2. Normal people made this device, not Harry Potter--so, is it soooooo magical, it will take your breath away? No. The touch technology on this Kindle is first-gen, and sometimes it shows. But is it worth $99? ABSOLUTELY!
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon November 15, 2011
I tried the first generation Kindle but didn't really care all that much for it. While I loved the screen, it just didn't feel right, and remember thinking this would be perfect if it had a touchscreen.

When the Touch was announced I ordered this along with a Fire with the thought that the Fire would be for me, and I'd give the Touch as a gift. The Touch got here this morning and I opened it up just to make sure it was OK. It looked so nice that I carefully peeled off the plastic just to try it out for a few minutes. After all, one wouldn't want to give a gift that didn't work, right? Well, it's now been a few hours and several chapters of a few books later. I'm keeping it. A second one will be on order for Christmas giving.

Why keep the Touch when I also have a Fire? If you skip over the obvious answer (I just love electronic gadgets) the e-ink on the Touch is much better in terms of clarity and lack of glare. Not that the Fire is bad. It has a very clear screen, but there is some glare. The Touch is better for reading under all lighting situations, and remains highly readable in direct sun. I can't imagine getting better screen clarity than this for black and white text.

I also tried reading it while on a treadmill (a situation that usually gives me a headache when I tried it using the kindle app on my Touchpad) and it was quite pleasant. Best of all is that I can zoom up the text size so I can read it while it is on the treadmill reading stand (it's too far away for me to read hard copy unless it's in HUGE type. Getting old is _not_ fun).

But the strength of the Touch is also it's biggest problem for me - black and white. I read several magazines each month and reading them in B/W is lackluster at best. Magazines are more enjoyable on the Fire, especially publications such as Wired.

The touch interface is great. So far its been very smooth and glitch free. Love the feel of the screen - has a bit of texture to it. I have to say, however, that I am a bit concerned about the screen longevity. The Touch overall feels a bit fragile and less "solid" than the Fire. I'm not deducting any stars for that since it's just an impression, but it will be interesting to see if the durability of the Touch screen is better/worse/same as the Fire (and vice versa). I'll be getting a case for it for sure since it's going to be getting bumped about.

I'll be using the Fire mainly at home and for reading material that works best in color (and, of course, video - need to relax the mind with mindless entertainment as well!). The Touch will be living in my briefcase for reading while commuting (I take the bus and subway, so lots of time to read) and for killing time prior to an appointment. The longer battery life and smaller size makes it a better traveling companion than the Fire. I don't have the Touch 3G version, so I'll have to make sure I keep a few books on my to-be-read stack so I don't run out when I'm out of wi-fi range.

Granted, if I could only have one device, I'd stay with the Fire since that offers more entertainment options, albeit at twice the price. But the cost is not excessive, so I treated myself to both. With a Fire and a Touch I've got all bases covered (until, of course, the next glittery gee-whiz piece of electronics comes out...).
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I am writing this review from the perspective of being a long-time Kindle user vs. someone brand new to the Kindle experience.

From an overall experience, and considering the price of a Kindle with free 3G, WiFi capabilities, and a touch screen, this Kindle Touch Screen ("KTS") is a pretty good bargain. From a size standpoint, it is obviously not as long as my Kindle Keyboard model ("KKB"), but you wouldn't expect it to be because - ahem - there is no keyboard!

I was in for a surprise when I opened up the box: in the little space carved out to hold the micro-USB cable, which you need to charge the unit, had nothing in it. In other words, no power cord to get the thing running. A quick phone call to Amazon's excellent customer support, and a friendly agent named Mary Ann, has a replacement on its way to me. Seeing as I have way too many Kindles in my household, I found a power cord and put it on the charger for about an hour before playing with it.

First, let's talk about the "pros" of the KTS model:

The display is much crisper and darker than the KKB model. I put a page of the same book on both the KTS and the KKB side-by-side and not in a cover (didn't want the cover to give an optical illusion or anything), and this model's text is much better. I also placed these two models against a Kindle 2, and you can see the improvement in the screen quality with each new model (and the KKB is still darker than the K2 two years into it).

Web surfing speed with the WiFi feature on the KTS is a little faster than the KKB. Doing a side-by-side test I tried the mobile websites of Fox News and CNN and they popped right up, maybe a half second faster on the KTS model. Trying the mobile websites of MSNBC and the Houston Chronicle were slower than Christmas, but that is usually the case in my experiences with most mobile devices trying to hit those two websites. I'm not much of a web surfer with my Kindle, so that feature is really hard for me to evaluate. When I have my Kindle, I usually want to read a book vs. surf the web or check email.

The on/off button is not a slider like previous versions of Kindles, but is a push-button. You have to make a deliberate "push" with the button to make it go to sleep vs. sometimes my KKB model will bump against my shirt or jeans and hit the sleep mode in the middle of the page. I think this is an improvement.

Now for the "cons" of the KTS model:

I really don't care for the touchscreen. I thought I would, actually I thought it would be the best thing since sliced bread, but it is a pain in the neck. I also have man fingers - which means my finger pads are larger than most women and children - and there have been many times with my short experience with the KTS I meant to touch one thing and ended up going somewhere else entirely because a link right next to the one I wanted was pressed first. I even pulled out a ballpoint pen top to try to "tap" the right thing, but I had the same problem.

There are no page turn buttons - besides the on / off button I mentioned above there are really no buttons at all. To turn a page forward, you need to tap the right-hand side of the screen. To page back, you guessed it, you need to tap the left-hand side of the screen. After using a Kindle for over three years now, I've already been "trained" by Amazon on how to turn pages. Sometimes you think the page forward didn't register, so you tap it again only to find out it did but there was a delay; now you're one page ahead of where you wanted to be. I didn't figure that out until about the third time when I was thinking the author of a short story just wasn't making sense. When I'm reading a book, I get rather absorbed in the process, and "tapping" to page turn gets me distracted (let alone jumping pages ahead of where I want to be). I wonder how much tapping the screen can physically take before the screens start breaking?

Navigation is rather cumbersome. If you're in the middle of a book or web page, for example, and want to go back to your home screen (or to a different book), I initially thought you had to activate the menu bar by pressing and holding near the top of the screen, then start pressing the back arrow buttons. I would think most people expect to see a "Home" choice if you push the "Menu" button. There is a "home" key but you would never know it: it looks like 4 horizontal unlabeled lines that I initially took for air exhaust vents (they are actually buttons). It would have been helpful to have a label on next to it or, Heaven forbid, a quick start paper menu to get you up and running.

Overall, if you couldn't tell, I'm not too impressed with the KTS model. It seems as there were a lot of shortcuts taken to get the price down lower, and the method of operation is much different than what I am used to - I realize that had to be done primarily because there are no buttons. However, when I'm reading, I want to escape and not have to remember too many specific motions and steps: I just want to read! I hope, however, this new and improved screen is put into all models of Kindle (except the Fire) as it is much superior.

If you're happy with your "button" versions of the Kindle, I'd stick with them!
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