Amazon launched its first touch-screen Kindle in the UK in late April, aiming to tempt current and new e-book fans with an easier reading experience, along with other new features. The Kindle Touch Wi-Fi-only version we've been testing is priced at a very reasonable £109, while the Kindle Touch 3G retails at £169.
The first thing we wanted to know when we got our hands on the latest Kindle was, has Amazon managed to deliver a decent touch experience. The electronic paper display has a resolution of 600x800 pixels at 167 pixels per inch.
When reading a book, you can now turn back and forth through pages by just tapping the screen; tap the left of the screen anywhere within an inch from the left-hand edge to turn back a page, and tap anywhere on the rest of the screen to turn forwards. Tapping the search bar will bring up an on-screen keyboard at the bottom of the screen.
Once you’re reading, the Kindle devotes the full 6in screen to the text. Extra functions are accessed by tapping the top of the screen, and this brings up a bar along the top to go back, access the Kindle market, search and access the menu. From the bottom of the screen, you can change the font size or jump to a different section of the book.
Tap to turn
Amazon has included its EasyReach touch technology, which lets users tap rather than swipe to turn pages. One point worth noting here is that for people used to the touch-screens on smartphones and tablets, you’ll probably find yourself swiping rather than tapping, but thankfully, swiping works fine as well.
The page-turn on the touch Kindle is as smooth and quick as with the previous edition, with text rendering in no more time than it takes to turn a page in a book. However, be warned that the screen is a bit over sensitive at times, and accidentally leaning on it or pressing it can cause the text to jump forwards several pages.
With the advent of tablets, namely the iPad, there was a feeling that the e-book market would disappear as users turned to their tablets to fulfil their reading requirements. However, the e-ink display on the Kindle means you get clear, sharp text to support reading even in the sun’s glare, and a visit to any park, pool or beach on a hot day will confirm the e-reader market is still going strong.