Kindle fans in the UK will be able to get their hands on the latest touchscreen models in less than a month, as Amazon has finally put the Touch up for pre-order to ship on 27 April. However, the firm is keeping tight-lipped on UK availability of the Kindle Fire tablet.
The Kindle Touch is priced at £109 for the Wi-Fi only version, while the 3G model retails at £169.
Both models feature Amazon’s EasyReach touch technology, which lets users tap rather than swipe to turn pages, and have a 6in screen.
The Wi-Fi-only version weighs a very portable 213g, with the 3G model weighing in at 220g, which Amazon points out is less than the weight of the average paperback.
They retain the impressive battery life of previous models, offering up to two months – and we can confirm it really is that high having been a long-time Kindle user - along with the e-ink display to present clear, sharp text and support reading even in the sun’s glare.
The latest Kindles can store up to 3,000 books, which are backed up in the cloud so you can re-download them as necessary, and also sync them across devices such as the iPad and Android tablets via the Kindle app.
A new X-ray tool has been developed by Amazon to let readers tap a character name, place or topic in the text and bring up a list of all the places in the book where it is featured.
The Kindle Touch and Kindle Touch 3G also feature text-to-speech and MP3 support.
The Touch models are Amazon's first foray into the touchscreen e-reader market. However, Amazon is still selling the cheaper non-touch £89 Kindle or the £149 3G version with a keyboard.
While the two new Kindles are a welcome addition to the Amazon e-reader family, the iPad-challenging Kindle Fire is the more anticipated product.
The $199 multimedia tablet comes with a 7in display with a resolution of 169 pixels per inch, and a dual-core processor.
Amazon has chosen to run a heavily customised version of Android, and the 413g Fire is capable of multi-tasking, so buyers can listen to music while reading, for example.
Amazon told V3 that the Kindle Fire is an American product, and that there is no information available on UK availability.
Meanwhile, the Kindle is developing a more literate society in the UK, according to Amazon.
“We continue to see that people read more with Kindle - readers in the UK buy an average of four times the number of books they purchased prior to owning a Kindle,” said Jorrit Van der Meulen, vice president of Kindle for Amazon Europe.
“With the launch of Kindle Touch and Kindle Touch 3G we expect to see this reading renaissance continue.”
Those in the publishing industry who have seen revenues plummet due to the launch of e-readers might beg to differ, of course.
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