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The Kindle is one of the most revolutionary gadgets ever invented. Many so called experts insisted that it was a stupid idea and that it would never take off! Well, who is laughing now!
The Kindle just keeps getting better and better with each evolutionary step and with the Touch 3G version reviewed here you will see what new features it has.
WHAT'S IN THE BOX?
We have of course the Kindle itself.
One set of headphones
USB cable for charging.
WHAT'S THE CHARGE LIKE?
The Kindle takes approximately 4 hours for a full charge but once charged can last anything from about 6 weeks to 2 or 3 months, depending how regular a user you are. I have found about 6 or 7 weeks use the norm and that is using it most days.
For the technically minded among you the Kindle has a 6 in Monochrome E ink display with a resolution of 600 * 800 (167ppi) and 4 bit (16 gray levels) colour depth. Being a Kindle Touch you will not be surprised to learn that it is a touch screen and an extremely good one it is with the lightest of touches needed for a seamless transition from page to page.
It weighs only 7.5 ounces, is 6.8 in high, 4.7 in wide and 0.4 in thick.
WHAT OTHER FEATURES DOES IT HAVE?
The Kindle Touch also has a password lock facility and stereo capabilities as well.
There is a flash memory of 4GB although only 3Gb is available to the user and of course it has 3G and wi-fi capability.
The Kindle supports various file formats, e.g. HTML, PRC (Mobipocket), PDF, DOC, TXT, AZW & DOCX and when it comes to images you can view PNG, JPEG, BMP or GIF files.
As well as images the Kindle has an audio facility which supports mp3 files.
WHAT IF IT GOES WRONG?
For your peace of mind if your Kindle breaks down there is a warranty of one year.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
The cheapest I have seen the Kindle Touch 3G sell for is about £155 but normally it's about £169 on Amazon although at this time of year they are selling out quickly. In fact as I write this I am glad I got mine previously as they are out of stock at Amazon!
WHAT'S IT LIKE TO USE?
If you had a previous Kindle model with a keyboard you will find that the keyboard is now on screen, saving some weight and space.
The text is very clear to read and like previous models you can adjust the font size to suit.
There will no doubt be plenty of people out there who are worrying that before long your Kindle will be covered in fingerprints but you needn't worry as they are almost invisible on the display and a quick wipe with a clean cloth will see them disappear if you are that concerned. Talking about the touch screen, it is quite sensitive and until you get used to it you may find yourself inadvertently turning a page or two. You can also swipe up and down to skip chapters which is a nice added feature.
The Kindle has a new feature called X-Ray which means that you can instantly see more information about certain characters although only certain books make the facility available.
WHAT'S NOT SO GOOD?
While the Kindle Touch has many good features it has to be said that it does have its faults as well. One of the most irritating things I have found is that you sometimes get what is commonly known as a "ghosting" effect with some of the previous page being visible through the new page.
One way to overcome this is to make sure yours is set to refresh on every page turn although this doesn't always solve the problem.
Like I have mentioned before the touch screen is good but for those who preferred the old keyboard, the onscreen one may be a source of irritation and it is definitely not as quick as a manual keyboard. In addition you will probably (like me) keep looking for a button to turn the pages and to be honest I would have been happier if they had left the old buttons in.
While I do love my Kindle and the hours of reading pleasure it provides, the new Kindle Touch is not necessarily any better than the old one and is a classic case of "less is more".