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Keyboard-Less Navigation And Screen Rotation

Hands-On: Amazon's Fourth-Gen Kindle Refresh

Like the Keyboard version, the new Kindle features a five-way controller for navigation, in addition to smaller Return, Keyboard (virtual), Menu, and Home keys.

This changes the controls for taking a screenshot. When you press Shift + Alt + G on the Kindle Keyboard, the screen flashes for a brief moment before dumping a screen capture (GIF format) in the documents folder. On the new Kindle, you're required to hold down the Keyboard and Menu buttons at the same.

The virtual keyboard interface is similar to what we've seen from many tablets, almost forcing a slow hunt-and-peck process. That could be a turn-off for anyone who uses the built-in dictionary or frequently types annotations.

There's a similar interface for virtual typing on the Kindle Touch. However, both fourth-gen Kindles now feature a screen rotation feature.

Kindle Keyboard MenuKindle Keyboard MenuKindle (4th-gen) MenuKindle (4th-gen) Menu

Rotating the screen doesn't happen automatically when you twist the Kindle, as it does on a tablet. Instead, you have to manually change orientation via the main menu.

The font size is automatically preserved, but only for text. If your document is full of images instead of OCR (PDF scans), you're going to see zoomed-out content.

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