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Kindle Evolves, Remains A Favorite

Amazon Kindle Touch Review And Fourth-Gen Screen Quality Update
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Even if we're not totally in love with the Kindle Touch's screen, and even if it doesn't seem to be any faster, we can't discount the fact that this is Amazon's new flagship e-book reader and that these devices continue to be cheap alternatives to tablets for anyone whose only demand is eliminating the paper-based books in their life. Even if tablets get thinner and their battery life improves, it's hard to imagine they'll ever be able to compete price-wise.

If you're a bookworm, you'll still be drawn to e-book readers like the Kindle Touch and its non-touchscreen alternative. Despite our technical critiques, which frankly go deeper than any mainstream user will care to go anyway, we still prefer Kindles to other e-book readers, if only because they're the portal to something greater.

Amazon's strength is its distribution network and variety of content. It has a much better selection than most other storefronts, and if you want to read on multiple platforms, it's easy to switch from your desktop to Kindle without any hassle. Amazon put a lot of effort into developing Kindle apps for just about every device.

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  • 2 Hide
    cumi2k4 , January 26, 2012 5:44 AM
    So basically i won't have to "upgrade" my old kindle 3 if i have no need for touch interface, right?

  • 4 Hide
    shin0bi272 , January 26, 2012 12:54 PM
    Just need color E-ink and I'll buy 3 or 4 of em.
  • -3 Hide
    Hatecrime69 , January 26, 2012 3:05 PM
    no epub, no thanks
  • 1 Hide
    hannibal , January 26, 2012 4:27 PM
    Color E-ink would be nice for any e-book readers, well almost. It still is a little bit not so robust as black and white versions, but it is getting better!
    It would be my first choise for tablet. Very long battery time, very good for reading the books and useable in reading web pages without animation. Too slow for animation and video even at this moment.
  • -2 Hide
    Marcus52 , January 26, 2012 5:39 PM
    Umm -

    Can you say Nook Simple Touch?

    I think you need to fact-check some of your statements. Amazon and Kindle may have been the best option a year ago, but Barnes and Noble and the Nook have caught up, at least. The Kobo is no slouch either, and offers more publication formats than anyone else. Pretty much if it's published in digital form, you can view it on the Kobo, regardless of where you buy it.

    Kindle remains the only eReader that you can't natively run EPub publications on.

    ;) 
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , January 26, 2012 8:03 PM
    Amazon plays dirty - they purchased developers of Stanza, which was the best ebook app in iDevices and killed the company. After this Amazon gets none of my business. Also their kindle app on iPad and iPod Touch is inferior to pretty much any other app. It does not look like they put a lot of effort in to it. There are definitely much better readers out there.
  • 1 Hide
    tomuw , January 27, 2012 2:07 PM
    So, to summarize, if I have a Kindle 3, the 4 touch differences are:
    -4 has slower visible response time to "next page" requests and other commands.
    -4 has ghosting of text from previous pages viewed.
    -4 has a quality control issue such that screen may have lower contrast, or however you want to describe it.
    -4 has a touch screen
    -4 has a larger, heavier battery.
    But you think the amount of the negative differences are, in your subjective opinion, slight or can be mitigated by a return and asking for another copy.
    hmmm think I'll pass on that "upgrade".
  • 0 Hide
    MagicPants , January 27, 2012 4:37 PM
    I really liked the spectrophotometer comparison, but I want to see how the kindle stacks up against real paper as well. If possible, you should figure out how to compare it to real newspapers and novels.
  • 0 Hide
    felcas22 , January 27, 2012 5:27 PM
    Did anyone noticed that the video NEVER show what happens when people interact with the finger in the screen? ALL the times the camera is facing the back of the kindle OR the front of it but when the person touch the screen the camera imediatelly change to another scene, so we never see what actually happens with the screen when the characters of the movie play with it. I understand that as: the touch features is still slow and way far to be instantaneous like fliping the pages on a book.
  • -2 Hide
    acku , January 27, 2012 6:48 PM
    MagicPantsI really liked the spectrophotometer comparison, but I want to see how the kindle stacks up against real paper as well. If possible, you should figure out how to compare it to real newspapers and novels.


    Well... the difference would also depend on the paper and ink combo.... Different inks and different papers will produce different results.

    felcas22Did anyone noticed that the video NEVER show what happens when people interact with the finger in the screen? ALL the times the camera is facing the back of the kindle OR the front of it but when the person touch the screen the camera imediatelly change to another scene, so we never see what actually happens with the screen when the characters of the movie play with it. I understand that as: the touch features is still slow and way far to be instantaneous like fliping the pages on a book.


    That's just the amazon intro video. It's a commercial. Check out the vid on page 2.

    Cheers,
    Andrew Ku
    TomsHardware.com
  • 0 Hide
    overlof , January 28, 2012 3:41 PM
    I have kindle keyboard 3gen, I like it and I dont feel that I want to change it. The new ones are great but I have one question: why doesnt amazon produce kindles with slightly bigger displays? I like my kindle but I want a bigger screen but not too big as DX's one.
  • -1 Hide
    harrkev , January 30, 2012 2:19 AM
    Another vote for the Nook Touch. Only $100 for a touch-screen interface (without built-in advertisements), plus REAL HARDWARE PAGE TURN BUTTONS, and you are NOT locked into one store. Check out ePub books from your local library. Buy books from about a dozen or so on-line book stores.

    The Kobo would run 2nd place for me.

    Given the shenanigans that Amazon has pulled with m-Edge, I would just as soon give the entire Kindle platform a pass.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , January 30, 2012 11:53 AM
    The Nook Simple Touch - uh, I've had three of them, after having had the Kindle Keyboard and the K4. The screen on all of the NST have been god-awful, to the point that it gave me a headache. Within pages there were several different shades, from dark black to light gray (with missing chunks across the spectrum). The guy at the store where I last exchanged it encouraged me to just return it, since it'd "be the same" on another device.

    No epub? Screw it. I want to read without getting a headache.
  • 0 Hide
    DSpider , February 1, 2012 7:07 AM
    What I'd like to see is a colour e-Ink reader running Android. This would essentially turn it into a tablet with outstanding battery life. And because Amazon has an app for Android it would be a Kindle with ePub support. Same with B&N with their Nook app.

    Oh, for crying out loud! They've been working on Triton e-Ink since 2009 and were supposed to hit in 2011. Where the heck are they??
  • -3 Hide
    Anonymous , February 1, 2012 2:14 PM
    My phone is Android - I will wiat for Android with more features. Life is too short to learn another operating system. At the University of Denver in the 80's (pre Browsers) , the students were given OMGATE for on-line. It stood for Oh My God, Another Terminal Emulator. Just thinks of how many things we all learn, just to toss away brain cells later.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , February 1, 2012 3:21 PM
    tomuw:

    > -4 has slower visible response time to "next page" requests and other commands.

    Yes, although it's small.

    > -4 has ghosting of text from previous pages viewed.

    Only if you leave the "fast page refresh" option on -- this can be disabled through the normal user settings and, as the video demonstrates, it appears to actually be just as fast anyway.


    > -4 has a quality control issue such that screen may have lower contrast, or however you want to describe it.

    It's highly unlikely to be a quality control problem; as the article mentions, the most likely scenario is that Amazon is purposely choosing to accept lower-grade panels so as to reduce prices.

    > -4 has a touch screen

    Yes.

    > -4 has a larger, heavier battery.

    Yes... when then of course provides for a longer time between charges.

  • 2 Hide
    wmfoster2001 , February 5, 2012 9:30 AM
    Have a look at the Sony PRS-T1, whilst it's more expensive than the Kindle touch, it supports epub, handles PDFs much better and has hardware buttons in addition to the touch screen.

    I'm very happy with mine and won't be upgrading until colour e-ink is available.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , February 7, 2012 11:50 PM
    I have a Kindle Touch and like it. I haven't used any other e-reader so I don't have a basis for good comparison, but the Touch just works. The pages turn faster than one could turn the page of a paper book, and turn plenty fast enough for me. The text is very readable. The battery lasts tens of reading hours before needing charging. My only regrets: the price dropped after I got mine, and I probably should have gotten the "special offers" version.