Product Type: Amazon Tablet PCs / eBook Readers
Newest Review: ... now I just pop my kindle in my handbag. There are a huge variety of free books on Amazon - in my entire kindle - owning experience I've ... more
A library in the palm of your hand
Amazon Kindle Touch
Member Name: KLockwood75
Amazon Kindle Touch
Date: 05/11/12, updated on 05/11/12 (60 review reads)
Advantages: Lightweight, easy to read, easy to use
Disadvantages: Can be a bit too sensitive when turning pages
* Product Design *
The first thing that struck me on opening my Kindle Touch is how light it is. It weighs a mere 213 grams, which is significantly lighter than a lot of the books that I read. The design is very simple but I feel that it has a sleek, modern feel to it. It has a 6 inch screen, with a dark grey surround. There is a button at the bottom (in the same position as it would be on an iPhone / iPad) which you can press to access the menu screen and a tiny on/off button right underneath this. At the top of the surround, it says 'kindle' - apart from that there are no other features. On the screen, the advanced e-ink display means that you can always read the text clearly, even in bright sunlight.
* Setting Up and Usage *
The Kindle Touch is very simple to set up. There is a tutorial feature when you turn it on which takes you through the set-up process in simple steps. You need to link the Kindle to your Amazon account to be able to download books. It has wi-fi connectivity so, assuming you have a decent wireless broadband connection, you can purchase a book from Amazon and start reading it on your Kindle about a minute later. If you have the Kindle app on a phone or iPad, you can also access previously purchased Kindle books through the Kindle Touch - these will appear on the menu screen as 'archived items' (as they are stored on the Cloud), but clicking on a title will allow you to open it. You charge the Kindle with the charger that is provided in the box - once fully charged, you can expect to get many hours of reading time before you need to charge it again. With the wireless connection turned off, Amazon estimate that you can read for half an hour a day for two whole months before you need to charge the Kindle again.
Once you have connected the Kindle to your Amazon account and purchased your first book, it is time to start reading. All purchased books are displayed on a menu screen which appears as soon as you turn on your Kindle. You can click on the chosen book and you will instantly be taken to the first page. You move from one page to the next by lightly tapping the screen (on the right hand side to go forwards, touching on the left side will turn back a page). You can also adjust the text size by touching the middle of the screen with two fingers and swiping them apart - this brings up a text size menu where you can select your preferred size. I tend to read on the second smallest size as, due to the relatively small screen size, I find that having the text any bigger means that I am constantly having to change pages. However, if you have any issues with your eyesight, the ability to make the text much bigger is probably a very valuable feature. I find it very comfortable to read on the Kindle as the text is very clear and the e-ink technology means that there is no issue with glare, unlike the Kindle app on the iPad. It is just as easy to read in bright sunlight as it is sitting on the tube commuting to work.
* Purchasing Books *
As previously mentioned, all books for the Kindle need to be purchased through Amazon. There are many free books in the Amazon Kindle store, including a significant number of classic novels by authors such as Jane Austen and Charles Dickens. Amazon also do a 'Kindle Deal of the Day' where a previously full-price book is discounted for a limited period. I have found that generally books are cheaper on Kindle than they are in store, although some new books remain relatively expensive even in Kindle form. I usually use the Amazon one-click system for purchasing books (Amazon vouchers earned through Dooyoo come in really handy for this) and they literally appear on the Kindle within a few seconds of completing the purchase.
* Other Features *
To be honest, I really only use my Kindle for reading books, but there are several other in-built features that seem worthy of a mention. You can email PDFs directly to your Kindle which may be useful for people who work on the move, as it is much easier to read documents on the Kindle than on a phone. There is also an 'x-ray' feature which Amazon claim allows you to 'explore the bones of a book' - this allows you to pick out all the passages which mention a particular character / historical figure / place. I feel that this would be a very useful feature for students using the Kindle for their set books as you would be able to choose a protagonist and then find all mentions of them for inclusion in an essay. It also has 'Whispersync' technology which synchronises your last read page across all devices, meaning that if you go out without the Kindle and find yourself with a few minutes to spare, you can pick up your book where you left off on the Kindle app on your phone. Finally, the Kindle has a built-in dictionary and instant translations which means you don't have to Google any unfamiliar words as you come across them.
* Price *
The Amazon Kindle Touch has actually now been replaced by the even lighter Kindle (which retails at £69) although they are still available from some sellers.
* Would I recommend it? *
Yes, I would wholeheartedly recommend my Kindle. It is fantastic to be able to carry a whole library of books around with me, particularly for long journeys and holidays. It will make a massive difference to the weight of my holiday suitcase too - I don't really go in for minimalist packing as it is, but the big summer reads I tend to take away with me push me very close to my baggage allowance. It is small enough to fit into most handbags, light enough not to make your shoulders ache and comfortable to read wherever you are. The only minor downside is that sometimes it is a bit 'too' sensitive and you will end up flicking through several pages at once, but this is something that is easily remedied and not a big deal. There are still times where I would prefer to curl up with a proper book but I love my Kindle too.
(edited because I meant to give it five stars but clicked four by mistake)
Summary: A fantastic product which makes it easier to read on the move
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