blue bits. red rocks.

On the Amazon Kindle Touch

A scathing review here:

The whole thing is a mess. I can’t recommend this Kindle and I won’t be keeping it for myself. My advice is to steer clear of the Kindle Touch and examine the other Kindle devices closely to determine which features are most important to you. Because this device has been such a disaster, I’ll be returning it, as noted, and I’ve ordered a base, non-touch Kindle now to see whether that device can succeed where this one fails. But make no mistake, the Kindle Touch is a failure. Not recommended.

I received mine on Wednesday and have had a little time to put it through the paces. While disappointed with some aspects, I am definitely nowhere close to being this glum about it. And mind you, I shunned the Kindle platform for the first couple of versions, as the page refresh and responsiveness were too irksome for me. It was only with version 3 and the deep drop in price that I took the Kindle plunge. Prior to that, I believed the iPad to be the superior reading experience. But over the summer, I procured a Kindle and was astonished to discover how pleased the ebook experience was now, in contrast to the 1st and 2nd generation products. So much so that my iPad has been relegated to inactivity, other than occasional Flipboard and Netflix use. I wanted to write a more lengthy review but this Paul Thurrott piece has spurred me to share some initial thoughts regarding this device.

  • First, as Thurrott details, the e-ink presentation rendering continues to improve, and the display bests that of iPads or other e-reader gadgets.

  • On the power switch imbroglio — it is puzzling why Amazon fiddled with this. However, I have not encountered any accidental triggering as the author or others are reporting. And I have not traveled with the device to witness the concern of it inadvertently power toggling while tucked away in a bag or case.

  • The decision to not have a menu pop up when you tap the middle of the screen is a blunder, I believe too. But once you get it in your head that you have to tap at the top (and not on the right side, either, as the article points out), it is not really much an issue. Still, why this interface choice when all other e-reader products (including Amazon’s own iPad / iPhone app) do it by a different, more sensical standard?

  • Tapping and swiping are generally responsive enough — any glitches I stumbled about were due to not applying enough finger pressure. Though, it is confusing at first, to figure out how to turn pages on your list of books when all the instructions you get are where to tap. But again, once you realize you can swipe left-to-right or right-to-left, not a second thought was given to the matter.

  • You can pinch to zoom in / zoom out with font size.

  • Still am awkward in highlighting text (for annotations and notes, which I like to do, and is a big plus of the e-reader, as I do not like to write in my paper books) — getting the hang of it, but if you hold your finger down too long, it results in a dictionary popover (which can be desirable too).

  • I was excited about the X-ray (a generated breakdown of all the information in the book) feature but sadly, none of the hundreds of books I have on the device feature that feature.

  • I do not subscribe to magazine and newspaper content so not much of a concern but here Thurrott is spot on, as the handling of non-book reading is a disaster.

  • But not a big a fiasco as the “Experimental” web browser that seems to have not been touched at all. I realize I am not going to do full scale web browsing on the device, but why can’t it at least scroll pages properly — swipes and taps seem to just advance a few lines instead of advancing “pages”.

Lots of negatives in there, but the e-ink display is improved a bit and for a device that sits on the nightstand (or coffee table), it’s great for reading illustration-free, little-in-the-way-of-non-free-flowing-text (i.e., charts, images, tables, etc.) books. My main concern when I submitted my pre-order was the touch responsiveness and e-ink display. And on both of those accounts, the device is more than adequate for my purposes.


9 notes

  1. thewearyblues said: It just looked way too laggy in the video reviews I saw. If you’re gonna remove hardware page-turn buttons, Amazon could’ve at least given more config. options for touch zones. I’m pretty satisfied with my 3 gen. Kindle, so I won’t be upgrading.
  2. alsson reblogged this from azspot and added:
    Love my Kindle. I still have the original. No plans to upgrade. I buy all my books for the Kindle except books with...
  3. azspot posted this

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