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Preview: Amazon Kindle Touch 3G

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A Quick Look at Amazon’s First Touchscreen E-Ink Reader
Preview: Amazon Kindle Touch 3G
Image © Amazon

With competitors Sony, Barnes & Noble and Kobo all offering touchscreen e-readers, it’s no surprise that Amazon included touchscreen E-Ink readers during its honking huge product reveal in the fall of 2011. Those would be the Kindle Touch and Kindle Touch 3G.

As with other Amazon E-Ink readers, the touchscreen Kindles have two different pricing options. The Kindle Touch 3G sells for $189 or $149 for a version that shows ads on the screen when users are not reading Kindle books. The non 3G version is priced $149 or $99 for the ad-supported version.

Both readers are pretty much the same device except one only has Wi-Fi while the other has Wi-Fi and 3G. Below are the specs and features for the Kindle Touch with 3G:

  • Display: With the exception of its touch capability, the Kindle Touch 3G’s display is practically similar to its sibling, the Kindle 4. The device has a 6-inch, black-and-white E-Ink Pearl display with high contrast and 16-level grayscale. The display also uses Amazon’s proprietary waveform and font technology for faster page refreshing and sharper text. Pixel resolution is 600 by 800 at 167 points per inch.
  • Dimensions: Size-wise, the Kindle Touch 3G is slightly bigger than the Kindle 4 at 6.8 inches or 173 millimeters tall and 4.7 inches or 119 millimeters wide. Thickness is 0.40 inches or 10 mm. Weight is 7.8 ounces or 220 grams.
  • Online and wireless features: The device features Wi-Fi and can connect to the Amazon Kindle Store wirelessly. It also has HSDPA modem for 3G connectivity with a fallback to EDGE/GPRS via AT&T. The device can link with Amazon’s cloud storage service. Users can access the Web via a proprietary browser.
  • Connectors and formats: The Kindle Touch 3G uses as USB 2.0 micro-B connector and also has a 3.5 mm stereo audio jack (it has rear stereo speakers for folks who don’t use headphones). Natively supported formats listed by Amazon are Kindle (AZW), TXT, PDF, AA, AAX, MP3, unprotected MOBI and PRC. Formats supported via conversion are HTML, DOC, DOCX, JPEG, GIF, PNG and BMP.
  • Memory: The device features 4GB of internal memory, about 3GB of which can be used for user content. The space translates to about 3,000 e-books according to Amazon. Free storage also is available through Amazon’s cloud service for Amazon content.
  • Battery and charging: Battery life is rated at up to 3 weeks with wireless turned on constantly. Turn it off and Amazon says you’ll get up to 2 months but that’s based on 30 minutes of daily reading. Charging a fully drained device takes about 4 hours.
  • Other features: The Kindle Touch 3G uses Amazon’s Whispersync technology, which synchronizes your bookmarks, annotations and the last page you read across all your Kindle devices. Fonts come in three sizes and eight types. Controls are handled primarily via touch. You can tap to turn pages or tap words to call up definitions. A virtual keyboard also is available.

For more Kindle details, visit our Kindle Hub.

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