• EEVblog #226 – Kindle Touch Review

    Dave reviews the 4th Generation Amazon Kindle Touch Ebook Reader.
    See the previous Kindle Non-Touch Review here:

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      • Kayo King

        Dave, if you think the Kindle Touch is the best, you need to try the Sony PRS-T1. But you’re and Amazon affiliate right?

        • http://www.eevblog.com EEVblog

          Being an Amazon affiliate has nothing to do with it.
          What ebook stores does the Sony PRS-T1 work with? Sony’s store which is what, maybe #3 or #4 or something?
          It won’t work with the amazon book store.
          I like the amazon store and already have an account there, so it’s convenient, and I like the way it works seamlessly and integrates with my reading experience and those of others.
          If someone wants to send me a Sony PRS-T1, I’ll review. If it works better than the Kindle, I’ll use it.
          But it doesn’t sound great based on other reviews:

        • http://make-something.com JRR

          I had a Sony reader for a few years, and I have friends who have Sonys. IMO Sony needs to get with the program. Their readers are OK but they’re not that special, and they are way too proud of them given the price.

          I have a Nook simple touch reader and I love the thing. The Kindle looks good too but I don’t like to go there due to their marriage to DRM and the fact that they seem intent to lock down the Fire very hard and keep it from being rooted. They also play these ad-supported games, yuck.

          My favorite thing about the Kindle Touch is that they made Barnes & Noble take the price of the Nook STR down to $99 :)

      • http://sven.killig.de/ Sven Killig

        It’s an IR touchscreen, therefore no contrast reduction.

        > The Kindle Touch has an accelerometer and proximity sensor (and a mic, but we know that) but they aren’t used in the software (yet).

        @Kayo King:
        I bought one for my parents. Funny Android tablet after rooting :-)

        • http://make-something.com JRR

          Yup, there’s nothing overlaying the screen. This is the same touch technology that’s used by Sony and Nook. IR around the border. It’s also why the thing is a bit thicker, it needs a tiny bit of elevation on the bezel to fit the IR touch sensors in.

          Older Sony touch readers used resistive overlays and they did cause significant contrast reduction.

      • http://www.mostlysilicon.com MostlyCarbon

        Hi there,

        I’m curious about the many “one-hung-low” brand tablets and e-readers I’ve seen advertised for as low as $60. Color 7″ tablets running android as low as $120. These should have adequate power to run the e-reader software. The one thing I’ve noticed is a lot of the cheap ones in the 7″ size have 480×800 rather than 600×800 which I imagine makes a big difference in the way small text looks.

        Any plans to review a ‘knock-off’?

        Keep up the awesome work.

        • http://make-something.com JRR

          Some friends at work and I have bought Android tablets for as little as $120, and the current generation with capacitive touch screens are actually fine. The latest is an Ainol Novo 8 and the owner loves it (it’s her 2nd tablet).
          The price to be paid for cheap tablets is battery life. They typically last about 4 hours on a charge, maybe 6. If I could find A 6″ or 7″ tablet (10″ is waaaay too big) that had the battery life and form factor of the Nook Tablet, 11 hours when reading, 9 when watching movies, I’d buy that sucker immediately.
          I actually bought a Nook tablet last week and I liked it for what it was, great form factor, great battery life, but it’s locked down (though is rootable) and their app store is too skinny. I returned it. If I’m going to root a tablet I might as well just buy an Android tablet anyway.

          The Kindle Fire need not apply since they apparently are dead set to keep it from being rooted; they’ve released updates immediately every time it’s been rooted so far. The Nook Color is basically a tablet and it was rooted almost immediately a year ago when released and B&N hasn’t bothered locking that door.

        • http://make-something.com JRR

          Thing is, a tablet is really not that great of an ebook reader. It’s a great multipurpose device and is an OK ebook reader, but there’s nothing that beats e-ink right now for reading comfort.

        • http://www.eevblog.com EEVblog

          The problem with all tablets is simply battery life, they all suck.
          The compelling feature of the Kindle and other e-readers with E-Ink display is the battery life.
          Plus the screen is much easier to read indoors and out.
          IMO that makes E-Ink display readers infinitely better than tablets.
          The cheap OneHungLow tablets would likely have a cheap and crap batteries that wouldn’t last long at all, in run time, or shelf life I suspect.

      • Bob


        If you don’t plan to buy anything from the Amazon store, you can buy a Kindle Touch with special offers at a local store, and not register it. This will prevent any ads from showing up, and you will get the fancy pictures when you turn off your device. I know the ads aren’t too bad, but it’s nice to have an ad-free Kindle Touch for $100. If you end up wanting to buy a book from the Amazon store, you can just download it to your computer and transfer it with a cable.

      • Drone

        In the non-touch Kindle, supporting landscape or portrait screen modes is trivial, because all the navigation is done by buttons, not by screen taps and gestures.

        In the Kindle Touch you would need two separate user input state machines, one for portrait and one for landscape – which would seem a trivial problem. In reality, if the software for supporting touch wasn’t written from the outset with consideration for easily supporting different screen geometries (e.g., portrait or landscape), I can see where this would cause nightmares.

        No screen rotation in the Touch is a deal-killer for me. I need it for .pdf data-sheets and for using the Web browser.

        One can only hope Amazon updates the firmware and adds rotation support. After all – why include an accelerometer in the thing if there is no plan to use rotation mode?

        Thanks for the Review Dave… David in Jakarta

        • http://www.eevblog.com EEVblog

          Ah, good point on why they don’t allow screen rotation. Sounds very plausible.

      • Nick Gammon

        Where did you find the ad-free version Dave? Amazon won’t ship the ad-free Kindle Touch to Australia, and the only local places I have found that advertise it have it advertised as with “Special Offers and Sponsored Screen Savers”.

        I couldn’t see one at Dick Smith, and using their search engine for “kindle touch” shows up a few Kindles with buttons, and then a lot of iPod Touches . Even quoting “kindle touch” made no difference to their search engine.

        One Australian web site that sells the Kindle Touch (with ads) says this: “The Kindles with Special Offers and Sponsored Screen Savers are newer than the ones without it and in our own experience they have fewer problems and issues than the old ones. The rate of returns is significantly less for Kindles with Sponsored Screen Savers. They do not obstruct your reading and they are only displayed when you are not reading the device.”

        Looks like you need to have ads to have “fewer problems”. Oh well, I’ll stick to ordinary books that don’t have ads.

        • http://www.eevblog.com EEVblog

          Mine is the ad supported version, direct from Amazon.

      • Mike Kawasaki

        Just saw the Kindle Keyboard 3G (with ads) at Target (US) on sale for $99. It is very tempting. Amazed that they can sell for such a low price.

        My daughter got one for Christmas. She loves it. As everyone has already mentioned, the e-ink screen is superior for reading. I no longer use my iPad for reading — and just “borrow” hers after she goes to bed.

        @ $99 going to get one for myself.

        p.s. Target web site won’t sell Kindle. You have to go into the store for the special price. I live in the Bay Area.

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