Written by: Melanie Hick
Amazon Kindle Touch
5 / 5 stars
Amazon Kindle is already the market-leading e-reader. It's light, pleasant to use, and has free 3G downloads wherever your book-reading self is in the world.
Now there's a new touchscreen version, but is it worth the £109 when a regular Kindle is £89.
It's a big fat yes. I feel bad for having bought the previous model as gifts, because this is so much easier to use.
On the regular Kindle, fiddling your way through the bookstore to tap in the title of your latest read is a drag, and one of the few complaints about the little grey novel replacement. Touching the screen is natural now that we do it on all our other devices, so it's a smart move to keep up with the times.
The new gadget also offers easy one-handed reading and page flipping. So you can, err, do something else with your other hand. No bad thing when you're trying to negotiate the tube and soak up your anonymous 'mommy porn'.
The only criticism of the Kindle is perhaps not Amazon's fault. When you're used to gorgeous, albeit heavier, Retina screens, it is archaic watching the magnetic filaments re-arrange themselves on the Kindle Touch's screen as you flip pages, or trawl book covers.
The pay off is that the Amazon Kindle Touch is super light, compared to the new Apple iPad, and that's the payoff for such a simple screen.
Amazon Kindle Touch also offers the ability to play MP3s. Would you use it for that? We're not sure, and Amazon doesn't seem to be either, which is why the MP3 player, web browser and text-to-speech functions on this new Kindle are hidden in a menu section called 'Experimental'.
I for one find life/the tube/everything distracting enough, so I don't listen to MP3s when I read. I like to think of the web as a rich, multi-coloured experience, so the greyscale version is a little sparse on this thing - you miss the puce hues of Murdoch's face at Levison on the Telegraph for a start.
Text-to-speech is a whole other level of odd. A computer voice, like Stephen Hawkings but not as smart, barks your novel at you, stripping the timbre and romance from every paragraph. This may be useful for people with vision problems, but a Stephen Fry audiobook is a much more soothing option.
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