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by Jiří {x2} Činčura

Kindle 4 Touch review

5 Jan 2012 Amazon Kindle

When I first saw the news about new Kindle coming and being with touch support, I was calm. I didn’t seen why would somebody need touching it. You know, I’m reading on my Kindle. And I’m reading a lot (in fact, I’m reading, except technical books and papers, as you’d expect also various different genres I wouldn’t thought I’d ever read). Next page, sometimes previous page button. That’s 99% of my “hardware” interaction with my Kindle. When it first came out, again nothing. Why should I buy new one, I thought. I don’t know what happened after few weeks, but I found myself checking the new Kindle. Probably the most interesting piece for me was a missing keyboard. I’m typing probably only hundred or so characters in a month aka nothing.

Boring story for the beginning. :) Now about the Kindle 4 Touch itself.

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Although you can check the dimensions compared to Kindle 3 Keyboard, something different is feeling. Yes, it feels smaller, but also - to me - little bit heavier and also thicker. The thickness is actually good. The previous Kindle was to thin for my hands. The new one is more comfortable to hold.

There are no buttons, except one, that brings you to home screen, every time. You’re turning pages by touching right (approximately) two thirds of screen of one third on left side. Flipping also works. Touching about two centimeters on top shows you the menu (when reading a book). The touch layer is infrared layer above the screen. It has advantage of being able to register touches not only by finger, but also using i.e. pen. On the other hand, the display is little bit deeper in device (so if the light goes from side, there’s a small shadow, that I find sometimes disturbing). Multitouch is also supported, so you can i.e. change the size of letters using pinch-to-zoom gesture. I’d like to see the display after few months of usage. More cleaning will be probably necessary. :) After few weeks of using, I don’t see any problem using touch to turn pages. And because there are no buttons on sides, I can rest my thumbs on these margins without turning page accidentally from time to time as with Kindle 3.

The UI inside is similar to previous version, but improved to flow nicely with touches. I have to say, that was the part I was scared of a little when ordering. But no, the UI and touch goes hand in hand, frictionless.

But there’s one downside, I hope will be solved in next firmware version. Rotation. Right now there’s no way (or I don’t know it 8-)) to rotate the screen. Although a lot of non-Amazon publishers are now offering more and more books not only in PDF, but also in MOBI/EPUB formats, occasionally I use PDFs. In landscape mode, it’s easier to read it, especially if the PDF was (probably was) meant for printing and font size is “regular”.

The rest of Kindle properties are still there. Great display, easy to read. Simple books buying and delivery. Wireless delivery of documents. Decent speed. Long (I mean long) battery life. Etc. etc. etc.

Obbligato question at the end. Would I buy it again? Yes, I would. Do I regret it? No, I don’t.

If you have any question or something to try, feel free to ask in comments. I try to answer to my best.