Amazon’s shift from keyboards to touch isn’t quite wholescale, but fingers are definitely the way forward for the new Kindle range. We’ve just grabbed some hands-on time with the Amazon Kindle Touch and Touch 3G at the retailer’s launch event today, and there’s a lot to like about how compact the ereaders have become now that they’ve shed the physical ‘boards.
The dimensions on paper – 6.8 x 4.7 x 0.4 inches – belie how the Kindle Touch actually feels in your hands. It’s an ounce lighter than the freshly-christened Kindle Keyboard (aka the old Kindle 3) but the best thing we can say is that you quickly lose sight of the device itself and focus on the screen.
The touch navigation – with the majority of the display used to move forward through ebooks, and a narrow strip on the left of it to move back – works well, and page refreshes are fast (for E Ink technology, anyway). The on-screen keyboard is no worse than the underwhelming buttons were on the Kindle 3, and the UI has been cleaned up a little too.
In short, it’s what we like about Kindle – the focus on reading – with less of the surrounding clutter. Check out the hands-on gallery for more.