Wednesday, March 27, 2013

E-Reader Series: Review of Kindle Touch from Amazon

I've mentioned a couple times in the last couple weeks about how I used my downtime to read on my Kindle. As I've been using it more, things came to mind about what I like and what I don't like, so I figured I'd do a review about my Kindle Touch.

What I Like about the Kindle Touch

Let's start off with what I like about the Kindle Touch.

It's easy to use. There are certain parts of the screen that do certain things. While reading a book, you touch the top to bring up the menu, the right side to go forward and the left side to go back. You can also swipe up and down to to move to the next chapter or previous chapter. 

See definitions of words while you read.
You can bring up the dictionary to find out what a word means. Unlike a regular book where you have to physically get out the dictionary or search online to find out the definition of a word, the Touch automatically comes with a dictionary preinstalled. To find out what a word means, just press down on the word for a couple seconds and let go. The definition will pop up in a little window. Click outside of the window to go back to reading.

Battery life. Battery life on the Touch is long, like a month. No need to charge it every day or two like with tablets. 

Read one-handed. Since the Touch is about the same size as a book (it's just a little smaller than 7-inch tablets), you can hold it in one hand to read. It also fits easily into purses, so you can easily take it with you wherever you go.

Read in direct sunlight. This one was a big reason I chose the Kindle Touch over a tablet. Where tablet screens will get washed out in sunlight (such as reading at the park or on the beach), the screen on the Kindle Touch can be read in almost any light level. It's also easier on the eyes with the e-ink display.

What I Don't Like about the Kindle Touch

Though I like it overall, there are things I don't like about the Touch. 

Can't read in no light or very low light. Just like a regular book, you can't read on the Touch if you don't have much light or any light. This typically isn't a problem, but every once in awhile it can be. This is what Paperwhite tries to eliminate. It's supposed to work in any light level from direct sunlight to no light. Of course it wasn't around when I got my Touch, or I'm sure I would have gotten it.

Not very responsive. When you're reading a book and turning from one page to the next, it works great. However, trying to get to the home screen and searching around for books, it takes quite a lot of time to think about what it wants to do. This can get annoying if you're trying to organize your book collection or are browsing around trying to decide what to read. Luckily, it doesn't affect use of the Kindle too much.

List of books. No book covers.
Not high def screen. When you use the Kindle app on your tablet or smartphone and are browsing through your library, you see these beautiful book covers that help you find something you're looking for and help you decide what to read. On the Touch, all you see are book titles, which isn't always helpful in trying to find stuff. Obviously, the Touch can't give you beautiful color pictures, but if it had a faster processor, it could probably give you at least gray scale pictures of the books, which still might help you figure out what you want to read. You pretty much have to know what you're looking for or go onto your computer or other device to find what to read and then get it on your device. 

It only comes with a charger cable that connects to your computer. This isn't huge deal because you can charge it, but if you've ever had a tablet, smartphone or other device, you know that it will charge a lot faster if it has a wall charger. You can a wall charger for your Kindle but it will cost extra ($20). 

Operating system. I am not happy with the operating system on the Kindle at all. Besides being really slow, it's really kludgy. For example, sometimes I'll be searching for a book and will search for the title. It will bring up a search results that shows all the books with those words, including the book I want. So I tap on the title, but instead of taking me to the book, it just takes me to where in the book those words are found and I have to fumble around trying to find the beginning of the book.

So am I happy with my Kindle? Would I choose it again if I did it all over again? Tune in tomorrow for a continuation of As the Kindle Turns ... I mean the continuation of my e-reader series ;).

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