So the Kindle Touch has shipped. I received mine this morning, but I am sure there are others who took the second day shipping and got theirs possibly as early as Monday or Tuesday.
So far, I’ve found two and possibly three issues with the Touch that I might find to be of long-term annoyance.
The touch sensitivity on the screen is a bit ornery and I’m not sure that this is because I had only just booted my brand new Touch or whether it is something that will perpetuate throughout the life of the device. I tapped on the search bar and got no response. Typically, I tapped again and still got nothing. Knowing how touch screens can be, I waited a few moments and saw that both taps on the search bar had indeed registered and then processed in a delayed fashion. Gamers call this lag, us Kindle lovers just call it annoying.
The second issue I noticed was with the on-screen keyboard. The second thing I did after booting my new Kindle Touch, was to connect it to my WiFi network. (The first thing I did was just hold it and feel the weight of it in my hand). Our WiFi network is locked and requires a password to connect. So I had to bring up the on-screen keyboard and type in the password. This happens automatically when there is text to enter. Once connected to the network, I returned to the home screen by pressing the one physical button the Kindle Touch possesses and found that the on-screen keyboard had left a ghost of itself on the screen. I can see where this is going to become quite annoying later on while reading and getting to the bottom of the page.
To their credit, the Kindle settings has an option to “Refresh the E Ink display with every page turn”, but we all know how disruptive those page refreshes can be. I guess what we have to decide, now, is which is more annoying: reading with the ghostly image of a keyboard behind the text, or tolerating a page refresh every page turn.
Finally, the screen isn’t immune to fingerprints. My fingers happen to be slightly more greasy than normal about now and I have left some awful smudges on the screen of the Kindle Touch. While they aren’t interfering with the reading experience so much, they are quite the aesthetic wart-on-the-face.
Don’t get me wrong either, I understand fully that a touch device is going to have screen smudge issues – there just isn’t any real way to get around that just yet. However, that it is irrirtaing to see is something I had to mention … and it is irritating. But like with the page refreshes, one has to weigh the pros and cons and decide whether one is willing to put up with finger smudges to have a touch screen device, or go back to the awkward keyboard and joystick sort of interface that the Kindle and Kindle keyboard have to offer.
All in all, I am extremely happy with my Kindle Touch. Thankful to have made the plunge and stayed with Amazon and their device, I did notice that Black Friday deals at Barnes and Noble have the Nook Touch price slashed to $79 and I can’t help but wonder how many people will realize they can spend the same $79 for essentially the Kindle Touch without offers equivalent from the other big guy in the industry.