Kindle Touch vs. Kindle Fire

The phenomenon that is the Kindle continues apace with the release of the US of the Kindle Touch and the Kindle Fire. I bought a Kindle Touch on a recent trip and I like it very much. It’s a touch screen whereby the pages are turned by brushing or tapping the screen, font size is changed by ‘pinching’ and there is one physical button at the bottom to return you to your list of books. There is a wifi version or a more expensive wifi+3G, and I suspect the latter will prove very popular. The screen uses eInk and is still black and white but it is a nice step on from Kindle Keyboard.

The Kindle Fire is a slightly different beast. It seems to be marketed in the US as an eBook reader with apps for reason, but it is a tablet. It has an eReader but also music and video options, as well as games and other apps. It is slightly smaller than a standard Kindle and is very smooth to use. Crucially the price is very competitive, and by coming in a mere $199 it is setting itself up as an inexpensive competitor to the iPad. However, for my needs it wasn’t the right choice. I simply wanted an eBook reader with a long battery life. The Kindle Touch battery lasts at least a month with wifi off, while the Fire has a diminutive life of 8 hours due to its glossy colour screen and high resolution – this is why I say it’s a tablet rather an eBook reader. Another downside for me is that the Fire is backlit, making it harder to read in direct sunlight. Some people will argue that I can’t read my Touch in darkness, but I must confess that I have never needed to so I can’t see it being a problem.

So those are the two new offerings from Amazon which will (hopefully) be winging their way to the UK at some point. It is hard to compare the Kindle family with each other as Amazon have done a good job of giving each Kindle a different strength, so a new buyer just needs to think about what it is they need to do in order to identify the most appropriate product (eg do you want to mostly read books? Go for the Kindle basic or Touch. Do you want to mostly read newspapers or children’s books? Go for the Fire, etc). There is a nice little comparison here too – – for anyone who is still undecided about which Kindle they would go for given the chance.

Catherine Robertson

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4 Responses to Kindle Touch vs. Kindle Fire

  1. Jo Alcock says:

    I had a look at a Kindle Fire whilst I was over in the US a few weeks ago and came away feeling exactly the same as you – that it’s more of a tablet rather than an ereader. I hadn’t come across the article comparing the different types before so thanks for sharing the link – obviously focused at US market but still useful to pass on to those considering getting a Kindle and not sure which model to go for.

  2. Hi Jo – thanks for your comment. I was struggling to make a choice in the shop, and didn’t entirely trust the salesperson to offer impartial advice so I did some research before commiting to a Touch. I think the Fire is very interesting and will be watching its development closely (especially as I want to see how many apps it ends up with) as I think I will probably get one when/if it is released in the UK, especially if the price remians so competitive!

    • Jo Alcock says:

      Yes, it’s strange that there hasn’t been any news of a UK launch (not that I’ve heard of anyway). I know we’re usually behind the US but it’s strange not to hear anything. I’m imagining it’s the network use that’s the problem – I love having Whispernet on my Kindle (keyboard model) but still don’t really know how they can offer internet access for free!

  3. HI,
    Thanks for sharing the post. I think this post might guide eReader and tablet buyers.

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