At the same time Amazon launched the Kindle Fire tablet, it also introduced three new Kindle e-ink readers--the Kindle, Kindle Touch, and Kindle Touch 3G. I've cracked open the Kindle Fire and 2011 Kindle. All that's left is the Kindle Touch.
The Touch has an 800MHz ARM Cortex-A8 processor, 6" E Ink multi-touch display (600 x 800), and 4GB of storage. It supports Wi-Fi and lets you listen to audio content via its two internal speakers or 3.5mm headphone jack. The Touch measures 4.7" (W) x 6.8" (H) x 0.4" (D) and weighs 7.5 ounces.
As of this writing, the 2011 Kindle Touch is available for $99.00 (with Special Offers) and $139 (without Special Offers). The 3G version of the Touch is available for $149 (with Special Offers) and $189 (without Special Offers).
The Kindle Touch is a definite step up from Amazon's entry-level Kindle, but it's evenly matched with the 2011 Nook, both in hardware and in price. Deciding between the Kindle Touch and the Nook comes down to whether you want the Kindle's ability to play audio content or the Nook's expandable storage? And, whether you prefer buying content from Amazon or Barnes & Noble?CNET Reviews: Amazon Kindle Touch (with Special Offers, Wi-Fi)
Cracking Open analysis
- Similar to the Barnes & Noble Nook: Both devices use 6" electronic paper displays, 800 MHz ARM Cortex-A8 processors, and Neonode's zForce touchscreen system. As of this writing, they both cost $99 (US). On the flip side, the Nook has a microSD card slot, and the Kindle doesn't. And, the Kindle has built-in speakers and a headphone jack, which the Nook lacks.
- Step up from the base Kindle: The Kindle Touch uses the same processor, power management IC, and Wi-Fi package as the regular 2011 Kindle. But, it has twice as much storage capacity, a multi-touch screen, and comes in a 3G model.
- Replaceable battery: Lastly, the Kindle Touch's battery is easily replaced once the back cover is removed.
Our 2011 Kindle Touch had the following hardware components:
- Prime View International (PVI) 6-inch ED060SCG E Ink Display
- 3.7V, 1,420mAh (5.25Wh) Li-ion Polymer Battery (Model: S2011-002-A)
- Macronix MX25U4035ZNI memory chip
- 800MHz ARM Cortex-A8 Freescale Semiconductor i.MX508 Multimedia Applications Processor with integrated Electronic Paper Display Controller (MCIMX508CVK8B)
- Samsung K4X2G323PC-8GD8 DDR SDRAM
- 4GB SanDisk SDIN5C2-4G NAND Flash memory module
- Freescale Semiconductor MC13892 Power Management Integrated Circuit (M1382AJ CTPQ128R)
- Texas Instruments SN92009 Power Management IC (SN92009 A4 TI 19IL A3RR G4)
- Wolfson WM8962 Audio Codec (WM8962E 19BRKBC)
- Qualcomm Atheros AR6103 Wi-Fi package (AR6103T-BM2D)
- Texas Instruments M430F2272 16-bit Ultra-Low-Power Microcontroller
- NXP 74HC4067 16-channel analog multiplexer/demultiplexer (HC4067BQ L1E8R024 UnD138E)
- National Semiconductor LVM654 12MHz, Low Voltage, Low Power Amplifier (VM16AH LMV65 4MT)
- Texas Instruments YF04E TI 18K AGHQ
- Texas Instrument CEF TI J 15YN
Bill Detwiler has nothing to disclose. He doesn't hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. He was most recently Managing Editor for TechRepublic Pro. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop support specialist in the social research and energy industries. He has bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Louisville, where he has also lectured on computer crime and crime prevention.