After Hours

Amazon Kindle Touch (2011) teardown: Replaceable battery, Neonode touch screen

The Kindle Touch is a definite step up from Amazon's base model Kindle. But, the Touch's hardware specs are very similar to another popular e-book reader.

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.

Internal hardware

Our 2011 Kindle Touch had the following hardware components:

Update 12/2/2011: Added link to CNET review of Amazon Kindle Touch

About

Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...

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