By Andrew Liszewski
Whenever I show people an ebook reader their first instinct is to touch the screen to select a title or navigate a menu option. When I explain that it unfortunately doesn’t work that way, there’s always a touch of disappointment in their voice when they have to use a navigation pad or keyboard instead. Until now, touchscreen technology on an ebook reader has meant a loss of contrast and clarity with the e-ink display, but not with Kobo’s new eReader Touch which uses ‘Infrared Touch Technology’ instead. They don’t go into too much detail on how it works, but it of course involves infrared sensors, presumably hidden beneath the e-ink display.
Besides gaining a simple and cleaner home button beneath its 6-inch display, in lieu of the large navigation button the Kobo has been known for, their eReader Touch now allows users to do everything from turning pages to typing on an on-screen keyboard to highlighting text to even panning and zooming PDF files (finally!) using their fingers. It’s not only a welcomed addition to the ereader market, but it’s also the kind of thing you wonder how we ever lived without. The Kobo eReader Touch even incorporates a new 16-level grayscale Pearl e-ink display, while maintaining the same battery life of the previous models. All for just $130 ($139 CDN) available in June.