By Andrew Liszewski
It was inevitable that Amazon would at some point update their Kindle with IR-based touchscreen capabilities. Since both the Kobo and Nook have already adapted that technology with great success. But what came as a surprise at Amazon’s press conference today was an updated version of the basic wifi-only Kindle as well, that’s now just $79. For those not keeping score, that’s pretty cheap. It’s also smaller and lighter than the previous generation Kindles, which was made possible by finally letting go of the keyboard that made the original version so distinct.
The new Kindle Touch also bears a striking resemblance to the updated Kindle, minus the set of buttons across the bottom that have been replaced with the aforementioned touch interface. It also sports a larger 2-month battery—compared to ‘just’ 1 month for the Kindle—and a $99 price tag for the wifi only version. Which makes it the no-brainer choice if you’re debating between the two. Of course if you can’t live without the always-on 3G, that’s also still available for the Kindle Touch, though at $149. All of the e-ink display Kindles also come with free storage in the Amazon Cloud. Which when combined with Amazon’s large catalog of content, makes it really hard to recommend anything other than the new Kindles if you’re on the hunt for a dedicated ebook reader.