I’ve written before that the Kindle Touch is the best Kindle for students. But for me, I’m sticking with my trusty Kindle 3 (now known as the Kindle Keyboard).
Why? Here are three reasons I’m staying away from the Kindle Touch:
1. The touch capability decreases immersive reading. The whole point of the Kindle is to promote deep reading with no distractions. That’s why I don’t even try to read on my iPad. (That’s also why the Kindle Fire is not a true reading device.) Even though you can’t do too much with the Kindle Touch’s interactive display, there’s still the chance for distraction. By having to touch the screen to advance pages, the link between you and the author is interrupted.
2. There’s no shortcut for text-to-speech. One of my favorite things to do is to listen to current events on my Kindle during my morning commute. With the Kindle Keyboard, starting up the text-to-speech feature is a snap: Just press Shift-Sym. With the Kindle Touch, however, there are three steps, which makes things much harder when backing up on my driveway.
3. The speakers on the Kindle Touch aren’t as loud. Several people disagree with me on this point, particularly after the Kindle Touch’s 5.0.3 update. But I confirmed with an Amazon representative that the speakers on the Touch are not as loud as those on the Kindle Keyboard. Again, this limits my ability to listen to the Kindle in the car. When plugged into the auxiliary port, the Touch’s maximum volume does not get loud enough for me to hear when I’m driving on the freeway.
Yes, these are pretty small reasons to prefer the Kindle Keyboard over the Kindle Touch. (They make me seem more like a listener than a reader.) And, I must say, there are many things that the Kindle Touch does better — like looking up words and highlighting. That’s why it’s the best device for my students. But for me, who loves the text-to-speech feature, I’m sticking with the Kindle Keyboard…for now.