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Amazon launches Kindle Touch

Smaller and lighter eReaer doesn't have a keyboard

Amazon has unveiled the Kindle Touch, a smaller and lighter eReader without the keyboard traditionally associated with the device.

According to Amazon, the silver device, which is part of a refresh of the Kindle lineup, has a 6in display that features the company's most advanced E-Ink display to date. The Kindle Touch is eight percent lighter and 11 percent smaller than previous versions of the eReader, and can store up to 3,000 books. 

See also: Amazon Kindle Fire review

The Kindle Touch uses an infrared touch system that allows users tap the screen to access menus, while pages can be turned forwards or backwards by tapping the screen on the left- or the right-hand side. Meanwhile, the X-Ray feature provides contextual information about the eBook displayed on the device. Furthermore, it benefits from text-to-speech support and Amazon claims its battery will last for one month from a single charge based upon half an hour of reading per day.

See also: Amazon Kindle Touch not available in the UK

CEO Jeff Bezos revealed the device at a press conference held in New York today where the e-tailer also unveiled its 7in Android-based tablet, the Amazon Fire.

The Kindle Touch will be priced at $99 in the US, although the e-tailer did not reveal how much the device would be priced at in other countries, including the UK.  Amazon also revealed it would offer a 3G version of the Kindle Touch, which has free 3G access that's not subject to annual charges or fees. The $149 device is available today for pre-order, and will be shipped on November 21.

“This is the top-of-the-line Kindle. We're going to sell many millions," said  Bezos after revealing the company had "set out to improve upon the book".

The etailer also revealed for those that don't want a touch-based device, a cheaper and smaller Kindle will also be made available. The 6in device will cost $79 is the US but Brits will have to fork out £89 for the device, which will be released on October 12 but is available for pre-order now. Described by Amazon as even smaller and faster than the original Kindle (it's 30 percent  lighter than before at less than 170g and 18 percent smaller), the device has built-in Wi-Fi, can store 1,400 books and also comes with WhisperSync, a function that syncs the place in your eBook across all devices so you don't have to hunt for the page you were on, and free Amazon Cloud Storage. The buttons below the display allow menus are accessed and pages to be turned, which Amazon says is 10 percent faster than before.

"We're making premium products and selling them at non-premium prices," Bezos said.  Furthermore, Bezos also revealed 11,000 public libraries in the US will lend eBooks for the Kindle.

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