Amazon unveils the Kindle Touch and Touch 3G

What else were they going to call a touchscreen Kindle?

The Kindle family accumulated a couple of finger-friendly additions today, fittingly labelled the Kindle Touch and Touch 3G. Essentially, we're looking at a couple of 6in, button-free devices that are both smaller and lighter than the current third-gen Kindle.

The design is a far cry from the matt-granite we're used to, sporting a classy silver overcoat instead. But what about the page turn buttons, we hear you say? Don't panic, it uses what Amazon is calling the "easy reach" system. Just tap on the left of the screen to go back, and tap on the right to go forward.

Its X-Ray feature has piqued our interest. Tapping on a word pulls up more than just a definition – it will pull up facts about what's happening in the book. For example, during the live demo, tapping on 'Versailles Treaty" pulled up a Wikipedia entry. You can expect speedy info deliverance, too, as Amazon will have already figured out what's relevant to your book and pulls in the necessary info along with the book before you've even made it past the first page.

Both pack 4GB of internal memory – that's enough to store 3,000 books – and battery life is a claimed two months with the wireless switched off and six weeks with it left switched on.

If you crave better connectivity, the 3G version retails for US$150, as opposed to the US$100 price tag for the 3G-free version. They can be used in over 100 countries, with no annual contract or monthly fee to tie you down. In the words of Jeff: "It's free 3G wireless"… for a one off US$50 fee for lifetime wireless data.

Pre-orders for the US start today and shipping commences on 21st November, while they're tipped for an October release here in the UK. Time to start writing those Christmas wish lists.

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