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Bah, touchscreens

It looks like my ancient Kindle  has finally shuffled off.  The screen is frozen and will not unfreeze for any incantation or combination of buttons,  even when I take the battery out.  The machine itself is still working, but can only be communicated with via cable, which is no use at all.

It appears modern kindles now have touchscreens.  Is this a good idea?  I have a touchscreen on my current laptop and I am constantly accidentally brushing the thing and being carried off to places I don't want to go.  What I want from an ebook reader is the robustness of a paperback book, with free wifi.   Touchscreens do not suggest 'tough' to me.  I suppose now I shall have to decide whether I really need an ebook reader anyway.

Ironically, the Kindle died halfway through a chapter about procrastination.  HOW DID IT KNOW.

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( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
puddleshark
21st Sep, 2015 10:25 (UTC)
I have the same problem with touchscreens. I was tempted to upgrade my camera earlier this summer - until I found out that the next model up has a touchscreen, which would in my case lead to Much Cursing and random settings.

bunn
21st Sep, 2015 12:15 (UTC)
If you could at least turn the 'touch' bit off, that would be something!

what's *wrong* with actual physical buttons? I like buttons!
wellinghall
21st Sep, 2015 13:14 (UTC)
I don't know how common this is, but I can turn off the touchscreen on my camera.
puddleshark
21st Sep, 2015 15:29 (UTC)
I wasn't expecting camera manufacturers to be so sensible.

I still resent having to pay extra for touchscreen as a feature, but I might be reconciled to its existence if I never have to use it...
bunn
21st Sep, 2015 16:34 (UTC)
That's excellent! I don't think it's possible on this laptop, but I should have a rummage and check.
wellinghall
21st Sep, 2015 17:24 (UTC)
I only found out about it by chance; and was pleased when I did so, as I bought the camera despite, rather than because of, the touch screen.
ladyofastolat
21st Sep, 2015 12:30 (UTC)
I prefer my touchscreen Kindle to the shortlived non-touchscreen one which preceded it. I find it the page turning more comfortable. However, a carelessly thrown-back duvet, a passing cat's tail, a trailing sleeve or the fluttering of a nearby butterfly's wing has sometimes resulted in doing something like leaping to p351 in a completely different book, highlighting the word "and" and telling me its meaning, and suggesting four similar titles: a series of commands that remain competely impossible to replicate deliberately.
bunn
21st Sep, 2015 12:41 (UTC)
I think mine was from ... 2011? so I suppose it's done OK really. But a touch-screen one seems like it wouldn't do so well if shoved casually in a pocket. I suppose I could get a case for it.
carmarthen
21st Sep, 2015 20:47 (UTC)
I don't know about Kindles, but I have a touchscreen Android tablet and the screen is pretty durable, plus I have the whole thing in a slim folding case for protection (also props it up for movie watching on airplanes). The way the touchscreen works, it requires human skin contact, so it's not possible for a blanket or anything like that to make it do anything. I occasionally end up doing something I don't want to do, but not very often.

IME touchscreens on phones and tablets are very different and much more usable than on a vertical screen like a computer.

I'd recommend setting if you can play around with some ereaders or tablets in stores.

(Personally, I'd go with a small tablet over a branded ereader if you're not buying eInk - that way you can install apps for all booksellers + third party apps, and you're not restricted by what Amazon thinks you should be allowed to install. Plus it's easier to keep the operating system up to date.)
bunn
21st Sep, 2015 21:20 (UTC)
I do have a smartphone with a touchscreen, but it's a tad fiddly for books. Pp has an Ipad, which I loathe. I just liked the cheap plasticky resilience of the old Kindle. It looked like you could chuck it out of a window and it would bounce :-D
carmarthen
22nd Sep, 2015 07:37 (UTC)
Yeah, I don't know. The last couple ereaders I had were non-touchscreen but definitely didn't seem *that* durable.

I second the idea to look for a refurb. The only issue with that is that ime with buttons it makes a big difference where they are and it's harder to try things out physically with a refurb.
bunn
23rd Sep, 2015 19:48 (UTC)
I am thrown into a loop of I like refurbished, it is recycling! and 'but the refurbs are not that much cheaper than new ones' and looking at various desirable attributes. Of course, none of the new ones have ALL the desirable attributes in one place (waterproofness sounds excellent, but free 3g is quite handy) so I am still plunged in Technology Indecision. I can see this is going to take a while...

carmarthen
23rd Sep, 2015 22:20 (UTC)
Well, in this case you'd be going for refurb not to save money, but to get a feature that's important to you (if you can't find it in a new model). It's a tough decision all around, though!
lindahoyland
22nd Sep, 2015 03:18 (UTC)
Why not get a second hand/ refurbished kindle on ebay that isn't touchscreen?

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Refurbished-Amazon-Kindle-3-WIFI-Version-/151807882817?hash=item2358747641

Edited at 2015-09-22 03:20 (UTC)
bunn
23rd Sep, 2015 19:41 (UTC)
I've been looking at those and I would if they were just slightly cheaper. But it looks like a new one would not be that much more expensive, so that throws me into the loop of 'a new one will probably last longer'... 'but have a touchscreen'... 'but be newer so maybe have hidden advantages!'

gah! I hate buying technology. I may just live without for a bit and see if I actually miss it.
lindahoyland
23rd Sep, 2015 19:47 (UTC)
I was given a traditional Kindle by a friend in the USA who had used it well for years and I've now had it for 2 years. If you keep your eye on ebay they have bargains from folk upgrading. I am dreading when my windows 7 laptop gives up the ghost!
bunn
23rd Sep, 2015 19:52 (UTC)
Mine was OK since 2011, so it's not done too badly. Or I could buy a new screen and hope to be able to fit it. That would probably be the most environmentally friendly and cheapest option, but of course I might not be able to do it!
wosny
22nd Sep, 2015 13:52 (UTC)
I have two e-readers, a Sony, that has buttons as well, and a Kobo. I love the Kobo, it's waterproof and so I can read in the bath, and a backlit screen so I can read in the dark or poor light. I find the touch screen function very good, less erratic than the one on my computer. I think it's very similar to the Kindle, so why not try one out next time you go into a WHS? I use a sleep cover that switches it into sleep mode when I close it, which I bought cheap, online. Best luck.
bunn
23rd Sep, 2015 19:42 (UTC)
Waterproofness does sound like a good attribute. No free 3G though, which is nice to have on a Kindle.

Bah, buying technology is hard!
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )

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