Inspired by Sony's line of Readers, Kobo today announced the Kobo WiFi Touch Edition, a touch-screen-equipped version of its Kobo eReader.
By adding a touch screen the Kobo Touch alters the unintuitive nature of e-reader page turning by ditching buttons in favor of more intuitive touch-based gestures. Pages can now be turned by swiping across the reader's screen rather than by the press of a button, a significant departure from how the Kindle works.
The move to touch screen input comes with a number of other compelling improvements. Via the Kobo Touch's integrated dictionary, Kobo users can press and hold on-screen words to get their meanings - a major improvement over the Kindle's directional pad-based navigation. Text input is sticking around, now relegated to an on-screen touch-based keyboard.
Likewise, by ridding the Kobo eReader of its directional button, Kobo was able to streamline the face of the device. Still, it's something of a disappointing move that Kobo did not capitalize on the design change by increasing the size of the device's screen. Like its predecessor, the Kobo Touch's screen is the same size as its predecessor, though it is built with the latest generation of E-Ink's Pearl display.
The Kobo Touch will sell for $129 when it makes it's way to stores in early June. Kobo has already opened pre-orders for the device.