I find that for almost all of the screen it only needs a very light touch, presumably because the IR sensors don't need any pressure.
Your post stimulated me to do some more testing, revealing that there's something very curious about this particular dead band (please bear in mind that I'm very new to this device, so what I'm writing here may eventually turn out to be nonsense).
Normally, if you hold your finger on, say, the right-hand side of the screen and you then touch anywhere else on the screen with a second finger, the unit pages forward. In other words, the first "down" in any sequence seems to determine the nature of the action, and the unit ignores any subsequent "downs", but acts on any subsequent "ups", until it detects an "up" at the same location on the screen as the original "down".
If I'm holding a finger somewhere other than in the dead band on my unit (i.e. the first "down" is outside the dead band), it will respond to subsequent touches even within the dead band. Conversely, if I hold my finger within the dead band (i.e. the first "down" is within the dead band), the unit ignores any touches anywhere else on the screen. So it certainly looks as if it's detecting touches within the dead band, but it's processing these events differently from touches elsewhere on the screen.
All of which suggests that jackastor is quite right, and that there's a firmware issue here.