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Almost two weeks ago (at the time of writing this review; October 2012) I received an email from Amazon, showing off the Kindle Paperwhite. I recently purchased the Kindle Touch in August, and my initial reaction to seeing Amazon replace the UK market with this device so quickly was not positive. Being unaware of the US-exclusive existence of the PaperWhite, I took some time to read reviews about the new features, and immediately realised that this was what I wanted from my Kindle Touch. The additional features in this upgrade seemed sufficient to justify the purchase and soon after, I pre-ordered Amazon's latest offering.

*FIRST IMPRESSIONS*

-The Kindle Paperwhite ships in its original box and was highly nostalgic of the Kindle Touch. On opening the box, the Paperwhite is the first thing you see, wrapped in a plastic film cover. A usb cable and quick start guide are also included.

-The home button is gone, replaced by a Kindle logo. Also, the device is very slightly thinner than the Touch, but any difference is hardly noticeable.

-The bezel is noticeably smaller in width, with the screen now also sitting more flush.

-The device itself is very slick, and generally looks and feels more classy and elegant than the Touch. It has a slate-black finish, with a rubber-like material on the back to aid grip during long reading sessions (although I have housed my Kindle in a cover).

*LIGHT GUIDE AND SCREEN RESOLUTION*

-Arguably, the biggest selling point for this new Kindle is the amazing built-in light. I can imagine that most existing Kindle owners would upgrade for this alone. Light brightness is adjusted by a slider accessed at the top of the screen.

-Amazon have also increased the screen resolution/pixel density to 220 PPI. This works out to be 62% more pixels than the Touch. In actuality, I could not notice much of a difference, especially when the screen brightness was fully dimmed. However, there is a noticeable difference when screen brightness is maxed out, providing greater contrast.

-The native (unlit) screen background is essentially the same colour as previous models, with the `Paperwhite' only becoming apparent when brightness is increased. However, when screen brightness is on the highest setting, I have noticed some uneven light distribution along the bottom of the screen. This does not personally affect my reading experience, but some may find it distracting.

*IMPROVED TOUCH SCREEN*

-The Kindle Papwerwhite's 6" touch screen has been enhanced, and now uses 'capacitative touch', instead of previous generation Kindles that use 'Infra Red touch'. Simply put, this change translates to a more accurate touch sensor, resulting in smoother page turns and more specific touches in general. Although the touch response is not as effective as my iPad, I have found the difference to be much better than the kindle Touch.

-Typing is definitely easier than the Touch, due to the improved capabilities of the new touch screen. There is less delay from pressing characters to them appearing on screen and typing accuracy is also increased.

*OTHER NEW FEATURES*

-The biggest change is apparent once you turn the Kindle on, with a complete overhaul on the user interface. Books are now displayed with a book cover icon, as opposed to the text format of previous generations. A negative point I can raise here is that book 'recommendations' (ads) appear at the bottom of the screen. There is an option to revert to the old menu interface from the Kindle Touch; I prefer this option as it doesn't show these book suggestions from Amazon.

-There are now six different font styles to choose from, with eight adjustable sizes.

-Bookmarks, notes/annotations and the dictionary are all still present, and work as efficiently as before.

-One feature I really found to be welcome was the ability to see how much time is left until the next chapter. The time remaining is intuitively calculated by the Kindle, based on your previous reading speed.

-Although I have not yet had the device for long enough to comment on the battery life, Amazon claims 8 weeks, which is identical to the Touch. However, I have used the device for a few hours now, and not noticed any decline in the battery icon.
*edit: Okay, after owning this device for almost 4 months now, I can say that the battery life is every bit as good as the Kindle Touch. I read on the PW for ~8-10 hrs per week (medium to low light), and am currently doing a full charge (with a usb mains plug) every 3-4 weeks (although I could push this to 5 if I depleted the battery completely)* I should also add, that battery is only affected when turning pages and refreshing the screen, not when static images are displayed.

-Although certain features have been lost (see cons), the Kindle Paperwhite still retains wikipedia support and web browsing (which is very basic indeed).

-I would also highly recommend the official Amazon case, which I ordered with my Kindle PW. The Kindle fits in nicely and is very secure, allowing you to wake the Kindle from sleep mode when the cover is opened.

*NEGATIVE POINTS*

-I was a tad disappointed with the loss of the stereo speakers. This results in no text-to-audio feature and no audiobooks.

-Also gone are the headphone jack and mp3 payer.

-On board memory has been slashed from 4GB in the Touch to 2GB with the Paperwhite. Amazon provides justification for this by allowing readers to take advantage of Amazon's cloud based storage. With the removal of mp3 and audio playback, this reduction is not much of an issue, as 2GB is still plenty of space to store around 1000 e-Books.

*CONCLUSION*

With the tablet march on the rise, I am glad that there is still a huge market for dedicated e-readers. People often ask why I own both an iPad and Kindle, when I have the ability to read Kindle books on tablets. Yes, the Kindle is low tech when compared to tablets, but I feel that this is an unfair comparison. The Kindle is an excellent device for 'reading', with no distractions, an intuitive interface, paper-like visuals and a very small learning curve.

Although the new features of the Kindle are highly recommended, I will sorely miss audio books, mp3 playback and text to audio. If you did not fully utilise these features, I would strongly recommend the Kindle Paperwhite. However, if listening to audiobooks and mp3s on your Kindle is important, you may wish to weigh the pros and cons of this new device.

On a personal note, I am content with my new Kindle, and will just listen to mp3s on my phone during train journeys whilst enjoying the Paperwhite's gorgeous screen! If you have taken the time to read this review in its entirety, you must love reading. Do yourself (and the books you love!) justice and order the Kindle Paperwhite today; this nifty gadget will not fail you.
164164 comments|5,584 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 7 December 2012
For a start, don't get me wrong, the Paperwhite is just a fabulous e-book. The constantly lit screen means I can read anywhere without an external light and without having to move to a spot near the window etc. It really increases my reading pleasure and I have bought a lot more books because of it. The Amazon case is also just fantastic, fitting perfectly and turning the Paperwhite off when you close the lid. I appreciate the faster page turning but I don't notice the extra screen resolution. The battery life is excellent.

Now the downside. The touch screen, although it doesn't seem to get dirty (like my iPod does), takes quite a lot of getting used to and I quite often find I have somehow gone to the index by mistake which is annoying. In this case press the menu at the top and use the < key to return to your previous page. You are best to swipe rather than just touch the screen for page turns. I really miss the buttons at the side for forwards and backwards which are nearly perfect on the standard Kindle (a little too large on the Keyboard as it is quite easy to change page by mistake). The touch screen makes it quite awkward to use the Paperwhite one handed as you need to be able to touch both sides of the screen and not just the buttons on one side. The lack of these buttons means that I can't use the Paperwhite in my waterproof cover that I use for reading in the bath.

At night the LEDs are noticable at the bottom of the page and, on a blank page such as the beginning of a chapter, there are barely visible horizontal lines all the way down the page which I presume are to evenly spread the light, but I can't really say that either of these are really annoying, the horizontal lines are not visible on a full page of text.

So, and I'm obviously a Kindle fan as between me and my spouse we have three, the Keyboard is obviously easier (but only just) to type on, I never use the 3G function - why bother when wifi is so much quicker and easier? The ordinary Kindle is an excellent product but, if I had to choose just one it would be the Paperwhite. Allow yourself time to get used to it, it is not a device which you can turn on and use like my other two Kindles and I still have to go back to the internet instructions when I come across something I can't do.
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on 27 October 2012
I was looking forward to the Kindle Paperwhite sooo much I originally pre-ordered one from the states until I read about the unexpected UK release. I love my current Kindle and originally the only reason I was looking to upgrade is because I read a lot in complete darkness (when my wife is asleep) or in very low light. I used a Mightybright clip on light with my old Kindle and this worked pretty well but it eats through a couple of batterys every few weeks and is not very convenient.

So I received my Kindle Paperwhite in the post this week, thank you for the quick delivery Amazon! I'm not a big fan of wordy Amazon reviews so I'll use points below so I don't bore you to death!

Things I love:

+ The build quality of the Kindle itself feels very good
+ The new Kindle menu system is nice
+ The touch screen is brilliant, very responsive (not sure how this compares to the old touch as my old Kindle is non touch)
+ The resolution of the text is noticeably improved
+ The new time to finish chapter and book feature (not needed but its fun)

Things I don't love:

- In complete darkness or low light I have a green'ish shadow\smudge from the top right of my Kindle to the middle left, I also have a brighter pinkish smudge below this green shadow
- The unevenness of the light under dark or very low light conditions in general

Things that could be improved:

- The shadows from the lights at the bottom, they don't really bother me as they don't cover too much text but I would imagine this could and should be improved on
- I don't mind the suggested books at the bottom of the main cover view page, but why don't you incorporate the 99p book of the day in to this? I'm actually interested in the book of the day and it would be great to have this as a shortcut on the Paperwhite somewhere.

So I am torn.. I read so much in darkness and low light that the green shadow and the uneven screen bothers me. If I turn the light right up the shadow doesn't look so bad but then the screen is so bright that it lights up the room and hurts my eyes after a while. To be honest the old Mightybright clip on light was much better.

If I only used the device in normal lighting conditions I would love it! As it stands I might send it back and buy try a Kobo Glo or maybe get a replacement.

-------------------------------------------------

Update 1: Ok I have decided I like the new Paperwhite enough to try and get a replacement device. I called customer services today and have a replacement being sent out. I really hope that the screen on the replacement is better as I want to love it as much as my old one!

Update 2: Well the new Kindle arrived today, nice and fast replacement yay! Unfortunately the replacement is no better, doh! It's got a more of a yellow hue to the screen, it still has faint greeny shadows and uneven brighter areas just in different areas to my original. Oh and the shadows at the bottom are higher up than the original, oddly the brightness levels are different as well (the lowest brightness setting is darker). So it appears that each Paperwhite is a bit unique like a one off! I'm not going to bother getting a third sent out as I guess this is how they are.. maybe I'm just fussy!? So I'll either keep the original or buy a Kobo! Anyone know what the return policy is on Kobo's?

Update 3: Amazon offered to send out a third replacement, I declined and I'm going to stick with the original paperwhite device for now. I did look at a Kobo Glo and the light does seem really nice and even but the text looks slightly more washed out with a little less less contrast. If the green shadowing still annoys me after another week of reading I'll return it and buy a Kobo. I hope you all have better luck with your devices!

Final Update: I haven't been able to get used to the uneven screen so I'm returning it and I have purchased a Kobo Glo. I'm really gutted as I loved most of the Paperwhite, just hated the uneven lighted screen when reading in the dark! Just for info the Kobo Glo light 'is' much better but the text is slightly washed out by the light, the Kindle overall is a better device for many reasons but as the reading light is very important for me the Kobo is more suitable.

I have added a couple of images (sorry about the low quality) so that potential buyers can better see what I am talking about.. hope this helps! Link is http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/customer-media/permalink/mo1PZC2T0FAF6RW/B007OZO03M/ref=cm_ciu_images_pl_link
review image
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on 4 November 2012
I was so excited when I saw that Amazon had announced the Paperwhite as I hate having really bright lights on in a room when I'm reading, but I struggled to read my Kindle Keyboard in slightly dimmed indoor lighting. Was very disappointed when it was only planned to be be released in the US so started looking at getting the Touch, but after reading tepid reviews on it I thought I may as well wait as I knew Amazon would eventually bring the Paperwhite over here. SOOOOOOOOOOOOO glad I waited!
I was a little disappointed that the memory was less than the Keyboard and I was very apprehensive about having no buttons whatsoever. Now I've been using it since the release day (seriously fast delivery!), the lower memory capacity has made no difference to me and I have gotten used to the touch screen, which is very quick, responsive and easy to use.
I love the sleek black design and feels very comfortable to hold, both weight wise and feel of the casing. The black makes the screen seem even whiter and the contrast even better. The resolution increase is amazing and very obvious coming from the Kindle Keyboard.
On mine, the front light is very even and has no colour blotches anywhere, and I looked very thoroughly in the dark to make sure! The 4 grey patches at the bottom of the screen between the four LED's are apparent and more so when the light is on its brightest setting, but it doesn't affect my reading as its only over the progress info.
For the next kindle it would be great if it was a bit lighter and thinner as I have it in the Amazon case the majority of the time, which adds a lot of weight and thickness to it. And if they could get rid of the grey patches at the bottom of the screen and improve the overall consistency of the light on all Kindle Paperwhite's, then it would be perfect.
Would have liked to add another half star cos I love it so much!
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on 10 August 2013
I own an iPad that I hoped to use for reading, but I found that it was too heavy on the wrists to hold for any period of time, and worse, that I would get easily distracted by emails, the internet, games, videos, etc.

My Kindle Paperwhite solved both of these problems: It's extremely light and easy to hold with one hand, and there's no way to get distracted by other things. As a result I've started to really enjoy reading again, and now I'm reading more than I have in years. It's wonderful!

In terms of weight and size: I'm currently reading the Game of Thrones series, and it's very pleasing to note that, not only is the Kindle Paperwhite lighter than those heavy tomes, but I can fit it in my jeans pocket, too. (I have quite loose-fitting jeans, admittedly, but I was still surprised.) The fact I can take whatever I'm currently reading, wherever I'm going, without having to figure out where to stow a big, heavy book is real a boon for me, and increases the likelihood that I'll be reading when I'm out.

Another thing I like about my Paperwhite is that, unlike the older Kindles I've seen, you can't see the "pixels", and thanks to the backlight, the "page" really is crisp and white. This may seem like a minor thing, but it was important to me. The letters on the page look smooth, organic and vibrant against the bright background, very much like a real piece of paper.

Nighttime reading is fantastic, too. I never have to worry about a light source. Previously I'd bought small lights that clipped onto traditional book covers, or just used a bedside lamp (always awkward as it limits your position in bed) but the resulting light always kept my partner awake. With the Kindle Paperwhite, not only can the brightness be turned right down (which is kinder on my tired eyes), but it's much more contained, with less light spilling out around the room: I've never once had a complaint about light!

I've read some people complaining that the whiteness of the "page" from the backlight isn't completely evenly distributed, and that "darker" patches can be seen on the edges of the screen. I can confirm that that is the case with my Paperwhite, but I cannot say it bothers me in the slightest. Reading normal books, there are always shadows and imperfections on the page. Either from your fingers, or from the curvature of the book. By comparison the Paperwhite offers a superior experience in my opinion. It may not be plain and even stark white of a computer monitor, but I'm happy with that.

Finally, battery life is excellent. Unlike my iPad, which required recharging at least once a week, my Kindle Paperwhite can comfortably go a whole month without going anywhere near a charger. I've been monitoring its status since my last full recharge, and this is true despite the fact that I've been reading several hours a day, and just set the lighting intensity to whatever I like (without worrying about battery). Note: I did place it in "Airplane" mode, though, so that Wi-Fi was switched off, but that was the only thing I did.

In short, I LOVE my Kindle Paperwhite. I really wasn't sure if I was wasting my money after already owning an iPad, but I can honestly say that, even several months later, it gets far more attention that its technologically superior counterpart. (Sorry, Apple!)

It's true that I can't use my Kindle Paperwhite to check my email, surf the internet (easily, at least), play games, or watch videos, but sometimes you don't want those distractions. Sometimes you just want to get lost in the world of a book, and for that, I'm eternally grateful to my Kindle!
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on 22 June 2013
I have recently upgraded from the Kindle 3G (the screen went but it has been all over the world in many different climates and has been well used) and Amazon were really helpful in offering me a discounted Paperwhite 3G (my warranty had expired so fair enough).

I did a lot of digging before buying one of these - I was concerned about the number of people commenting on the screen not being clear or having defects that interfered with reading. I considered iPads, the Kindle Fire, the Paperwhite and returning to the old Kindle, however the idea of a back-lit screen massively appeals as I am often in places with limited light or in shared rooms where I'm unable to have lights on.

Ultimately, I took the plunge - and I would in now way go for anything else! The screen is well lit, and although there are a couple of minor areas of non-uniform lighting these are at the bottom edge of the Kindle and don't interfere with the text.

The brightness can be altered easily for reading in daylight or low-light environments, the touch screen is easy to use and responsive and the battery has so far lasted two weeks, is still a quarter full, and I have read almost daily for lengthy amounts of time.

I would definitely recommend the Paperwhite, and specifically the 3G (as I would with any Kindle) as although this proves more expensive at the outset it means books can be purchased anywhere without the need for wifi (currently using it in North Africa and having no dramas getting a Whispernet signal, previously Kindle was used in the UAE, Canada, Europe with no issues with 3G either!)

For those people worried about making the change from real books, I am an avid reader and love books, however for ease of travel and storage, the Kindle is simply brilliant!
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on 26 December 2012
At a risk of a box opening disaster we left the box opening until Christmas Day. It all worked out of the box with none of the reported light issues.

At switch on the battery showed around 75% charge and it was ready to go. As a Kindle upgrade there was a new learning process the interface is entirely different from the earlier keyboard versions. The archive folder is gone and replaced by Cloud; same difference, different name. But that is all I shall say of the interface as it is quite easy to learn and there is a short onscreen tutorial to get you up and running.

When I get my hands on it I will work through the other bells and whistles but for now it does what my wife wants which is a reader. [Another user said it didn't have access to the Internet, it does. The interface is different so you don't get there the same way. One unadvertised feature (I think it is unadvertised) is the Zoom function on the internet. two fingers, open and it zooms, just like an Ipad.

One thing, previously reported, is the lack of a charger. This is not as bad as it sounds as a USB-Micro lead is supplied so you can still charge it from a computer or other USB charging point. Anyway you should have plenty of battery charge to give you time to find one! [Wrong. Eight weeks is a nonsense. We know it was on a limited use per day, but over the Christmas week it is now down to 50% so it isn't going to last a two-week holiday]

As a previous Kindle User, on registration the Kindle was assigned to my account with an obscure name and Kindle.com address. Once online on my computer I could alter the Kindle's name to my wife's device and amend the email address too.

In addition to the Paperwhite I also bought the Amazon case which I shall review here as well. It has a leather back and front and a neoprene edging which holds the Paperwhite securely. When you shut the cover, as you would with a book, it goes to sleep immediately and on opening is readable again almost immediately just like a book, no buttons to press.

In fact the only physical control is an on-off button which you press rather than slide (I think this is an improvement over the original Kindles but I guess it could be switched off if you don't have a cover).

Would I buy one? You bet.
Would I replace my Keyboard Kindle? You bet as soon as it goes bust.
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on 20 November 2012
Customer service review

I must admit i was really impressed by the newest edition to the kindle family this was somewhat subdued by finding a dead pixel and noticable on my screen. I bought one from a high street trader on the saturday morning and upon finding the problem i went to speak to them and they said i must take this problem to Amazon.

I was in two minds about this it was not major yet on the other side i had just shelled out a significant amount of money and decided that afternoon to speak to amazon via their online chat option the person was very helpful and one was shipped and i received on the tuesday just three days later, i was also assured i could use the kindle until the other one arrived and could then return the one with the fault.

Upon inspection of the replacement i am very happy so thanks Amazon.

Product review

I was impressed by the brightness, resolution and appearance of my kindle library on the new device some have been disappointed by some lighting issues but this does not bother me at all this is minor and infinitely better than reading a book in low light with shadows cast all over the printed page.

As for the battery life it seems okay for now and feel i will have to charge this device every week at the least again much better than my android generic tablet.

The capacitive screen is very responsive and better than i expected to be honest.

Software

Welcome additions to the kindle that i previously had not on the android app are the amount of time indicators and the way i can now remove the suggestions bar is a welcome addition the x-ray is an interesting addition though i doubt i will make use of it very often.

I am also a huge fan of the cloud that amazon has implemented so well and the fact i can retrieve my highlights and notes across platforms and even online in 'my kindle'.

Over all very happy with the new device

John
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on 1 November 2012
So many reviews out there, I thought I'd do a review from my perspective of upgrading from an older model. I had the slightly older non-touch version of the Kindle, without the keyboard. I opted for the non-3G version. I just don't get the point of spending an extra £60 for the ability to be able to browse and order books wherever and whenever you want. Surely you can just browse and buy your books before you go away? Personal preference, I guess.

First impressions were:

It's much heavier but I kind of like it! It gives it a more sturdy feel and I guess less chance of dropping it because you have to give it a little more grip. The back is slightly velvety and has an expensive feel and look to it.

The light is fantastic, even in the dark. Yes, there is a little ghosting near the bottom from the LEDs but unless you have a faulty one, it's really not worth getting wound up about. Once you get into a few pages, you even forget you're reading in the dark. The light is spread evenly across the whole screen with no funny patches that other people have reportedly noticed.

I can see the difference resolution as I tend to read a lot of PDF-based technical books. Definitely worth the upgrade just for that. Clarity is greatly improved.

Being able to swipe the page over is a nice touch but it does appear to lag for a split second before it actually does anything. If, like me, you haven't experienced a Kindle touch-screen device, you'll have to exercise some patience and not keep tapping the screen.

The "time left in chapter" feature at the bottom of the screen is fantastic and works really well, after it has had enough time to figure out what kind of speed you read at.

Definitely worth the upgrade.
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on 28 February 2013
Purchased this for my wife as her old Kindle packed up completely after just two years (which made it an expensive piece of machinery). I am writing this short review on her behalf and with her full permission !

The built-in light is great, especially for reading in bed at night as it dispenses with the need for any bedside light (and I can get to sleep more easily !).

Regardless of what Amazon may claim, the battery runs down more rapidly than the old model, presumably because the built-in light soaks up more juice.

The main disadvantage is the touch screen for turning over pages since, unless the touch is "just right" , several pages can be turned by mistake. Would be happier with the old "button" system.

On balance my wife prefers the old model (no longer available).
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