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Customer Review

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's nearly all good, 25 Oct. 2012
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This review is from: Kindle Paperwhite 3G (5th generation), 6" High Resolution Display (212 ppi) with Built-in Light, Free 3G + Wi-Fi (Electronics)
The Kindle Paperwhite is generally a good thing. The touch screen itself is very easy to use and I'm really happy with it. The touch screen is divided into areas of operation. Once you've installed and selected your book, a tap on the vast majority of the screen - but generally speaking towards the right - will turn the page forwards, whilst a much narrower band on the left-hand side is dedicated to Page Back function. From within a book, a tap at the top of the screen gets you access to a toolbar featuring a 'home' button, 'back' button, a Kindle store button (slightly annoyingly in the form of the Shopping Cart which Amazon continues to deny Kindle users), a search facility and a 'Menu' button, as well as access to font sizing, and options to 'go to', 'sync' and 'share'. So far, everything seems to work faster and more smoothly than on my Kindle Touch.

The touch screen does not show fingerprints in the kind of horrible way of devices such as phones/tablets. Some marks do show a little, but they don't stand out badly enough to distract from the reading experience. The screen has a slightly textured surface, and if you look closely at it, you can see that this is caused by a series of small, raised dots. The inbuilt frontlighting is a good, but not perfectly implemented feature - with the light turned up enough that the screen appears almost white there are some distinct patches of brightness and shadow along the bottom of the screen. With the lighting turned down, the screen is much the same light grey shade as that native to previous generations of the device.

The Kindle Paperwhite is supplied with a USB lead only, and this does make for rather slow charging. However, lots of USB to mains plugs (included a branded one) are available and many mobile phone chargers/ adapters also do an admirable job of converting this to mains power.

There are some nice new features to the Paperwhite - books can now be sorted by title or author, and the cover view that customers have long been asking for has been introduced. However, I'm slightly annoyed to find that with 'Cover View' on, in addition to the covers of items you have on your device, you are presented with a bar featuring items that are 'New to Kindle' and available for purchase. Roughly half the screen on the first page of items is taken up by this, cutting down the number of purchased items whose covers can be displayed. So far, I haven't found a way to turn this advertising bar off. Whilst I'm happy to browse the new books section at the front of the Kindle store, I don't want permanent advertising displayed on the home page of my Kindle. So, back to List View it is for me.

The storage capability of the Paperwhite has been reduced compared to Kindle Touch or Keyboard models. There's still enough storage for over 1000 books - far more than most people will need on a day-to-day basis, and Amazon have made accessing archived items simpler. There are selection buttons on the home page for 'Cloud' and 'Device', granting single-touch access to your archive. The archive is initially presented in chronological order of purchase, making it easier to access newly-purchased items that for one reason or another might not have downloaded e.g. preorders bought on an older device, but you can also opt to see your items sorted alphabetically by either author or title. For extensive archive collections, the search facility is extremely useful - with results speedily presented.

A real strength for the Paperwhite lies in its evening performance. The frontlit screen is barely affected by shadows, a marked contrast to devices with an external light source. In the case of the Paperwhite, with the light turned up high and an overhead light on, you can hold your hand in front of the screen and barely see a shadow. Thus, despite the slight unevenness to the illumination, this is a significant improvement upon previous generations of Kindle.

Overall, the Paperwhite is a nice ereader with clear, crisp text display and a noticeably improved response time compared to the previous generation. Its real strength is evening reading.


- Nice, compact size
- Crystal clear display
- Improved touch screen (vs Kindle Touch)
- Set-up is fairly intuitive
- Inbuilt light, so no need for external devices
- Quick response time
- Screen is barely influenced by shadow when light is turned up


- Light could be more even
- Advertising for 'New to Kindle' items across the bottom of the page in 'Cover view'
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 25 Oct 2012 14:34:16 BDT
Simeon says:
Whilst I like "new to Kindle" items that appear across the bottom of the 1st cover view page, as soon as you swipe to the 2nd and subsequent pages you get a full screen of your own library

In reply to an earlier post on 25 Oct 2012 14:39:17 BDT
Last edited by the author on 25 Oct 2012 14:56:21 BDT
Seren Ade says:
Each to their own, I suppose. It annoys me! This is a feature I'm used to with the Kindle store, and I have no problem with it there, in fact I quite enjoy a browse. But I rather resent having a chunk of space on my paid for device taken up with advertising.
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