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The perfect Kindle (almost!),
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This review is from: Kindle Paperwhite, 6" High Resolution Display with Built-in Light, Wi-Fi [Previous Generation] (Electronics)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.
-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.
-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.
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.
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Showing 1-10 of 153 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 25 Oct 2012 09:30:56 BDT
Nice informative review, however I believe the battery life is 8 weeks, not 8 hours - because that would be rather rubbish!
Posted on 25 Oct 2012 09:38:03 BDT
J. Ryan says:
Excellent review, very informative, thanks.
In reply to an earlier post on 25 Oct 2012 09:38:33 BDT
Whoops! that was written in error, many thanks for the correction. I have edited the review.
Posted on 25 Oct 2012 10:34:08 BDT
Good informative review. Thanks for taking the time.
Posted on 25 Oct 2012 11:49:51 BDT
Great review. No mention of whispernet. Can't find any reference in the details Amazon gives, either. Pity, as I use this feature quite a lot on my 3G Keyboard and would be deterred from 'upgrading' to a Kindle without that facility.
In reply to an earlier post on 25 Oct 2012 11:54:00 BDT
Hi, thanks for your compliment. I wrote this review in a rush this morning, after receiving the Kindle, so may have missed some points. I 'think' whispernet is the name for Amazon's 3G service (someone please correct me if this is not right); this review is based on the wifi model.
In reply to an earlier post on 25 Oct 2012 12:00:14 BDT
I think you are right. Many thanks for your reply. Much appreciated.
Just been browsing further but can find no mention of it for 3G model - as yet. It was quite a selling point for the 3G keyboard model I have so if it is still a feature I am surprised Amazon isn't advertising the fact. If I did buy a Kindle Paperwhite it would be mainly so that I do not need to keep the bedside light on when my husband is trying to sleep. I would want to be able to synchronise up to pages read.
In reply to an earlier post on 25 Oct 2012 12:10:22 BDT
You are very welcome. I think the sync feature for updating pages read between devices is in the paperwhite. I have not fully tested this feature out, but will update my review shortly on this.
In reply to an earlier post on 25 Oct 2012 13:22:12 BDT
Last edited by the author on 25 Oct 2012 13:23:03 BDT
I know nothing about Kindles & am thinking of buying one. Which would you recommend for an absolute beginner?