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**I will be posting this comment on the kindle fire product as well**

I love being up to date on the latest technology especially when it comes to my kindle.
I previously owned the £69 kindle and about 10 months ago I decided to upgrade my kindle. I was torn between the Paperwhite and the Kindle Fire. I followed the advice which my boyfriend suggested and bought my kindle fire, as I could use this to catch up on my emails (I am a student so I am constantly being emailed about lectures), I liked the fact it was touch screen and had a screen like my laptop.

I was drawn by the larger screen, the speakers with the Dolby Audio and the better screen resolution on the fire. I was using this for the reading my books whilst I was travelling to and from uni. I had to purchase a anti-glare screen protector as I found the glare was making it hard to read whilst I was on the bus. This didn't really make the glare go away fully but it helped. I then only used the fire for this only I never used all the other features.

I still felt like I was still missing something when I was reading. I then convinced myself to buy the paperwhite and I have never felt better when reading the books. The fact it is more like a book when I am reading I have already gone through two books in the space of 3 days.

What I am trying to say is the kindle fire is more for the watching films and browsing the internet, also playing games. Whereas the if you are looking for closely to the book feeling then you should definitely should get the paperwhite.

I know this might not be a very useful review but I wanted to get how I felt
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on 20 October 2013
This review is aimed at complete beginners to Kindles and Kindle owners alike. It will help beginners to decide which Kindle to purchase, and help Kindle owners with the decision of upgrading to the Paperwhite 2nd generation. I believe a review should give more than just "It's great" (you'll find this bit in the conclusion :-)). For this reason, I have included as much information as possible. Even if some of the sections do not seem to apply to you (for example, if you do not have a £59 Kindle, etc.), I did not want to repeat the information lots of times, so please read them anyway to get the full details. I hope that it is useful to all!

WARNING: When I mention the £59 basic Kindle, this applies to the old version that has no touchscreen, etc.

The Paperwhite has about 1.25 gigabytes of usable storage and can hold about 1,100 eBooks. The main formats it can read are the Kindle formats (AZW3, AZW and MOBI), PDF, TXT, DOC and DOCX. It also has an "experimental" web browser, but does not support audio.

It features an E-Ink display, which is unlike any other, such as the most common (LCD), which is used in tablets (such as the Kindle Fires), mobile phones and televisions, etc. An E-Ink pixel is a tiny capsule that carries black and white particles suspended in a fluid. The particles are moved around by electrical charges applied from beneath. Natural light then reflects off the particles on the side of the capsule closest to your eye, making the pixel visible. So, if a negative charge is applied, the white particles are attracted to the bottom, the black particles are repelled to the top of the capsule, and it will appear as black.
Unlike LCD screens, a lighting system (the backlight in LCD) is unnecessary as long as there is natural light. However, in the Paperwhite a frontlight has been added for making the display look much whiter and for reading in the dark. The frontlight uses 4 LEDs in the lower bezel to shine light sideways over the screen into a layer that spreads the light out impressively evenly.

I will give you advantages of the Paperwhite over the previous generation Paperwhite and the £69 basic Kindle to help you make the decision of whether to upgrade.


- A new E-Ink Carta display, instead of the old E-ink Pearl. This gives a specified 50 percent better contrast, in other words whiter whites and blacker blacks. It also needs to refresh less often. BE AWARE that E-Ink estimates their E-Ink Carta display to have an average life of 5 years. The life of E-Ink Pearl is shorter, but they unfortunately do not specify how long.

- An improved frontlight. It is now almost perfectly evenly lit. There are no discernible shadows at the bottom.

- The new Page flip feature. This opens a "pop up" page that allows you to scroll through the book by chapter, by page or with a slider bar, the equivalent of putting your finger in the flipping through. If you tap the pop up page, it will become the full page. Alternatively, you may tap the cross to close it.

- A 25 percent faster processor.

- A 19 percent tighter touch grid, meaning the touch screen is more accurate.

- Vocabulary Builder. This is excellent for children and students, saving all the words that are looked up as flashcards that can be marked as "mastered" or deleted.

- Smart Lookup - the dictionary feature has been significantly improved, giving X-Ray and Wikipedia from inside the book. All you have to do is hold your finger on a word for about 1 second to get an instant definition, X-Ray or Wikipedia.

(Edit: Page Flip,Vocabulary Builder and Smart Lookup are now available for the 1st gen Paperwhite via a new software update.)


- All of the above.

- A frontlight!

- A touch screen. This makes looking up words and highlighting much easier, let alone just navigating around the device! It uses capacitive touch technology, the same type used by all high quality tablets and phones. It cannot be used with normal gloves, but touch screen gloves are available. The touch screen is very sensitive, so it is extremely hard to hold the device without turning pages accidentally unless you use a case.

- An auto power off and power on feature when the case is opened and closed. It works really well, even with third party cases. Simply open the case and it turns on, close it and it turns off!

- Kindle FreeTime (see below).

- X-Ray. This allows you to see the "bones" of the book, and is useful for character heavy books, telling you about the characters and also showing you where they appear. HOWEVER, most publishers do not enable X-Ray in their books.

- Time to Read. This calculates your reading speed to tell you how long it will take you to finish the chapter, or alternatively the book. I find this very useful, and it is usually quite accurate, although it can take a while to readjust when changing books sometimes.

- There are 6 default fonts, as opposed to the standard font and sans serif on the basic model.

- The "Home" view of your library looks quite dull on the basic Kindle (just a list of books), but on the Paperwhite it shows the covers of the books. Covers, though displayed in black and white, still look pretty good. However, list view is available if you prefer.


Q. If my Kindle breaks, will I lose my books?
A. No, they are backed up on your Amazon account.

Q. Is Wi-Fi necessary?
A. No! EBooks can be transferred via a USB port on a computer.

Q. Can the light level be adjusted?
A. Yes, it can be adjusted. There are 26 light levels (including level 0 and 'Max', which is slightly higher than level 24). The frontlight cannot be completely turned off - level 0 is just about visible in the dark. I doubt that the battery is drained much at all on setting 0.

Q. Will it save my place in a book?
A. Yes, it saves your place in every book, even after it is deleted and downloaded again!

Q. Can page numbers be shown?
A. If page numbers are available for the book, then they can be shown in the corner instead of Time to Read. They can also be shown by tapping the top of the screen to open the toolbar.

Q. Can the text size be changed?
A. Yes, there are 8 different font sizes and six different fonts. The common Pinch to Zoom feature can now be used in normal books too.

Q. Can it read the common format ePub?
A. No. However, the free open-source software Calibre is good for converting ebooks although it will not convert DRM (digital rights management) protected books.

Q. Are there many free classics available?
A. Yes! Over 40,000 titles are available free from and These are in the public domain, so they were mostly published before 1923 (copyright laws changed in that year). It is perfectly legal and they can be easily downloaded from the device's 'experimental' browser or a PC.

Q. How long does the battery last?
A. Amazon states 28 hours (8 weeks at light setting 10, based on 30 minutes usage each day) with Wifi turned off. I find that I keep the average light setting a lot higher than setting 10 (more like setting 20), and so the battery life is comparable to the basic Kindle. In the dark I use it at about setting 6-7.


This update includes mainly:

- Kindle FreeTime.

- Cloud Collections (the capability to back up collections on your Amazon account).


Collections are folders to put books in on Kindle, but they must be organised on the device. This, before now, meant having to create all of your collections again, one by one, for each new device. The Kindle will now sync the collections on all devices linked to the account without being given permission, and unfortunately you cannot turn it off. It is fine for one person at a time on an account, for example, getting another Kindle and transferring the collections across. However, if two or more people with different reading interests use one account, it will sync automatically with each new device and they will have to delete all the collections that they don't want one by one. (Edit: there is now more control over the collections in update 5.4.3 - see below.)


Kindle FreeTime is a feature that can be used for sharing a device between an adult and children, and it also makes reading more interesting for children. I have set up a test profile to inform you how it works, and this info should be useful to parents.

First, you set up a profile for the child. You then add books to their library, so they can only access these books. You also set a daily reading goal, say 45 minutes. The child will gain achievements, such as "Serious Reader - read 500 pages". The adult can also see stats, for instance, time read, looked-up words, pages read, etc. The child can be also allowed to see the stats and achievements.
Access to the Kindle Store, the web browser, Wikipedia, and most of the settings is disabled in FreeTime. Multiple profiles can also be set up, and if an adult wants to resume using it, they just have to type in a password and exit FreeTime.


This update contains:

- Cloud collection improvements - you can now 'unstar' unwanted collections to hide them from the Home screen.

- PDF improvements - you can adjust the margins in the font options.

- You can access Notes from the reading menu.

- By tapping the bottom left corner you can now completely remove the 'Time left' reading, page or location number and the percentage progress through the book, leaving a nice 'pure' page. Just tap the same corner if you wish to bring them back again.

- You can also change the dictionary being used in the dictionary lookup box.


Yet another software update is here, albeit a small one. This one includes the following features:

- When zoomed in on a PDF document, there is now a little overview of the page in the top left corner, showing your location as you pan around. This is useful because you can get slightly 'lost' when zoomed in on a large page with a 6 inch screen.

- Apparently you can now read a Kindle book sample while the physical books ships. To do this, Amazon says to order the physical book and on the 'Thank You' page click 'Start Reading'. I assume that the sample is larger than a normal free sample, but even so I'm not sure how useful it is given that people with a Kindle usually buy Kindle books!


- Your e-Books will not be transferred between accounts. BUY ALL YOUR EBOOKS FROM ONE ACCOUNT.

- The Paperwhite should arrive already registered to the Amazon account it was purchased from, but it is extremely easy to reregister to a different account. You can do it from the settings page of the Kindle with Wi-Fi or from a computer.

- It will be slower after downloading lots of books while it indexes them. This may take about a few hours to a day for lots of books, and will also drain more battery life.

- You can email documents to the Kindle by sending to an address allocated to you by Amazon.

- Permanent bookmarks can also be saved. You can also highlight passages and write notes that are backed up on Amazon, and so you will not lose any if the device breaks.

- Foreign language to English dictionaries can be bought so you can quickly look up words in foreign books. I have one of these, and I recommend them for learning languages.

- Up to 6 devices can be registered to one account at one time.

- E-Ink screens are slower to change and refresh in cold conditions. It can be about three times as fast in a warm room, as opposed to at a temperature of around 15 or less degrees Celsius. After leaving it in the sunshine for a while it felt as fast as a tablet, and the keyboard did not lag in the slightest. (In a normal house it will be fine - my house is cold!)

- Many people complain that the Paperwhite arrives in a very flimsy box. This is true - the box is thin enough to fit through a letterbox, contains basically no padding and is labeled 'Kindle Paperwhite' for some reason. Because it is so thin your lovely new device is likely to be dropped from the height of your letterbox to the floor with no padding, but don't be too worried! The Paperwhite has been given a 'drop test' by Goodereader, and it was dropped from 5 feet onto solid concrete on its back, corner and front. There is a reasonably large amount of damage to the plastic bezel, but with a case the device would be unharmed. This is quite impressive for a device with a 6" screen like the Paperwhite! Although it is very painful to watch an expensive new device being mutilated, here is the URL if you wish to see it:


My Paperwhite arrived quickly in a small black box marked "Amazon" and "Kindle Paperwhite". (If it is a gift, select gift wrapping at the checkout!) It was extremely easy to set up, and I downloaded my 90-odd books quickly, although one at a time. There is a full Kindle User Guide on the device and an interactive tutorial that shows you how to use it.
The one flaw with my unit is a small defect in the lighting layer, resulting in a tiny pinprick of light being shone upwards. However, although I could return it, it does not bother me.


The Paperwhite is a huge improvement over the basic Kindle, being much whiter than the basic Kindle, even in daylight. The text looks crisper and the device itself has a much higher quality feel to it. It is also faster at basically everything - there is hardly any lag when typing, and I don't know how I managed without features such as 'Time to Read' and 'Page Flip'! The touch screen is textured and feels much more like paper than LCD screens, also hardly showing fingerprints at all. In fact, after using it very regularly for over 6 months, I have not yet needed to clean it.

I personally find it well worth the extra £50 for all the extra features and the (hopefully!) longer life.

Thank you for reading! If you have any queries, feel free to ask - I'm more than happy to help.
Also, thank you so much to the people who have left such kind feedback! It is very much appreciated.
414414 comments| 8,242 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Although I purchased the original Kindle Paperwhite back in in October 2012, I was enticed by the additional features of this upgraded model. In particular, I was looking forward to the increased resolution of the screen and "next-gen light", which I felt may provide for an even more paper-like reading experience. My 2012 Paperwhite did suffer from a minor case of the 'blotching' issues at the bottom of the screen (which didn't disturb my personal reading experience). I have just received the upgraded Kindle Paperwhite earlier this morning and this is definitely not there with this new version. However, I have still been pondering over whether or not the new features justify an upgrade from the previous generation. Here are my thoughts.

-As with previous Kindles, the Paperwhite ships in its original box. Along with the PW, a usb cable and quick-start guide are included. If you want to offer the PW as a gift, I would strongly advise ticking the "this is a gift" option at checkout, as Amazon will then ship (at no extra charge) the PW in separate outer packaging.

-The updated PW looks identical to the previous generation, with the exception of changing the "Kindle" logo on the back of the device to "Amazon". The only other slight change is an ever so slight reduction in weight (from 213 to 206 grams).

-Improved screen: The new Paperwhite boasts an improved screen, which Amazon claims offers better contrast and "blacker blacks". Without getting too caught up on these technical details, it can be concluded that the screen definitely does look sharper and brighter. Text is visibly more crisp and stands out more. Furthermore, the brightness of the light has also increased a little, which is particularly notable when the brightness is maxed out. In fact, it is almost too bright, and I cannot imagine myself ever exceeding 75%, even in direct sunlight.

-Faster processor: The processor has also seen an improvement, from 800 MhZ to 1 GhZ, thereby supporting Amazon's claim of a "25% performance increase". Yes, page turns are slightly faster, as is returning to the home screen. However, the difference is not significant and does not really enhance the reading experience.

-Better touch technology: Amazon also claim that the touch response is more accurate with the new PW. I personally have not noticed much of a difference (although I have only owned the device for a few hours at time of writing this review!), and touch technology with e-reader screens is definitely inferior to capacitative touch screens (i.e. iPad, smart phones, etc).

A number of new software features are available. However, these are features which Amazon could easily roll out to existing PW users through a simple software update. Whether or not they decide to do this remains to be seen.

-Kindle Page Flip allows users to scan through a book without losing their current reading page. This is a very welcome feature as I read textbooks on my Kindle and flicker back and forth a lot.

-The new PW logs words you check with the dictionary (i.e. by pressing down on a word) in a vocabulary builder, allowing you to check back on these words.

-Words checked in dictionary can now also be checked on wikipedia, where applicable. I have only tried out this feature, but as I read lots of non-fiction (mostly science books), this is very handy for checking wikipedia for complex scientific terminology.

-Existing features from the original Paperwhite are all still here as well. Variety in font sizes, annotations, x-ray features, whisper sync and the amount of time left in a book.

-Wikipedia support and a (very!) basic web browser remain intact. For the web browser, think text only and sluggish scrolling.

-Battery life is also identical to the previous generation, with Amazon claiming ~8 weeks on standby. Realistically, with the original PW I managed to squeeze around 3-4 weeks with around 15-20 hours of reading per week.

-Wifi connectivity is again quick and easy. If you are on the road a lot and extensively use wikipedia, you may wish to opt for the 3G paperwhite.

-The size is also identical to the previous generation, evidence of which can be noted as I have housed my new PW in the previous generation's Kindle cover:

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite Leather Cover

When the original Paperwhite was launched last year, a few features from previous models had been removed. I had high hopes that these features would inevitably return in the second iteration of the PW. Unfortunately, it seems that these features may be gone for good (unless Amazon is planning these to be included in the 3rd PW model!).

-Once agin, there is no text-to-audio.

-The mp3 player, headphone jack and stereo speakers are also absent.

-On board memory also remains at 2GB. However, as there is no mp3 and audio playback, this is not much of an issue, as 2GB is still plenty of space to store around 1000 e-Books. Also, Amazon now stores all of your e-books in the cloud, allowing you to retrieve books at your leisure.

-Again, a wall charger is not included, meaning one must charge through their computer. However, you don't need to purchase the Kindle branded wall charger and any USB based one will work (like the one included with the iPad).

There is no doubt that the Paperwhite may arguably be the best e-reader on the market. The screen is a joy to read on and with a very small learning curve, caters to a wide range of consumers. Even those who are not familiar with tablets and other new gadgets on the market will feel right at home with the Kindle.

I own an iPad mini which contains the Kindle app, and know many who use their tablets for reading books on. Unfortunately, these devices with backlit screens do not even come close to the Kindle reading experience. The Kindle screen truly does look amazing and is the closest `paper-like' experience on the market today. With the added benefit of carrying your entire book collection in a single device, this is a readers dream.

However, despite the improved screen, touch response, new software features and slight bump in the processor, this new model may be difficult to recommend to existing PW owners. If you are a keen gadget enthusiast or like to have the latest version of gadgets, you may justify the purchase regardless. However, the majority of people who boarded the Paperwhite ship last year may decide to pass over this latest addition. However, if you are upgrading from the Kindle Keyboard or even the Touch, I can definitely recommend this new model, provided you can overlook the flaws I mentioned.
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on 4 October 2014
I am ten and got a kindle paperwhite as a treat for myself - with my money! my kindle is amazing, I bring it into school, and all the kids in my class say wow and is that REAL which I must admit is so funny especially when I put the back light on full!
any way, the back light is amazing and if you keep it on all the time the battery lasts for about a week which is amazing. with the backlight off and occasionally on the battery lasts for about 6 weeks which is exceptanal. but it DOESNT last for what 8 weeks. good luck amazon on that though!
hope this review was helpful. please mae my day and say it was helpful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):)
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on 15 September 2014
It took me a while to order this as I was initially a little concerned that I might not like the shift from “real” paper books to the Kindle Paperwhite. As it turns out I’m happy with the decision to purchase the device.
Easy to carry around (slightly smaller than your average paperback (height and width), with a depth approximately the same as your average smartphone. Very light (I think my phone is heavier than the Paperwhite).
I charge the device overnight (only when required) and this hasn’t been required often (so far I’ve read approx. 10 books and have charged it twice). I use my phone charger for this and that works fine.
Came with my Amazon account information pre-populated, so ordering new books is easy.
Font size is easily changed, and the range of options here is quite good (even if you need really big letters, you won’t have a problem).
Backlight is great, and easily adjusted (Can read in direct sunlight without any problems, and can also read in complete darkness (while others are asleep), this for me is a big plus.
Download of a new book takes seconds, and is instantly accessible (for those of us who live quite far from a physical book outlet this is a big advantage).
With the accessibility of the books being so easy, I have found myself purchasing books because I can, without really thinking too hard about it. This experience isn’t quite the same as going to the local books store and browsing title for a while before selecting what you want, it’s a little more clinical (not sure why, but that’s how I feel about it). This could result in you buying maybe a few more books than you might otherwise do, and while the price of books is good (certainly a lot cheaper than I would normally pay for the paper variety), I will need to be more conscious of the volume of books that I’m purchasing.
I’m slightly worried that, because the Paperwhite fits easily into my back pocket, I will eventually forget it’s there and end up sitting on it, which might not end well (it hasn’t happened yet, and I’m not sure I want to put the device through that level of durability testing ).

In conclusion, I’m happy with the purchase, and would definitely recommend the Kindle Paperwhite to others who are considering a purchase. On the question of “I prefer the feel of a real book”; this was one of my major concerns, but I’m happy to say that I adjusted easily to the Kindle “experience” and while I might still occasionally purchase the real thing, the Kindle is intuitive to use, and is as good an experience (in some ways better (no bookmarking required, no problem reading “heavy” books) as the “real” paper variety.

Hope this helps some of you who may be a little torn on the “to buy or not to buy” question.
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on 9 October 2013
I have the pw1 but decided to upgrade. This 2nd gen pw is better than the already brilliant 1st gen device. The light is perfectly even across the entire screen, including the bottom part where the original paperwhite suffered from slight shadowing. The new device is lightweight and is the same size as the original paperwhite, so fits in the old paperwhite cover.

The faster processor makes a real difference to page turns, book loading times and browsing the shop and web.

The page flip feature is very useful and you can now choose to have the page numbers showing at all times whilst reading along with either location, time in chapter/book. A nice software feature much appreciated.

The screen is clearer with a much brighter light than the original pw. Page refresh can be set to every page if you want, but it really isn't necessary as the text and page stays clear. Instead of refreshing on the sixth page it seems to be about 10th/12th page. Great screen.

One handed page turns are easy in either left or right hand; a simple touch or swipe is all that's required. Simple. Books can be arranged in multiple collections if required, list view or cover view can also be selected depending on your preference. The user interface is straight forward and intuitive. On switching on your new device you are walked through the basic command touches, and once on the home screen the user guide is waiting to take you more in-depth into the pw's operations.

Well worth buying. Great ereader.
review image review image
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Edit 19/6/14:

If your Paperwhite starts to slow, which if my experience is anything to go by is pretty well guaranteed, please be aware that there is a terribly simple solution - restart it. To do this, hold the on/off button in for about 5 seconds until a menu appears offering three options: 'Restart', 'Screen Off' or 'Cancel'. If you aren't aware of that simple solution, the Paperwhite will irritate you as it'll start to lag.

I did that with mine today as I would touch the screen or a page turn; nothing happened; I pressed it again; then it turned two pages. It was being slow in other respects too. A simple Restart has meant that page turns are now immediate.

Before restarting, I suggest that you exit the current book and return to the main screen, and leave it on for a moment. This is because the Kindle only synchs book position, notes and any highlighting when in the Home screen. If you restart without doing this, you might lose any changes since the last time you were in the Home screen.

On a separate issue, my video shows me toggling the display in the bottom left-hand corner through 4 options: Location/Page/Time left in chapter/Time left in book/(Back to 'Location'). Two things:

1. If your Paperwhite does not display 'Page', it is because the ebook does not include page numbers. Only books that state 'Real Page Numbers' have this - this is declared on the web page, a couple of lines beneath the Kindle price (e.g. this book states 'Length 227 pages (Contains Real Page Numbers)' - it says this three lines beneath the price).

2. Good news for people who dislike the screen always displaying your progress through the book: you can now choose to blank it out. Since making my video, the software has added a 5th option - you toggle between Location/Page/Time left in chapter/Time left in book/nothing displayed/(Back to 'Location'). Selecting this also blanks out the percentage-of-the-way-through-the-book figure in the bottom right-hand corner.

Edit 14/4/14:

The Paperwhite 2 is in so many ways superb. The killer is the built-in light which makes it better than a physical book. I also love the 'Vocabulary Builder' feature, and (because I upgraded from a Kindle Keyboard) the fact that you can display your collection visually, with a large thumbnail of each book's cover. The disadvantage that I mention immediately below is actually an advantage for many users so please don't let my comments put you off buying it. That disadvantage remains factually true, though, so I leave my rating as 3 stars - I wish I could give a rating of 5 stars for most users and 3 stars for some.

Edit 8/12/13:

Amazon has recently released a software update (version 5.4.2) which was installed on my Paperwhite 2 (PW2) this week.

The software update includes 'Cloud Collections' which copies all the books you have ever bought onto your PW2 (it copies the name or thumbnail of the book, not their contents as that would risk maxing out the memory). If those books are in Collections, it will copy over the Collections too.

While I personally dislike the update (hence I've downgraded my star rating from 5 to 3), I can understand why some people like or indeed love it - they have lots of books on an old Kindle and do not want to have to manually transfer them across, or to recreate Collections - and you may feel the same way. The problem is that if you do not want it (and forums show that a significant number of people don't), you cannot prevent the update being installed, and once installed you can't opt out of displaying every book ever bought under 'Settings'. In addition, Kindle discussion forums show that the update can cause problems for some users (see below).

In contrast, Sony's Playstation requires you to consent to software updates before installing them, as do Apple with iPhones and iPads.

Some people have more than one Kindle registered to their account, which Amazon allows (e.g. a couple who want the option of reading each others' books). Before the software update, they could choose which books to have on their individual Kindles. They can't any longer. And they will now see not just their Collections but their partner's too. And one person's idea of a Collection called, say, 'Classics' may differ from another's - if they have different books in those Collections, the software update will merge them which is frustrating. People have complained about this on user forums.

There is one large benefit of the update: if your old Kindle breaks down/is lost/stolen, you won't lose any Collections on it.

I personally dislike the update as I went from 2 pages on my PW2 to 13 overnight. I also found that some of my books on my KK had somehow been copied into the wrong Collections on my PW2 (something that other PW2 owners have commented on in forums). I had Collections on my KK and PW2 with the same name but containing different books - the update merged them. This would all have been avoided had Amazon taken the simple step of requiring me to tick a box, asking if I wanted to install a software update.

While I accept that many people will welcome the update, forums show that some do not and it is a shame that Amazon enforces it on all users and then does not allow them to opt out under 'Settings'.


**Original review: ***

This written review goes beyond my accompanying video review:

For someone who has never had the original Paperwhite (PW1), the obvious advantage is the built-in light. The less obvious advantage is the faster processor speed - my Kindle Keyboard (KK) is as slow as honey in January and will freeze for a long time when I use the 'search' facility. I was also irritated that the KK does not order book collections alphabetically on the home screen (oddly, it does when allocating a book to a collection).



For PW1 users, the light is more even. For non-PW1 owners, it's great to have a light. I thought that the light was for reading in bed at night with all lights off but it actually significantly improves visibility and the whiteness of the screen even during the day under ordinary indoor lighting, as demonstrated in my video.

*Improved processor*

Searching for anything is so much faster than my KK.

*Vocabulary Builder*

Whenever you look a word up in the dictionary, it adds it to the Vocabulary Builder automatically. I like this. I have demonstrated and expanded on this in the video.

*Improved screen*

It is sharper and less reflective.


The trend since the KK has been towards lighter shades of gray - the KK was dark gray and the Kindle Touch was a lighter gray, almost silver. The PW2 is black, which I personally prefer.


For those of you who, like me, are upgrading from a KK, highlighting is shown as gray background behind text (like highlighting in gray in Microsoft Word). This is much better than the KK which claimed to highlight but just did a dotted underline.

* Restricting access - Parental Controls*

You can restrict access to the books you have bought, the Kindle Store and the web browser. So, for example, children can only access the books you have uploaded onto the device as opposed to any book you have bought, and they can't use it to surf the net or buy books.

*Buying book after downloading free sample*

If you download a free sample and then buy the book, the free sample is automatically deleted and replaced by the full book, AND your current position is transferred from the free sample to the new book. On the KK I was left with 2 books and had to delete the free sample, and then manually find where I had got to in the new book.


*Typical electronic problem, easily cured*

I've only just bought it and yesterday it started lagging - e.g. in an earlier version of my customer video it took 9 seconds between highlighting 'somnambulistic' and it displaying the dictionary definition (for the purpose of this review, I replayed that video and timed it). Today it suddenly slowed to a crawl - it was taking minutes to do anything. A restart (hold power button in for a few seconds and select 'restart') cured that.

I am really surprised that this happened so soon after buying it, and with a mere 10 books downloaded onto it. Had it not in effect frozen, I would not have restarted it and therefore would have been left with a slow machine with no idea how to cure it. I suggest that if yours slows down then you might care to restart it - the difference in speed on my PW2 is remarkable.

Edit - added 9/11/13

*Synching between Kindles*

I had a problem with my devices not synching the last page read or annotations & highlights - e.g. my PW2 would say I was on the furthest page when I had got further on my KK, and highlights made on the KK were not shown on the PW2. This was despite annotation backup being 'on' and manually synching the Kindle via the menu. The reason turned out to be simple - furthest page read, annotations & highlights are only uploaded to Amazon's servers when you exit a book and return to the Home Screen. Incidentally, if your device is wifi only, this can only happen if wifi is on and you are in an area with wifi. So, if transferring between devices, return to the Home Screen before turning your Kindle off.

If reading a book and making lots of notes/highlights, it would make sense to return to the Home Screen regularly in case your Kindle breaks or is stolen, in which case all notes/highlights since the last time in the Home Screen will be lost.

Edit - added 21/11/13


I got irritated that I would turn a page accidentally (by touching the screen), so I would turn back and yet not be on the original page. I found it very irritating as it made no sense.

I have since discovered that the reason is only a tiny margin on the left of the screen is interpreted as a backward page turn - the width of three letters. For example, in my current book the first word in the centre left of the page (against the margin) is 'home'. If I touch the 'e', it turns FORWARD a page. If I touch the 'm', it turns back. I have checked that on a different page and get the same result.

So, if you have that problem, that is why.

The advantage of such a narrow margin is that you can hold the Kindle in your left hand and turn pages forward using your left thumb. There is no need to use your right hand to turn pages.

*Packaging & ordering*

This ships in a 'No Frustration Packaging' box with 'Kindle Paperwhite' written on it, which has two disadvantages. Firstly, if it is a gift for someone it can spoil the surprise. Secondly, the box is designed to fit through a letterbox. If you do not mind your brand new electronic item being dropped on the floor from the height of your letterbox, that's fine. The solution to both is to tick 'This is a gift' in the checkout process as then Amazon will ship it in an ordinary box. I am not convinced that such a diminutive box protects it in the post or when dropped through the letterbox - ironically, I find the Frustration Free packaging frustrating.


Edit: A new version of this Paperwhite has been released. It is significantly better yet hardly any more expensive - well worth the extra money. I have video reviewed it (and the quality of that video review is a lot better). My review is (at the time of writing) the third one down. The new Paperwhite is here: All-New Kindle Paperwhite, 6" High Resolution Display (300 ppi) with Built-in Light, Wi-Fi - Includes Special Offers

*****On 3/8/15 ONLY, Amazon is reducing the price of anything over £50 by £10. Just enter 'BIGTHANKS' as a gift/voucher code at the checkout***.
6464 comments| 588 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 10 October 2013
After all the hype about screen illumination issues being solved, I had hoped that this would be a massive improvement on Paperwhite 1, with its patchy dark areas at the bottom of its screen. Generally, the screen of my Paperwhite 2 device is very evenly illuminated, however at less than 60% illumination, the second light in from the left edge does not illuminate well and there is a noticeable dark patch around it. I found having this one dimly lit patch more annoying than my old Paperwhite with its spread of patches across the bottom. I therefore have returned the device for a replacement, and am hoping that this will not be an issue again.

UPDATE: Well the replacement Paperwhite 2 has been delivered, just 2 days after the first one. I am pleased to report that the screen is now fault free. The illumination along the bottom of the screen is uniform at all brightness levels. Glad I decided to return the original one (made all the easier using the Collect Plus service) and am looking forward to continuing to read my books on Kindle. This is now a 5-star product, although I've only awarded it 4 stars because of having to return the original one.
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on 10 August 2014
I was bought this last Christmas as my Kindle 2 had failed, since then I have used it almost every day. The Paperwhite screen is fantastic. I'm an Android tablet and laptop owner, both of which I use everyday. However, sometimes you just want the correct tool for the job, and the Paperwhite is just that. It does one thing very, very well.

I thought it was a bit expensive for what it was but having seen that it has now dropped in price it's a bit of a "no brainer". I would certainly buy another one if I had to.

I had a few problems with accidentally touching the touch screen at first and "turning" pages when I didn't want to, but I soon got used to it. I've got large hands and am a guitar player, so I can read using one hand and wrap my thumb around the back to change pages. This has the advantage that I can read in bed whilst fully laying down. If I use my tablet at night it's brightness stops my partner getting to sleep but with the Papperwhite I can turn the brightness right down and it doesn't affect her. Which is great for both of us :-)

If you do buy one I strongly suggest that you buy a case for it. As others have mentioned e-Ink screens are susceptible to failure if dropped from any height onto a hard surface. I happened to buy a Tesco own brand one, which I picked up very cheaply on offer. There are many, many others available on this site. I tend to take the cover off when reading in bed but always use it when out and about.

In use it does what it says on the tin. I do like the inbuilt dictionary, and the ability to look up words whilst still reading is very handy. I like to think that I'm quite well read but there's always the odd word you come across that your not sure of its meaning. I'm not a great user of the store on the Kindle as I normally buy from the site using a laptop. I also use the Kindle Transfer program to move books I already have from my laptop drive to the Kindle. This is a nice feature/program that negates the requirement to plug the Kindle into the laptop and "sideload" books. This probably will not be used by most as they will buy directly from the store but it's a nice feature to be available.

Hope you all found the above useful
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on 9 May 2014
I am not really one for writing reviews but I feel I have to when it comes to the Kindle Paperwhite.

What a gadget!

I used to own a Kobo (I know I shouldn't mention that on Amazon right?) and it died not long after getting it. So I deliberated for a long time about whether I should get another Kobo or change over to a Kindle. I asked a lot of people and the resounding answer was the same...get a Kindle.

So then came the quandary of which one? I read a lot of reviews and spoke to a lot of Kindle owners and it came down to two. The Kindle Fire or the Kindle Paperwhite. Based on the fact that I am easily distracted I decided to go for the Kindle Paperwhite. The thought of having emails and notifications popping up on the Kindle Fire whilst I was trying to read would prove too much of a distraction for me. I have also heard that the screen glare on the Kindle Fire can be quite bad when reading outside so that was another reason for choosing the Paperwhite. I like to read outside, on holiday and on public transport so screen glare could not be an issue.

It arrived yesterday and I have not been able to put it down! The reading quality is immense. The text is so crisp and clear even when sat outside in the bright sunshine and night time reading is a joy due to the backlight feature. If you want a straightforward reading device with no distractions and a good screen to read from then this is the Kindle for you. It also has a wireless feature which means that I can download books anywhere that I can connect to wireless and I don't have to plug it into my laptop (take that Kobo!). Turning the pages are seamless and there are many great features such as dictionary, character reference and book marks that make this device a true force to be reckoned with.

All in all I'd give it 10 out of 10 (and that is saying something coming from a technophobe).
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