9,550 of 9,801 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More evolutionary than revolutionary, but worth the upgrade
This is the fifth e-ink Kindle reader that I've bought. My wife and I were early adopters of Kindle, and when we buy a new Kindle, the old one goes to the next niece or nephew in line. I loved the original Paperwhite, with its small size, touch screen, front-lighting, and virtual keyboard. The all-new Paperwhite is a definite step up, and for me, it was worth the move,...
Published 16 months ago by J. Chambers
10,434 of 10,877 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good as a first Paperwhite, not worthy of an upgrade
This review is for the second generation Kindle Paperwhite. Like all kindle e-readers before it, this is a great product. However, I am a bit disappointed as there is not a huge improvement over last year's model. For this review, I focused on features and enhancements exclusive to the new Paperwhite and tried to make comparisons to last year's model. Also, I found...
Published 16 months ago by D. Carlson
Most Helpful First | Newest First
9,550 of 9,801 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More evolutionary than revolutionary, but worth the upgrade,
This review is from: Kindle Paperwhite, 6" High Resolution Display with Next-Gen Built-in Light, Wi-Fi - Includes Special Offers (Electronics)
This is the fifth e-ink Kindle reader that I've bought. My wife and I were early adopters of Kindle, and when we buy a new Kindle, the old one goes to the next niece or nephew in line. I loved the original Paperwhite, with its small size, touch screen, front-lighting, and virtual keyboard. The all-new Paperwhite is a definite step up, and for me, it was worth the move, but others will have to decide for themselves. If you read a lot, and you don't already have one of the newer e-ink Kindles, it's definitely worth upgrading to the Paperwhite. If you have the original Paperwhite, the upgrade is well worth considering. Although I've only had the new Paperwhite a few hours, I'm already glad I upgraded. Here's a summary of my initial impressions of the new Paperwhite.
SIZE: It's the same size as the original Paperwhite - 6.7"x4.6"x0.36". The weight has been reduced slightly from 7.8 ounces to 7.3 ounces. The Paperwhite is very comfortable to hold in one hand, which is how I usually read. The really good news is that if you have a case for the original Paperwhite, it will also fit the new one (thank you, Amazon). If you buy a case, I highly recommend that the case include the magnetic AutoWake function. It's much easier to turn the Kindle on and off without fumbling for the small power switch.
LIGHTING: The front-lighting is noticeably improved over the original Paperwhite, which had slightly visible shadows coming from the bottom edge where the LED lights were located. (It didn't bother me, but some readers were annoyed by that.) I couldn't see any shadows in the new Paperwhite, where the lighting appears brighter and more uniform. With the Paperwhite's front lighting, you'll never need a clip-on light, even in total darkness.
TOUCH SCREEN: The text appears a bit crisper with more contrast, even though the 212 ppi resolution is the same as the original Paperwhite (but it's much better than the 169 ppi of the earlier Kindles). Unlike backlit tablets and phones, which wash out badly in sunlight, the Paperwhite is very readable in any lighting condition from total darkness to bright sunshine, simply by adjusting the lighting level. The touch screen's responsiveness has been noticeably improved. Swiping the page with a finger or touching the left or right sides of a page turns it immediately. With my old Paperwhite, I sometimes had to swipe or touch twice. The new Paperwhite is definitely more responsive with faster-turning pages.
BATTERY: According to Amazon, "A single charge can last up to eight weeks (based on a half hour of reading per day with wireless off and the light setting at ten)." Certainly not all Kindle readers fit this profile. As much as I read, and because I download so many books that I leave the wireless turned on, I routinely recharge it about once every week or so just to bring the battery to full charge. In any case, the battery life is several times that of backlit tablets and phones. With the high-speed chargers that are available now, battery life shouldn't be an issue with the new Paperwhite.
OTHER COMMENTS: As a touch screen e-book reader, the Paperwhite has no physical I/O, aside from a power button and a recharging/data port. Unlike earlier e-ink Kindles, there's no provision for audio output, so you won't be reading audiobooks on the Paperwhite.
NEW OR IMPROVED FEATURES: The X-Ray feature from the original Paperwhite has been retained and improved to be more context sensitive. The new in-line footnotes that can be read without losing your place will make footnoted nonfiction books a more enjoyable experience, as will be the new navigation feature that lets you scroll forward and backward without leaving the page you're on. I haven't had a chance to play around with those very much, but what I've seen so far looks very promising. The new Paperwhite does not include FreeTime for kids or the built-in version of Goodreads (now owned by Amazon), but these features are expected to be added in a software update by the end of this year.
SPECIAL OFFERS: It's $20 more if you want to eliminate the special offers. You can do this at the time you buy the Paperwhite, or you can do it later online. Honestly, you get used to the special offers very quickly, and in my opinion, it's not worth the money to do away with them. Also, they don't interfere with your reading - you only see them when you turn on the Kindle, and after swiping the screen with your finger, they go away.
THE VERDICT: The new Paperwhite is the state-of-the-art e-ink ebook reader. With improved screen contrast for better readability, a more sensitive touch screen with faster page turns, and some new or improved features that enhance the reading experience, it was worth upgrading from the original Paperwhite.
Note: I also have a Kindle Fire HD 7", which I use for web browsing, emails, apps, and music, but for most reading, I prefer the Paperwhite, unless a book has color photos or illustrations.
Update (10-31-2013): After using the new Paperwhite for a month, the added feature that I love the most is the Page Flip. When you're on a page, swipe up from the bottom, and a slightly smaller pop-up of the page appears. The pop-up has page turn arrows to go back or go forward in the book (you can also just swipe the pop-up page). When you're ready to return to your original page, press the "X" in the upper right corner of the pop-up, and the pop-up page goes away. It's as close as you can get to holding your finger between pages in a printed book while you flip pages. This is really a helpful feature.
8,079 of 8,340 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A new step forward for me in reading on my Kindle!,
This review is from: Kindle Paperwhite, 6" High Resolution Display with Next-Gen Built-in Light, Wi-Fi - Includes Special Offers (Electronics)
I have loved and used my Kindle Keyboard for years now but I missed not being able to read it in a room with low lighting or in the dark. I purchased a Kindle Fire and I also use an iPad 3 but for ease of reading on my eyes I prefer the Kindle Keyboard. I wanted to get a Kindle Paperwhite e-Reader but I held off until this new generation was released before I spent my money. I got this because I wanted to reduce my eyestrain from reading in the evening and I just love this new tablet. It offers the perfect balance of a lit screen with reduced eyestrain and high clarity and contrast of the text.
I have added a video of the Kindle Paperwhite compared to a Kindle Keyboard and a Kindle Fire. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me and I will try to answer them.
I love that the text on the screen is crisp and clear. I use the Kindle because my declining vision caused me to stop reading books. Reading was my number one hobby my entire life and I just loved it. The Kindle has brought back that reading experience and now with the crisper text and lit screen I can enjoy my reading in every type of environment. I laid my Kindle Keyboard and the New Kindle Paperwhite side by side and the comparison of the quality of text and clarity is amazingly in favor of the new Paperwhite. The new lighting system and screen clarity is where this Paperwhite design really is outstanding. With better contrast, lighting and custom designed fonts, the text just pops out of the screen like you have not seen in an e-Reader before. With 221 PPI (Pixels Per Inch) this screen provides a 768 by 1024 pixel screen that just makes the old Kindle Keyboard look old fashioned. Technology certainly does move quickly on.
My favorite time to read is the last two hours of the evening before bedtime. Unfortunately that is the worst time to use a non-lit screen e-Reader. I went to using the Kindle Fire and the iPad 3. Unfortunately I noticed eyestrain that limited my reading time and I did not get the full enjoyment of spending my time reading. This new soft lit screen is unobtrusive and for me my eyes do not get tired of reading like they do on the Kindle Fire and on the iPad. After reading on the other backlit tablets I feel like I have that 1000 yard stare with dry and tired eyes. This lighting effect is softer and easier to read without the tired eyes and blurry vision. I am glad that I finally made the investment to get an updated Kindle Paperwhite.
There are 8 font sizes and I recently learned from one of the brilliant people who added a comment to this review that you can pinch and zoom on the Kindle Paperwhite to expand the font size or decrease it like you do on a powerful tablet, this is a great feature. There are 6 different font styles and they are Baskerville, Futura, Caecilia, Helvetica, Caecilia Condensed and Palatino. The fonts have been fine tuned to offer additional sharpness and clarity which is great for reducing eyestrain and fatigue. I love the new dictionary feature that creates a Vocabulary Builder which is a list of the words that you looked up and you can review the list and use flashcards to enhance your vocabulary and reading skills.
I thought that I would have trouble making the transition from the Kindle Keyboard to the New Kindle Paperwhite but it was a breeze. I think that using a touch screen and using finger swipes to turn pages and emulated keyboards like on the Kindle Fire and iPad made it a natural transition to this new Kindle. There is a minor learning curve of learning where to touch the screen but the changeover was fast and easy. The capacitive touch response of the screen is very nice. It makes the New Paperwhite respond quickly to finger touches, menu changes and page turns and the faster CPU helps there also.
What I like about the Kindle Paperwhite is that it is a dedicated e-Reader and it combines the best features of the Kindle e-ink and the iPad/Kindle Fire.
* Ultra lightweight at 7.3 ounces and easily held for hours with one hand. I love the size and weight as it is comfortable to hold for long periods of time and you don't find yourself laying down the Paperwhite like I would be doing with my iPad 3.
* Lit screen for reading in poorly lighted areas like the iPad and Kindle Fire but without the eyestrain. The lighting level is adjustable.
* High clarity of the text and contrast for easy reading
* Fast charging time in 4 hours
* Ability to be easily read in the sunlight with no screen glare.
* WIFI connectability
* Battery life of 28 hours (of reading time) depending on the WIFI usage and screen brightness used.
* Touch screen control
* Easy page turning and access to the onboard dictionary, access to Wikipedia and X-Ray.
* Easy to access menu and setup was a breeze
* 25% faster response for loading books and page turning thanks to a faster microprocessor.
* Small, thin and highly portable
* Able to carry 1,100 books
* My favorite feature is the adjustable text size and font style!
* Custom tuned fonts add clarity and crispness to the quality of the displayed text
* Since I review a lot of books I love to highlight sections and text as well as take notes on the screen.
* Translation of foreign language that is used in the book
* Web surfing is possible but still slower than a good tablet. Who cares, this is my portable ebook reader with 1,100 books in it. I have other devices to browse the web and read my email.
* I like the rubberized feel of the back and it is similar to my Kindle Fire. It makes the Kindle Paperwhite easy to grip and hold with one hand and just have it lay in the palm of my hand without a case.
This tablet gives me the best reading conditions in the daytime and also in the night. It has a lot of great features but I wanted to post a review that provides a strong comparison between the new Kindle Paperwhite, the Kindle Keyboard and the Kindle Fire when used as purely a reading device.
-------------------------------------Kindle Paperwhite---------Kindle Keyboard----------Kindle Fire original
Screen size: -------------------- 6 inch------------------------6 inch E Ink Pearl----------7 inch color LCD
Weight: --------------------------7.3 ounces------------------8.7 ounces-------------------14.6 ounces
Overall Size: --------------------6.7"x4.6"x0.36"-----------7.5"x4.8"x0.34"-------------7.5"x4.7"x0.45"
Battery life in hours of reading: 28 hours----------------28 hours----------------------8 hours
Charging Time: -----------------4 hours----------------------4 hours------------------------4 hours
Eyestrain: ---none under all reading conditions---yes in poor light----------yes due to backlighting
Memory: -------------------------2 GIG -------------------------4 GIG ---------------------------8 GIG
Number of books: -------------1,100--------------------------3,500----------------------------6,000
Included charger: --------------No---------------------------Yes--------------------------------Yes
WIFI Connectability: ----------Fast and easy--------------Fast and easy-------------------Fast and easy
* No distraction from email
* No distractions from text messages
* No distractions from phone calls.
* You can use a capacitive stylus on the screen to help keep the screen clean.
* Great battery life and fast charging.
* Perfect form factor for size and weight for a hand held portable e-reader.
* I don't need to use the stupid book light that never worked well anyway!
* Faster page tuning which for me really makes a difference.
* Connection to the WIFI was fast and easy.
* Downloading my book library was fast and easy.
* Even though the screen has slight texture to it is does not show fingerprints as bad as a glossy screen like a Kindle Fire or an iPad
* It still costs extra money for an AC wall adapter. It comes with a USB to Micro USB cable that you can use for charging and connecting to any AC USB wall adapter or computer USB port. I don't need another USB power adapter but not getting one just makes Amazon look cheap in not supplying one with the product.
* They charge extra money to remove push ads to your Kindle Paperwhite
* No speakers and no ability to have the book read aloud to you using text to speech.
* Dropping the memory to 2 GIG with only 1.25 GIG available. I know 1100 book storage is a lot but memory is getting cheaper and not more expensive. I already own 703 Kindle books and I continually purchase more. I would just have preferred more memory.
Overall considering all the issues this is a great e-Reader. It is the best available at this time. I do feel that Amazon always gives some things and takes away others. Things like memory/book storage capacity, text to speech, speakers and AC wall chargers disappear from new products and sometimes return in others. I also don't care for the ads still being pushed in our faces. This is still a solid 5 star product and you can't go wrong with buying one. It is just that sometimes the things you lose seem to mean more to users than to Amazon. I don't mind them saving some money but raise the price $10 and put in all the features that users will need like a charger. This product with a few other features left in could have be a 10 star item with no regrets!
10,434 of 10,877 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good as a first Paperwhite, not worthy of an upgrade,
This review is from: Kindle Paperwhite, 6" High Resolution Display with Next-Gen Built-in Light, Wi-Fi - Includes Special Offers (Electronics)
This review is for the second generation Kindle Paperwhite. Like all kindle e-readers before it, this is a great product. However, I am a bit disappointed as there is not a huge improvement over last year's model. For this review, I focused on features and enhancements exclusive to the new Paperwhite and tried to make comparisons to last year's model. Also, I found somethings misrepresented or confusing in the advertising, so I will try to clear them up.
Design - The Kindle white has a nice look and shape. It fits well and is easy to hold in one hand. It's fairly light, so it doesn't tire the hands too much. I can grip it for long periods before having to switching hands. Its design is very similar to the previous Paperwhite - almost identical. The height and width are the same, the buttons are in the same location, and although this version is slightly lighter, it is not noticeable.
Display - Although not a huge improvement from last year's model, the display is one of the best features of the Paperwhite. Like most e-readers, the Paperwhite uses digital ink technology. This model employs a more advanced version. In addition, the lighting has been upgraded, so among other things, it is more evenly lit. Together, they make for incredible viewing. In my opinion, it's one of the best digital ink e-reader display on the market. I really enjoy reading on it, text look very sharp and crisp, with little to no eye strain.
Processor - The Paperwhite has an upgraded processor, which means smoother page turns and navigation. I am able to open books, flip pages, and navigate menus fairly quickly. There is barely any lag as I flip through many pages at a time. Also, the flashing effect when turning pages shows up less if at all. Although, when turning to a new page, I can still see remnants in the empty spaces caused by the text from the previous page, but not sure how much of this is because of processor speed. This is a nice upgrade from the previous Paperwhite.
Touchscreen - The touchscreen is good, it works as it should. The screen responds to the items I am trying to select. Rarely does it misinterpret my selection.
Battery Life - I haven't really had a chance to test this out, but Amazon quotes battery life to be eight weeks. Note, these are under very specific conditions - "based on a half hour of reading per day with wireless off and the light setting at 10." So let's do the math, 8 weeks x 7 days in a week = 56 days * .5 hours/day = 28 hour battery life. This is with wireless off and light at 10. Turn on wireless or raise the light setting, and performance drops. So battery life is not as huge of a jump from other devices as Amazon would lead us to believe.
In addition to hardware, the Paperwhite has some software upgrades. Initially they seem like separate and unique improvements. However, I found much of it to revolve around a single enhancement with many features added to it. That enhancement is the picture-in-picture screen. With this popup like screen, you are able to see information and navigate menus without leaving the current page you are reading. The device has leveraged the popup in several ways.
Word Lookup - One of the things I love about e-readers over traditional books is the ability to look up definitions of words in real-time, right from the device. No need to pull out a separate dictionary or thesaurus. Although most e-readers have this feature, I like the enhancement made for the new Paperwhite. It allows me to lookup a word on dictionary, x-ray, and Wikipedia on a single interface. For me this is great. I am a knowledge seeker, and when I come across something I want to know more about, whether it is a definition of a word or getting background information about a term, I can do that.
Page Flip - The page flip function is probably the best improvement of the upgraded software, it rocks! With it, I can skim forward or backward, like flipping back and forth between the pages of a real book. It's not quite like a real book, but in some respects a little better. It works by opening a popup window on top of the current page I am on. From this popup screen, I can scroll back and forth by page or by chapter. Since I am skimming on the popup screen, I never lose my place. I find it really handy for referencing a chart or visual aid on another page, or if I want go back to review or reread a section I didn't fully understand. When I am done, I can close out of the popup window to go back to the original page.
Foot Note - Nothing huge, but worth noting. In previous kindle versions, looking at a footnote meant navigating away from the page you are reading. With the addition of the popup function, footnotes instead open up in a separate screen. Not a huge enhancement, unless you are reading footnote heavy books, but then again how many of us really are?
Vocabulary Builder - Not something useful to me, but others might enjoy. The Paperwhite will collect all the words you look up definitions for and archive them so you can view them later. This can be used as a way to build your vocabulary. It has built in support to review the words like a flashcard, which will display both the definition of the word and its context. Again, not something for me, but I can see it being useful for the geek at heart.
Free Time - Don't have kids so can't give an elaborate opinion on this. All I know is that it is a parental control feature similar to what is on the Kindle Fire HD. It puts restrictions on what your kids can do and see when using the device.
Goodreads - For those who don't know, Goodreads is essentially a social network for readers, where people can review books and exchange recommendations. Amazon recently purchased Goodreads, allowing the company to now also become a social networking service. It will be interesting how Amazon moves forward with this, or what will happen now that Goodreads is no longer independent.
Currently, the Paperwhite comes in two versions, WiFi Only and 3G.
Wifi Only - The wifi version costs $119. Wifi doesn't mean you can browse the web on it. It simply means you can purchase and download books without connecting it to a computer.
3G - This version cost $189. It isn't like buying a 3G Tablet, where you will have to pay for a monthly data plan. Again, you can't use it to surf the internet. The benefit of 3G on this device is that it allows you to purchase books independent of a wifi connection, but you need to be in an area with 3G cellular coverage. So if you're on the actual Amazon, Amazon.com can't deliver to you. This version is not slated to be released until early November.
Ads - Ads are shown on the home screen on both versions when the screen goes to sleep or you power the device on. For an additional $20, you can opt out of the ads. I was pretty vocal with my dislike of ads in my review of the Kindle Fire HD last year. I think ads are tasteless and cheapen the experience, and don't belong here. But like for any corporation, money is king.
When you buy an e-reader, you are not just getting a physical product, you are getting amenities of that brand's ecosystem. For example, if you buy a Barnes and Noble Nook, you can read books for free in their stores. If you buy a kindle, you get features like X-ray, which as I said I really like. Personally, I think Amazon has one of the better eco-systems for books. They have a library not available anywhere else, if you are a Prime member, you can download books for free, and now with the acquisition of Goodreads, they have really changed the game.
I mentioned last year in the Fire HD review that Amazon has always been at the forefront of the book buying and reading experience. I still feel that way. I think they are always innovating in this area. Some of the innovations aren't the best, but I give them credit for trying. If we ever fall into a police state society where books are banned, like in Ray Bradbury's novel Farenhiet 451, something tells me Amazon will be the revolutionary force using some advanced form of whispersycn technology to make sure books still reach people...probably not, but it gives you an idea of how dedicated they are to books.
SO, SHOUD YOU BUY?
If you own last year's Paperwhite - I don't think it is worth the upgrade. I don't really see this as a second generation Paperwhite device. In terms of design and hardware, it is nearly unchanged. Yes pages turn faster, but your reading experience is not going to change that much. The useful enhancements are in the software, but if you are interested in those, Amazon will likely have updates available for the older kindles. A true upgrade would have been to add a stylus so you can take and save handwritten notes or maybe offer a model with a bigger screen. If you do trade up though, one benefit is that your old cases will still fit.
If you own a Kindle Fire, Fire HD, or another Tablet - and are thinking about getting a more portable reader, I recommend it. I personally like reading more on an e-reader than a tablet. In sunlight, there is significantly less glare, and since you don't have a bright screen shining in your face, reading doesn't feel as intense. Also, e-readers are smaller and lighter so it is easier to carry them with me to the park or beach. Another benefit is that battery life on e-readers are considerably longer, not eight weeks as Amazon has listed, but enough so I am not charging it daily.
If you own another kindle model - I believe it is worth the upgrade. You'll get a bigger, better, and brighter screen, a faster device, touch screen, and more features in terms of software.
If you don't own any e-readers and this will be your first purchase, or if you're just waking out of a coma and the concept of e-readers is new, you can't go wrong with the new Paperwhite. Good combination of hardware, software, and ecosystem.
Hope this review has been helpful and given you useful information for your decision. One thing I didn't include is a comparison to other brands. Personally, and I hate to say this, but I don't see a future for many of them. What Apple did to Virgin Music and other record stores, Amazon is on the verge of doing to bookstores and retailers.
118 of 120 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Huge upgrade from the kindle keyboard,
I had a kindle keyboard. I still have. I'm not sure I'm ready to part with it. I'm rather attached. The kindle is *the* e-reader. It's fantastic. I had my kindle keyboard for a couple years and I couldn't imagine reading on anything else. There were times I left my kindle at work and had to read on my ipad. I hated it. However I found the keyboard interface to be cumbersome and just "old". I wanted something new. So onto the paperwhite.
Mine was a gift. I have the wifi only version. Why would you need the 3G? Just download several books at once and you are good to go. I will say that the paperwhite light is fantastic. Have you watched the videos on the paperwhite. It's not a "traditional" backlight. It does not shine the light towards your eyes, but rather down at the screen. GENIUS!!!! I sit at a computer all day. I do not want more light shining at my eyes. Which is why I loved my kindle keyboard for so long. I haven't had the paperwhite very long, but I keep it at about a medium brightness so far. I love that I can now read in bed with no other light. The paperwhite is light weight. It's rather small, but about the same width as the kindle keyboard. I put both kindles on the same page of a book and more lines were rendered on the paperwhite than the keyboard. But the font isn't smaller. Somehow more words are fit on the page. I like the touchscreen interface. I really found the keyboard keys to be tedious. I kind of sort of miss the page flip buttons though. I loved those. Since they were on both sides of the kindle, they were easily accessible no matter what I was doing at the time or how I was laying. IMO the jury is still out on whether or not I can live without those buttons. So far I'm doing ok, but I will confess to missing them greatly. I also preferred the sliding power button on the kindle keyboard rather than the push one on the paperwhite.
But overall the paperwhite is fanastic. It's a huge upgrade and I'm thrilled with it!!! If you still have the kindle keyboard don't think twice about upgrading. You will love the paperwhite.
I really really miss the page keys. I find myself turning pages that I don't mean to. And I'd *really* want to be able to turn the page with my left hand when necessary without reaching across the kindle to tap the right side of the screen.
The battery doesn't last 8 week. What the heck? No way.
I also confirmed that I really like the sliding power switch. I mentioned that in the initial review but after using it for a few weeks I realize how much I miss the sliding power switch. I could turn my old kindle off with one hand. I haven't quite mastered that with this kindle since I have to push the button. Maybe once the case (which was really backordered) arrives that will help, but I can't grip the kindle well enough with one hand to push the button as well with that same hand.
I still love this kindle. Reading in poor lighting is so much better, but I wish some things had carried over.
1,453 of 1,597 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Value for Your Money Compared to Other e-Ink Kindles,
I am writing this review from the perspective of being a long-time Kindle user vs. someone brand new to the Kindle experience. As a point of reference, I have owned and used each model of the e-Ink Kindles and Kindle Fires.
From an overall standpoint, and considering everything you get (compact e-Reader, touch screen, lighting system), the Paperwhite is a very good e-Reader. Similar to the first-generation Paperwhite, I am impressed at how much smaller these e-Readers can become as compared to a "regular" Kindle or my Kindle Keyboard yet still not feel like you're losing anything from a "feels like a book" experience.
To address the reading experience, I compared the current book I was reading side-by-side with the first generation Paperwhite as I wasn't sure what to expect with the display. The text on the screen is sharper than the first generation with a better contrast: the whites are whiter and the blacks are blacker. Why is that important? It means the text is more crisp while you are reading which is always a good thing (and my aging eyes). Compared to a regular e-Ink Kindle, the text on the screen is much more crisp than any of the other version of an e-Ink Kindle I have used, and just to ensure I wasn't being biased I put the Paperwhite next to a Kindle 3 / Keyboard, a Touch, a "regular" Kindle, and a Kindle DX - all on the same page of a book with the covers removed (didn't want the cover to give an optical illusion or anything) - and you can clearly see a better quality in terms of the fonts.
Reading in the dark is a good experience with the lighting display in comparison to the other versions of Kindle because you don't need an additional light that can get in the way: it didn't disturb, for example, my wife who likes to watch TV in a dark room; the same is true in comparison to the first-generation Paperwhite. it is also very convenient on a plane ride at night as you are able to see the full page of the text vs. a light attachment only reaching most of the screen: there are no impediments to the reading screen. Reading outside is not a problem, either, as compared to some of the display issues you may have with a Kindle Fire outside.
Turning the page backwards and forwards is as simple as a simple tap of the thumb as you hold the device or, if you prefer, a swipe with your finger in either direction.
Accessing the menu structure of the Paperwhite is also simple: just touch the top 20-30% of the screen where you can quickly access a keyboard, hit the menu, table of contents, etc. Navigation is a piece of cake.
This generation of the Paperwhite is supposed to have a processor that is 25% faster than the first-generation Paperwhite: I can't seem to tell a difference between the two models, as a page turn appears to take just as long - and I didn't notice a delay in the first place.
Something new in this model - to me, at least, as I never saw it on the first generation Paperwhite - is a tool called Vocabulary Builder, which is supposed to help you learn new words while you read: words you look up in the Kindle's dictionary are stored in Vocabulary Builder, where you can then view Flashcards or review usage examples for those words. It's not something I see myself personally using, but I imagine my kids will as they are reading about 75% of their school books for reading class or extra credit on their Kindles.
WiFi setup was easy, and it took me an extra minute because I typed in the incorrect password to my wireless router. Web surfing speed with the WiFi feature on the Paperwhite is about the same as the other type of e-Ink Kindles and the first generation Paperwhite. Doing a side-by-side test I tried the mobile websites of Fox News and CNN and they popped right up; the usual slow sites were still slower than Christmas (Houston Chronicle newspaper in particular). With the whiter whites and darker darks I mentioned above, the crispness of the web pages - especially pictures - is much improved in this model. Checking email with an e-Ink Kindle via Gmail is a chore with this as well as other versions of e-Ink Kindle, but none of that is really important to me as I have too many device that do that anyway: when I have my Kindle, I usually want to read a book vs. surf the web or check email.
Despite what people may say, size matters! In this case, the Paperwhite is not too small and not too large and Amazon appears to have hit the sweet spot. I would highly recommend the Amazon-branded case for it, as it fits snug and firm and automatically puts the unit into sleep mode when you close the cover, and wakes it back up when you open the cover. To see the cover I purchased, click this link: Amazon Kindle Paperwhite Leather Cover, Onyx Black (does not fit Kindle or Kindle Touch).
About the only negative I have for this unit, if you could even call it a negative, is Amazon continues to be rather cheap and not include a power adapter with the included power cord. True, most people have lots of adapters they can plug the micro-USB cord into, but please make the unit complete and functional fresh out of the box. Despite that statement, for just $119 I think this is a great unit and I enjoy reading with it: the Paperwhite has replaced my beloved Kindle Keyboard for reading!
If you boil down all of the whistles and bells, the cost of the unit and the cost of additional items (cover, screen protector), plus the elimination of purchasing an external light for reading at night, I think the Paperwhite is hands down the best e-Ink Kindle readeryou're your money Amazon is offering right now. If you are looking to upgrade your current e-Ink Kindle, or are a first-time Kindle purchaser, I would recommend this model of the Kindle every time.
318 of 347 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Can't choose 3G if Wi-Fi is available.,
This review is from: Kindle Paperwhite 3G, 6" High Resolution Display with Next-Gen Built-in Light, Free 3G + Wi-Fi - Includes Special Offers (Electronics)
I love my Paperwhite -- Great display, a joy to read, compact size, light weight, great battery life. I do, however have one issue that buyers should be aware of. If the Paperwhite finds a Wi-Fi connection, it will insist on using it. The Paperwhite does not have the option of turning off Wi-Fi and using a 3G connection. This can be a problem if you are somewhere that you really don't want to use Wi-Fi. Personally, I've had this problem in hotel rooms with "Pay-for-Use" Wi-Fi. It would seem so simple to just turn off Wi-Fi and use 3G; but it can't be done.
Yes, I would buy this Kindle again; but I am disappointed that I cannot select the use of Wi-Fi or 3G. I paid a lot more for a 3G Whitepaper. It would be nice to be able to use it when I want to use it. Users considering the purchase of a 3G Paperwhite should be aware of this restriction.
279 of 306 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Three in a row with display flaws,
I wanted to like the new Kindle Paperwhite. I tend to read my Kindle books on my iPhone and was looking for a little bit larger screen and also a device that wouldn't be a total loss if it were to get damaged at the beach, by the pool, etc. (vs. my actual phone that contains much more than just the Kindle software).
I first purchased the new Paperwhite at a local Best Buy store. Upon opening it and powering it on there were very noticeable "specks" underneath the top layer of the screen. These were not visible when the display light was off, but as soon as the light was on, even at its lowest setting, these spots would become visible. The best way I can describe it is that there is some type of dust or other imperfection that is between the top layer of the screen where the light is and the screen itself. When the light turns on it hits these specks from the side and causes bright white spots to appear on the display.
Since these bright white spots were right in the middle of the display they were right in the middle of each page of the book. I returned the first Paperwhite to Best Buy and decided that I would just buy it directly from Amazon because I figured Amazon would be better able to support their own product in case I got another one with this flaw.
I ordered the second Paperwhite from Amazon and when it arrived I was disappointed to find that it too had the same issue. This time the specks were a little lower on the screen than before.
I contact Amazon support to have the item exchanged. Amazon requires that you actually call and speak to somebody before returning or exchanging a Kindle, presumably because they want to make sure you understand how to use it and aren't returning it for a simple problem that they can fix over the phone.
When I called and explained the problem the support person I got kept insisting that bright spots along the side of the screen were normal. I already knew this as there was significant coverage in major tech website's reviews about the bright edge lighting on the Paperwhite. This was not my issue at all though as I was totally aware of and expected the slightly brighter light along the edges of the Paperwhite. The bright edge lighting does not bother me at all as it is on the edge and not in the middle of the screen where it will be in your line of sight while reading. After explaining the issue several times the agent seemed to reluctantly agree to send me a replacement Paperwhite.
The replacement Paperwhite arrived a few days later and, not surprisingly at this point, had the same issue but this time there were even more specks and they were once again right in the middle of the screen. Once again I contacted Amazon by phone to inquire about a replacement. This time the agent was very defensive and indicated that "Amazon is fully aware of this issue but has chosen not to offer replacements for it" (the agent's words). I was told that my only options were to either keep the one I had or return it for a refund and "choose another Kindle device" but that they would not allow me to exchange it for another Paperwhite. If I had known this was going to be the case I wouldn't have returned the second device because at least with it there were less specks and they were lower on the screen.
In any event I ended up just returning the third Paperwhite as well and have since started using other devices to read Kindle books. Generally I find Amazon's customer service to be top-notch and have been a frequent and long-time customer of theirs, so I was a bit surprised that they didn't want to fully support their flagship product. Having known issues with the display and not wanting to fix them seems unusual for Amazon.
Some people may look at this as being picky, but when I am going to be reading thousands of pages of text on a display I want it to be absolutely perfect and not have a bright white dot in the middle of the page. It it was a regular book then it would be fine because it would only affect a single page, but on the Kindle that display is EVERY page of EVERY book you read.
Since this flaw was present on three separate devices purchased from two different sources, and Amazon even told me on the phone that it is a known issue, then I must assume that it is an issue on a a large percentage of the devices but most people either don't notice it or don't care about it.
If you decide to purchase the Paperwhite and are at all sensitive to "dead pixels" or bright spots on your computer monitor then make sure you give the Kindle screen a good inspection when you receive it to ensure there aren't any of these specks that reflect light trapped between your screen.
245 of 269 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Uneven lighting. Amazon won't allow replacement,
I love my original Kindle. I bought this one anticipating that it would be an overall improvement in my reading experience. My hope was that I'd be able to read it in a dark room while my significant other slept without having to turn on a light. Basically, I expected the backlight to work... you know... the #1 most advertised feature it has.
The lighting is incredibly uneven. I have added a photo to the gallery for you to view. The lower left corner is dark. I can't read text in that area while in a dark room unless I turn the screen up to the point where it is entirely too bright in the other areas.
When I noticed it, I thought, "Fine, must be defective. I'll just go to Amazon and get a replacement." No dice. Amazon's replacement system will only allow me a refund or a store credit to be used towards another item. So I have to send in the Kindle, wait for a refund, and then purchase another one? All because Amazon screwed up? I fail to see how that makes any sense.
When filling out the return/refund form, I select "Defective/Does not work properly." I am then notified that I can't get a replacement because "We only offer replacements if the return is as a result of our error (e.g., item arrived damaged or was lost)." So, I can only get a replacement if the item arrived damaged (which it did), but still can't get a replacement. Asinine.
I will update my review when Amazon remedies this problem.
215 of 236 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Took the plunge...,
I've always been a person who's adamantly disliked ebooks. I preferred the real thing, the feel of the book, flipping the pages, the smell of the paper and ink. I briefly gave the first generation Nook a try, mostly for the ease of carrying a ton of books with me in college without adding to my already overloaded book bag, but honestly didn't like it at all.
Yet after being bombarded with Kindle Paperwhite commercials for the past month, and coming face to face with the device in a Best Buy, I finally decided to give it a look, and after investigating all the features on the Amazon page for it, decided to take the plunge. And I'm seriously glad I did!
The device is so small and light, it's really comfortable to hold in pretty much any reading position with one hand or both. I love to read in bed, and I can even balance it on a pillow one handed without having to worry about it slipping out of my hand as I tried to turn pages, and snapping shut to lose my place. When you read thick, monster sized books like I do, this is a real concern!
The screen is brilliant, evenly lit across the entire surface, with a gorgeous, no glare finish. I was able to read in bed in complete comfort, in the dark, after my husband had already gone to sleep. The light adjusts from being exceedingly bright to very dim while all still being evenly lit, so I'd imagine anyone would be able to find a setting comfortable for their eyes in various environments. The screen itself is slightly recessed into the black border, so the chances of accidentally turning a page are reduced.
The system controls wonderfully. Everything is snappy; the pages flip fast, the browser loads the store quickly. Downloading books really is as quick and simple as advertised. When you first start the device, there's a brief setup to pick your language, set up the WiFi, and link to your amazon account. After that, there's a a brief tutorial showing you the ropes of controlling the system, which I feel that anyone should be able to learn. The ability to change the font size and the font itself is quick and easy to access, but not something I've yet used. From the looks of the settings however, I imagine there would be something to suit everyone's needs.
One feature I thought I'd rarely if ever use is the 'Lookup' feature. I hardly ever bother to look up words I don't know when I come across them whilst reading as I can almost always infer their meaning from context. However, when I have a dictionary or Wikipedia article right at my fingertips, there's just no reason not to look them up. It's not necessarily a feature used only for little known words you haven't encountered before; today while reading, I came across a passage involving a tray of food. Besides the tea, cookies, bowl of olives and other things on the tray, there were two items in french. Simply by tapping and holding on the words themselves, I discovered through the dictionary that the items were actually a plate of various cold cuts, and a type of french sausage. Did I need to know exactly what these items were to understand the passage? No. Did it lead to a more detailed image of the scene and a more enjoyable passage? Most definitely! This feature even works on character's names within the text when it's enabled by the publisher, and will bring up a description of the character- very helpful for any books with a large cast of characters.
But what really won me over was the ebooks themselves. You can buy pretty much any book in a somewhat less expensive digital format, and Amazon has sales all the time apparently. I've already picked up three full novels from the monthly sale for only $1.99 a piece. Add to that the lending library from Amazon Prime, and being able to check out ebooks from the public library without even having to leave the house, on top of being able to email myself PDF's and other files of my own... It's just fantastic. Plus, with Amazon adding in the 'Kindle Matchbook' feature at some point, I'll be able to buy the print version of books I'll definitely read again and want to own a physical copy of, and still be able to get the digital to read on the go with ease for a significant discount. I can still have my print collection of my favorite author's works grow, while being able to enjoy the ease and convenience of the ebook as well!
I've seen a lot complaints about the ads that appear on the lock screen, but I personally don't mind them at all. The ads are for new releases and sale books, which I don't mind seeing anyway- I might want that book, who knows! Besides, it's more interesting then a blank lock screen anyway. You can pay extra to get rid of the ads apparently, but I wouldn't waste the money to do that when the ads are likely to be of interest anyway.
The battery for me is not lasting as long as specified, but I'm also not using it in the specified way either. Amazon's advertised battery life is for 8 weeks with airplane mode on, only using a light level of ten, and reading for only 30 minutes a day. My Paperwhite's Battery hit less then half full in about 2-3 days, but I was also reading for hours each day, with the light higher set higher then ten. The battery should be plenty to last you the time of a plane, car, or train trip no problem- and it charges fairly quickly. It's a shame that the Kindle itself doesn't come with a wall outlet adapter for the USB cable, but the Paperwhite uses the same connector that my Galaxy S3 phone uses (which I believe is the same as most phones nowadays) and I should be able to use one of those cables. It's nice to have the option to buy the adapter separately, rather then building one into the price; most people should have plenty of charging cables with wall plugs laying around from their other devices.
The Kindle Paperwhite was the perfect ebook storm to make me finally take the plunge and become a dedicated e-reader. The crisp book like display, ease of getting and carrying books with me, being able to read in any light level, perfect size and shape for any reading location or position. It's just... unbelievably good. I love my Kindle far more then I ever thought I would, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone. Even if you're completely dedicated to your physical bookshelves, give Paperwhite a try- it's worth it.
73 of 77 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Detailed review of the Kindle PaperWhite - best e-reader out there but not a huge upgrade over the last generation,
This review is from: Amazon Kindle Paperwhite with Special Offers, Wi-Fi, Black (Electronics)
I've used many Kindle's over the years, starting with the original one which I still have and still works to this day. The Kindle PaperWhite addressed many of the issues I had with previous Kindle models and generations and this new 2nd generation PaperWhite brings some small but noticeable improvements over the 1st generation.
I'll go over some of the basics and elaborate on them as needed, starting with the screen:
*** SCREEN ***
The Kindle PaperWhite comes with a nice 212 ppi screen which is noticeably crisper and bolder than the standard, entry level Kindles, yet still slightly lower than the Kindle Voyage which boasts an impressive 300 ppi resolution. While it's nearly impossible for the human eye to see individual pixels at 300 ppi, 212 ppi isn't that far behind. UPDATE: The new screen boasts an impressive 25% increase in contrast (the manufacturer, E-Ink, claims it's actually a 50% increase) and a 22% better reflection prevention. This new display is called "E-Ink Carta" and replaces the 1st generation PaperWhite's "E-Ink Pearl" display. Faster page turns are also achieved by the new display due to the way the screen handles changing the "e-ink" between pages. Comparing my 1st gen and 2nd gen side-by-side, I didn't notice a huge improvement in contrast or "ink" saturation, however, when comparing my 1st gen to my brother's 2nd gen, the difference was very noticeable. So, either I got stuck with a dud, or I just need to tweak some settings on mine.
The screen is a touchscreen and is very responsive and accurate; something that is sometimes a problem with touchscreen eReaders that are either unresponsive or inaccurate, forcing the user to press harder or very precisely touch areas of the screen to get a response.
*** BACKLIGHT ***
One of the biggest complaints of the 1st generation PaperWhite was the backlight, mainly due to the noticeable shadows seen at the bottom of the screen, especially when used in dark rooms or at night. Although I personally felt the shadows were not that big of a deal and most of time I never even noticed them, because so many people complained, Amazon went ahead and fixed it so this is probably the most noticeable upgrade from the previous generation.
The backlight can be adjusted, as needed, which is nice as having it at a high-brightness level at night is actually hard on the eyes and for some people, makes it difficult to use for long periods of time. The opposite is true in bright light situations where the backlight being turned up higher actually helps make it easier to read.
*** BATTERY LIFE ***
Amazon claims the Kindle PaperWhite can go weeks (up to 8 weeks mentioned on some websites out there) but in real use case scenarios, the battery life is nowhere near that level. While the PaperWhite does have decent battery life, it is more likely to be in the one to two week range, not four weeks and certainly not eight weeks, especially if you're using WiFi at all to download new books, or to get your daily reads delivered such as newspapers and blogs.
The PaperWhite charges very quickly so you shouldn't have any worries about topping off the battery as needed. The battery life is perfectly acceptable and adequate and you should have no problems even on week or two long vacation, for example, especially when compared to alternatives like a tablet, Chromebook, smartphone, etc.
*** SIZE AND WEIGHT ***
The new PaperWhite is the same size as the last generation which is nice because it allows you to reuse your current case. While I'm sure this has irritated the case manufacturers, it certainly is a nice thing for us! Even better, although the PaperWhite retains its size, it does take a slight trim in the weight, coming in at 7.3 ounces, compared to last generation's 7.8 ounces... again, not really noticeable, but a small improvement nonetheless.
Regarding cases, I would strongly recommend getting one of the magnetic cases because they automatically turn the PaperWhite on and off simply by opening or closing the cover. It's a simple AutoWake feature but it does come in handy as you don't have to mess around trying to find the tiny on/off switch every time you put your PaperWhite away or take a break from reading. I'm not sure which case I have but I think it's the Amazon brand case and it works really well. I do know I bought them at the same time as they had a bundle sale at the local electronics store I purchased them from.
*** PROCESSOR AND ON-BOARD STORAGE ***
This new generation PaperWhite is noticeably peppier and much more responsive than the first generation, mainly due to the new "E-Ink Carta" screen which has replaced the older "E-Ink Pearl" display. While the first generation wasn't slow by any means, it is nicer to have the faster response time as it helps avoid tapping the screen twice to turn the page, only to find out you've skipped a page and have to go back!
On board storage is 4GB (increased from 2GB just recently) which will handle a library of thousands of books, not to mention you have free, unlimited cloud-based storage for your content. If you got a PaperWhite with 2GB of onboard storage, it still is one of the new versions but it was manufactured before Amazon made the switch to 4GB of storage. Unless you have over 1,000 books, you won't even notice the difference as the 2GB is capable of holding about 1,100 books I believe.
*** X-RAY FEATURE, HIGHLIGHTING, AND DICTIONARY ***
Amazon has kept the X-Ray feature so those of you who have the previous generation and are considering upgrading, rest assured, the X-Ray feature is still here and has been upgraded to allow more functionality. More and more books are being preloaded with X-Ray data by Amazon and even it it's not there, you can always use the Wikipedia option to do a search.
Those new to the X-Ray technology, it is a capability on the PaperWhite that allows you to click on a character name, for example, and find all references to the character in the book. This is very helpful for novels when a character name comes up that you've seen before but forgot the details about. It's also helpful for non-fiction books when you need to find all references to a particular item or topic.
The "highlight" feature allows you to highlight (in black-and-white of course) a particular passage in a book and save it so you can go back to it at a later time. You also have the option of turning on an option that shows you other popular highlights from other readers of the book. This is a VERY useful feature, especially for non-fiction books as 99% of the time, the highlights other users have made, point out very important sentences and paragraphs in the book. Note that this feature does not show EVERY reader's highlights, it only shows the most popular ones and even tells you how many readers have highlighted a particular section. Again, this can be turned on or off if you find it distracting.
The dictionary feature works by allowing you to click on a word you don't know or need clarification on which brings it up in the dictionary.
*** OTHER MENTIONABLES AND REVIEW UPDATES ***
Something to keep in mind is the PaperWhite does not come with audio output so unlike the Kindle Fire tablets, listening to audiobooks is not an option on the PaperWhite. If you need audio features, you may want to look at the Kindle Fire lineup as audio capabilities are not available on the PaperWhite, standard Kindle, or the Kindle Voyage.
As has been the case for a while now, the Kindles come in either a "with special offers" or "without special offers" version. Personally, I always buy the "with special offers" version because the advertisements, mostly for books, do not bother me as they're really only seen on the screensaver and are not seen when reading the book. Sometimes they actually recommend books that may interest you, but more importantly, I really don't think it's worth spending the extra $20 just to get rid of them. If you think they'll bother you, get the "without special offers" version, or you can upgrade to that version at a later date after purchasing the PaperWhite.
*** CONCLUSION ***
This is still my favorite Kindle as it packs the most bang for the buck and is very affordable, especially when Amazon throws it on sale. While I don't think it's worth upgrading from the 1st generation, if you don't have a PaperWhite at all, I'd definitely recommend going with this version. Those with the first generation: I'd really recommend holding off for the moment until more substantial upgrades are made to the PaperWhite, but if you want to upgrade anyway, you certainly won't be disappointed.
*** If this review was at all helpful to you, please take a second to let me know. You can also post a comment or ask questions in the comments section below. I always try my hardest to get you the most information possible to hopefully help you make a confident decision on whether or not to buy a product. Thank you for taking the time to read my review! ***
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Kindle Paperwhite 3G, 6" High Resolution Display with Next-Gen Built-in Light, Free 3G + Wi-Fi - Includes Special Offers by Amazon
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