2,695 of 2,771 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 2 months ago by J. Chambers
2,113 of 2,214 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 2 months ago by D. Carlson
Most Helpful First | Newest First
2,695 of 2,771 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.
2,153 of 2,221 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!
2,113 of 2,214 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.
1,064 of 1,150 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Value for Your Money Compared to Other e-Ink Kindles,
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.
114 of 126 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not so incremental.... MUCH improved, but know what you are getting....,
I have the Kindle Keyboard, the low end Kindle, Kindle Touch, and Kindle Fire. All excellent devices in their own ways.
I purchased the first generation Paperwhite, and I returned it in a matter of a couple of days. I wrote an extensive review, mostly focused on the screen. The screen lighting was a mess, and the light had a blue cast. I could not read on it without eye fatigue within a matter of minutes. Since I read extensively on both my iPad and smartphones, I couldn't understand why this device gave me so much discomfort. So, for me, the original screen was simply a deal killer. The improvements to the screen are the difference to me of a "keeper" and a device that I couldn't think of keeping.
However, having said that, I was hesitant to purchase another one. Here's my first read on the new device:
Screen: This device is much better.... I just read on it in low light with the light at approximately 11, and it's great. Even turned up to 15 or 16, it's readable. The light is whiter, much more even across the screen. There is still some unevenness, but it's not bothersome (there is a brighter "stripe" of light at the top of the screen.)
Screen Contrast: Play with the light to see how the contrast changes with illumination. You'll see considerable variation. Still, it's too dark to read in a room at the settings Amazon suggests if there is no ambient light in the room, but the contrast is fine with the light set in the middle.
Speed: It's very zippy! Quick page turns, quick book opens, responsive screen.
New features: I love the ability to browse forward without moving from the current page. Highlighting is simple, and more flexible. You can change the length of the highlight easily by moving the brackets after your initial "grab" of all or part of a sentence. After you make the change, you touch "Highlight" and it's done. Not so easy on older devices. ** UPDATE** The vocabulary feature is great! Each time you look up a word, it goes into a vocabulary file. You can review the list, and give yourself Flashcard practice. Great way to improve your vocabulary! LOVE IT!
Battery Life: I will update this review as I see how this goes. I noticed that after only a few hours of use, that I see a "tick" of battery life reduced. However, since it's new, is indexing, and I downloaded 11 books, we'll see how the battery holds up with use. **UPDATE** I've had the device a total of 9 days, haven't used it daily, and I keep wifi off for the most part. The battery will need to be charged soon. FYI.
Page Numbers: I will also update this review after more experience on a variety of books. I'm reading a large book, and have the book on a number of devices. All have page numbers, except for the Paperwhite version. Not sure why. The book has been indexed by my device, so I'd expect them to be there. If this proves to be the case, I'll be calling the Paperwhite team in the hopes that this will be fixed in a software update. ****UPDATE**** To access page numbers: open your book. If you see location on the lower left, tap on it. It should switch to page numbers (tap again and you can scroll through other things: time in book and chapter). This will also change your table of contents to page numbers (hit Go To after tapping top of screen to bring up the menu).
Weight: Has a slightly hefty hand feel, but not enough to be bothersome.
What would I change:
Not much, except for two things:
Storage: 2G of storage is not enough, in my opinion. However, as my older devices became lower on storage, the device speed ground to a halt. So, this is one way of keeping the device performing. I'm already at 1.25G remaining storage with 11 books downloaded. I'd have paid extra to purchase a 4G option.
Audio: I don't care so much about text to speech, but I don't understand the lack of ability to use Audible books on this device (although with 2G of memory, it's obviously not an option at that level). Not being able to use Audible doesn't make sense to me in light of the Whispersync for voice feature that has become so much a part of Amazon's ecosystem. I suppose this drives people to the Kindle Fire, but still....
For the last two reasons, the device doesn't feel like a bargain to me at $119 (it's stripped in some ways, particularly next to a $139 8G Fire), but it is still an excellent device as long as you are clear on what you are getting.
A couple of initial tips:
I saw some crazy flashing of the screen (may also have impacted the battery) which I later realized may have been the cover images of my archived items loading onto my device. The flashing has stopped, so I expect that was the case. I have a lot of books in my Archive.
I found the recommendations at the bottom of my screen took up too much space from my library. I turned them off via "Settings".... great that you can do so.
Play with light settings until you feel comfortable in different light situations. I expect that you'll be changing the settings, but it's simple to do.
I'm glad that Amazon is not taking their focus off pure reading devices. I purchased this mainly to take the load off of my backlit devices (iPad and Fire), since I often found that I was either constantly charging, or couldn't read when I wanted to, since they were plugged in in another room.
**** UPDATE 10/25 ****
I've been using the device for about a month, and it's great! A pure reading device. I can read for long periods without eye fatigue, indoors or out.
It's very easy to navigate back and forth...for example: what to check chapter length? Just tap 'go to' and a drop down will show you the table of contents, including page numbers.
It's very responsive. The only lag I've seen is with a game that I downloaded, Slingo. That is sluggish.
I was reading outside near sunset. As it got darker, the device lighting enabled me to continue reading till it was almost dark without touching the lighting settings (and I could have continued reading after dark). Great!
Battery life: seems to be consistent around 9 to 10 days, with light set between 10 - 16 and with wireless off ( except when downloading). Not as good as I expected, but I can live with it.
Speed: I have noticed with use, and additional books stored, that the device is becoming more sluggish. If I type my password too quickly, it doesn't take, for example. I need to purposefully input each number, wait for it to show up onscreen, and then put in the next number. Also, with page turns. Not as quick as when I first received the device, but it's still ok.
Any questions, comments, things you'd like tested? Please post and I'll be back to you as soon as I'm able.
Enjoy! Nice job, Amazon!
159 of 180 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome but with one flaw,
155 of 177 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What I've been waiting for.,
This review is from: Kindle Paperwhite, 6" High Resolution Display with Next-Gen Built-in Light, Wi-Fi (Electronics)I'm a dedicated Apple guy, but about a month or so ago, a funny thing happened: I bought the newest model of the MacBook Air, and suddenly, I didn't need an iPad anymore. I asked myself what it was that attracted me to the iPad, and came up with several items--but mostly, I just read on it, and everything else I used it for could be done by my Air and iPhone. I sent my iPad 3 to my dad (he's 83, and he loves the retina screen), and I tried a first-generation iPad Mini to see what that was like, but reading on it just hurt my eyes, so I returned it. A couple of days later, Amazon let it be known they were upgrading the Paperwhite, and I took the leap, even though I've never owned an e-reader before. I received it about three hours ago.
So, in those three hours, I've already uploaded the books I'd been reading on my iPad via the Kindle app, and finished the first several chapters of a book I've been trying to start for a few weeks; the biggest difference for me was the complete lack of eye strain, which I've really noticed (I'm 55) on the iPad, and (I wish I could italicize this) it made reading as easy and as fun as a third grader getting through the newest Encyclopedia Brown. I'm not joking: all you want to do is sit back, relax, turn pages, and engross yourself. I feel like a "real reader" again.
So for now, I've got my MacBook Air for daily stuff, my iPhone for truly mobile things, and my Kindle Paperwhite for reading. How great is that? I'll update this with more pros and cons in a week or two, but for now, I'm just amazed.
193 of 224 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best Kindle yet, but only minor improvements from the previous model,
Holding the 2013 and 2012 Paperwhites side by side, I could not tell any difference between the form factor of the two (with the exception of the "Amazon" logo on the back instead of "Kindle"). The best thing about this is that it means you won't have to replace your cover again, which can cost half of the price of the Kindle. The form factor from the 2012 model is almost perfect, so I think there is little to improve on here. It would be nice if it was a millimeter or two thinner though.
HARDWARE - There are 4 main hardware improvements to the 2013 Paperwhite over last year's model. While none of them make the 2013 Paperwhite as significant of a leap as the 2012 Paperwhite was to the Touch, they do make it a better device overall.
1. Better Edge Lighting - One common complaint with the original Paperwhite was the smudge effect seen at the bottom of the device. This appears as four darker smudges coming up from the bottom edge. I always thought this was a very minor problem and it never bothered me, and it was only noticeable if you looked for it, but it was still a blemish. The new Paperwhite has eliminated this issue, and the lighting is now even all around. This is what the glow lighting should have been to begin with, and it looks amazing.
2. Higher Contrast - Amazon advertises higher contrast and a brighter display with this model, which uses E Ink Pearl 2 compared to Pearl 1 in the 2012 model. I could not tell a difference between looking at it side by side with the 2012 model. The brightness on the previous version has always been sufficient for me, although I imagine the improved contrast may be beneficial when reading for long periods of time.
3. Faster Processor - Amazon advertises a 25% faster processor (1Ghz compared to 800Mhz on previous model). You wouldn't think 25% would make a difference given how fast the previous model turned pages, but I saw a noticeable improvement in response time when flipping pages. I don't really know why you need this, since page flipping has never really been slow in previous generations, but it is there and does improve the reading experience slightly. This will mostly affect those who are faster readers. The easiest way I can describe this is that with my 2012 model, I would get to the end of the page, flip to the next page, and then scan my eyes up to the top left to start reading again. There would be about a quarter second delay while the Kindle reloaded the page and caught up to my eye. Now when I do it, the page loads and changes right when my eye reaches the screen, so there is less of a delay while I continue the sentence. This never bothered me before, but it's nice now that I know I can have it. There is also a longer time between refresh "flashes." With the previous generation, the screen would flash for half a second every 6th page turn. Now it waits twice as long before the flashes. It's not very noticeable on either model however.
4. Improved Touch Response - this is supposed to allow for a better response from the Kindle to page turns and selecting items. I didn't notice any difference with forward page turning, but did notice it is easier to turn backwards. One complaint I have had with the 2012 Paperwhite is that many times I will try to select a single word to view a definition, and the Kindle will select an entire sentence or phrase. This happens maybe 50% of the time. although not eliminated entirely, this does seem to be improved, and I found it easier to select words on this version of the Paperwhite. I did still see the occasional miss-select though (maybe about 20% of the time).
SOFTWARE - There are 4 main improvements to the 2013 Paperwhite over the previous model. Even though Amazon could likely issue all of these to Touch and 2012 Paperwhite owners through a software update, it's likely they will limit them to this model to encourage purchases.
1. Goodreads Integration - One of my main software complaints last year was that the Paperwhite didn't integrate with Amazon's Shelfari social book catalog site. This seemed like a huge wasted opportunity. Amazon has apparently realized this and at least integrated it with their Goodreads service (which leads me to believe they will likely discontinue Shelfari within a couple years). There is a Goodreads logo on the top menu bar that takes you to a customized page. The faster processor should allow for fairly functional browsing and integration with the site. Goodreads was not enabled at time of my review.
2. Page Flip - The idea with Page Flip is to mimic the act of keeping your current place, while navigating to another section of the book. This wasn't available on my review unit, but I could see how this could be useful for fantasy books that have maps, scientific books that have diagrams located in another section, or books that have indexes. It is more convenient than trying to accomplish this by using the bookmark feature that previous generation Kindles have had, but the practicality of it is still pretty limited.
3. FreeTime - This is a service aimed at children, and allows parents to view their child's reading levels, and set goals for their children directly through the Kindle, as well as offering rewards for goals customized through the device. This section was not enabled on my unit, but I like any idea that encourages children to read, but the goals section needs more development. The achievement rewards don't seem like enough to really motivate a child. Thankfully, the progress reports can allow the parents to set up their own rewards system. It would be better if it allowed automatic sending of progress reports to the parent's e-mail, or even to sync to another kindle, so you didn't have to physically review the kindle every time.
4. Smart Lookup - this function combines the dictionary, X-Ray and Wikipedia lookups to one section. It is now much more user-friendly and a big improvement. I use the dictionary service all the time, and I love that it stores words I have looked up in the past so that I can go back to them months later and see if I retained the definition. It handles phrases much more easily than before as well.
- No wall charger included - Although it comes with a micro-b USB cable, it still doesn't come with a USB power adapter to plug it into a wall. You can charge it by plugging the USB into a computer, but to charge it through a wall outlet, you will need to already own one, or purchase one separately. If purchasing from Amazon, get the Amazon Kindle PowerFast Adapter for Accelerated Charging. It amazes me that Amazon won't provide one of these for free anymore.
- Bland color - This might be by design from Amazon to encourage customers to purchase a case, but after six generations, it is really time to start offering Kindle users more color options.
If you are using the 2012 Paperwhite or the Touch, and you are not a huge reader, I don't think you need to upgrade to the 2013 version. Avid Goodreads fans, those with a fast reading speed, and people who do most of their reading in the dark will likely see benefits in making the switch. Amazon has only added a few small benefits to the 2013 Paperwhite, but the price is so affordable that there is little to lose from it. You can also click the "Trade In Here" button at the top right and get a $70 credit (at the time of this review) toward the purchase of the new model. If you take that option, I think $50 is worth the improvements for those that read a lot. Although I don't think Amazon needed to update the Paperwhite yet and could have waited another year, I do like that this version improves several of the flaws from the 2012 model. If you have never owned an e-reader or you're still using a Kindle Keyboard, you should strongly look at the Paperwhite. If you're happy with your Touch or 2012 Paperwhite, you'll be even happier with the new Paperwhite, but users expecting to be blown away by the differences will probably be disappointed. Even so, Amazon has created another excellent device and the 2013 Paperwhite will likely hold the title of "best e-reader" for another year.
40 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars OMG !!!,
The new Kindle Light is FANTASTIC. It is soooo easy to read with the lighting. Often found my original Kindle (that was not 'Light" was hard on the eyes). This is a joy.
It is seldom that I leave any feedback, so you can be assured I'm REALLY impressed with the new Kindle Light !!!!
51 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MADLY AND HOPELESSLY HOOKED!,
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Kindle Paperwhite, 6" High Resolution Display with Next-Gen Built-in Light, Wi-Fi - Includes Special Offers by Kindle