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Customer Discussions > Kindle forum

Buying a Paperwhite

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Showing 1-25 of 32 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 23, 2014 3:16:45 PM PST
Justin Mark says:
Hi everybody, I hope you all are having a nice day. I'm in high school and love to read. My parents bought me a Kindle Fire HD 8.9" last year after realizing and noticing how much time I spent in my room reading.

At first, I was overjoyed at the thought of finally having a Kindle. However, that joy did not last very long. The Kindle Fire HD 8.9" is too huge, too heavy, and it's lack of fluidity across its operating system irks me just way too much.

Now, I have begun saving money for a new Paperwhite. After research upon research, I fell in love with all of the reviews of the Paperwhite. But then I began to see the cons: the battery life isn't as advertised (apparently it does not last 8 weeks?) , the brightness isn't as advertised (the four shadows at the bottom of the screen), etc.

And then I began hearing rumors of a 2014 Paperwhite in Q2.

So should I really buy the Paperwhite now, or wait for the 2014 Paperwhite? Also, should I buy it with Special offers or not? Is the $40 leather official kindle cover worth buying?

I'm sorry for such a long post, just wanted all of my questions on one thread. Thanks to everyone in advance!

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 23, 2014 3:28:37 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 23, 2014 3:30:53 PM PST
Justin, if you are going to wait for the "next" release, in electronics that means you will never buy because "something new" is always coming out.

The Fire and the Paperwhite are two very different devices. The Fire is a very basic tablet, designed for media (music, videos, movies) consumption. The Paperwhite is an eInk Kindle designed for reading. Games/apps, music, etc won't work on this device. The Paperwhite is great for reading outside. The Fire is very hard to read outside.

Battery life is 8 weeks when you realize what parameters it's based on - A single charge lasts up to eight weeks, based on a half hour of reading per day with wireless off and the light setting at 10. Battery life will vary based on light and wireless usage

EDIT - The battery life is taken from this page - Kindle Paperwhite, 6" High Resolution Display with Next-Gen Built-in Light, Wi-Fi - Includes Special Offers (Previous Generation - 6th)

As for your "shadows", most people have to look really hard to see them. There have been many threads discussing this. Why don't you use the search box on the right and see what the comments are.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 23, 2014 3:31:30 PM PST
Just buy one when you save enough. Try it for a couple weeks and see what you think. There's a 30-day no-questions refund guarantee if you don't like it.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 23, 2014 3:40:12 PM PST
 Ann says:
The Paperwhite is a great e-reader. I have both a PW1 and PW2, and haven't had issues with either of them.

The 8-week battery life estimate is based on reading for just 30 minutes per day, with wifi off, and the light set at level 10. If your reading habits are different, you can expect different results. I get about a week on a charge, but I read for a lot more than 30 minutes per day. The little bit of shadowing on the bottom of the PW1 never bothered me, but it has been improved with the PW2.

You can save $20 and get the Kindle with Special Offers. The offers don't intrude while reading. If you find you don't like them, you can always pay the difference later to unsubscribe.

I can't really help with the decision to buy now or wait for a new model. There's always a new model in the works, so I tend to buy the device that meets my needs, and is available when I want/need it.

The cover is up to you as well. If you're going to be carrying the Kindle in a backpack or bag, you'll want some sort of sturdy cover, and even then be careful with it - e-ink screens are more fragile than lcd screens and can easily be damaged by pressure or torque.

Posted on Jan 23, 2014 4:08:11 PM PST
Tam B. says:
With regards to waiting, I guess that depends on your savings plan. Most devices release near Christmas - do you really want to wait a whole year on the chance? Up to you.

The battery life is fine. I'm an avid reader and take my kindle with me everywhere. I turn off the 3G when I don't need it and this adds to the battery life. I charge about once a week and if you need to, you can still read whilst charging.

When I first got my paperwhite I was worried about the shadowing. Amazon (somewhere on it's pages regarding the PW) shows examples of what is considered acceptable by them. I will admit when I first turned my one and it wasn't 100% perfect (but within Amazon's range) I was disappointed but now I do not even notice it.

I think it's worthwhile if the kindle travels in a cover of some sort, especially if it's going to be in a backpack jumbled about. I use a sleeve (the one I bought for my kobo) and it's great. I don't like a cover for reading. For me, it adds to the weight. However, I do like to use a gelskin to personalise it. (Gelaskins or Decalgirl are sites you can check if you want to do this.)

Enjoy your new paperwhite whenever you get it.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 23, 2014 5:40:23 PM PST
Tess says:
I think you are doing the right thing by seeing what other people think before buying or not buying a paperwhite. I did the same thing earlier this year, including opinions about covers and cases. The responses to my posting helped me make my decision to purchase the paperwhite (I already had a kindle keyboard). I read a LOT, more than 30 minutes per day every day. I don't find the battery life to be a problem. I, too, take my PW with me all the time. It is good size, light weight, and the way it lights is a real plus. can always buy it, try it out - you have 30 days to decide whether to keep it or not.

Posted on Jan 23, 2014 5:47:53 PM PST
JoshuaJohn says:
I have a kindle keyboard and fire hd 7" and read from both. Currently I have no issues that would make a paperwhit easier on the eye. By all means get a case of some type. I perfer the leather.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 23, 2014 5:55:11 PM PST
Jazzy_Jeff says:
Just buy it and try it for yourself. You have 30 days to decide if you like it or not.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 23, 2014 8:47:16 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 23, 2014 9:01:48 PM PST
GDabney says:
Justin, If you have the money for a paperwhite get it, there is always something new coming out. I love my paperwhite which I got for Christmas, I'd been using the K21 since Dec. 2009 and it's still going strong. I read a lot at night and liked the light feature for that reason. I did some research of accessories on Amazon and found a case similar to the one Amazon sells, but I paid $10.99 for a Magnetic leather case with the on and off feature. I've had it for about 2 weeks and my Kindle fits in it just fine......Magnetic Leather Smart Case Cover standar for New Amazon Kindle Paperwhite with Auto Sleep Wake Function + Stylus Pen + Screen Protector....

Posted on Jan 23, 2014 10:41:26 PM PST
The rumors I heard said a new PW would be out in Spring 2014, which would be 2nd Quarter. I'm waiting to see if that rumor proves true, and-if so-what differences there will be between the current PW, and the new one. I can wait that long for a PW, since I have other Kindles to read on until then. I often like to wait for third generations, so the bugs can be worked out. My first Kindle was a Model 3 (Keyboard). I skipped the Fire, and Fire HD, and got a Fire HDX. The next PaperWhite-whenever it comes out-will be the 3rd generation PW, so I will probably get it. If it does not come out this Spring, it will be out by Fall. How long can you wait? It makes no sense to always wait forever, as no matter what you buy, or when, some new version will be out before long. I wait, but only for a limited time. With Kindles, I often go for 3rd Generation items....but not always. If you feel like waiting, to see if the new PW might have Audio capability, or something else worth a short wait, then wait. If you are so anxious that you can't wait, then buy now. The current PW is well worth having, so buying now would not be a mistake. Still, the next PW might be a bit more worth having, and so be worth a short wait. Only you can decide what is / isn't worth doing for you.

Posted on Jan 23, 2014 11:06:24 PM PST
looseleaf says:
The PW2 was only a very incremental upgrade on the PW1. Based on the hardware the PW2 was already behind its competitors on release.

You have to think that Amazon will try to "take back the crown" with the PW3 and do it sooner rather than later -they can't like someone else being able to claim the sharpest screen, most innovation etc.

Posted on Jan 24, 2014 7:07:49 AM PST
B. Marks says:
I've bought each and every Kindle since my first one, the Kindle Keyboard. Each time I've thought they finally made it perfect and then comes the next one which is even better. And then I got the Paperwhite!

I can't imagine a better reading experience. It's perfect in any lighting situation. In good light it's screen is better, sharper, clearer and with better contrast even than paper. In bad light it's just as good. Sitting on the porch reading in the sun it's great.

I got the Paperwhite 2 because I was excited about the Page Flip feature, which I do like now that I've used it, but I go back and forth between the two models and I've found I really don't care which one I use. There's perfect and perfecter and who cares!

Bugs? Sure. Everything has bugs and problems. Only this morning I turned on one of them, I forget which, and the light didn't come on. I rebooted it and it's fine. That happened about 3 or 4 months ago, too. It's terrible how buggy these things are! I wish I'd missed this wonderful reading for another 6 or 7 years till they finally got it right. :)

If you like to read get the Paperwhite. It's just right for people who like to read. If you want something better keep on waiting and behave yourself and think good thoughts and someday in heaven maybe you'll find it.


In reply to an earlier post on Jan 24, 2014 7:49:57 AM PST
I almost get the feeling that the "new" PW was not ready for last Fall's release so they made some small upgrades to the PW1 and released that. I'm anxious to see if the rumors pan out.

Posted on Jan 24, 2014 11:50:27 AM PST
Charlie Fox says:
I got the PW2 due to a special offer on my fire......paid $19. I didn't actually buy one when they came out because I felt guilty having a Kindle Keyboard (perfectly operational), and basic Kindle, and a Fire. But when I saw the deal, I couldn't pass it up. It's really really great. I read a lot, and yes, it doesn't go eight weeks on a charge for me....but I have no problem plugging it in to charge once a week or whenever it needs it. The reading experience is fantastic.

I am curious about the new one coming in a few months....maybe they'll be another deal offered so I won't have to feel guilty about having five kindles.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 24, 2014 12:03:35 PM PST
B. Marks says:
I think the small upgrades in the PW2 were because they couldn't find any serious way of improving it. The PW1 was just what a reading device should be.

It is true that there was a lot of nitpicking. It's kind of fun to look for flaws in perfection and if enough people with enough varying opinions spend enough time looking they'll come up with a few things; which they did. The Paperwhite isn't truly perfect. It's so very, very good that it's fun saying it is but we all know no device is perfect.

I've been buying all sorts of technology for decades. I currently own a desktop computer, probably the 30th or 40th I've owned and a few laptops. I have several tablets of various types. Also quite a few MP3 players and portable media players. I've been buying this stuff for years, as I can save for it, and when something better comes along I start saving and eventually get it.

I may do the same thing with the Paperwhite because that's what I like to do, so I'll probably get the next one. But of all the devices I've ever owned it's the most complete fulfillment of it's purpose, by far. It has no peers.

Not ready? No way. It was just a small improvement because nobody could think of any way to make a large improvement.


In reply to an earlier post on Jan 24, 2014 2:05:45 PM PST
Jules - What's to feel guilty about? Having at least two Kindles makes sense. You can read on one, while the other charges, or you can loan one to a friend who is curious about Kindles, and wondering what having one would be like, while still reading on the other yourself. Having more than two Kindles lets you organize your library of e-books better. You can keep General Fiction on one, General Non-Fiction on another, General Philosophy on another, Political / Social items on another, etc. That is what I do.

I have two Kindles (Basics), and a Keyboard, and recently got a Fire HDX to take over the Audible library duties the Keyboard had been filling...since the Keyboard is old, and may not last much longer. I will be getting a PaperWhite before long, and use that mainly for Short Stories to be read in bed before dropping off to sleep. When I want to introduce a friend to the Kindle experience, I usually loan out one of the Basics.

I have a well stocked, well organized, e-book library, plenty of reading for years to come, am able to help friends experience the e-reading phenomenon, save electricity by reading on the HDX, or the PaperWhite soon, instead of having a lamp on all night, learn from what I read, become able to teach others, and do it all on a budget. I buy what I can afford, when I can afford it, and do not get behind on my bills in the process. There is nothing to feel guilty about.

Posted on Jan 24, 2014 3:32:47 PM PST
Suzee2 says:
Justin, I have the first generation of the Paperwhite. I love it. I also have an iPad that I occasionally read on. But I have the same complaints that you have about your tablet when it comes to reading. My iPad is too heavy and awkward and the battery doesn't last long enough. My Paperwhite doesn't have those problems.

About those complaints you've read about the Paperwhite..... Yes, I can see faint shadows at the bottom of the screen under certain lighting conditions. They are not a big deal. They don't detract from my reading experience at all. I hardly ever notice them. Don't let them scare you away from getting a Paperwhite. Some people are just really, really picky. The ads always show a perfectly evenly lit screen. In real life, there are some faint shadows under certain conditions, but they are no big deal.

I don't know if the battery would actually last 8 weeks or not. I read a lot and I charge mine once a week or so. I never let my battery get below half because I never want to take the chance of being without my kindle due to a low battery. I keep mine in "airplane mode" except when I'm downloading a book. That's supposed to cut down on battery usage.

I don't have special offers on mine, but that's only because it was a gift. If I were you, I would save myself some money and buy one with special offers. From what I've read, they're not very intrusive. But if it turns out that they really annoy you, you can buy an upgrade from Amazon that turns off the special offers. I think they just download new software to your kindle and - voila! - the special offers are gone. Or maybe they just do it on their end. I'm not sure which, but in any case, you can pay them some extra money and they will "unsubscribe" your kindle from the special offers.

I bought the $40 Amazon cover and I'm happy with it. It fits well, looks nice, and closing the cover puts my kindle to "sleep". But I got it because I was in a hurry to order and didn't feel like researching the other covers. If I were you, I would check out the reviews for less expensive covers. Stick with ones that have a lot of reviews. I bet you can get something that works just as well but costs less.

Should you buy now or wait for the next generation? Depends on how impatient you are to get one. I don't think there are any major flaws with the current Paperwhite. If you really want it, buy it now! When it comes to electronics, there's always another version around the corner. If we always waited for the next version, we'd never buy anything. I'm sure you'll be happy with the 2nd generation Paperwhite just like I'm happy with my 1st generation Paperwhite. Heck, my mom is still happy with her kindle keyboard.

Posted on Jan 24, 2014 3:41:43 PM PST
B. Marks says:
I bought the Amazon cover for mine and it works just fine and it's very sturdy. It's just too heavy, though, and the edges make it uncomfortable in my hand. I bought one of the Fintie cases and I've been using it ever since. It's much lighter and in addition to magnets that turn the device on and off when you open it, it also has magnets that hold the cover closed. It's really a more practical cover.

While the Fintie is a nicer cover to use it doesn't have the feeling of sturdiness that the Amazon cover has, it doesn't feel particularly cheap.

It's thicker, even though it's much lighter. Also, while holding it it's a lot easier on my hand.

I bought another cover as well, a no-name one from Ebay, that's quite a bit lighter than either of them. It fits like the Amazon cover but it's much thinner and lighter. It cost about half as much as the Fintie cover and it gives the impression of being cheap. Still, I'm easy on things so I'm sure it'll last. I use it on my old Paperwhite when I loan it to a friend.


Posted on Jan 24, 2014 10:09:07 PM PST
David says:
The superior specs of the Kobo Aura HD ereader (faster processor, more memory, higher resolution) are likely urging improvement of those features in the Paperwhite. I can't imagine that Amazon appreciates not leading the field in the tech niche it created and expect Kindle is eager to make its upgraded product presence in the supply line soon.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 25, 2014 7:37:29 AM PST
B. Marks says:
That's what I love about Nooks and Kobos. They make our Kindles even better. :)


In reply to an earlier post on Jan 25, 2014 7:51:20 AM PST
Jazzy_Jeff says:
The superior specs of the Kobo Aura are meaningless. For an e-ink device you will not notice a faster processor and I doubt you will notice much with the screen as well. It is not that much better.

Posted on Jan 25, 2014 8:57:38 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 25, 2014 9:13:15 AM PST
David says:
The specs may be largely meaningless to the reading experience, but the parity battle does drive sales and innovation, including improvements. What matters most finally is what you are reading, not how you are reading it.

Posted on Jan 25, 2014 9:21:17 AM PST
B. Marks says:
I think the Kobo Aura (not the HD) looks awfully good. I'm not planning to get one since I'm very happy with the Paperwhite but the idea of the flush screen and the thin bezels and the lighter weight sound very good to me. A Paperwhite with those features will seriously tempt me. If they really do that I'll be surprised if I don't get one.

I did consider getting the Kobo but the reading features Amazon provides aren't something I'd like to give up. X-Ray in particular. Kobo does have their Beyond the Book feature, which is probably comparable, but reading Kobo forums the usual complaint is that very few books support it and that doesn't seem to be changing. Not enough books support X-Ray but at least a lot do.

Besides that, Amazon has a great bookstore for the Kindle. I bought a Kobo Mini when they were half price and their bookstore was a big disappointment. It seems to be 90% hard porn with a few other books mixed in. Amazon has porn, too, but you don't see it a lot. On the Kobo store it's all over the place.


Posted on Jan 25, 2014 9:33:02 AM PST
Arieswoman says:
I have the paper white original and I am in love with it. I bought a cover from Ebay that is very nice and not expensive at all.

Posted on Jan 25, 2014 9:56:48 AM PST
Gordon says:
For whatever it is worth: I own a keyboard 2, a Fire, a basic and a PW2. The keyboard is good but heavy and bulky to lug around but it does have free 3G. The Fire I use as a mini computer but I do not like it for reading. The basic is light and cheap. Works well for reading. I bought the PW because I liked the idea of longer battery life and having a lighted screen After my third replacement on the PW because of battery life I just gave up. It is still a good reader but I read about 3 hours per night and I have to charge it after about 2-3 days. It lasts longer if I do a long reset (Hold down the start button for 1 minute) but the next time I recharge it I am back to 2-3 days unless I do a reset again. I finally decided to just live with it because I am usually near a charger. "I" do not like the touch screen because I end up flipping a page every time I pick it up. It is better with a case because my fingers do not touch the edge of the screen as easily.

Everything was so/so OK until they did a software update and the collections are all screwed up and every collection I ever had showed up on the PW2. After deleting the extra collections I still have every book I ever bought showing up as grayed out titles. I am back to using the basic. It has better battery life than the PW and the page turn is by buttons on the side so I do not keep turning pages by accident. The basic fits easily in my pocket and I do not treat it gently and have never had any problem. If I need protection for when I am out backpacking I just put it in a bubble mailing envelope.

That is my take. YMMV
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Discussion in:  Kindle forum
Participants:  22
Total posts:  32
Initial post:  Jan 23, 2014
Latest post:  Jan 25, 2014

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