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An official commented on the review below
on October 7, 2012
So far, I love my new Paperwhite Kindle. I've been using an aging keyboard Kindle 2, waiting for a version with a built-in light like this. Amazon really got it right with the light on this one.

The high resolution screen is noticeably easier to read, and the user interface is well thought out.

The form factor is also an amazing improvement. I like the tactile feel of the Kindle's back, although I'm awaiting shipment of Amazon's leather case because I like to take my Kindle everywhere and this device feels small and delicate, and I've liked the old Amazon leather case on my old Kindle.

The one thing keeping me from giving this product a 5-star review is a software issue that really irks me: I paid the extra $20 to have a Kindle without advertising, yet the entire bottom half of the home screen in cover view is taken up with Amazon's recommendations for me to buy new books. This is advertising, and it is totally unacceptable in a product that costs extra just to avoid advertising. Targeted advertising is still advertising, and there's not enough space on this screen to make any amount of advertising okay with me.

If I ever want to see what Amazon recommends for me, I'll visit the Amazon Store and look myself. The end result of this unsolicited advertising on my home screen is that I have to scroll past it to see more than three of the titles on my device, whereas if the ad was gone, I could see six titles right away on the home screen. Given the way the Kindle's user interface is designed, going to the home screen is necessary to get just about anywhere else, so this advertising block causes me to have to scroll past it over and over again, gumming up my otherwise smooth user experience on the device.

Amazon could easily make this optional with a software update, and I hope they do so very soon. At the very least, this unsolicited, mandatory advertising on the home screen needs to be explicitly disclosed on the sales pages. Had I known that there would still be advertising I could not remove on my device, I might not have paid $20 to avoid advertising.

Until Amazon gives us the option to disable these "recommendations" on the home screen, I've used parental controls to just disable the store completely on my Kindle. That does make the ads go away, but it's not really a convenient solution, because if I ever actually want to buy something on my Kindle, I'll need to type in a password and re-enable the store. I'll more likely use a different device for all purchases. This forced advertising, then, really backfires in my case because instead of enticing me to buy more books right on my Kindle, it's prompted me to shut the store down completely on the Kindle.

* UPDATE: I left this review years ago, then never realized until just recently that it had received so much attention. Had I realized that, I'd have posted an update sooner. I don't remember exactly when, but Amazon did, as promised, release a software update that made it not only possible but easy to remove those recommendations (ads, as far as I'm concerned) from the home page of the ad-free Kindle. I now have upgraded to a Kindle Voyage and am very happy with it, and these recommendations never appeared on it, even by default when it was new. I've changed my review to 5 stars and will mention this in my upcoming Voyage review.
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I have been using the Paperwhite exclusively for reading for two weeks now vs. my other Kindles, and I am writing this review from the perspective of being a long-time Kindle user vs. someone brand new to the Kindle experience as well as in direct comparison to the Kindle Touch, which the Paperwhite replaced.

From an overall standpoint, and considering everything you get (compact e-Reader,touch screen, lighting system), the Paperwhite is a very good e-Reader. I am amazed at how much smaller these e-Readers can become with each new generation yet still not feel like you're losing anything from a "feels like a book" experience.

To address the reading experience, I wasn't sure what to expect with the display. Needless to say, 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 at night 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. It was also very convenient on a plane ride at night as I was 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.

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. It did take a little getting used to turning with my thumb as I have been trained after years on a Kindle Keyboard and DX to press a button - it didn't take that long and after about 5% or so into a science fiction novel I didn't even notice the new turning action. This page turning experience is a significant improvement over the previous Kindle Touch and much appreciated!

Accessing the menu structure of the Paperwhite is as simple as touching 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.

Web surfing speed with the WiFi feature on the Paperwhite is about the same as the other type of e-Ink Kindles. 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. 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 I wish I had bought the 3G version vs. the Wi-Fi only - for someone who travels a lot with my job, what was I thinking?!? Accordingly, I ordered one of those. Despite that statement, for just $119 I think this is a great unit and I enjoyed reading with it: the Paperwhite may soon be replacing my beloved Kindle Keyboard permanently!
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The reading experience on the Paperwhite is excellent. The Paperwhite is much more enjoyable to use than the Kindle Touch or the Kindle Keyboard, thanks mostly to the display (more on that below). The Home button from the Touch has been removed, and you now navigate to the menus by touching the top of the screen. Like the Touch, there are no physical page turn buttons. If you want to advance the page, you either swipe, or press the middle/right hand side of the screen (most of the display area is set up to advance the page). To go back a page, you press anywhere on the left 20% of the screen. To access the menu, you press the top 10% of the screen. Contrast for the display can quickly and easily be adjusted with two taps, so it can be brightened or darkened without a lot of menu navigation. There are still eight font sizes like previous generations had, but instead of just three typefaces, you now have six (Baskerville, Caecilia, Caecilia Condensed, Publisher Font, Futura, Helvetica, and Palatino). Publisher Font lets you use the book publisher's embedded font. None of the books I have tried out yet have this option, but I can see how it can provide them with a lot more flexibility. The additional fonts, along with the ability to adjust line spacing and margins, make it much easier to read books that a publisher formats poorly to begin with (as anyone who struggled with the early edition of 'Game of Thrones' can attest to).

The menu system is a bit improved over the Touch. Instead of the basic list display for your books, Paperwhite now includes a graphical display of your book covers (like the Kindle Fire) in addition to the traditional list view. Unfortunately, it will only display three books covers, because the second row of covers are reserved for covers of Amazon book recommendations. It's clear that Amazon wants to use the Paperwhite to market their products more. Cloud integration is very easy as well. If you have more than 1,000 books, just store some on your free Amazon Cloud drive. Downloading them to the device is very quick and simple. The Paperwhite comes with Kindle Collections which allows you to organize and store your books more easily and put them into genres or collections by author/subject, however the way collections are displayed could be improved, since a list display will still show the individual books on the list, even after you move them into a collection. Ideally, I think it should work like a file system, where you sort them into a collection and then those books will only display when you open that collection folder.

This is where the Paperwhite really shines. The display is absolutely beautiful. I never had a problem with the display on any of my previous kindles, and always thought there wasn't much room for improvement, but you can really tell a difference when looking at the two side by side. Kindles all use E-Ink displays to mimic printed text. The Paperwhite has an improved e-ink display, which is sharper, has improved contrast and resolution, and uses front-lit technology with its built-in light. Images look much sharper, which shouldn't matter too much since most people don't use their kindles for images, but the text looks better as well. The resolution has increased from 167 pixels per inch (PPI) and 600x800 resolution on all previous models to 221 PPI and 768 x 1024 on the Paperwhite.

The lighting is nothing like a traditional back lit screen (like you would see on the iPad or Nook). It is very even and doesn't hurt your eyes at all. I could stare at the display for hours as easily as reading a book. Reading in bright sunshine is no problem and even improved over the Touch. There are four small led lights underneath the bezel at the bottom, which carry light through a grid built into the display. This allows for very even lighting, as opposed to using a clamp on light that directs light to one area, and then spills down to the rest. There are 24 different light levels so it is very customizable, and you can change the level very quickly without having to spend a lot of time going through menus. So the great thing is, you don't need to order a separate light for your Kindle. Unless I am outside or in a bright room, I always use the Amazon cover with built in light for my Touch, which I would prefer not to do, because it adds weight to the device and doesn't feel as comfortable as holding a bare kindle without a cover. With Paperwhite, the screen is uniform and easy to read. It may sound like the glow could get annoying, but it is very pleasing to the eyes and easy to read from. It soft enough that you can read in bed with a partner and not disturb them at all (with my Touch I had to make sure I slept on the left side of the bed (the direction the light faced) because the led would blind the person on the right). I cannot emphasize enough how brilliant the screen is and encourage you to find a display model to look at if you're on the fence about it. I've used the Nook Simple Touch with Glowlight and the Paperwhite display blows it out of the water. The only problem with it, is that there are four thumbnail-sized shadows at the bottom of the display where the led lights sit. They are not very dark, but they are noticeable at first and prevent perfect uniformity. I learned to ignore them after a few minutes. There is also one area on the top menu that does not completely blend into the background when you bring the menu up. Not a big deal but it is a small glitch.

The Paperwhite is a tiny bit smaller and thinner than the Touch, but not by too much. Users of the Touch should not have any problems, but if you're coming from the Kindle Keyboard, it will probably feel a bit awkward to hold it with one hand for awhile, because you don't have as much surface to grip since you can't touch the screen. To understand what I'm talking about, try holding a paperback book in one hand, but only let your hand touch the outer 3/4" of the front of it. You can see in the ads and videos that users are just barely gripping the outside of the Paperwhite so their hand doesn't get in the way of the screen. This is actually a fairly awkward way to hold the Kindle for any significant length of time, as users of the Touch may recall (I can guarantee you that girl laying on the ground reading and just barely holding onto the corner with her thumb did not hold it that way for long). You eventually get used to it, but you still have to shift your hand every once in awhile because it gets uncomfortable. I think the perfect way for me to hold it is to cup your hand like you're holding a mug of beer, and let the kindle rest on your pinky finger like an easel.

The Paperwhite also now has a rubberized back (like the Kindle Fire) compared to the smoother back of the Touch. With the Touch, you had to rely on your palm and thumb to support it. With the Paperwhite, your fingers don't slide off so easily and can assist to support the back. Although this sounds like a small issue, anyone who has tried to hold a Touch with one hand for more than 30 minutes will appreciate this. So it's easier to hold over the Touch, but the Kindle Keyboard is still the most comfortable to grip.

Two more great additions to the form factor - since it no longer has an IR light built into it, the depth of the bezel is half the size. This makes for a smoother transition to the display, collects less dirt, and looks better. Lastly, the display screen feels different than any previous kindles. It has a very slight textured surface (almost like the page of a book) to it instead of being completely smooth. It is hard to describe, but it is much more pleasurable to the touch than the previous Kindle Touch, and swiping is more pleasant.

Kindle Paperwhite now has a capacitive touch screen. This is almost worth the upgrade alone. The Touch used an IR-based touch screen, so it would register any movement as a touch, even if it wasn't from your body. I would frequently be reading in bed and move to get more comfortable, and the sheets would hit the display and cause it to skip to the next chapter. So then I would have to bring up the menu and go back. I was always careful about closing the cover when I moved to prevent an accidental "touch." I've always been very satisfied with the speed of the page turns on the Touch and never had a problem with it, but this has improved as well, and page turns now register a bit quicker. It is too quick for me to measure the increase, but I think most people will see a noticeable change in response and appreciate it. It is very easy to type with the built in keyboard, so you can easily search for phrases or navigate to something specific in the book. Flipping pages is very quick and page turns are almost instant. Instead of having to move my finger to swipe or tap into a page turn, I rest my thumb right against the bezel, and when I want to turn a page, I just shift it very slightly so it touches the screen.

I haven't been able to run reliable testing on the battery, but Amazon's claim of 8 weeks battery (using for 30 minutes a day) even with the light on seems to me to likely be fairly accurate given my limited use of it. Even previous Kindle generations have had amazing batteries so this has never been a problem for me in the past.

The Kindle Touch came with some new features, but I never really used any of them too much. Paperwhite has several new features that make reading a more interactive experience (if you want it to be):
- BUILT IN DICTIONARY - Long press a word for about 2 seconds and you get an instant definition. I use this feature all the time and it is one of my favorite advantages of the Kindle over a traditional book.
- TIME TO READ - By far my favorite new feature. Previous kindles provide a percentage or a visual indicator of how long a book is. Paperwhite still does that, but also tells you how many hours/minutes you have to finish a book or a chapter, by calculating your average reading speed, and constantly adjusting it. I do not know if it calculates this amount based on the number of pages in a book or the number of words, but it proved to be incredibly accurate, and I had to stop looking at it because I found myself trying to "beat" it. A very fun feature and fairly useful for deciding if you have time to finish a new chapter while waiting for your plane to board or before going to bed. You can just tap it and it will switch to the percentage + the confusing "location" view instead. Some books will display Real Page Numbers to show you the actual page number that would correspond with a physical book, but none of mine had this feature built in.
- EXPERIMENTAL BROWSER - Kindle's "experimental" web browser is back, and is a little bit improved due to the higher resolution, but I still wouldn't want to use it for graphical-heavy sites. I'm not sure how fast the 3g browser will be but the wi-fi version was decent enough that I could use it in a pinch.
- SOCIAL FEATURES - Like the Touch, the Paperwhite has integration with Twitter and Facebook, so you can let people know when you're done with a book, or share favorite passages. I can see how some people might like this, but I would much rather have integration with Shelfari so I can update my account once I've finished a book and rate it. This is Amazon's own service so it seems like they are missing a huge opportunity here to promote it. Paperwhite also lets you leave a rating when you've finished a book. I have no idea what this rating is for or where it goes, but it would be great if you integrated this into product pages and had a "kindle rating" where they aggregated all of the ratings left by kindle users. This would allow people to leave a rating without having to write a long-winded (ahem) review and would also contain only ratings by people who had purchased the book. Probably unnecessary but I really think they could do more with the social features to make them useful.
- X-Ray - One of the best features IF your kindle book comes with it. It's like a built-in wiki for your book, and you can call it up at any time to learn more about people, places, and subjects in your book. My current book has 684 characters, and this is great for keeping track of who everyone is.
- WHISPERSYNC - I have a Kindle Fire, Touch, Keyboard, Kindle for PC, and Kindle Cloud Drive, and Whispersync works fairly well to sync all of my books across all devices. If I pick up my Fire to read a few chapters, I want to be able to start at the same place when I pick up the Paperwhite. Syncing is mostly accurate but sometimes it doesn't register on one of my devices for some reason.
- ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Amazon has announced this new feature that lets you view biographical information about the author and character summaries at the end of the book, much like a real book. None of my books had this feature yet, but it seems like a great idea to add value to Kindle books.

I buy a cover for all of my kindles, mostly to use the built-in light, but the covers add bulk and make it difficult to carry one in a pocket, as well as adding weight to it which makes holding it for long periods a bit frustrating. Amazon's official cover is the Paperwhite Leather Cover), but with the Paperwhite display, I won't be using the cover unless I travel with the kindle. This makes it much easier to hold and feels less like I'm holding a tablet in my hands. The Paperwhite isn't scratch-proof, but it definitely is a bit more rugged than the Touch and I don't think most people will even need a cover for it. I do like the cover better than the official one Amazon produced for the Touch, and you can read my full review of it on the page for the Paperwhite Leather Cover).

- Probably the biggest con for most people, is that the Mp3 player and all audio features have been completely removed. The main purpose of this device is to read books, so I don't fault Amazon for that decision, but I did enjoy cueing up some light classical music occasionally on my Touch and Kindle Keyboard right before bed. This of course means that there is no more text to speech playback of books or integration with audio books. As such, they have dropped the onboard memory to 2GB (about 1,000 books). With integration to Amazon's Cloud service, this should be more than enough for book storage.
- I love the matte finish on the back of the device, but it does get a bit smudgy from my fingers and You can't really wipe them off without a wet cleaner. The smudging isn't so noticeable that it would bother me though.
- Slight shadowing at the bottom of the device from the LED lights.
- I also actually wish the bezel on the right side was slightly wider and offset a bit. Of course, this wouldn't help left-handed people, but it would make it a little bit easier to hold without having your hand block the screen at all. If you don't use a heavy cover on it, this also shouldn't really be a problem.
- No Power adapter. It comes with a micro-usb charging cable, but you have to have a computer or already own a power adapter from another product to be able to charge it. Amazon did this with the Touch as well and I think it is absolutely ridiculous. I know Amazon wants to charge separately for this but I think not including one is really greedy. If you need one, you may want to buy the Kindle Power Adapter although I'm sure you could probably find a much cheaper one somewhere.
- No Shelfari integration as mentioned above.

In my review of the Kindle Touch, I said that while it was a nice device, I didn't feel like it warranted an upgrade for users of 2nd and 3rd generation kindles. The Kindle Paperwhite is definitely upgrade-worthy for all previous kindle users who read more than a few books a year. A stunning display, better touch sensitivity, and software features that Amazon should have come out with years ago, finally make the Kindle the undisputed leader in the e-reader market. Previously I would go back and forth between my Kindle Touch and Fire when reading books, but the Paperwhite is such a pleasure to use that I can't imagine ever choosing the Fire over it again. If you are an avid reader and have never purchased a Kindle before, the Paperwhite will really give you an appreciation for how far these devices have come.
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on June 12, 2016
Be careful wasting your money on this device. After your 1 year is up there are no repair options. My device began having a hardware defect where the top 3/4 of the screen was frozen. After calling Amazon support they asked if I did a hard reset, which I had multiple times. Amazon's oly remaining option, buy a brand new device and get a $15 discount. Wow a $15 dollar discount after shelling out $250 on an 18 month old device. I wasn't expecting a free device, but some sort of reasonable repair/refurb purchase option. Apple let's you pay $199 to exchange a defective or damaged out of warranty devices and mostly waives that when it's a clearly their hardware issue. Save your money and buy an iPad from a company that stands behind their product.
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[0:00] - day.. - Kindle, Paperwhite, Keyboard, Touch - side by side
[0:17] - day.. - Paperwhite - brightness control, page turning
[0:47] - night - Touch, Paperwhite, Keyboard - side by side
[1:00] - night - Paperwhite - zoom to bottom of screen
[1:18] - night - Paperwhite, Keyboard - side by side
[1:22] - night - Paperwhite, Touch - side by side
[1:28] - night - Paperwhite - zoom in, zoom out

NOTE 1: This is not a stand-alone video review. I added the video to illustrate some of the answers in the FAQ section below. References are made by providing the time where the video illustrates a particular answer.

NOTE 2: My initial rating was a 5 stars but I am changing it at least temporarily to 3 stars because some of my friends who bought Paperwhites had to return or are returning theirs for a replacement due to display quality issues ranging from minor to serious or seriously annoying. I suspect and I hope that it's only a temporary quality control slip due to the rush to mass-produce in order to meet the initial high demand. If it turns out to be so and everyone who received a not-so-good product receives a good quality replacement then my rating goes back up to where it started but only time will tell.

NOTE 3: I noticed several comments to this reviews, complaining that I arrived at my current 3-stars rating based on hearsay. This is not the case - see next paragraph which has been there since the very beginning "after seeing what some of my friends received". I had the opportunity to use their devices myself and compare my unit with theirs and found that they had good reasons to ask for replacements. Another complaint is that 3 stars is a 'negative' rating. It is not. Amazon suggests that '3 stars' stands for "It's Okay". I can't see how "Okay" could be viewed as a negative. According to Merriam-Webster online, OK stands for: approval, endorsement.

Meanwhile, my Paperwhite continues to be a fantastic reader and, certain marketing exaggerations and embellishments notwithstanding, I am unaware of a better product in this category. I would still rate my unit a 5 stars but I can't bury my head in the sand and ignore that fact that not everyone is happy with what they got because I actually saw their Kindles, not pictures or videos, and they don't look nearly as good as mine. I only hope and wish that 'luck' doesn't play a big part in getting a great product. Knowing what I know now and after seeing what some of my friends received I would still gamble and order a Paperwhite if I wanted a new reader because Amazon is very good at replacing defective products quickly and returns of defective products are free - no restocking fees - so the risk of paying for and then being stuck with a bad product or a product you don't like is practically nil.

The Kindle readers, not the Fire tablets are in my view Amazon's truly innovative product. The Paperwhite extraordinary display ensures that Amazon will continue to lead when it comes to readers. We've been using Kindles ever since the Kindle 3 a.k.a. the Kindle Keyboard. Besides the Keyboard model we also own a Kindle Touch and a 'plain' Kindle (no keyboard, no touch). When compared to the previous models the Paperwhite is a big leap forward not only because it eliminates the need of a lamp when reading at night but the display is brighter with a better contrast during the day and it's significantly sharper always.

The Paperwhite incorporates and improves on the best features of its predecessors. It's lighter, the touch controls are more responsive, the battery life I am told is still measured in 'weeks' or even months rather than 'hours' and, with one exception, all of the Kindle's e-reader frills are supported: borrowing, all the social features, Whispersync and the new X-Ray.

One notable missing capability is 'speakers'. I am not trying to be an Amazon apologist but I actually don't mind 'no speakers'. Not only because I've only used them once on my Kindle Keyboard but their absence allows for the e-reader to be smaller and lighter and it probably allows Amazon to sell the Paperwhite for a lower price. Besides, there are so many alternative ways to have your book read to you from any of the Kindle apps available for phones and tablets. After all, Paperwhite's strength is its screen and throwing in 2 little speakers would not have added much value. I use the Kindle readers, the Paperwhite included as 'books' and most books (some children books maybe the exception) don't read themselves.

I put together this FAQ to record my experience with Amazon's new reader. I will add to it if there is sufficient interest and expanded with answer to whatever questions may be asked in the Comments section.

[By the way, this may very well be my first 5-star review of a Kindle product (see NOTE 2). I remember rating the Kindle Fire as a 3 stars and the Kindle Keyboard as a 4 stars.]


Q: How does the Paperwhite compare with previous models?
A: The Papwerwhite is a one button, touch screen, keyboardless, speakerless e-reader featuring Amazon's new and quite spectacular Paperwhite display. The video shows [0:00] from left to right the Kindle, the Paperwhite, the Kindle Keyboard and the Kindle Touch next to each other.

Q: What exactly is 'paperwhite'?
A: From what I've seen so far, the technology allows for LED-produced light to distribute almost evenly across the reading surface. This makes the display brighter during the day and eliminates the need of a lamp at night.

Q: How bright is Paperwhite?
A: It's just about as bright as you want it to be [0:17]. There is a sliding scale that allows you to easily select your preferred level from almost 'off' to a level of brightness that hurt my eyes with 24 levels in-between.

Q: In what way is 'paperwhite' better than a tablet's hi-res display?
A: Tablets screens are backlit. Backlit screens are generally difficult to read outdoors and tend to cause eyestrain if read at night. The Paperwhite display reflects daylight and the light generated by Kindle's 4 LEDs the same way paper does and this is good for reading. Books can be read without difficulty outdoors even during a bright sunny day as well as at night.

Q: Is the Paperwhite display better than the previous Kindles?
A: Yes. The resolution is higher, the background can be set to your preferred level of white and the text appears to be darker [0:17].

Q: Is the light evenly distributed on the screen?
A: By and large yes and it's a significant improvement over what you get off an LED reading light [0:47]. At night or when reading in a dark room, 4 small, slightly darker spots - invisible under daylight - can be noticed at the very bottom of the screen [1:00].

Q: Is the Paperwhite display larger than that of previous Kindles?
A: No. Paperwhite's display is the exact same 6" size as that of previous Kindle e-readers.

Q: Is Paperwhite's page turning faster than on previous models?
A: Yes, page turning is significantly faster [0:30].

Q: Does the Kindle Paperwhite come with speakers or an audio out port?
A: No.

Q: How much storage (memory) is available on the Paperwhite?
A: 2 GB but only 1.25 GB are available for storing content.

Q: Is there a MicroSD slot or any other memory expansion?
A: No.

Q: Is a charger included?
A: No, but like all Kindle e-readers, the Paperwhite can be easily and quickly charged off a laptop or most generic or branded USB chargers.

Q: Is a charging/data cable included?
A: Yes, a white Type A to Micro-B USB cable is in the box.

Q: Can you confirm Amazon's claim that the battery life on the Paperwhite is "8 weeks" if Wi-Fi is off.
A: It depends. If you go by Amazon's definition: use it for half an hour daily at brightness level 10, then probably 'yes'. In practice, on full charge lasted 23 days with the Paperwhite on for 1-2 hours daily and a brightness level of 12 and with the Wi-Fi off for all but 30 minutes.

Q: How easy/difficult was it to set up the Wi-Fi connection? And how do you turn it off?
A: Individual experiences may vary but my Kindle immediately detected our home network, prompted me for a password and once I entered it it connected. You turn Wi-Fi off by turning on "Airplane mode".

Q: Does it come with a manual?
A: No but there is a very good interactive tutorial that shows you everything this Kindle can do, from setting up the level of brightness to shopping or borrowing to X-Ray.

Q: Are there any physical buttons?
A: There is only one On/Off button. All other controls, including page turning are through touch.

Q: How much does it weigh?
A: Less than 8 ounces.

Q: I don't like touching the screen with my fingers. Can I use a stylus?
A: Yes, the new screen can be used with a capacitive stylus.

Q: Is the Kindle Paperwhite confined to Amazon's content?
A: No. You can upload non-DRMed content, including MOBI book files. Kindle does not support EPUB but there are very good free EPUB to MOBI converter apps. See the first comment to this review on how to get Calibre, the best free EPUB to MOBI converter.

Q: How is content delivered to the Paperwhite?
A: Content can be uploaded either through Wi-Fi (or 3G) or or through the USB port.

Q: Do I need to backup my Kindle?
A: In the event of a disaster all Amazon-purchased content can be retrieved from Amazon's cloud but if you uploaded non-Amazon content to your Kindle it's your responsibility to back it up.

Q: What new features are supported by the Kindle Paperwhite.
A: One new feature supported by this model is X-Ray which helps tracking a book's characters. This model also can estimate how long it would take you to finish the book you are reading.

Q: Should I buy a cover for my Paperwhite?
A: I did. Amazon sells its own Amazon Kindle Paperwhite Leather Cover and it's far from 'cheap' but my past experience with covers for our other 3 Kindle readers is that Amazon's is a well designed, functional, quality product that will protect your Kindle and will most likely outlive it.

Q: Should I pay a little extra for an 'ads free' model?
A: I personally would not. The Kindle never shows ads while in the process of reading a book. Ads only appear as the 'screen saver' when the Kindle goes to sleep or on a narrow strip at the bottom on the screen when not actually reading a book.

Q: Should I pay more for a 3G model?
A: Only if you can easily afford it. I've never bought a 3G Kindle and I never missed it. Wi-Fi is good enough because books are rarely impulse buys and a Wi-Fi hot spot or a laptop with an USB port tend to be only minutes or at worst hours away.

Q: Should I consider buying the Keyboard model?
A: The Keyboard model does not have the Paperwhite display. I've been using a Kindle Keyboard reader ever since its launch date a couple of years ago and I don't believe I used the keyboard more than half a dozen times. A keyboard is a nice thing to have but a on-screen keyboard is good enough for me.

Q: What if the Paperwhite does not meet my expectations. Can I return it?
A: Yes. You may return it within 30 days of delivery date for a full refund. Amazon pays for shipping it back if you are returning a defective item but you will pay if you return it because you changed your mind or didn't like it. Last time I returned a small gadget about the size of a Kindle the shipping charge was about $3. I received the refund 2 or 3 days after Amazon received the package.

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on October 27, 2015
I write this review based on my experience of 9 kindles now. Firstly the good things about the kindle Paperwhite:

Top of the list is it's clarity, particularly outside. Very comfortable on the eye - the script is clear and pretty much like reading a paper book. The Kindle Fire (which incidentally is the only Kindle I've had that has lasted well) is very difficult to read outside because of glare. The touch screen works pretty well, though it often gets knocked accidentally (while holding with one hand), so I preferred the old classic with buttons. Shame it has gone. Stores plenty of books and operates well. So, if longevity is not an issue, then this is a great product.

Now for the bad: As you will have gathered I am not happy with the lifespan of any of these devises. All of them have broken either within the year or just after. This (refurb) has broken within 7 months and I will be looking for a refund. I haven't dropped any of them. One of them was left in the rain, so it's subsequent malfunction is perhaps not Amazon's fault. The others have received normal use. The only thing I do do a lot, is read in the sun (I'm an expat in Kenya), and perhaps the heat is affecting them. However, they should be able to withstand this, or have an 'overheating' warning in the way that most cell phones do. I am attaching a pic of 5 of the failed kindles. There were two more, but I no longer have them. Screens have 'frozen' permanently, batteries failed, internal displays damaged (not the physical screen). Tried recommended restarts etc. but nothing. Dead. Are these built with deliberate short lifespans? My 11 yr old son is convinced they are.
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on October 31, 2013
I bought this Kindle because of the promised 8 week battery life. OK, I know Amazon has the annoying habit of rating their battery life based on the product seldom being used but this time it is over the top. A little research, unfortunately after the fact, revealed the fact the 8 week promise is based on 1/2 hour of reading per day.
A half hour. Are they freaking kidding me??????? That's bordering on deceptive.

But it didn't even live up to that promise. I actually found the screen light hard on my eyes ( I know it's not backlit but I didn't find it particularly easier on the eyes than a true backlit product )so I immediately turned the backlight down to 5, just enough to punch the background a little bit without appearing lit.

I got my Kindle on Tuesday afternoon and gave it a full charge and set it up Tuesday night - thayt is when I turned the backlight down to 5. On Thursday morning I hit the menu bar and the battery was down to somewhere between 30 and 40 percent. After 36 hours it was over half drained. And they promised 8 weeks. Deceptive
This is the 7th Kindle I've purchased and I've never had such weak battery life especially on the first few days.

I bought this specifically because I was having to charge my old keyboard Kindle every day and that is not convenient. I am taking a trip next week and I wanted to not have to deal with charging it while camping in a foreign country but so much for that.
Well, Christmas is coming so I can unload it as a gift, I guess.

I also found it difficult to set up as I have over 100 pages of items in "the cloud" and the list kept shifting as downloads completed, I would go to touch an item to download and the list would shift a millisecond before my finger hit the item. This got a little better when I killed "cover view" and another annoying thing about "cover view" is that precious screen space was wasted showing me items I didn't own even though I purchased without the "special offers"

I am getting frustrated with the Kindle experience in general as my library grows. I would love to delete some items but even when I view "manage your Kindle" I have127 pages of items and every time I delete one the view resets to page 1. I think this product just isn't geared to people that really read and I need to start looking at other options.
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on October 23, 2016
This was my second Kindle e-reader and my second okay experience. I love the convenience and portability of the Kindle, as well as some of the features like changing the font, enlarging the text size, word definitions, and so on, though I know those aren't exclusive to Kindle. This Kindle is light and easy to hold. Several times I have had to delete e-books so that I had enough space to download more which isn't too big of a pain because it's not as if I'm going to read all of the books in a matter of days but I wish there was more room. I do love traditional books as well but I enjoy using the Kindle especially because the price of some e-books is often unbeatable.The star of the Paperwhite is Paperwhite technology and it's significantly improved my comfort level when reading my Kindle compared to the previous Kindle I owned which was one of the keyboard originals. It's also much easier and less strenuous compared to reading on my Kindle Fire tablet which I prefer not to do with books and rarely do. I avoid reading on my PC unless I absolutely have to for school because it gives me awful headaches and makes me dizzy. I've never experienced anything like that using my Paperwhite, it's marvelous.
I purchased a refurbished one to save some money and I am unlikely to do that again because from the get-go I experienced problems with this e-reader. For example, I only had my Kindle for several days and it began to freeze which increased over several weeks. The amount of times I had to shut the whole thing down and reboot was unacceptable. Sometimes the ad/ lock screen freezes as well and I can't even turn off the Kindle. I have to try it over and over and over before it will shut down or simply let the battery run out. One of the most annoying problems is that sometimes it appears to have turned off but is not. It also easily turns itself on. For example I will properly turn off my Kindle, watch it completely shut down and go dark, close the case I use for storing it (a protective case which does not come into contact with the buttons FYI) and set it on my dresser. I will return to Kindle hours later or days later and see that it is on and the battery is draining. This makes me furious. I often check and recheck it when I come in and out of my room just make sure it has not turned on, sometimes I find it on, sometimes it's still off. Soon after I got the Kindle I contacted customer service and was told it was too late to return but that I could send it in for repair or something like that which I declined to do because it seemed like a huge pain and I actually needed the Kindle for a class so I didn't feel like I could part with it at that time and was disappointed.
I have used this a zillion times and enjoyed it, though. I've gotten cheap books, like books I had on my WishList that dropped in price by $10 to $13, bought and instantly started reading on my Kindle. It has been a great advantage to take with me traveling, as well as to work and to school but my device has also had enough problems that I can't in good conscious recommend purchasing a refurbished one just to save $20.
I will probably buy a new Kindle e-reader at some point in the future but it will be a brand-new one which I hope won't suffer from the same irritating problems as the refurbished one I received.
I love many things about my Kindle, as I have noted, but the annoying stuff kinda outweighs the benefits. Even with some of those obnoxious issues this refurbished Paperwhite, when it is working correctly, is way way way better than the old Kindle I had in terms of comfortable reading and reading in the dark or bright light.
I will look forward to getting a new version at some point and I think a brand-new Kindle Paperwhite device might be wonderful- just be cautious if you're getting a refurbished one. I got my refurbished Paperwhite in Jan 2015 so I've waited plenty of time to really use it so I can give an honest and complete review.
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on April 17, 2016
I've had 4 different Kindles over the years. This one is my least favorite because there is NO AUDIO. I enjoy listening to some of my books when I am working and will often pay extra to add the audio to novels that I'm reading so I can continue to read while being productive around the house. This Kindle doesn't have that. I do love the ability to read at night without a light on as well as reading outside in full sunlight with no eye strain whatsoever...I just wanted audio, too. I didn't even check before I bought because I just assumed audio was built-in as it has been in the 3 I have previously purchased, but I do blame myself for not checking.
Update 7/2016: I take it back! I do NOT blame myself for not realizing there's no audio. Amazon absolutely should be offering Paperwhites with audio. C'mon, Amazon, you're offering audio as part of the Kindle Unlimited membership, but if that feature is useless on a Paperwhite! The least you could do is offer an audio and non-audio version. I'd be happy to pay more, and have it weigh a little more, to get audio. Then I could retire my old Kindle Keyboard 3g once and for all.
Updated 6/3/17: Still using my old Kindle Keyboard 3g because it has audio. Sadly, my SimpleLight that attaches to the USB is dying and they're no longer available for purchase. I'm about to lose an important part of what makes this work for me...and STILL none of the new e-readers have audio. (Except Fire tablets. of course. I have one and I like it, but I love to read outdoors in full sunlight so in the summer the ereader is the way to go rather than the Fire tablet. It's a pain in the butt to have to sync and switch devices just to be able to keep "reading" while getting things done and to take advantage of the audiobooks that I've paid for. ...and for traveling I don't want to have to bring both devices. ) I also know there's an audio adapter for the Paperwhites, but you have to use a headset or plug in to external speakers. What a pain in the butt... AMAZON, WHY WON'T YOU PROVIDE A PAPERWHITE MODEL WITH BUILT-IN AUDIO??? It makes no sense.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon October 1, 2012
Here is a quick video I shot of the new Kindle Paperwhite in action. I attempted to show what the glow screen looks like and address the comments about the LED lights at the bottom. In my opinion, it's no big deal, but hopefully you can get an idea of what some folks have mentioned. The screen is super clear and SUPER bright! I also like the feel of the new screen, it seems to have a somewhat rough texture and truly almost feels like paper.
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