Hardware &Reviews Wes Novack on 02 Nov 2012

Kindle PaperWhite review

Kindle PaperWhite review

We have been big fans of Amazon’s Kindle device line ever since we acquired a pair of the “Kindle keyboard” models a few years back. Unfortunately, earlier this year we parted ways with our trusty e-readers when they were stolen from us, mid interstate road trip.

Fortuitously or not, Amazon announced its new PaperWhite device right around this same time, so we placed a pre-order and patiently awaited the launch of the new model.

Photo below: Amazon’s Kindle PaperWhite.

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Kindle PaperWhite review – packaging & features

The Kindle PaperWhite ships in a sleek, compact, minimalistic cardboard box and was actually a tad smaller than I expected, as I was accustomed to the bulkier keyboard model that I previously owned.

We opted for a pair of the ad supported PaperWhite models with “Special Offers”, which has the benefit of cutting $20 off the price of each unit, compared to the ad-free version. In the image above, you can see the device powered off, with an ad shown on screen. In general, I highly despise advertisements and commercials inserted into my media, however, Amazon’s Special Offers ad system is entirely different. It is unobtrusive and only shows up when the device is going in and out of power modes. It also features discounts on things that I might actually want to buy, like ebook specials, mp3 sales and other digital media offers. In other words, the personal opinion of this self described advertisement hater is that the Kindle’s ad system is a fair trade off and well worth the additional hardware discount.

There are many attractive features in an e-ink device; excellent readability, a no glare screen, long battery life (weeks!) and low weight. These devices also have the ability to store hundreds to thousands of books and documents all in one compact form.

The Kindle PaperWhite boasts all of these traditional e-ink device features, along with more advanced technology; a back-lit screen, a responsive touchscreen and WiFi, among others.

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Above: the Kindle PaperWhite with its built in back-lighting, activated in a dark room.

Kindle PaperWhite review – our thoughts

I’ve been using the PaperWhite for about a month now and I absolutely love it. The e-ink display is sharp and has good contrast, which makes reading on it very easy on the eyes. It really is as if you are looking at a real, physical, paper book page. I can not think of a missing feature that would significantly improve the device if added.

The back-lit screen is something that I’ve always wanted on my e-reader, and in that department, the PaperWhite does not disappoint. The lighting uniformly illuminates the entire screen, allowing for optimal readability in all types of lighted environments, from bright sunlight to pitch black dark. The back-light can be easily adjusted, with a wide range of brightness levels supported.

The touch screen is responsive and fluid, operating exactly as you would think it should. I find it satisfying to have the ability to “turn” the virtual book pages by swiping a finger across the screen.

The only complaint I can wage is that Amazon did not include a power plug with this model. It does come with a USB cable for charging and side loading content, however, this means you need to plug it into a computer for charging if you do not own a wall adapter that includes a standard USB port.

I will certainly be enjoying my Kindle PaperWhite for many years into the future, assuming that this one manages to stay in my possession.

What do you think about the new Kindle PaperWhite? Are you considering purchasing one? If you have any comments or questions on this device, please let us know!

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