Amazon Kindle Paperwhite is definitely what Kindle fans have been waiting for. It is the first self-lit e-ink reader from Amazon and is well-equipped to compete with Barnes & Noble’s Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight. Perhaps, you’re pondering about other options, such as lighted cases and clip-on lights to help you read in the dark. But, they definitely can’t beat the new integrated light of Paperwhite.
The display is a real pleasure to read. The high contrast coupled with white background closely mimic paper and makes the Kindle Paperwhite much superior to the grey background and hazy text of earlier models. Can you imagine having access to 1000 large print books in a device that is just 7.5 oz? You also have access to magazines and millions of books from Amazon’s collection.
- Built-in light for night-time reading
- Good battery-life with Wi-Fi turned off
- Higher resolution and contrast
Not so positives
- No slot for memory expansion
- Does not come with AC adapter
The looks of the new Paperwhite resemble Kindle Touch mainly because the chassis of either device is similar. The weight is also the same – 7.5 0z. But, a closer look will let you observe that Paperwhite does not have a physical home button, making it stand out from the rest. There’s a capacitive touch screen, something that makes it superior to the IR-based screens of touch-screen e-readers in the same range – Sony, Barnes & Noble and Kobo. An important advantage of adopting the capacitive touch screen design is that the bezel thickness is reduced considerably to provide a thinner profile. Paperwhite features 77 percent shorter bezel elevation.
The power button is the only physical button and you can adjust its brightness using a virtual dimmer on the touch display. The thin bezel conceals the LEDs efficiently, leading you to think that the device uses backlit technology, when in actuality it uses front-lit technology.
Battery life is a vital part of e-ink devices and Amazon seems to have got the edge this time. Paperwhite features a battery life of 8 weeks based on 30-minutes usage per day with Wi-Fi turned off and brightness set to half. That is about twice the battery life offered by Nook GlowLight, the closest rival.
The display specifications are impressive, touting a resolution of 1024 x 768 and a pixel density of 212ppi. It offers a 25 percent higher contrast and 62 percent more pixels compared to earlier versions. Obviously, you get crisper texts and more detailed images. In a normally-lit environment, light spreads across the screen in a more uniform manner compared to its rivals. This uniform splay renders a pleasant white cast to your screen. That answers how Amazon’s latest e-reader got the name “Paperwhite.” Amazon has designed the technology expecting users to keep the light indoors and turn it off only under bright sunlight.
The capacitive touch screen places Paperwhite at an advantage over its rival devices that feature IR touch. At the same time, you can’t expect the smoothness of the iPad. This is partly because of sluggishness caused by the e-ink technology. The higher-resolution is more demanding as well, meaning that page turns and responsiveness are not noticeably high.
Backed by e-ink technology, the screen outplays LCD tablets, such as iPads for bright outdoors. So, Paperwhite renders excellent readability unhindered by glares. It allows quicker page turns with lesser flashes and barely any “ghosting” of previous pages. A slight ghosting occurs for a few page turns and then you get a flash when the screen resets. You can toggle between landscape and portrait modes only in the reading mode.
The touch screen and virtual keyboard make it easy to access a lot of features, such as the built-in dictionary and Wikipedia search capability. You can also highlight sentences while reading and share on Twitter and Facebook. Translation between several languages is also facilitated. There is also a browser built into it, but it isn’t that appealing.
Paperwhite observes your reading speed and calculates how long you’ll take to complete a portion. And, there’s the X-Ray feature that helps you keep track of topics of interest.
However, Amazon has removed the audio feature, perhaps, because most users are turning to smartphones or tablets for their audio needs. The device doesn’t come with an AC adapter.
The fantastic lit screen is definitely something that you’ve been looking for, especially if you read a lot at bed time. The resolution is very useful with smaller font sizes and the interface is more fluid than that of earlier kindles. But, there is no memory expansion slot.