- Editor's Rating
- Solid hardware and attractive design
- Excellent screen that allows you to read in all environments, from dim to bright
- Excellent battery life
- No MP3 playback or audio support, unlike previous models
- Only 2GB of memory on this model, though with Amazon cloud storage, that should be more than enough for just about anyone
Quick TakeThis backlit version of Amazon's popular eReader is perfect for newcomers, and even some existing Kindle owners may find it to be a worthy upgrade.
The Paperwhite will surely enlighten new Kindle-adopters. The latest-generation of Amazon’s eReaders, the Paperwhite features a 6-inch e-ink screen with a built-in light, which allows for reading in any environment, though that might be the only feature that causes owners of other Kindles to jump ship.
Resembling the Kindle Touch, the device measures in at 6.5-inches tall and 4.5-inch wide, creating a portable product that users can bring just about anywhere. The eReader sports a solid black design and a soft touch rubberized finish on the back, which makes for a comfortable hold during extended periods of reading.
Of course the real selling point here is the Paperwhite’s screen. The device boasts the first lighted display of the Kindle family, giving users the ability to read in bright daylight or in a dimly lit room without the aid of a clip-on light. The e-ink screen is whiter and clearer than previous models, while the subtle light that illuminates the screen offers tired eyes a pleasant break from LCD-based gadgets. TabletPCReview found the Paperwhite’s display noticeably superior when compared to the Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight, with the Kindle offering a much “more natural” light without the bluish tint of the Nook. And with 24 different brightness settings, the Paperwhite has a level for a range of settings.
Aside from the power button, the eReader doesn’t house any physical buttons as a result of its touchscreen capabilities. Users will need to adapt to typing on the virtual keyboard, as well as using onscreen actions to turn pages. One downside of this device is its lack of audio features, with no MP3 playback or text to speech available like on previous models. Amazon also neglects to include a wall charger, shipping the eReader with just a USB cable, forcing users without compatible USB chargers to buy one from the Internet retailer.
With a slightly tweaked interface, the Paperwhite offers familiar features of Kindles past, as well as some new ones like reading progress, which determines the user’s average reading speed and displays the estimated time left until the end of the chapter. The newest Kindle also provides sufficient battery life, with TabletPCReview finding that the eReader exceeded its expectations in the battery department.
While the Paperwhite only offers 2GB of internal memory, users won’t be strapped for space thanks to Amazon’s cloud storage. And with Paperwhite prices starting at $119 for the ad-supported WiFi version, the device is an undeniably great option for those dabbling with the idea of purchasing an eReader.