Amazon Kindle Paperwhite: It’s good, slim, bright and better for everyone

The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite is still the best Kindle to choose. It gives you that important illumination over the basic model. For many people, this will be the model to pick.
The refreshed design helps keep the Kindle Paperwhite moving forward and the waterproofing will be great for those who like reading in the bath or at the pool.
The reading experience goes, it’s hard to beat the Kindle Paperwhite. It gives you convenience and access that’s hard to beat.
The previous design of the Kindle Paperwhite was announced in 2015 so has had a rather long life. There are some subtle changes.
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  • New flatter design

  • 167 x 116 x 8.2mm, 182g

  • Flat display

  • IPX8 waterproofing

The previous Kindle Paperwhite had a pronounced bezel to and framing the display. The new design is all about slimming things down.
It’s easier to swipe, as you don’t hit the edge anymore, and it’s also easier to wipe clean, as the bezel no longer traps sand or grime around the edges.
The 6-inch screen like the majority of other Kindle devices and we feel this is a good size.
The new Paperwhite doesn’t adopt all of those elements. The Paperwhite is touch only. The Paperwhite is definitely better value for money.
The important changes is the IPX8 waterproofing. This means that if you’re caught in the rain and your bag leaks, or you drop your Kindle in the pool, then it won’t get damaged.
The new Kindle is lighter at 182g for the Wi-Fi version compared to 204g before and that’s a weight you’ll feel with prolonged reading. The optional cover can add 119g to that weight, most of which is protection for the display at the front – but it’s worth having something to avoid scratches on the screen.
If you already have a Kindle Paperwhite that works perfectly fine, there’s no real reason to update it.
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  • An E Ink display with better illumination

  • 6-inch, 300dpi E Ink display

  • Laminated for scratch resistance

  • Front illumination

The Paperwhite is all about the illumination on the front of the display. You can read the monochrome E Ink in the dark. Because it’s not using LCD technology, it’s very economical with power, giving you about 6 weeks of use – according to Amazon’s review.

Battery Life

 
In use, the battery life is mostly dictated by how many page turns you make and how frequently you’re accessing information online, as well as the display brightness. Take the Kindle on holiday and spend hours reading,  you’ll probably have to charge the battery after a week. Causally read in bed at home to help you to sleep, and it’ll last weeks between charges.
What you don’t get is any update from the micro-USB for charging and there’s no quick charging technology.
There are now five LED illuminators and they cast the illumination across the display nice and evenly. The display remains the same size as it was before – 6 inches on the diagonal. You don’t need a huge display – it’s about the same size as a traditional paperback.
Adjustment is manual, taking a couple of taps to turn it up or down. To be honest, that should suit most people fine, but if you’re reading in daylight, you might as well turn the illumination off, because you won’t need it.
Illumination is where the Paperwhite wins over the basic Kindle.
 
  • New features, same feeling

  • Quick access to font presets

  • Bluetooth support for Audible books

One of the new additions launching on this Paperwhite is shortcut access to different profiles.
If it’s only you using your Kindle, you might never make any changes after the initial setup to your preferences.
Having used the Kindle for a number of years – and font changes and sizes have always been possible – the addition of these presets doesn’t really add anything to the experience for us.
Audible is Amazon’s audiobook company and in many cases you can buy both the written and spoken book at the same time. Kindle, through WhisperSync, will let you jump from one form of the book to another, with the Kindle Paperwhite now offering Bluetooth so you can connect to speakers or headphones.
There’s also a slight refresh to the home screen environment, but as far as we know, this will be updated on older devices too, so everyone will get it. 

Kindle Store could do with a refresh

The great thing about the Kindle is to access lots of new reading material. The seamless interaction with the Kindle Store makes it easy to buy more content.
There’s free books available with Amazon Prime (if you’re a subscriber) and there’s wider access via Kindle Unlimited, which is more like having access to a library. In the latter cases you’re borrowing digital books and essentially returning them when you’re finished.
Over time you’ll read a lot from a mixture of source – free, purchased, and even in real life. Some of these books will be stored on your Kindle (those you buy and download), some will be logged and returned (from subscriptions sources) – but it’s not always easy to see what you’ve read when you’re browsing the store.
So it feels like there’s an opportunity to enhance the user experience around the store. 

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