Kindle Paperwhite E-Reader Review

Kindle Paperwhite E-reader

Image from Amazon

There have been a few iterations of the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite over the years, but its looks haven’t changed much. That’s been reserved for the more expensive Kindle Oasis, which now comes in a stylish leather case.

Kindle E-reader

Image from Amazon

Instead of focusing on looks, the latest Paperwhite takes a leaf from its predecessor (the Kindle Voyage), prioritizing sharpness of display and user-friendliness over design. Quite incredibly, the Kindle Paperwhite has managed to deliver the same sharp display as its forerunner while maintaining a pocket-friendly price.

But is there more to the Kindle Paperwhite, or is it just another cheap addition to the Amazon E-Book reader collection? Read on to find out.

What is the Kindle Paperwhite and How Does it Work?

Paperwhite E-reader

Image from Amazon

The Kindle Paperwhite is part of Amazon’s collection of e-readers. This device allows you to browse, download, buy and read newspapers, e-books, magazines and other forms of digital media through a wireless connection to the Kindle Store.

While it strikingly resembles a tablet, it can’t perform tasks that ordinary tabs do. For instance, you cannot use the Kindle Paperwhite to play games or watch videos. However, you can play simple word games online using this e-reader.

So, wouldn’t you be better off with a tablet? Not if you are a serial reader. First, tablets cost almost as twice as e-readers. Secondly, the Kindle Paperwhite offers a better reading experience than tablets.

Instead of the backlight that is common in LCD tablets, this electronic reader utilizes a transparent light guide to direct light emitted by four edge-mounted Light-Emitting Diodes to the display. This results in a display that allows you to read for a long time without straining your eyes.

Specifications

Kindle Paperwhite E-reader (Previous Generation - 7th) - Black, 6"...
  • Now available in black or white
  • Higher resolution display (300 ppi) - with twice as many pixels
  • Built-in adjustable light - read day and night

Image from Amazon

Dimensions

6.7"x 4.6” x 0.36” (169 mm x 117 mm x 9.1 mm)

Screen Size

6" glare-free

Audible

Yes – when paired with Bluetooth-enabled speakers or headphones

Storage

4 GB; holds thousands of books.

Resolution

167 ppi

Battery Life

Weeks

Connectivity

Supports public and private Wi-Fi networks or hotspots that use the 802.11b, 802.11g, or 802.11n standard with support for WEP, WPA and WPA2 security using password authentication or Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS).

Content Formats Supported

Kindle Format 8 (AZW3), Kindle (AZW), TXT, PDF, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively; HTML DOC, DOCX, JPEG, GIF, PNG, PMP through conversion.

Kindle Paperwhite Review

kindle paperwhite

Image from Amazon

1. Pricing

2. Display

3. Design

4. Key Specs

5. Battery Life

6. User Interface and Overall Reading Experience

How Does the Kindle Paperwhite Compare to Similar Products?

paperwhite

Image from Amazon

The Kindle store remains at the top of the chain in the ebook space, and it doesn’t seem like this will change any soon. Therefore, Amazon devices such as the Kindle Paperwhite are still the best option as far as access to the best selection of e-books and value for money are concerned.

The Amazon Kindle Unlimited service is the equivalent of Netflix for Ebooks, and a monthly subscription of 9.99 dollars grants you access to millions of titles.

Besides the proprietary AZW and AZW3 formats, the Kindle Paperwhite supports PDF, TXT, MOBI, HTML, PRC, JPEG, DOC, GIF, DOCX, BMP and PNG file formats. EPUB is notably absent here, and its absence limits your sharing options. This is one of the areas where Kobo and Barnes and Noble edge out Amazon.

However, you can still connect the Kindle Paperwhite to a PC or a Mac as a USB mass storage device. This means you can download reading material from other platforms with your PC or Mac and transfer them to the Kindle Paperwhite for easy reading.

Kobo Glo HD

Image from Amazon

As far as other E ink-based alternatives go, Kobo Glo HD comes closest to the Kindle Paperwhite. Like the Paperwhite, it offers sharp fonts with high resolution. But unlike Amazon’s Kindle, it’s water resistant. However, it’s priced higher than the Kindle Paperwhite and doesn’t have Amazon’s outstanding e-book Ecosystem.

Amazon’s Kindle Oasis is also a serious contender for the brand’s best e-reader. While it delivers the same resolution and a brighter screen, it simply doesn’t offer the same value for money as the Paperwhite.

The table below contains comparative data on Kindle Paperwhite and two of its closest competitors.

kindle oasis

Image from Amazon

Kobo Glo HD

Ease of use

Assembly time

Build Quality

Warranty

Note: The prices above represent Amazon pricing in the US at the time of review. Prices may vary according to region and time.

As you can see, the standard Kindle Paperwhite edges its competitors in terms of sheer value. While it has the lowest price of the bunch, it stacks up nicely to its closest competitors, including the Nook Glowlight Plus, which was specifically designed to compete with the Kindle Paperwhite.

Nook GlowLight Plus

Image from Amazon

The only area where the two competing brands outperform the Kindle Paperwhite is the build quality, and that is only because they are waterproof and the Paperwhite is not.

PROS 

  • It offers the best value for money compared to competing brands and products.
  • The latest Kindle Paperwhite has better performance and speed than its predecessor.
  • The interface is user-friendly.
  • The Kindle Paperwhite has a sharp, bright screen with a higher resolution than most e-readers. Amazon’s Kindle Oasis is the only e-reader with a brighter screen than the kindle paperwhite.
  • The kindle paperwhite comes with cloud storage, allowing you to back up your reading material for future use.
  • It allows you to access the Kindle store, the leading ebook store.

CONS 

  • Unlike the Voyage, it doesn’t have an adaptive backlight.
  • It lacks water resistance capabilities, something that the Kobo Glo HD and the Nook GlowLight Plus have.
  • It lacks audiobook support.
  • It doesn’t support the EPUB file format, limiting your reading options.

The Final Verdict

Despite its limitations, the Kindle Paperwhite remains one of the best e-readers available in today’s market. At this point, the question on your mind should be what generation of Paperwhite you should be using, and not whether the e-reader is a worthwhile purchase. The bottom line is that you should consider sticking to the second generation unless the extra pixels of resolution is a big deal for you.

A product review isn’t complete without a rating. On the conventional 5-star rating system, this e-reader is worth a 4.5-star rating. But you can give this kindle your own rating by giving it a try and sharing what you think in the comments section.

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