I would not say that the new Kindle Paperwhite has disappointing looks, but I guess I expected more of a change in aesthetics, as it does not look much different from the old Kindle Paperwhite. It still sports the same plain plastic shell in black like its predecessors, with a single Kindle logo on the front below the screen.
The backside doesn’t conjure up feelings of excitement, as it basically looks the same as before – an Amazon logo, a micro USB port and a power button on the bottom edge. However, since we’re dealing with Amazon, a company reputed for excellence, I wouldn’t come to a conclusion regarding the Kindle Paperwhite just yet.
With its 2015 update, it offered an improved 300ppi display, a new typesetting engine and a new Bookerly font. The new typesetting engine was designed to provide improved character spacing, page layouts and typography, for a much more enjoyable reading experience. With this boost in pixels, the Paperwhite’s resolution is now on par with that of the Kindle Voyage.
Why is it then, that with its not so alluring looks, the Kindle Paperwhite still dominates sales as one of the world’s best-selling e-readers? Well, maybe there is something, so without further ado, let’s check out this secret in this Kindle Paperwhite review for 2018!
#1. Kindle Paperwhite Review- Design
The Kindle Paperwhite has none of the class and beauty of the Kindle Voyage, but I guess that’s not something to moan about, as it was merely designed to be a front for your books. Should you like to add a bit of panache, then you could add a cute leather cover with a metal clasp. Or you could check out this list of the best Kindle Paperwhite covers and cases to find one that suits you the best.
As with previous e-readers in the Kindle range, it offers no micro USB card slot but comes with enough storage space, 2 GB to be precise, to store thousands of books. Should your storage requirements exceed what is currently provided you could easily use cloud storage.
The Kindle Paperwhite is made of matte soft-touch plastic. Surprisingly, it has plenty of grips and is narrow enough to comfortably hold in one hand. Though the Paperwhite was designed before the Voyage, it would have been nice if it could also have those sensitive PagePress haptic sensors, as the navigation on the Paperwhite is done via a touchscreen.
The touchscreen is responsive and sensitive and you don’t have to bang on it to get a response. Although it’s quite a smooth sailing, I must say, normal buttons do the job much better. Hopefully, in the next version of the Kindle, buttons would be re-introduced.
The bezels are a bit bigger than normal, which is a fine thing, as it gives you more room to rest your hands on without unnecessarily blocking the view of the screen. Although it is a plain design, it appears to be solid and sturdy. Its dimensions are 169x119x9mm, and is, as Amazon loves to say it: smaller than a paperback and coupled with WiFi and 3G, it weighs a mere 217g.
#2. Review of Kindle Paperwhite – Features & Specifications
- 6-inch Carta e-paper display
- 300ppi display
- Battery life – approximately 6 weeks
- Has an integrated backlight
- Screen resolution is 1448×1072
- Storage capacity of 2GB
- Dimensions – 169x117x9.1mm
- Weight of 205g (with the 3G weighing at 217g)
- Ports – microUSB
- Network – 802.11n (3G is optional)
#3. Kindle Paperwhite 3G & WiFi Vs Kindle Paperwhite WiFi
The main difference between them is how they connect to the internet. The Kindle Paperwhite 3G & WiFi version can connect to the internet only through normal WiFi, whereas the Kindle Paperwhite WiFi only version connects through free 3G as well as through normal WiFi.
The former version, the 3G one, enjoys a global wireless coverage of over 100 countries.
The second difference lies in how much they weigh. The Kindle Paperwhite WiFi only weighs 7.5 oz, whereas the Kindle Paperwhite free 3G & WiFi weighs 7.8 oz. Not much of a difference, only a mere .3 oz.
#4. Review of Kindle Paperwhite – Display
The display is undoubtedly the biggest improvement in the updated Kindle Paperwhite. Should you wish to upgrade to a Paperwhite just for this reason alone, it would be a good enough reason. The newer Kindle Paperwhite has, at 300ppi (pixels per inch), the exact same display as the Kindle Voyage and the Kindle Oasis, two of its later cousins.
The Paperwhite has a six-inch screen that is backlit. This is great for reading in the dark as it doesn’t cause eye-strain. The backlight is gentle on the eyes, even when turning the brightness to the lowest settings.
The text is remarkably improved, it is more comfortable to read the tiny font-size text, and it makes a big difference on your eyes, especially if you’re the type of person who is continually hunched over a book somewhere in the corner of a café, sipping a latte.
I might venture as far as calling its display almost print-quality, or rather near print-quality. The pixels on these 300ppi e-readers are almost unnoticeable. What enhances this whole experience, is the built-in light, which lends an almost superior paper-kind-of-quality to the text.
Though both the Paperwhite and the Voyage share the same type of display, there is a subtle difference between their output, when observed carefully. When reading from the Voyage, you’ll notice a bit of a higher-contrast, especially when viewing photographs, then from the Paperwhite.
Also, Reading from the Paperwhite is as easy as knowing where to tap. Tapping on the right or the centre of the screen will allow you to turn to the next page and a tap on the left edge will turn it back a page. Whereas tapping on the bottom left corner will allow you to switch between viewing in what chapter you’re in, or what page you’re on, or the number of pages still left to be read.
A tap near the top will open up a menu bar, which allows you to customise your preferences. Would you like to change the brightness? Perhaps you’d like to search for something, or change the font-size? Or maybe even the margins and line-spacing? These can all be done from the top menu bar.
#5. Amazon Kindle Paperwhite Review for Battery Life
According to Amazon, the Kindle Paperwhite’s battery can last for weeks without recharging. I guess that’s on the assumption that you don’t read much and then, only for a short while per day, and you switch off all WiFi connectivity.
#6. Kindle Paperwhite Review for Interface
Kindles have been trickling behind their rivals for a while now when it comes to e-reader interfaces. This has changed now, as Amazon released a new interface, that will be available on all models dating back to the Kindles of 2013.
The newly introduced interface has a cleaner home screen. In the top left, you’ll find an area highlighting what you’re currently reading, with the three most recently read books shown. Next to it is an area that shows samples of ebooks you’ve downloaded, books that are in your Amazon wish-list, as well as titles from your Goodreads section.
Below that, you’ll find the usual recommended things and adverts. Amazon has also added the OpenDyslexic font as an extra. There is also an option to remove reading progress if so desired. This makes for a cleaner page layout. Added new features are the ability to share excerpts to Facebook or Twitter. Kindle also allows you to link directly to a sample of the book. Anyone can read it without having to have an Amazon account or logging in.
To take this Amazon Kindle Paperwhite review a bit further, below are some more features that are available on the interface of this Kindle.
- Bookerly Font
- State of the Art Typesetting
The Bookerly font is Amazon’s own in-house typeface production. Although it already made its entrance with the Amazon Fire tablets it is now also to be seen on the Kindle Paperwhite. It has a particular resemblance to fonts like Palatino and Caecilia.
Having the Bookerly font on the device isn’t a strong enough reason to purchase the Kindle Paperwhite, but truth be told, it is a nice font to have. It lends an attractive look to the text, seems to fit right in and is easy on the eyes, which makes it an easy read.
The Kindle Paperwhite also comes outfitted with Amazon’s new typesetting engine, a feature which lends a subtle change to the way things will be moving forward. Whereas the sharp screen and the brilliant backlight has improved and done a lot for the Paperwhite, typography has always been an issue. Though not explicitly noticeable, it can be seen in some titles, or sometimes in some readers, where the layout, the paragraphs or even whole pages would be completely jumbled and messed up.
In some instances, it would be the strange way in which letters are spaced or imbalanced spacing between words. This would lead to too much white space or to poor syllabicating of words, which can be distracting and lead to a non-enjoyable reading experience.
To fix all this required a completely new way of approach, hence the introduction of the new typesetting engine. It aims to make the larger font sizes more readable, introduces reduced white space and fewer syllabicating problems. However, Amazon still has a long way to go in regard to the font size options, which are limited to only eight sizes in total.
At times ebooks would appear with omitted drop caps. The engine also aims to fix that by adding drop caps wherever absent. Another issue would be Amazon’s insistence on keeping the margins straight. This always led to large and unsightly gaps between words and this has also, thankfully, been fixed with the new typesetting engine.
#7. Amazon Kindle Paperwhite Reviews 2018 – Extras
A concerning issue that we came across during our Kindle Paperwhite review and basically with all Kindles is their reliance on Amazon services. This can largely be attributed to Amazon’s way of dominating on its own turf. Though their book system is great, it would be nice to be able to add in an additional couple of ePub format books without having to rely on Apps like Calibre to bring this about.
Another long-standing issue with the Kindles is their non-support for audio. In the past Kindles used to have audio jacks and some features that could turn your narration into an audiobook, but this has since been discontinued. What seems strange though is that Amazon owns Audible, the company that offers reduced priced audiobooks.
As with most of Amazon’s Fire Tablets and Kindles, you could also purchase official cases to go with your Kindle Paperwhite device. The regular leather ones are priced at $39.99, whilst the ‘premium’ leather ones are priced at $69.99. To be honest, we’re not such big fans of these cases and would much rather go for the origami cases that come with the Kindle Voyage.
Although it’s a bit of a conservative upgrade, the new 300ppi makes this the best Kindle Paperwhite on the market, with a great price and excellent features.
Sporting the new typesetting engine has been a big plus for the Kindle Paperwhite, but since this feature has also been introduced to the other newer versions like the Kindle Voyage and the Kindle Oasis, not something to write home about, but definitely a big plus for the Kindle Paperwhite.
It still lacks a few of the Kindle Voyage features, but hey, that’s why it’s called the Paperwhite. It’s got all the great basic features you need – a great display, a huge library of books and an excellent backlight. All in all, a great piece of technology at an excellent price.
So, if you don’t already own a Kindle and you are a bit sparse on money, then this might just be the device you want to have in your arsenal of necessary gadgets. But, if you have a bigger budget then do check out the Kindle Voyage review and the Kindle Oasis review to know why they are termed as the best in the Kindle category.