Kindle Paperwhite Review: Amazon proves it is still the best digital reader
Since Amazon debuted the Kindle, the company has continued to innovate the product; even branching out the line to full-functioning tablets like The Kindle Fire and the new Kindle Fire HDX. Tablets have their place in our modern-lives, but they come at a cost (both literally and figuratively). Tablets are expensive and with that cost we are often less likely to take them to some or our favorite reading spots (the beach, the pool, the park, or you may even question handing one over to your toddler as they begin their own literary journey).
Some people just want a digital reader, their tablets may be for work or for school use, and no other digital reader (tablet or not) can come close to the Amazon Paperwhite when it comes to reading. Unlike other screens that have to pull double-duty as movie-screens, internet browsers and digital-books; the Kindle Paperwhite was designed to be the perfect digital reading device. The screen features the exclusive “Carta e-paper technology ” which is illuminated with the built-in light. It’s crystal clear at 212 ppi and the entire display was optimized for fonts and reading text.
The word you may read a lot in other reviews and descriptions for the Kinde Paperwhite is ‘contrast’ and for good reason. The screen displays black text against a white background like no other device on the market. It’s wonderfully crisp, the exact sharp text that you would hope to find in the latest printed book taken right off the shelves. Options are also key to the Paperwhite, changing the font is as easy as a few gestures, and the reader offers many choices for you to select from when deciding on a Font. This makes finding the most pleasing text just a click away. Amazon stated at the official release that, “all fonts on Kindle Paperwhite have been hand-tuned at the pixel level for maximum readability and comfort,” and it took less than a paragraph for me to see the difference that the new digital-reader offered over its competition. Trouble reading small print? You have up to eight text sizes to make reading easier, all done with simple gestures and taps.
Under the hood the Paperwhite went through several upgrades, including a new processor that Amazon claims is 25% faster than the previous models. In real-word terms this means that opening your book, jumping to your bookmark, shutting down the device and turning it on, is all much snappier. Moving outside of the hardware and into the software, here’s a feature that I simply loved, the margin notation.
I love making notes in books, it was one of the few things that I found myself missing when I jumped to the digital age. Cookbooks and biographies especially, I loved to write down key moments, substitutions or questions that I wanted to check back on, and the Paperwhite allows me to do that. Not only can you easily create the notes, but the device allowed me to then edit, delete, or export my notes to other platforms. Love to highlight and discuss? Then you should know you can highlight a particular section or quote, then share that section with other readers, or even on your Facebook or Twitter accounts.
Looking up words is a breeze thanks to the full dictionary offered with ‘X-Ray’ and Amazon supplements information with Wikipedia so you can look up even more background on characters or time periods, all without leaving your place in the book (this proved even more useful when I was reading Tony Hillerman, as many locations, military terms and government policies would have been lost on me without the service).
Although slim and convenient, your Kindle Paperwhite can hold approximately 1,100 books, that’s an astonishing amount of literature to have on hand whenever you need it, complete with all of your notes and highlighted sections for each work. That’s not even including the Cloud Storage that Amazon offers, a service that is free for all books that you buy on Amazon. Previous Kindle users should be used to Whispersync by now, but if you are new to the line it is a feature worth mentioning. You can pick up your book right where you left off (including bookmarks, and annotations) no matter what device you reading on (assuming you are using the Kindle App to read it) meaning you can start reading on your phone, then jump to your desktop at work, then back on the Kindle Paperwhite as you travel home, or tuck yourself into bed.
Features aside real-world experience with the device is what really counts, and living in New York and taking the subway everyday I need a workhorse of a tablet reader. The Paperwhite easily beat any other tablet I had for reading, and synching (not to mention battery-life). My tablet (iPad) is awesome and I do love many of its functions, but I do not like just having it out in the subway or when I’m waiting alone for friends at the park or coffee-house. The Paperwhite is cheaper, it works better as a reader and it allows me organize my collections and notes across devices.
I think that sunlight drastically improves my mood and I truly enjoy reading outside. You have probably seen the ads where someone is trying to read with a tablet in direct sunlight by a pool and having a hard time; meanwhile a Kindle user is having no issue. This isn’t a far out exaggeration, direct sunlight isn’t great for tablets, but the Kindle Paperwhite works just as well mid-afternoon as it does at night in my bed.
If you are looking for a digital-reader then the Amazon Paperwhite is easily the best on the market, not only for hardware, software and cloud features but also in price. Starting at $119, it’s one of easiest decisions I’ve made when it came to purchasing a new digital reader.
more info: amazon.com/paperwhite