I have been using kindle for 2 and half years now. And this is probably that one device with which I had a very strange experience when I first saw and used it. In this comprehensive kindle paperwhite review, let me tell you first hand what this device actually is and how it feels like when using it.
Allow me to explain why am I calling this yantra, SPECIAL.
Well, because, it is a special yantra.
By special, I don’t mean “SPECIAL“, special. By special I mean, this is a device, a yantra, designed for a very special or specific purpose.
Boom, that’s it. It is a device that has one very special/specific purpose.
In the oh so very proud, Geek community, We call such devices as embedded systems.
Did I use special way too much ? Ah well.
Having understood what Kindle Paperwhite is, with your humble permission, allow me to put forth this kindle paperwhite review.
I will try and cover everything that you need to be aware of before you buy the device.
Comprehensive Kindle Paperwhite Review
I am not gonna lie.
The first time I saw this device in the hands of a friend. I was very skeptic.
At that time, I was actually looking forward to get my hands on a decent tablet that I can use for reading and gaming at the go.
Although, gaming was not the top priority for me.
Reading definitely was.
I tried using my smartphone to read ebooks.
But the fatigue my eyes went through after long hours of reading was unbelievable.
Not to mention, while reading a large pdf, I looked like,
Well, I looked like this.
So I decided to have a look.
And baby, my opinions changed. And changed they did !!
Note that this was the first time I was using an e-reader.
So a really funny thing happened. And this thing happens with everybody who uses these e-readers for the first time.
I tried to scroll down something from the top, out of the familiar habit from using smartphones and tablets.
But that’s not how these puppies work.
In this kindle paperwhite review and guide we are going to get into the intricate details of this device, and hopefully by the end of the post, I will be able to clear up every confusion that you may have ever had about the device.
So what’s going to be the,
Structure of this post
See, I like things to be fun and joyful.
If you have read enough of my posts you would have realized that by now.
So I try to make things fun.
That’s true that I sometimes I fail. Well, mostly I fail. But there’s fun in failure too right ?
Anyhoo, my point is I like making the experience of consuming content fun.
And what I know is everyone has his own idea of fun.
Some like reading blog posts, some like stats, some like infographics and some are excited by good ol’ videos.
Me, I am a weird dude. I am excited by just about anything.
Everything fascinates me.
Now, how this all inclusive excitement works in your favor is, I create content is such a way it caters to the needs of everyone.
Mostly (not always), these posts will be a combination of text, infographics, stats and ofcourse videos.
So, in a way I give you the freedom to take whatever floats your boat.
Therefore, we are going to structure this post in a similar fashion.
We will look into all the technical specifications of the device.
BUT, and thats a big BUT.
We will go into the details of only those technical specifications, that matter.
Because what are you going to do with too much unnecessary specs ?.
Internet is already stuffing our heads with too much stupid information. We only have so much space man. Personally I have way too less space compared to other people.
Then, comes the most important part.
I say this because it doesn’t matter what specs or info a device holds.
As long as its not enriching the user experience. What good is it.
We may believe tech is all about the specs.
But deep down in our our hearts we know tech is about usage experience. We will talk more about this later in the post.
And maybe some other e-readers such as Kobo e-reader.
Last but not the least comes verdict time.
Reviews and otherwise, you may have realized that I have a unique way of presenting my verdict.
Instead of telling you, whether you must buy a product or not.
I just provide a holistic view of what this product has to offer and what kind of needs will it fulfill.
On the basis of whether you have those needs or not you buy or you don’t buy the product.
We are definitely going to stick with that method.
So with structure out of the way, make yourself cozy, get a cup of coffee and get ready. Rest of the post is gonna be savage af, I can promise you that
Kindle Paperwhite Detailed Specs:
|Display||6'',Carta e-paper tech, 300 ppi, built-in-light(manual control)|
|Dimensions||169 x 117 x 9.1 mm|
|Storage||4 GB onboard, unlimited cloud storage for amazon bought content|
|Battery||Depends on usage.
Light usage with wifi off and light settings at 10, battery lasts close to 4 weeks
|Wireless||Wifi and/or 3G|
|Formats supported||azw,azw3,txt,pdf,mobi,prc natively.
HTML, DOC, DOCX, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP through conversion via calibre
|In the box||device and USB 2.0 charging cable.
|Warranty||1 year manufacturer|
Yup !!. Those were the specs. Did you see them ? Good.
I want you to forget about them. Because specs alone don’t mean anything.
But what is important is putting little bit of attention to some very decent technology that goes into making this device.
E-Ink Carta Technology
So when I held this device into my hands, the first thing I wandered was.
How is this possible that I am able to read everything off the screen without any or little screen glare in dark conditions.
And in full blown sunlight, it seems as if I am reading a paper.
Well. The answer to this is what is known as the E-Ink Carta technology that gives a paper-like display, characterized by high visibility and contrast.
You can read all about E-Ink in this wiki article, here.
Do let me know in the comments, if you would like me to create a separate post for E-Ink tech.
I researched some more about it and found some really cool stuff.
So paperwhite comes in two versions
So the first thought that comes into the mind is that this second version might be using some kind of cellular SIM card to access network.
But no sir, Amazon uses the whispernet technology to provide books directly into your device, even if you don’t have a wireless connection,
The internet in the whispernet is is actually provided by AT & T. Pretty cool, han !!
The Insanely long battery life
This perk should not be too hard to guess. The device doesn’t do much.
And it’s 6 inch lateral size supports a big battery.
Since there is no multimedia playback in the device and neither a audio playback engine. Good battery life is a given.
Amazon say it lasts 6 weeks on medium usage.
I have found it to go upto 4 weeks on medium usage (daily an hour use with brightness setting at 10 and WiFi off).
Note that usage times may still differ.
Experiential Analysis for Kindle Paperwhite
So this is where things get juicy.
Specs is one thing. Analyzing specs is one thing.
Sometimes, it may not be possible because of non-availability of review units.
But an experiential basis to any product is of paramount importance to me.
You can have all fancy specs stuffed in your device, but if it doesn’t enrich user experience. It won’t count for a whole lot.
And having used this device for more than 2+ years now, I am fairly well versed with everything this device has to offer.
So let’s start with
How to use Kindle ?
Gettin’ them books
So how does one get books into kindle ?
- Using amazon’s kindle library.
When you first buy the device, you will be asked to register using your Amazon account. Once registered, now you can browse through the kindle library via kindle itself or PC.
Buy the book that you like and it will be automatically transferred to your Kindle via whispernet once you are connected via WiFi.
2. Via file transfer through PC.
Check the specs table I created above to check the file formats supported.
If you have a digital copy of a format that is unsupported by kindle such as the .epub.
Don’t fret just download this free software and convert the file into one that is supported by kindle, preferably .mobi or .azw3.
- Bonus Tip : I recommend to convert even .pdf and .doc files into .mobi or .azw3 because in those formats only you would be able to deploy full extent of kindle’s capabilities (such as bookerly font and dictionary)
Navigating like a sailor,
So how to navigate and actually use this device.
To make things easy to understand. Lets divide the kindle paperwhite’s screen into four parts as shown in the figure below.
Once you have opened your favorite book. Its time to do some reading.
- To navigate to the next page either tap anywhere in region 3 or swipe left.
- For navigating to the previous page tap anywhere in region 1 or swipe right.
- Tapping region 2 opens up the menu.
- Touching anywhere in region 4 opens the book browsing options.
This should be sufficient to start using kindle paperwhite.
Once you are comfortable with these basic moves, rest is intuitive.
Everything else that you must know,
Now that we know how to use the bad boy, its time to dig deep into the kindle paperwhite review and look into various capabilities that we are being offered in terms of usage.
The new paperwhite edition (2015) rocks a 300 ppi display when compared to its predecessor, which only sported a 212 ppi display.
EDIT 2019 : There have been a few updates to the device. Although the screen DPI remains same but the new kindle paperwhite is now waterproof and sports 8 GB or (32 GB) of storage memory. Pretty cool, isn’t it ?.
And for some reason they have downgraded the all new kindle resolution to 167 DPI. Yikes.
I am looking as to what the reason might be. Probably a marketing tactic for upselling anyway. I don’t recommend that resolution at all. Get it only if you will do the reading in broad daylight.
That’s not to say that every display across all devices will look just the same but you won’t be loosing anything in terms of reading experience if you ask me.
The All-New Bookerly Font
Now this is one of the most appealing aspect of kindle devices.
A font designed specifically for kindle devices that makes text actually look as if you are reading a book.
Bookerly offers a lighter, more graceful look, much closer to traditional print than to computer displays for enhanced readability, particularly for long-form reading.
With improved character spacing and the addition of hyphenation, justification, ligatures and drop-cap support, Kindle’s best-in-class typography allows you to read more easily and quickly with fewer page turns.
Previous Kindles have been known to lay out words, paragraphs and even whole pages in an awkward manner.
This may range from awkward spacing between letters and words, leading to too much white space, to words and paragraphs being broken up poorly.
It was distracting, and slowed down your reading.
The new typesetting engine fixes all that, as well as making larger font sizes more readable with reduced white space and no more broken sentences.
One very subtle change that not many have noticed is that Amazon has given up on its insistence of keeping the margins straight.
What this did was if when reading with larger font size the spacing between words and also characters went ridiculously large.
Thankfully Amazon has fixed that.
The Oxford Dictionary On a Tap,
One very interesting aspect of these digital readers, especially for people looking forward to improve their vocabulary is the inclusion of an oxford dictionary that you can use on the go.
English is not my native language and this feature actually helped me a lot.
In order to access this feature all you have to do is long tap the word you wish to know the meaning for.
But it doesn’t end here. Every word that you have ever had the need to look up, get’s stored in the device’s memory under the Vocabulary Builder.
Also while reading the book, on the lower right corner of your device, you will see a prompt in terms of percentage.
This percentage tells you how much of the chapter/book have you read. It also shows you how much time is left to complete the chapter/book.
The cool thing is this timing is smartly adjusted as per your reading speed.
Pretty smart han.
One complain I have always heard from people looking into buying this device is, “There’s no multimedia playback”.
From one perspective that actually makes sense right.
With everything so connected and versatile, it actually makes sense to stuff just about everything into everything.
However, when we say reading, invariably you want it to be uninterrupted. Isn’t it ?
When you really read, you want yourself to be in an immersed state. You know seamless, undisturbed, dream like.
Now imagine yourself deeply involved in the magical world of Harry Potter.
You are into it, going through all the emotions, buying your wand, shooting spells, riding a hippogriff.
Suddenly, a notification pings. It’s your mom. She wants you to pick up dry cleaning on your way home.
We don’t want that do we.
That’s why I think you know as undisturbed the reading experience is the better.
Having said that,
I wouldn’t say no to including an audio book playback engine into the device with an introduction of a headphone jack.
That would be sausy.
EDIT 2019 : It seems amazon took my advise :P.
Now with Audible, Kindle Paperwhite allows you to read and listen via Bluetooth-enabled speakers or headphones.
Also, you will observe a very noticeable lag while operating the device.
Well the device can definitely be fast (because that never hurts right), however, the memory module of 512 mb is actually doing justice to the task the device has taken up to perform.
Reading will be seamless. You can be sure of that.
Lets talk competition
Amazon as of now offers four variations of kindle devices.
(In order of increasing price)
Just look once and forget this difference table.
|Features||All-New Kindle||Kindle Paperwhite||Oasis|
|Waterproof||No||Yes, IPX-8||Yes, IPX-8
2 meters 60 minutes in fresh water.
|Audible (via Bluetooth)||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Built-In light||4 LEDs||5 leds||12 leds|
|Page Turns||touchscreen||touchscreen||touchscreen + page press buttons|
|Price||89.99 $||129.99 $||249.99 $|
So what do we take away from the table.
- With increase in price you get increased display brightness.
- If money is not an issue and you need absolutely top of the line product, buy Kindle Oasis.
- If money is a serious issue but you can’t get rid of the, “I continuously wanna read something on the go itch”, buy the Basic kindle.
- For everything else, buy Kindle Paperwhite.
Other boys in town, Kindle alternatives :
By now you might be wondering.
Is there anything outside of kindle devices I can look forward to when it comes to e-readers. Well, ofcourse there is boi !!
It’s funny how massive amazon marketing has been that the word kindle has almost completely replaced the word e-reader.
Anyhoo, I am listing down some other e-readers you can check out, in order of my personal preference.
- Note that I will not be going into the depth of each of these devices. We will just skim through so that you can be acquainted. If you want me to create separate content for best kindle alternatives. Do let me know.
- Kobo Glo HD (120 $) – 300 ppi, 2 month battery, epub supported, 4 GB
- Nook GlowLight Plus (130 $)- IP67 water resistance, 6 week battery, epub support
- Kobo Aura H20 (170 $)- 6.8”, IP67 water resistance, epub support, most popular competitor
These are really great offerings then why is Kindle Paperwhite so popular. Two reasons,
- Amazon’s huge library of books – This is probably the numero uno reason behind this. Guys, the hype is real. You can see a book that costs 20 $ for a paperback version cost just around 5 $ when it comes to its kindle edition. It’s one of the most intelligent ROI strategy you will ever see.
2. It pays to be Amazon’s son. Doesn’t matter what you think :P.
Enough said. #SavageAmazon.
Final Verdict : Kindle Paperwhite Review
By this point my fellow human.
I don’t even feel like giving you a verdict in this kindle paperwhite review post. I know I could have rambled on about how great kindle paperwhite is.
But that is something you can find anywhere.
I more or less directed this post as to whether you should get one in 2019. And how will it stack against other kindle offerings.
So I created this kindle paperwhite review consciously to not be centered around paperwhite.
My approach is always to give you a holistic view of the topic under discussion and the verdict is something that you must come down on your own on the basis of,
wait for it ….
What your need is !!
What I have done via this post is provide a clarity regarding various dimensions about kindle devices.
This clarity needs to be coupled with what your need is and what your budget is.
When you do that.
You will observe a very clear voice answering whether you should or shouldn’t hit that buy now button,coming straight from within your heart..
That’s #JesusApproved voice you know.
So you better not deny it.
So peeps that was the post. I dearly hope you had a good time reading it.