So today I’m taking a look at the brand new Kindle Paperwhite which was released towards the end of 2018. This is the 10th Generation Kindle Paperwhite from Amazon. Packed with features such as being waterproof, Audiobook integration and weeks of battery life it’s no wonder people are paying attention. Let’s dive into the review and see what else it has to offer.
I’m pleased to see that this is the second device that Amazon have released which is waterproof. A trend Amazon’s competitors had set a while back but at least Amazon got there in the end. It has the same level of compliance as the Kobo Forma (IPX8) which means that it can be submerged in 2 metres of freshwater water for up to 60 minutes. This should give you plenty of time to retrieve it if you accidentally drop it in the pool whilst on holiday.
Another great feature that they have taken from the latest generation Kindle Oasis is Audiobook integration. Amazon’s audio Service Audible has been seamlessly integrated into the Kindle Paperwhite which has replicated the same UI as those who currently use the app on their Android phones.
There is a catch though. In order to use this fantastic service you’re going to need to purchase some Bluetooth headphones as there’s no 3.5mm audio jack on the device. A feature they also unfortunately replicated from the Kindle Oasis. And with Bluetooth headphones you get the usual challenges of battery life, interference, connectivity issues, though this is not a specific issue to the Kindle Paperwhite just Bluetooth headphones in general.
A Battery Life Of Weeks
So let’s talk about the battery life of the new Kindle Paperwhite. So Amazon are making the bold claim that the EReader can last up to 6 weeks on a single charge. They’ve even provided some stats to back up how they tested this:
“A single charge lasts up to six (6) weeks, based on a half hour of reading per day with wireless off and the light setting at 13.”
Source: Product Page Of Kindle Paperwhite
This is a full two weeks longer than the standard 4 weeks you tend to get out of other competitor EReaders. But wait there’s more. As the new Kindle Paperwhite uses a USB-C port to charge, it only takes 2 hours to be back to 100%. Some stats I’ve very impressed with.
Time To Finish Option
A nice feature that’s been added is the time to finish chapter option. This analyses you’re reading behaviour (e.g. how long you take to finish a page) to estimate how long it will take you to finish a chapter. A great feature if you’re trying to decide whether or not you have enough time to make it to the end of a chapter before life calls you back for some attention. The more you read, the more accurate this estimate becomes. Another nice feature here is that this is stored on the Kindle and not shared with Amazon so no need to worry if you’re a bit of a slow reader.
3G Model Available
Through the years there has always been a discussion as to how long will Amazon keep its free 3G service running. I’m happy to report that as Amazon have just released a 3G version of the Kindle Paperwhite, it looks like this service isn’t going anywhere for a few years. For those who are unfamiliar with the Kindle 3G option, it basically allows you to download books without the need for WiFi in over 50 countries for FREE. There’s no wandering the streets looking for a public WiFi spot. The current country list where this service is available is below:
|Dominican Republic||Ecuador||El Salvador||Grenada|
|Puerto Rico||Romania||Saint Kitts and Nevis||Saint Lucia|
|Saint Vincent and the Grenadines||South Africa||Slovakia||Slovenia|
|Switzerland||Taiwan||Thailand||United States of America|
|Uruguay||US Virgin Islands||Venezuela|
Borrowing Books From Prime Members
If you have a subscription to Amazon Prime then you get access to an additional benefit. Each calendar month you can borrow 1 book for free with no due dates or fees. The catalogue of books is in the hundreds of thousands so there’s sure to be something you would be interested in. One thing to note here is that it does not give you access to the full Amazon store’s collection of books but is a subset of this. If you chose to cancel your Amazon prime subscription, the books will expire on your device. You can read more detail about this service here.
This kind of service is something that I’ve commented in the past that has been missing from Amazon when comparing it to Kobo so it’s great to see Amazon upping their game here.
If you would describe yourself as a bit of a binge reader, then Kindle Unlimited is definitely for your. You pay Amazon a fixed monthly subscription and you can download as many EBooks as you want. This is a fantastic service than none of Amazon’s competitors offer. An additional benefit is that you can download as many Audio books too as part of the same service. I’m really impressed with this option Amazon.
Features For Kids
Amazon has maintained its focus on getting kids interested in reading books with a whole range of achievements built into the EReader. These can be separate from the account of mum and dad so that little Timmy can focus on his own reading goals. Each child can track their progress and receive achievement badges once they hit certain milestones. There’s also a nice additional feature that allows kids to look up those more complicated words whilst reading.
only approach with the exception of the power button. It’s a standard 6 inch display so nothing special here compared to the competitors.
Looking at the screen itself, Amazon claims that they’ve squeezed 62% more pixels in compared to their previous Kindles. Whether or not you can genuinely see this difference is debatable. You would need to have the old and new model side by side to really tell the difference.
Amazon have improved the even lighting of their Kindle by introducing patented technology below
the glass which provides a nice even spread of light.
As mentioned before they introduced a USB C port for faster charging which is nice to see but let themselves down by not having a 3.5mm audiojack for listening to audiobooks.
The final point I want to touch on here is there are two storage options available. The 8GB or 32GB. This means they’re both capable of storing thousands or EBooks or hundreds of AudioBooks. Personally I’d go for the 8GB model unless you’re planning on dropping off the face of the earth and never connecting with the Marketplace again or deleting books.
Alright, so with all these features what’s the cost? So the Kindle Paperwhite is now classed as a mid range EReader as it has more features than the standard Kindle 6 inch but not as many as something like the Kindle Oasis. That’s reflected in Amazon’s pricing structure but as they’re offering deals and changing prices all the time, I’d recommend checking on their website to confirm. I tend to wait for key holiday events coming up as Amazon tend to slash prices on their EReaders.
Some Specs To Compare Against
I’ve included a summary of some of the specs that I feel are personally important to consider when looking at getting a new EReader.
|New Kindle Paperwhite||Old Kindle Paperwhite||Kindle Oasis||Onyx Boox Darwin 3|
|Size||6 Inches||6 Inches||7 Inches||6 Inches|
|Display||300 PPI||300 PPI||300 PPI||212 PPI|
Comparing Against The Previous Model
I wanted to call out some key differences compared to the previous model:
- The new Kindle Paperwhite is waterproof
- The new Kindle Paperwhite has AudioBook integration
- The new Kindle Paperwhite only comes in Black
- The new Kindle Paperwhite has better integration with the Amazon library (e.g. Kindle Unlimited etc)
- The new Kindle Paperwhite is considerably lighter than the previous model
It’s great to see Amazon pushing boundaries again in the EReader space. They
had become a little complacent when being the market leader which did allow others to catchup. Integrating audio has been a gamechanger and it will take their competitors many years to come up with a service even vaguely equivalent.
I also like the simple design. No pressure buttons on the sides which are frankly unnecessary in this day and age. Keeping the EReader lightweight also means reading enjoyment for hours.
The final thing to call out here is the features they build for kids to keep them engaged in reading. No other competitor plays at active role in this space and it’s great to see Amazon stepping up here.
What I Don’t Like
Well I have to call out the Elephant in the room… the ‘experimental’ browser. The experimental browser that’s been experimental for over 9 generations of Kindle! Seriously Amazon, make a decision. Either fully support it or remove it.
They’ve also included an odd feature call page preview where you can preview up to 9 pages ahead before committing to selecting that page. If anyone can think of a logical reason why you would need to do this I’d love to hear from you.
Finally, the ads. Amazon is still stuffing banners onto your Kindle on the home-screen and the screensaver unfortunately. A feature I’d love to see removed as customers would probably agree they’ve paid enough just for the EReader.
Overall a solid device from Amazon where they have taken the majority of their learnings from the new Kindle Oasis. Despite some of the quirk decisions they’ve made (e.g. no 3.5mm audiojack, experimental browser etc) It’s definitely suitable for someone on a mid range budget that is looking for 80% of the top end features without the price tag to match.
Until next time
Any questions? Feel free to drop in a comment below