Let’s take a look at Amazon’s 2016 Kindle Paperwhite which was released late June 2016. I’m going to be focusing of it’s size, weight, the UI and usually the most important point, the price.
There are a few features that I wanted to call out that may interest you. As mentioned earlier, the device comes in two formats – Wifi and 3G. If you decide to spend a little more for the 3G model you can download books in a 100 different countries, for free! This is provided by Whispernet. The downside is that it’s not actually that easy to work out which countries have Whispernet so I would recommend contacting Amazon support if there is a country you’re definitely wanting to travel to in order to use the service.
Another nice feature is that when selecting books, you can find more about the author before making a purchase, as well as any books in their series you may be interested in. This is a feature I’ve so far not seen on other devices.
One of my favourites is the time to finish chapter and book functionality. Personally I like to know how much a dent I’ve made in a book before I put it down. This is based on your average reading speed and constantly updates as you go.
For those of you who have kids, there’s a couple of features to take note of here. The device includes a set of achievement awards as you read, an inbuilt dictionary and a set of parental controls which ensures your little ones are reading thing’s they’re not quite ready for yet.
More details on the awards can be found here
So Amazon have decided to go a slightly smaller size compared to other Ereaders which leads to a reduction in weight and the ability to fit the device in the palm of your hand. With dimensions of 6.7″ x 4.6″ x 0.36″ (169 mm x 117 mm x 9.1 mm), it is considerably smaller than the Kindle EReader Touch at 8.18” × 6.2” × 1.7” (208mm × 160mm × 43 mm). This does have the obvious advantage of more time enjoying your favorite book as you won’t feel the weight impact of the device, but with a reduced screen size, it does mean more pages to get through.
Amazon has done a create job at providing a broad range of cases, sleeves and skins to make your Kindle Paperwhite your own. You can find some of my favourites on my accessories page
Depending on what device you go for (Wifi or 3G), the device weighs 205g or 217g respectively. For the added few grams to gain free 3G access to books in over a 100 countries, it’s definitely worth considering. Even with the heavier model, it still weighs less than the Kindle EReader Touch (340g). However, if weight is your priority then it might be worth considering the Kindle Oasis which comes in at 131g.
Amazon have outdone themselves here with a 300 PPI screen which is a significant upgrade from their 2013 model (212 PPI). For those of you not in the know, PPI stands for Pixels Per Inch which means the more pixels you have, the better! To give you an idea about some other display resolutions out there, the Kindle Paperwhite has 265 PPI. Some other nice features around the display are that it’s adjustable, to the point where you can actually read in the dark with it! Another added bonus is that it’s touchscreen which means more reading display and fewer buttons.
The UI itself is easy to use, making it great for those buying their first EReader. An added bonus is that when you download the books, it includes the front covers, as if you had brought a hard copy of the book. I also appreciate Amazon’s integration with its kindle store for seamless purchase.
Formats it can read
The Kindle Paperwhite supports Amazon Kindle books (AZW format) and also gives you the ability to open MS Word docs and PDF’s which you can email to the device itself. As expected, it doesn’t support book formats which are not purchased from the Amazon store.
The Kindle Paperwhite is one of the cheapest on the market for the features it provides. Not afraid of splashing the cash? Then it might be worth going for a Kindle Oasis as it’s the lightest on the Market.
What I like
Personally I like the price for the l features you get (e.g. 3G option, features that help kids to read and the quality of the display). I also think Amazon have got the right idea in making it fit comfortably in one hand which reduces the strain of reading for long periods. Finally the adjustable screen is a big plus for those of you who like to do a little nighttime reading.
What I don’t like
There are a few downsides that bug me. Firstly, the ‘experimental’ web browser can definitely be viewed as a unnecessary bolt on. If you want to browse the web, use your phone! Ironically this browser was call experimental on the first generation Kindle I purchased many years ago. Looks like the jury’s still out on whether or not Amazon will keep it. There’s not also much difference from the 2013 model if you have it. So i would recommend sticking with that if your already have it. The X-Ray function which allows you to search the entire book for a specific word or phrase does seem pretty pointless for those of you who just want to get lost in a book.
What Amazon Customers Are Saying?
Customers highlighted as I did that there’s not much difference between the 2013 model, other than the increased display resolution. That said they did say the resolution increase did make a dramatic improvement (though a side effect is decreased battery life). The few customers who did have issues with the device (screen fading etc) had swift support from the Amazon team which is a big plus. Overall people loved to rave about how good it was!
For the price and spec the Kindle Paperwhite is a good all rounder device, especially if you want to get you kids into reading. Though I would recommend staying away from the experimental browser. If you’re looking for something a little more basic then I would recommend the Kindle Ereader at half the price.
Own a Kindle Paperwhite? I’d love you hear you feedback!