The Kindle Paperwhite

For Amazon’s sake, I hope to goodness that this product is good: if not, the jokes will pretty much write themselves. So, who amongst you misses the original Kindle?

By Chris Messenger | Published 26/02/2013

The Good


8-week battery life


62% more pixel resolution


Experimental Browser


Massive book selection

The Bad


Only for reading Books


No Audio Output


No Apps Available


Purchases only through Amazon store


An unassuming, but brilliantly useful little device, the first Kindle was an eReader, plain and simple. It didn’t have apps and MP3s and a built in Dolby surround sound system. It didn’t need to; the early Kindle designs had elegance, taste and refinement. It was a device for reading books, dammit.


Well, if you can relate to any of the above, then you might want to check out our review of Amazon’s newest Kindle, the Paperwhite. With this one, Amazon are going back to their roots: books. However, this is far more than meets the eye. Get ready to meet the most advanced eReader ever developed...


That makes it a perfect travel companion, even for long journeys without access to a power socket.

The Specs

While the boffins at Amazon were away building the Kindle Fire and its delectable upgrade, the Kindle Fire HD, a few sneaky opportunists were attempting to overtake them in the eReader marketplace. Although these products were often deeply flawed and easily filed under ‘well-meaning-but-sadly-a-bit-crap’ before being completely forgotten about (Barnes & Noble – I’m looking in your direction), a couple were actually pretty good. This competition seems to have stimulated Amazon into producing a new, no frills Kindle, essentially an upgrade of the earliest Kindle designs.


I see it as being a bit like the movie ‘Rocky Balboa’, personally. You can watch that movie as a sequel to the first ‘Rocky’ movie and simply disregard all the others that came after (or else you can add the ones you like and ‘Balboa’ still serves as a perfect coda to the series). If you weren’t a fan of the Kindle Fire and you are in it for a basic eReader, then this is the new Kindle. It’s as simple as that.


The design is smooth and modern. It looks smart, not showy. Amazon have even gone as far as to patent the built-in light that illuminates the screen as you read. This technology, they claim, is perfectly suited to all lighting conditions.


Although this is not, strictly speaking, an Internet device, the built-in WiFi allows you to download books directly and quickly (with Amazon offering over 650,000 titles for you reading pleasure, almost all of which are cheaper than their paper equivalents – better for trees, too).


The Price

At £109, we’re not going to break the bank. Although I have to wonder how many people will consider spending extra for access to the Internet and all the other things offered by tablet PCs.


The Performance

The Paperwhite is small and lightweight. To put things into perspective, it's about the height of a pencil. Not only does this make the Paperwhite travel friendly and user friendly, it also gives it a pleasing size, not overly dissimilar to a paperback novel. Except that you can't adjust the page or text size of a paperback novel in real time.


Amazon have even gone as far as to patent the built-in light that illuminates the screen as you read.

The Paperwhite also boasts an impressive 8 WEEK battery life, even if you leave the lights on. That makes it a perfect travel companion, even for long journeys without access to a power socket.


In addition to all this, Amazon have genuinely improved upon the touchscreen, both of the early Kindle models and of the Kindle Fire HD. The stylus (or your finger, if you prefer) works a treat and the screen is not overly sensitive, but just right for quick, clean, efficient usage.


Our Verdict

This is a lovely bit of kit. However, it isn’t going to replace your books: by comparison an eReader is sterile and impersonal, but it will make carrying a large amount of literature much easier for students, holidaymakers and academics alike, whilst at the same time maximising your reading space and your travel options.


Essentially, this is an update of Amazon’s original Kindles and is, I feel, a worthy successor.



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Tags: kindle paperwhite Tablet PC Review, Tablet PC Review


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