Amazon Kindle Paperwhite review

OUR VERDICT

It is a conservative upgrade but the new display makes this the finest Kindle Paperwhite with a dazzling balance of cost and attributes.

Upgrade: Amazon has released its Kindle Oasis ereader which will cost you quite a bit more in relation to the Paperwhite, but may provide you with a better reading experience. Best sure to read our greatest Kindle article to get a full update on what Amazon ereaders you can buy now.

Its resolution is put by the pixel boost on a par with the Kindle Voyage, which is the main Kindle this year despite not having been upgraded. But using a beginning price of £109.99 (US$119, AU$190) the Kindle Paperwhite (2015) is a lot more affordable than the exuberant £169.99 (US$199, AU$299) Voyage.

The Paperwhite’s price goes up to £119.99 (US$139) if you need it without adverts and up to £179.99 (US$209, AU$260) for a variation with 3G and no adverts, but this is still well below the identical £229.99 (US$289) Voyage model.

On the other hand you can get Amazon’s most basic Kindle from simply £49.99 (US$79), but with a display that is almost twice as sharp and has a built-in light, the organization is certainly hoping buyers will continue to see the worth in its Paperwhite version.

The Kindle Paperwhite (2015) mightn’t get a new name but it does have some new attributes and developments that are worth highlighting, in fact in theory it’s quite a large improvement over the preceding model.

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Crystal clear display

Probably the largest reason to consider upgrading to it if you already have an earlier version, and also the biggest advancement in the new Kindle Paperwhite, is its 300ppi screen.

That’s up from 212ppi on the prior version, also it makes a big difference. Text is sharper, making it less of a strain to read, which if you have a tendency to spend hours getting engulfed in a great book is a very important factor.

It also means it’s more comfortable if your eyes are up to it, making it achievable to meet more words on each and every page, to read tiny fonts.

Amazon goes so far as to call it print- . Pixels are almost imperceptible, and with the built in light the reading experience is if anything superior to reading a printed page off, particularly when the lighting is sub-optimal.

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Bookerly font

Amazon has created its own typeface, called Bookerly, as it is already available on Amazon’s Fire tablets, though it’s not an entirely new thing, and it is making its ereader debut on the new Kindle Paperwhite.

It is been inspired by present typefaces, especially Caecilia and Palatino, but it is designed for use together with the objective of helping users read quicker with less eyestrain at any given type size, on digital displays.

While that could easily be discounted as advertising absurdity I need to admit to truly being a devotee of it.

It’s not a reason to purchase the new Paperwhite over any other Kindle, the difference it makes is bare and also as many have now received the Bookerly font in a software update anyway and in part definitely comes down to personal taste. But itis a good font, I like it and I intend to stick with it.

Topnotch typesetting

Amazon has also outfitted the Kindle Paperwhite (2015) with a brand new typesetting engine and this changes things in ways that are both subtle and important.

It is more clear in a few names than other (and to some readers than others), but previous Kindles have been known to lay out words, paragraphs and even whole pages in an awkward manner.

It’s often as simple as words and paragraphs being broken up badly, resulting in much white space, or slightly difficult spacing between letters and words. It can be distracting, and there is every opportunity it is slowing down your reading, even should you not notice it.

The new typesetting engine plans to fix all that, as well as making larger font sizes readable with reduced white space and no more broken sentences. Additionally, it adds drop covers where applicable, which formerly were regularly absent from ebooks.

Itis a tremendous step towards mending one of the biggest problems Kindles still have, and while it currently only works on a subset of Kindle books, that subset numbers at well over 500,000 with more added all the time.

The bezels are pretty sizeable but that is no bad thing here, as it gives you someplace to rest your hands without clouding the display – or worse, accidentally turning the page.

It’s a plain layout but it feels solid and well constructed. At 169 x 117 x 9.1mm it’s, as Amazon adores to remind you, smaller than a paperback book, while the Wi Fi 3G model that I tried came in at a surprisingly weighty 217g.

I say surprising because it is heavier than it looks, not because it is in any danger of really weighing you down and should you go for the Wifi version it is a marginally more dainty 205g. It is certainly light enough to hold with one hand and little.

With its recessed display and simple layout, it’s got none of the fashion of the Kindle Voyage, but this is OK, as all it’s meant to be is a window into your novels. Should you’d like to add just a little style, Amazon also offers a reasonably attractive form-fitting leather cover with a metal clasp.

Like other Kindles there’s no microSD card slot, but there is sufficient storage constructed in in case you have more than that there’s also cloud storage for any books purchased from Amazon, and for tens of thousands of novels.

A Kindle is just as great as its screen, and this is one place where the Kindle Paperwhite (2015) really excels.

Its 300ppi display actually is a step up and it makes ereading a more pleasant experience than ever, and of course the built-in light has made a return too, ensuring you can comfortably read even in dark environments.

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The act of reading is much the same as ever.

Eventually, a menu bar which lets you customise the reading experience will be brought down by a tap close to the top. This permits you to immediately change the luminosity, search for something in the novel, jump to a specific chapter, or alter the font, text size, margins and line spacing.

In short it is a great font, although I talked about this in the essential characteristics section. It appears attractive, does not appear out of place in a novel, and significantly it’s easy to read.

Though if you’re not a fan of Amazon’s creation, there are six other font alternatives, and text can be turned into quite large, which could be easy should you not have the best eyesight.

Other Kindle basics are also merely a tap away. There’s X-Ray for example, which lets you explore the “bones of a publication,” as Amazon puts it, to learn more about its characters and topics.

In the event you are ever uncertain of what a word means when reading you can just long press it to get a definition. You can bookmark pages, highlight text, read in landscape view and empower Word Wise to see definitions of unfamiliar words above the words themselves, so you do not even need to look things up.

There’s a lot here and most of it’s useful, as its Kindle applications has been enhancing for years but it’s no surprise.

Despite all those years of work, the actual typography has consistently left much to be desired. Maybe the single biggest problem was Amazon’s insistence on keeping the gross profits straight. That may not seem like this type of terrible thing, but it meant that gaps between words could be sometimes ludicrously large and uneven, particularly when using a larger font.

Thankfully Amazon has finally fixed this. It’s possible for you to see what I mean in the picture above. On the left is on the right and how it was is how things are with the typesetting engine that is new, though now not all publications are supported by it.

The advancements go beyond word spacing though. Character spacing was tweaked too. Rather than having an equivalent gap between each letter it ensures they are spaced in this manner that they fit better together and now looks at pairs of letters.

While text and images adapt more faithfully to the layout of printed publications, page layouts have been enhanced as well, for example together with the addition of drop caps.

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But in the event you are stuck on an older Kindle there is no requirement for jealousy as the brand new typesetting engine and Bookerly font have come as a software update to other recent Kindles.

The Kindle shop is packed full of content, with millions of books accessible, though actually navigating it is simpler from a computer than the Kindle Paperwhite itself, with its greyscale display and marginally slow to react touchscreen.

The great news is that you can certainly send a book directly to your Kindle when shopping on another device, though. Still, should you want to shop on the Kindle itself that is an alternative, and should you go for the 3G variant you don’t even need a Wi Fi network.

Costs are generally quite competitive too. You will know what to expect here if you’ve owned a Kindle before, but books are rarely more than about £5 (US$8, AU$12) and can often be picked up for as little as around £1 (US$2, AU$1), particularly when you get them in one of the many Kindle shop sales.

Battery life

The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite is a device which can supposedly last for weeks on just one charge. Nonetheless, that is an approximation which do not leave on information connections and seems to presume you don’t read for long each day.

That said it certainly does not look lacking in life. As an example after my first three days of use it went from a complete price to a half total index (unfortunately it doesn’t get more exact than that).

That doesn’t mean you can just expect out of it though. In order to examine the Paperwhite out the display was necessarily on lots of the time. I spent about four hours actually tons and reading more time testing out the various functions. The brightness was also more than half way up at all times, Wi-Fi was on most of the time and G was when it was not 3.

With typical use of reading every day, but leaving Wifi on and the screen at half brightness, it was able to continue roughly two weeks on one charge.

That’s not too bad a showing and it appears pretty comparable to my first generation Kindle Paperwhite, despite the truth that this one has a much sharper display.

The Kindle Paperwhite’s major competition comes from, well, other Kindles, together with the basic Kindle and the Kindle Voyage offering cheaper and more expensive options respectively.

However there are a couple of competition brands striving to make a dent in the market, with Kobo and Nook in particular both offering a range of option ereaders.

When Amazon announced the Kindle Voyage, I didn’t think there could be a more pricey ereader merchandise from the company… but I was incorrect. The Kindle Oasis is the very best experience you will get with a Kindle, but nevertheless, it is going to cost you.

The Oasis is 60% more brilliant than the Kindle Voyage, which is brighter compared to the Paperwhite, also it’s a brand-new design to make it even easier to hold one given. There is a battery pack leather case that looks gorgeous to hold and makes sure you’ll never be out of cost.

But the cost is through the roof at US$289.99 (£269.99, AU$449). The Kindle Oasis may well be the choice for you in the event you think that will use a Kindle each and every day and wish to get the finest money can purchase.

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Amazon Kindle Voyage

The new Kindle Paperwhite matches the Kindle Voyage’s resolution at 300ppi, so there is now less motive to select Amazon’s premium model, however there are still a number of reasons for the Voyage’s higher £169.99 (US$199, AU$299) starting price.

For one thing it’s an ambient light sensor, ensuring the integrated light is mechanically accommodated to supply the perfect brightness for your surroundings, which is useful and also you can always turn it off if the Kindle and you disagree about what the ideal brightness is.

It is also got physical page buttons in addition to the normal touchscreen ones forward and back and it packages a somewhat more premium build. None of all these are particularly fundamental features, but if cost isn’t a object the Kindle Voyage is undeniably still a better ereader than the Paperwhite.

With prices starting at just £49.99 (US$79, AU$120) the basic Amazon Kindle is a genuinely entry level ereader. It is nowhere near as sharp as the screen of the Paperwhite and there is no built-in light, which are two major symbols against it, although it’s a touchscreen.

If money’s tight or you do not anticipate to use it much the Amazon Kindle is completely good. It is brilliantly good value, has the same notable library the Paperwhite as well as a similarly long lasting battery. It is also been updated to support the new typesetting engine.

But in case you’re an avid reader you might find yourself spending more money in the long term and craving the improvements provided by the new Kindle Paperwhite.

Nook GlowLight

You’re not sold on Kindles or desire something in between the Kindle Paperwhite and the fundamental Kindle in the event that the Nook GlowLight could be for you.

At this point you can not buy this in the UK though, unfortunately.

But with a lower resolution and also a laggy interface 212ppi display it can’t quite match Amazon’s latest.

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Final Verdict

I’m a huge fan of the previous Kindle Paperwhite (2013), so there was never much doubt that I’d like this one, because it’s basically the same thing again, but with a better screen and some applications improvements.

The actual question is simply whether that is sufficient to warrant a brand new model, or to tempt anyone who’s resisted the Paperwhite previously.

We liked

The new 300ppi display is far and away the finest and most critical characteristic of the new Kindle Paperwhite. The new one is sharper while the previous generation screen hardly looked lacking in clarity and your eyes will thank you for it, particularly if you want to use small font sizes.

The brand new typesetting engine is a big improvement also. Along with the attractive Bookerly font it makes things that little bit more readable, though both these things have come as a software update to other recent Kindles, so don’t ditch your old model on the potency of them.

Apart from that it’s the same Kindle Paperwhite ever, with precisely the same interface and characteristics. Before you know what you’re getting here and if not, if you’ve owned a Kindle, understand that no one has deciphered the ereader like Amazon.

We disliked

The new Kindle Paperwhite is great, but it is not much of an upgrade over the old one. The only important change is the screen, while the remaining headline attributes have come as a software update to other recent Kindles.

Or if not more superior how about waterproof? The Kobo Aura H2O is, and it’s an excellent insurance policy if you prefer to read in the bath or by the pool.

As great as it’s the new Kindle Paperwhite seems like a reasonably conservative upgrade.

Verdict

That leaves the improved 300ppi screen as the main upgrade and in fact it is a large one, making text and pictures sharper than ever. Then there’s every chance you will spend more time looking at this screen than even your phone, so it’s significant that it is sharp and clear, if you read a lot.

The upgrade also sets it on a par together with the sharpness of the Kindle Voyage, giving buyers one reason fewer to choose for that while keeping the prior Paperwhite’s starting price of £109.99 (US$119, AU$190).

In short, it’s the best Kindle Paperwhite and arguably the very best worth ereader on the market.

It’s still lacking some of the Kindle Voyage’s extras, but it is got the core characteristics that you desire – a touchscreen, a sharp screen, a built-in light as well as a huge library of novels. It’s light on exclusive and new features, but it is a device that may not need upgrading for a long time and it still comes in at a fair price.

While if you have an older model the display improvement is about considerable enough to warrant an upgrade should you not already have a Kindle and aren’t made of cash this is the one to buy. It is not exciting, but it does have the most well-rounded combination of price and features you’ll see on a Kindle.

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