Kindle Paperwhite

It may come as a surprise, but reading in the dark is actually something plenty of people would love to do. Leaving lights on to read is a hassle, wastes precious electricity, and isn't very easy on the eyes. The Barnes & Noble Nook Touch Glowlight addressed this, and it's a pretty good device, and now Amazon has a direct competitor to what many have called the one e-reader that's actually better than a Kindle.

The Paperwhite technology is interesting enough, though difficult to test in a moderately well-lit environment like a partially sunny airport hangar. The Kindle itself is noticeably faster than the last generation. It takes roughly 1-2 seconds for any new page to load completely, and 4-5 seconds over a moderate Wi-Fi connection for anything web-based. 

You can check out the gallery above to see the differences in brightness using the Paperwhite technology. The brightness levels are relatively high, especially for an e-reader, though the whites are cold and I didn't find them particularly pleasing to the eye. That may prove different when actually reading in a dark environment, and adjusting the brightness accordingly. 

Amazon e-readerSpecification Comparison
  Kindle Touch (2011) Kindle  Kindle Paperwhite Barnes & Noble Nook GlowLight
Dimensions 172 x 120 x 10.1mm 165.75 x 114.5 x 8.7mm 169 x 117 x 9.1mm 240 X 164 X 8.8mm
Display 6-inch 600 x 800 16-level grayscale 6-inch 600 x 800 16-level grayscale 6-inch 1024 x 768, 16-level grayscale 6-inch 600 x 800 16-level grayscale
Weight 213g 170g 213g 197g
Storage 4GB (3GB usable) 2GB (1.25GB usable) 2GB (1.25GB usable) 2GB (1GB usable)
Battery Rated 2-months Rated 1-month Rated 8-weeks Rated 1-month
Pricing $79/$109 (original price; no longer available) $69 $119/$179 (3G) $139

Both new Kindle e-readers (simply the Kindle and Kindle Paperwhite) are thinner than last year's Touch model, though the Paperwhite is identical in weight and is the true successor to the last generation. The Kindle stems from last year's non-touch e-reader, and is the lowest rung on the e-ink totem pole. At $70, it's also very affordable. I've owned several e-readers and while touch has always been convenient, tactile feedback is always welcome in my home. Interestingly, Amazon will continue selling the Kindle Keyboard 3G and isn't lowering the price or improving on the design whatsoever. Here is Andrew's review of last year's Kindle.

The Paperwhite, compared to last year's Touch, improves on size, shape, and reading in the dark, as well as the display density (from 167ppi to 212ppi), but drops 1.75GB of usable storage and raises the price significantly. For serious book readers, the drop from 3GB to 1.25GB doesn't mean very much; books are tiny and take up almost no space. But with the new Whispersync for Voice, it's presumable that a handful of voiced books will eat up the little drive space there is. Only the original Kindle e-reader had an SD card slot, but I'm waiting for Amazon to confirm that the latest models do not.

Amazon Kindle Preview: Paperwhite, Fire (2012), and Fire HD 7" & 8.9" Kindle Fire (2012): A slight update to replace last year's model
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  • Jamezrp - Friday, September 7, 2012 - link

    As someone with a Nexus 7, the biggest reason I'd switch over is more space. The 8GB version (because the 16GB models are impossible to find) have no space for any of the HD shows I throw on. At least the Fire HD has, base, 16GB. Plus I get the feeling that the screen is much better than the Nexus 7's, which was only decent.
  • Wolfpup - Friday, September 7, 2012 - link

    The Nexus 7 is higher end hardware than the Fires are, probably better designed, and of course RUNNING REAL ANDROID which makes it better in and of itself. There's just zero reason to pick a Fire over a Nexus 7 or an iPad. At $100 I wouldn't pick a Fire over a Nexus 7 or iPad.
  • dagamer34 - Sunday, September 9, 2012 - link

    If Amazon and Google were only selling a product to geeks and nerds, running real Android would be a plus. But they aren't. I hate to be blunt, but it's all about the content stupid and Amazon is king there. It is no coincidence that the Kindle Fire outsold all other Android tablets because it actually provided a use case to buy one.
  • mcnabney - Monday, September 10, 2012 - link

    No, the Fire sold well because it was $200 cheaper than any other Android tablet. It was the worst possible Android experience...... but it was cheap.
  • tuxRoller - Friday, September 7, 2012 - link

    So, you played with a device for three hours and then the battery died, yet you didn't return it?
  • joshv - Friday, September 7, 2012 - link

    That was the last time I used it, months ago. I did use it for awhile to stream amazon movies over wi-fi, but I found I had to charge the thing every day, or even more frequently than that.
  • Articuno - Thursday, September 6, 2012 - link

    "Unlike previous Kindle e-readers though, all upcoming Kindle devices will come with Special Offers built-in. You can't opt-out of the service"

    If you expect me to pay over a hundred dollars and see ads on top of it, you're insane. And no, I don't care if they're "non-intrusive". I will not tolerate ads in a product I paid for.
  • coder543 - Thursday, September 6, 2012 - link

    the kindle e-readers will not all come with special offers, and you can opt out, and you can always root if you're gonna be that ridiculous.... Nuff said.

    The Kindle tablets on the other hand, are accurately described by what you quoted.
  • andrewaggb - Thursday, September 6, 2012 - link

    I think they are selling the fire tablets at cost (or close enough), with the expectation that you'll buy content and watch ads from amazon.

    I agree ads are obnoxious. But you can always buy a more expensive ad-free tablet from somebody else.
  • Jamezrp - Friday, September 7, 2012 - link

    Reports today are that Amazon may be making a way for users to opt-out, but they don't look promising thus far. Will update when we know more.

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