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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  • seapeople - Saturday, September 8, 2012 - link

    I'm with ya bro. I absolutely refuse to buy any Intel processors because they suck at gaming. When I buy a $300+ processor, I don't expect to have to buy an additional $200 graphics card to correct it's gaming shortcomings. Why do computer companies put such horrible graphics units on their CPU processors? Do they think they're Apple or something?
  • Impulses - Friday, September 7, 2012 - link

    ASUS' first tablet had side firing speakers, they're in the holes used for the docking mechanism clips... Of course that muffles them a lot docked. Honestly I don't see what the big is, they're tablet speakers... As long as sound actually comes out I don't expect a whole lot. Most phones have rear facing speakers and if you cup your hand around it you'll do a decent job of reflecting the sound.
  • doubledeej - Friday, September 7, 2012 - link

    But why should we have to do that? Shouldn't the person actually using a device get louder and better sound than everyone else in the room? It's crazy, and nearly every manufacturer is guilty.
  • Belard - Friday, September 7, 2012 - link

    My 4 year old SONY dumb phone has stereo speakers in the front.... my 2yr old Galaxy (like all other Samsung phones and most others period) have the speaker in the back...

    Guess which one is my Alarm clock that will actually WAKE ME UP?!
  • coder543 - Thursday, September 6, 2012 - link

    Maybe I just misread, but you seem convinced previous kindles had microSD card slots. The original was the only one that ever did.
  • Jamezrp - Thursday, September 6, 2012 - link

    You're right, only the original Kindle e-reader had expandable memory. But I'll wait until Amazon openly confirms it before stating that none of the newer Kindle devices don't have it. But I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't.
  • Arbie - Friday, September 7, 2012 - link

    Wouldn't they have been visible to you if they exist? SD cards are a must for me. No SD, no deal.
  • Jamezrp - Sunday, September 9, 2012 - link

    Not necessarily, especially with cables sticking out and SD cards nowadays tucked behind back covers. But considering how slow SD cards are and how so many companies would rather avoid them altogether...probably none of the Kindles will support expandable memory.
  • satai - Friday, September 7, 2012 - link

    Are there any new fonts in paperwhite?
  • Jamezrp - Friday, September 7, 2012 - link

    I could be mistaken, but I seem to recall (I was busy writing/taking photos at the time) that there will be a ton of new fonts available.

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