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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  • AmdInside - Friday, September 7, 2012 - link

    Since I already have an iPad 2, nothing in the new Kindles makes me want to pick it up as an upgrade. The Kindle Paperwhite is interesting and may pick it up but I hate how they lowered the amount of memory.
  • seapeople - Saturday, September 8, 2012 - link

    I bet people who own Audi's aren't too impressed with new Corolla's, either.
  • kllrnohj - Friday, September 7, 2012 - link

    "Both screens are also very dense, at 254 ppi. "

    This is true. It is for the 8.9, but the 7" HD has a 1280x800 screen which puts it at 215 ppi - that's quite a bit lower than 254.
  • kllrnohj - Friday, September 7, 2012 - link

    Gah, that should be "this *isn't* true" :/
  • Jamezrp - Friday, September 7, 2012 - link

    If you're going to correct even yourself, I suppose I should correct my error too.
  • exostrife - Friday, September 7, 2012 - link

    Can't wait to see some reviews.

    I had the original Fire for the same reason as many: it was cheap. I recently sold it with an eye towards upgrading while the old unit still had resale value and the new Kindle's seem like a great package.

    I was tempted by the Nexus 7 but held off because it didn't really address my prime complaints about the Fire. The extra performance is nice, but honestly wasn't a huge factor for me for what I use the tablet for, and likewise, the other additions it had were not front burner issues for my usage.

    Personally, I use my desktop for most computing tasks. Being touch screen based and battery powered, tablets aren't really useful for most tasks I use my desktop for. To compare them to a laptop, there is no value proposition there as the laptop will easily trump in usability (keyboard etc.) and power for less or same money. Really a tablet is good for media consumption, e-reading, light web tasks, and casual gaming. Essentially--stuff that your smartphone is good at but that is greatly improved by having a larger screen, with just a pinch of stuff you might do on your computer but you'll deal with some pokeyness to be able to do it in a prone position. Some might see a tablet as a laptop replacement, but for me I see the interaction method, power, network speed, storage (etc.) to be an unacceptable trade-off (and I don't commute for hours on a train etc, where I'd like to do work with the least encumbrance possible).

    To me the new Kindle's hit my usage model better than the Nexus 7. My two biggest complaints on the original Fire were the storage space and no video out. The new Fire HD doesn't give me the SD slot I wanted, but it does bump the internal storage and gives the HDMI out. To me this is huge because now the tablet can be used to replace a Roku, not to mention it lets you share photos and videos with family on a big screen. Adding bluetooth opens the possibility of this maybe even giving some sort of Ouya like gaming experience with a separate controller. It also means you could potentially get a real keyboard, or maybe even some sort of local NAS for more storage. If they had a MicroSD slot these things would be a slam dunk for what I think a tablet is good for, and the fact of the matter is, no one makes one with this performance, video out, and a micro sd.

    No jellybean? Haven't used it, can't miss it. The fact that it is a forked Android is more noise than problem too--I've bought 5 Android phones for my family in the last 2 years and used another half dozen at work, and they all roll their own UI anyway. If you can't have the Play store this is of slight consideration, as side-loading APK's is easy and based on my experience with the original Fire, mostly effective.

    I have used many tablets because of work and I just don't see the point of most (including iPad)--they just cost too much money for what they are good at. I think this is what the market is finally starting to get with Google and Amazon more on the money than most.
  • Shadowmaster625 - Friday, September 7, 2012 - link

    Please for the love of god someone give me a wifi-optimized RDP app that gives me a fluid interface to my 1080p desktop PC from my 1080p tablet. It should be possible to get at least 30 fps over wifi, using compression. Once we have that, we can talk about bringing the same thing to a truly remote PC.
  • Roland00Address - Friday, September 7, 2012 - link

    Been using it for about a year now
  • Shadowmaster625 - Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - link

    Yeah well how are you supposed to plug a mouse and keyboard into a stupid icrap? I'm talking about RDP that makes a tablet into a full fledged workstation. So obviously it needs mouse and keyboard support. And not using some stupified $100 iRipoff peripherals either.
  • SantaAna12 - Friday, September 7, 2012 - link

    "Amazon is not allowing benchmarks at this time" Pffffffffft. End of fact.....why are you writing it?

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