Updated: December 9, 2018 11:13:21 am
There’s no debating the fact that everyone loves the Kindle Paperwhite. While it might not be the flagship Kindle many would aspire for, the truth is that it is the most popular e-reader in the market and for a good reason. So when Amazon announced the all-new Kindle Paperwhite, it got everyone excited. The 2018 Paperwhite may not look too different from the last generation model (well, it came out back in 2015) but has been improved on many fronts: it is thinner and lighter, offers more storage, five front-lightning LEDs, a waterproof design, Audible integration and much more.
In a lot of respects, the new Kindle Paperwhite is kind of generic. It’s just limited to being an e-reader, and we all know it well. If you are a voracious reader and have used a regular Kindle (yes, the one without backlight), the new Kindle Paperwhite is worth your time and money. Its simplicity, its reliability, and how well it performs makes the 2018 Paperwhite the best Kindle on the market. Here’s our review of Amazon’s new Kindle Paperwhite.
Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (2018) specifications: 6-inch e-paper (300ppi) screen|8GB or 32GB storage|Wi-Fi-only or Wi-Fi (4G LTE), Bluetooth| Battery: Approx 21 hours of reading|Dimensions & Weight: 167 x 116 x 8.2m, 182 grams
Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (2018) price in India: Rs 12,999 onward
Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (2018) review: Design, build
The new Paperwhite does not look drastically different from the original Paperwhite and that’s okay. It still offers an e-ink screen in the middle surrounded by thick bezels. What’s different though is a flat finish. The display now sits flush against the bezels, unlike the previous Paperwhite which had pronounced bezels. This allows the new model to have more flatter design which is a welcome move. Sure, It will not make a huge difference, but it does make the new Paperwhite less cumbersome and easier on eyes.
The back of the new Paperwhite has a rubberised, non-slippery finish. You also got the same wake-up button as well as the micro-USB port (unfortunately, the USB Type-C port is missing), just like the previous generation Kindle Paperwhite. The new model is lighter at 182 grams for the Wi-Fi version compared to the original model which was a little heavier at 204 grams. Also, the new generation Paperwhite is 0.9mm thinner, 1mm shorter and 2mm narrower. All this makes the 2018 Kindle Paperwhite easier to hold in the hand for a prolonged period of time. Keep in mind that if you opt for an optional Kindle case, it can add a few grams to the weight. It’s up to you whether you want to purchase a case or not. But I insist you get it along with the Kindle just to avoid minor dents and scratches on the screen.
Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (2018) review: Display
The new Paperwhite has a 6-inch (300ppi) e-ink screen, so there’s nothing new as such. Even the previous generation model had a 6-inch 300ppi e-ink screen. As you might expect, the touchscreen screen is fantastic; its crisp and easy to read in all conditions — both indoors and outdoors. What’s new is the five front-lighting LEDs that illuminate the display uniformly and can be easily dimmed in the settings. Though it lacks adaptive brightness features seen in the Kindle Oasis.
Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (2018) review: Water resistance, battery
Perhaps the biggest feature of the 2018 Kindle Paperwhite is its waterproof design, thanks to an IPx8 rating. Technically speaking, the Paperwhite can survive for up to 60 minutes when submerged in 2 meters of water. So yes, don’t worry if you get drenched in the rain, or you accidentally drop the Paperwhite in the pool.
Because the Kindle Paperwhite (in fact, most Kindles) uses an e-ink screen (instead of a regular LCDs used in smartphones and tablets), it’s very power friendly and can easily last up to six weeks, based on a half hour of reading per day. That’s what Amazon claims on its site. Based on my testing and our experience with earlier models, I believe this Amazon claim.
Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (2018) review: Reading experience, UI
If you have ever used any touch-screen Kindle, you know the reading experience on the new Paperwhite will likely be the same. It’s still like any other Kindle that can be used to read e-books. Just Swipe or tap to change pages, tap at the top to get the menu option. There you will find quick settings such as brightness control, airplane model, search option, and an access to the Kindle Store. The homepage recommends a selection of titles based on your reading history.
What makes the Kindle e-reader so unique is its ability to give the reader access to millions of titles. There are free books available (in multiple languages), or one can pay and download a book as per liking. Amazon also offers a service called Kindle Unlimited where you need to pay a monthly fee (starts at Rs 150) and get access to a vast selection of titles and audiobooks, and you can read or listen as many as you would like, although you can only have ten saved to a device at any given time.
Interestingly, Audible audiobooks are now compatible with the new Kindle Paperwhite. So yes, you can now have an option to download and listen to audiobooks on the Paperwhite when you connect a pair of Bluetooth headphones. This is an optional service, and for that, you need to pay Rs 199 per month. But if you are an Amazon Prime member, you can try out the service for free. Keep in mind that the trial period is limited to 90 days after which you have to pay Rs 199 per month to use the service.
Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (2018) review: Should you buy one?
Definitely yes, if you like reading books on an e-reader. If you ask me, there are two big reasons why I want you to believe in the Kindle Paperwhite: portability and versatility. It’s a single device that can store thousands of books (available in 8GB and 32GB storage options), has a great screen, promises weeks of battery life and most importantly, it provides an excellent reading experience. Of course, you can download Kindle app on your smartphone or tablet and read as many books as you want. The advantage I see of owning an ebook reader is that it doesn’t strain my eyes like my smartphone screen and perhaps why you should give a shot at the Kindle Paperwhite.
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