Kindle Paperwhite Review

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The Kindle Paperwhite is too expensive for Cheapism's taste, even with ads, but very strong reviews by experts and users compel attention. A favorite among experts at sites like Engadget and Digital Trends, the Kindle Paperwhite garners raves for its features and performance. The newest version is even better than the one it replaced, reviews assert, with the integrated light spreading evenly across the display, sharper and brighter contrast, quicker page turns, sprightlier navigation, and a slightly lighter body. The touchscreen is fast and responsive, Kindle Paperwhite reviews continue, and the battery will last for several weeks with the light set low. Users are thrilled with the reading experience, citing the absence of glare (all the more obvious when the sun is shining bright), adjustable screen lighting, and a near true replica of what it's like to read a hard-copy book. The vast collection of content for the Kindle is another big selling point for both expert and user reviewers.

The Kindle Paperwhite (starting at $119, with ads, Amazon) employs a new, six-inch E Ink "Paperwhite" display not found on other ereaders. The display has an integrated light and supports eight font sizes and six fonts. The Paperwhite is a little on the heavy side, at 7.3 ounces, but compensates with a host of features, such as note-taking capability and a vocabulary builder. Like its bare-bones Kindle sibling, the Paperwhite sits squarely in the Amazon AZW universe -- no EPUB for this device -- and also supports TXT, PDF, HDML, DOC, DOCX, JPEG, GIF, PNG, and BMP files. It includes Wi-Fi support and a rechargeable battery that lasts up to eight weeks assuming short daily reading sessions, low-light use, and a wireless connection set to "off" unless called for duty.

When comparing the Kindle Paperwhite with the Nook Simple Touch GlowLight and ignoring their respective prices, it's hard to choose one over the other. Both look sharp, work well, and feature built-in lighting with touchscreens. Both devices are also backed by massive libraries of content. The price difference can't be overlooked, however. Without ads, the Kindle Paperwhite costs $40 more than the Nook with GlowLight; with ads, it's still $20 more. For users tied to Amazon through a Prime membership or previous Kindle ownership, the Paperwhite is an upgrade that's worth grabbing. But in an unencumbered choice between the Kindle and Nook models with integrated light, the Nook's cheaper price breaks the tie.

Michael Sweet

Michael Sweet writes about consumer electronics. If something runs on electricity or ones and zeroes, he's interested in it. Sweet has written about PC technology and consumer electronics for 14 years.

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