I’ve been using my new Kindle Paperwhite for a few days, reading every chance I get. Overall, I think this is an excellent e-reader. It’s well built, compact, fast, and the integrated LED light really sets it apart.
The Kindle Paperwhite is very easy to use once you get familiar with the operating system. Everything is laid out logically, and the screen resolution is crisp and easy to read. The search bar is stationary at the top of the home screen, simplifying the search process.
My Kindle Paperwhite includes Amazon ‘Special Offers,’ meaning I got a $20 discount for allowing Amazon to display Kindle ads on my home screen when the Paperwhite is off. My previous Kindle didn’t have these ads, but they’re really not intrusive, and all ads I’ve seen are books and other Kindle content. Here are a few examples of the special offers.
My Kindle Paperwhite is wifi only, meaning it won’t connect to the free 3G network included in higher-end Kindle models. This basically means if I don’t have access to wifi, I won’t be able to download new content on my Kindle or use the Kindle Store. This really isn’t a big deal to me, as I have a very fast home wifi network and typically download books to the Kindle right away.
When reading, the Kindle Paperwhite really shines. The LED light is an enormous upgrade from e-readers without backlighting. As I was reading in bed last night, I was able to keep all the lights off and only use my Kindle. This is a great thing for people who read themselves to sleep.
There are multiple fonts and font sizes to choose from, making reading easier for those with vision problems. My 83-year-old grandmother who needs glasses for everything could easily read on the Kindle Paperwhite, thanks to the larger, simpler fonts, and the LED backlighting.
I don’t have many issues with the Kindle Paperwhite, but there are two things that really annoy me:
First, the power button is on the bottom center of the device. Most mobile devices have power buttons on the top or sides, so this is an odd placement. Every time I want to read, I find myself searching for the power button.
Second, there are no physical buttons on the Kindle Paperwhite. I understand that this is a design and OS element intended to simplify the user experience, however, I think a single home button would be a great addition. On common mobile devices, or even Amazon’s own Fire 7 tablet, the home button is centralized somewhere on the screen or bezel so it’s easier to exit programs and return to the home screen. On the Kindle Paperwhite, you just tap the top center of the screen and the option for ‘home’ pops up. This is an unnecessary extra step.
Overall, I really like the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite. It’s a well-built device with a high quality display, easy-to-use operating system, and multiple ways to customize the reading experience. The integrated LED backlight sets this e-reader apart from others. Readers can use their Kindle Paperwhite in pretty much any light level, making the user experience easier and more enjoyable.