Seven things we love – and three we hate – about the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

May 1, 2013
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We were delighted when the Kindle Paperwhite was officially made available to Indian users. And well, being the bookworms we are, we got our hands on one. And have not regretted. No, we would not go so far as to say that the Kindle Paperwhite is perfect. It has its flaws. But it certainly is one of the best options for those prepared to read in a digital format. Anyway, without further here is our take on the Paperwhite based on our own usage of the e-book reader:

What we love:

1. The Design
Frankly, we think the Kindle Paperwhite looks gorgeous and very flauntable. There are no buttons at all on the front, just the “kindle” brand beneath the display. Plastic yes, but smooth and very very classy and at 9.1 mm, not thick at all.
2. The portability
This is easily the most pocket-friendly Kindle we have used, provided the pocket is in an overcoat! That said, at 212 grammes, it is much lighter than all the tablets we have used, in spite of sporting a relatively large six-inch touchscreen.
3. The lighting
Oh yes, we HAD to mention this – the Paperwhite gets its name from the fact that it comes with front lighting, allowing people to read in the dark. It is adjustable, and actually really works. No more cases-with-lights for us.
4. The touch interface
We have been using the Kindle Touch for a while and the touch experience on that particular worthy was a bit on the laggy side. The Paperwhite improves things exponentially in this regard. No, it is not competition for iOS or Android but the lags are less noticeable now.
5. The battery life
We got our Kindle about three weeks ago – and have not had to recharge it yet. That’s with about two hours of reading per day at least – at least half an hour in the night. You know, they should make phones like this!
6. Support for graphic novels
All right, so this is a software rather than a hardware thing, but the slightly brighter screen of the Paperwhite makes it perhaps the only greyscale e-book reader that can make a decent fist of rendering graphic novels on it. Mind you, try to stick to titles that are not too colorful for best results.
7. Improved interface
Again, this is a software point and has been served up by an update which applies not just to the Paperwhite. However, the result is that the Kindle Paperwhite handles touch quite well, with larger, finger-friendly icons. It is not perfect, but it is getting there.

What we hate:

1. No home button
The absence of a home button on the device might make the front look more stylish but it also makes going to the home screen a bit of a pain. Instead of just hitting a button, you have to tap near the top of the screen and then select home. Call us spoilt by earlier editions, but we preferred the hit-a-button mode.
2. The absence of sound
No speakers, no 3.5 mm audio jack – we must admit to being very concerned at the way in which Amazon has completely turned its back on the audio side of the Kindle. Especially after pushing audio books for a while. It also means that the ability to have text read out to you no longer exists. We just HATE this.
3. The storage
Come on, 2GB?! Amazon might contend that the Kindle Paperwhite can hold more than a thousand books but the stark fact is that if you do get into some of the heavier titles and graphic novels, you will find yourself running out of space mighty fast. Yes, all your purchases will be on the cloud and can be downloaded without having to pay for them again, but honestly, that does involve being in a place with a decent Internet connection. A Kindle had 4 GB storage a couple of years ago. Why not now, we ask?

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One Response to Seven things we love – and three we hate – about the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

  1. May 3, 2013 at 9:03 am

    I had a kindle touch 3G till it was stolen – around the time when the old kindle touchs were discontinued and the new paperwhite was yet to ship. I then got a kindle keyboard 3G, and n I’ve loved it even more. Few points why I prefer the kindle keyboard over the touch interface:
    1. Most important, page turning buttons on both sides of the device. Makes easy reading and one hand operation while standing in the metro.
    2. free 3G for sites other than wikipedia
    3. Selecting text is a lot easier when panning across pages

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