My Thoughts on the Kindle Paperwhite

As an author, I try to keep up with the latest ereader technology so that I can ensure that my books proved the best possible reading experience. (Plus, I like new toys.) So I ordered the new Paperwhite. A few people have asked how I like it, so after a few weeks of use, I thought I’d do a post about it.

The Good

  • Resolution: The improved contrast of the screen is lovely.
  • Book Light: This isn’t a back-lit screen, which I despise reading on. This has small LED lights positioned in front of the display to illuminate the text. Some people have talked about shadows at the bottom of the screen, and I can see what they’re talking about, but they do not reach the text on your standard Kindle book, so it doesn’t bother me. Here’s a link to a video so you can see for yourself. The book light cannot be turned off completely, but at its dimmest setting it is about the same as the Kindle Keyboard in look. At its brightest, it’s like reading on bright white paper. Also, the book light makes reading in the car a pleasure.
  • Ability to Borrow Kindle Books from Prime: I couldn’t read borrowed books on the Keyboard, but this one is fully equipped for the Prime lending program.
  • Time Left in Chapter Feature: The Kindle calculates your reading speed and can tell you have many hours/minutes you have left in the chapter/book. Kind of cool, but can be distracting if you leave it on screen (instead of hiding the dialog box) while reading.

The Room to Improve

  • No Text to Speech: This feature seems to be disappearing as Amazon implements its Whispersync between Audible books and Kindle books. I liked the robo voice.
  • Experimental Browser Still Experimental: Sometimes it’s difficult to tap links and the scrolling is buggy. In all, it’s sufficient, but could be better.
  • Touch Screen Is Not What I’m Used to: My phone has a hair-trigger touch screen, and the Paperwhite requires a firmer touch or tap. This is not necessarily bad for everyone, but it took me time to get used to the difference.

In summary, I like the Paperwhite, would buy it again, and would recommend it to others. I also really like the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite Leather Cover. Its magnetic closure automatically puts the Kindle to sleep when you close it and wakes it when you open it.

8 thoughts on “My Thoughts on the Kindle Paperwhite

  1. I actually like reading on a back lit screen, because I always find myself reading when there are sleeping kids laying on me. Which is why I tend to use my iphone kindle app as much as my actual kindle. Maybe I’m weird 😉

    I find the touch screen on the kindle touch requires a pretty firm touch too.

    1. Not weird. Practical. If I had kids and was trying to knock them out for the night, I’d use whatever necessary to keep them from waking up! I don’t know how you moms get anything done! You are my heroes!

  2. I don’t like a back light either. Interesting about the touch, I’ve been afraid to get one because I find myself touching my screen, and worry about turn the page too soon or screwing something up. I like that it’s not too touchy. I still use my old kindle.

    1. You should be fine with the touch on the Kindle. It takes a solid, firm touch to make it do anything. However, I can scroll way farther than intended on the browser. Go figure.

  3. I have had several kindles over the past year but had issues with all of them. I gave away or sold most of them and settled on a Kindle Fire. My only complaint with the Fire was the weight. I am turning 65 this Saturday (11/17) and have developed some joint pain in my right hand. I decided to try the paperwhite because it was so much lighter. I like it so much I sold my Fire. The one issue I have with it is the responsiveness issue you mentioned. It does take a finer touch than other touch screen devices I have owned. Sometimes when it doesn’t respond right away I tend to tap it too much and jump two pages so then I have to back up.

    1. I think the Fire is heavy for reading too, and I don’t have joint pain. I also don’t like that I can’t keep the screen from auto rotating on it. Glad you like the Paperwhite. It’s my favorite by far.

  4. I like that it has an LED light and is not backlit. And what a great feature adding a way for the device to estimate your reading speed. I am always wondering how long it will take me to read a particular book. Thanks for the heads up! 🙂

    1. It is a nice piece of tech. I sold my Keyboard on eBay and paid for half of the Paperwhite that way, so the upgrade wasn’t uber expensive.

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