Review: Kindle Paperwhite

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One of the big questions people ask themselves when they window shop for a Kindle/e-reader is what are the benefits over a traditional book. I kind of covered that in my article The bookstore is dead, long live digital!. Today, I’ll just be reviewing the Kindle Paperwhite, but to be really succinct here are some reasons why you want to get any general e-reader.

* Ebooks are usually cheaper, some are even free. Yes the device costs money, but you’ll have it for such a long time that yes, you will save money. You can’t get free books at the book store.
* You can get them instantly where ever you have wifi (or you just get them if you have a 3G capable device).
* Portability: It’s small, you can fit in a large jacket pocket or handbag/manbag. It stays the same size no matter how many “books” you have in it. No more 1000 page Hard Cover to carry around.

I recently got a Kindle Paperwhite thanks to bestfantasybooks.com as a gift for putting up posts, doing the rounds on the forums and doing things via social media. I still would have done so knowing I would get nothing. I love fantasy like Ben does and want others to read great books as well.

This review is hopefully going to be different to all the others you have seen online. I’m going to try and be more realistic, not talk about specifications too much and I have nothing to compare it to. I haven’t previously owned a kindle, only seen what my friends had.

I have a few pictures here to show you the different brightness setting in different situations. (Please note that although my camera is pretty good, the pictures are even crisper live in person.)

Good day, cloud cover

Not too much difference between the two. There is a whiter background with maximum setting, where the no light setting feels more like you are reading a newspaper. Both have very crisp text and I guess it would be personal preference.

Great day, sun is shinning brightly

I can’t even tell the difference between the two. I don’t understand why you want to have maximum light setting here.

Under the bed covers to better show darkness

Obviously 20-24 light setting is very clear and crisp. I would read with a near maximum setting, but only if I knew I wasn’t going to read for long ~30 mins. A light setting of 6-12 would be adequate to read for a reasonable amount of time. On zero, I could still see the text as there is a very faint glow but my camera couldn’t pick out anything.

Inside, low light.

Like the darkness one, you can have it on quite a low setting. Not as bad if you want to set it a little higher. The brighter the room, the less the light from the kindle strains your eyes.

Pros of the Kindle Paperwhite:

* Being able to read in very low to no light is a big advantage. The option to have it is great.
* The battery lasts 8 weeks if you have it around 10 brightness and have wifi turned off most of the time, but really, will you complain if lasts 4 weeks on high brightness and wifi on?
It’s small and light.
* It’s really reasonably priced. If you buy a well branded 7″ tablet it will cost you at least $199.

Cons of the Kindle Paperwhite:

* Light isn’t as well lit down the bottom of the screen (see pictures).
* No speakers and/or headphone jack. This is probably the only reason I wouldn’t get this device. I like audio books, but if you don’t listen to them. This isn’t a con now is it.

I’m not really used to reading on a device. I like a book in my hands, but for this price, for the durability, the Kindle Paperwhite is a great device to get.

 

 

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