Amazon Kindle Paperwhite E-Reader

10 minute read

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Updated for December, 2019

The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite E-Reader allows you to collect and access your favorite books, periodicals, and similar materials in one convenient device. Its size and functionality make this reader an option for people of all ages.

Last update on 2019-12-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • High-quality screen
  • Responsive display
  • Long-lasting battery
  • Low-glare screen
  • Readable in almost all light levels
Cons
  • No audio capabilities
  • Connected only to Amazon
  • Limited public library option

Our Verdict

While the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite E-Reader has a few cons, it is a durable device that is easy to setup and use. You have access to a wealth of books and reading materials and can read them in any light. The battery is long-lasting, and it is easy to use.

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OVERALL RATING
Quality
Ease of Setup
Cost
Usability

Last update on 2019-12-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you’re unable to get to the library or the book store as often as you’d like, you may want to consider the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite E-Reader. It is a handheld electronic device that allows you to download and read books with the touch of a finger. It has multiple viable features and functions. No Wi-Fi is necessary to operate it for the 3G version. You can easily read on-the-go, check out the latest news or enjoy a novel.

It’s important to learn how to use it, what you can use it for, and its limitations to determine if it’s the right choice for you.

Features Rating

The Paperwhite has multiple features that enhance the overall functionality of this device.

Reading Features

You can read a book without turning a page. As you are reading one, you can learn about other books in the series, author background, and similar information with “About This Book.” This tool helps to ensure that the books you choose to read are within niches that you prefer before you start reading.

If you are reading a book that has footnotes, a single tap allows you to see the full text. You will not lose your place when using this option.
If you want to look through images or see passages that are notable, use the X-ray feature. This tool allows you to scan the following:

  • Relevant ideas
  • Historical figures
  • Topics of interest
  • Fictional characters
  • Places

As you read, if you see a word you are not familiar with, use “Smart Lookup.” This lookup provides definitions from The New Oxford American Dictionary. Smart Lookup works with X-ray to also provide more information about settings and characters. You will not lose your place when using this.

If you are reading books that feature different languages, you can translate the passages instantly. The Bing Translator provides the translations. You can also translate passages from the book’s language to a different one.

This Kindle tracks your reading speed. If you want to know how long a chapter will take you to finish it, use the “Time to Read” tool to get an estimate. The time you took to read previous chapters helps the Paperwhite to determine your average reading speed.

You can connect your device to a Mac or PC and use it as a USB mass storage device. This capability gives you more reading options outside of what is available on Amazon.

An excellent display and screen are imperative to a comfortable reading experience. The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite E-Reader is lightweight and has numerous features that help you to get the most out of your reading time.

Screen

The screen is clear and has enough pixels to ensure sharper text. The screen is glare-free and makes it easier to read fonts that are small without straining your eyes.
The Bookerly font is the typeface created by Amazon. The design is ideal for digital use screens because the font allows users to read with less eye strain and more speed no matter the font size. There are three other font alternatives you can explore, including Futura, Baskerville, and Helvetica.

The typeface allows for the ideal balance between white space and optimal sentence structure.. You can adjust the font size to accommodate your vision the best.

Display

The display for this device is black and white. The touchscreen allows you to navigate the reader with gentle pressure. The display is not flush, but this does not appear to distract from the overall sharpness. The display features 1024 by 768 pixels.

Light

This device incorporates light into the reader, allowing for optimal visibility in dark environments. The light features four LED bulbs. The light is adjustable, making it possible to get the right level of illumination for the place you are reading. The screen is glare free, either in sunlight or bright artificial light.

The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite E-Reader uses a rechargeable battery that provides several weeks of usage on a single charge. You can prolong the life of the battery by turning off the data connection when you are not using the device.

You can charge the battery using the included USB cable. Plug it into a computer or a compatible power adapter that receives power from a wall outlet. On average, it takes four to six hours to restore the battery to a full charge.

Once the battery has a full charge, the indicator light will turn green. It will be an amber color when the device is charging. Make sure this amber light comes on after plugging it in to be sure the device is charging. This indicator light is on the underside of the device.

Your Kindle has different hardware and software elements that allow it to perform. If you have specific device needs, knowing the hardware and software ensures that you make the right choice.

Hardware

The hardware on this Kindle allows for optimal performance. The specifications include:

  • Cores: One
  • SoC: Freescale i.MX508
  • Storage: Four gigabytes
  • RAM: 256 MB
  • CPU: 800 MHz, ARM Cortex-A8

Software

There are occasional software updates that provide you with enhanced features and ensure that your reader is up-to-date. If you have your Kindle connected to Wi-Fi and on charge, the updates typically install automatically. However, you can also manually install any software updates. To find the current software version, go to “Settings” on your device.

The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite E-Reader is relatively small, making it easy to carry around and handle when you are reading. This device measures 6.7 by 4.6 by 0.36 inches. The reader weighs approximately 7.6 ounces, so it is lighter than many standard books.

The Paperwhite is made of soft-touch but durable plastic and is easy to grip and hold on to. The bezel is relatively thick, giving your fingers a place to rest.

Overall, the design is simple, but what it lacks in aesthetic, it makes up for in functionality. There are two colors to choose from, including white and black.

The setup and usage of this e-reader are similar to others you may have used. The primary difference that sets this device apart is some of the more complex usage features.

Setup

The first step is making sure that you register your Kindle. Registration is typically not necessary if you purchased your device through your Amazon account. To complete the setup, go to the home page on your reader and choose “Set Up Your Kindle.” In addition to registration, this process also has you connect to Wi-Fi and choose your device language.

There are a few steps to complete to set up your Wi-Fi settings:

  • Go to Settings
  • Choose Wi-Fi Networks
  • Tap “OK” to turn on Wi-Fi
  • Select your desired network
  • Input your password

Usage

The touch screen on this reader is sensitive so you can get a response with light pressure. The majority of what you do on this device is via the touch screen. There are no other buttons to push.

To add books to your Kindle, you can send them to your device from Amazon or another device, such as your laptop. You can choose to use your Wi-Fi network or the 3G version to load your reading materials.

Once you turn on your Kindle, you will see the following icons at the top of the screen:

  • Home
  • Brightness
  • Search
  • Menu
  • Back
  • Cart
  • Goodreads

There are also six book covers in this area, giving you easy access to the titles you are currently reading. Below the toolbar, click on “On Device” or “Cloud” to access other items in your device’s storage.

The reader is simple to sync. Go to “Sync My Kindle,” and your device will update with any purchases that are on your Amazon account. The reader can also sync automatically. Syncing runs in the background, so you can use your device while syncing is happening.

The Airplane Mode feature can save you some battery life when you do not need to have your device online. This mode stops all wireless communication.

Maintenance and Protection

Since this is a touchscreen reader, it is inevitable that the screen will develop a lot of fingerprints and smudges. A chamois or other non-abrasive, soft cloth works to clean your screen gently. Avoid using liquids on your screen because it could cause an electric shock or screen damage.

You might also consider a screen protector to prevent dirt, scratches, and smudges on your screen. There are also covers where you can place your Kindle. They have a microfiber interior to protect your device. The outside material is usually a durable polyurethane or natural leather for additional protection without adding bulk.

The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite E-Reader is a solid device with good functionality, and it is easy to use. The screen and display allow you to see in all light levels and at multiple angles.

The touchscreen makes it simple to flip through the pages, and the E-ink is visible. It doesn’t matter if you wear bifocals or have other vision problems, you should be able to read the screen comfortably. A few touches of the screen are all that is necessary to navigate your library to find the book you want to read.