About the Kindle

I am not a person who has to have the latest gadgets, like the new Kindle reader.  As long as what I have is working, talk of faster processors, better operating systems, and more storage tends to… zzzzzz.  Sorry, what were we talking about?

About the Kindle Paperwhite
Pretty!  Not that that matters.

Then the Amazon Kindle PR team asked if I’d review the Kindle Paperwhite and offered to send a demo.

Should you replace your older Kindle reader?

The enviro-cheapskate in me worries aloud and often about the modern life cycle of personal technology.  So much stuff, so much garbage, and so on.

But this was work, so I got off my soapbox, opened my Kindle Paperwhite, and started exploring.  Right away I realized that the new Kindle reader was going to make my life much easier.

The Kindle Paperwhite has free 3G

My old Kindle reader had WiFi for mobile downloads.  That was great, unless I was staying in a hotel that charges for in-room wireless.

It was also a pain at home sometimes, since I have a wonky wireless range extender — sometimes WiFi works in the back of the house, sometimes it doesn’t.

I tested the free 3G on the new Kindle reader by downloading 5 books using the magic of cellular networks.  In mere seconds, I had several weeks worth of reading at my fingertips.  This is easily my favorite thing about the Kindle Paperwhite.

Read more about the Kindle Paperwhite

World’s.  Craziest.  Dog.

The Kindle Paperwhite is so easy on the eyes

Without boring you with an incomprehensible comparison of backlit LCD displays like the iPad (which tire the eye) and external book lights (which spray light everywhere, disturbing others), let me just say the front lighting of this Kindle is exponentially better.

The thing about the Kindle is that its dim screen takes some getting used to.  It seems wrong, but you turn the screen brighter in a bright room and darker in a dark room.  Just remember: the light is always on.

An unexpected benefit is that the front-lit screen doesn’t drive my neurotic dog crazy like my book light and iPad do.  No shadows = no crazy dog.  Win-win!

Read more about the Kindle Paperwhite

The Kindle Paperwhite tracks (and predicts!) your reading speed

On my first Kindle, the “percentage read” metric was unfamiliar at first.  I hadn’t read 100 pages; I’d read 38% of the book.  With my old Kindle, there were no page numbers.

About the Kindle Paperwhite.
With the Kindle Paperwhite, “Mom, can I just finish this chapter?” actually comes with an honest time estimate.

Now there are, but that’s not all.  By tracking your reading speed in real time, the new Kindle can tell you how long (in minutes!) until you’ll finish the current chapter or the entire book.

Improbably long battery life

I’ve only been using my Kindle Paperwhite for a few days, so I can’t confirm it’s claim of 8 weeks of battery life (assuming average use).  Still, even if the battery life is half that much, it’s amazing and more than enough for me.

This is really important for me on long flights to Asia and Europe, and one of the reasons I don’t like reading on my iPad (along with the eyestrain factor).

So, should you buy it?

If you don’t have an e-reader, you should buy it immediately — it’s the best one on the market.  Even if you’re a library junkie who loathes paying for reading material, it works great.  If you have an older e-reader and you travel a lot (or you have flaky WiFi at home, like me), you should probably also make the jump.  I would never have done it on my own, but I’m very glad I did.

Amazon provided me with a Kindle Paperwhite, a magnetic cover, and an Amazon.com store credit for the purpose of this review.  They did not request that I express any particular point of view, and all opinions are my own.



  1. Seana says

    So, I have a second generation Kindle, as well as an iPad and iPhone. I use my iPad and iPhone with the Kindle app on both becaue I don’t want to carry THREE devices and the app allows me to switch between so that I never lose my spot and I have my book with me wherever I go. While I am not a fan of the eye strain that the iPad causes, it is better than having to use a personal reading light for the kindle. Am I really going to want to switch?

  2. says

    Seana: For me, the answer is: it depends. I personally hate reading on my iPad only slightly less than I hate reading on my iPhone. The iPad is just too heavy for me and I can’t work with the (relatively) short battery life. As for the iPhone, I’m on the other side of 40 — I can barely find the damn thing in my purse, let alone read a book on it.

    I don’t mind carrying three devices. I read for 1-2 hours a night. I share the iPad with my kids. All factors in my preference!

    I will say this: if you’re not using your gen2 Kindle now, you definitely won’t use the new one. Yay! You get to keep your money!

  3. Rebecca says

    I love my new Kindle Paperwhite. I also have an iPhone and iPad mini. I had debated whether to get a new Kindle, even though this one was finally an answer to ALL my dreams: smaller, lighter, with built in light. Especially since my iPad was nice and small, as well. When my old Kindle broke, I had the perfect opportunity to find out if I really needed a new Kindle, and the answer was a resounding YES!

    I am a major bookworm and very fast reader. I indulge in marathon reading sessions on a regular basis. Even my iPad mini becomes uncomfortable in that time, and the combination of backlit screen with tiny font size means eye strain becomes painful faster on my phone.

    I didnt bother getting a cover for mine, but got an inexpensive pretty sleeve for it instead. I take it everywhere.

    But I don’t get anywhere near 8 weeks of battery life. Part of that, I’m sure, is forgetting to turn on airplane mode. Another part was managing the lighting, I’m still figuring that part out.

    Maybe once I’ve got both those things down, I’ll be able to go weeks without charging. I hope so. Because the phone and tablet have to be charged on a nightly basis, it’s nice having one that can go so much longer.

    I do like still having the option to read on my iPad mini or phone, should it be necessary. But I really don’t like to be without any of them, so I carry all three around in my purse. The Kindle Paperwhite is so small and light that, even in its sleeve, it’s not an extra burden to have it just in case I should get stranded somewhere for any reason and want to read comfortably.

    But especially for traveling, it’s worth having the extra device. Because just having the backlight on low, batteries on phones and tablets will drain much more quickly. I’d rather save them for the things they are so much better at. Also, even on lower light settings, my tablet still seems to be more noticeable in a dark room than on the Kindle. So it might be more disturbing to others.

    For anyone who reads a lot, I would definitely recommend getting a Paperwhite, regardless of whatever other device you have.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *