- Lit display
- Crisp, responsive touch screen
- Robust feature set
- 2-month battery life
- Limited ebook format support
- Ads on lockscreen Bottom line If you're looking for a top-notch ebook reader with a lit screen, reviewers say the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite's incredibly detailed E Ink display, fast and responsive controls, abundant extras and massive book library make it a great choice. However, it's not without some minor issues.
Performance Nearly flawless. Critics love the Kindle Paperwhite's performance scheme. The display packs more pixels than even the base Kindle's superb screen, pages refresh speedily and the text contrast is second to none. Users say the Kindle bookstore is easy to access and browse. The Paperwhite's light distribution is more even than on the Barnes & Noble Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight (Est. $120) , although variations can appear at the bottom of the screen under certain conditions.
Amazon says you can get 8 weeks of battery life as long as you keep the Wi-Fi off, the light at half-brightness and use it only about 30 minutes per day. Reviewers don't test the battery in quite this manner, but most report they didn't have to charge it during their review period.
Features All that and more. In addition to its lighting feature, the Kindle Paperwhite offers the abundance of extras found in the base Amazon Kindle (Est. $70 and up) . These include a web browser, dictionary, a massive catalog of books to download, free borrowing via Kindle-to-Kindle lending and the Kindle Owners' Lending Library, and Whispersync technology that saves your page across multiple Kindle devices and apps. A Paperwhite-exclusive "Time to Read" feature estimates how long it will take to finish your chapter based on your previous reading speed.
Amazon keeps costs down by including Special Offer advertisements on the lockscreen; an ad-free Kindle Paperwhite costs $20 more. The e-reader is Wi-Fi only, but a 3G version (Est. $180 and up) is available. Reviewers mention the Kindle's lack of expandable memory, missing ePub format support and proprietary ebook format, but aren't concerned enough to ding the device. The Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight includes expandable memory and vast format support, but few of the Paperwhite's additional features.
Ease of use Mostly excellent. Navigating books with the Paperwhite's touch-screen controls works flawlessly. Some reviewers prefer the physical page turn buttons like those on the touch-screen Nooks, but most say it's all a breeze whether you're flipping pages or browsing the Kindle bookstore. Experts report, however, that the Kindle Paperwhite feels a bit bulky compared to the base Kindle or Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight.