Kindle Paper White Review
Product Manufacturer: Amazon
Product Range: Kindle Paperwhite
Quality Rating: 5/5
Value For Money: 5/5
I must from the beginning state that in my opinion; I’m sure the tech community will crucify me for this statement but; there is absolutely no replacement for the smell and feel of a physical paperback book. From the moment you buy it, there is a special mysticism that this small book can transport you to any time period and anywhere in the world at the turn of the page. Before the advent of electronic e-readers, I would as a child and adolescent read a lot of books and that is possibly why I believe that an e-reader is no replacement for a real book. However, times have changed. The advent of the e-reader has opened up another world and has taken away some of the annoyances of buying books.
Access to a Variety of Material:
My wife and I moved to Germany for career reasons and with that, this move brought some major challenges, the largest of which is the language. The Germans are fiercely proud of their language and insist that foreigners learn at least the basics which is completely understandable, however, should one wants to buy books, I have found at best a very limited selection in a select few stores that cater to the English-speaking population in Germany. This means that one has to purchase books either online via Amazon which leaves you with a delivery period or you need to buy an e-reader to download books from the internet.
It’s always risky buying a new book unless one is familiar with the author and are happy with his style of writing. In the case of purchasing books for a Kindle, a sample of the book is often provided free of charge where you are able to evaluate if the unfamiliar author or topic will be to your liking in both style of writing and content before committing to the purchase. Purchasing e-books allows you to read others short evaluations of the books and to make a purchase on a star rating based on a 1 – 5 scale. This removes a lot of the guess work when buying books off the rack so to say.
Black on White vs White on Black:
A technical question I had from the beginning was, why do I need an e-reader, can’t I just use the Tablet that I already have? If one puts a Kindle Paperwhite next to a Tablet while switched off, the first difference will immediately be visible. In the off mode, a tablet has a black screen while the Kindle has a white screen. This is an important consideration related to how our eyes react to prolonged light stimulation. We have all experienced irritated or burning eyes after prolonged computer use and this is a direct result of the light stimulation emitted by the screen. A normal Tablet works on the same principle where the screen is black while switched off and relies on pixels being activated to produce colour and an image. This means that if one were to simulate the white page of a book, the pixels of the whole screen would need to be activated to simulate the white page and this is a lot of stimulation for a person’s eyes. Prolonged exposure to this level of lighting will cause fatigue of the eyes and will result in sore or irritated eyes.
The Kindle has solved the over exposure issue by making the screen white with black pixels being activated to simulate the print only. This means that one’s eyes are exposed to a fraction of the light emitted by a Tablet and will not adversely affect one’s eyes even after hours of use. Kindle has also taken into account the glare that one sees on a screen when using electronics in outdoor environments. Tablets are incredibly difficult to use outdoors as the screens are generally gloss finished in addition to the pixel contrast needed to produce the picture being adversely affected by large amounts of sunlight. The Kindle has reduced the glare problem by manufacturing the screens with a matt finish and has reduced the light contrast requirements which makes the Kindle an easy read while soaking up the poolside sun.
There are 2 main versions of the Kindle Paperwhite where one has both Wi-Fi & 3G connectivity and the other only the Wi-Fi connectivity. I have personally purchased the Kindle Paperwhite with only Wi-Fi connectivity with my reasoning being that at home, where I mainly use the device, Wi-Fi is always available and if I am on holiday and need to download a book, most hotels these days have Wi-Fi available or if they don’t, it can be paired with your phone so, in my opinion, to have 3G connectivity really was not a high priority and it saved 10% percent off the final price.
- Overall Dimensions: 169mm x 117mm x 9,1mm
- 6” glare-free screen but no audiobook capabilities
- 4GB Onboard Storage (Approx. 2,200 books)
- Built-in Light Function but not waterproof
- Black & White Touchscreen enabled 300ppi Resolution
- The Battery lasts for weeks on a single charge.
- Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi & 3G connectivity capabilities
- Weight 205g and 217g for 3G enabled
Traveling with Millions of Possibilities:
One of the biggest advantages of a Kindle Paperwhite is that you are able to take a number of books with you with a fraction of the weight. I normally finish 2 – 3 books on a 2 week break and it was really annoying when one finishes a book and has nothing further to read. Let me add that I have yet to find a hotel with books actually worth reading.
While on holiday, your needs for certain types of books might change based on the setting and this can easily be adapted with as little as an internet connection. I have tried to read cartoon style books on the kindle (Adventures of Asterix) however without the colour contrast, this was not successful and I can honestly say that the Kindle Paperwhite falls short in this department.
Kindle brings out 3 main models namely the Kindle, Paperwhite and Oasis. Prices range from approx. $60 – $220 and while they all differ in features (Colour / Black & White)and size (6” – 7”), the battery life remains the same in that it lasts for over a week. I personally found that the 6” screen is a comfortable size and the overall feel of the Paperwhite is better than that of the entry level Kindle. The colour feature of the Oasis together with the waterproofing was not enough to convince me to pay double the price that I paid for the Paperwhite.
Buying an e-reader can be a little like buying a mobile phone, in that there can be thousands of features available however one needs to be clear beforehand what are essential features; i.e. long battery life; and what are “nice to haves”; i.e. colour screen or waterproof. I have been incredibly impressed and completely satisfied with purchasing the Paperwhite and while it is not the cheapest of the range, it is also not the most expensive. It meets or exceeds all expectations and while I was sceptical like many of you I’m sure, if you love reading, you will not regret buying the Paperwhite.
Here’s to many more adventures between the pages…..