Kindle Paperwhite Hands on Review

I finally broke my kindle keyboard reader and went to order a new one. I choose the paper white because of the addition of the back lit screen. I like the size and I like the screen clarity. I am getting use to not having buttons but I think I will like it once I acclimate. I feel stupid for not checking but I never thought moving up to a newer more expensive kindle would take away functionality.

kindle-paperwhite-2

I could never justify purchasing a stand alone e-reader as I’ve always just done my reading on LCD screens via the Kindle app (on an iPad and iPhone 6+). I got distracted on my iDevices with constant notifications interrupting my reading. Holding my iPhone / iPad with one hand was also uncomfortable after time. Reading outside with the iDevices wasn’t ideal with all the glare.

When the infamous (cough, cough) “Prime Day” sale came around I was finally ready to take the plunge and buy my very first Kindle – the new Paperwhite. But low and behold, no Paperwhite device ever went on sale. Disappointment ensued ….. so 2 days later I bought one anyway.

After a week of use, here are some observations from a Kindle newbie.

PROS

1) First and foremost, it feels so good reading one hand with it. It is perfect for one hand use: perfect weight, perfect size, perfect grip. I like the feel of it so much I just can’t put a case on it. I purchased a sleeve for it when it’s not in use.

2) The screen is beautiful. Being able to read either in complete darkness or in direct sunlight is a thing of beauty – especially coming from an iPhone.

3) I love that I can rent all my library books via Overdrive and have them delivered to both my Kindle and my iPhone and have them both in constant sync.

4) My 8 year old has fallen in love with reading on my Kindle and the Kindle FreeTime feature is wonderful for parents – it allows you to set daily timed reading goals for your child. The only downside is actually trying to pry the Kindle away from said child long after the goal is met.

5) I use a “read later” app called Instapaper on my iPhone and iPad. I love that Instapaper sends me my saved news or web articles right on my Kindle to read. Fantastic integration.

6) The battery just lasts and lasts and lasts. I plug it in every few days whether it needs it or not, mostly out of habit from coming from the iPhone world.

CONS

1) I wish the screen had a bit more contrast. It seems like the Voyage might excel here but for the price difference I’m still satisfied.

2) The screensavers. I bought the “special offer” Kindle version and was fully prepared to purchase the $20 fee to turn off the ads but after seeing what the default screensavers will be I think I prefer the ad version of a book screensaver. I wish Amazon would let you either select your screensaver (even if it was just the current book cover you are reading) or purchase additional screensaver packs via the Kindle store.

3) The smudge factor. It attracts fingerprints easily (on the black / back). I know putting a case on the Kindle would take care of the smudges but I just love the feel of it too much to cover it (so far) and I’ve been able to easily clean it with just water.

4) I find myself wanting more settings to truly personalize the device: a selectable screensaver, a timeout setting, a contrast setting, the ability to “hide” Goodreads if you don’t use it, the ability to search or display the book covers differently. Ultimately, I do realize the beauty of the Kindle is the simplicity of a Kindle.

Overall, I love my new Kindle. I bought it thinking I would keep it just at my nightstand and now I find myself taking it with me everywhere. It truly is a beautiful reading device and I would recommend it for anyone who loves to read. For the price, it’s a definite buy.

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