Wow, when we thought the Kindle ebook experience couldn’t get any better, Amazon now releases an All-New Kindle Paperwhite. This new unit is not just the same old technology in a new skin, it’s a totally revamped model that comes in a couple of versions.
So what is all new about this ‘All-New Kindle Paperwhite’?
Well, for starters, this All-New Kindle Paperwhite is absolutely the highest resolution e-reader you’ve seen to date. It has twice as many pixels as its predecessor, a 6-inch screen with 300 ppi. The previous version of the Paperwhite had a meagre 167 ppi. That’s written in italic because Kindle owners know that the readability on those units was pretty good already. But imagine how much better it gets with the double resolution.
For those who have not yet been exposed to an e-ink e-reader, e-ink acts just like normal ink on a newspaper. Also, the screen is not glary as your tablet or mobile phone. See this picture for a comparison of a tablet versus a All-New Kindle Paperwhite under the same lighting circumstances.
Once you have experienced the usability and readability of e-ink, you won’t go back to reading on your smartphone or tablet.
Another factor of readability is the weight of an e-reader. Where most modern small (7 inch) tablets come in at around 400 grams, the All-New Kindle Paperwhite only weighs in at 205 or 217 grams, depending on the model. This makes it ideal to hold in one hand, so you can keep reading that page turner without straining the arm.
Battery-life of the All-New Kindle Paperwhite is stunning. Nothing like a table that needs to be charged once a day, and e-ink All-New Kindle Paperwhite will only need to be charged once every month! That is because the battery is only used when turning a page. Once the page is turned, no battery will be used, the display will display the e-ink page until eternity. Pretty nifty right?
Although, there are factors that might affect your personal battery-life. Once is the WIFI connectivity. If you don’t need WIFI, you can turn it off and preserve the battery life. But still, with WIFI on you should be able to get a couple of weeks out of this unit.
An other factor is the front light. This light option is there to improve the readability, both in light and dark conditions. In a dark room, you an actually set the light to a low setting, and in light conditions you might want to use a high setting. The difference between a back-lit tablet or computer screen and a front-lit e-reader such as the All-New Kindle Paperwhite is that Kindle Paperwhite guides light toward the surface of the display with its built-in front light, unlike back-lit tablets that shine in your eyes, so you can read comfortably for hours without eyestrain. This front-lit functionality won’t tire your eyes in the dark so the Kindle is a perfect companion for reading in the dark on your verandah, or for reading in bed with the lights off.
Amazon claims that with the light setting on 10 (which is the max) and WIFI turned off, and based on half an hour reading per day, the battery will last around 6 weeks! That’s quite an impressive claim.
Readability on the All-New Kindle Paperwhite has also improved with the introduction of a brand new font, named Bookerly. Bookerly is an exclusive font crafted from the ground up for reading on digital screens. According to Amazon, Bookerly is a warm and contemporary font, inspired by the artistry of the best fonts in modern print books, but is hand-crafted for great readability at any font size.
Another improvement is an all-new typesetting engine which “lays out the words just as the author intended” for a beautiful rendering of pages. Although at the time of writing (June 2015) this seems to be a ‘coming-soon’ functionality, we are sure this will be introduced soon after the launch of the All-New Kindle Paperwhite.
Apart from the above improvements, Amazon has made changes with regards to page layouts and margins. It seems that you can now read at the largest font sizes, without the layout being affected. The new typography and layout improvements are available on over half a million books, including many best sellers, with thousands more being added every week.
Last but not least, a big difference between reading on your Kindle versus reading on an internet connected smart phone or tablet is that by design, Kindle Paperwhite is purpose-built for reading and creates a sanctuary so you can lose yourself in a book. Unlike tablets and phones, Kindle doesn’t distract you with social media, emails, and text messages.
There is connectivity though (if you don’t turn it off) , which you can use to share your reading experience. Did you know you can make notes to each book, highlight sections and share this with your friends via Facebook or Twitter? This could come in handy of you’re a member of a book club, or if you want to focus on the most highlighted sections of a book.
The All-New Kindle Paperwhite also comes with downloadable dictionaries. Any word you don’t know the meaning of, can immediately be looked up without you having to leave the page, so you can access definitions, characters, settings, and more without losing your place.
With a stage capacity of 4GB you can literally store thousands of books on your Kindle. And if that is not enough, Amazon offers unlimited cloud storage for all your Amazon content.
All in all, the All-New Kindle Paperwhite is a nice addition to the Kindle family. Coming in two versions, one with only WIFI and the other version with WIFI + free 3G if you don’t always have a WIFI network within range. The good thing about this option is that you don’t have to be for your connectivity, Amazon pays for it. So you can download books anytime, anywhere, without having to find a Wi-Fi hotspot connection.
The cheapest version of the All-New Kindle Paperwhite comes in (at the time of writing in June 2015) at $119. This version includes ‘special offers’ which means that the Kindle will show advertisements. However, these ads will never be in your way of reading your book; offers display on the Kindle screensaver and on the bottom of the home screen while not in use – they don’t interrupt reading.
However, you can opt for the WIFI version without the offers, which will cost you $20 more.
The versions with 3G also come with and without offers and cost respectively $189 and $209.
For a complete overview of all functionality, and (once released) the always extensive and honest review feedback, have a look on the Amazon website.