Review of Kindle Paperwhite

About four years ago my wife bought a Kindle. I didn’t like it. The screen was too small and the contrast was poor. Although I’m old school and like a book, I saw the benefit to having one. But I couldn’t bring myself to spring for it. That has all changed. The Kindle Paperwhite has made having one worth it.

By the way, this is not meant to be a technical analysis or a tutorial on how to work it, there’s plenty of that out there. This is just may take on what it’s like.

The display is black print on white paper. The contrast you get from a book. That was the number one requirement for me.

The screen when turned off

The screen when turned off

It has a touch screen and no buttons, and no keyboard. In fact, the only thing it has is an on/off button and a jack to plug it into your computer. Everything else is done on the touch screen.

Touch screen keyboard 

Touch screen keyboard 

And the greatest thing of all is that you never have to worry about having enough light. They have figured out a way to illuminate it such that the light shines down on the e-paper, and reflects back to you. So you can read the thing anywhere–in the dark or in direct sunlight.

There is a little bit of unevenness of light right at the bottom of the screen, but I don’t find it offensive. It’s well out of the view of the text. The screen is otherwise evenly lit.

It’s great for readers who like to mark up a book, and great for writers to proof their work. You can highlight and make notations. It also has a built-in dictionary that is activated by touching the word in question.

It’s light and comfortable to hold for long periods, and the material of which the back is made feels good in your hand.

The battery lasts a long time, but not as long as they claim. You probably get a couple of weeks out of it at best.

If you’re a geezer like me, you are slow to embrace something that is meant to replace your beloved books. But this is so pleasant to use that I can see it replacing books altogether, even for the old folk. Easy to hold, pleasant to look at, and convenient. You can hold more books on it than you ever owned or probably ever read. And if you run out of space, Amazon stores them for you. You won’t ever lose them.

USB jack and power button. That's it.

USB jack and power button. That's it.

I have alternated reading real books and books on the Kindle. I didn’t find myself wanting a real book when using the Kindle. The experience is so book-like that I’m willing to give up paper books altogether. 

This is the future of books. I bet that in five years nearly every book and magazine will be read on a device like this. When you consider the cost of printing and distributing a paper book, it’s starting to be prohibitive. A luxury item. You get the books instantly, you have them forever, and they don’t take up the whole house. I love having shelves of books, but soon they will be merely decorative. I can see no reason to have a large book when I can keep it on the Kindle, accessible and readable at any time, anywhere.

My picture of the text

My picture of the text

I can’t really think of anything I don’t like about it. Maybe the screen could be slightly bigger, but it’s good enough.

Touch for the dictionary

Touch for the dictionary