Friday, December 3, 2021

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (2021) Review

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Dimensions4.9 by 6.9 by .32 inches
Weight7.2 oz
Display screen Dimension6. Eight inches
Storage CapabilityEight GB
Ebook CodecsPDF, TXT, AZW, MOBI

More significant is healthier with Amazon’s 2021 Kindle Paperwhite ($139.99), which makes use of a brand new E Ink panel to point out extra phrases per web page than its predecessor. Whereas the costs of Paperwhite fashions have been slowly creeping up, this new model nonetheless gives one of the best mixtures of options on the proper value for many readers, together with a flat entrance panel and a waterproof design. Together with its up-to-date display, these options assist it to stay our Editors’ Selection award winner for ebook readers.

Amazon’s Kindle Lineup

There are two-and-a-half e-book reader gamers within the US market, though others play more significant roles abroad. Amazon’s Kindles dominate stateside. They’re primarily OK for studying books from Amazon and work fantastic with titles from public libraries. For different sources and codecs, there’s Kobo. Barnes & Noble’s Nook fashions also exist, though the way forward for that lineup is unsure.

Amazon has 4 E Ink Kindles in 2021, together with the $89.99 Kindle, the $139.99 Paperwhite, the $189.99 Paperwhite Signature, and the $249.99 Oasis. The Paperwhite has main, vital benefits over the bottom mannequin. For starters, it is waterproof, making it secure for studying on the seashore and within the bathtub. Its flat entrance design prevents sand and gunk from getting caught in cracks. And its display is far sharper, with a color-changing entrance gentle that is simpler on the eyes.

As soon as you progress up from the Paperwhite, the extra options become much less significant. The Paperwhite Signature provides additional storage, wi-fi charging, and a mechanically altering entrance gentle. These are helpful extras; however, they will not remodel your studying expertise. The Kindle Oasis has an excellent design with its relaxed metallic body, lighter weight than the Paperwhite, and physical page-turn buttons (I’ve one and adore it); however, it’s costly for an e-book reader.

Needless to say, whereas the Paperwhite begins at $139.99, like most Amazon e-book readers, it exhibits advertisements on the lock display by default. If you wish to eliminate these advertisements, it is advisable to pay an additional $20.

Three Kindles together
Left to proper: 2021 Paperwhite, 2018 Paperwhite, 2021 Paperwhite Signature (Photograph: Sascha Segan)

Extra Sq. Inches, Fewer Web page Flips

The 2018 Paperwhite design launched a flat entrance and a water-proof ranking. The brand new mannequin is slightly greater. The 2021 Paperwhite remains a clean, black, matte machine; however, it now measures 6. Eight by 4.9 by 0. three inches (HWD) relatively than 6.6 by 4.6 by 0. three inches. At 7.2 ounces, it is 0.8-ounces heavier than the earlier mannequin, which I initially thought would annoy me; however, it does not; it is nonetheless gentle sufficient to maintain with one hand for hours comfortably.

The more critical information is, the larger display. The brand new Paperwhite steps up from a 6-inch, 300ppi E Ink Carta show to a 6.8-inch panel that retains a 300ppi decision. The entrance gentle can be 10% brighter. The entire machine nonetheless carries an IPX8 rating, so it could survive for an hour of dunking in contemporary water or a three-minute dip in seawater.

The brand new Paperwhites and Oasis have color-changing entrance lights that may go from blue-white to yellow utilizing two sliders. The yellowness will also be tied to a clock, so the display will get yellower because the evening goes on to avoid wasting your eyes. The 17-LED system is relatively more even than the Four LEDs on the base-model Kindle.

The underside-mounted energy button, a remnant from the 2018 mannequin, bothers some people. However, I do not discover it liable to unintended presses on the bottom Paperwhite mannequin. (Within the case of the Signature mannequin, although, wi-fi charging cradles typically set off the button.)

A USB-C port brings the Kindle in keeping with different cell units from the previous few years. It does not assist fast charging, nonetheless—it nonetheless takes several hours to cost and powers up at not more than 9w. The brand new Paperwhite lasts a few weeks with heavy use; however, you may enormously prolong battery life by turning off the entrance gentle and Wi-Fi.

Amazon features an energy cable, however no energy adapter. The Paperwhite works with any USB-C energy cable and adapter, but when you do not have one laying around, Amazon sells one for $20. Amazon additionally sells a variety of covers for the Kindle that value between $30 and $60.

Studying Expertise

Whereas I used to be studying Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Unusual and Mr. Norrell in Amazon’s commonplace font measurement, I noticed 17 strains of about Eight quick phrases every on the older Kindle and 21 songs of 9 words every on the newer one. That interprets to 20% fewer web page flips on the unique mannequin—and in my thoughts, a 20% extra restful expertise.

The outdated Kindle display is about the same width as a mass-market paperback; however, it exhibits much less textual content on the web page. The brand new one is wider than most mass-market paperbacks and about the identical peak. Commerce paperbacks and hardcovers each tower over the older and newer Kindles.

Tankobon-formatted manga volumes are readable on the earlier Kindle; however,  they’re extra legible right here because the textual content is barely more significant. The charming youngsters’ manga Yotsuba& reads pretty properly on the brand new Kindle.

Nonetheless, Paperwhite is not an e-book for American comics, graphic novels, or exceptionally illustrated youngsters’ books. The display is simply too small, so textual content stays unreadable. Most individuals want to learn these codecs on a shading machine like the Amazon Fire HD 10 or a base-model Apple iPad anyway. However, if you wish to expertise these works with the calming tones of E Ink, it is advisable to search for a 10-inch E Ink machine just like the Onyx Boox Note Air.

A Sooner Interface

Amazon just lately up to date the Kindle interface to make it simpler to navigate. This enhancement is not particular to the brand new Paperwhite; the software program replaces base-model Kindles, some older Paperwhites, and the Oasis. The first shift is that there is a new icon on the house display that helps you bounce properly again to the ebook you are studying. When you’ve got a no-ads Kindle, the lock display now exhibits the quilt of the ebook you are at present studying, too.

When you’ve got a giant Kindle library (I’ve greater than 200 books), some new options assist scale back muddle. I like how collections at the moment are mechanically filed below a single cowl, so I haven’t got to a web page via all of my child’s Wings of Hearth books (of which there are a lot of) to get to my Lavie Tidhar.

All the same old Amazon options are right here, too, in fact: X-Ray tells you who a personality is, the dictionary tells you what a phrase is, and Goodreads integration permits you to inform different individuals what you are studying.

Kindles work most OK with Amazon or public library ebooks. We now have a narrative about how to get free ebooks on your Kindle that outlines how you can e-mail PDF or EPUB-formatted eBooks to your machine; however, I’ve by no means had a fantastic expertise with assist for these codecs as a result of fonts and navigation usually get tousled within the translation. Different e-book reader manufacturers, most notably Kobo, deal with these codecs a lot better.

Goodbye 3G, Hiya Higher Wi-Fi

Bear in mind Whispernet, which allows you to obtain books wherever? It is dying; it relied on the AT&T 3G community, which will probably be turned off in 2022. When you’ve got an older, Whispernet-reliant Kindle, that service is ending within the US. (There are 4G LTE variations of the 2018 Kindle Paperwhite and Kindle Oasis; however, they weren’t marketed closely within the US.)

Because of this, the Kindle is extra reliant on Wi-Fi than ever. Fortuitously, the 2021 Paperwhite has noticeably higher Wi-Fi than the 2018 mannequin. After examining it on a 5GHz Wi-Fi community, I typically downloaded books in 5 to eight seconds relatively, then 14 to 17 seconds on the older mannequin. Ebook covers, pages within the Kindle retailer, and pages within the Kindle net browser additionally stuffed in additional rapidly. This efficiency bump will not be a big deal; however, it’s a noticeable improvement.

The higher Wi-Fi assist also reinforces that you most likely do not want the 32GB storage of the Signature Version. 8GB is okay. You’ll be able to obtain books while you wish to learn them, at house or on free Wi-Fi connections. Textual content-format Kindle books are just a few megabytes every; audiobooks take up far extra space.

Bluetooth performance is similar right here as on the earlier Paperwhite. You should utilize Bluetooth headphones for Audible audiobooks. You’ll even be able to sync your audiobook listening to select up or depart off on the equivalent level in a text-format ebook. Wired USB-C headphones, alas, won’t work.

The E Ink Kindles haven’t got a built-in audio system or Immersion Studying, a neat mode where you see textual content highlighted as a voice reads it. For all of that, you want an Android or iOS cellphone or pill with the Kindle app.

Covers for the Kindle Paperwhite

As with earlier Kindles, a variety of covers can be found

Time Retains On Ticking…Into the Future

Folks maintain their Kindles for a very long time. They need to; an e-book reader is a straightforward machine, and if it works, it works. As a part of this overview, I checked out personal complaints on Amazon from purchasers of the 2018 mannequin. For the file, there are nonetheless individuals with 2009-era keyboarded Kindles on there.

The 2021 Paperwhite is just like the 2018 mannequin in lots of methods, and among the variations with the newer fashions will irritate customers of a lot older Kindles. For instance, studying battery life is shorter due to the extra advanced, even entrance gentle system. There is no built-in speaker or headphone jack as on older fashions; as discussed, many dislike the bottom-mounted energy button. The flat entrance additionally has a bit extra glare than some earlier fashions.

I am not with this part to lament options on units you may purchase anymore; however, people who find themselves upgrading ought to know what to anticipate. And the brand new design gives some benefits. I feel bathtub and seashore studying are oversized use circumstances, and I hate how the recessed fronts of older fashions acquire mud and dirt.

The Proper Selection

An E Ink e-book reader ought to get out of the best way and allow you to learn your ebook. That is what the brand new Kindle Paperwhite does. It gives the appropriate options on the proper value. For instance, the Paperwhite is waterproof, which is excellent for its versatility, however, it forgoes the wi-fi charging you get with the Signature Version, which is much less critical. Kobo’s closest competing e-book reader, the $179.99 Libra 2, is a little more costly and does not natively deal with Amazon books. Kindles and Kobos are like iOS and Android these days; not many people swap as a result of using different content material shops. So in case you purchase your books from Amazon, the Kindle Paperwhite is the fitting e-book reader for most individuals and our Editors’ Selection winner.


  • More prominent display exhibits extra per web page than earlier technology
  • Water-resistant construct
  • Flat-front design
  • Color-changing entrance gentle


  • No Immersion Studying mode


Amazon’s 2021 version of the Kindle Paperwhite is just like the beautiful 2018 model; however, it provides a roomier display that makes for. However, excellent higher studying expertise.

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Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

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