Amazon Kindle Paperwhite review

Writing this review has been kicking around inside my head for a while now, what better way to welcome spring then to sit in my room and type it all? As some of you know, I have a previous generation Kindle, which I love and adore as it has definitely made an impact on how much and what I read. It has also made my somewhat hectic lifestyle of moving around the world much easier by packing everything I could ever want to read into a thin, light, easy to carry around little bundle.

Then out came the new Kindle Paperwhite, and it has been a horrible debate whether I should upgrade or not. I’ve read and watched the reviews and the pros were numerous. Higher contrast, faster processor, touch screen. But these faded next to the integrated, revolutionary backlight technology. I was trying to decide whether this was need or want, but luckily Vazsu, my good friend told me she had one which she wasn’t really using so she lent it to me to test it. And boy was I blown away!


Much much better screen quality (212 ppi), responsive, snappy as promised. The e-ink technology produces nice, crisp text display – and you’ll get used to the screen refresh in no time. It’s necessary for clearing the shadowing of previous pages. The backlight was beyond my wildest expectations. The light bounces across the front surface of the screen, which illuminates the whole of the screen with an even glow – as opposed to my old Kindle’s ‘torch’ method of shining light from a retractable LED light from the top of the cover downwards. It is also much easier on the eyes then a LCD display, which beams the light towards you and can tire the eyes out. I’ve read a lot, in bright sunlight and in total darkness, it is an absolute pleasure – you have to set the lightning level though, it doesn’t do it automatically which would be a nice feature.


My only gripe with the Paperwhite is the lack of any physical buttons apart from the power button. Older models had nice tactile page turners on both side of the screen, which were operated easily with either thumb. Now the screen needs to be tapped or swiped  to turn the page, which can be a bit of an annoyance as that is what you do most often. Let’s hope the newer Paperwhite, promised early 2014, brings dem buttons back! On the hand, the touch screen is a very-very nice addition when the, previously dreaded, keyboard comes up. On the earlier Kindle I had to use the five-way controller to type, an arduous task. Now it’s just type away, free from worries. Finding definitions for unknown words is also easier – just tap on the word and your knowledge increases immediately.

Amazon also sells a very nicely designed companion leather cover. It holds the Kindle Paperwhite firmly in its place, offers a very thin form factor, feels great in the hand with its texture and does the whole magnetic wake/sleep thing while keeping the lid securely closed. I prefer this one to the previous Kindle leather cover, which in comparison, feels bulky and slippery.

Managing the books is a breeze using calibre, an application designed to collect & organise your books on your PC and Kindle, arranging them into Collections, edit metadata, etc. It also does conversions from other formats (ePub, docx, etc.) to Kindle’s (mobi, prc) and so much more. There is really no need to use anything else but calibre, it’s that good.

In conclusion, the new Kindle Paperwhite is an amazing little device, great for one single purpose, reading as much as possible. Many of my friends told me that they prefer reading a real book. That they’d miss that book smell and feel. To them here’s a retort from reddit: ‘So you’re telling me you like books more than you like reading?’ It’s just so convenient, and has really helped me to up my reading – which dropped significantly after I moved out from my home, leaving my huge bookshelf behind.

I love my original Kindle dearly, but the upgrades that went into the Paperwhite has made it so much better it’s a no-brainer. As long as Vazsu lets me, I’ll keep her Kindle. If she wants it back, I’ll buy one for myself straight away 🙂


  • great screen quality
  • feels fast, snappy
  • great backlight system


  • lack of physical page turn button



Link to buy*:
US Amazon | UK Amazon | Hungarian site (I have not used them, use at own risk)
Leather cover*:
US Amazon | UK Amazon

*affiliate links, which means I get a small kickback if you buy it because of my review. Cheers 🙂

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