Amazon Kindle Paperwhite review

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After years of considering it, I finally scooped up my first eInk display powered Kindle. The Amazon Kindle PaperWhite is the latest generation of Kindle and combines the touch screen technology first seen in the Kindle Touch (though it has been improved) with a novel backlight system to facilitate reading in the dark. The light is what suckered me in, I had stayed away from eInk because I frequently read in bed and having to use a book light seemed absurd (not to mention distracting for anyone else). Now with the PaperWhite I can read in full sunlight and in the dark, all without any accessories.

The size is great, if you haven’t used a 7″ tablet before it’s the perfect size for reading. That’s why Apple shrunk the iPad (or slightly enlarging the iPhone I guess, since it came first) to be the same size. You can hold it with one hand and it’s perfect for reading while laying down. After using the Kindle for a bit the [full sized] iPad feels gigantic.

I live in Florida and it’s wonderful to have a device with a screen that looks perfect in direct sunlight. I can’t wait until they figure out how to do the same with non-eInk displays so that phones and regular tablets will be usable outside (or even with polarized sunglasses).

The touch screen on the PaperWhite responds faster than the Kindle Touch and the redraw rate also seems improved. The on screen keyboard is surprisingly usable, though I have only needed to use it a few times for WiFi passwords and a couple searches. I opted for the 3G model so that my reading progress would sync to Whispernet without connecting to WiFi which is often the case if I’m traveling.

The only thing I would change is to put a button on the back to turn the page. It’s slightly annoying to have to touch the front, though usually a thumb can reach and not be too much of a hassle.

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