The Kindle Fire is great for watching films, playing games, and a whole host of other things, but its primary function is not as an e-reader. Fortunately, there’s the Kindle Paperwhite. The arrival of Amazon’s new Kindle Paperwhite hasn’t had a huge amount of fanfare, but the device is definitely worth a look. Here’s why.


Kindling the Fire

Amazon revolutionized the way we read books and made bookshelves redundant in the process. The Kindle was a minimalist device which allowed us the luxury of carrying our entire library in our pocket, yet there was one drawback: As with traditional books, you couldn’t read the Kindle in the dark without external illumination.

Amazon solved this problem by introducing the world to the Kindle Paperwhite late in 2012. The new Kindle emitted a soothing, eye-friendly glow, allowing bookworms to read well into the night without disturbing anyone or anything else. What’s more, dedicated readers could read for up to eight weeks on a single charge. In contrast, try watching a film on your Kindle Fire and seeing how fast the battery runs out.

Making the Best Better

Of course, the Paperwhite had a lot more to it than a handy internal night light. Critics called it the best e-reader Amazon had ever made, and serious book lovers everywhere were unanimous in their praise for the simple but hugely effective device. The question had been: “How will Amazon ever improve upon the most refined product in its category?” Well, they were able to do just that by upgrading the Kindle device with something almost identical in name and appearance but with a few subtle and clever changes to make a great little e-reader a little bit greater.

What Does This Paperwhite Do Differently?

Don’t expect any radical developments with the new Kindle Paperwhite e-reader. The dimensions are the same as its predecessor, as is the matte black, rubbery plastic case and the location of the buttons, but why change a simple and aesthetically pleasing design? What is noticeably different with the new Kindle is that the logo on the rear has been replaced with an Amazon one, and the e-reader is noticeably lighter in the hand. Courtesy of a new version of Amazon’s exclusive E Ink technology, the Paperwhite’s screen offers better contrast and reflectivity, plus an upgraded light, which all results in a crisper and sharper display, moving it one step closer to Amazon’s ultimate goal of “having the Kindle disappear in your hands.” The Paperwhite’s processor is 25% faster, making this Kindle Amazon’s most responsive one yet. There are also various software upgrades to the new Kindle, such as an improved page flip function and a new word lookup tool.

The Final Analysis

While new Kindle retails at the exact same price as its predecessor, owners of first-generation Paperwhites will probably not rush to buy the new model because the new features aren’t as enticing to someone who already owns a Kindle. What the new Paperwhite does do is make it a little more of an attractive proposition for anyone wavering, someone who loves to read but doesn’t yet own an e-reader, to buy Amazon’s new product, which is by far the best in its class.

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