Amazon has been making the most popular ebook readers of all time, and the Kindle Paperwhite is no exception. From when it came out in 2012, and upgraded in 2013, the Paperwhite sold the most as compared to any other ebook reader. Then in 2014 came the Kindle Voyage - the epitome of ebook readers.
Now, being a techy, I had to get one of these. I had both options: the Paperwhite and the Voyage. Unlike usually, I chose the Paperwhite, not the Voyage. I’ll tell you why.
First up, if you are planning to buy an ebook reader, go for it. There is nothing to think twice about - ebook readers can do as much, and more, than any normal book would do. Also, I didn’t find any other ebook readers’ stores quiet like the Amazon Kindle ecosystem, with over a million books and awesome features you can show off. If you are wondering that your eyes will pain staring at the screen, you are wrong. These eInk displays are exactly like paper because they do not necessarily need to have backlight, so you would not be staring at an overly bright, lighted up screen for long times.
Coming to the Paperwhite.
The 2012 Paperwhite was a great upgrade from the original Kindle series. It introduced the high quality 212 PPI display and got rid of any physical buttons (except the lock button). It was well received by the public, with most reviews giving it a 4/5 stars. The 2013 Kindle Paperwhite (2nd Gen) improved the performance by bumping the processor from 800 Mhz to 1 Ghz hence improving the touch response. Amazon also improved the backlighting to make it more uniform throughout the 6” display.
The Paperwhite currently on sale is the 2nd Gen one, the one I’m reviewing.
Amazon added the Kindle Voyage as the top end Kindle ebook reader. The Voyage has the same 1 Ghz processor, but includes a much improved 300 PPI display, new design, some responsive buttons called PressPage (these are on both sides of the screen, and provide vibratory feedback on click) for touch-less page turning and an ambient light sensor for automatic brightness adjustment. What they improved is great, but the insane jump in pricing is letting it down. The pricing is like this:
Paperwhite: $139 or INR 9,999 (Wifi)
Voyage: $219 or INR 16,499 (Wifi)
Now, for a first time ebook reader, I had to consider the pricing, and hence I bought the Paperwhite. The Voyage is indeed the best of all ebook readers ever, but the Paperwhite isn’t far behind. By value for money, consider the Paperwhite. However, if you read a lot, pick up the Voyage for its outstanding display.
I’ve been reading on the Kindle quiet a bit, and I tell you, its way better than holding the real book. Its super ergonomic in the hands and doesn’t weigh as much either. The touch is beautiful, although the slightly low response rate of the eInk display results in not-so-smooth animations. And I haven’t had any problems with buying books for the device itself.
Here are my favourite features of the Kindle:
WhisperSync: Kindle’s have this outstanding ecosystem of connected device and apps. Once you buy a book on the Kindle store, you can read it on the device or on the Kindle apps for iOS/Android/Mac/Windows as well as the web. Whatever device it is, you can literally continue reading from the same page of the book by picking up the next device. Forgot your Kindle? Use the phone app to continue reading the same book from the same page you left on the Kindle device. When you get back to your Kindle, your device will open the book form the page you left it on your phone. And it works insanely well. WhisperSync will also deliver books to devices when you purchase from the web store, so you don’t have to take the hassle to sync your device to get the book onto it. This is truly the best feature, and I love it.
X-Ray: Wondering who a character in a book is? Or does it have any historical significance? X-Ray is there to help. It scans the entire book to pick out characters and with reference to what’s in the book, it defines the characters automatically so you know who you are reading about. X-Ray will allow you to explore upcoming pages of the book and compiles all pictures used in the text. Its a very helpful tool to browse through the book.
Apart from X-Ray, there is Wikipedia and dictionary integration to learn about new concepts and words as you go along reading the book.
Super cheap/free books: Books on the Kindle Store are usually more than 50% cheaper than their printed versions. I bought a INR 300 book just for INR 60. Plus, the store has a huge collection of free books, and you’ll find most of the classic titles for free. You don’t even need to pay to start reading! Almost all printed books do have Kindle versions so there mostly shouldn’t be an issue about availability of books.
All Kindles have enough storage (4 Gb) to hold thousands of books, and I doubt anyone would need more. The battery lasts insanely long - I haven’t charged it since I’ve bought the device and after about 5 days of almost 3hr/day reading, I just lost about 20-30% battery. Amazon says you need to charge it only once a month and I have already come to agreement with that. Again, the Paperwhite and Voyage are great devices, pretty much killing the need for physical books.
Planning to buy one of the two? Do share your experiences with these devices by commenting below. As always, keep sharing by hitting the like button. Keep Technonerding!
Pictures: From unboxing to reading!