Hi Guys. You know, despite all the different types of tablets available now, The simple e-book reader still holds special meaning for a lot of us.
And chief among them is Amazon’s Kindle. In this video I’ll be taking an in-depth look at the Kindle Paperwhite. It’s Amazon’s first self-lit e-ink device, And I’ll show you it’s various functions in action. The Paperwhite is Amazon’s fifth generation Kindle e-ink reader. If you’re new to ‘e-ink’, It basically stands for ‘electronic ink’ and it’s different from LCDs in that the display contains millions of microcapsules holding white and black charged ink-like particles, that shift with an applied positive or negative charge. So basically you end up with a display that shows text looking like ink on a printed page. Compared to previous Kindles, like the Kindle Keyboard, The Paperwhite has evolved in its design. It’s a sleek, minimalist, black rectangle that resembles a tablet more in its styling. It’s quite light to hold at just 213 grams, while the Kindle keyboard is 274 grams. This is the wi-fi only version of the Paperwhite, the 3G version weighs 222g. It’s also more compact, with a length of 169mm, width of 117mm, and thickness of 9.1mm. What I found most pleasing about its design, though, was the soft-touch surface of the plastic body, As well as the thick bezels around the display, Which really make it much more comfortable to hold long term compared to any tablet. You’ll notice there aren’t any physical buttons on the front. In fact, there’s just the power button at the bottom, Alongside the microUSB data and charging port. There’s also no headphone jack and no speakers, So without audio, you don’t get the text-to-speech feature, or audio playback of previous Kindles. Amazon has reserved these for its Kindle Fire tablets, And reduced the Paperwhite to just a simple e-reader. Personally, I see this as a drawback. The Paperwhite has 2GB internal storage, But only 1.25GB is available for use. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but it can hold up to 1,100 books. There is no micorSD card slot for expandable storage, But you can use Amazon’s cloud service if you don’t want to store all your e-books on the device. The display is the major change in the Paperwhite. It’s still the same 6 inch e-ink display as before, However, the resolution is now 1024 x 768 pixels, With a pixel density of 212ppi compared to the 167ppi of previous Kindles. And of course, it now has a built-in light, And this is what gives the screen its near white glow. This isn’t a typical backlight. The Paperwhite has several LEDs at the bottom bezel, And their light is spread evenly across the screen by a light guide layer. This directs the light down onto the e-ink layer rather than out and glaring into the eyes. It’s a type of front-lighting that makes it easier to look at the screen for long periods of time. Here I have both the Kindle Keyboard and Paperwhite outside in very bright sunlight. The Paperwhite is set at maximum brightness. There’s not much difference between the two displays. If you look carefully you can see that the Paperwhite shows slightly more contrast. Amazon states that it has 25 percent more contrast for sharper, darker text. But really, looking at them both, there’s not a lot of difference. Here, in much less sunlight, You can’t even make out that slight difference in contrast anymore. And the Paperwhite is still at maximum brightness. Back indoors, Again, you don’t see much difference between the displays. And that’s at maximum brightness. If I bring the Paperwhite’s brightness right down to the lowest level, You can see that there’s still little difference between the two displays. Let’s take a look at the difference in display sharpness though. The Paperwhite has a pixel density of 212ppi compared to the 167ppi of previous Kindles. And that’s 62 percent more pixels on screen for the Paperwhite. If you look at text, At the same font settings on both, The Paperwhite has a bit more content fitting onto the screen. You can see the difference at maximum font size on both. Better resolution though really comes across in images, Like the book covers on the homescreen. It gives the e-reader a more modern, tablet-like look. What about reading in the dark? Until now you needed an external light for the Kindle, Either a stand alone one, or one built into the Kindle’s cover. The problem here though is the light doesn’t illuminate the screen evenly, So it’s useable but not the ideal solution. The Paperwhite solves this with it’s built in light. At low brightness, it’s quite readable, But the light doesn’t glare out, so you won’t be disturbing anyone else in the room, And also, no eye strain. This is the recommended light setting for reading in the dark. You won’t need to set it at medium brightness for reading in the dark. There’s more light glare here. You can also see the shadowing between the individual LEDs by the bottom bezel. Maximum brightness is much too bright for dark rooms. It’s the recommended setting for well-lit places. If you compare the Fire HD and Paperwhite at maximum brightness in the dark, You can see the difference between an LCD and an e-ink display. The LCD is just glaringly bright. Even at maximum brightness, the e-ink will be gentler on the eyes. At medium brightness on both, Again the glare from the LCD is too much for long term reading. When both are set to the lowest brightness level, The LCD glare is less, but you’ve still got a lot of light coming out, And so the Paperwhite’s display wins here for reading in the dark comfortably, And being gentler on the eyes, The Paperwhite also has the advantage of being light and comfortable to hold for long periods of time. I also like the textured feel of the Paperwhite’s display, More like paper than the smooth glass of tablets. And of course, it has battery life unmatched by any tablet. The Paperwhite has capacitive touch, And it’s faster than the infrared touch of other similar e-readers. It’s a step closer to a tablet-like experience. It’s also the reason why the Paperwhite is thinner than the previous generation Kindle Touch. The Paperwhite’s touch screen is more responsive than the Kindle Touch’s, But if you’re used to a phone’s or tablet’s touchscreen, The Paperwhite won’t feel as snappy as these. Much of it is because the processor doesn’t have the power to push those pixels around like a tablet’s does. But also the e-ink display itself has a slow refresh rate compared to LCD. You’ll see the slow refresh when you swipe to turn pages. There’s always a ghosting of the previous page as the new one is rendered. The entire screen flashes every six page turns. This is a refresh feature that flashes every pixel white, then black, then white again to normalize the contrast. Officially, the Paperwhite has up to eight weeks of battery life, If used for half an hour daily, at 50 percent brightness, and wi-fi turned off. But of course it’ll all depend on your use. I’ve been using it a lot over the past week, With wi-fi constantly on, And brightness set at maximum a lot of the time, And there’s still more than three quarters battery charge left. The homepage shows the ebooks you have in the cloud or on the device. There are also suggestions for ebooks you may like. The three bars in the top right corner is the contextual menu. Choosing ‘shop in the Kindle store’ will take you to the storefront. There you can browse the different categories, See what’s featured, and the Editor’s picks. Amazon has the best ebook selection around, so you’ve plenty to choose from. If you go into a book’s information page, You can read the synopsis, try a sample chapter, or buy it. The storefront has it’s own contextual menu. Tap the home icon to return to the homepage. You can see all your ebooks in ‘list view’ if you prefer, Or stick with cover view. You have several options on the settings page, From managing your details, To changing device settings and information. Again, settings has its own contextual menu. The experimental browser should only be used if you don’t have a phone or tablet handy. It’s slow and sluggish due to the lack of power and e-ink’s slow refresh rate. But if you’re desperate to get online, it’s useable. You’ll need a wi-fi connection to use it though, not just 3G. You’ll see the mobile versions of websites by default, But you can switch this to desktop view if you want. When you’re reading a book, you get several options. There are six font choices first of all, Along with different font sizes and settings. You can highlight text by dragging over it, Then you get the option to share it, or add a note. Tapping to add a note brings up the keyboard. This isn’t as responsive as a tablet’s keyboard, but it’s alright for quick notes. To look up a word’s meaning, just long press to bring up the dictionary. Viewing PDFs on the Paperwhite is another case of do so only if desperate, Just like the experimental browser. It’s not easily readable. You can pinch to zoom and increase the text size, But it’s a jerky, slow response. Same with trying to scroll around the screen. The contextual menu gives the option to view in landscape mode, And I find this easier to read for PDFs. You can also increase the contrast, And at maximum contrast I find it makes it much more readable. The Paperwhite comes with a microUSB to USB cable, Which you can use to charge from your computer. You’ll need to buy a separate USB power adapter if you want to charge from the mains, Or use one that you may have lying around. The microUSB cable also works for document transfer from the computer. The Paperwhite is recognised as an external USB drive when it’s connected. You can make your own folders here and drag and drop documents. On the PC, you can view files in Explorer to see the documents folder. Same in a Mac, everything shows up as folders and is easily accessed. Ubuntu Linux also recognises it immediately and shows the folders inside. I was really excited when the original Kindle Touch came out, But the Kindle Paperwhite is the Kindle that I’ve been waiting for. Yes, there are some negatives. The fact that there’s no audio; you’ll need to buy a separate USB power adapter; But really, I think the good outweighs all this. You’ve got a sharper display, with a built-in light. The capacitive touchscreen won’t rival a tablet’s, But it’s much better than other e-readers’ infrared touchscreens. Overall performance is fast for a dedicated ebook reader.