Before we get into other details of our Kindle Paperwhite 3G review, let’s quickly see why it continues to be the world’s best-selling e-reader. Kindle had been always very popular. When kindle was first released in the United States on November 19, 2007, the response was overwhelming. The entire production of kindle was sold out in five hours and it remained out of stock for approximately 5 months.
It’s very popular because they streamlined many latest innovations including the famous E Ink Display. This E Ink technology makes the ability to read books from a device like real paper print possible with no eyestrain. Then we witness E-reader race in the following years among reputed brands such as Amazon, Sony, Barnes & Noble and Kobo all using E Ink technology.
However, in the year 2010-11, Tablet became even more popular with the pioneering company like Apple and its iPad making every possible breakthrough for an ultimate portable multitasking device. It is nice to read books or magazines with colorful illustrations which are not so with E Ink E-readers. The chances of E-readers surviving on the market into the 2012 holiday seasons seemed weak. But guess what? They did it again to recreate the same excitement and success story with E Ink ‘Pearl’ display.
E Ink Pearl display was a wonderful thing to happen with better display contrast and resolution. But the problem with any E Ink device is that you can’t read in the dark as it does not illuminate like LCD or LED. You need a reading light to read in the dark which is not always comfortable.
Amazon released Kindle Paperwhite on October 1, 2012 ,making headlines again. This Kindle Paperwhite includes built-in light display that will illuminate the screen evenly and is adjustable. The display comes with a pixel density of 221 ppi (pixel per inch) and a resolution of 758×1024. During the launch event the CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, emphasized on the patented built-in light technology as an outcome of four years of research & development. Well, you got to believe him when you compare side by side between Nook Touch with GlowLight and Kindle Paperwhite.
Improved and New Technologies with Kindle PaperWhite 3G
The PaperWhite Patented Built-in Light Technology
You can say that this innovative Patented Built-in light technology is the dealmaker for this e-reader and an edge over its predecessors as well as other dedicated e-readers. Unlike the reading light that usually fails to illuminate evenly on the screen, this PaperWhite illuminates the entire display screen evenly. This is a much-awaited feature by every booklover. Amazon flattens out fiber optic cable into a sheet and incorporates LEDs to entirely and evenly distribute light on the displays
How does PaperWhite Patented built-in light help?
You can read in the dark or in the bed at night without disturbing others, also PaperWhite screen actually enhances your reading experience in a bright lid environment or outdoor. What it does is that when you read in a bright lid environment with the light setting high the display screen matches up the surrounding brightness for better reading experience. On the contrary, you should keep the light setting low while reading in a dark room to match the surrounding which comforts your eyes and enhance the reading experience. Confusing? Yeah, it is confusing but it works!
The PaperWhite LEDs are always on to enhance reading experience as explained by Amazon, but it won’t diminish the battery lifespan if you keep the light setting at 10 or less. The brightness of the screen can be adjusted from a scale of 0-24.
Improved Display Screen
E Ink has gotten much better over the years which become even more evident when you do side-by-side comparison between (basic) Kindle and Kindle PaperWhite. According to Amazon the PaperWhite is 25% higher contrast than its predecessor with higher pixel density. Kindle and Kindle Keyboard 3G offers only 167 pixels per inch as compared to 212 pixels per inch of Kindle PaperWhite. The result is crisp and sharp text even for the smallest font.
If you own Kindle or Kindle Keyboard don’t expect a major improvement. You might not even notice it unless you use the smallest font while comparing.
To incorporate built-in light Amazon uses three layers for the PaperWhite screen display – light guide, touch screen and the E Ink display. There’s the chance of getting not so responsive touch interface. Yet, the touch interface is very responsive and even better than Kindle Touch, the previous generation. It is now faster and more responsive.
Actually, there is no room for complaint in regards to battery life with any E Ink readers. But with the inclusion of built-in light there were speculations of possible poor battery life. Amazingly, based on 30 minutes of daily reading you can still get up to 8 weeks of battery life with the wireless off and brightness set to 10 or less. This is the same battery life as Kindle Keyboard which comes without the built-in light.
Time to Read
This is a new feature for PapaerWhite that study and predict how long you’ll take to finish reading a chapter or the book based on your reading speed which is constantly updated as per your reading speed and habits. This is an ingenious idea and very useful in assessing the approximate time to finish a book.
Old Good Features That Were Retained
When you purchase a Kindle e-book, Amazon includes some pre-installed details about specific person, locations, fictional characters, subjects or concepts. Needless to say the details will differ by book.
This preloaded information is accessible using Kindle Touch X-ray function by going to the menu from any page. It will help you to view all of the passages throughout a book or a novel that mention fictional characters, places, historical figures or ideas. This is an exclusive feature of kindle e-reader and as Amazon puts it – X-ray lets you explore the ‘bones of the book’.
The Whispersync feature equipped the device with the ability to jump on any device and pick up from wherever you left off reading the last time. It will synchronize your bookmarks and annotations across your devices which is very nice. Synchronization works easier and faster with 3G connectivity. With the Wi-Fi, you may need to sign in and search for a network before you can sync.
Webkit for Basic Browsing
Unlike most of the other dedicated e-reader, you can do basic browsing with Webkit via Wi-Fi connectivity. Though this is an experimental feature it is nice that you can quickly check your mail or the web without switching device. However, you can’t access Webkit over 3G. The only two places you can access over 3G is Kindle Store and Wikipedia. This is why Amazon can safely say 3G is free.
Kindle Paperwhite WI-Fi
CLICK HERE TO BUY – Rs. 10,999/-
Kindle Paperwhite WI-Fi + 3G
CLICK HERE TO BUY – Rs. 13,999/-
Other features that influence your reading experience
Apart from the main features that makes Kindle PaperWhite truly a path-breaking E-reader there are other features worth mentioning. The ergonomic design of Kindle PaperWhite makes it easy to hold the device in one hand for long-form reading and it’s lighter than a paperback.
You got 6 hand-tuned fonts and 8 adjustable font sizes to suit your needs. It can hold up to 1,000 books with its internal memory which is like carrying your personal library wherever you go. In fact if you need more space you can simply archived your books on Amazon Cloud and re-download anytime you need for free. You get unlimited Cloud access for books you purchased on Kindle Store.
When you are not sure of the book you want to buy, simply read the first chapter for free and see if it meets your expectations. Amazon Prime members can borrow one book in a month for free with no due dates and select from over 180,000 titles. Kindle customers can also borrow books from over 10,000 public libraries in the States. This feature will work not just for your kindle device but any supported devices with kindle App.
If you like you may also lend your books to friends and families who owns Kindle or Kindle app devices for a period of 14 days. Reading Kindle books is not just limited to the Kindle device you may sync and read from your iPad, iPhone, Android devices, Blackberry, laptop, Mac or Pc using the free Kindle App.
To download a book on your Kindle is very easy and it takes less than a minute to download straight from the Kindle. There is no waiting which is great.
To turn pages you don’t need to swipe but just a light tap is all it need. Looking up for definition is easy with Kindle built-in dictionary. You may even enjoy instant dictionary lookups in supporting languages such as Spanish, French, German, Italian, Simplified Chinese, Japanese and Brazilian Portuguese.
I like the Kindle ability to show ‘Real Page Numbers’ matching to the real page numbers in a print book. This feature will be particularly helpful for any citations and references.
Difference Between Kindle PaperWhite free 3G + Wi-Fi and Kindle PaperWhite Wi-Fi only
The primary difference is their connectivity. Kindle PaperWhite Wi-Fi model can connect to the internet only through Wi-Fi connection whereas Kindle paperWhite Wi-Fi + 3G model can connect to the internet via free 3G as well as Wi-Fi connection. The 3G model has a global wireless coverage of more than 100 countries and territories.
The other difference is their weight. Kindle PaperWhite Wi-Fi only weigh 206 gram and Kindle Wi-Fi + 3G weigh 217 gram. There is hardly any difference to make you feel lighter. Finally, there is a price difference of Rs. 3000/- between the two versions.
Is Kindle PaperWhite a Good Choice For Your Children?
If you want your kids to read just books with no web surfing ability like the tablet, you bet this is a good choice. Web surfing with Kindle PaperWhite is very slow and very much an experimental feature. No one will want this as their primary device to surf websites. Moreover, you can even restrict access to Kindle Store, Amazon Cloud and web browsing with Parental Controls, taking full controls of what your kids can do with their Kindle.
As mentioned earlier, there is no audio support with Kindle PaperWhite and if your kids like audio books or need text-to-speech feature the option is Kindle Keyboard.