Amazon Kindle Paperwhite Unboxing and First Impressions (Video)

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It sounds nice when you say it: “paperwhite”. The new eReader from Amazon is one of the biggest changes to the Kindle line of devices yet. The Paperwhite features a higher-resolution display, which uses capacitive touch, unlike previous Kindles which had a lower-resolution display with a less precise screen input technology. But perhaps the biggest change to the new flagship Kindle is the inclusion of a front-light that, like the B&N Nook Glowlight, causes the screen to “glow” without the harshness of an LED bulb that you might currently be using with a Kindle. The backlight is adjustable to suit the darkness of the room (though auto-brightness would be a nice option). You can buy a Paperwhite for $119 (with special offers) or $139 (without special offers) for the WiFi version, or $179/$199 if you want 3G connectivity (with/without special offers, respectively).

First impressions:

  • The Paperwhite is remarkably comfortable in-hand. It’s weighted just right, has a nice soft-touch plastic on the back, and it has just the right amount of bezel
  • While the screen doesn’t look significantly more clear than the last Kindle Touch (and it should, given the higher resolution), contrast has been bumped quite a lot
  • The front-light is perfect in low or no-light situations
  • The capacitive touch screen makes highlighting much less frustrating than it was on the last-generation Kindle Touch
  • I’m missing the home button! It’s annoying to have to cue up the top menu to go back home, but most people probably seldom go back home
  • The ugly gray color at the bottom of the screen with the light turned on was actually a shadow. False alarm!
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About The Author
Brandon Miniman
Brandon is a graduate from the Villanova School of Business, located near Philadelphia, PA. He's been a technology writer since 2002, and, in 2005, became Editor-in-Chief of Pocketnow, a then Windows Mobile-focused website. He has since helped to transition Pocketnow into a top-tier smartphone and tablet publication. He's so obsessed with technology that he once entered a candle store and asked if they had a "new electronics" scent. They didn't.