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).
- 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!