Kindle is awesome. Period. I keep one within my hands’ reach 90% of time - most likely it’s the most critical everyday use item I have - I can surely manage w/o fridge, microwave, even phone, but I can’t imagine life w/o Kindle. To be precise - in my case it’s rather plural (Kindle_s), as I buy another Kindle every 2 generations: I started with 2nd gen (1st gen wasn’t available officially in Poland), then I swapped it with Touch and now I’ve got my brand new, shiny Kindle Paperwhite 2nd gen. That’s why I’ll focus (in this, short review) on emphasizing differences between what I was using so far (Kindle Touch) and what I experience now.
There’s not much to be said about the service (ordering, delivery, packaging, etc.) - Amazon shines here as it always did. Absolutely zero reasons to complain, everything is well planned and optimized, so there was no issue with laying my hands on my own Kindle just 1 day after it was officially released in US.
Hardware - the outlook
It’s slightly lighter and more compact, this look’n’feel is even more persistent, because Amazon removed the only remaining button from the front face. The display is amazing - contrast is significantly better and the resolution is slightly better, which makes any reasonable difference only to those who prefer really small fonts.
The backlight is pretty much flawless - very regular and uniform, can be very precisely adjusted.
As the general dimensions are slightly different than for Touch (and other older Kindles), you should get a new cover as well - and those are (IMHO) a bit too expensive. OTOH they look solid and this time Amazon really made sure that nothing will break - you embed whole Kindle in spoutish cover, so it fits perfectly (and is quite hard to remove).
Can’t say much about the battery yet - I have the device for just few days.
The accuracy of the touch screen didn’t change - it’s acceptable and precise enough, but it was never an issue: it’s an e-book reader, not a tablet.
Still, there are some reasons to complain:
- New Kindle has got reduced internal storage, by most than a half. It’s clearly stated on Amazon webpage, but to be honest I didn’t bother to check such details - for me it’s completely obvious that vendors add more storage, not decrease it. It’s not a big deal, because you still have about 1.5 GB for books, but for me it’s far below what I need to keep my whole library with me.
- If you sometimes use your Kindle with and sometimes without cover, the new cover is not for you - it’s not designed in a way that helps with frequent removing the reader.
- Software pretty much didn’t change. It’s still what we had access to in previous versions of Kindle. Is it really that hard to at least add some new fonts?
- Amazon does nothing to “refresh” the design of Kindle readers - they look pretty much the same since 2nd gen and it got a little bit boring.
If you own previous version of Kindle with a reasonable contrast (Touch or later) swapping to Paperwhite won’t be a gamechanger for you. Unless you’re a parent who has small children - in this case you’ll bless the backlight everyday (erm, I mean - every night).