When we think of eBooks, a Kindle often comes to mind. In today’s test, we will check whether this is justified.
The coronavirus pandemic is slowly coming to an end, but when looking back, one thing has become popular again during the lockdown: reading. If you are not a big fan of big & heavy books and you don’t need the feeling of paper pages, you will probably use an e-reader sooner or later. With its Kindle series, Amazon has been offering such devices for years.
Processing: Solid And High Resolution
If we take the Kindle Paperwhite out of the packaging, one thing quickly becomes apparent: Despite the mandatory plastic frame, the device feels solid and very stable in the hand. Compared to the Tolino Vision 5, the Paperwhite gives the feeling that it can fall down once in a while. Nevertheless, there is one point of criticism: I have the feeling that I have to clean the Paperwhite regularly, as the material strongly attracts fingerprints.
The screen measures a diagonal of 6 inches (approx. 15 cm) and has a pixel density of 300 ppi. Content is displayed sharply, and reading in the sun is possible without large reflections. The display is well illuminated, depending on the time of day and the ambient lighting, I never had any difficulty continuing my books. The only drawback: The adjustment of the brightness and color temperature is reserved for the Amazon Kindle Oasis, I advise against buying the Paperwhite if you value something like this.
Shop: Amazon and Amazon Only
When buying e-books, the decision about the marketplace is made much easier for the customer. Simply because only books can be bought and downloaded via the company’s own online marketplace. Amazon also relies on the use of its own MOBI format and unfortunately does not use the widespread, open ePub standard. Although other formats can also be read with the Kindle, reading an e-book from Amazon only works with its own software.
Marketing via its own shop has one advantage though: We can also buy the audiobook via Audible and synchronize the current reading status (if available) – so it is possible to start with the book of choice in bed and just continue listening in the car. This is missing from other providers so far and brings the Kindle Paperwhite bonus points.
Software: Unadulterated User Experience
The Kindle Paperwhite also shows its strengths through the software its use. Navigating through the shop, viewing your own notes for each book or buying and downloading new e-books more smoothly than on any other device in this class. Also, positive and noteworthy: the display can be reversed, so if you don’t want to be exposed to your book in dark surroundings, you can change the background and font color (white text on a black background instead of black text on a white background).
You can also send files to Kindle using the email address from your Amazon account. PDFs or bigger documents can also be read using the e-reader. However, there is still one small drawback: In some cases, it takes quite a long time for the Kindle to wake up from sleep mode. This is not a big issue, but I would still like to see that there is hardly any difference between opening a book or kindle in terms of time in time.
Battery Life: No Power Socket, No Problem
If you can’t find a power outlet for a long time, that’s not a big problem for the Kindle Paperwhite. The reason is a sufficiently sized battery, which will last you about 3-4 months with half an hour of reading time per day. That is easily enough for everyday use, so you do not have to do without reading even during a 2-week vacation in the tent.
However, should the device take its last breath, the battery is fully charged within just under 3 hours. That is not particularly fast, but since the e-book is rather not an everyday item, the charging time is just acceptable.
Overall: Read – Anywhere You Want
The Kindle Paperwhite can easily be taken into the bathtub or (hopefully soon again) to the pool, just like any other book. Basically, the device is IPX 8 certified and can withstand up to 60 minutes in 2 meters of water. Depending on your needs, you can fall back on a built-in memory with 8 or 32 gigabyte capacity. Thus, you always have between 8,000 and 32,000 books at hand.
Synchronization with other devices also works flawlessly. You can easily browse your e-book in the morning and continue reading the story on your smartphone on the way to work. If you choose a Kindle with 32 gigabytes and a cellular connection, you can access your library, the store, or new books from anywhere.
Finally, I would like to say something about the financing model: Amazon sells the Kindle Paperwhite in 2 versions: “With advertising” and “Without advertising”. With the former, the price is slightly lower, but you will be shown offers on the home page of your Kindle, so you trade discount for advertising. This is certainly annoying for many people, so I would recommend the variant without advertising.
Conclusion: Still The Best E-Reader
Amazon looks back on over a decade with the Kindle, no wonder that the e-reader is one of the best of its kind. The reading flow is smooth, the storing of notes and the synchronization of the current reading status works flawlessly. However, the Kindle is not for people who support local booksellers and do not want to buy everything from Amazon.