E reader paperwhite kindle

Our Favorite Kindle, the Paperwhite, Got Even Better

Amazon’s Kindles aren’t quite as innovative as other new consumer electronics. This is a good thing. A Kindle shouldn't have a Twitter app to distract you from the book you’re reading, nor does it need Alexa to squawk at you after launching an Audible book. Kindles have been rightly limited to an E-Ink display, the ability to buy more media from Amazon, and your own joy of reading.

The new Kindle Paperwhite, available today, takes those essential features and makes them better. It’s the fourth generation of the Paperwhite, and it falls squarely between the less expensive Kindle and the pricey Kindle Oasis in Amazon’s e-reader lineup. The $130 Paperwhite is the best selling Kindle ever, and all signs point to this new one helping Paperwhite maintain its Most Popular status. It has a sleeker design, more storage, an updated processor—and now it’s waterproof.

While Kindle hasn’t adopted the technologies we’ve seen creep into all of our other new gadgets (OLED displays! voice assistants! multi-lens cameras!), it has improved. I’ve been using the new Paperwhite for the past six days while traveling, and it has worked great. I haven’t been able to test Amazon’s “six weeks” battery life claim yet, but I can tell you I’ve been using it for days and it’s still 60 percent charged.

Read Between the Lines

The new Kindle Paperwhite’s looks are still largely uninspiring, but the design has been refined. The previous Paperwhite had a recessed display, which meant there was a tiny cliff leading from bezel to screen. On the new Paperwhite, the bezel is flush with the display. It has a smooth, unobtrusive front design.

Pool lovers and bathtub readers will greatly appreciate the addition of waterproofing to the Paperwhite.

It has the same 6-inch, black-and-white, 300 ppi (pixels per inch) display as the previous generation, but the new Paperwhite adds an additional LED light. Owners of the previous Paperwhite complained that it had obvious shadows when you popped up the display’s brightness, and they were right. This was especially noticeable near the bottom of the device, where there was a gap in the LEDs. As I look at the new Paperwhite right now, with the display brightness set to 100 percent, I see no noticeable bruises on the display.

Most Kindles are infinitely holdable, but this one is even more so: Amazon says it’s 10 percent thinner and lighter than the last Paperwhite. I was only able to do a brief side-by-side comparison of the two models, so I can’t say whether this makes a huge difference over a long period of time.

But I can say that the new Paperwhite, on its own, is comfortable to hold in the hand for an extended period of time. If you opt for a model with both WiFi and LTE radios, it will be slightly heavier. Amazon’s fabric-and-plastic accessory case also adds more weight, and extracting the Kindle from the case is still a nail-breaking activity, but a case is worth it for the extra protection.

Speaking of protection, this new Paperwhite is waterproof, up to two meters for 60 minutes. It took Amazon a decade to waterproof the Kindle; the second-generation Kindle Oasis, which came out last fall, was the first Kindle with this claim. Now that Kindles are waterproofed, there’s no turning back. Pool lovers and bathtub readers will greatly appreciate this addition to the Paperwhite.

Balanced Books

The Paperwhite now ships with a minimum of 8 gigabytes of internal storage, double what it shipped with before, and goes up to 32 gigabytes of storage if you’re willing to cough up $160 (that’s for a version of the Paperwhite that shows you ads). Amazon says this means you can download “thousands of books,” for those who want to attempt such a thing.

While the new Paperwhite features the same amount of low-power RAM as previous Kindle models, its processor has been updated. But here’s where the Kindle stutters, and would make those used to reading on a tablet frustrated. Page turning on the Paperwhite is fine, but waking up the device can take five seconds or longer, which feels endless. Typing in a WiFi password on the Paperwhite’s “experimental” browser, so you can download an Audible book, is painful. The Paperwhite froze up entirely—twice—when I encountered the photo-filled middle section of the book The Wave.

This Kindle also offers the option to listen to Audible, following suit with last year’s Oasis. Based on my relatively brief experience using Audible (I prefer to read text than listen), it works fine. It doesn’t have any speakers, though, so you’ll need Bluetooth headphones to listen to books.

The software experience has also been improved with the release of this new hardware, and includes new features that will roll out to all Kindles. Amazon’s long-standing Whispersync feature, which ensures your page location, bookmarks, and highlights are synced across all of your devices with the Kindle app, is there. But Amazon has now found more ways to recommend books to you on the home page (Amazon gonna Amazon).

One of my favorite new features is the ability to custom name a preset with a certain font type and size. So when I read the Kindle while running on a hotel treadmill this week, I could go into the Page Display dropdown menu, tap on the “Treadmill” preset I created, and pop the font up to a larger size. Actually creating the preset is a little klugy—you have to set the font first, and then name it and save it rather than indicating you want to create a preset and then creating it—but you can set up to five of these.

The real question, of course, is how the new Paperwhite compares to the top-of-the-line Kindle Oasis. Should you even consider the Oasis? It's pricier, yes—but the Oasis has the largest and brightest display with the most LED lights, and its back is made of aluminum. In addition to its touchscreen, it has page-turn buttons; the Paperwhite only has the touchscreen. The Oasis also has built-in ambient sensors that automatically change the display’s brightness as you move into different lighting environments.

But the new Paperwhite, with its lighter design, waterproofing, and support for Audible, has caught up to the Oasis in some key areas. As I was using the new Paperwhite, I had no sense of FOMO or thoughts of wanting to upgrade to the Oasis instead. And again, the new Paperwhite costs a lot less. You can use the extra bucks instead to buy more stuff on Amazon, which has always been the most clever part of Amazon’s hardware design.


Kindle vs. Kindle Paperwhite vs. Kindle Voyage: Which E-Reader Should You Choose?

In 2007 Amazon released the first Kindle e-reader. It only had enough room for 200 books and cost $399, but it sold out in just over five hours. Today there are four different versions of the Kindle: the standard Kindle, the Paperwhite, the Voyage, and the Oasis. The standard Kindle starts at just $60, and, depending on the model, they can hold several thousand books. But which one of these e-readers is right for you?

The Basics

There are several things all four of the e-readers have in common. Kindles all have access to over five-million titles from Amazon. They all include WiFi capability to download the books. The screens are all glare-free, and they all use Bookerly font, which Amazon claims helps you “read faster with less eye strain.” The batteries for each model can last for weeks depending on the features you use.

Each model also charges more for the removal of “special offers” from the lock screen. In other words, pay extra, and you don’t get any advertisements. These ads only appear on the lock screen and don’t interfere in any way with your reading.

The Base Model Kindle

A basic Kindle has a 6-inch screen with 167 ppi resolution. There are no built-in lights on this Kindle, so you can only read it during the day or in a brightly lit area. It has a built-in Audible capability, so you can use Bluetooth to listen to audiobooks you bought from Amazon’s Audible.

Kindle Paperwhite

The Paperwhite improves on the base model Kindle with 300 ppi resolution which makes the display twice as sharp. The darker blacks and whiter whites improve readability, especially if you read comics or graphic novels which often have tiny text. Four LED lights create a diffused illumination across the screen.

The current generation of Paperwhites do not support Audible, so you aren’t able to use this e-reader for both print and audiobooks if that’s something you need.

Beginning with this model of the Kindle, Amazon offers free 3G connectivity to download books. You pay a little more for the device up front, but you will be able to download books from almost anywhere.

Kindle Voyage

The Voyage is a lighter and slimmer model of the Kindle Paperwhite. It has the same screen size and resolution as the Paperwhite but has a flush glass panel instead of plastic. There are six LED lights instead of four, but it improves the lighting even further by adding an adaptive light sensor so the brightness changes based on your environment. This model also adds Pagepress, allowing you to tap haptic controls on the side of the reader to turn the pages. The previous two models only use the touchscreen to turn the pages.

Kindle Oasis

The newest model of the Kindle is the Oasis. The Oasis has all the features of the previous models including a 12-LED lighting system, optional 3G access, and Audible capabilities. It adds a handgrip with haptic page-turning controls to the side of a bigger 7-inch screen for easy one-handed use. Also, unlike any of its predecessors, the Oasis is waterproof.

Which Kindle Is for You?

If you are only beginning to use e-readers, either the Kindle or the Paperwhite may be right for you. Only the Kindle has the Audible capability, but the Paperwhite has better resolution, adds the light, and the optional 3G access for about $40 more.

If you already own a Kindle and are looking to upgrade, there is no reason to spend the money on another Kindle. They are pretty much the same as they’ve always been, so it’s not much of an upgrade. If you want to upgrade your base Kindle, look at the Paperwhite to add the features mentioned above.

The Kindle Voyage is about double the price of a Paperwhite and adds the adaptive light sensor, the haptic page controls, and a glass panel instead of plastic. It is lighter and thinner than the other versions, but you will have to decide if those options are worth the price.

If you are a frequent e-reader user or read a lot of graphic novels on one, the Oasis may be right for you. It’s the best of all the other models rolled into one. It does carry a pretty hefty price tag, but the added features, including waterproofing, may be well worth it.

Image credit: Origami Portrait, Kindle Oasis

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Is Kindle Oasis Really Better Than All-New Paperwhite 2018?

Holding your whole library of books in the palm of your hand has been a reality for many years now.

Since the first e-reader debuted, the range of devices up for grabs has continued to grow. While you are spoiled for choice, the best of the best e-reader manufacturers has to be Amazon with its unbeatable line of Kindles.

Of course, which Kindle you should buy is largely dependent on your personal preferences.

Luckily, this article will help you determine the Kindle that you need by comparing a pair of awesome Kindles, Kindle Oasis and  Kindle Paperwhite.

The Specs: Kindle Oasis

At 3.4 mm thick, this is Amazon’s smallest e-reader, but don’t let the size fool you. It is so light too at just 4.6 ounces that you might as well be holding a piece of paper, ideal for those prolonged reading sessions.

There’s a charging case thrown in for your added convenience. Oasis has the longest battery life of any Kindle. There are additional backlights for enhanced lighting, and the resolution is 300 pixels per inch. Amazon has really gone above and beyond what you might expect from an e-reader.

Kindle Oasis uses the current Kindle operating system which has made it easier than ever to adjust settings or access the books you want to read. There are also now page-turning buttons.

The appearance of the Oasis is kind of lopsided upon first glance but once you begin to use the device, you’ll see why it was designed that way. There’s more space on the left side of the device for your hand to grip it one-handed as you read. This is a wonderful addition if you’ve previously struggled with your hand hitting the screen and changing the view unexpectedly. With this new arrangement, the device is ideal whether you’re right-handed or left-handed. It simply adjusts automatically to however you hold it.



Reading on this device is very different from reading on a tablet or your cell phone. The E Ink display is unparalleled in terms of both readability and aesthetics. It truly is a pleasure to hold and read.

With the leather charging case (and all that extra battery power), it can last up to eight weeks on standby. It will see you good for many lengthy reading sessions without fumbling for the charger.

The Specs: All-New Kindle Paperwhite 2018

Enjoying a recent increase in screen resolution (now 300 pixels per inch), Kindle Paperwhite is a great e-reader at a very keen price point.

The basic makeup has undergone its first change in some time with the all-new Paperwhite now thinner than ever before while also enjoying an improved flush screen.

The great thing about the increase in resolution is how stark the ink looks when it shows words and images on this device. You can also load plenty of books and other media with its old 4GB of internal storage now uprated to 8GB.

The backlighting makes it look like you’re reading from a paper book for the purists out there.

Flipping between pages using the touch screen is quick and seamless apart from your finger occasionally bumping the edge of the beveled screen.


Battery life is pretty decent with Kindle Paperwhite too. You’ll get up to 8 weeks on a full charge. This translates to charging up far less frequently than with a normal tablet. Speaking of charging, it doesn’t come with an AC adapter but has a microUSB charger instead.

You’ll  enjoy the improved screen most of all with this model, especially if you’ve ever used any of the Kindle’s previous models and the full waterproofing is a great touch.

The E Ink used to display images and text puts Paperwhite head and shoulders above most tablets and other e-readers because you can use it in direct sunlight. That means you can slip the slimline device in your bag as you head for a beach vacation and catch up on all the reading you don’t get time for at home.

With all-new Paperwhite 2018, you’ll also be able to listen to audio books.

For the price, you’re getting all the functionality of pricier e-readers without needing to dig so deep.

Oasis vs All-New Paperwhite 2018

You have to ask yourself how much you’re willing to pay for an e-reader and how much you’re prepared to pay for what features.

One of the biggest niggles of the Kindle Oasis is the relatively high asking price for a straight-up e-reader. If you’re looking for a solid, basic e-reader at a decent price, you should go for the Paperwhite.

However, if your budget is a little more fluid, Kindle Oasis has the advantages of a uniform backlight, easy grip area, page-turning buttons and the charging case.

The best e-reader is definitely the Kindle Oasis, but if you’re budget conscious, the Kindle Paperwhite is not a disappointment by any stretch of the imagination.

The Paperwhite has the same resolution as the more expensive tablet, boasts outstanding battery life, and is incredibly light to hold.

What’s more, you can easily take this to the beach without having to worry about direct sunlight or any splashes of water.

In Summary

Reading books on tablets and phones is not a pleasing experience because of how harsh text looks on the bright white screen. Thankfully, E Ink technology makes Kindle Oasis and Kindle Paperwhite a pleasure to read on even for extended periods.

The battery life with either device will astonish you and might even encourage you to read more, perhaps picking up those e-books left languishing on your Kindle shelves.

There are certainly some advantages to the Kindle Oasis…

The added battery power in the case is a major draw, particularly if you use the Oasis while traveling. The lopsided design is another plus if you enjoy reading one-handed. However, the price is rather high for an e-reader.

The much cheaper Kindle Paperwhite commands impressive battery power, E Ink technology, a sound enough backlight and 300 pixels per inch resolution. The basics and a few nice extras are all there in this cheaper model and it is still far superior to any other manufacturer’s e-reader when it comes to battery life, readability, and function. In its 2018 guise, all-new Paperwhite is waterproof, too.

Reading on Kindle Paperwhite will look pretty much the same as it does on Kindle Oasis, perhaps with only a marked difference in the quality and amount of back lighting present.

Amazon makes fantastic e-readers either way you look at it, but in the end, Paperwhite is really the best overall option.

Drop us a line if you would like assistance with anything Kindle-related and we’ll be more than happy to help.

Come back soon!

Last updated by David Richardson at October 18, 2018.


Kindle Paperwhite (2018) review: The Kindle you should buy

Amazon’s updated Kindle Paperwhite is the perfect mix of all the brand’s e-readers. It combines the affordable price and durable body of the older Paperwhite with the Audible, Bluetooth and water-resistant features of the pricier Kindle Oasis.

If you’re on the hunt for an e-reader then the Kindle Paperwhite is absolutely the best way to go.

What is the Kindle Paperwhite (2018) Price

Kindle Paperwhite (2018) starts at £119.99/$129.99 with 8GB storage and what Amazon calls “Special Offers”. These are basically lock-screen ads, which can be disabled for £10/$10. £149.99/$159.99 will get you the 32GB model (£159.99/$169.99 without ads), and for £219.99/$249.99 there’s a 4G model with 32GB and no ads.

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If you pick up the 4G model, you’ll gain free access to the ebook store to download books wherever in the world you have signal. You can’t use this data to access the internet or download audiobooks.

Kindle Paperwhite (2018) – Design

Kindle’s aren’t flashy or ostentatious. There’s no design flair here, or multiple colour options – just a thin, light matte plastic body that feels great to hold, even for extended reading sessions.

Since the Kindle Paperwhite sits in the middle of Amazon’s lineup of reading devices, it lacks the more modern look of the Kindle Oasis. The Oasis has a metal body and sports sharp, curved lines; and while it looks better than the Paperwhite visually, I prefer the almost invisible nature of the latter.

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The Paperwhite’s soft plastic rear has slightly curved edges, helping it sit comfortably in your palm. It’s well weighted, too, with just enough heft to feel substantial.

I’ve been using the Paperwhite for an extended period, and through that time it’s been rubbing shoulders with other items in my full rucksack without so much as picking up a mark.

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It doesn’t feel like a piece of tech that requires protection. Of course, Amazon is selling a bunch of colourful cases to dress the new Paperwhite. There are a couple of leather options, too.

One thing you’ll certainly notice is just how easily the matte back picks up smudges and greasy fingerprints. It’s easy enough to wipe down, though, especially since the Paperwhite follows the Kindle Oasis by adding an IPX8 waterproof rating. This allows the device to survive being submerged into 2 metres of fresh water for an hour.

I love having a waterproof e-reader. Not because I want to leave it underwater for an hour, but for the ability to be able to read in the bath, or beside a pool, without the worry of it going to e-reader heaven should it fall in.

The Kindle Paperwhite sports only one button: a power switch that sits along its bottom edge. Next to it is a micro-USB connector for charging and a small indicator light that flashes when the device is plugged in.

A switch to USB-C – a newer, reversible connector seen on most new phones and laptops – would have been welcome; micro-USB feels almost antiquated at this stage. Still, you’ll likely have plenty such cables lying around.

More annoying is the lack of any page-turning buttons. The Paperwhite has always been a purely touchscreen device, and if you want that physical response to moving from page to page then you’ll have to pay more for the Kindle Oasis. I much prefer pressing a button than a screen to turn a page.

Kindle Paperwhite (2018) – Screen

The display on the 2018 Kindle Paperwhite now sits flush to the front, doing away with the gap that was previously visible.

This design change brings the Paperwhite in line with Oasis and the now-discontinued Kindle Voyage. Not only does this serve to give the e-reader a more modern feel, it also stops debris becoming stuck in the crevice between the screen and bezel.

Speaking of the bezel, the black border that runs around the 6-inch panel s fairly significant here. While it gives your thumbs somewhere to sit, it could have been trimmed slightly along the top and bottom.

The screen itself packs the same 300 pixels per inch resolution as the previous Paperwhite, and it remains fantastically sharp and readable. Text is crisp at any size, and since its an E Ink display – as opposed to LCD – it’s softer on the eyes, too. I struggle to read text on the screen of an iPad for any length of time, but this isn’t a problem here.

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The biggest reason for this type of screen being more comfortable for the eyes is the way it’s lit. The Paperwhite uses a front lighting system with a number of LEDs illuminating the screen from the sides.

It is possible to turn off this light completely, but in my experience, even if you’re in a bright room, a small amount of additional light makes it more enjoyable to read.

The Paperwhite includes a wide selection of brightness settings, with the display able to get bright enough for pretty much any situation. There’s no auto-brightness (a feature reserved for the Kindle Oasis), so this model doesn’t have the ability to automatically adjust the brightness for you.

Kindle Paperwhite (2018) – Software

Another of the 2018 Paperwhite’s headline features is support for Audible – the Amazon-owned audiobook store – and the pairing makes complete sense.

Audiobooks you own from Audible will appear alongside your textbooks and can be downloaded to the device. Access to the Audible store is also possible from the device. As such, if you own both the audiobook and then regular book then you can easily switch between the two through reading or listening.

Since the Paperwhite doesn’t have either a speaker or a headphone jack, you’ll need to connect it to a Bluetooth speaker or a pair of wireless headphones to listen to a book. During my time with the device, I didn’t ever experience any issues with connection or pairing – both were solid.

Most audiobooks require more space to store than ebooks. To offset this, Amazon has bumped up the storage on the Paperwhite. The default is now 8GB (rather than 4GB), which should comfortably be enough room for around 10 audiobooks. A 32GB option is available too.

If you’ve used a Kindle before then you’ll instantly feel at home with the Paperwhite, even though it uses a slightly updated version of the software. The homescreen has been expanded to display greater suggested content of regular books and audiobooks that Amazon’s algorithms believes you may like.

There are also a few new features that enhance the experience whilst you’re reading a book. Themes enables you to have a selection of font and text size presets easily accessible with a tap. This is great if your Kindle is a shared device, with your children or partner preferring different settings. For instance, you can set the font larger for your kids, and not have to recall the size you were using when the device is back in your hands.

All Kindle models, the Paperwhite included, are firmly attached to Amazon’s bookstore, and sideloading your own content remains a bit of a faff. There’s no native support for EPUB files and you won’t be able to load books from a library service.

Kindle Paperwhite (2018) – Battery life

Battery life on the Kindle Paperwhite 2018 varies wildly depending on how much you use it. Amazon claims you’ll get weeks from a single charge, which is correct if you’re reading for around 30 minutes a day.

However, I tend to read on both my morning and evening commute, which equates to roughly an hour a day. Under these conditions, the Paperwhite lost 45% of its charge in a week. If you have a particularly long day of reading, with the light turned up and Wi-Fi on, it’s possible to deplete the cell in only a few days.

Another feature to significantly impact battery life is LTE/4G. The Kindle Paperwhite 2018 has a cellular option and this will reduce your battery life considerably. If you pick up this version then I’d suggest switching the cellular connectivity off when you’re not using it.

When the Paperwhite does run out of juice it will take only 90 minutes to top-up to 100% via micro-USB. You only get a cable in the box, though, so you’ll need your own adapter or you could plug it into a laptop.

Why buy the Kindle Paperwhite (2018)?

If you’re looking to upgrade an older e-reader, or purchase your first such device, the Kindle Paperwhite is the obvious choice.

It’s far cheaper than the flashier Oasis, yet still sports a beautiful display, waterproof design and Audible support. Nor are you losing much in other areas outside of design.

The regular Kindle is cheaper at £49.99, but it lacks the lit display and many of the higher-end features that are present here.

For the ultimate e-reader at an impressive price, the 2018 Kindle Paperwhite is tough to beat.


The perfect package of all the best Kindle features for a great price. You won’t be disappointed.


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