Amazon Kindle Paperwhite – key features explained
What is the Kindle Paperwhite?
The latest ebook reader from Amazon, the Kindle Paperwhite is an update to the Kindle Touch range featuring a touchscreen and – for the first time – a built-in light for reading in the dark.
The Paperwhite is available to pre-order now for £109 – or £169 for the 3G version – and is expected to be sent out on November 12. And if you’re planning on buying an ebook reader, don’t forget to read our guide to buying the best ebook reader and our interactive guide to ebook features.
1. All new screen
While the new light is likely to get more attention the feature that is likely to make the biggest difference is the Paperwhite’s new screen. This has 62% more pixels than the same sized screen on the Kindle Touch, making it much more detailed and should make text appear sharper.
It also has a whiter colour to the screen rather than the grey of previous Kindles, improving contrast by 25% and making text easier to read.
2. Built-in light
If you plan to do a lot of reading in bed and don’t want to keep a bedside lamp on then the new built-in light will definitely come in handy.
By having the light shine on the screen rather than having a backlit display, it keeps all the advantages of an e-ink screen – readable in bright sunlight and doesn’t cause eyestrain – while also being able to use it in the dark.
According to Amazon it has been working on the light for two years and its ‘nanoscale optical diffractive patterns’ provide an even spread of light, which is not possible with a book light or lighted cover.
You can also adjust the brightness to help save on battery and ensure you don’t interrupt anyone’s sleep.
3. Lending library
As part of Amazon’s Prime service users will get access to the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. When this launches users will be able to borrow one book a month free (with no due-dates) , from a library of over 200,000 books – including all 7 Harry Potter books.
This is a nice touch, although with Amazon Prime costing £49 a year it doesn’t come cheap – but you do get free one day delivery with all your Amazon purchases.
4. Can store 1,100 books – but less than the Kindle Touch
The Paperwhite has room for storing up to 1,100 books at once thanks to its 2GB of internal storage. While this should be more than enough for anyone, like other Kindles you can’t expand this using a memory card and it is actually smaller than the previous version, which had 3GB of storage available to the user.
5. 8 week battery life
Even with the light on Amazon claims you can get 8 weeks of use out of a single charge – based on half an hour’s use each day, with the brightness set to 10 and wireless turned off. This is pretty impressive, especially as other ebook readers claim around a month’s use with the light on.
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