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The Amazon Kindle is by far the most popular ebook readers, and they keep getting better. For years, Kindles remained pretty much the same: it was essentially 6-inch tablets with black and white E Ink screens encased in chubby and black plastic borders.
The first Kindle Oasis turned things upside down with its sleek and stylish design. The second-generation Oasis did better by being the first ever "waterproof" Kindle ever. For eBook enthusiasts, a Kindle that is water resistant enough to survive a two-hour sunbath in a tub of water was a prayer that was finally answered.
There was just one problem: the price.
The Kindle Oasis costs $ 250, while the Kindle Paperwhite costs $ 130 and the entry-level Kindle costs only $ 80. Even though a waterproof Kindle was nice, many people were hesitant about the big price jump.
Amazon seems to have heard the protests of Kindle owners all over the world and, in 2018, the company responded with the water-resistant Kindle Paperwhite.
During my last six years, I have tested many Kindle and ebook readers as a technology product reviewer, including the $ 80 Kindle, the oldest Paperwhite, the # 39; Oasis high-end and several readers of Kobo ebook, Amazon's main competitor in the sector. Although I firmly believe that the Oasis is really worth its high price and that it is my ebook reader of choice, I know that everyone does not have that kind of money to spend for an e-book reader.
I have been testing the Kindle Paperwhite 2018 for several months and I can confidently state that it is the best Kindle for your money and arguably the best ebook reader.
Here is my complete review.
Finally, a water-resistant Kindle that you can take to the beach
Let's start with the key design and specifications.
The biggest improvement over the new Kindle Paperwhite is that it is finally water resistant. Thanks to its IPX68 water resistance index, you can drop this Kindle in fresh water up to 30 minutes without destroying your e-book reader. This means that you can finally take it to the beach, pool or bath and read in peace.
The 2018 Paperwhite has the same 6-inch black-and-white E Ink screen as the previous version. The text is crisp and clear, thanks to the sharp resolution of 300 pixels per inch. Like all other Kindle, he has dark glasses quite thick and a pleasant feeling of grip. There is no page change button, so you only have the power button and the Micro USB charging port.
The e-book reader also has a built-in backlight that allows you to read in the dark without lighting. I find this feature particularly useful when I read at night because I do not have to worry about disturbing my partner. It is also interesting to read about flights when they turn off the lights on the ceiling. The backlight is the reason why I've never really liked the entry-level Kindle. Its lack of backlighting prevents any reading in the dark, which makes it more or less a physical book.
Beyond the screen, the most important specifications are the battery life and storage, and the Paperwhite has both – to perfection.
With the 8GB model, you can have thousands of ebooks on your Kindle. So most people will not even need the 32GB version. You can also connect the Paperwhite to a wireless headset or wireless speaker and listen to Audible audiobooks with new Bluetooth connectivity. .
Regarding the battery, if you read half an hour a day without power off and the lighting is set to 13 seconds, the battery should last six weeks. During testing, I found that the claim of the Amazon battery was completely accurate. The Paperwhite battery lasts a long time with normal use and I have rarely had to charge it.
If you increase the brightness or read more hours per day, the life of the battery obviously decreases. If you do not disable Wi-Fi by clicking on the small Airplane icon, you will lose the battery much faster and need to recharge faster. So you absolutely must turn on Airplane mode when you are not looking for ebooks on the Kindle Store. or download new ebooks.
The Bluetooth feature also exhausts the battery as it requires disabling Airplane Mode so your Kindle can connect to the headset or speaker. So if you're listening to audiobooks with your Kindle, you'll need to charge it more often.
Here are all the specifications and dimensions
- Screen: E 6-inch ink cartridge, built-in lighting, 300ppi, optimized font technology, 16-level gray scale
- Dimensions: 6.6 x 4.6 x 0.3 inches (167 x 116 x 8.18 mm)
- Weight: 6.4 ounces (Wi-Fi) or 6.8 ounces (LTE version)
- Storage room: 8GB or 32GB – contains thousands of books
- Battery life: 6 weeks, based on half an hour of reading a day with the wireless off and the lighting setting at 13 o'clock
- connectivity: Wi-Fi only or Wi-Fi with LTE; Bluetooth
- Supported ebook formats: Kindle Edition 8 (AZW3), Kindle (AZW), TXT, PDF, unprotected MOBI, native mode PRC; DOC, DOCX, JPEG, GIF, PNG, PMP by conversion; Audible audio format (AAX)
- sealing: IPX8 water resistance index, can withstand immersion in 2 meters of fresh water for 60 minutes
What is it like reading on the Kindle Paperwhite?
I have never thought that I would enjoy reading on an ebook reader. I was completely passionate about paper books until I became a technical journalist and found myself traveling all the time and still lacking room for books in my carry-on luggage. I started reading e-book readers and I just fell in love with myself.
The ebook reader that I converted was the Kindle Oasis, mainly because of its page-changing buttons and its slim design, which make it easy to enter and read with one hand. It's still my ultimate eBook reader, but the new Kindle Paperwhite is the one I would recommend to most people. I fully agree that the price of the Oasis costs $ 250 is too expensive for most people and that the Paperwhite offers just about all the same features for only $ 130.
Even though the page-change buttons I miss, the Paperwhite is a pleasure to read. Its grip is comfortable thanks to its thicker chewy cheeks and non-slip plastic back. It is easy to turn the pages of a simple touch of the finger and I can easily adjust the brightness, the font and the size of the text according to my preferences. I also like to highlight the quotes from the books I read and share them on Goodreads, the social network for readers, built into every Kindle.
Since I already use a Kindle, all my ebooks from my Amazon account automatically appeared on Paperwhite when I logged in with my e-mail address. I then chose those to download, waited for them to finish, and then turned on airplane mode to save battery power.
Amazon has tons of ebooks available, so you should be able to easily find most titles. If you want to get offers on ebooks, you can subscribe to BookBub, a free service that sends you a daily email with offers and discounts for ebooks.
You can also get a lot of free eBooks from a variety of sources. Prime subscribers can read a selection of free eBooks with Prime Reading, and anyone can browse all free Kindle eBooks on Amazon or view Project Gutenberg's free classics collection.
I also like getting ebooks in my local library, which is very easy to do with Libby or Overdrive applications. Simply log in to your library with your card number and PIN and search for Amazon compatible eBooks that can be borrowed. When you borrow the ebook, you can ask him to send it to your Kindle once you have logged into your Amazon account. The next time you connect to Wi-Fi with the Kindle, the library eBook will be downloaded.
You can learn how to get library eBooks on your Kindle and other interesting tips and tricks in my comprehensive guide to using a Kindle.
The bottom line
Amazon's new Kindle Paperwhite still has many of the same specifications as older Kindle Paperwhite eBook readers. The most important changes come from the addition of waterproofing, which allows you to take your Kindle to the beach or in the bathtub safely, without worrying about its moisture; and Bluetooth technology, which allows you to listen to Audible eBooks when you pair your Kindle with a Bluetooth headset or speaker.
Both of these changes are welcome and make the new Paperwhite a valuable upgrade for those of you who have older Kindle dating back several years. This is also the most complete Kindle you can buy at a price of $ 130. However, if you want to get a finer design and benefit from the page change buttons, you will have to spend $ 120 more to get the Kindle Oasis, the highest end ebook reader.
- Should you buy it? Yes. Unless you want to spend $ 120 more to get the thin design and the rotating page buttons of the Kindle Oasis, the Paperwhite is the best ebook reader you can buy.
- Which model should you obtain? We recommend the 8GB model because it contains thousands of ebooks and, if you ever go over the built-in storage, you can keep all your other ebooks in the cloud. If you really hate the ads on your lockscreen, you may want to pay extra for the ad-free version, but this is not necessary because the ads are not really intrusive.
- What are your alternatives? The other Kindle we recommend is the Oasis, but again, it will cost you $ 120 more. If you do not want to get an Amazon-based eBook Reader, we recommend the Kobo Aura H2O Edition 2. Kobo is Amazon's Top Competitor and Supports More Ebook Formats, Including Files EPUB. The Aura H2O Edition 2 is as water resistant as the Kindle Paperwhite and contains as many ebooks.
The Kindle Paperwhite is a great buy, and we highly recommend it. If you decide to buy the Paperwhite, I also have a complete guide on how to use your Kindle, especially on obtaining free ebooks and much more.
Advantages: Pretty water resistant to go to the beach, contains thousands of ebooks, has a backlight, supports many ebook formats, easy to use, huge ebooks library available, comfortable to hold, long battery life
The inconvenients: Not as cheap as the entry-level Kindle, not as thin as the Kindle Oasis, no page change buttons, the Amazon ebook format locks you