Kindle PaperWhite 3G and Wi-Fi 2015 Review – Why Would You Buy Paperwhite ?

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What we like

  • Great E Ink Display with Paperwhite  built-in light technology
  • Remarkable battery life despite built-in light
  • Amazon’s massive selection of e-books
  • Portable and light

What we don’t like

  • No AC adapter
  • Need to pay for ad free version
  • No audio speakers

Our Score

Kindle Paperwhite WI-Fi only
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Kindle Paperwhite WI-Fi + 3G
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Screen Responsiveness
Build Quality
Usability
Weight
Easy On Eyes
Average

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 3G Review – The Best Kindle E-Reader So Far

Before we get into other details of our Kindle Paperwhite 3G review, let’s quickly see why it continues to be the world’s best selling e-reader. Kindle had been always very popular. When kindle was first released in the United States on November 19, 2007, the response was overwhelming. The entire production of kindle was sold out in five hours and it remained out of stock for approximately 5 months.

It’s very popular because they streamlined many latest innovations including the famous E Ink Display. This E Ink technology makes the ability to read books from a device like real paper print possible with no eyestrain. Then we witness E-reader race in the following years among reputed brands such as Amazon, Sony, Barnes & Noble and Kobo all using E Ink technology.

However, in the year 2010-11, Tablet became even more popular with pioneering company like Apple and its iPad making every possible breakthrough for an ultimate portable multitasking device. It is nice to read books or magazines with colorful illustrations which is not so with E Ink E-readers. The chances of E-readers surviving on the market into the 2012 holiday seasons seemed weak. But guess what? They did it again to recreate the same excitement and success story with E Ink ‘Pearl’ display.

E Ink Pearl display was a wonderful thing to happen with better display contrast and resolution. But the problem with any E Ink device is that you can’t read in the dark as it does not illuminate like LCD or LED. You need a reading light to read in the dark which is not always comfortable.

Amazon released Kindle Paperwhite on October 1, 2012 making headlines again. This Kindle Paperwhite includes built-in light display that will illuminate the screen evenly and is adjustable. The display comes with a pixel density of 221 ppi (pixel per inch) and a resolution of 758×1024. During the launch event the CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, emphasized on the patented built-in light technology as an outcome of four years of research & development. Well, you got to believe him when you compare side by side between Nook Touch with GlowLight and Kindle Paperwhite.

Improved and New Technologies with Kindle PaperWhite 3G

The PaperWhite Patented Built-in Light Technologyamazon-kindle-paperwhite-3g

You can say that this innovative Patented Built-in light technology is the dealmaker for this e-reader and an edge over its predecessors as well as other dedicated e-readers. Unlike the reading light that usually fails to illuminate evenly on the screen, this PaperWhite illuminates the entire display screen evenly. This is a much awaited feature by every booklovers. Amazon flattens out fibre optic cable into a sheet and incorporates LEDs to entirely and evenly distribute light on the displays

How does PaperWhite Patented built-in light help?

You can read in the dark or in the bed at night without disturbing others, also PaperWhite screen actually enhance your reading experience in a bright lid environment or outdoor. What it does is that when you read in a bright lid environment with the light setting high the display screen matches up the surrounding brightness for better reading experience. On the contrary, you should keep the light setting low while reading in a dark room to match the surrounding which comforts your eyes and enhance reading experience. Confusing? Yeah, it is confusing but it works!

The PaperWhite LEDs are always on to enhance reading experience as explained by Amazon, but it won’t diminish the battery lifespan if you keep the light setting at 10 or less. The brightness of the screen can be adjusted from a scale of 0-24.

Improved Display Screen

E Ink has gotten much better over the years which become even more evident when you do side-by-side comparison kindle-paperwhite-2between (basic) Kindle and Kindle PaperWhite. According to Amazon the PaperWhite is 25% higher contrast than its predecessor with higher pixel density. Kindle and Kindle Keyboard 3G offers only 167 pixels per inch as compared to 212 pixels per inch of Kindle PaperWhite. The result is crisp and sharp text even for the smallest font.

If you own Kindle or Kindle Keyboard don’t expect a major improvement. You might not even notice it unless you use the smallest font while comparing.

Touch Interface

To incorporate built-in light Amazon uses three layers for the PaperWhite screen display – light guide, touch screen and the E Ink display. There’s the chance of getting not so responsive touch interface. Yet, the touch interface is very responsive and even better than Kindle Touch, the previous generation. It is now faster and more responsive.

Battery Life

Actually, there is no room for complain in regards to battery life with any E Ink readers. But with the inclusion of built-in light there were speculations of possible poor battery life. Amazingly, based on 30 minutes of daily reading you can still get up to 8 weeks of battery life with the wireless off and brightness set to 10 or less. This is the same battery life as Kindle Keyboard which comes without built-in light.

Time to Read

This is a new feature for PaperWhite that study and predict how long you’ll take to finish reading a chapter or the book based on your reading speed which is constantly updated as per your reading speed and habits. This is an ingenious idea and very useful in assessing the approximate time to finish a book.

Old Good Features That Were Retained

Kindle Paperwhite WI-Fi

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Kindle Paperwhite WI-Fi + 3G

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X-Ray Feature

When you purchase a Kindle e-book, Amazon includes some pre installed details about specific person, locations, xray_kindlefictional characters, subjects or concepts. Needless to say the details will differ by book.

This preloaded information is accessible using Kindle Touch X-ray function by going to the menu from any page. It will help you to view all of the passages throughout a book or a novel that mention fictional characters, places, historical figures or ideas. This is an exclusive feature of kindle e-reader and as Amazon puts it – X-ray lets you explore the ‘bones of the book’.

Whispersync

The Whispersync feature equipped the device with the ability to jump on any device and pick up from wherever you left off reading the last time. It will synchronize your bookmarks and annotations across your devices which is very nice. Synchronization works easier and faster with 3G connectivity. With the Wi-Fi you may need to sign in and search for network before you can sync.

Webkit for Basic Browsing

Unlike most of the other dedicated e-reader, you can do basic browsing with Webkit via Wi-Fi connectivity. Though this is an experimental feature it is nice that you can quickly check your mail or the web without switching device. However, you can’t access Webkit over 3G. The only two places you can access over 3G is Kindle Store and Wikipedia. This is why Amazon can safely say 3G is free.

Other features that influence your reading experience

font-paperwhite

Apart from the main features that makes Kindle PaperWhite truly a path breaking E-reader there are other features worth mentioning. The ergonomic design of Kindle PaperWhite makes it easy to hold the device in one hand for long form reading and it’s lighter than a paperback.

You got 6 hand-tuned fonts and 8 adjustable font sizes to suit your needs. It can hold up to 1,000 books with its internal memory which is like carrying your personal library wherever you go. In fact if you need more space you can simply archived your books on Amazon Cloud and re-download anytime you need for free. You get unlimited Cloud access for books you purchased on Kindle Store.

When you are not sure of the book you want to buy, simple read the first chapter for free and see if it meets your expectations. Amazon Prime members can borrow one book in a month for free with no due dates and select from over 180,000 titles. Kindle customers can also borrow books from over 10,000 public libraries in the States. This feature will work not just for your kindle device but any supported devices with kindle App.

If you like you may also lend your books to friends and families who owns Kindle or Kindle app devices for a period of 14 days. Reading Kindle books is not just limited to the Kindle device you may sync and read from your iPad, iPhone, Android devices, Blackberry, laptop, Mac or Pc using the free Kindle App.

To download a book on your Kindle is very easy and it takes less than a minute to download straight from the Kindle. There is no waiting which is great.

To turn pages you don’t need to swipe but just a light tap is all it need. Looking up for definition is easy with Kindle built-in dictionary. You may even enjoy instant dictionary lookups in supporting languages such as Spanish, French, German, Italian, Simplified Chinese, Japanese and Brazilian Portuguese.

I like the Kindle ability to show ‘Real Page Numbers’ matching to the real page numbers in a print book. This feature will be particularly helpful for any citations and references.

Difference Between Kindle PaperWhite free 3G + Wi-Fi and Kindle PaperWhite Wi-Fi only

The primary difference is their connectivity. Kindle PaperWhite Wi-Fi model can connect to the internet only through Wi-Fi connection whereas Kindle paperWhite Wi-Fi + 3G model can connect to the internet via free 3G as well as Wi-Fi connection. The 3G model has a global wireless coverage of more than 100 counties and territories.

The other difference is their weight. Kindle Paperwhite Wi-Fi only weigh 7.5 oz and Kindle Wi-Fi + 3G weigh 7.8 oz. There is hardly any difference to make you feel lighter.

Is Kindle PaperWhite a Good Choice For Your Children?

kids-and-kindle

If you want your kids to read just books with no web surfing ability like the tablet, you bet this is a good choice. Web surfing with Kindle PaperWhite is very slow and very much an experimental feature. No one will want this as their primary device to surf websites. Moreover, you can even restrict access to Kindle Store, Amazon Cloud and web browsing with Parental Controls, taking full controls of what your kids can do with their Kindle.

As mentioned earlier, there is no audio support with Kindle PaperWhite and if your kids like audio books or need text-to-speech feature the option is Kindle Keyboard.

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How Does It Compare To Other Leading E-readers?

Nook Simple Touch Glowlight Vs Kindle PaperWhitepaperwhite-Vs-glowlight

Just like Amazon Kindle PaperWhite, the Nook Simple Touch Glowlight uses LEDs and patented fibre-optic technology to lid up its display evenly. Nook was the first device to come up with this idea of illumination on E Ink display. Kudos to Barnes & Noble for that!

Nook users were then envied by Kindle users, but now Kindle PaperWhite offers the same technology. Both Kindle PaperWhite and Nook Glowlight are excellent dedicated e-readers, but Kindle PaperWhite might do a more effective job when it comes to even lightning of the display. Paperwhite offer higher pixel density of 212 ppi as against 167 ppi of Glowlight. However, if you are already a Nook user it is indeed challenging for Amazon to sell you a Kindle.

Anyway I would recommend Kindle PaperWhite over Nook Simple Touch Glowlight if you are buying e-reader for the first time. The debate for better e-reader can go on, and yes there is a furious competition going on. Yet any analytical reviewer would agree that Amazon Kindle always seems to take the lead and contemporarily offers a better ecosystem and a better hardware before Nook take their next step. Moreover, there is no 3G connectivity with Nook Glowlight.

Kobo Glo Vs Kindle PaperWhite

Kobo Glo is an impressive high resolution E Ink reader with solid hardware like Nook Glowlight and PaperWhite. Identical to Nook Glowlight it includes expansion slot for external memory (up to 32 GB) and supports EPUB files which makes it desirable over PaperWhite. But what we don’t like about Kobo is that their selection of e-books is nowhere near the massive selections of Amazon and B&N. Moreover, you can’t buy third party books straight from the Kobo without tethering to a computer. Then there is no 3G option like the Nook Glowlight.

Kindle Paperwhite WI-Fi

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Kindle Paperwhite WI-Fi + 3G

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Drawbacks of Kindle PaperWhite

The primary drawback for PaperWhite is the screen itself or rather the E Ink screen. As much as it offers benefits it also has this drawback since its presence. Kindle PaperWhite still shows ghosting of previous pages when you turn pages with a flash as it resets. Though this happens very quickly and may not interrupt reading yet you can see it when observed thoroughly.

Anyway the problem is with all E Ink readers and not just Kindle PaperWhite and there is an immense improvement when compared to the early phase of E Ink. You may barely notice the ghosting or may not even notice it when you are deep in reading.  This problem is nonexistence with LCD’s screen but E Ink readers are more popular among people to read books long form because there is no eyestrain or no glare reading in the bright sunlight.

Another drawback when compared to Kindle Keyboard is that audio is excluded. If you are a fan of audio books or like the text-to-speech feature of the previous kindles, or like listening to Mp3 while reading your favourite novel, well you’re going to miss them. Some people don’t want to pay for this feature and want Kindle only for reading.

For some weird reason, Amazon didn’t include power adapter in the box, just the Micro USB cable for charging. You’ll be prompt to buy the AC adapter separately when you order Kindle PaperWhite. Anyway it makes sense to pass on if you have an old kindle with AC adapter or any standard USB power adapter.

Then there is no physical page turning buttons like the old models. If for some reasons you need this feature it can be considered a drawback for some. Although other people think it is easier for them to tap than press a button to turn pages.

Should I Upgrade Or Buy Kindle PaperWhite?

Amazon_Kindle_Paperwhite_3G

Kindle Paperwhite WI-Fi

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Kindle Paperwhite WI-Fi + 3G

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Amazon’s Kindle PaperWhite is the best Kindle and also the most desirable e-reader. But if you already own other latest E Ink reader or the last two previous generations of Kindle then you don’t have to worry missing anything big, unless you really need those built-in lights.

However, if you own the first or second generation of Kindle then it is really worth the upgrade. You would really appreciate the progress and innovations of Kindle PaperWhite, especially the amazing display screen that beat every e-reader out there!

Overall Verdict

Kindle PaperWhite is a wonderful device to read books not just for the amazing display screen, the excellent built quality and the many innovative features but also for Amazon’s unparallel ecosystem. It is so easy to access books with the Kindle taking you to a different level of experience altogether. Of course, there are still rooms for improvements just like the other e-readers but for the moment this is the king of E-readers.

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Kindle Paperwhite 3G, 6" High Resolution Display with Built-in Light, Free 3G + Wi-Fi - Includes Special Offers

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18 Comments on "Kindle PaperWhite 3G and Wi-Fi 2015 Review – Why Would You Buy Paperwhite ?"

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pakhle
Guest

does it reads pdf, djvu files.does it have external storage like sd .

Ethan Hoyer
Guest

Hello Pakhle,

PDF – yes, DJVU – no.

There is no external storage provision but you have unlimited access to Amazon Cloud for purchase on Amazon store.

Patricia Sbhuttleworth
Guest

How can I get the new books I order to come on the top of my book list on my Kindle paperwhite

Thanks
Pat Shuttleworth

Patricia Sbhuttleworth
Guest

I have only recently purchased the Kindle paper white and have trouble finding my new purchases.

Ethan Hoyer
Guest

Hello Patricia,

Please follow the link here for more details on content management: http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=201733310

Barbara Ash
Guest

Does it have games as well as books?

Ethan Hoyer
Guest

Hello Barbara,

This is a dedicated e-book reader not a tablet or smartphone. Try Kindle Fire (or any other tablet) for multi-tasking device.

tariq aziz
Guest

Can I read a medial book or B.S.C and G.N.M nursing course book in it

Ethan Hoyer
Guest

Hello Tariq,

It depends on the format to determine what books you can read on Kindle. Supported formats: Kindle Format 8 (AZW3), Kindle (AZW), TXT, PDF, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively; HTML, DOC, DOCX, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP through conversion

Arpita
Guest

There are no service providers for kindle in India. Till the device is in warranty they will replace it and if any problem occurs when the device is not in warranty then we will have to discard it.

Mindaugas
Guest

Kindle sucks at choosing font size. Their default size is too small for my eyes, while the next available size is ridiculously large, I mean like reading the headings of a newspaper. And there is no way to change the size to an intermediate, not even on their new Paperwhite 2015 (gen. 3) – just bought it and consider to switch to a KOBO aura HD.

Fonda
Guest
I totally agree with you about the font size. I have my setting on the third from the largest and its still pretty small. Then when i went up just one size , it was so big that I hardly had words on a page. I had the old kindle and I had it on the same setting as this one, but the font size was larger then. That was really annoying to me. I considered returning this new paperweight, but decided I would try to just get used to smaller font now. Not sure why they got rid of… Read more »
MEH
Guest

I’m very frustrated with moving things between the device and the cloud…I want to have a collection on the cloud with all the books I’ve finished and only keep books I’m currently reading on the device….Also, just found out that I can’t dump the over 20 foreign language dictionaries on the cloud…what a waste and a pain!!!!

Kenny Heisnam
Guest

What kinds of books it offers in its own. And I am doing research in Lexicography but I hardly find books in market and libraries because they are very costly. Besides, I could not download them from the internet. So, does Kindle provides such kinds of books.

Steve
Guest

1st book purchased and I get a note saying I MUST connect via WiFi or USB to download. Remind me again why I paid extra for the 3G version?

Sarah
Guest

Oh my god thank you so much for this website. I’m researching Kindle vs. Nook for my mom’s birthday and am painfully overwhelmed, but this site has it all spelled out for me nice and simple. I really appreciate all of the knowledge AND the fact that you wrote it in a simple, easy-to-understand way.

Charlotte White
Guest

This Kindle Paperwhite is good enough for me. I was actually considering a Voyage but luckily this upgraded version is really good enough. 300 DPI is really great and the Bookerly font can be attractive for some. I wish Amazon have some variety in screen sizes – so that I can actually sideload some PDFs (not that I cannot but readability leaves much to be desired on a small screen). I highly recommend reading on opinions and getting it here (Kindles are always on discount anyway)

Janie
Guest

I tried to read my Kindle PaperWhite last night when my house power went out. I wanted to read an already downloaded book. It wouldn’t connect to the book–kept saying I need to connect to wifi. Help!

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