Kindle Paperwhite 3G and Wi-Fi 2017 Review – Why Should You Buy Paperwhite?

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 Kindle Paperwhite review

What We Like

  • Fully adjustable light allows you to read day or night without straining your eyes
  • Remarkable battery life for weeks of pleasure without charging
  • Choose from over 1 million e-books without breaking the bank
  • Join Amazon Prime for free access to thousands of titles
  • Lighter than a book so read easily with one hand
  • E Ink Display offers crisp, clear display that won’t give you a headache
  • Unlike with tablets, there’s no glare from the screen
  • X-Ray feature allows you to scan through for passages featuring certain characters, historical people/places or topics
  • Smart Lookup to easily find definitions and information without using a separate device

 

What We Don’t Like

  • Rather lightweight in terms of features
  • Extra cost for ad-free version unless you want to be bombarded
  • Highly limited font selection with only 8 options
  • No AC adapter for charging is a disappointment

Lack of speakers means you can’t use speech engines

Our Score
Screen Responsiveness
Build Quality
Usability
Weight
Easy On Eyes
Average

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

With this Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 3G and WiFi review, we’ll show you why this featherweight device is still the world’s best-selling e-reader.

Kindle is now approaching its 10th anniversary. Despite the ubiquity of tablets, e-readers are no less popular. Many of you won’t want all the extras that come with an iPad or Android tablet. Also, if you are operating on a tighter budget, e-readers are much cheaper.

In today’s Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 3G and WiFi review, we’ll walk you through where this nifty little e-reader stands and falls. We’ll then quickly compare the Paperwhite to the Nook Simple Touch and Kobo Glo so you can see which would be the best fit for you.

Kindle Paperwhite 3G and WiFi: Modest but Effective Functionalityamazon-kindle-paperwhite-3g

Although the features of Kindle Paperwhite 3G and WiFi are not exactly overwhelming, it’s often a case of less being more with e-readers. Let’s face it, if you want something with wider functionality, it makes far more sense to invest in a tablet.

We’ll look now at 5 key areas and see what Kindle Paperwhite 3G and WiFi does well and where there’s room for improvement:

  • Built-In Light Enables Day and Night Usage
  • Text Handling Made Easy
  • Design: Black and White Elegance
  • Display: Crisp and Clear Resolution
  • Battery Life For Weeks of Reading
  • Time To Read Based on Your Reading Speed

Built-In Light Enables Day and Night Usage

While early iterations of e-readers left your eyes feeling rather worse for wear, the advent of E Ink technology means eye strain while reading is a thing of the past.

The other clear benefit of this E Ink Pearl display is that you can view the crisp display in the dark. Simply flash up the light bulb icon, tweak the brightness level and relax in bed with your favorite book. This is a significant progression from earlier generations that were good for daytime reading only.

During Paperwhite’s 2012 launch, Jeff Bezos (Amazon’s CEO) stressed that this built-in light was the culmination of a full 4 years of R&D.

By flattening out fiber optic cable into a sheet and studding it with LED lights, you’ll enjoy an evenly lit screen you can read whether the room is brightly illuminated or pitch dark.

If you routinely stay up later than your partner and want to read in bed, flicking on a reading lamp is pretty impractical. Kiss goodbye to that obstacle with Kindle Paperwhite 3G and WiFi.

It’s also worth mentioning that this light does not strip your battery of power so you can enjoy the convenience without constantly needing to charge your Paperwhite.

Text Handling Made Easy

Since 2013, Kindle has used the proprietary Bookerly font. Rather than Caecilia, which pre-dated e-readers, Bookerly was developed specifically for these devices. If it’s not to your liking, you can choose from 7 other fonts (including Caecilia) but our recommendation is Bookerly.

Where the current Kindle has a fairly miserly 167ppi screen resolution, Kindle Paperwhite 3G and WiFi packs in almost double the pixels at 300ppi. While this, combined with superior contrast, allows you to view more words per page with comfort, the sizes at your disposal are fairly limited. This is something Amazon needs to work on.

Older generations of Amazon e-readers struggled badly when it came to text justification. Words were justified at either side of the page with spaces indiscriminately whacked in resulting in an ugly aesthetic…

Thanks to a new and improved typesetting engine, you’ll enjoy a far cleaner look. This is achieved through kerning – proportionally adjusted spacing – and hyphenation. The result is a layout in line with a hard copy of the book rather than the previous messy nightmare.

Compared to the competition, Amazon is still playing catch-up in this area but they are striving hard to deliver what users want. kindle-paperwhite-2

Design: Black and White Elegance But Starting To Age

They say you should never change a winning team and Amazon has stuck pretty closely to the previous Paperwhite models in terms of design.

There have been a few minor modifications to the shell but they are barely noticeable…

The rear panel now has a slightly more matte finish and it’s also less prone to picking up marks left behind by your fingers. The logos have changed color, too. That aside, things have barely changed since 2012 with Kindle Paperwhite 3G and WiFi.

The key difference is that you can now opt for white where previously Paperwhite was only available in black.

Although sticking with what works is admirable, there is a trade-off…

Competing e-readers like the Kobo have become lighter and smaller where Kindle Paperwhite 3G and WiFi is starting to show its age.  We fully expect Amazon to launch the next generation of Kindle Paperwhite 3G and WiFi taking this into account..

Display: Crisp and Clear Resolution

The sharpness of Kindle Paperwhite 3G and WiFi’s display is testament to the money Amazon has poured into developing this 300ppi beauty.

To put this into perspective, Apple’s Retina Display for iPad is just 264ppi while the range-topping MacBook Pro is 226ppi or 232ppi depending on the screen size.

The crispness, then, is beyond reproach. There is definite room for improvement with the contrast but it seems cheap to moan about this when the overall readability is damn near faultless.

In order to go some way toward replicating the feel of reading a physical book, Amazon harnesses a textured feel.

The one thing lacking is an ambient light sensor. You’ll need to fine-tune the brightness manually which is a small niggle but something that really needs rectifying if Kindle Paperwhite 3G and WiFi is to keep up with the prevailing norm of automatic adjustment on cell phones and tablets.

Battery Life For Weeks of Reading

Most e-readers with E Ink displays have strong battery lives so how about Kindle Paperwhite 3G and WiFi?

Well, if you’re used to charging your iPhone or laptop twice a day, you’re in for a treat with Paperwhite.

Amazon claims you’ll get up to 8 weeks of usage before needing to give your Paperwhite a boost of charge. This figure is based on a half-hour daily session without WiFi and with the brightness dialed back to 10 or below.

While battery life claims from any manufacturer tend to be wildly inaccurate, our tests confirm that this estimate is fairly reliable..

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Time To Read Based on Your Reading Speede

This incarnation of Kindle Paperwhite 3G and WiFi sees the debut of a predictive feature showing you the time remaining until the end of a given chapter or the book itself.

Obviously, we all read at different speeds. The intelligent Paperwhite analyzes how quickly you get through a book and makes constant updates to ensure it can make a fairly precise judgment.

This could scarcely be considered an essential function but it certainly comes in handy if you are pressed for time and wondering whether or not you can fit in the next chapter or it would be best left for later.

What Features Are Carried Over From Previous Kindles?

Having looked at where Kindle Paperwhite 3G and WiFi differs from its predecessors, how about the notable features that remain the same?

We’ll break those down for you right now.

  • X-Ray Feature for In-Depth Exploration
  • Whispersync For Cross-Device Functionality
  • Simple Web Browsing with Webkit

X-Ray Feature for In-Depth Exploration

xray_kindle

Whenever you treat yourself to a new Kindle book, it comes pre-loaded with key information about specific historical people and locations, fictional characters and broader concepts.

All of this pre-installed information is accessible wherever you are in your book by simply hitting the X-Ray function.

This is an exclusive feature of Kindle. In Amazon’s own words, X-Ray allows you to explore “the bones of the book” and broadens your reading experience.

Whispersync For Cross-Device Functionality

These days, it’s commonplace to own a laptop, desktop, tablet and cell phone. We are used to flitting from device to device and cross-functionality is becoming the norm rather than the exception.

Latching onto this, Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 3G and WiFi neatly synchronizes bookmarks and annotations so whatever device you grab you can get straight down to business.

Webkit for Basic Browsing

The flaw with most e-readers is the inability to browse the web.

With Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 3G and WiFi, you can connect to your home WiFi or make use of WiFi hotspots.

As far as 3G goes, you’ll be limited to Kindle Store and Wikipedia. This is why Amazon can safely say that 3G is free.

What Else is Worth a Mention?

font-paperwhite

  • Library: Store up to 1000 books in your personal library. This should be more than enough for even the most voracious reader. If you happen to run out of room, you’ll enjoy free Cloud access so you can flick your book across and grab it again later if you need to
  • Try Before You Buy: There’s little worse than buying a bum book. With Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 3G and WiFi, you can read the opening chapter and decide whether or not it’s worth the investment
  • Public Library Access: Kindle customers in the US can also borrow books from over 10,000 public libraries. Take advantage of reading them on Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 3G and WiFi or any device that supports Kindle app
  • Read Kindle Cross-Platform: Sync and read on more than just Kindle Paperwhite 3G and WiFi. Whether you have an iPhone or an iPad, a Mac or a PC, BlackBerry or Android device, the free Kindle app is available across the board. This cross-platform functionality is a huge plus point
  • Rapid Downloads: Grab a new book in less than 60 seconds so there’s no waiting around when you are hungry for new blood
  • Real Page Numbers: Kindle shows real page numbers matching up with the printed book version. This is a particularly valuable feature for academics needing to include citations or references

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

The primary difference, as you might guess, is the connectivity…

Kindle Paperwhite 3G and WiFi and WiFi offers you a choice of getting online with free 3G (for Kindle Store and Wikipedia) while Kindle Paperwhite WiFi requires a WiFi connection.

With the 3G-enabled version, you’ll benefit from global wireless coverage spanning more than 100 countries so it’s perfect for perpetual travelers.

There is also a barely discernible weight difference that’s barely worth mentioning. Kindle Paperwhite WiFi tips the scales at 7.5oz while Kindle 3G and WiFi weighs a fraction more at 7.8oz.

Is Kindle Paperwhite 3G and WiFi a Smart Choice For Kids?

kids-and-kindle

While for adults, the lack of full web connectivity could be viewed as a negative, perhaps you’d like your children to be able to read without the distraction of the Internet. If so, Kindle Paperwhite 3G and WiFi makes perfect sense.

If you do want to browse online, the experience is slow and sluggish. For kids raised with ultra-fast fiber WiFi, this will seem like a return to the dark ages and encourage them to focus on reading instead of messing around on Facebook.

Beyond this, you can restrict access to just Kindle Store, Amazon Cloud and basic web browsing using the Parental Controls. This allows you to remain in the driving seat and limits the mischief your kids can get up to.

Since there is no audio support, Kindle Paperwhite 3G and WiFi is best avoided if your kids enjoy audio books or rely on text-to-speech.

Overall, it really is a great choice for young readers.

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 makes full use of LEDs and patented fiber-optic technology to light up the display evenly.

Nook was the first e-reader to pioneer illumination with an E Ink display. Kindle Paperwhite does the same but even better.

In terms of pixel density, Paperwhite’s 300ppi is a marked improvement on the 167ppi display of Nook Simple Touch Glowlight.

If you are buying your first e-reader, Kindle Paperwhite is the best option. You’ll get a better ecosystem with Amazon alongside superior hardware. Nook also lacks 3G connectivity.

Kobo Glo Vs Kindle PaperWhite

Kobo Glo is a first-class and high-res E Ink reader with solid, reliable hardware.

Much like Nook Glowlight, you’ll get an expansion slot for up to 32GB of external memory. It also supports ePub files which trumps Paperwhite.

One serious drawback with Kobo is a sorely limited selection of e-books. You can’t buy third-party titles directly from Kobo without tethering to a computer.

Kobo Glo has no 3G connectivity.

What Are The Drawbacks of Kindle Paperwhite 3G and WiFi?

One tiny fault that merits a mention is the ghosting of previous pages when you turn over. In fairness, this is a problem common to all E Ink readers rather than something specific to Paperwhite. It should also be noted that this issue has improved significantly since the early days of E Ink readers.

The absence of audio is a serious problem for lovers of audio books or text-to-speech users. Anyone who doesn’t make use of these will obviously not find this a problem at all.

You will only get a micro-USB cable rather than an adapter which is somewhat restrictive but not a deal-breaker by any means.

Unlike previous generation Kindles, there’s no physical button for page turning. Again, this is hardly something upon which to base your buying decision but worth bearing in mind.

Is It Worth Upgrading If You Own an Early Kindle Paperwhite?

There’s little doubt that Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 3G and WiFi is not only the best Kindle but also the best e-reader. It’s rare that we make definitive judgments but in this case it’s fully justified.

That said, if you already own a recent E Ink reader or one of the two previous generations of Kindle then there is no real need to upgrade. You’ll only really be missing out on the built-in lights so decide if that difference alone makes it worth investing in Paperwhite 3G and WiFi.

For owners of earlier iterations of Kindle, it’s certainly well worth trading in for a new model.

Overall Verdict

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 3G and WiFi sets the standard for e-readers and is an unqualified success.

The astoundingly crisp display, superb build quality and host of innovative features makes it incredible value for money and offers a first-rate reading experience without costing a fortune.

To ice the cake, nothing can compete with Amazon’s incredible ecosystem. You’ll truly be spoiled for choice.

So…

While there’s always room for improvement with any product – and we have honestly outlined what we consider to be noteworthy disadvantages – Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 3G and WiFi is the current king of e-readers..

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18 Comments on "Kindle Paperwhite 3G and Wi-Fi 2017 Review – Why Should 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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