To promote Kindle, the ereader he launched 14 years ago, Amazon likes to use this definition: “100% book”. This is an exaggerated statement, good for advertising. But holding the new Kindle Paperwhite in your hands, the Amazon ereader now in its eleventh generation, we realize that that percentage is not very far.
A digital reader for books cannot replace a volume of paper, just as a virtual reality viewer cannot fully replicate the perceptions and sensations of everyday life. Precisely for this reason the most correct spot for the new Amazon Kindle should be: “100% your book”, where that your it would not (only) indicate ownership but also (and above all) personalization.
The Kindle Paperwhite basically aspires to this: to adapt as much as possible to the needs of the reader. The main comforts are always the same: having thousands of books always at hand and being able to read them even in particular conditions, thanks to the anti-glare display and the IPX8 certification that guarantees the waterproofness of the device. Outdoors, even in the sun, reading is always pleasant and therefore, really, it can be compared to the experience of paper. But this has always been a virtue of Kindles.
It is at night, however, that the new Paperwhite wins points: the 2021 model, compared to the previous one released two years ago, now allows you to adjust the intensity of the lighting and the color temperature. Customization, in fact: when you choose, for various reasons, to read with the light off, or in the absence of artificial light, now you can decide the intensity of the lighting that best suits our eyes and those of those who may be there. next to it (think of when, for example, one reads in bed, in total darkness, and a too intense beam of light strikes even those who are perhaps sleeping next to us).
The adjustment of the color temperature of the display also allows you to change from a cooler white to an amber hue, reduces possible sleep disturbances if you read just before falling asleep. Always in the dark, it always turns out very useful “Dark mode”, which is nothing new on Kindle: the pages turn black and the characters on the contrary are white, for a further reduction of the brightness emitted by the device.
Own the 6.8-inch display (with 17 LEDs) of the new Paperwhite changes size compared to that of the previous model: it is 13% larger and has thinner edges (10.2 mm) than in the past. All this without losing any impact on the comfort of use: the Paperwhite 2021 is easily held in one hand and the rubber back makes the grip quite firm. Obviously the dimensions of the ereader (17.4 x 12.4 x 8.1 cm) also require the other hand to carry out most of the operations. A not insignificant novelty concerns the charging port, which is now USB-C type and actually helps raise the battery level in less time.
Amazon claims that the new reader is faster at turning pages, “by 20%”. It is not possible to accurately verify this percentage, but it is evident that the ereader is actually more responsive when switching pages. There is a lot of work to do, and a lot, on consulting documents that do not fit into the ebook format: also on this Paperwhite you can read a newspaper in .pdf format, for example, but moving from one place to another on the page can be exhausting. It should be remembered, however, that any books in .pdf not downloaded from the Amazon store can be converted into a digestible text for Kindle, for an enjoyable reading.
In short, forget an answer similar to that of a smartphone or tablet, even mid-range: zoom and touch gestures on the Kindle require great patience, the response is not immediate. It must be said that this is not the primary use that Amazon has in mind for its device.
Reading comics, on the other hand, is simplified and very effective: not only does each page adapt to the Kindle display, but if you want, with a double ‘tap’ on a cartoon the latter can be enlarged, for a better reading of the text and to appreciate the details of the drawings.
The new Kindle Paperwhite costs € 139.99 and can be purchased from October 27th. From next 10 November, however, the Paperwhite Signature Edition at a cost of € 189.99. The latter has more memory (32 Gb vs. 8 Gb of the ‘basic’ Paperwhite) and in addition, for the first time on a Kindle, it offers the possibility of ricarica wireless.
What we like about the new Kindle Paperwhite:
- The adjustable lighting
- The fastest charging through the USB-C port
- The considerable autonomy of the battery
- The customization of multiple elements: from fonts to layouts to the margins of each page
What we don’t like about the Kindle Paperwhite:
- The browser (which is referred to as ‘experimental’ is that it is actually as far away from a smooth browsing experience)
- Reading .pdf documents that require frequent zooming
- The edges of the display still too pronounced