12.18.2013

Kindle Paperwhite Review


When I was 14 years old, my father spent over $1400 on a computer for me. It was an Epson Equity II 8088 PC. It had no hard drive, but did come fully loaded with 640K DRAM, Dual 5 ¼ inch floppy drives, DOS, and Word Perfect, plus a 13 inch green screen monitor - and as you all know green screen is what you want in your monochrome display unless you’re a racist (Black and White monitor) or a commie (Amber Screen). It also came with a dot-matrix printer with continuous feed paper with the little perforated holes on both sides of the paper!

Compare this computer to what you are reading this review on today is like comparing the Sony eReader I’ve been using for the last 4 years to the new Kindle PaperWhite Next Gen eReader. I bought the Sony eReader 4 years ago for the ridiculous price of $275. It was their first model touch screen. It’s slow, it glares, it’s about the worst eReader I've ever seen. Don’t ever, ever, ever buy an eReader from Sony. They suck. You might as well buy regular books and use a card-catalog to keep track of your personal library. It would be more user friendly.

But I digress. I waited patiently for just the right Kindle to finally come out and it now has. The Kindle PaperWhite with Next-Gen Built in Light is simply the best eReader to ever grace the Earth with its presence. Here’s why:

Design – It is light weight, easy to handle and looks good.

Functionality – It is responsive, turns pages instantly by swiping your finger or simply tapping the screen. My Sony you would swipe the screen and in 20-30 seconds it would finally change to the next page (or not). Built-in WiFi allows for near instant downloads of books or periodicals you purchase at Amazon (either through your laptop or from the Kindle itself).

OK, ok, you know what Kindles have, I don’t need to go on. Let’s just say this one is the most advanced one you’ve ever seen. But then add to all of that an adjustable back light. No more flashlights, cases with lights or head-lamps to read in bed at night. And even with this, the battery life is extremely long. Several weeks of use on one charge.

The appearance of the text in this version is different than previous Kindles but it is just as readable if not more so. No glare at all, read in the sun, read in the dark, read anywhere you want with comfort and ease.

As nice as this Kindle is to hold, the cover designed for it only enhances that experience. It’s a little spendy but gives you the feel of holding a real leather-bound book. It also automatically puts the Kindle in and out of sleep mode when you open the case.

The only thing I absolutely hate about this Kindle is the power-down activation. There is only one physical button on this whole thing. You use this to turn the thing on and when you want to power it down completely. That’s cool, but here’s the problem. To turn off you have to hold that button down and wait 5 agonizing seconds for the confirmation window to pop-up asking if you really want to shut down. 5 SECONDS. Doesn't sound like a lot I know but run that exercise in your mind. It feels like an eternity. All you’re trying to do is ensure you don’t accidentally turn your device off. A two-unrelated-step process is standard for smart phones because you can butt-dial or butt-power-down. Which shouldn't be a real concern with an eReader. So it’s not necessary anyway but then to make you hold that button down for so long is almost cruel. My iPhone 4s you only have to hold the button down for 2 seconds. The latest Galaxy Smart phone is 2 seconds also. Come on Amazon. You’re wizards at your “secret LAB126” are figuring out how to deliver a package within 30 minutes via flying drones, yet you can’t figure out the problem with this?

A quick word about Kindle eReaders verses Tablets.  Even the Kindle Fire Tablet uses an App to read books.  You still have to deal with the glare you get off any tablet.  If you want a tablet, get a tablet.  But if you want an eReader for the pure love of reading don't fool yourself into thinking that if you get a tablet that you'll have your cake and eat it too.

I love this eReader but it loses a star because of that one thing. A software patch should do the trick. Fix it Amazon and you’ll get the fifth star. I promise.

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