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Posted by on Nov 28, 2012 in Features, Gadgets |

Paperwhite Kindle, background analysis

Paperwhite Kindle, background analysis

A few days ago, the Kindle fulfilled five years , has earned time to revolutionize an industry and lay the foundation for a series of changes that have just begun. So, if other products like the Sony Walkman at the time, or the iPod changed everything, the Kindle Paperwhite , the latest addition to the product line has tried to do the same by adding a very simple, light.

Throughout history we have seen some models Kindle more iconic than others, like the Kindle DX or the Kindle Touch , but nothing really revolutionary or that would involve a radical change from what we already had. Different keyboards, housing colors, quality and screen resolution, all kinds of attempts by the competition, of which the most successful seem the Kobo and Nook, but nothing that will distract essentially the concept that First Edition: e-ink screen for reading books without tiring your eyes on an easy to use and carry anywhere.

Until now. The Paperwhite Kindle is, in many ways, a return to square one, a product that introduces a feature that sets it apart from the competition and further refines others we had seen, as the touch screen, in order to increase usability and user experience that distills the device. The reinvented, this could easily have been one of the slogans that could have used to promote it but it still leaves some of the things we like to see improved in the next generation. So, in depth, the new Kindle Paperwhite.


In this sense, Amazon has decided to continue with the same lines begun in the previous generation, the first that eliminated the physical keyboard to move directly to the screen (such as the Kindle) or to touch it (such as the Kindle Touch). So, we have a device that measures 17 inches high, 11.7 wide and nearly 1 thick with a 6-inch screen and 222 grams.

Paperwhite Kindle, background analysis image 2

The material that has been used is the same as the basic Kindle, a plastic that is darker than the previous generation and in my opinion nicer visually speaking, but also dirtier. Moreover, once we put our fingers cute at the back, we can forget about ever returning immaculate appearance having to go out of the box, a problem that does not seem too serious since the material so well camouflaged.

Paperwhite Kindle, background analysis image 3

Apart from the micro USB port for charging on the bottom, otherwise disappear any frills in the housing, any button except the lock / unlock, even to page forward or backward, either control or keyboard crosshead some, only the screen.


The screen is precisely the pearl of the crown on the new Kindle Paperwhite. The name, as evident not chosen at random, if we have the light on offers the same levels of contrast and color than a normal book page with a page that looks completely white and lyrics that thanks to the new resolution (62 % more pixels, with 221 per inch) and contrast (25%) appear printed directly on the screen.

Paperwhite Kindle, background analysis image 4

But was not it was good resolution in Kindle? Yeah, I was, but with Amazon has decided Paperwhite still a little bit up the bar, and the results, but come on an experience that was already very good, believe that thank.

Amazon claims to have spent two years developing leading technology behind the display backlight, and seen what they have managed to do, unless it is not believed. To put it simply has taken a fiber optic cable, a standard developed to ensure uniform distribution of light from any direction and are coupled to the electronic ink paperwhite panel itself and to control the touch panel. Almost nothing.

Paperwhite Kindle, background analysis image 5

In practice, the reality is almost as romantic as Amazon promises. With the light on the reads well from any angle, this would invalidate or alter at any time either the resolution or the contrast or the color of the letters on the screen. In other words, use the Kindle Paperwhite is a very similar to what we would get if the pages of the books they had their own light.

That most of the previous paragraph is that, inexplicably, all Paperwhite Kindle I have seen show a failure of uniformity in the bottom of the device. A small black spots on lighting which disappear when the disable (because yes, the lighting is adjustable as we shall see below) but with this burning are somewhat uncomfortable at times.

Paperwhite Kindle, background analysis image 6

My personal opinion is that after a while of use in reading spots become imperceptible, not so much when you take it and started to use it or unblock it. The ruling can be seen even in the promotional images of the company on their official website , so I get the feeling that Amazon are well aware of the detail and assume.

Beyond that, Paperwhite Kindle screen is as we said at the beginning of the review, the best thing that has happened to the e-book from basically the ebook. And let’s see why.

Usability and experience

The interesting thing to put forth a Kindle is that it completely changes the experience with the device. Before the electronic ink display of the Kindle was both its greatest virtue and its greatest fault.

Its greatest virtue because not being illuminated sight not tired, it was easy to read, stable and with good contrast. Basically any page of a physical book of life. But at the same time if there was good light or wanted to use it to read in bed at night for example, broke down the invention.

Paperwhite Kindle, background analysis image 7

Amazon is aware of that ruling, had released some moderately effective solutions as some cases with a small flashlight on top partially solved it.

But with Paperwhite yes it relieves a stroke and for someone like me used to a traditional e-book reader with these limitations, the flexibility and usability that provides a screen and are roundly invaluable.

As the light intensity is adjustable, very bright light as the street or a well lit room we can upload it to ensure that the external light does not affect the display. Not the best example, because they are different display types, but anyone who has tried using a smartphone or similar device to daylight with the sun shining directly know of which I speak.

Paperwhite Kindle, background analysis image 8

At night or in low light conditions light is necessary, yes, but not very strong and if you can get to annoy and tire in sight, so we reduce the intensity and solve the problem. We have 24 lighting levels to adapt to almost any situation.

The touch screen is, fortunately, one of the things that have been improved over the Kindle Touch. If in the case of the latter our impressions were not too good , citing the major quality problems (in terms of terms of resolution) and responsiveness of the touch screen, not so in the case of Paperwhite.

We’re not far from the other end, no one should expect a similar response rate to that of a tablet or a smartphone, but it has improved a lot to achieve acceptable levels of usability.

Paperwhite Kindle, background analysis image 9

If we play at the top while reading will access the menu with options to move between chapters, adjust the font size, lighting, look up words, using X-Ray or share.

  • X Ray: It allows us to quickly examine ideas, words, names and content appearing in the very visual book. A function that is appreciated, I doubt not, but for the moment, either by the terms highlights or focus, I do not see fully useful.
  • Setting the backlight: Adjusts the intensity of illumination in 24 levels.

Paperwhite Kindle, background analysis image 10

  • Time to Read: If X-Ray has left me a bit lukewarm, Time to Read I love it because it is very useful. Based on how quickly we change our estimates page read speed and shows us what it takes to finish the chapter or the book.
  • Display Options: 9 different font sizes, six different types of sources, three options for spacing and three margins. Enough for me and I also believe that for most users. The default one source, Caecilia, is nice and suitable for most uses. We also have the Baskervilles, Caecilia Condensed, Futura, Helvetica and Palatino.
  • User Interface: Well designed although some options are too hidden. Moving, yes, from the homepage, the Kindle store, search and the amount of illumination is agile and intuitive at all times.
  • Keyboard: Not bad, but also far from good. False inputs, slow to erase or write is the general trend. Usable, but just, something I would like to see improved in the next version.


Buy a Kindle device and speak only of an understatement. Find applications for Mac, Windows, Chrome, iOS, Android, Windows Phone … and in all of them is no synchronization of notes, bookmarks and reading position.

Paperwhite Kindle, background analysis image 11

Along with the Kindle, my other reading platform is iBooks, the iPad. And while I appreciate the latter and has a level of usability that suffers in some respects the Kindle, it is true that this combination of buying a book on the Kindle Store and store with her not only the content itself but the whole added activities, such as notes, is extremely useful.

And yes, in iBooks also syncs with iCloud, but its use is limited only to Apple devices, has a desktop option and no device has electronic ink display, which makes reading them is not as comfortable.

Betting on a Kindle is betting on an ecosystem, and something that should not be ignored in any review. An ecosystem with a bookstore affordable, though still much room for improvement, with absolute synchronization with devices and relatively cheap (between 79 and 189 € for models other than the Fire).

Kindle?, Paperwhite Kindle or Kindle Fire?

With the Kindle Paperwhite, that ecosystem is diversified further. It’s not just the Kindle, it’s not just a display type, are 3, and it is logical to have some doubts about which is the best suited to our needs.

Paperwhite Kindle, background analysis image 12

Between Kindle and Kindle Paperwhite, should be one factor only: the price. With $ 69 | € 79 for the Kindle Basic (WiFi only), $ 119 | € 129 for the model Paperwhite with WiFi and $179 with 3G, the latter gives us all the features of the first plus the addition of light.

It does not happen in the case vs Kindle Touch Kindle where having physical checks was an advantage because they would not touch at all fine. There is still ground for improvement, but in the case is solved and Paperwhite that should not make a real difference.

If in the case of the Kindle and Kindle Paperwhite the main reason the two should be the price and purchase our budget in the case of the Kindle Fire complicate things a bit more. The LCD is not as suitable for reading books, not so comfortable, but, we gain applications, the ability to watch videos, navigate and add content to magazines we read. Instead, the price rises to $199 for the most basic model of 7 inches.



The Paperwhite Kindle is by far the best I have ever tasted Kindle. The fastest, most versatile and most enjoyable use. It is also, with little room for doubt, the best ebook reader you can buy now.

Not mean it is perfect, another step in the quality of materials, remove blemishes on the screen and the keyboard and improve tactile feedback are tasks that are pending for the next version. The battery life, as in the spec sheet arrives at 8 weeks, in practice it is undoubtedly lower muchísmo in my experience two at the most, obviously depending on the degree of illumination with which we use it.

For now, and probably until they get the electronic ink displays color, Paperwhite Kindle is the best thing that happened to eBooks from the Kindle itself. At a price of $119 for the model with WiFi and $179 with 3G can be purchased from Amazon, but have been delayed until January due to high demand so maybe your model later still a while to arrive.

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