EducationAmazon Kindle Paperwhite 2021 Review, Benchmark in E-Books Now Even Better

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 2021 Review, Benchmark in E-Books Now Even Better

Amazon has revamped its most attractive e-book reader, with features like wireless charging or a larger screen.

The Kindle is the absolute reference in the electronic book reader sector, as it is based on the platform of an entire giant such as Amazon; Of all the models available, the Paperwhite is the one that has traditionally achieved the best balance between functionality and price , and the one that we have been able to recommend the most.

But it is no less true to say that Amazon has rested on its laurels. The last full revision of the Paperwhite was released in 2018, and it has rained heavily since then. I’m sure that’s why the new generation of the Paperwhite brings so much new stuff; for all practical purposes, it has become a completely different product .

I have been able to verify it in person, using the new Paperwhite during these days for my daily readings; Specifically, I have had the opportunity to use the Signature Edition version , the top of the range with more functions (although most of the new features are also in the basic version).

New screen, more space
If, like me, you have been using a Paperwhite as your main e-book reader for years, the first thing that will strike you about the new model is the screen. It is a mistake to think that it is the same panel as its predecessor, just because the resolution of 300 dots per inch is the same; in practice, it is completely different. For starters, it’s a lot bigger , measuring 6.8 inches versus 6 inches for the previous model; having the same resolution in a larger space doesn’t affect the sharpness as much as you might think, and I haven’t noticed big differences in the rendering of the letters.

The new Kindle Paperwhite (right) has a larger screen
In fact, I have found that reading with the new screen is much more enjoyable and easier on the eyes than the old one, making direct comparisons with the previous model.

In illustrations, the difference is even greater. The contrast has been greatly improved, something easy to notice on covers with art, in which we can better differentiate the details. This shows that resolution is important, but not the only factor that makes a difference in the experience.

The Kindle Paperwhite can be a good comic book reader
In fact, the display is so good with illustrations that the new Paperwhite has become a great option for reading my comics; Although, obviously, it is better if they are in black and white, since Amazon has not yet made the leap to color e-ink displays. The higher contrast, and especially the larger size, greatly facilitates the reading of comics and graphic material such as magazines.

What I have noticed is that the screen does not update as often by default, probably to save battery life. The problem with e-ink displays is that they can leave a ‘trail’ if the system doesn’t reload the page; By default, I have seen that the screen reloads every three page changes approximately, and if we look at it, on the third we can see remains of the previous pages. Not that it is a serious problem, especially since in the configuration we can make the screen reload with each page turn.

But where we really find more news is in the lighting integrated into the device. The new Paperwhite has a new adjustable warm light , designed to keep our eyes from getting tired. When it is active, the front light of the screen acquires an orange tone, whose power we can vary to our liking; The idea is that we use this mode before sleeping, so as not to strain our eyes with conventional light, although tastes also influence when activating this mode: it makes it look like an old book, with pages that have lost their white because of the pass of the time.

The warm light of the Kindle Paperwhite gives a ‘vintage’ look to books
Another aspect related to the screen that has changed is the edges. Not only are they much thinner than the previous generation, the screen is now flush with the edges; therefore we don’t have that elevation change, and in the hand it looks like a single piece with no edges. It is much more pleasant, both to the touch and to the eye , with a more modern design even in the Kindle logo. We also have the option of activating a dark mode, which inverts the colors and shows white letters on a black background; It is something that many people prefer in their apps, and now it is possible on the Kindle.

Speaking of touch, the new Paperwhite is thinner than the model it replaces, and maintains the same weight of 205 grams despite its larger size; so it is not annoying to have it in your hand for hours, something that personally surprised me.

Faster and more intuitive
The Paperwhite still uses a touch screen, without physical controls, but the experience has been greatly improved; Mainly, thanks to the new processor that makes the interface go much faster and respond better to our actions.

Amazon has renewed the interface of the Kindle
From turning the page to using the menus to find our next reading, it’s a much faster and easier system to use. It also helps that Amazon recently updated the operating system, with a new interface; It hasn’t made any big changes, but it is more pleasing to the eye and the buttons are easier to press.

To unlock the device, and turn it on the first time, we still have a physical button at the bottom; Oddly, I feel like it takes a bit longer to unlock, but only if I haven’t used it for a few hours. If I unlock it immediately after locking it, it’s instantaneous.

USB-C connector on the new Kindle Paperwhite
Next to it we have another great novelty, a very simple one that we have been asking for for years: a USB-C connector, which replaces the usual microUSB. It is capable of charging with a power of up to 9W, so it will take approximately two and a half hours to recover the entire battery. As is usual with electronic ink screens, it will last us a long time: about ten weeks according to Amazon, and although I have not been able to verify it personally, with the consumption that I have, it is on its way to meet them.

Signature Edition, with wireless charging
The new Kindle Paperwhite will be available in two versions, the basic and the Signature Edition, which is what I have been able to test. Actually, there are not many differences between one and the other, and all the characteristics that I have reviewed so far are present in both.

The Signature Edition differs in that it has some additional features, but in both design and operation it is identical to the basic one. The biggest novelty is wireless charging , compatible with all Qi chargers; although Amazon prepares the launch of a base specifically designed for this device, which will arrive in December.

Paperwhite Signature Edition auto light enhances visibility
Indeed, you can now leave the reader on a charging base when you go to bed, and it will recharge itself without the need to connect a cable. It works correctly, although I would have liked some battery indicator on the screen when it is recharging in this way: only a pilot lights up at the bottom, just like when we charge by cable. Also, as I have mentioned before, the battery of this device lasts several weeks, so it really is not something that is going to change your life ; It is not like a smartphone, which you have to recharge every day. But it is a good addition to say goodbye to cables.

Another exclusive function, which you will perhaps take advantage of more, is the automatic light, thanks to sensors that detect the brightness of the area and vary the front light by themselves. Finally, this version has more storage, 32 GB, so it is recommended if we want to take our entire library, including comics, with us.

Great jump to enjoy your books
The new generation of the Kindle Paperwhite is the revolution that many of us have been waiting for. Everything is new , and it is appreciated: the design, the screen, the processor, the lighting, and even the interface have been renewed, and as a result, this model has little to do with the previous one. When we put them next to each other, they look like different products, and not the same with a generation jump.

Of course, the integration with the Amazon platform is complete, and it is easy to find, buy and read books from your store ; In addition to using services like Kindle Unlimited to read as much as we want with a subscription (three months free with the device are included). But we can also load books that we have bought elsewhere, as long as they do not have copy protection; the possibility of loading them directly into the memory is maintained by connecting the device to the computer, or sending them by mail.

Now, which one should you buy, the basic or the Signature Edition? After trying the second one, I think it is a difficult question to answer. The Kindle Paperwhite starts at 139.99 euros, and has most of the news that I have discussed; while the Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition costs 50 euros more, 189.99 euros, and includes wireless charging, automatic light and more storage. The key is how much space you need for your books, and if you really want to say goodbye to cables. Whichever you choose, the new Kindle Paperwhite won’t disappoint.

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