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Kindle Paperwhite 2014 Edition Review

Discussion in 'Electronic Devices' started by InvertedBob, Jul 22, 2015.

  1. InvertedBob

    InvertedBob Loaded Pockets

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    Hello EDCF ! I've been following the forums without an account for a while and now I've decided to join and contribute myself so I hope this review will actually help you decide if the Kindle Paperwhite is for you :) (Disclaimer at the bottom)

    I've been on the fence about buying an eBook reader for a few months. I looked at a lot of them, I read a lot of reviews and 6 weeks ago I was in a store in Bucharest checking out a Kindle Paperwhite eBook reader: At first I thought I was holding some kind of a promotional material that was an empty Kindle case with a piece of paper behind the plastic screen, but no, it was the actual Kindle and it looked awsome.

    One week later, I decided I had to do it, so I ordered a Kindle Paperwhite 2014 WiFi Edition and it arrived a few days later. I quickly unboxed it and I have to say the quality of the package is definately higher than anything I've ever unboxed before. The Kindle comes with a high quality USB cable, but no wall plug, which in the end isn't that big of a deal because most of us have a lot of those hanging around anyway.

    The setup process requires you to login/create an Amazon account and insert some data about yourself, but after a few minutes you're ready to go. You have 4GB of internal space which should be enough, but if it is not, you have plenty more space in the cloud. You can access the Amazon store to buy some books, or you can connect your Kindle to your computer and painlessly upload books via the USB cable. Another neat feature of the Kindle is that it creates an email adress for you and you can send books via email as attachments, a feature that makes it that much easier to start reading your favourite books immediately.

    To be honest, I'm not really a fan of the Amazon Store since prices tend to be a bit high, especially for people outside of the USA(Amazon adds a tax for all the books bought from outside the USA), but that's not a problem since you can find pretty much any book by simply searching for it on Google. Once you upload your books, they will show up in your library and you can start reading.

    The reading experience is incredible, the text is crisp, contrast is good and the adjustable back-light really helps when you're reading in low light enviroments. You can adjust the font face and the font size and there's also a landscape reading mode that's enabled through the menu and not by simply rotating the device. At the bottom of the screen you can see your location in the book, the progress in percentage and estimated reading time left in the chapter/book. Also, at any time, you can press, hold and drag over any words in the book and you can add notes or highlight the selected text.

    A feature that really improved the overall reading experience for me is the included dictionary that can be accessed even offline. It helped a lot because English is not my main language and I can look up any word in a matter of seconds. You can upload your own dictionaries just like you upload books and there's a bunch of them available.

    Battery life is another important feature of this device and it definately blew all my expectations. The battery came about half charged and I had to recharge after a few days. It takes about 2 to 3 hours to fully charge the Paperwhite, but I managed to squeeze 3 weeks of daily reading from the first charge by keeping the device in airplane mode.

    There are some flaws with the Kindle aswell and the biggest one is the missing audio output, a great reading device should allow you to enjoy your books in all the available formats and I'm not sure why the Kindle Paperwhite doesn't have audio output while other Kindles do and Amazon actually sells some audio books, they should really rethink that.

    In the end, I'd like to point out that I usually can't read a real book without my glasses, which is not the case with the Kindle Paperwhite. I love my Kindle because it does what it is supposed to do: it display books, no other useless features, no Facebook integration, no distractions and because it is so small and durable, it quickly became a top item on my EDC list, since I can stuff it anywhere, in my jacket, in my backpack or even in my jeans. It is simple to use and it gets the job done. I can't even remember how many times in these 5 weeks the Kindle helped me pass the time in a queue or while I was waiting for the bus.

    ** Disclaimer: This is my first written review of an item and English is not my first language so if there are any big mistakes in the text, or you would like me to add anything to it, please let me know.
     
  2. banu

    banu Loaded Pockets

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    Your English is perfect...thank you for your review.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  3. InvertedBob

    InvertedBob Loaded Pockets

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    Thank you :) ! It is far from perfect, but I'm trying. Hopefully, somebody will benefit from this review :D
     
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  4. BFG
    • In Omnia Paratus

    BFG Loaded Pockets

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    Coincidence, donated my old Kindle to the better half this evening and was looking at getting a new one. What appeals to me is the back light, does it work in the dark ok?
     
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  5. ArkansasFan30

    ArkansasFan30 Loaded Pockets

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    I got the Paperwhite this past Christmas. I love it and use it all the time.

    I love shopping Amazon, BTW. Always cheaper than anything local and most everything online.
     
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  6. InvertedBob

    InvertedBob Loaded Pockets

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    The back light is actually pretty good. It doesn't bother my eyes and it's certanly not as bad as something like a PC screen. Light levels go from 1 to 24 and I usually keep it around 12 or 13, so about half brightness and it works even at night ( altough it's not recommended to read in complete darkness no matter the screen ). I wish it had a light sensor so it would automatically adjust the level of brightness because sometimes I start reading and it gets dark and I don't realise that the screen is too bright and my eyes hurt, but if you're careful with the brightness levels, you should be fine :) .
     
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  7. Dorian
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    Dorian EDC Junkie!!!

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    I can read comfortably in a completely dark room, and outside on a sunny day. So yes it works in the dark.
     
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  8. BFG
    • In Omnia Paratus

    BFG Loaded Pockets

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  9. Lellobeetle

    Lellobeetle Loaded Pockets

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    My husband has one of these and he enjoys it so much. His opinion is the paper style reading version is the best for eye comfort. Welcome to the board. Great review.
     
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  10. Ben Rubinstein

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    How long is the battery life in the real world, hours? Can you upload ebooks which are not from amazon or in amazon format?

    Thanks!
     
  11. BarneyG

    BarneyG Loaded Pockets

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    I've got one of the original paperwhite kindles and the battery life is amazing ... easily a couple of months between charges if you don't use it, obviously less if you are actually reading stuff and it depends on the backlight level ... I keep mine at minimum and it is perfect for just about all conditions (well at least in Scotland, if you are in somewhere sunny like California it may be different) but I can easily read for over a month every day without charging (I turn off the wifi).

    As for formats ... bad news I'm afraid you are limited to MOBI, AZW(3), PDF, PRC natively. But Calibre is your friend, anything can be turned into one of those formats assuming it doesn't have DRM on it :)

    What I really don't understand is how Amazon can make hardware as decent as the Kindle and stick such rubbish software on it. Book organisation on the kindle is atrocious. I do some hacking with jailbroken apps and plugins to Calibre to do it but it means I can't upgrade to the latest firmware coz they don't work anymore. Without it you essentially get one long list of books. You can group them into a collection but it must be done by hand on the device itself. I used to have a Sony ebook reader that from a hardware perspective was a mere ghost of a machine compared to the Kindle - the screen was too reflective, no lighting (way before Kindle Paperwhite to be fair), battery life was a week even if you didn't turn it on. But the software was great, it supported just about every file format out there and when you put a book on to it it would use the meta tags in the book to create all these groupings automatically, so you could see all your Sci-Fi books or all the books by a particular author, or even just the books in a particular series, and it would sort the books in a series by the book number rather than alphabetically on the title. In comparison the Kindle is a usability nightmare :(
     
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  12. Dorian
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    Dorian EDC Junkie!!!

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    Battery life in the real world is well over a month between charges that's reading for several hours a day, with the WiFi turned off. However it's not like you need the WiFi on, the only thing I turn it on for is downloading new books to the device.
    You can load books from almost any source provided it's DRM free, you will need to convert the format with Caliber which is quite easy. I don't have any issues with the software, but I've never used a different ereader.
     
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  13. Ben Rubinstein

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    So there isn't an hour rating? That's what is confusing me, some days I read for an hour and sometimes for 4-6 hours at a stretch (I'm a bookworm). The latest Kindle Paperwhite, on Amazon has the following specifications, assuming it's brand new and taking manufacturer ratings with the usual pinch of salt:

    A single charge lasts up to six weeks, based on a half hour of reading per day with wireless off and the light setting at 10. Battery life will vary based on light and wireless usage

    That is a battery life of 21 hours when brand new. Hardly several hours per day for over a month. There seems to be a disconnect between what people are saying the battery can do and what Amazon are claiming. That is what is confusing me.
     
  14. Dorian
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    Dorian EDC Junkie!!!

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    No hour rating that I'm aware of. Kinda your mileage may vary type of thing.
    As I understand it the device only needs power to change the page, so overall battery life is determined by how many page flips you do in a given time frame. My wife goes through a novel every one to two days which is faster than I do, she plugs in about once a month. She plugs it in and puts it on her nightstand when she goes to sleep. Takes it off in the morning good for another charge.
    It does have a battery meter, and a warning that the battery is low so as not to get caught out, also you can use it while it's plugged in. If you have any other questions feel free to ask.
     
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  15. chavez

    chavez Loaded Pockets

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    Excellent review and welcome!

    For folks reading this and considering a new Paperwhite, be aware that Amazon recently upgraded the PW (still same price) to use the 300 ppi HD Carta e-ink touchscreen. This is the same one found in the high end Amazon Kindle Voyage and the Kobo Glo HD. I own the Kobo Glo HD and it is a nice screen. I also have a 2013/2014 Amazon Paperwhite and there is a slight improvement. I still use both but prefer the Kobo for its software. I use Calibre to convert and upload/download between the e-readers. Calibre is great and a must have for anyone that wants to sideload e-books.
     
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  16. Ben Rubinstein

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    How does the kindle do with pictures? Specifically scans of documents?
     
  17. InvertedBob

    InvertedBob Loaded Pockets

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    Well, for you to view pictures on the Kindle, I think they have to be inside a PDF and tbh PDF support isn`t that great, it works, but it`s definately inferior to a „proper“ eBook.
     
  18. Ben Rubinstein

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    I actually digitize ancient manuscripts for a living, was wondering how well they would show up if I saved the files into a pdf. For studying purposes, to read the text.
     
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  19. InvertedBob

    InvertedBob Loaded Pockets

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    It would work just fine, but it depends on how you take the pictures, because they are displayed alright, but zooming in doesn`t work that well. Maybe you can find one in a brick&mortar shop and ask if you can upload one of your ancient texts to see how it works :)
     
  20. Ben Rubinstein

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    Trying to work out how to post a link to a sample pdf I made with a photographed page. Let's see if this works.

    timelessjewishart.com/EDC/example.pdf