I purchased my first Kindle back in 2010 (can’t believe it’s been almost five years). At that time, I bought the newest one available, the 2nd generation with 3G. It was the keyboard variety.
Twice I almost extinguished my Kindle by spilling water on it. I’ve dropped it many times, cracked it and had it taped it together. I don’t know if those accidents are related, but my Kindle had started to slow down. Even though I’d upgraded the software, I’d begun having trouble accessing the Kindle Store, and my Kindle would freeze up when I highlighted multiple passages. So I decided it was time trade up.
I was torn between the Kindle Fire, which gives greater internet access capability, and the Paperwhite, which I’d heard was primo for reading. In the end, because what I really wanted was a reader and not another computer, I chose the Paperwhite.
I’ve had it a couple of weeks now, and I love it. It is fantabulous, and it is generally more functional and more user friendly than my old 2nd generation. Here are the positives and negatives of Paperwhite:
- Navigation with the touch screen is a breeze. It’s even easier to access the Kindle store, buy books, and use the menu functions.
- The lighting on Paperwhite is awesome and far superior to 2nd generation. I can now read in the dark without having to turn on a lamp (great for reading in bed when the other person wants to sleep!)
- Highlighting is so much easier when using my finger instead of the little toggle switch.
- I can “go to” a specific chapter or page instead of just the “location” so navigating within a book is much easier.
- When I buy a book from a Kindle sample it opens to the spot where I left off reading. No more scrolling through to find my place.
- The screen is the same size on both Kindles, but the overall size of the Paperwhite device is smaller because there’s no keyboard. It’s more akin to a mass market paperback vs. a trade paperback for 2nd generation. Paperwhite fits in my hand better than 2nd generation.
- With the 2nd generation Kindle, I could create alphabetical “categories” and file my books so I could find them easier. I can create categories on Paperwhite, but it doesn’t remove the books from the home screen, so I end up with two copies. If I delete the book from the home page, it removes it from the device completely! It’s still stored in the Kindle Cloud, but I don’t want it in the Cloud, I want it on my device, just not on my home page. What if I’m on an airplane and want to look up an old book? I wouldn’t be able to. I don’t know if I don’t have the function figured out or if this is a design modification, but it’s the one thing I really don’t like about the Paperwhite.
- I love my Triple Town game on my 2nd generation Kindle. But that game is not compatible with Paperwhite, so I’m stuck carrying around my old Kindle.
- The Paperwhite did not come with the power “adaptor” that allows you to charge it from a wall socket. That’s an extra accessory. I failed to realize that when I bought it. I saw the “adaptor” but thought it was an electrical converter for use outside the US. You can charge the Paperwhite from your computer with the USB cord. Fortunately, my 2nd generation Kindle did come with a charger, which works with Paperwhite, so no harm no foul, but I think it’s pretty cheesy of Amazon to not include the electrical charger with Paperwhite.
A note about the cost:
A basic Paperwhite is $119. But if you want 3G so you can access the store if you don’t have wireless available, it’s $189. To get a Paperwhite “without special offers,” i.e. ads, bumps it up to $209. Add the special Kindle cover (which I highly recommend) and that adds $39.99 to the price. A two year protection plan, which I bought due my history of Kindle accidents, added another $29.99. (The power adaptor, which I didn’t need and didn’t buy is $19.99).
My $119 Paperwhite ended up costing me $258.98.