Simply Tech: Books vs Kindle Paperwhite

Put down the book – It’s time to pick up the Kindle Paperwhite

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Put down the book – It’s time to pick up the Kindle Paperwhite

For book lovers everywhere, this is a touchy subject. There’s something tangible about a book – even the smell of it triggers our senses. However, if you’re an avid reader, and are always on the go, books can be very heavy. Plus, they take up a lot of room (and weight) when packed in a suitcase. Even if you have a tablet or an iPad, you might want to consider the all-new Amazon Kindle Paperwhite.

The Kindle Paperwhite is a compact, low-cost, high-resolution e-Reader that electronically stores thousands of books with an innovative display screen – you almost think that you’re reading from a paperback. It’s only 6.6 inches tall, 4.6 inches wide, 0.30 inches thick and weighs less than seven ounces, making it easy to hold in your hand, and slip into a large pocket, purse or knapsack.

A sight for sore eyes

Its six-inch, hi-res screen offers 300 pixels-per-inch resolution – the same as a standard photograph. The glare-free (almost) screen makes it a beach-worthy companion. If you read at night, it’s less likely to keep you awake after you turn off the lights due to E-ink display technology. This feature doesn’t emit the same type of blue light as you find on televisions and tablets, which, apparently, keeps you more alert. With a five-LED manually adjustable backlight, you can comfortably read at night without additional light, and without disturbing your partner.

How many times have you picked up a book and found that the type was very small? With the Kindle Paperwhite, you can adjust the font type and the font size. The built-in dictionary is easy to use, plus the extended battery life requires less downtime for recharging and is ideal for a lengthy plane ride.

Enhanced highlights

The biggest improvement of the fourth generation of the Kindle Paperwhite is its new waterproof body. Previous models were toast if they got wet. Now that it’s IPX8-rated, it’d still work if it was soaked for an hour in two metres of fresh water – making it less of a worry when beaching it with the family.

The standard model now comes with 8GB of storage. You can store thousands of e-books on the device, and you can store Kindle e-books in the cloud for free. Millions of titles are available on Amazon, and many are free or cost less than $1, making it easier to discover new titles and authors. It’s important to note that Kindle still doesn’t support the e-Pub format, which is commonly found on other platforms and at public libraries, but you can store your own PDFs and select documents.

The new 32GB model includes more storage, and supports Audible. While you can listen to audiobooks, it appears (at the time of publication) that files from Audible U.S. accounts currently work with this model. There isn’t an on-board headphone jack, but the new Paperwhite is equipped with Bluetooth, so you can connect to a wireless headset, a speaker or earbuds.

Kindle Paperwhite models are available with Wi-Fi, or Wi-Fi plus free cellular connectivity, which lets you download your books from anywhere for free. Prices start at $139.99 for the 8GB Wi-Fi model.

Greg Gazin is a syndicated tech columnist, blogger, podcaster (host and producer), and contributes to, Troy Media and Active Life magazine.


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