Author Topic: Kindle PaperWhite -- 2nd generation -- even better 'best kindle ever'.  (Read 18937 times)  

Offline Ann in Arlington

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"So, I've had a Kindle since the first one.  Each new model seems to be a step up from the one before it.  For me, the Paperwhite is a giant step up."

That's what I wrote when I got my first PaperWhite kindle about a year ago.  About a month ago I got the new model paperwhite and they have managed to improve it!

The size hasn't changed, and it still works in the same cover; it is just very slightly lighter.  Controls are pretty much the same.

The screen is even better.  I'd say the first PW had a 'mother of pearl' screen; this one is more 'vanilla ice cream'.  So slightly more opaque, and they've tweaked the lighting just enough that there are basically no shadows.  The fonts are sharp -- same 6 options as before -- and, I think, a little darker. So there's decent contrast, even on smaller sizes when using the lighter weight fonts.  I still like Caecilia the best, though. :)

The light still doesn't go all the way off, but it is close enough as makes no never mind, as they say.  In a completely dark room -- interior closet, with the light turned all the way down, at first you see only the dimmest glow.  If you stay in there long enough for your eyes to completely adjust, you may be able, eventually, to make out letters on the page.  But really it's too dark to read.  It's definitely MUCH darker than the lowest setting was on last year's PaperWhite.

If you've been using a kindle with one of the 'lighted cases' that were available on non screen lit kindles, I think most people will be really impressed with the improvement in readability. You don't have the extra weight of the light possibly feeling off balance, and there's no glare patch anywhere; the lighting is completely even top to bottom.  If you resisted the first PW, well, I'd say it's time to give in now. ;)

Taking the superb quality of the screen and the lighting tweaks, I'd say this version is definitely a home run.  I thought the first PW was practically perfect -- but this one is even better. 

With Special offers, waking from sleep still does take two operations.  You turn it on with the button and have to swipe to clear the lock screen.  Alternatively, you can tap the 'shop now' button on that screen and go directly to the offer displayed. I'd 'bought out' on my previous PW so was used to opening the cover and being right where I left off.  I'm still getting used to the need to swipe; but I am kind of liking the offers I've seen so far.  Many are book specials, so that's nice -- though nothing exclusive to the device.  Just info of daily deals, monthly specials, etc. on the website.

The sorting options haven't changed.  Though now it says 'on device' instead of just 'device'. :) Cloud does now mean EVERYTHING you have and when you look there, the items that are On Device have a check mark next to them. It was no trouble to import collections from my previous PW -- or any other kindle device.  And books you download later will sort themselves into the same collections they were in elsewhere.

I still prefer list view to cover view; they haven't changed the boringness of the 'collection' cover image. :)  But if you don't use collections, the cover view does allow you to see B&W covers of the books on the device and they do look very nice.  There's a list of recommendations along the bottom -- 'recommended content' they call it.  If you want cover view, but don't want to see that, you can turn it off.  From the home page:, menu > settings > device options. 

The touch screen is just as responsive and some things are definitely faster due to the faster processor.  Really, though, it's only noticeable if you do side by side comparisons with the one from last year.

So all of that is basically the same as the last one -- but this does have some new features that are very cool.

First, there's the Page Flip Feature.  If you're reading a book and want to flip forward or back, it used to be you just had to do a lot of tapping and/or use the go to feature.  But that was inexact, because you probably didn't remember the location and if it was far back that was a lot of swiping.  Or maybe you want to flip forward for some reason -- with WiFi on you could lose your real 'furthest' page read.  Now, if you want to do that, just tap along the top and a scroll bar pops up along the bottom with a slightly reduced size version of the page you're on. You can use either the arrows on the facsimile page, or the scroll bar to flip to any page in the book you want, forward or back, without losing your current place.

The font is slightly smaller on the facsimile page, but it's sized according to the font you use for reading.  So, I'd suggest, if you use this feature a lot, set your font so the facsimile page is readable, which will make your regular reading font just slightly larger.

If you flip to another page and then tap in the center of the facsimile page, it will take you there in your 'real' pages.

It's particularly useful in books that have maps or family trees or something that you might want to refer to regularly.  You could also book mark them -- this works just a bit differently than in previous kindles and takes advantage of this page flip feature.  You can set a bookmark by tapping the upper right corner.  Instead of a 'bent corner' icon, you get a small ribbon icon.  Now, if you want to go to that bookmark, tap near the top of the screen, and on the right side there's a multiple ribbon icon.  When you tap that it lists your bookmarks by page and the first word or two on it. You go to a bookmark by tapping the entry.  Tap once and it shows you a facsimile page of where it takes you so you can quickly see if that's really the place you want to go.  Plus, if you just want to check something out, it might be big enough to see to do that without doing anything esle.  If you tap in that pop up page, it takes you there.

Another new feature is the vocabulary builder.  So, when you look up a word for the meaning, it adds to your list and you can quiz yourself on it later if you wish. On the home screen, by default, one of the things it shows is your vocabulary list.  If you don't intend to use it, you can set it not to show -- the toggle is under Reading Options in the settings menu.  I can see this being really good for kids who are supposed to pay attention to words they don't know for school assignments.

Finally, it has greatly improved handling of footnotes.  Before you had the problem of the link taking you to somewhere at the back of the book which invariably -- unless you had wireless off -- messed up your furthest page read. Now, it uses the same kind of thing as the page flip.  So you tap a footnote and it pops up without actually taking you away from the page you're reading.  No more syncing confusion.

So that's about it. . . it's a fabulous device.  And due to get better.  Amazon has a few other things that are supposed to rollout this month for the Kindle PaperWhite. In addition to connecting with FaceBook and Twitter, you'll soon be able to connect with GoodReads.  Also, as they have on the Fires, they'll be offering a version of 'Kindle Free Time' which lets you monitor how much time your kids spend using the device. I believe it's also supposed to let you segregate books so that your 8 year old can't read your steamy romances. :)  "Cloud Collections" is also coming, but that should be available on all current devices.

The question, then: To upgrade or not? If you have an older kindle, or want to move up from the basic model, I think it's definitely worth it.  Lots of improved functionality.  If you have last year's Paperwhite, the answer isn't so obvious.  There are definite improvements, as outlined above. It's not a quantum leap forward, however, rather an incremental upgrade. So the thing to do is figure out if the new features are things you think you'll use. Or, you know, just get it because it's New. ;)

My Kindles
Nautilus (Voyage)
Oasis 2016
Godric's Hollow (Basic)
S7Edge (KApp for Android)
Galaxy (KApp for Android)
(Make your own reading bar) | Ann Von Hagel | Arlington, VA | kboards  MODERATOR

Offline Sometimes Lucy

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Re: Kindle PaperWhite -- 2nd generation -- even better 'best kindle ever'.
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2013, 11:23:33 AM »
Thank you for this great review! After I read this a week or so ago, I sold my Kindle Touch, and bought the new Paperwhite. I really love it! So again, thank you for this informative review!

Offline lorizubie

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Re: Kindle PaperWhite -- 2nd generation -- even better 'best kindle ever'.
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2013, 06:46:41 AM »
I a PaperWhite and I LOVE it!  I've moved all my books off my iPad because I can carry the PW around with me and read in dark or light.  I live in Florida so I'm ALWAYS sitting outside reading and now I have no problem.  I definitely recommend this device!

Online Betsy the Quilter

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Re: Kindle PaperWhite -- 2nd generation -- even better 'best kindle ever'.
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2013, 06:58:27 AM »
Welcome Lorizubie!  Congratulations on the Paperwhite.  Glad you're enjoying it!  I love mine, too!

Be sure to check out the Book Corner and discuss some books with us--I see you've got your reading bar already!

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Offline Michael Sanrosia

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Re: Kindle PaperWhite -- 2nd generation -- even better 'best kindle ever'.
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2013, 07:55:04 PM »
Interesting. I've been thinking about getting myself one of these for the past couple of months or so.