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Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (2013) review

Amazon's new Kindle is even better than before

Our Verdict

The 6th generation Kindle Paperwhite is the best Kindle yet, it's the most cost effective ereader on the market at £109 (in this spec range) and it easily beats the Kobo Aura on performance and design. Amazon has managed to create a fast e-ink tablet with inventive reading apps.

For

  • Upgraded design
  • Faster processor
  • Incredible battery life

Against

  • Internal storage questionable
  • Dark spots on screen
  • Poor browser
Ratings in depth

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite review

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite review

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite review

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite review

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite review

With 2GB on board storage, a 212 ppi resolution, a "25% faster processor" (Amazon wasn't very forthcoming on the exact speed) and weighing in at 206 grams, the latest Paperwhite is taking aim at the higher-end of ereader specs.

And at £109 it's definitely cost effective. The Kobo Aura HD and Nook GlowLight are the most comparable devices in a similar range, but even with more impressive lists of specs (or price point for the Nook), the Paperwhite seems to have executed the ereading experience very well.

It just goes to show that execution is just as important, if not more, as pumping a device full of shiny fast things.

The Amazon Paperwhite is available in two versions: Wi-Fi only and Wi-Fi + 3G. The Wi-Fi only model will set you back £109, but if you fancy the luxury of free 3G you'll have to fork out £169 up front.

Amazon knows a thing or two about ereaders, that much is clear from almost every version of the Kindle, and it's never been more apparent than in its 6th generation model.

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite review

This almost epitomises everything you would expect from an ereader, it's truly an achievement in ereading technology.

It almost feels wrong that the Kindle arrived at my doorstep via a sweaty postman, rather than being delivered to me by a mythical stalk whilst a barbershop quartet of cupids provided an angelic backing chorus.

Surprisingly, the specifications aren't actually mind blowing, and there are some basic features that Amazon is still yet to introduce into its ereader and tablet devices - most notably external storage.

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite review

This new version of the Kindle typifies the word 'improvement'. I don't mean that it's jumped leaps and bounds from the previous version, I mean that it has been tweaked and honed to provide a polished experience that improves on anything Amazon has produced in earlier years.

It weighs slightly less and the backlight has been redesigned to reduce eye strain - amongst some other small upgrades. If the Kindle was a piece of software, this version would be an update rather than a new release.

Which isn't necessarily a bad thing, because Amazon has clearly focused its efforts on the actual reading experience, which is actually a delight. The addition of reading apps like X-Ray and Smart Lookup are game changers that go further than other devices on the market.

Tech Specs

Product TypeDigital Text Reader
Flash Memory Capacity2 GB
TouchscreenYes
Colour SupportGrayscale (16-bit)
Brand NameAmazon
Battery Run Time1344 Hour
Product LineKindle
Screen Size15.2 cm (6")
Wireless LANYes
Display Screen TypeE Ink
Text FormatsTXT, PDF, MOBI, PRC, HTML, DOC, DOCX
Cellular Data Connectivity Technology3G
Height170.2 mm
Width116.8 mm
Depth9.1 mm
ColourBlack
Image FormatsJPEG, GIF, BMP, PNG
ManufacturerAmazon.com, Inc
Product NameKindle Paperwhite 3G
Manufacturer Part Number53000264
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.amazon.com
Marketing Information

Unsurpassed Resolution

Our Paperwhite display offers 62% more pixels, and renders exceptionally sharp, clear text and images.

Stunning Contrast

Kindle Paperwhite 3G's screen has 25% higher contrast. Crisp, dark text against a brilliant white background makes for the perfect read.

Innovative Built-in Light

Paperwhite guides light towards the display from above instead of projecting it out at your eyes like back-lit displays, thereby reducing screen fatigue. You can adjust your screen's brightness to create a perfect reading experience in all lighting conditions, from bright sunlight to bedtime reading.

Limited Warranty1 Year
Host InterfaceUSB 2.0
Weight (Approximate)222 g