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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

This is definitely an all-rounder of an ereader, Amazon has really honed the ereading experience and made enough improvements on previous Kindles to come up with its best version.

The lack of connectivity and poor on-board storage still remain an issue, but the actual reading experience is excellent and it's clearly where Amazon has focused its development time.

We liked

The smooth matte-black finish, rounded edges and overall design make it look sleek and luxurious - a definite contender for the 'best looking ereader' award.

The speed of the device itself makes it one of the fastest on the market. It's refreshing to be able to glide around an e-ink screen without too much screen refresh or lag, which is frustratingly common in a lot of ereaders. The ominous "25% faster" processor seems to have done the trick.

Paperwhite

The added extras like X-Ray and Kindle Page Flip make the reading experience more complete and the Smart Lookup is a really good idea when it works.

We disliked

The onboard storage remains an issue, 2GB is too small and hardly justifiable. The cloud does offer an alternative option, but there are times when you won't have a Wi-Fi network or 3G available.

This is exacerbated when you only have the Wi-Fi model. A large part of the fun of ereaders is their portability, having to pre-download books for your travels takes away some of this portability.

The browser isn't very good, there aren't any back or forward buttons and some pages simply do not load. Since most people won't buy a Kindle to use the browser, this shouldn't be a huge drawback but you have to wonder why Amazon didn't either exclude it altogether, or at least make it more bearable.

The Smart Lookup app only works with certain books, which is a shame because it's a good idea that adds lots of depth to the reading experience.

Final verdict

The 6th generation Kindle Paperwhite is the best Kindle yet, it's the most cost effective ereader on the market and it easily beats the Nook Glowlight and Kobo Aura HD on performance and design.

Although the specifications aren't the best around, the execution is excellent and Amazon has managed to create a fast e-ink tablet and improve the reading experience with inventive reading apps. I highly recommend.

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