92

When it comes to e-readers, Amazon is still king of the hill

92

Amazon was clearly focused on creating the best possible reading experience with the Paperwhite, and it's delivered. The screen adjustments are great -- everything from the evenly distributed front light to the improved contrast. Meanwhile, the new Time to Read feature, coupled with X-Ray, Whispersync and Send to Kindle, further round out the experience. And, of course, there are perennial favorites like optional 3G and Amazon's vast catalog of content.

The Kindle's still far from perfect, though. For starters, it's simply not as pleasant to hold as the Nook Simple Touches -- it ultimately sacrifices comfort for some aesthetic niceties. There's also the Kindle lineup's continued lack of expandable storage, though the built-in 2GB might well be enough for you, especially with unlimited cloud storage at the ready. And then there's the whole "Special Offers" thing. Amazon, can we stop pretending that ads are a bonus feature? It's great that you're able to shave the price down to $119 for the WiFi version and $179 for 3G, and these ads certainly aren't as intrusive as some might suggest. Still, with the Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight now priced at $119 without ads, it's hard to get behind paying $20 for an ad-free experience. Those caveats aside, though, the Kindle Paperwhite has once again made Amazon's e-reader the one to beat.

Critic reviews

8.7
25 reviews
  • Display / readability
    9.1
  • Battery life
    8.5
  • Store and selection of titles
    8.7
  • Ease of use
    7.8
  • Document support
    7.4
  • Storage capacity
    7.2
  • Durability
    8.0
  • Design and form factor
    8.5
  • Portability (size / weight)
    7.8

sort by

User reviews

8.8
59 reviews
9.0
Engadget Sep 30, 2012

So, do all of these features add up to the best e-reader out there? In a syllable: yep. Amazon was clearly focused on creating the best possible reading experience with the Paperwhite, and it's delivered.

Read the full review →
9.0
Gizmodo Sep 30, 2012

Should You Buy This? Absolutely. The Paperwhite is a great ereader, and the superb screen quality, easy-to-use frontlight, and improved capacitive controls make it an easy choice.

Read the full review →
9.0
Wired Sep 30, 2012

Barnes & Noble just dropped the light-up Nook’s price to $120 — and that’s without ads. But I’d still recommend the Kindle Paperwhite. It has the better software features, the stellar screen, and the unstoppable ecosystem. It keeps its crown as king of the e-readers.

Read the full review →
9.0
CNET Sep 6, 2012

With an excellent built-in light and Amazon's best-in-class ebook selection, the Kindle Paperwhite rises to the top of the e-reader pack.

Read the full review →
9.0
PC Mag Oct 5, 2012

The Wi-Fi-only Amazon Kindle Paperwhite is our favorite ebook reader, thanks to its bright, even edge-lighting and a number of other refinements, and it's a much better buy than the 3G version.

Read the full review →
9.0
Popular Science Oct 3, 2012

Love Kindle. Love Amazon's Kindle store, love the reading experience, love the Paperlight front-lit display. Love the hardware. Don't love being forced to use a touchscreen. If you don't have a Kindle, buy this one.

Read the full review →
8.0
TechCrunch Sep 30, 2012

Should you buy this e-reader? If you’re in the market for an Amazon-branded e-ink reader, this is definitely the one to get.

Read the full review →
8.0
GigaOM Sep 30, 2012

The front-lit screen improves the reading experience all day long, not just at night, making this a big step up from the Touch.

Read the full review →
8.0
Laptop Magazine Sep 30, 2012

Looks better in daylight and has a more paper-like look when the backlight is on. And if you're an Amazon Prime member, you get access to the free lending library... we give a slight edge to Barnes & Noble's device for its lighter weight, dedicated home button and more even backlighting.

Read the full review →
8.0
PC Mag Oct 1, 2012

The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 3G offers always-on connectivity, bright, even edge-lighting, and numerous other improvements, but it's simply too expensive. The Wi-Fi-only version is a better buy.

Read the full review →
10
Time Sep 30, 2012

It’s the best product that Amazon has sold under the Kindle moniker — a refreshing reminder that there’s always room for a device that does one thing really, really well.

Read the full review →
9.0
TechHive Sep 30, 2012

With the Kindle Paperwhite’s integrated illumination and dramatic software redesign, Amazon has improved the everyday usage experience of its top-tier Kindle in a meaningful way.

Read the full review →
9.0
SlashGear Sep 30, 2012

There’s no doubt that the Paperwhite feature works, and works great. For those that want the best possible reading experience across the board the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite is certainly worth your dollar.

Read the full review →
9.0
Mashable Sep 30, 2012

If you own a second- or third-generation Kindle, this is a valuable upgrade ... if you’re a first time e-reader, the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite is — with a small edge on performance and features, as well as a better established ecosystem of products and services — tough to beat.

Read the full review →
9.0
Pocket-Lint Oct 12, 2012

If you're worried that will do your eyes in, don't, it is a very pleasant experience, and one no matter what pulp fiction you are reading, you will no doubt enjoy it a great deal.

Read the full review →
8.0
CNET UK Oct 24, 2012

The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite is a great ebook reader, with a built-in light that makes for clear, comfortable reading, even in the dark. Buying books direct from Amazon is a breeze, though there's still no support for the popular .epub file format.

Read the full review →
9.0
TrustedReviews Oct 19, 2012

There's room for improvement in future models, but the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite is the best, most complete version-feeling of the Kindle to date.

Read the full review →
9.0
TechRadar Nov 13, 2012

Minor issues aside, Amazon's Kindle Paperwhite is more aces than not. It has the same primary advantage of every Kindle and Amazon device: the largest selection of digital reading material anywhere. That alone puts the Paperwhite among the best devices of its kind.

Read the full review →
8.0
T3 Oct 12, 2012

Turn on the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite and you’ll wonder how you ever coped with yesterday’s ereaders.

Read the full review →
8.0
Digital Versus Dec 19, 2012

The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite is a great e-reader, with good touch functionality, a responsive illuminated display and a great ecosystem. But it does have its drawbacks: it's a closed system...it doesn't play audio books and the display isn't always evenly lit.

Read the full review →
8.0
IT Pro Portal Oct 4, 2012

The Paperwhite is thinner, feels nicer, has a sharper screen with better contrast, and has better lighting – in other words, it's a better eBook reader. If that's your priority, it's tough to go wrong with the Kindle Paperwhite.

Read the full review →
9.0
USA Today Sep 30, 2012

Amazon has brightened the picture for readers with Kindle Paperwhite--quite literally and in more ways than one.

Read the full review →
9.0
cjtylr cjtylr

From the onset, the increased resolution and front light are enough to make this edition of Amazon's Kindle a winner in my book. A couple of months ago, when I was speculating about the features that would hallmark Amazon's top-of-the-line e-reader, I specifically hoped for more contrast,...

Read the full review →
9.0
Musikon Musikon

I had a Kindle Keyboard previously, and I was hesitant to upgrade at first. I thought about how I had a light on my Kindle case, and why would I need one built in. It might be more convenient, but is it worth spending the extra money when I already have a Kindle that works perfectly fine? I...

Read the full review →
9.0
KenEsq KenEsq

It's the best e-reader I've used to date. Amazon fixed a lot of the UI mess from the original Kindle Touch and the lighting and resolution are very good. It'd be nice if they could clean up the lighting issues at the bottom of the screen, but the advantages of this new system so far outweigh...

Read the full review →
9.0
kanjisasahara kanjisasahara

This is my first e-reader, but I've played with older KIndles and Nooks and was waiting for a product like the Paperwhite. The built in lighting and crisp display make reading a breeze and the portability means I am free to bring it anywhere. So glad I bought this and well worth the $119.

Read the full review →
9.0
TedZaharchuk TedZaharchuk

Well worth the $119 price tag. As a pure ebook reader, it is the best availible right now due to the backlight display, Amazon's ebook selection, and wide support for document formats.

Read the full review →
8.0
justintokyo justintokyo

My second Kindle after using the 4th gen model before this. Overall a great product and the lighted display is great for reading in dark places. The resolution is also improved though I thought the previous model's resolution was also just find for displaying text. On the other hand I think this...

Read the full review →

How it stacks up

Instantly compare the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite side by side with some of the top devices on Engadget!

Compare these

Other Amazon e-book readers

Don't forget to check out these other devices by Amazon, you might find something good!

See all Amazon e-book readers