September 4th 2012 5:05 pm

Heads up! A newer version of this product is out!

92

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

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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

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User reviews

8.8
60 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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8.0
T3 Oct 12, 2012

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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10
gadgetfanboy gadgetfanboy

What can I say - ever since the Nook Glowlight came out, I've been yearning for Amazon to put out a front-lit screen on their Kindle so I could replace my Kindle Keyboard (that I have loved and still love) with something I can read in bed with without clunky clip-on lights etc that are always too...

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8.0
DaveFriedel DaveFriedel

Definitely a huge step up from the previous Kindle. Makes a huge improvement to reading in bed. Much more lightweight and easy to use. The touchscreen is a huge improvement over the physical keyboard, just in terms of size and usability. The top menu is a little wonky in usability. I worry...

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9.0
sankara sankara

A kindle is a kindle. It's the closest to a replacement for a book for me. A tablet or a phone would never cut it (for me at least). In fact, I find it better than a book. Lighter than a paperback and with the addition of the backlight (oh, finally!) I can read it in the dark too. The...

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9.0
dougluberts dougluberts

Updated from a Kindle 2 keyboard model and loving it. The back-lit Paperwhite display is very easy on the eyes, and, combined with Amazon's library of books, makes for endless hours of reading. The battery charge lasts for about a month-or-so, and the ergonomics of the touch screen are well...

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6.0
JoeGe JoeGe

I wanted to like this reader. It is the perfect size for reading and is easy on the eyes; except at night. I found it way too bright for nighttime reading at it's lowest setting, It doesn't hurt your eyes, but it lit up the whole room. I replaced it with an Ipad Mini with the Kindle app. Although...

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9.0
joshuajudd joshuajudd

Although there's always room for improvement, there's really very little to complain about with the Kindle Paperwhite. Sure, it could be thinner, lighter, and more responsive, but if what you care most about is the actual reading experience, the Paperwhite is amazing. Every time I sit down to...

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