Kindle Paperwhite 2018: Now refined and waterproof with more features

Mala Bharghava | Updated on: Dec 12, 2018
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Amazon’s e-reader that sits between the basic Kindle and the Premium Oasis gets functional improvements

Amazon’s Kindle e-reader has its own place in the world of gadgets. Although you can read a Kindle book on any device with the app, there’s something special about curling up with a Kindle and losing yourself in a book. It’s the next best thing to reading a paper book — only better because you know you’re not destroying forests.

Amazon refines its Kindles every year or so and that’s what it has just done with its Kindle Paperwhite, a device that sits between the basic Kindle, which is for ₹5,999 and the premium Oasis that is super thin and has special features and costs ₹21,999.

The Paperwhite is actually the best-rated and best-selling of the portfolio and for this version, Amazon has tried to give it some more features and enhance its appeal to users.

The new Paperwhite now has a flatter screen — and there’s a big reason behind that change. People apparently just love munching while they read and food gets stuck between the bezel and the screen where it’s difficult to clean. Now it’s easy enough to wipe it off with a micro-fibre cloth and get it clean again. You could also opt to give it a little bath — without the case — because it’s now waterproof. A feature that has come down from the Oasis. Not that it’s meant to get a bath, but if you were reading in a bathtub or somewhere in danger of splashing or dropping water on your Kindle, you can rest easy that it won’t finish it off. In fact, it can withstand two metres of submersion for 60 minutes. This is a nice feature because people tend to read in all sorts of places. The screen is also shatter and scratch resistant so you don’t have to worry too much if you slip it into your bag, though most people will use a case and protect the Kindle as well as get that feeling of opening it and holding it more like a book.

The Paperwhite is now also a bit lighter and thinner, though you may not notice it unless you directly compare with the previous device. New users can however be assured that they’ve got an improvement in form factor. The bezel sizes have been adjusted a little but they’re still thick as it’s probably not possible to banish them almost completely the way phones are doing.

The six-inch screen is almost the same as before but it now has five LED lights tucked into the bottom for even lighting across the page. It’s also a bit brighter and can be read quite comfortably in bright sunlight. If you’re reading at night and want to avoid the glare or have an annoyed spouse next to you, you can also now turn the page to black-white text.

There’s now more memory on the device because it’s 8 GB so it can hold more books. There is a 32 GB variant for readers who read books that have larger file sizes like comics. The battery life is still weeks-long, but Amazon has customised usage to not drain battery.

On the software side, you still have all the customisations you want, from change of font and size and alignment to brightness level and even orientation. The Home screen could be friendlier still but it now makes recommendations from the Kindle Unlimited category of books, if you happen to be a member.

There are water-safe fabric covers as well as fabric and premium leather ones, which have to be bought separately. The Kindle snaps on magnetically into the case.

Price: ₹12,999 and ₹17,999

Pros: Refined to improve feel and comfort, waterproof, tougher

Cons: Nothing in particular

Published on December 12, 2018

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