Everything You Should Know Before Buying A Kindle Paperwhite

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The Kindle Paperwhite is frankly aging, but it is still the most reasonable kindle option for anyone restricted by a budget.

So, if you are like me who isn’t voraciously devouring ebooks but is always reading something, you might be tempted to invest in a Kindle. And in late 2016, earlier reviews aren’t as relevant. So here is a guide which answers some pertinent questions and details everything that you need to know about the Kindle Paperwhite experience in 2017.


Question: Which color Kindle Paperwhite should I go for? Black or White?

Answer: What color you prefer is more a matter of personal choice. Having said that, I like the White version better but still decided to go for the black one.

The White bezel and White e-ink display wouldn’t be an exact match, and me being anal about the white points on my displays would be constantly distracted by the difference. On the other hand, the stark contrast of white display and black bezels on the black variant further accentuate the display goodness.

I would recommend the Black variant.

Question: How is the Kindle Paperwhite display?

Answer: Kindle Paperwhite flaunts a 300 PPI e-ink display. The display looks best in natural sunlight or in mixed indoor lighting during daytime.

It’s a black and white display and thus all book covers will show monochrome. For reading, it’s an absolutely gorgeous display, which won’t be harsh on your eyes. In natural light, it feels exactly like a paper tucked behind a glass frame. There is no eye raping blue light or tint to be wary of.

The display is the primary reason for why you will be buying a Kindle. And on Kindle Paperwhite it’s totally delectable. In the third generation Paperwhite model, Amazon is using the same display as on Kindle Voyage.


Question: How is the bedtime reading experience on Kindle Paperwhite?

Answer: As against IPS LCD display there is no backlight behind kindle screen. The display merely reflects white LED light falling on it.

Even at night when you are reading in a pitch dark room, it’s less strenuous on your eyes compared to both LCD and AMOLED displays. (Which I was primarily compromising with before I finally bought my second Kindle).

Question: How is the Kindle Paperwhite Performance?

Answer: If you have been using Kindle smartphone app, you will notice that the Paperwhite is significantly slower. I didn’t realize that when I bought my first Kindle some 5 years back, which was way slower, because of how fast the smartphones these days have become. Switching from the OnePlus 3 Kindle app, the Paperwhite felt primitive.

But a software update and one week later, I am pretty much used to the Kindle pace.

Of course, the e-ink display can’t refresh at the same rate as LCD panels, so you will notice page transitions. That’s not lag.

Question: How do I know what generation Kindle I am using?

Answer: The 2015 Paperwhite model is a significant upgrade over last generation Kindle. If you are buying from Amazon in India, that’s precisely what you will be getting.

The ‘About Device’ part in the settings doesn’t tell you anything about your Kindle Paperwhite generation.

Here is how you would know: If the Kindle Logo on the front is silver color, you have got the last generation model. If its black and blends with bezels, it’s the current generation model.


Question: I feel my Kindle Paperwhite is slow, what should I do?

Answer: Initially, I felt that my Kindle Paperwhite is way too slow and laggy. The option for any software update in the settings was grayed out – so assumed I was running the latest version.

The next step was to contact Amazon care. They checked my device and sent a link to the manual update, which remarkably improved things.

Your Kindle has no push notification system. If you have less than 50 percent battery, it won’t be updated over the air. So I guess I will be checking for updates directly with Amazon in future.

Question: How is the build quality of Kindle Paperwhite?

Answer: Kindle Paperwhite body is very susceptible to scuff marks and scratches. It is imperative that you invest in a good quality case. Reading on a Kindle is more about the experience, and that is precisely why you need to keep it in pristine condition.

Question: What case should I buy for Kindle Paperwhite?

Answer: Once again, since reading on a Kindle is more about the overall experience, It is important that you invest in a good quality case.

The best option is Amazon’s own leather cover, which is expensive and costs 25 percent of what you are paying for the Kindle itself. If you feel it’s too expensive, go for other good quality magnetic cover that protects it well. In the second case, this is the one we could recommend.


Question: Besides reading ebooks what else can I use my Kindle for?

Answer: I am tempted to say ‘Nothing’ but that won’t be true. There is an experimental browser which has been experimental for years. You could go to a web page and switch to article mode from triple dot menu and actually, read.

But seriously, apart from reading ebooks, everything else feels crippling. There are some chrome extensions that let you push content to your Kindle, but nothing works as seamlessly as it should.

It would have been great if the browser were more competent.

Questions: Do we get free books with Kindle Paperwhite?

Answer: Not really. There are millions of titles you can get for free on Kindle e-book store no matter what device you access it from. No additional ebook buying credits, though.

Questions: Can we sideload books on Kindle Paperwhite?

Answer: Yes you can. You can also attach and directly email PDF and Mobi format books to your Kindle email address (every Kindle has one) and directly add books to your Kindle library.

Question: Will Kindle Paperwhite get Audible support via software update?

Answer: No. Only Kindle Oasis and Standard Kindle model will get Audible via software update.

Question: Should I opt for the Kindle Paperwhite 3G Variant?

Answer: The 3G privileges on Kindle are only for Amazon store and services. The extra premium you pay isn’t worth it.


Question: How long does the battery last on Kindle Paperwhite?

Answer: Battery on your Kindle lasts for weeks, just as advertised. You need not worry regarding the battery backup.

Question: What is the after sales support like for Kindle Paperwhite in India?

Answer: Post warranty period, there is no support for Kindle Paperwhite in India or abroad. You can buy e-ink displays from third-party vendors in China and get them replaced, but all of that is easier said than done. Amazon often offers a nominal discount coupon when your Kindle goes haywire and you wish to purchase a new one.

So after 1 year, you are pretty much on your own. And that sucks big time.

Question: How is the overall reading experience with Kindle Paperwhite in 2017?

Answer: It is still awesome. You can look up words seamlessly, sync your notes across cloud, improve your vocabulary using the Vocab builder and read for long hours without straining your eyes.

Kindle Oasis is certainly better, but the price is high enough to deter anyone who isn’t a voracious ebook reader or is restricted by a budget. For all such users, Kindle Paperwhite is the only option that makes sense. The base Kindle model with a low-resolution display bereft of led lighting isn’t worth recommending and the Voyage, lying somewhere in between, isn’t a significant upgrade or very appealing.

The Oasis is the best possible option and the Paperwhite is still a legit functional choice.

Last updated on: November 27, 2017

Deepak SinghDeepak Singh
Deepak has more than 8 years of experience in covering technology for several eminent publications in India. He currently leads an enthusiastic team of young writers at Smartprix and tries to uphold the highest quality standards.

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chandra man
6 years ago

Hey Deepak, nice review and answers..I purchased a kindle paper white recently and see a slight dark patch near the rear bottom of the kindle scree. when i contact help desk they are saying it is due to the LED lights..is it a kindle default ..are you also facing the same issue?

Deepak Singh
6 years ago

LED backlighting is not perfect and the defects are more apparent in dark ambiance. But without taking a look at your device it’s hard to say. I don’t have a complete dark patch anywhere on the screen, though.

Reuben Jacob
6 years ago

Thank you Deepak for this detailed review, most informative

Deepak Singh
6 years ago

You are very welcome.