Surprising fact: more Kindle devices were sold on the last Prime Day than on any other day before it.
The previous Kindle Paperwhite was easily our favourite e-Reader to recommend until its bigger brother Kindle Oasis came out and stole its thunder with a flush screen design, waterproofing, aluminum body works, page-turning buttons and Audible integration. But of course, with a price tag most commoners can’t afford.
But guess what? Amazon took things into consideration and jacked up its previous generation Kindle Paperwhite with Oasis-like features so bookworms don’t have to save up as much for extra flourishes. Unless, you’re buying the Oasis for its page buttons for coolness.
The question is - should you consider upgrading to this generation’s Kindle Paperwhite? Let’s begin.
DESIGN: FLUSH SCREEN SUPERSTAR
Amazon plonked a fresh flush screen design just like the Oasis, so you don’t pluck out crumbs or dirt whilst in between reading sessions. Its 6in e-Ink Carta 300ppi screen now brags five built-in LEDs for better dispersion of light for easy dark reading and clearer readability of text when commuting in trains or taxis on a sunny day. Worried about Blue Light troubles? Thanks to its anti-glare screen it keeps those worries out of sight.
Amazon refined its rubber back with added softness and grip, so there’s lesser chances of it slipping off in a crowded train. Although, it’s still prone to leave mucky smudges behind if your hands tend to get sweaty or dirty. Avoid that by picking up one of Amazon’s covers to keep it safe and tidy.
The Paperwhite’s shed a little more weight than its previous one and it’s also lighter and thinner than the Kindle Oasis. It’s not a noticeable difference in the beginning, but as you read you’ll appreciate its toned body form. Think of it as carrying a regular 150 pager.
Features: Oasis Jr.
The Kindle isn’t big on features like your smartphone. Sure, it lacks the page flipping animation and buttons to turn pages like the Kindle Oasis, but it’s got other goodness stored inside making it worth its price.
Finally! The new Paperwhite borrows a pair of swimming trunks from the Oasis and now is swim ready with an IPX8 rating. Take it in the bathtub or in the swimming pool and continue binge reading J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fall of Gondolin.
Got a pair of wireless earphones/speakers and have a few audiobooks you’ve always wanted to indulge in? Connect those buds via Bluetooth and treat your ears to Yuval Noah Harari, Rajkummar Rao, Radhika Apte, Kalki Koechlin and other famous narrators to read the book for you. Best part, if you own both (audio and text) versions of the book, you can simultaneously read and listen to the book of choice whilst you’re tucked in your bathtub.
More of a listener than a reader? We suggest you upgrade to the 32GB variant since Audiobooks tend to eat up more space (about 500MB/book) than an ebook.
If you decide to upgrade, there’s an added advantage of free 4G LTE provided by Amazon India. And who doesn't want free internet? It’s super handy if you're constantly on the move or if you’re too lazy to use your phone to access the Amazon store or Goodreads.
SOFTWARE: dark mode on
The monochrome screensaver has always been our favourite feature on the Kindle.
Switch it on to either dive straight into your book or window-shop on its home screen to a range of millions of e-books and audiobooks on Amazon’s Store. Think of it like carrying the world’s library in a tiny slab of tech.
The new Home screen makes suggestions on new books to read based on your previous reads, books from Kindle Unlimited and Prime Reading. It also adds features to access random facts, trivia and a vocabulary builder - with and without flashcards!
Pick a book of any genre and tailor your reading specifications to your way: customise font sizes, font styles and page alignment. Nocturnal readers can opt to invert the page into black and white (dark mode) and parents can create multiple profiles for the entire family. Convenient right?
BATTERY AND PERFORMANCE: LONGREAD
If you’ve used a Kindle before you know what it feels like. It’s not smooth like your smartphone. Scrolling pages, typing WiFi passwords or just basic maneuvering is a tad slow. But hey, that’s okay. Your purpose lies in reading and only reading...right?
The current Paperwhite rocks weeks of battery like its siblings, however with this one, Amazon’s bumped it a bit to match up with its elder brother Oasis. Honestly, the battery life really depends on how much you’re spending time with the Kindle. You could be glued to reading Mark Mason’s The Subtle Art of Not giving a F**k for a couple of days or a few weeks and still have more for another book.
However, if you indulge in audiobooks rather than e-books (why would you?) or crank up the brightness to 100%, it’ll deplete battery even faster. But it’s still going to last more than your 5000mAh battery gadget.
But hey, that monochrome screen is a lifesaver, literally.
Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 2018 Verdict
Think of this as the “post-Oasis” Kindle Paperwhite, because basically it inherits all of its best features. If you own any older generation Kindle and looking for an upgrade, the new Paperwhite makes sense to get your hands on.
Although, spending ₹17,999 for extra space and free 4G doesn’t make too much sense. We’d rather make use of our already-expensive-smartphone to do the buying or audiobook listening.
So, if you’re an avid reader hunting for an eReader which isn’t too old and not too expensive but still manages to check in all the necessary features, then yes, the new Kindle is the one you should buy. It’s absolute value for money for every kind of reader out there.