Mon. Dec 6th, 2021

OhYou can’t say for sure about Amazon’s Kindle: it’s not a device you’ll need to upgrade often, even if you’re an avid reader. I’ve been using the same since the end of 2015 and it’s still getting stronger. But Amazon caught my attention 5th generation paperweight. Amazon for the first time since the original came out Increase display size 6 inches to 6.8 inches, and it has a thinner bezel than before. It now uses 17 LED backlights (just over five) and a compatible “warm light” to reduce eye strain at night. Amazon has finally switched to USB-C for charging.

These are some notable new features, but Amazon is offering a “signature version” (SEO) this year, with 32GB of storage (the standard model only has 8GB), an automatically adjustable backlight, wireless charging and no ads on the lock screen and it Still waterproof, can run audible audiobooks via Bluetooth and its battery life is remarkable. At $ 190, it’s not cheap; Or, at $ 140, not the standard paperweight. But, if you’ve been using it longer (or more) than me, there’s a lot to like here. It doesn’t radically change the Kindle experience, but it does make it a lot more beautiful.


  • A larger and more responsive screen
  • Tiny bezel
  • USB-C charging and wireless charging
  • Lots of storage
  • Automatic brightness and warm lighting options make the display even better than before


  • The signature version is expensive

If you’ve been using a Kindle at all in the last decade, you’ll be familiar with the new PaperWhite design. Like other e-readers, PaperWhite is dominated by an e-ink touchscreen with a soft backlight that you can turn on or off and adjust to your reading conditions. Like the previous Kindles, the rest of the device is soft-touch plastic that picks up fingerprint grease very easily.

Amazon's latest Kindle Paperwhite e-reader, released in late October 2021.

Nathan Ingraham / Engadget

Also Like 2018 PaperHawite, Here the screen is flushed on the front of the device instead of being slightly recessed like the previous model. Coming from an older device, I like this change. This makes swiping the touchscreen to turn pages much more enjoyable, and the display is even better if it’s a little closer to your eyes. It’s just a high-quality experience – but if you have a 2018 Paperwhite, or more expensive Kindle Oasis, you already know it.

More notable is the size of the big screen. Amazon has the same 300 pixel-per-inch density here, so the display looks just as beautiful as before. There is more space to navigate your books and the Kindle UI. With the extra screen space and some changes in the interface, the device is much more comfortable to use than before. It’s like knowing that the new Paperweight is a little wider and longer – so if you have small hands or the Kindle already seems a little big, this can be a problem. But, for me, the larger screen is a massive improvement, and it’s not diminished at least by the slightly larger body.

The screen bezels are also significantly smaller. The bottom bezel is on the big side, so maybe you can rest your thumb on it while reading, but the top, left and right are very thin. The lack of a small bezel, large display and recessed screen all make this hardware more premium than previous Kindle Paperwhite models.

Amazon's latest Kindle Paperwhite e-reader, released in late October 2021.

Nathan Ingraham / Engadget

A less impressive change is the new LED front lighting system. There are 17 separate LEDs that give Paperwhite its soft glow that lets you read in dim light, more than five of the previous models. This sounds like a big improvement, but I can’t say I’ve noticed a big difference. The Old Paperweight already had a very smooth front lighting system and it also looks great on newer models, not dramatically better.

These LEDs have a new technique, though: “Adjustable warm light.” This is similar to the Night Shift feature that Apple added to its products a few years ago; This adjusts the color temperature of the display light to a more amber hue. Kindle’s lighting system never seemed too blue to me, and since we weren’t working with a bright LCD, they were always less likely to cause sleep disturbances. But being able to adjust the color temperature of the screen is still easy.

Like other devices, you can set two different color temperatures, for a day and a warm setting after sunset. There is also an automated schedule that uses location services to change color temperature automatically and slowly based on sunrise and sunset in your current location.

Amazon's latest Kindle Paperwhite e-reader, released in late October 2021.

Nathan Ingraham / Engadget

You appreciate multiple ways to customize the warmth of a paperweight screen, but it’s also a bit confusing. When you drag down the settings shade, you will see a slider for both brightness and warmth of the screen. Then, when you dive into the section where you can set a schedule, there is another slider to set the temperature for the allotted time. It took me a while to realize that one slider covered warm-up outside of schedule and the other was only effective during schedule. Although I finally got everything sorted out And if you don’t think about setting the color temperature of the screen, you can just choose a setting that looks best on you and forget about it.

You’ve been able to set different brightness levels on the Kindle for years now, but the Paperwhite signature version can automatically adjust to ambient light. Smartphones have had this feature for years, and even the more expensive Kindle Oasis has had it for some time. Here, it works quite quickly and reliably. For the room I was studying I first set the brightness to a comfortable level manually and then put my confidence in the automatic brightness feature. I could clearly notice that it was kicking in the bright room and dropping things down in my dimly lit bedroom while I was getting ready to crash for the night. It’s not an essential feature, but it’s nice to have.

Think of it this way: “It’s nice to get it” The standard Kindle describes most of the differences between the paperwhite and the signature version. The standard version comes with 8GB of storage, vs. 32GB in SE. The SE also has wireless charging, which works pretty well – I’ve dropped PaperWhite on a few anchor chargers around the house and it charges quickly and reliably. But considering how long the device’s battery lasts, most people can charge it once a month or more with an old USB-C cable. (I haven’t mentioned it yet, but Paperwhite has a battery that lasts for weeks like all other Kindles.)

Amazon's latest Kindle Paperwhite e-reader, released in late October 2021.

Nathan Ingraham / Engadget

SE also has an ad-free lock screen. Amazon has long charged you a premium to get a device without ads that try to sell you more things from Amazon is the most Amazon thing ever. And the desire not to show ads on my face makes the signature version quite interesting. A $ 50 price difference is significant – but I usually use a Kindle for five years or more, why not get rid of these ads and get a few extra features while I’m at it? Given that the ad is only $ 30 cheaper than the standard Paperwhite signature version without ads, this is an upsell I probably want to get.

Things like storage capacity, number of LEDs, wireless charging, etc. are important in the service of only one thing: reading. Fortunately, the new Kindle Paperwhite is the best e-reader I have ever used. I’ve never had a big problem with how to refresh e-ink screens when you turn the page, but Paperwhite refreshes so quickly and smoothly that this device feels more pleasant to use than my 2015 model.

Outside of the refresh rate, the touchscreen is highly responsive; I rarely recognize my taps or swipes. When I use the keyboard to search for books, I just go ahead and wait for a key press to register. There are still some times where you have to wait to catch the screen, though. This is mostly the case when you are navigating more complex layouts, such as the Kindle Store.

In some respects, the new Kindle Paperwhite changes nothing; Amazon has been holding its breath in the e-reader market for years and the previous Paperwhite was a power device. The new PaperWhite is still Amazon’s best e-reader. It’s not as expensive and fancy as the Kindle Oasis, but it offers a much better experience than the original $ 90 Kindle. The big screen and high resolution are enough to choose PaperHight if you are more than the most casual among the readers.

Amazon's latest Kindle Paperwhite e-reader, released in late October 2021.

Nathan Ingraham / Engadget

The other question is whether the $ 190 “signature version” is worth the 50 premium compared to the standard model. For most people, the answer is probably no. The two devices are basically the same in every significant way. Wireless charging is a bonus, but given how often Paperwhite needs to be charged, it’s not a huge upgrade for convenience. More storage is never a bad thing, but 8GB can still literally hold thousands of books. Extra space is really important if you use Kindle Audible, as audiobooks can eat through your storage quickly.

Automatically adjusted lighting is probably my favorite of these signature version features. Almost every display in your life can do this, and it makes sense to be here, especially if you strengthen your paperweight in the middle of the night. Also, it’s hard to overstate how much of a relief it is to not see an ad every time you pick up the device.

In the end, if I were you Bought Kindle Paperwhite For someone as a gift, I probably want to get the ideal version. If I were to buy for myself, I would get the signature. Either way, I’ll buy a Kindle PaperWhite. It remains the best e-reader on the market.

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