Amazon's new Kindle Paperwhite: Why I like reading books on this more than my phone or tablet
The Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition.
The all-new Kindle Paperwhite from Amazon, which will start shipping Wednesday starting at $139.99, proves it's OK to own a device that mostly does one thing, so long as it does that one thing really well.
In the case of the Paperwhite, the latest in Amazon's longstanding Kindle line that propelled its endeavors into tech gadgets, that one thing it's great at is serving as your personal, portable library.
I've had the chance to use the Signature Edition of the Paperwhite for about a week now. Reading books on the Paperwhite is a delight, and Amazon has added some key features that make it easier to dive into a book no matter where you are.
Amazon's new Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition.
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The latest edition of Paperwhite has a larger display at 6.8 inches. The display is brighter, too, and glare-free according to Amazon. The device is also light, weighing in at just over seven ounces.
Set up was simple. I pulled up the Kindle app on my iPhone to add my account and perform some additional setup steps before finishing on the Paperwhite.
Like previous Paperwhites and Kindle e-readers, this version has an E-ink display, so content is in black and white. E-ink displays are also not as responsive when scrolling as a smartphone. It feels more like you're flipping a page upward to "scroll" instead of the fluid movement you experience on a smartphone.
Amazon upgraded the Kindle reading experience with an interface that allows swapping between different reading modes effortlessly.
Let's say you're getting ready for bed and want to read. Swipe down from the top of the screen and you'll see various settings, including a white-on-black dark mode and adjustable warm light. You can also tap at the top of the screen to pull up the menu to quickly return to your library or access other features such as Smart Lookup to check out words in the dictionary.
Since I would shift from reading during the day to night, this interface felt essential when I wanted to jump to dark mode without leaving the page in my book.
Both the standard and Signature editions are waterproof. The Signature edition, which costs $50 more, offers wireless charging and a sensor that will automatically adjust the display's brightness. You also get 32 GB of storage, compared to 8 GB on the standard model.
Amazon says the Paperwhites pack up to 10 weeks of battery life, and can charge from zero to full in 2.5 hours if you use a minimum 9-watt adapter.
Of course, since we're talking about Amazon, there are plenty of books to read. The Kindles come with limited-time access to Kindle Unlimited, which offers millions of books, not to mention the countless titles you could buy separately to fill up your e-reader. It is easy to build up a large library on a Kindle.
So far, I've found the experience of reading on a Paperwhite more pleasant than a traditional smartphone or tablet. It's the ideal size and weight, flipping through pages is smooth, and it's nice to focus on my book without getting dinged by notifications periodically. If you're an avid book reader or want to read more, the Paperwhite represents a great option.
Follow Brett Molina on Twitter: @brettmolina23.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Amazon's Kindle Paperwhite: A great device for book lovers