Me and My Kindle Paperwhite: One Month Later

I’ve used my Kindle Paperwhite non-stop since it arrived on my doorstep Oct 3.

So, after enjoying it for a little over a month, I thought it might be time to share my observations.

I was bubbly and excited when I first got it, as you might have read, here.

And now… weeks later…. drum roll, please ….

I still love it.

The Touch Screen

The touch screen is excellent. After my horrible experience with the Kindle Touch, I was very apprehensive. The Touch jumped all over the place, but happily, the Paperwhite does not.

A simple tap on the screen, and the page flips to the next one. Touch the far left of the screen to go back a page. It’s very intuitive. Makes sense.

To get the menu, you just tap the top of the screen and the menu appears. This is the spot to change your fonts, go to your home page, adjust your light, etc. Easily accessible and easy to use.

However, to turn this into the perfect e-reader, I would add real buttons on the sides to use to change the page as an alternative to the touch screen. An either-or kind of thing. Now, that would be perfect. Usually the touch screen feels right, but there are times (like on-the-side bed-reading or zip-lock-bag bath-reading) that the buttons would be preferable to the touch screen.

The Size

Just right. Love it.

The Light

The light is the reason that I bought the Paperwhite. It hasn’t disappointed me.

There is a lot of criticism to be found on the internet about the light, and this fuss is usually about the look of a smudge down at the bottom, in low light conditions.

Yes, there is a little smudge-like appearance at the bottom, and this has to do with the embedded light.

For some people this has been a deal breaker, but I have to say that I think they are being unfairly critical. The Paperwhite is an e-ink screen that is lit, NOT a back lit tablet screen. This is a very important distinction.

I am a night time reader. With my previous Kindle, I had to use a book light. This would mean bending and adjusting it to hit the screen perfectly. But no matter what I did, the screen was never lit uniformly (of course). The Paperwhite lit screen is a HUGE improvement, although on the lower light choices you might find some smear on the bottom of the screen. This does not impact reading at all.

Click here to go to the Amazon website to see the Paperwhite in low-light conditions, and you can see the smudge at the bottom. How the screen looks in different lighting conditions.

The light is adjustable, and I am delighted with that. You can turn it way down and this is just perfect at night. The soft lighting does not interfere with sleep at all.

In the daytime, if you turn the light all the way up, the page looks white (hence, the name of the device 🙂 ). If you turn it all the way down, it looks like the regular old e-ink screen.

Today I had a doctor appointment and brought along my Paperwhite to read in the waiting room. I opened it and started turning it to get the best light. You see, I had last read on it last night, in the dark, so the screen light was way way down low. The screen looked like a regular e-ink screen. Of course I quickly remembered that this is the Paperwhite, and I instantly turned up the light. Like magic, my page was white and perfect to read. Hard to explain, in that it doesn’t “look” lit, it just looks white. Lovely.

Battery Life

Battery life has been excellent. I read until it alerts me that it is getting low. Then I charge it fully. I honestly can’t even remember the last time I charged it.

Bottom Line

The Not-that-Bad: A bit of smudging on the bottom in low light.

The I-Wish: It would be great to have hardware buttons to turn pages in addition to the touch screen.

The Good: The Kindle Paperwhite. It’s a great e-reader.

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23 thoughts on “Me and My Kindle Paperwhite: One Month Later

  1. I’ve been wondering if you still liked it, and I’m happy for you that it has worked out so well. I want one–bad!! We are really on a budget this year, so I may have to wait until my birthday. But I do plan to get one, thanks to your great reviews. I looked at those pictures, btw. That little hint of a shadowy spot at the very bottom? I’m pretty sure I can live with that in order to have an e-ink reader that has its own light. I would prefer that vastly to any backlit screen I’ve seen, though they would be fun for internet stuff. For reading, I don’t want one. I want THIS, and I’m pea-green with envy! But I’ll get one someday, and then we can compare notes.

    • The anticipation is also great fun …. you’ll love it all the more when it finally turns up in your hands! You said it perfectly. “live with that (the smudge) in order to have an e-ink reader that has its own light.” That is exactly how I feel. The smudge is there, but honestly, I don’t ‘see’ it. Now why don’t you put your comment, with your clear message “I want THIS”, on your computer screen, blown up and centered, so that when your husband sits down at the computer, he can’t miss it. 🙂

  2. Since your glowing review when you first got it, I’ve been toying with getting one…and I’ve now begun subscribing to the kindle deals (thanks to you again!) When I read the reviews on Amazon recently, I was concerned about the smudge…it was on my to do list was to ask you what you thought of the smudge…but you’ve beaten me to it! Voila! You wrote this updated review and I’m sooo happy! Thank you for answering my questions (that I had yet to ask!) Are we getting psychic? Conversing telepathically? 🙂 hee hee
    Let me repeat my enthusiasm once again to you…I love your blog, your posts and your sharing! Thank you! xo

    • You are so funny! Yes, the smudge is there, and those pictures on Amazon that I linked to show the smudge clearly. For some people its a deal breaker. For me, well, I just don’t ‘see’ it. 🙂 Remember … if you get it and you don’t like it, Amazon has a very very generous return policy. Thanks so much for your kind words.

    • I was glad to find the picture of the smudge on Amazon’s website. It is a very ‘true’ photo, so people can understand what they are getting. I’m glad Amazon did that.

  3. Hi again Kathy…I know, I know. You probably live in constant fear of my showing up on one of your posts..!!! One quick comment—then one question. First I just returned from Amazon where I was ready to spend some cash for a Paperwhite (Thank you for all of your help..!!). I thought I would glance one last time at reviews and noticed something I had not seen before. There appears to be a good number of folks who are receiving “defective..??” Paperwhites. They claim that the screens show various color tints and tones when the light is adjusted to various settings. Blue, green, pink, etc. tints and casts at various spots on the screen…usually with the light adjusted to a mid-level intensity. I know Amazon has a great return policy—but I don’t like to do that. So, the question—-Have you seen anything like this or know of anyone who has?? Have you heard of an unusual number of defective units shipping to consumers?? (Okay, Sorry—That was two questions..!!)
    Thanks again,
    Howard

    • No worries, Howard. I’m glad you saw this post, because I have experienced the “smudges” when the Paperwhite is set with a low light. I hope you followed the link for that photo, because that is exactly what it looks like. I am aware of the complaints about the colors. I don’t see them. Smudges, yes. Colors, no. I think that sometimes people expect the surface to look like a back-lit screen, and it is not. You must remember that it is not a back-lit screen. Good luck with your decision! Any Kindle is a great Kindle. Maybe you’d prefer the basic version and just use a book light with it? That is a fine alternative too. I read with the book light for years. (but don’t be afraid about the return. Amazon is very very good with that.)

      • Thanks again Kathy….I think I am going to go to the Paperwhite just for a reader. If there are problems Amazon should take care of it……I do have another question though although I don’t know if this is the place for it….I think I will try to read all of the rest of your posts about the kindles and their abilities before bothering you. You may have already answered it!!!

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