There are two reigning kings in the world of tablet devices, depending on whether you want a multi-function device, or a simple ebook reader. Whilst the iPad range from Apple has the multi-function tablet computing market eating out of the palm of its hands, one area in which it doesn’t compete is that of the dedicated ebook reader.
Amazon have long been the undisputed champions of the ebook reader market with their black and white Kindle devices sporting market leading exclusive variations of the e-ink screen type, being far better to read on than a colour TFT or LED, imitating realistically the experience of reading a traditional paper book. Another area where Kindle has the ebook reader market tied down is with its Kindle Store for purchasing books, a seamless, innovative and intuitive service, with the widest variety of books available in any eBook store.
With their new Paperwhite model, which effectively replaces previous touch screen Kindle models, Amazon may well have created the ultimate ebook reader, and it is very difficult to see a way that they could improve on this device. Make no mistake – if you enjoy reading and have been considering buying a dedicated device to store all your novels on, to read before bed, on the bus or on the sun lounger on holiday, then the Paperwhite is the device you have been looking for. Seriously. No need to consider anything else, this is about as perfect an experience as you could ask for.
Now let’s be perfectly clear. This is not a device for searching the web, it is not for watching movies or for playing Angry Birds. It is for purchasing, downloading, and reading books and that is pretty much it. But if you want a dedicated device for that purpose, this is the perfect device. There, I used that word again – “perfect”.
This is not marketing hyperbole or over exaggeration due to some kind of corporate bias. There is simply no device on earth from any manufacturer, including Amazon’s own other models, that can compete with this device and it’s all thanks to their new patented screen and its new light system. Don’t fret – the light has not affected the Kindle’s near legendary battery life, the battery can last up to an astounding eight weeks!
The screen is still the revolutionary e-ink, but improved with a higher resolution, higher contrasts and higher refresh times, giving the clearest and most natural picture yet. The headline feature is the addition of exclusive patented lighting technology, with 26 levels of brightness, which allows you to read the screen in any conditions, from overly bright sunlight, through to pitch black. Yes, you can finally read your Kindle in the dark without a separate light source. What is impressive is that this doesn’t feel like traditional back-lights of TFT or even high end LED screens, it gives a far more organic, even feel. In fact, in all but the darkest of situations, the effect is to turn your screen into a pure white piece of paper. Only once it becomes dark will you notice the glow from the device, but it is definitely a “glow” and not a “glare”.
The only improvement that could be made to this new Kindle is more built-in storage, more than the current 2GB. However, this is not a device for large file types like movies, mp3s or comics in PDF format. For black and white text books, there is enough storage for several lifetimes of reading. At just $119 for the Wi-Fi model, or $179 with built in subscription-free 3G, the Kindle Paperweight is the simple no-brainer choice for anyone wanting a dedicated ebook reader.