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Kindle Paperwhite review: Ebook reader gets warmer, faster

Scott McNulty | Oct. 7, 2013
The new Kindle Paperwhite is like the old one, but with a better backlight and upgraded software.

In addition to the improved lookups, any word you look up is automatically added to the new Vocabulary Builder feature. Vocabulary Builder appears in your Kindle library and collects any words that you look up. Flashcards allow you to quickly learn all the words you've looked up. This feature is neat, and well executed, but I just don't see myself using it. It might be good for children learning to read, students who use the Kindle for schoolwork, or people studying a new language.

There are a few new features which Amazon plans to roll out in November, so I couldn't consider them for this review. Goodreads integration, Freetime (which allows limits on reading time and access to the Kindle Store) and cloud collections are all coming with a future software update.

Bottom line
I love tablets, but dedicated E Ink-based ebook readers still have a lot going for them. They're unsurpassed in bright light, free from distractions, and don't cause eye strain like a backlit LCD screen can. If reading plain text on a blank page is your idea of fun, E-Ink readers like the Kindle Paperwhite provide a superior reading experience.

The Kindle Paperwhite is the best E Ink Kindle yet. If you have a non-Paperwhite Kindle, upgrading to the Paperwhite is a no-brainer. The screen is crisp, responsive, and evenly lit. Owners of last year's Paperwhite have more to think about when considering upgrading. If you're happy with the cool color tone of the screen and the uneven light, then stick with the old Paperwhite. If you'd rather have even light with a warmer tone, then pony up the money for the new Paperwhite. You won't regret it, and maybe you'll even learn a new word or two.


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