Give your kids a head start in this connected world
By Cliff Jones
Amazon’s latest Kindle is leading the charge on ‘real book’ fans. I hesitate to even call it a device, because it’s less of a gadget than earlier models. Gone is the keyboard and page turn buttons in favour of a capacitive touch screen. The resolution is a pin sharp 758X1024 on a six inch screen. In short, the Paperwhite is a pleasure.
It’s the front lighting on the screen that makes the words leap out. The light illuminates the e-ink on the page rather than beam the words out at you so there’s no eye strain, and you can adjust the brightness depending on your surroundings. This, combined with a black instead of a grey body, only adds to the clarity of the words in a way that previous models couldn’t manage.
The choice of display fonts has been increased to six, with eight font sizes. There’s also the X-Ray function which lets you explore characters, topics, places and terms throughout the book. ‘Time left’ feature estimates how long it will take you to finish the book or a particular chapter. Clever.
The body is 11.7cm wide but 16.9cm tall and just 9.1mm slim. Paperwhite weighs just 213g (the Kindle Keyboard is 240g) but the former feels sturdy, and very reasonably priced at £109 ($119) for the wi-fi model and £149 ($179) for 3G.
Amazon estimates eight weeks battery life, although it will depend on whether you leave wi-fi on, use Whispersync on 3G or have the light set to full.
I like reading, but I didn’t like using my Kindle Keyboard. But the Kindle Paperwhite is such a pleasure to use that it will change the publishing industry, offer opportunities for long-form journalism and get us reading more. A bold claim, perhaps, but it’s that good.
Availability date: Dec 14th (UK)
Dec 21st (USA)