Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (2021) review: A classic, now modern, e-reader thanks to USB-C and wireless charging

I am going to admit it — I am not a large reader. I mean, I read through all day extensive, be it my individual tales as I am writing them, or other news tales from fellow journalists. But by the stop of the day, I am worn out of looking at a screen and examining a e-book is the very last matter I want to do. Well, it utilized to be the very last matter I needed to do. 

About six weeks back I built a promise to myself that I would begin examining more, so I dug my 2013 Kindle Paperwhite out of the base of our junk drawer, charged it up and commenced the hunt for publications. It labored, but was old and quite, quite slow. At a person position I was equipped to count to 5 after tapping the screen to convert the web site in advance of the text on the screen would be up to date. 

A week or two later, Amazon up to date the Kindle’s interface with a new glance — the initially time in a long time the interface been given these kinds of an update — and sent me a
Kindle Oasis

to examine it out. The Oasis is a potent, thin and remarkable solitary-use device for examining. But just as I was receiving acclimated to the Oasis, I been given a critique sample of the eleventh technology Kindle Paperwhite.


  • Battery life
  • Efficiency
  • New Kindle interface
  • Structure

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  • Mild sensor can be slow to change

Extra specially, the Signature Edition Paperwhite. In late September, Amazon introduced three new Kindle Paperwhites: The 
$one hundred forty regular Kindle Paperwhite

, the 
$190 Signature Edition Kindle Paperwhite

and a 
$a hundred and sixty Young children Edition edition of the Paperwhite.


All three devices have a greater, enhanced screen, have built the change to USB-C for charging, and promise faster in general functionality. 

Set up was effortless peasy


Setting up a Kindle device applying the Kindle application on your phone is definitely effortless. 

Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

Setting up any device is usually a chore. It truly is truly my least most loved aspect of examining any device — but applying the new Amazon Product Simple Set up procedure built environment up the new Kindle Paperwhite definitely effortless. 

The procedure necessitates you have the Kindle application set up on your Android device or Apple iphone. You’ll have to have to open the app’s options area and convert on Amazon Product Simple Set up. On the new Kindle, there is a new possibility to established up the device applying your phone. From there, you follow the prompts on your phone which glance and get the job done quite very similar to the prompts you see on an Apple iphone when connecting AirPods or an Apple View for the initially time. 

From begin to end, it took me perhaps 5 minutes to unbox the new Paperwhite, sign in and wait for all of my publications to download. 

The new function absolutely sure beats getting to sign in to my Amazon account which has a prolonged and complicated password applying the on-screen keyboard on the Kindle. 

USB-C and wi-fi charging? Say no more

All three new Kindle Paperwhite styles have a greater six.eight-inch screen, up from six-inches on the very last revision of the Paperwhite. The screen also gained a dark method for examining in low mild environments, as well as a heat mild method that must make looking at the screen for extended intervals of time less complicated on your eyes — especially at evening. The Paperwhite has IPX8 water resistance, indicating it can stand up to an accidental splash if you happen to be examining by a swimming pool or in the tub. 

All three styles also have ultimately — ultimately — built the change from a microUSB charging connection to USB-C. That suggests when charging the new Kindle with a USB-C cable and a wall adapter of at least 9W, you must be equipped to demand it from vacant to full in about 2.five several hours. Amazon claims up to ten weeks of battery life on the new Paperwhite lineup — obviously I haven’t experienced a person extensive enough to test out that assert, but I can say that so significantly it is lasted for a longer time than the Kindle Oasis I have also been screening. 

The Young children Edition and regular Paperwhite styles occur with 8GB of storage.

By opting for the Signature Edition you attain three additional capabilities. Storage goes up to 32GB, you attain an vehicle-adjusting mild sensor to instantly improve brightness and you get the added ability to wirelessly demand the device. It’s going to get the job done with any Qi-compatible wi-fi charging pad as extensive as you happen to be equipped to line up the again of the Kindle where by the charging coil is with the charging pad. I haven’t experienced any problems laying the Kindle flat on several distinct pads — with equally the Kindle’s base indicator mild and the wi-fi charging pads mild permitting me know that all the things is operating as envisioned. 

Now if Amazon would update the Kindle Oasis with USB-C, I could get rid of all microUSB cables from my families’ charging station. 

The indicator mild, rest/wake button and charging port are all found on the base of the housing. Even however the Paperwhite has a greater screen, it is nevertheless quite comfortable to hold for extensive intervals of time. It truly is mild, and well-balanced. 

The Kindle’s new interface is welcome


Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

In accordance to Amazon, the new Paperwhite has twenty% faster functionality when it comes to turning the web site in a e-book. I can’t evaluate how speedy that is, but speaking from my individual expertise screening a significantly older Paperwhite, Oasis and now the 2021 Paperwhite, I can say that the velocity increase is noticeable. There is certainly pretty much no delay after tapping on the screen in advance of the text refreshes with the subsequent web site, completely ready for motion. 

The new Paperwhites are by now up to date to use Amazon’s new Kindle interface, which was introduced a few weeks back and has slowly been rolling out to compatible Kindle devices. My wife’s 2018 Paperwhite been given the update just a few days back, in reality. 

The new interface can make it less complicated to navigate in between your homescreen and personal library, and the refreshed Settings panel that slides down from the top rated of the device can make it effortless to quickly make changes to issues like the color heat or brightness of the screen. 

Base line

There is certainly no questioning no matter whether or not Amazon has a excellent matter heading with its Kindle item lineup. Even however the Kindle is a solitary-use device in a entire world where by it feels like each individual company is making an attempt to determine out how to make all devices be all the things to every person, Amazon quietly and confidently keeps the Kindle lineup, and in distinct the Paperwhite edition, buzzing alongside. 

With faster functionality, a greater screen and USB-C there is definitely very little to fault with the new Kindle Paperwhites. And if you decide to commit a very little bit more for the signature edition, you happen to be gaining some noteworthy capabilities in wi-fi charging and a mild sensor, enhancing even more on an by now dependable expertise. 

You can get any 
2021 Kindle Paperwhite design

suitable now from Amazon. Deliveries are established to arrive on Wednesday, Oct. 27. It truly is a excellent vacation existing for the avid reader, or someone, who like me, is making an attempt to make a new behavior, a person web site at a time.

Maria J. Danford

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