New Kindle Paperwhite Offers the Best E-Reading Experience Yet

Enjoy a larger, brighter screen

Key Takeaways

  • It doesn’t look much different than previous models, but Amazon’s new Kindle Paperwhite offers a vastly improved reading experience.
  • The Paperwhite has a larger 6.8-inch display, which means you can fit more text on the page.
  • The new Paperwhite provides 20% faster page turns, which makes it a pleasure to zip through books.
Kindle Paperwhite resting on wooden table

Lifewire / Sascha Brodsky

Amazon has been evolving its Kindle lineup for years, but subtle upgrades to the latest Paperwhite model make it the best e-reader I’ve ever used. 

The new Kindles offer a larger display, a new adjustable warm light, and increased battery life, while the new Signature Edition adds an auto-adjusting light sensor and is the first-ever Kindle to support wireless charging.

I’ve been using the new Signature Edition for a few weeks and the new features have left a noticeable impact on my reading habits. My aging eyes appreciate the bigger screen and the faster page turns keep me zipping through novels.

Similar on the Outside

You’d initially be hard-pressed to spot the difference between the latest Paperwhite models and previous iterations. There’s still the same plastic, slightly rubberized rectangular frame, and E-Ink display, but the upgrades become obvious once you turn on the new Paperwhite model. 

The all-new Kindle Paperwhite combines a larger 6.8-inch display, the largest ever on a Kindle Paperwhite, with smaller 10.2mm bezels on a sleek, flush-front design.

The extra screen size makes a huge difference in readability. The bigger display means more text on the screen and less need to keep scrolling through pages. 

hand holding Kindle Paperwhite near a lightbulb and other a wooden table

Lifewire / Sascha Brodsky

On paper, the 300 PPI Paperwhite display has a similar resolution to previous Kindle models. However, there’s noticeably less glare than any other e-reader I’ve used—and I’ve owned an embarrassingly large number of electronic reading devices.

Amazon says the display offers an additional 10% brightness at the maximum setting to ensure reading is more comfortable on the eyes. The extra luminosity was evident and a welcome addition when I tried reading the Paperwhite in a sun-filled room. 

The adjustable warm light is also new to the Paperwhite lineup, which gives the screen a yellowish, more paper-like tinge. I’ve used the "warmth" feature on other e-readers, but this is the best implementation yet, and once you’ve tried it, it’s hard to go back to the paler, colder lighting on other models. 

Another nice touch is a white-on-black dark mode that provides flexibility for reading any time, day or night. I found the new dark method to be useful for reading in bed, as it means fewer distractions.

Read Long and Hard

One of the advantages of the E-Ink screen used on the Kindle and similar e-readers is its long battery life. In general, Kindles last weeks rather than hours.

However, I’ve noticed in recent years that the battery life of Kindles seems to be slipping. Everyone’s reading habits are different, so it can be hard to quantify, but the Kindle Oasis I often use runs out of juice often enough that I like to have a power adaptor handy. 

Kindle Paperwhite resting on a jar

Lifewire / Sascha Brodsky

Amazon says the all-new Kindle Paperwhite and Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition offer up to 10 weeks of battery life—the longest of any Kindle Paperwhite yet. I haven’t had the new Paperwhite long enough to test out these claims thoroughly, but it does seem to hold more power. After reading for about five hours over several days recently, the battery life indicator hadn’t budged. 

Best of all, charging the new Paperwhite is a lot faster than the older models, which tended to be sluggish for top-ups. I was able to use the USB-C charging port to charge the Kindle in only 2.5 hours fully. It was also nice to use the new wireless charging capability on the Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition with a Qi charger I had lying around. 

"The extra screen size makes a huge difference in readability."

My favorite part of the new Paperwhite, though, is the redesigned Kindle interface, although this will likely trickle down to older models. It’s now easier to switch between the home screen, your library, or your current book, while a new library experience includes new filters and sort menus, a new collections view, and an interactive scroll bar. The Paperwhite also has 20% faster page turns, which made me realize for the first time how sluggish earlier models can be. 

Starting at $139.99, the new Paperwhites are a worthy upgrade for most Kindle owners. But if you’re a serious reader, I advise springing for the $189.99 Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition. You won’t regret it.

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