Review of the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (2021)

With a larger 6.8-inch display and the removal of the micro-USB connector in favour of USB-C, the Kindle Paperwhite 2021 commands a somewhat higher price than its predecessor. While little else has changed, it’s a pleasant addition, but the Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition isn’t worth the extra money.

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Amazon released three new Kindle Paperwhite models in September 2021: a more expensive Signature, a kid-friendly model, and the basic version, which hadn’t been updated since the Kindle Paperwhite 2018.

The 2019 model offers several noticeable enhancements, including as a larger 6.8-inch display than the 2018 model’s 6-inch display. There are also some long-awaited improvements, like as the replacement of the micro-USB charging connector with USB-C.

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The Paperwhite still comes with 8GB of storage, which is more than adequate for most books and media. The bigger 32GB version, however, has now been separated into its own model, the Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition, which comes with its own set of features, including wireless charging, but retains the same look. As a result, we’ll discuss both devices here, and we’ll say when we’re simply talking about the regular and Signature variants.

The new normal Kindle Paperwhite features a larger 6.8-inch screen (up from 6 inches) and narrower bezels, but the 300 pixel per inch density remains the same. The display has been updated by Amazon, with the company stating that it is 10% brighter at maximum brightness than the earlier Paperwhite’s screen, as well as the ability to auto-adjust the front light based on the brightness of the user’s surroundings.

While the ereader’s appearance is similar to that of its predecessor, with an e-ink front display and a plastic back, the bezels around the screen are reduced, allowing for more screen real estate without making the device bigger.

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As such, it’s an improvement in the ways that matter for an affordable ereader. Read on for our early thoughts on the Amazon Kindle 2021, and whether it’s worth it to pick up the Amazon Kindle Signature Edition.

Price and release date for the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite in 2021

The Kindle Paperwhite 2021 is Amazon’s mid-tier e-reader, priced in between the basic Kindle and the Kindle Oasis. The regular Kindle Paperwhite features 8GB of storage and costs $139 / £129 (about AU$190), which is somewhat more than its predecessor, the Kindle Paperwhite 2018, which cost $129.99 / £119.99 / AU$199.

At $189 / £179 (about AU$250), the Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition is much more expensive, including features like as wireless charging and auto-adjusting brightness.

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Display and design

Amazon's new Kindle Paperwhite adds a bigger screen, longer battery life,  and USB-C - The Verge

In terms of appearance, the new Kindle Paperwhite 2021 is similar to its predecessor, with an E Ink front screen and plastic black. A USB-C connector replaces the outdated micro-USB port at the bottom of this model, which has been a long time coming. The power button sits next to the port, but it’s only in the way if you’re standing the ereader up, so you’re unlikely to accidently hit it and turn it off.

The new Kindle Paperwhite 2021, as previously noted, features a 6.8-inch e-ink display, which is substantially bigger than the 6-inch screen on the Paperwhite 2018. Anticipate the same 300 pixels per inch density, so don’t expect a crisper display.

Despite this, the text on the ereader remains legible. The front light on the Paperwhite gives it an advantage over the cheaper basic Kindle, enabling users to read in the dark without being blinded by bright blue light. There’s also an array of customizable warm light and a white-on-black dark mode to reduce eye strain while reading in dim light.

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The Paperwhite has an IPX8 waterproof rating (but no dust resistance), which means it can be immersed for up to an hour in water up to two metres deep – adequate to protect it from spills or pool dips.

Price and release date for the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite in 2021

The Kindle Paperwhite 2021 is Amazon’s mid-tier e-reader, priced in between the basic Kindle and the Kindle Oasis. The regular Kindle Paperwhite features 8GB of storage and costs $139 / £129 (about AU$190), which is somewhat more than its predecessor, the Kindle Paperwhite 2018, which cost $129.99 / £119.99 / AU$199.

At $189 / £179 (about AU$250), the Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition is much more expensive, including features like as wireless charging and auto-adjusting brightness.

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Other reading options on the Paperwhite include the ability to search up word definitions, sync pages between Kindle devices and applications using the Whispersync technology, and utilise X-Ray to keep track of characters and words.

With books taking up roughly 1MB each, you may keep thousands on the former and tens of thousands on the latter.

Battery

The Kindle Paperwhite, according to Amazon, may last up to 10 weeks on a single charge. The ereader comes with a USB-C cable but not a power charger, so you’ll have to provide your own. The maximum charge speed of 9W isn’t very fast compared to other smartphones, but it’s not really necessary because, according to Amazon, you can charge the gadget back up to full in roughly 2.5 hours.

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Wireless charging is only available in the Signature Edition and is compatible with any Qi charger.

Preliminary conclusions

The new Kindle Paperwhite 2021 versions include a few important improvements, including as USB-C charging and a larger display, but it’s essentially the same ereader at a somewhat higher price than its predecessor.

If you want a more premium experience but don’t want to spend the money on the Kindle Oasis, the Kindle Paperwhite 2021 Signature Edition offers a little more storage and a few premium features, but they don’t seem worth the 36 percent price increase.

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Other reading options on the Paperwhite include the ability to search up word definitions, sync pages between Kindle devices and applications using the Whispersync technology, and utilise X-Ray to keep track of characters and words.

With books taking up roughly 1MB each, you may keep thousands on the former and tens of thousands on the latter.

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