“Technology is the campfire around which we tell our stories.”
— Laurie Anderson
Well, if you’we been living under the rock for last 20 years or your just discovered Internet, e-readers are around from start of century. Pioneer was Rocket eBook in 1998 with a retail price of $499. Precise shipped number are unknown, but sales were slim. First commercially successful e-reader was from Sony kitchen, mostly thanks to wide acceptance of brand name. Then first Amazon Kindle hit the market in 2007 and it hit hard: it was sold out within five and a half hours. Why? It came with ecosystem created around it. Device I have, Kindle Paperwhite, is large upgrade from the first Kindle, and at price of €119 (or €99 for Christmas gift rush), its affordable for mobile bookworms.
Have in mind that most important feature of e-reader is its screen and battery life. With its size of 6″ (15,24cm) and 300ppi it’s crystal clear sharpness and no issues while reading in direct sunlight, I dare to say Paperwhite have a perfect one. It have another ace up in its sleeve: backlight. Paperwhite has 6 LED that illuminates screen so whining about reading light in bedroom can finally be over with. Nice finishing touch is a slightly textured finish to the screen. It feels like running your finger across a coarse piece of paper. Back has nonslip rubberized finish and is nice to hold on. What is lacking is waterproof casing, but I guess that at this price point some compromises had to be made. In 2016 Amazon made Paperwhite available in white color for fashion savvy readers.
Its monochrome, so you’ll have to be looking off at one of Amazon’s own Fire tablets or something else of that sort if you want to use other multimedia content. Still, none of those devices won’t be able to provide you with weeks of battery life as Paperwhite will. I have been using Kindle Paperwhite solidly for 2 weeks for about thirty minutes in the morning, afternoon and evening – and the battery looks to be three-quarters full. Great upscale from everyday charging of regular handheld devices.
Here come the ecosystem I previously mentioned. The Kindle store is packed full of content, with millions of books available. It is the largest online book store. To be honest, navigating it is easier from other devices than the Kindle Paperwhite itself, with its greyscale display and slightly slow to respond touchscreen. Great feature is that you can easily send a book straight to your Kindle from other device. Still, if you do want to shop on the Kindle itself that’s an option, and if you go for the pricier 3G version you don’t even need a Wi-Fi network. Prices are generally pretty competitive too.
Books are rarely more than about £5 (US$8, AU$12) and can often be picked up for as little as around £1 (US$2, AU$1), especially if you get them in one of the many Kindle store sales. In addition, you can subscribe to large newspapers, including The Los Angeles Times and The Wall Street Journal. It also supports book sharing and library rentals, and most libraries having Kindle-specific checkout catalogs. Beside that, if you have any PDF documents on your computer, you can send it to your Kindle via USB port or to your kindle.com email which will forward it to your device.
In short, it’s arguably the best value ereader on the market. If you don’t already have a Kindle and aren’t made of money this is the one to buy. Definitely, it’s a device that might not need upgrading for years and yet it still comes in at a reasonable price. Whenever you get few minutes to spare you can catch up with your favorite heroes adventures or read today papers. If you’re up to it, you can find out what’s the great fuss with 50 Shades of Gray during your commute. And still look dazzlingly nerdy doing it.