This is quite a late-post, because I have bought my Kindle Paperwhite several weeks ago, but haven't got the chance to write a review about it. So far, I still haven't start using my Kindle much, because I'm still finishing off my currently unread paperbacks. In this post, I will write a review on how the Kindle works, what I received in the package, and also some of the special features in Kindle. I will also talk about the pros and cons of both paperback and e-book, and how I feel about having an e-reader (which I've been dying to have for so long!).
*since this is the first time I'm reviewing a gadget, I might miss out some information; feel free to ask in the comment section if you have further inquiry ( ' 3 ')~♥
When I finally decided that I want to buy the Kindle Paperwhite, I wanted to buy it directly through Amazon's website - because, of course, it's the most trustworthy place to buy from. Unfortunately, Amazon stated that they cannot ship the product to Indonesia in the checkout process. But since I'm already determined to get it, I start searching for people who sells Kindle Paperwhite in Indonesia. In the end I found a pretty trustworthy one, although the price is much more expensive than the one in Amazon's website. Let my start the review by going through the unboxing process ^ 3^
So when I opened the package, I received several other things besides the Kindle Paperwhite box. There's a free pouch (which I don't understand why they call it a 'softcase') to keep the Kindle safe; an envelope with invoice, there's also a precaution paper - that talks about how 'fragile' the Kindle is - because the screen can crack if there's too much pressure on it, and lastly there's a CD full of e-books.
The box for Kindle Paperwhite is safely bubble-wrapped, and the box itself is pretty sturdy to protect the Kindle inside. Inside the box there are not too many things. There's a start-up guide that explains how to charge the Kindle. There's also a USB cable to connect Kindle to the computer or to charge (adaptor is not included, but I figured the cable is practically the same as my Blackberry charger because it's a Micro USB connecter - I think it's also the same with Samsung/Android charger. So I usually charge my Kindle through the computer or using my Blackberry charger). The battery of the Kindle lasts almost like forever! (not literally). Though compared to smartphones or tablets, this device certainly has a long lasting battery life.
When I turn on the Kindle, there's a need to register the Kindle and it is also possible to link it with Facebook and Twitter. The only button on this Kindle is the power button (which is used to turning on/off the device and also locking the device). Everything else is navigated through the touch-screen, which is not as responsive as tablets or smartphones, of course. But the e-ink display (electronic paper display) is awesome! It's like the letters are printed on a mirror, which is so fascinating - and is also one of the reason I bought Kindle and not a tablet.
With the e-ink screen display, Kindle will make us feel like reading a paperback because there will be no glare in bright sunlight and it won't tire our eyes like tablets/smartphones/computer screens do. (The image above - taken from Amazon's website, is a comparison between an iPad and Kindle under bright sunlight.) While on the downside, the Kindle appears in black and white (no pretty looking book covers to see) and as I've said, it's not as responsive as tablets. And now, let's talk about the features of Kindle Paperwhite.
The first image shows the Home page; the place to navigate the books we have on our device and choosing what book to read. There's a menu bar on top (which shows up on Home page, and should be clicked at the top to show up when reading) which has several features such as: back button, brightness setting (I prefer setting it on 10 out of 24 that fits both bright and dark situation), shop for e-books at Kindle store (which is not working for me), search for books, Goodreads app, and the last dropdown menu let's us go to Kindle FreeTime, Vocabulary Builder, and Settings.
Kindle Freetime: it's supposed to be for kids; so parents can select books that their children can read from the Kindle (I haven't tried this feature yet). Amazon stated that children can be rewarded with achievement badges when they reach a goal. There's also a report on how much time the child spent on reading, the number of words searched, etc. I think it's a great feature for my future children, ㅋㅋㅋ
Vocabulary Builder: this is probably one of my favorite feature on Kindle. Each time we stumbled upon an unfamiliar word while reading, we can tap-hold the word and look-up the meaning in the build-in dictionary. Those words we look-up will be compiled in the vocabulary builder; which can be viewed as flashcards for us to improve our vocabulary. It's a very helpful feature, especially for me who's still lacking in English and love to know a whole lot new vocabulary.Another great thing about Kindle is how you can set up your 'book' the way you like it. When reading a book, there's a feature that lets us change the size of fonts, the typeface (whether you want serif or sans serif), line spacing, and even margins. This is extremely convenient especially for people like me who despise tight line spacing or small fonts (and also have eye problem). As I've said earlier, you can also update your reading progress or browse books through Goodreads app in Kindle. It's a very nice update from Amazon for all Goodreads users :)) There's also an Experimental Browser, in the menu bar, which allow us to surf the internet using Wi-Fi (since I got the Wi-Fi version of this Kindle) :D
The Kindle Paperwhite read e-books in .mobi format. But don't worry if your e-book collection comes in .epub, .txt, or any other format, because there's a program called Calibre that helps in managing e-books as well as converting the format to suit your e-reader. *But since this post seems like it's already long enough, I'll talk more about this program in another post* With this program, adding books to the Kindle Paperwhite is really easy. If you don't have the program, you can simply paste your e-book files like adding files unto a USB.
When you add books to your Kindle, you will directly see it on the device library. After you choose a book to read, flipping a page forward is as easy as tapping on the right side, and left side for going backwards. There's also a progress report on the lower-left corner; you can choose to see page number, how much time left in the chapter, and how much time left in the book. On the lower-right corner, the reading progress is shown in percentage. You can also rearrange library into collections (for example: fiction books, non-fiction books, genre, etc.). The downside of the reading experience is the refresh flash that can happen sometimes. But I'm already used to it, so it's not really bothering. Lastly, let's sum it all up in the pros & cons :)
Kindle Paperwhite 2 + Wi-Fi
- Lightweight (around 200 grams)
- Small size; convenient to hold for a long time (6")
- Easy on the eyes
- Long battery life (supposed to last around 8 weeks without Wi-Fi)
- Adjustable font size, line spacing, and margin
- Crisp and clear text; almost looks like a paperback
- Can be read in both light and dark situation
- So many e-books are available online (sorry, not sorry) = saving money
- Built-in dictionary
- Small memory that fills up quickly (2 GB)
- Refresh flash happens often when flipping pages
- Black and white screen; no pretty covers :(
- Fragile; screen should not be pressured, even when cleaning
- Cover case is difficult to find and expensive
- The keyboard is quite slow to respond
- Expensive; when bought in Indonesia
- Cannot shop through Amazon Kindle store
- Pretty covers, of course
- The joy of flipping through the pages
- Easy on the eyes
- Collections; I just feel so proud looking at my bookshelves
- Author's signs on the book!
- Doesn't need a battery, obviously
- When it's big and thick, it's heavy
- Not convenient to bring while traveling
- Can be tiring when holding it for too long
- Need lighting when read in dark situation
- Mostly expensive, especially English books
- Takes a lot of space in my room
Looking at the pros and cons, it may seem that Kindle Paperwhite has a lot more good stuff than paperback; but it doesn't mean I love my e-reader more than paperback - it just gives me more reason to finally buy an e-reader. In the end, I think I made the right decision to buy this Kindle Paperwhite - even though I used my own money which is supposed to be in my bank savings ;___; Hopefully this purchase will be a good investment. -- Before I bought this Kindle Paperwhite, I was considering whether I should buy Kindle (only e-reader) or iPad mini (all-purpose tablet, that can also be an e-reader). But that's another story. It will be too long if I made pros and cons for that as well, ㅋㅋㅋ.
For those who are facing the same dilemma as I did, there's a lot of reviews on the internet - comparing Kindle and iPad, or Kindle versus Nook - and other e-readers. There are also tons of video review on Youtube so you can see how the device works (I really want to do a video review to explain the review thoroughly, but I'm so bad at video editing :( ). Anyway, I think that's about it for the review. If there's anything I miss out, feel free to remind me and I will add more into this post. Feel free to share your own experience with an e-reader; byee! ( ' 3 ')~♥