, GoddersUK wrote

Sven Groot (or anyone else that has one), can I ask your opinion on the Kindle Paperwhite? I'm considering getting one but am a bit wary because I've heard it's not possible to turn the light off. Does this pose an issue - either in terms of battery life or in well lit situations where the light is redundant? Thanks Smiley

I still adore mine. It's very, very good. Yes, there are some minor issues (one that was reported on was that the light is not perfectly even around the corners, but honestly it's pretty amazing as it is already and it hasn't bothered me). It also lacks audio playback (so no MP3, audio-books, or text-to-speech), which the previous Kindle did have but I never used that anyway. And of course, you still can't open ePub files (though you can manually copy mobi format files, so you're not necessarily completely locked to Amazon's store).

As far as turning the light off, I think turning the brightness to its lowest setting actually turns it off (I can't tell the difference between the lowest brightness setting and just turning the Kindle off entirely, anyway). But it looks better with the light on, even in bright environments, because it improves the contrast. I haven't had any problems with battery life so far, and I'm charging it about once a week which is what I did with the old Kindle too. Mind you, I keep 3G on most of the time which I think drains battery quicker than the light anyway.

My only caveat so far is that by default, the Paperwhite is set not to refresh the screen on every page turn (instead it only does it every five pages or so). It makes turning pages faster and less jarring (no flash effect), but it leaves artifacts that are visible and annoying to me. Fortunately you can set it to clear the screen every page just like the old Kindle did (and turning pages is still much faster than my previous 3rd generation Kindle, even with that setting). I would also recommend checking out the other fonts; it still defaults to Caecilia (which was the only font on the old Kindle), but with the higher resolution display I found I like Palatino more.

Even after a few weeks I still get the urge to just get out the Paperwhite and look at the screen even though I don't want to read anything, just because it's so pretty.

One new feature I really like is that you can show how many minutes you have left in the current chapter (based on your current reading speed), which is very useful if you want to know if you should finish the chapter or just call it a night right now. Smiley It seems to be able to do that even on books that didn't have the chapter breaks indicated on the progress bar on the old Kindle,

I'm seriously incredibly happy with this thing, and would definitely recommend it.

I would note that it turns out I got an incredibly good deal on it, as the 3G model only costs ¥12900 in Japan (about $150), compared to $179 in the US and £169.00 (about $270) in the UK. So I paid about the same for the Kindle Paperwhite 3G plus a leather cover (which, besides looking really fancy, also turns the Kindle on/off when you open/close the cover) as what the basic device costs in the US.