A library in your hand

Kindle Paperwhite 3G is the best e-book reader in town. Just don't expect it to be a tablet
Nandagopal Rajan | Print Edition: August 2013

Rs 13,999
Rating: 4.5/5

We have wondered why someone would buy a Kindle when you get the same experience of a phone or tablet using the Kindle app. Revisiting the device after a gap of four years, we realised how wrong we where.

The Kindle, or other e-readers, is the closest you can come to reading an actual book , with the added advantage that you can use them in pitch darkness. This time we have our hands on the Kindle Paperwhite, which has just made its India debut.

The Paperwhite is a Spartan device that does not believe in buttons. In fact, it has just one of them - a power button tucked away in the bottom. After all, books don't have buttons.

Initially, the two-point touch is a bit of a pain because you are spoilt by all the hypersensitive touchscreens of phones and tablets. The Kindle is a whole different device and it does not work like the rest of your smartscreens.

We couldn't help noticing that the device can be a bit sluggish at times, though not always. We understood that it is mostly when it is having trouble connecting to the inbuilt 3G to search a query you have made or to sync a book. If you have downloaded a book on to the device, it is a page-turner all the way.

The 3G is used for downloading books and using the store and is a free service provided by Amazon. However, it gets charged if you start using the same for browsing, which is possible with the Paperwhite. The good thing though is that browsing, on 3G or Wi-Fi, is not such a great experience.

The Kindle is all about books and that is the area where it has few rivals. The form factor, weight and feel of the device are perfect for you to snuggle in with Dan Brown's 'Inferno'. The screen is much crisper than earlier versions and that is very good for your eyes.

You can also highlight passages or even Tweet parts of it. There is also the wonderful X-ray feature which lets you see all references to a name or a term in the entire book. This is a great feature when reading long books and you want to check where this character has appeared before.

But best of all, you can read a Kindle under the sun or inside a blanket, as it is not affected by ambient light. And that is something a book can't do. It also syncs with all your other Kindle apps on phones and tablets. Also, you open to a book right where you left it on another device.

There is a cheaper Wi-Fi-only version too and that is good enough for people who won't be travelling much. Buy this if you love books. You will love the Kindle too. Just don't mistake this for a tablet.


Best e-book reader. Period.

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