Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (2021) review: A classic, now modern, e-reader thanks to USB-C and wireless charging

Nancy J. Delong

I am going to admit it — I am not a significant reader. I imply, I examine all working day extended, be it my personal stories as I am writing them, or other information stories from fellow journalists. But by the conclude of the working day, I am fatigued of on the lookout at a display and examining a guide is the very last factor I want to do. Nicely, it made use of to be the very last factor I required to do. 

About 6 months ago I built a promise to myself that I would begin examining much more, so I dug my 2013 Kindle Paperwhite out of the bottom of our junk drawer, charged it up and commenced the hunt for guides. It worked, but was previous and very, very sluggish. At one particular stage I was able to depend to 5 following tapping the display to change the web site before the text on the display would be up to date. 

A week or two later on, Amazon up to date the Kindle’s interface with a new glimpse — the very first time in years the interface received this sort of an update — and sent me a
Kindle Oasis

to look at it out. The Oasis is a highly effective, slender and spectacular single-use product for examining. But just as I was receiving acclimated to the Oasis, I received a critique sample of the 11th era Kindle Paperwhite.


  • Battery existence
  • Performance
  • New Kindle interface
  • Design and style

You should not Like

  • Mild sensor can be sluggish to change

Extra particularly, the Signature Version Paperwhite. In late September, Amazon announced 3 new Kindle Paperwhites: The 
$one hundred forty standard Kindle Paperwhite

, the 
$one hundred ninety Signature Version Kindle Paperwhite

and a 
$160 Kids Version edition of the Paperwhite.


All 3 products have a bigger, improved display, have built the change to USB-C for charging, and promise a lot quicker over-all functionality. 

Set up was simple peasy


Location up a Kindle product applying the Kindle application on your telephone is really simple. 

Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

Location up any product is usually a chore. It can be in fact my the very least most loved section of examining any product — but applying the new Amazon Product Basic Set up procedure built placing up the new Kindle Paperwhite really simple. 

The procedure calls for you have the Kindle application put in on your Android product or Iphone. You are going to need to have to open up the app’s settings segment and change on Amazon Product Basic Set up. On the new Kindle, you will find a new possibility to set up the product applying your telephone. From there, you abide by the prompts on your telephone which glimpse and perform very equivalent to the prompts you see on an Iphone when connecting AirPods or an Apple Enjoy for the very first time. 

From begin to finish, it took me possibly 5 minutes to unbox the new Paperwhite, sign in and hold out for all of my guides to obtain. 

The new function certain beats having to sign in to my Amazon account which has a prolonged and sophisticated password applying the on-display keyboard on the Kindle. 

USB-C and wi-fi charging? Say no much more

All 3 new Kindle Paperwhite types have a bigger six.eight-inch display, up from six-inches on the very last revision of the Paperwhite. The display also gained a darkish method for examining in minimal mild environments, as well as a heat mild method that should make on the lookout at the display for prolonged durations of time a lot easier on your eyes — specifically at night time. The Paperwhite has IPX8 drinking water resistance, that means it can stand up to an accidental splash if you are examining by a swimming pool or in the tub. 

All 3 types also have lastly — lastly — built the change from a microUSB charging link to USB-C. That implies when charging the new Kindle with a USB-C cable and a wall adapter of at the very least 9W, you should be able to charge it from vacant to full in about 2.five hours. Amazon promises up to 10 months of battery existence on the new Paperwhite lineup — certainly I haven’t had one particular extended plenty of to take a look at out that declare, but I can say that so significantly it truly is lasted lengthier than the Kindle Oasis I have also been screening. 

The Kids Version and standard Paperwhite types occur with 8GB of storage.

By opting for the Signature Version you attain 3 additional features. Storage goes up to 32GB, you attain an vehicle-altering mild sensor to immediately improve brightness and you get the included means to wirelessly charge the product. It’s going to perform with any Qi-appropriate wi-fi charging pad as extended as you are able to line up the back again of the Kindle where by the charging coil is with the charging pad. I haven’t had any concerns laying the Kindle flat on several various pads — with equally the Kindle’s bottom indicator mild and the wi-fi charging pads mild permitting me know that every little thing is functioning as envisioned. 

Now if Amazon would update the Kindle Oasis with USB-C, I could get rid of all microUSB cables from my families’ charging station. 

The indicator mild, snooze/wake button and charging port are all found on the bottom of the housing. Even even though the Paperwhite has a bigger display, it truly is continue to very relaxed to maintain for extended durations of time. It can be mild, and well-balanced. 

The Kindle’s new interface is welcome


Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

According to Amazon, the new Paperwhite has twenty% a lot quicker functionality when it comes to turning the web site in a guide. I cannot measure how speedy that is, but talking from my personal expertise screening a a lot more mature Paperwhite, Oasis and now the 2021 Paperwhite, I can say that the speed boost is obvious. You will find pretty much no delay following tapping on the display before the text refreshes with the future web site, prepared for motion. 

The new Paperwhites are currently up to date to use Amazon’s new Kindle interface, which was announced a couple months ago and has slowly but surely been rolling out to appropriate Kindle products. My wife’s 2018 Paperwhite received the update just a couple times ago, in simple fact. 

The new interface would make it a lot easier to navigate involving your homescreen and personalized library, and the refreshed Settings panel that slides down from the top of the product would make it simple to immediately make changes to factors like the colour warmth or brightness of the display. 

Base line

You will find no questioning no matter whether or not Amazon has a good factor heading with its Kindle item lineup. Even even though the Kindle is a single-use product in a world where by it feels like each individual corporation is making an attempt to determine out how to make all products be every little thing to every person, Amazon quietly and confidently keeps the Kindle lineup, and in certain the Paperwhite edition, humming alongside. 

With a lot quicker functionality, a bigger display and USB-C you will find really practically nothing to fault with the new Kindle Paperwhites. And if you opt to devote a little little bit much more for the signature version, you are attaining some notable features in wi-fi charging and a mild sensor, improving upon even much more on an currently responsible expertise. 

You can get any 
2021 Kindle Paperwhite product

appropriate now from Amazon. Deliveries are set to get there on Wednesday, Oct. 27. It can be a great vacation existing for the avid reader, or someone, who like me, is making an attempt to make a new habit, one particular web site at a time.

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