2013 Kindle Paperwhite is the best e-reader
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2013 Kindle Paperwhite is the best e-reader

When Amazon started the eBook revolution 5 years ago the first readers were big, clunky and needed an external light to read in the dark. Well, with the release of the excellent Paperwhite last year all that changed.You could read the Paperwhite in the dark but the light left a lot to be was kind of splotchy in places especially at the bottom. Well, the 2013 version comes with a faster processor, more responsive touch screen, and a better integrated light that’s brighter and whiter and is much more even across the screen. Pages also require a refresh less frequently.


the new Paperwhite is the first shipping product to feature E Ink’s Pearl 2 display, which offers better contrast. There is a 1GHz processor which is 25 percent faster than the 800MHz found in the original Paperwhite, a next-generation built-in light, and a more responsive touch-screen display (1,024×768-pixel resolution with 212 pixels per inch) that has a  tighter touch grid. It’s also a tad  lighter, weighing 7.3 ounces instead of 7.5 ounces. The size hasn’t changed from  6.7″ x 4.6″ x 0.36″ (169 mm x 117 mm x 9.1 mm) in fact from the outside it is pretty much identical the the original, with the exception of the screen and a new Amazon logo on the back. It still doesn’t come with a charger..just a USB cable.


The improved light is what really sets the Paperwhite apart from other e-Readers. It designed to illuminate the text through reflection, rather than by shining a light in your face. You can read in complete darkness but, I  prefer a lamp when I read but even with a lamp the brightening effect of the light improves the experience. I found the light set at a bit over 50% works for daytime reading and even on a flight in and out of dark clouds I didn’t have to adjust the level. Compared to the original the improved lighting is spectacular..whiter, perfectly even and easier on the eyes. This is by far the most comfortable e-reader to use under any lighting conditions.

2012 version    2013 version

2012 version 2013 version

The 2013 Kindle Paperwhite has all the features we loved in the original: Time to Read is really clever.  It analyses the speed at which you read and estimates how long it will take you to read the next chapter, or the rest of the book book. If you’re wondering if you have enough time to read the next chapter before then plane lands, it can tell you with decent accuracy.


I couldn’t see the point of the X-Ray feature last year but now Kindle Paperwhite’s Smart Lookup feature integrates a full dictionary with X-Ray and Wikipedia so you can access definitions, characters, settings, and more without leaving your page or losing your place. This is great for textbooks or novels with complex plots and huge casts of characters.


Swipe up from the bottom of the and you get Kindle Page Flip, which makes it much easier to scan through books using a  large thumbnail preview of each page as you go through; it’s about as close to flipping through a real book you can get on a screen. It still isn’t as natural as a real book but it is a huge improvement and gets the job done.


If you are looking for an e-Reader and want the best, the 2013 Kindle Paperwhite is certainly the best e-reader you can buy period. The combination of performance, great screen and the Amazon ecosystem is just unbeatable.

The Kindle Paperwhite is $139 from or In the US you can also order the Special Offers version for $119 in you are prepared to put up with ads on the lock and home screens. A 3G version is is $179 in the US and $209 in Canada but for the life of my I can’t see the justification since free WiFi is available pretty much everywhere.

Bob Benedetti

Former RCAF Fighter Pilot Bob worked for CTV Montreal as a Reporter, Producer and Executive producer for 35 years retiring in 2004. Bob started reporting on personal technology in 1995 at CTV and continues today at Home Technology Montreal

  • Michael Black

    The lack of a charger is hardly serious. There are now endless 5v adapters with USB connectors on the end for all kinds of things, and once the phone or whatever dies, they are just surplus.

    I bought a TomTom One GPS for ten dollars at this year’s Westmount Rotary Club “garage sale” in June, and then found two suitable ac adapters for it at garage sales later that day, 25 and 50 cents each. I was really glad they had bothered putting them out for sale, so common I figure many wouldn’t bothering offering them.

    The ac adapter for my Blackberry Playbook has gotten flakey, it seems at the microUSB connector end and I just went through a pile of ac adapters I’d found or bought cheap, and almost immediately had one that worked. That one works on the Kobo Mini, which is useful since I’ve temporarily misplaced the USB cable for that.

    Except that some use a miniUSB and others use a microUSB connector, there is a lot more standardization for these. They all use the same voltage, and you don’t have to fuss over polarity. ON the otehr hand, traditional devices have used those coaxial plugs, and there are at least three sizes, there is no standard for polarity, and the voltages are all over the place. It took longer to go through the pile of AC adapters to find one that fit the USB hub I got at a garage sale for a dollar than to find one for the Playbook.

    People with friends probably can find a suitable adapter just by asking around, at least if the device uses the USB connector for charging.


    October 18, 2013 at 2:39 pm Reply
    • Bob Benedetti

      Thanks for the comment,
      You make a very valid I should have made.

      October 18, 2013 at 2:45 pm Reply
  • Ken

    The information about “paperwhite” was unique and I really enjoyed the entire blog. Thanks a lot for the info.

    July 16, 2014 at 8:22 am Reply

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