Kindle Paperwhite, first impressions
Yeah, I know... others have had their own reports, but I just thought I'd chime in.
After using my Rocket eBook reader for well over nine years (retired gracefully due to a battery that wouldn't hold much of a charge any more) and then a Sony PRS-505 for over three years (now also semi-retired gracefully due to a battery that wouldn't hold much of a charge any more), I was intrigued by the idea of the Paperwhite.
Yes, I've been seduced to the Dark Side.
I always loved the Rocket's LCD-based panel's backlighting scheme and I never liked the external lighting methods available for the eInk-based readers.
The combination of higher resolution and the front lighting layer lead me to try the Paperwhite, even if it meant consorting with The Evil Empire.
So far, after almost two weeks, I like it. A lot. The lighting layer really does an excellent job of mimicking the Rocket's electrofluorescent backlight panel.
With the light on in a well-lit room, it really does give the impression of a higher-contrast, whiter background. In lower-light situations, the inherent... let's not call them flaws, let's call them disadvantages... of the edge-lit system become more apparent.
While I've not really seen the patchiness some people have reported, the panel lighting (beyond the bottom 2cm at the LED array, where the placement of the LEDs causes that interesting pattern of light & dark) is not perfectly even. This subjective opinion seems to be strongly affected by ambient lighting conditions. YMMV.
The ability to change font faces is nice, but seems to be overridden by CSS in many source documents.
My major annoyance, if it qualifies, since its so minimal, is the margin settings. (Yes, I admit it: I pick weird things to complain about.)
I love that they have a configurable margin setting. What I don't love is the setting values.
I like to stuff words onto the screen as far across the page as possible, with little- to no-margin. This was a major dislike I had on the Sony while reading EPUB files (too much and uncontrollable margin). While I applaud the designers' inclusion of the margin configuration option, I can't say I like their setting choices.
I, personally, think the widest-margin setting is spectacularly useless. The narrowest-margin setting is good, but I'd rather they jettison the widest setting and replace it with a zero- or very-fine margin setting.
Overall, though, I find I like the Paperwrite quite a bit.
I've only just started playing with jailbreaking it and the screensaver hacks and I'm waiting to see if someone comes up with a margin-setting hack compatible with this model (or if I could dig up enough information in the dev forum to write one myself).