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Old 10-04-2012, 12:56 PM   #316
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Paperwhite review

Hello, I'm new to the forums but a long time Kindle user. I've owned every version of the Kindle (and multiple copies). I'm a screen quality junkie. By far the best Kindle screen I've ever seen was on an early K3 keyboard - the background was very white, the text very black, just amazing.

Regarding the new Paperwhite:

- Form factor is the best so far (it could be a little lighter but that's a quibble).
- I'd like page turn buttons but I fear those are gone forever...
- Cover is the best integrated and highest quality yet. The sleep/wake on close/open is terrific.
- Touch performance is also the best yet. Page turns are fast as is menu manipulation.
- Battery life, so far, is excellent.
- The new OS is pretty easy to use but why bury the wifi on/off deep in the menus?

Which brings us to the Paperwhite's raison d'etre, the screen:

- Lighting: I'm very torn on the new front lighting technology. It's great that you can dial it up and down. The fatal flaw of the Kindle Touch is that the integrated cover light forces you to hold it at a certain angle to prevent that damn light from shining directly into your eyes (and all over the room). The Paperwhite light will never shine in your eyes and can be dialed down to the point where it won't bother your sleeping partner in any way. BUT ... is it better to read with? I'm not so sure. At night, in a dark room, with the light dialed down, the text looks soft against a strange glowing blue background. This doesn't resemble reading a physical book in any way. If anything, it feels like the Kindle is now competing against backlit screens, but about 10 times softer and fuzzier.

- Text rendering: I've said this in another thread but there's another difference now that the screen technology has changed. When I compare my Paperwhite to my Kindle Touch side by side (light off on the Paperwhite), the text on the Touch is both crisper and somehow "closer" - the Touch text looks printed on the screen while the Paperwhite text sits "under" the surface. Also I think the fonts for the Touch have been better optimized. This I hope can be fixed with a firmware update on the Paperwhite.

- Contrast: The problem with the new front light technology is that the higher you push it, the whiter (or more blue) the background but the grayer the text. I can see why Amazon never turns the light off and why they call it "Paperwhite" rather than "Textblack." I'd prefer a super high contrast screen in its native (non-lit) state.

- Uniformity: Another OCD point to make in comparing the Paperwhite and the Touch. The background on the Touch, gray as it may be, is more uniform and smoother-looking than the new screen. In certain lighting conditions, you can actually see the pixel matrix in the Paperwhite screen.

So do the improvements to the product balance out some of the screen issues? I'm just not sure. I think the old Pearl screen is still easier on the eyes which seems to be the whole point (otherwise I'd just read on an iPad). I will definitely wait for the first firmware update to see if the fonts can be optimized. I'll also spend the next few days and nights reading a lot and see how the old eyes feel.

I'm liking the Paperwhite but not loving it. Will report again in a few days.
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Old 10-04-2012, 12:59 PM   #317
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Doesn't one of these come with wifi? I didn't read all the posts but how is browsing (or is wifi just to download books and there is no browsing)?

Lighting for me is very important as well as crisp clear text and contrast. I cannot read for long periods because of headaches. Maybe these are better suited than reading on the kfhd or nook tablet?
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Old 10-04-2012, 01:23 PM   #318
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Doesn't one of these come with wifi? I didn't read all the posts but how is browsing (or is wifi just to download books and there is no browsing)?

Lighting for me is very important as well as crisp clear text and contrast. I cannot read for long periods because of headaches. Maybe these are better suited than reading on the kfhd or nook tablet?
Believe me, you won't want to do much web browsing on an eInk screen. It's just not a good experience. Text-only (or primarily-text) sites work OK; anything graphical is not good.
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Old 10-04-2012, 01:53 PM   #319
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Splotch screen at bottom

Quote:
Originally Posted by zwarbles View Post
Mine has some dark spots on the bottom and a bluish hue on the upper right hand side.

I put it side by side with my Nook Glow, and the PW has much better contrast and sharper text (I used the same font & size to compere).

The screen is whiter than the Nook but not drastically. (Again, I put brightness up all the way on both readers to be fair).

Page turning is a breeze with the pw and can easily be done while holding the book. I also had mine in the fuschia cover while trying it and it was a perfect feel.

I'll have to really try reading with it to see if the blotchy screen will bother me or not.

Overall, it seems okay.


I'm not happy...this was not as advertised and knowing the blotchy bottom part of the screen is there bothers me even more. Most likely will return it.
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Old 10-04-2012, 01:58 PM   #320
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Originally Posted by lance100 View Post
I'm not happy...this was not as advertised and knowing the blotchy bottom part of the screen is there bothers me even more. Most likely will return it.
Amazon will be sending me a replacement in a few weeks. I'm hoping the new one will have a better screen than this one.
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Old 10-04-2012, 02:06 PM   #321
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Are both OK otherwise or do either/both have the blotchiness and stuff some folks are experiencing?
At full brightness there is considerable blotchiness. Still trying to decide if dialing down the light solves the problem.
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Old 10-04-2012, 02:16 PM   #322
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Thoughts after a few days:

My screen is not uniformly even (setting aside the spotlight effect); I have a faint swath of blue that is only noticeable when the light is turned up too bright for the room's conditions. It also seems like it's getting fainter over time. I don't think it's bad enough for me to bother returning it, but I'll be interested to see if the screen problems get picked up by the mainstream tech media (so far it hasn't happened, that I can see), and if the people getting replacements get units that are 'perfect'. Also have a second household unit coming in about three weeks; will be curious to see what shape that one is in.

I've gotten a little more familiar with the UI, but I still find it frequently non-intuitive, especially if you regularly play with iOS devices or the iOS Kindle app. I can't seem to get over feeling like a tap in the very middle should bring up the toolbar, and I do it all the time. (I'm a long time swipe-turner, though, so I assume tap-turners would have a problem with it...maybe make it configurable?)

My early sync problems seem to have sorted themselves out, and my other Kindle apps now admit that the PW exists.

Sadly I really have to count myself out of much reviewing of the crispness, font contrast, visibility, etc--I have a lot of 'floaters' in my eyes that seem to be getting really bad lately, and I believe I'm just on the cusp of needing reading glasses (but not there yet). In short, any review I give of readability will be kind of pointless. I find I'm constantly fiddling with the text size and spacing, but I fear this is probably due to my eyesight circling the middle-age drain. I *can* say that as an "in the dark" reader, I do like reading the PW on a very low light setting in bed at night (with lights off). This has always been my holy grail for readers, so it wins on that score. The screen flaws are not apparent to me in that scenario.
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Old 10-04-2012, 02:18 PM   #323
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SB Sarah has posted a PW review, I know this thread is really for MR user reviews, but I thought the pics in the review did a good job of showing the blotchiness problem some folks are having. So my question for those having problems is are these pics a good example? It looks like the northern lights are shining on the screen in some of those pics (although she doesn't seem to mind/notice it), if my screen looked like that it would drive me nuts.

http://smartbitchestrashybooks.com/b...hite-my-review

Last edited by AnemicOak; 10-04-2012 at 02:21 PM.
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Old 10-04-2012, 02:25 PM   #324
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnemicOak View Post
SB Sarah has posted a PW review, I know this thread is really for MR user reviews, but I thought the pics in the review did a good job of showing the blotchiness problem some folks are having. So my question for those having problems is are these pics a good example? It looks like the northern lights are shining on the screen in some of those pics (although she doesn't seem to mind/notice it), if my screen looked like that it would drive me nuts.

http://smartbitchestrashybooks.com/b...hite-my-review
I saw her review yesterday. She sounded happy overall with it. I'm on the fence line today as the more reviews come in with problems. I want one but I have some concerns with quality control.
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Old 10-04-2012, 02:25 PM   #325
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Originally Posted by AnemicOak View Post
SB Sarah has posted a PW review, I know this thread is really for MR user reviews, but I thought the pics in the review did a good job of showing the blotchiness problem some folks are having. So my question for those having problems is are these pics a good example? It looks like the northern lights are shining on the screen in some of those pics (although she doesn't seem to mind/notice it), if my screen looked like that it would drive me nuts.

http://smartbitchestrashybooks.com/b...hite-my-review
Yes, that's how mine looks....
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Old 10-04-2012, 02:56 PM   #326
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The poll on this Forum shown here:

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/pol...ts&pollid=1479

now shows 15 of 64 respondents saying they are dissatisfied with the screen. Of course most folks never voted whether they had good or bad experiences. However, that is 23% and much too large.

In contrast NO ONE in the Kindle Fire HD portion of this Forum reported any dissatisfaction with their screens or any other major problems.

I've ordered a PW now labeled "Shipping Soon" and a Kindle Fire HD 7" due Oct 25. I suspect I'll be using the Fire HD most of the time like I now use my Kindle Fire most of the time compared to my Kindle Kbd WiFi.

The PW and my Kindle Kbd will mostly be used by my wife. I will use them when charging the Fires.

It is ironic but my Kindle Kbd gave me lots of problems the first three months I had it in 2010. The Kindle Fire never gave me any problems. It looks like LCD really beats eInk in every way.

Last edited by sirmaru; 10-04-2012 at 05:20 PM. Reason: Update poll results
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Old 10-04-2012, 02:58 PM   #327
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So my question for those having problems is are these pics a good example? It looks like the northern lights are shining on the screen in some of those pics (although she doesn't seem to mind/notice it), if my screen looked like that it would drive me nuts.

http://smartbitchestrashybooks.com/b...hite-my-review
Yeah, although hers appears worse than mine. Mine are fainter, and are subject to lighting conditions and the backlight itself. For example, they are pretty obvious in my crappy overhead office flourescents, but not so bad in dim CFL lights at home. But yes, the cloudy, bluish, darker/lighter patches are there. Unfortunately it's one of those things where I didn't really notice it until I'd read too many other people talking about it (and, indeed, after I'd posted a quick review warning people not to let that kind of thing bother them).

I figured since I was immune to the alleged early iPad 1 problems (yellow tinge, light bleed, etc), that this was a similar thing that my eyes just weren't sensitive enough to notice. But nope, it's there, and I'm on the fence about going for a return (as per my post upthread). I really want to see if a "perfect" screen even exists for this technology, but for that to happen I think we'll have to have someone who is familiar with the problem and knows how to photograph it actually get a 'bad' and a 'good' one side by side.

Last edited by Trauma Doll; 10-04-2012 at 03:03 PM.
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Old 10-04-2012, 03:08 PM   #328
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I figured since I was immune to the alleged early iPad 1 problems (yellow tinge, light bleed, etc), that this was a similar thing that my eyes just weren't sensitive enough to notice. But nope, it's there, and I'm on the fence about going for a return (as per my post upthread). I really want to see if a "perfect" screen even exists for this technology, but for that to happen I think we'll have to have someone who is familiar with the problem and knows how to photograph it actually get a 'bad' and a 'good' one side by side.
I saw a post on the Amazon Forums that the early iPad 1 problems were due to drying glue between the screens. That person said the problem totally disappeared after one week.

Perhaps, these PW screen problems may also just disappear in a week.
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Old 10-04-2012, 03:10 PM   #329
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After spending some quality time with the PW last night (the sync issues having been resolved, which was causing me to use it less), I have to say that overall I really do enjoy using it to read. Yes, the lighting has some inconsistencies, not only at the bottom but in some odd "pinkish" tints, but I also noticed two things:

1. Those same inconsistencies seem to vary based on the screen's angle to ambient light. That is, shifting the screen to one side or another horizontally had a noticeable effect on how much variability I could see in the screen. Note that I still haven't read in complete darkness for any amount of time, mainly because I just never have occasion to do so (my wife sleeps well no matter if the light's on or off).

2. I did notice a blue tint at places on the screen, like some have mentioned, but for me that was absolutely caused by shadows from my thumb and fingers. I could avoid any blue tint simply by not putting a shadow on the screen.

I'm not sure how applicable any of this is for anyone else, but it's certainly my experience. Overall, I like the PW, and it fits my use case pretty well. If a person reads primarily in the dark, then maybe the lighting inconsistencies would be harder to accept.
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Old 10-04-2012, 03:16 PM   #330
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Here's another good picture of the 'cloudy' problem, directly from Amazon's customer images of the PW.

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41uG9sN2GzL.jpg

For me at least, those darker 'clouds' are not smudges or shadows, they are always in the exact same position and visible to other people without me cueing them on where to look.
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