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Old 06-04-2013, 09:00 AM   #1
Tom Swift
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Differences between Japanese and Western Paperwhites?

I have been looking for a new Kindle since my Kindle 3 suddenly decided to crack its screen (couldn't have been my fault). I live in China and there are lots of Paperwhites for sale but they all seem to be from Japan. Are these models equivalent to the Western models or can they be modified to be equivalent or are they totally different?
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Old 06-04-2013, 10:39 AM   #2
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The "Wi-Fi only" Japanese version is exactly equal to the "International" version.
Do NOT buy the "Wi-Fi + 3G" Japanese model. The "3G" in the Japanese version is locked to Japan only. You will NOT be able to use "3G" outside of Japan.
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Old 06-04-2013, 05:56 PM   #3
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Can it be changed to English easily and will it be recognized by Amazon on their US store?
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Old 06-05-2013, 07:26 AM   #4
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You can switch Kindle Paperwhite to any of the available languages. Just go to the "main-menu" -> "Settings" -> "Device Options" -> "Languages and Dictionaries" -> "Language" and select your preferred language (e.g. there's "English (United Kingdom)", "English (United States)" and the very last item in the displayed list is "Chinese") then click "OK" (note: it will "restart" the device).

Note: you can also select different keyboard layouts. Just visit "main-menu" -> "Settings" -> "Device Options" -> "Languages and Dictionaries" -> "Keyboards" (you can have multiple layouts "selected" simultaneously).
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Old 06-09-2013, 06:33 PM   #5
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I was in Shanghai this weekend and bought one. I had a choice between the Japanese model, the American model, and the new official Chinese model. I got the American model since the girl selling them told me that you can not search on the Japanese model. Not sure if it is true but it was only a few dollars difference so I played it safe and got the US version.

I love it. Was reading for hours yesterday. I have been buying electronic book readers for a while now and they just keep getting better and better.

Last edited by Tom Swift; 06-10-2013 at 07:51 AM.
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Old 06-10-2013, 03:50 AM   #6
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Just for the record, she was full of it; search and everything other than the packaging is 100% identical between the units. I use mine on the US store every day. The Japanese unit is cheaper than the US one, so maybe they get a better markup on the US ones? Or they might just have more of the US model and wanted to move their stock.

Either way, it's still a great machine, and peace of mind is just as important as a price difference. I'm glad you're enjoying your Paperwhite!
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Old 06-10-2013, 07:51 AM   #7
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It was about a five dollar difference between the Japanese and American versions. I think she might have meant the Duokan that was installed on the demo Japanese model she showed me. She had some problems setting it back to English so I just thought it would be easier to simply get the American one. I paid pretty much what it would have cost me in Canada.
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