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Old 11-30-2021, 08:11 AM   #1
jcdenton
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Calibre users — are you happy with your Kindle Paperwhite 2021?

Hi everyone,

I currently use a 2014 Kindle Basic. It's been fantastic, and a faithful companion for the past seven years. The adjustable warm backlight on the 2021 Paperwhite is turning my head though. That's the one additional feature I always wanted.

If you've got one, as a fellow Calibre user, are you happy with it? I know Calibre support for it is fairly recent, but in general does the device work well?

I don't connect my Kindle to the internet at all, and I'd like it to stay that way. My current one has been in aeroplane mode since the day I got it, and I use Calibre exclusively to manage what's on it. Will I still be able to do that? I know that more and more devices these days positively demand to be online, and sometimes won't even function properly if they're denied access. Will I be able to take this new one out of its box, put it in aeroplane mode right away, copy my books to it, and basically pick up where I left off with my current Kindle? I don't want to be forced through any kind of registration process. I just want a dumb device that displays what I put on it, and does nothing else.

Many thanks for any thoughts or advice.
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Old 11-30-2021, 11:25 AM   #2
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No. I cannot jailbreak my kindle (recent firmware does not allow it without opening the device) and there is no way to edit collections from Calibre or any third party application. My next e-reader is going to be either Kobo or Tolino.

Another shortcoming is that there is no way to wirelessly transfer books without an internet connection.
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Old 11-30-2021, 03:40 PM   #3
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Calibre and Kindles don't work all that well together because Amazon removed access to the database back when before the K3 came out.

The PW5 is no better with Calibre then the PW3.
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Old 11-30-2021, 04:42 PM   #4
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I'm not sure whether you can use it without registering it or not. I wasn't concerned about that when I got mine, so didn't pay that much attention. My feeling is that you're going to have to at least sign in to your Amazon account with it. I think they already register the device before they send it and you can see it in your "Content and Devices" before you ever get it.

I don't think you'll see any difference with Calibre than you're already used to, so I don't know what Jon is talking about. I use mine with Calibre exclusively to download my books without any problems.

The screen on the new Paperwhite is amazing; I'm sure you'll like it. And the battery life is the best I've seen on any of my Kindles.

One thing to consider is that the new one has slim bezels and you might want to consider a cover for it because of this. Also, I notice that when the page refreshes, it sometimes jumps an extra page. Seems to me we saw this behavior in a kIndle back in the day so maybe it'll be corrected in a future software update. In the meantime, making it refresh every page mostly eliminates the problem.

I bought at Kobo Libra 2 at the same time and I much prefer the screen on the Kindle.

Jim
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Old 11-30-2021, 08:13 PM   #5
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Jon is partly correct. (I think he just has the level wrong)
My K4NT still has DB access. It was later models (I think it started with PW) that block the Kindle Collections plugin
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Old 11-30-2021, 08:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capink View Post
No. I cannot jailbreak my kindle (recent firmware does not allow it without opening the device) and there is no way to edit collections from Calibre or any third party application. My next e-reader is going to be either Kobo or Tolino.
If collections are important, then it has to be a Kobo.

Tolino will build collections based on the directory structure, and calibre can build that, but, that means that each book is in only one collection. You can create collections using the device, but, these are not anywhere that can be accessed externally. If you root the device, you might be able to access them, but, I haven't tried.
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Old 12-01-2021, 03:39 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidfor View Post
If collections are important, then it has to be a Kobo.

Tolino will build collections based on the directory structure, and calibre can build that, but, that means that each book is in only one collection. You can create collections using the device, but, these are not anywhere that can be accessed externally. If you root the device, you might be able to access them, but, I haven't tried.
Thanks for the advice. I am going for Kobo then. The only reason I was considering Tolino, was because the ability to run Calibre Companion, which seems to have gone defunct anyway.
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Old 03-01-2022, 05:22 PM   #8
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Dragging up an old thread here, but I thought I'd post an update for anyone who might have this question in the future.

TLDR — I bought a 2021 Paperwhite, and it's great. I'm very happy with it. It can live permanently offline quite happily and it does everything I want, with only a few minor shortcomings. Managing the device with Calibre is exactly the same as it was with my 2014 Kindle.

I haven't connected it to the internet at all. I put it straight into aeroplane mode the first time I turned it on, and that's where it's staying. It did funnel me into the registration process initially, and at first I thought I might be stuck there, but all you have to do is click OK a few times, and if you're not connected to the internet, it just tells you to come back and finish the registration the next time you're online. It hasn't nagged me at all since then. Note that I didn't pre-register it when I placed the order. I don't know whether it would have changed anything had I done that.

I don't like the interface quite as much as my old Kindle, but it's a minor complaint. Amazon seem to have decided to really emphasise the shop, and as such there's a lot of wasted space on the screen. It's only a couple of additional taps to get to my books, so hardly an imposition, but it would be nice to be able to bypass that altogether.

My main criticism — something others noted above — is that there's no way to make collections, either via Calibre or on the device itself. Again this isn't that much of an issue for me, but I did like to have my fiction and non-fiction separated on my old Kindle, and now I have everything in one giant list. Perhaps Calibre will add the ability to do this in a future update, but even if not, I'm pleased with my purchase. Being able to read in less than perfect light, or even in complete darkness, is fantastic.
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