Amazon is streaming the technology of its best e-readers on more affordable models. Last to take advantage of it: a Kindle Paperwhite vintage 2021 which promises to be essential.
The “ Paperwhite ” series from Amazon is historically the one that offers the best price/performance ratio. That said, its last update was in 2018 and it was starting to show its age against a very attractive Kobo Libra 2.
Amazon has therefore reacted with a new generation which not only takes elements of the Kindle Oasis (a large screen with adjustable lighting), but also introduces expected innovations such as USB-C or Qi charging.
DESIGN AND HANDLING
Looking at a photo, it’s hard to distinguish this new Paperwhite from its ancestor, we stay on a tablet format that could not be more classic with a single on/off button. Unlike other eReaders, browsing and changing pages is done only via the touch screen. The back is dressed in a rubberized plastic that grips well (and retains fingerprints in passing).
Once in hand, however, we notice that the reader has taken on a little overweight, a direct consequence of the integration of a 6.8-inch screen, against 6 inches previously. This translates into a small centimeter in height and above all a weight that once again exceeds 200 grams (205 grams very precisely).
The ergonomics themselves are generally good even if the format will not necessarily be the most suitable for the smallest hands. We also regret the absence of the “ bump ” fitted to the Kindle Oasis. Too bad also that no physical button is present, these are generally more comfortable than touch during long reading sessions.
By fiddling a little, we find a small defect: the ignition button is a little too sensitive that it is not uncommon to activate by mistake.
The lower edge swaps micro-USB for USB-C, which is much more practical on a daily basis. The set remains IPX8 certified, which allows him to read without fear in his bath or by the pool. Note that the screen itself is particularly vulnerable to shocks and other scratches. We strongly recommend that you invest in a cover or shell to limit the risks during transport.
Main evolution of this Kindle Paperwhite 2021: it goes from a screen of 6 to 6.8 inches. A change that may seem minor, but which in practice results in much better reading comfort. Despite an increased diagonal, the display density remains the same at 300 dpi. Nothing to say about the finesse of the characters.
The second major change is to be found on the lighting side. As on the Oasis, the temperature of the latter is now adjustable, manually or even automatically on the Signature version of the reader. We can therefore go from blue lighting to frankly orange. We will leave you alone to judge the real usefulness of this limitation of blue light, but we appreciate the possibility of choosing.
The Paperwhite uses a little less LEDs than the Oasis (17 against 25), but in practice it is very difficult to perceive a difference between the two devices as the lighting is uniform. The matte screen coating effectively protects the device from glare.
In use, e-ink technology is still just as comfortable for the eyes, especially if you don’t have too heavy a hand on the lighting. Unlike other devices, setting it to maximum all the time is usually a pretty bad calculation.
Let’s take a quick look at the software component: it hasn’t fundamentally changed in recent years. For a more detailed presentation, we refer you to our test of the Paperwhite 2018 .
Beyond the interface itself, we can only see that the Amazon ecosystem is still as closed. Few formats are offered natively and everything is done to push you not to think outside the box. However, we must admit that the Kindle Store is by far the best stocked on the market and offers such as Abonnement Kindle , which give access to a million titles, including 35,000 in French, can be very profitable if you are a heavy reader.
It is complicated to gauge the autonomy of a reading light as it will vary according to your uses and the brightness settings you choose. The use of Wifi is particularly energy-intensive, we recommend that you activate it only when you need it.
Amazon promises us here 10 weeks of endurance at the rate of 30 minutes of reading per day, a figure up two weeks compared to the previous version. An estimate that seems correct to me since I noted a drop of one to two percent of battery per hour of reading.
Switching to USB-C has nothing but advantages. The connector is stronger and that means one less cable to take on a trip. Charging is not very fast, as it took us just under three hours to fill up. A slowness which is, however, to be put into perspective when you realize that it takes weeks, even months, between each recharge.
The Paperwhite Signature adds to this a Qi induction charge, which turns out to be a little slower. Without being essential, this wireless charging is a significant bonus.
The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 2021 is available in two versions with 8 GB of storage: 140 euros for the model with advertisements and 150 euros for the one without advertisements.