What's so special about this compared to my 9.7 inches old graphite DX?
First of all, there's a back lit for the kindle paperwhite. This makes reading possible when there's no natural light. The brightness level is easily accessible by two touches, so you can adjust the settings on the go. I usually keep it lesser than 25% level (the actual light level I used is about 6 to 8), even when I'm reading at night with the night lamp dimmer on. It's bright enough to make my eyes hurt at 50% level, or maybe I'm just old now. I think this feature is really well implemented. The backlight brightens up the whole screen in a very nice fashion, and you can't really see where the light is coming from. With the e ink technology, I think the contrast is made even better than my graphite DX. The technology for the paperwhite is really something - you have to hold it in your hands and read something off it to be amazed by it.
Secondly, you can adjust different fonts on the go too. That's a feature that I would love to have. I hardwired my kindle dx to change its font because I find that the default font is a bit hard to read clearly. It's not easy to do that because you've to mess around with the settings. There's no menu just for that. With the paperwhite, it's just another option to choose from. There's a lot of things that are customizable in this paperwhite version of the kindle, which adds a little touch to the aesthetic value of the device when using it.
Thirdly, it's touch screen. The screen changes a lot faster now, so you won't notice much time lag when you click on any options. Even the page turning is rendered almost instantaneously, which is not the case for my older graphite dx. I even find the touch screen on the paperwhite too sensitive. The lag for the older graphite dx is not such a problem after some time, because I've trained myself to press it like 1-2 seconds before I finished reading the last words of the last line, so I don't really notice the lag. But I'm sure it's visible for someone holding the graphite dx for the first time. Paperwhite is as smooth as it gets when it comes to page turning and I think this has got to do with the faster processor. It's the most lag free and smoothest I've seen in all my kindle devices. The good thing about touchscreen is that for now, you just need to press and hold a word that you want to check on the dictionary, and out pops either Wikipedia or the built in dictionary. It makes you want to look up a word that you don't know, since it's so easy to check up a dictionary.
|Yup, you can see the contrast between the paperwhite (left) and graphite dx (right)|
Battery life? I switched off my wireless and I read everyday for the past 1 week, about 2-3 hours each time. It barely dipped actually. I think I've to believe that the battery for the paperwhite will last 8 weeks as stated officially. But I did read reviews where users found that the battery life drops to about 1 week after prolonged usage (about 6 months). I'll have to update on that once I'm there.
What's missing on the paperwhite is the feature where you can get the device to read out to you. I suppose with so many audiobooks that are professionally voiced, there's no real need to have a robotic voice reading out to you anymore. But I'll like to have that. Sometimes, on rare occasions, I would just like to eat my packet lunch and listen to a stiff female voice read to me in a weird google-translatish voice. I can do that with my graphite DX, but not with kindle paperwhite. At least, after using it everyday for a week, I haven't seen that function yet. If you had one and know where it's hidden, do let me know!
The smaller 6.7 inch also means that now, it's palm sized, very portable and can be carried around easily. Kindle dx is a tad heavy - you do get tired holding the reader and lugging it around. Hence for people who like to read while commuting on public transport, the smaller 6.7 inch palm size do work wonders. It's no surprise I've NEVER seen anyone in public with the bigger 9.7 inch kindle dx, but plenty with the smaller paperwhite or the older kindle 3. However, I prefer the bigger one because I do read pdf on my device and it's easier to read it on a larger device. I almost never bring my kindle dx out anyway (I think reading is best done in bed), so it's never a problem for me.
Lastly, how much did I buy it for? I bought the no advertisement (dubbed "without special offers" by Amazon), wifi only version of the paperwhite at SGD $185, everything in. If you don't mind advertisement, it's even cheaper at SGD 100. Throw in another SGD 7 dollars and you get it delivered to your doorstep. I bought it from the Qoo10 website (formally Gmart) from one of the sellers. It's from Japan (you can see it from the box) and it was delivered to me within 2 days of ordering it, to my pleasant surprise.