Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (2021) review: A classic, now modern, e-reader thanks to USB-C and wireless charging

I am going to acknowledge it — I’m not a huge reader. I imply, I browse all working day extended, be it my possess tales as I’m producing them, or other news tales from fellow journalists. But by the close of the working day, I’m exhausted of seeking at a monitor and reading a e-book is the past factor I want to do. Very well, it utilized to be the past factor I needed to do. 

About 6 weeks in the past I made a promise to myself that I’d start off reading additional, so I dug my 2013 Kindle Paperwhite out of the base of our junk drawer, charged it up and began the hunt for guides. It labored, but was aged and pretty, pretty slow. At one point I was ready to depend to five right after tapping the monitor to change the page in advance of the text on the exhibit would be updated. 

A 7 days or two later, Amazon updated the Kindle’s interface with a new glance — the initially time in years the interface received such an update — and despatched me a
Kindle Oasis

to examine it out. The Oasis is a effective, slim and outstanding one-use system for reading. But just as I was acquiring acclimated to the Oasis, I received a evaluate sample of the eleventh generation Kindle Paperwhite. 


  • Battery life
  • General performance
  • New Kindle interface
  • Design and style

Never Like

  • Light-weight sensor can be slow to adjust

Far more precisely, the Signature Edition Paperwhite. In late September, Amazon announced a few new Kindle Paperwhites: The 
$one hundred forty typical Kindle Paperwhite

, the 
$one hundred ninety Signature Edition Kindle Paperwhite

and a 
$a hundred and sixty Little ones Edition model of the Paperwhite.


All a few equipment have a larger, enhanced exhibit, have made the switch to USB-C for charging, and promise more quickly general efficiency. 

Set up was quick peasy


Location up a Kindle system applying the Kindle application on your phone is genuinely quick. 

Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

Location up any system is often a chore. It is really my minimum preferred element of examining any system — but applying the new Amazon Unit Uncomplicated Set up process made environment up the new Kindle Paperwhite genuinely quick. 

The process demands you have the Kindle application mounted on your Android system or Iphone. You’ll will need to open up the app’s settings section and change on Amazon Unit Uncomplicated Set up. On the new Kindle, there is a new selection to established up the system applying your phone. From there, you abide by the prompts on your phone which glance and work pretty identical to the prompts you see on an Iphone when connecting AirPods or an Apple Enjoy for the initially time. 

From start off to end, it took me possibly five minutes to unbox the new Paperwhite, signal in and wait for all of my guides to download. 

The new aspect positive beats obtaining to signal in to my Amazon account which has a lengthy and complex password applying the on-monitor keyboard on the Kindle. 

USB-C and wireless charging? Say no additional

All a few new Kindle Paperwhite versions have a larger six.eight-inch exhibit, up from six-inches on the past revision of the Paperwhite. The monitor also obtained a dark mode for reading in small light-weight environments, as properly as a heat light-weight mode that really should make seeking at the monitor for extended intervals of time simpler on your eyes — especially at night time. The Paperwhite has IPX8 water resistance, which means it can face up to an accidental splash if you might be reading by a swimming pool or in the tub. 

All a few versions also have last but not least — last but not least — made the switch from a microUSB charging connection to USB-C. That means when charging the new Kindle with a USB-C cable and a wall adapter of at minimum 9W, you really should be ready to cost it from vacant to comprehensive in about two.5 several hours. Amazon statements up to 10 weeks of battery life on the new Paperwhite lineup — certainly I have not experienced one extended more than enough to examination out that claim, but I can say that so considerably it truly is lasted longer than the Kindle Oasis I have also been tests. 

The Little ones Edition and typical Paperwhite versions come with 8GB of storage.

By opting for the Signature Edition you acquire a few extra features. Storage goes up to 32GB, you acquire an auto-altering light-weight sensor to immediately modify brightness and you get the added skill to wirelessly cost the system. It’ll work with any Qi-appropriate wireless charging pad as extended as you might be ready to line up the back of the Kindle in which the charging coil is with the charging pad. I have not experienced any issues laying the Kindle flat on numerous different pads — with both the Kindle’s base indicator light-weight and the wireless charging pads light-weight allowing me know that everything is performing as anticipated. 

Now if Amazon would update the Kindle Oasis with USB-C, I could get rid of all microUSB cables from my families’ charging station. 

The indicator light-weight, snooze/wake button and charging port are all situated on the base of the housing. Even although the Paperwhite has a larger monitor, it truly is even now pretty snug to maintain for extended intervals of time. It is light-weight, and properly-well balanced. 

The Kindle’s new interface is welcome


Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

According to Amazon, the new Paperwhite has 20% more quickly efficiency when it will come to turning the page in a e-book. I can’t measure how fast that is, but talking from my possess expertise tests a a great deal older Paperwhite, Oasis and now the 2021 Paperwhite, I can say that the velocity increase is visible. There is nearly no hold off right after tapping on the monitor in advance of the text refreshes with the following page, prepared for action. 

The new Paperwhites are by now updated to use Amazon’s new Kindle interface, which was announced a couple weeks in the past and has slowly and gradually been rolling out to appropriate Kindle equipment. My wife’s 2018 Paperwhite received the update just a couple times in the past, in fact. 

The new interface makes it simpler to navigate concerning your homescreen and particular library, and the refreshed Options panel that slides down from the major of the system makes it quick to quickly make changes to points like the shade warmth or brightness of the monitor. 

Base line

There is no questioning no matter if or not Amazon has a superior factor heading with its Kindle merchandise lineup. Even although the Kindle is a one-use system in a entire world in which it feels like just about every organization is seeking to figure out how to make all equipment be everything to every person, Amazon quietly and confidently retains the Kindle lineup, and in individual the Paperwhite model, buzzing alongside. 

With more quickly efficiency, a larger exhibit and USB-C there is genuinely almost nothing to fault with the new Kindle Paperwhites. And if you decide to devote a minor bit additional for the signature edition, you might be attaining some noteworthy features in wireless charging and a light-weight sensor, improving even additional on an by now responsible expertise. 

You can get any 
2021 Kindle Paperwhite design

proper now from Amazon. Deliveries are established to get there on Wednesday, Oct. 27. It is a best vacation present for the avid reader, or another person, who like me, is seeking to build a new habit, one page at a time.