Kindle Paperwhite Review (2021): Bigger, Better, More Expensive [análise/vídeo]


11th generation Kindle Paperwhite (image: Emerson Alecrim/Tecnoblog)

In September, the Amazon announced the Kindle Paperwhite of 11th generation (2021). The model remains faithful to the proposal of allowing you to read books on a screen that tries to imitate paper. If so, what justifies this update? The promise of an improved reading experience.

In the new version, the improvements mainly consist of a larger, 6.8-inch display, more LEDs for backlighting and speed gain when changing pages.

On the other hand, the price increased: the official value of the new Kindle Paperwhite in Brazil is R$ 649. I’m Emerson Alecrim and I tested the novelty for three weeks. In the next few moments, I’ll tell you if it’s worth disbursing this amount.

11th Generation Kindle Paperwhite Review on Video

Notice of ethics

O Techblog is an independent news outlet that has been helping people make their next purchase decision since 2005. Our reviews are not intended for advertising, so they highlight the strengths and weaknesses of each product. No company has paid for, reviewed or had advance access to this content.

The 11th Generation Kindle Paperwhite was provided by Amazon as a donation and will not be returned to the company. For more information, visit tecnoblog.net/etica.

Larger screen: now 6.8 inches

The new Kindle Paperwhite is slightly larger than previous generation models. There are additional 7 mm in height and 9 mm in width. There’s a good reason for this: the 2021 version swaps the 6-inch e-ink screen for a 6.8-inch one.

The screen also improves the use of front space. With the exception of the bottom, the component’s edges have become thinner. The effect is noticed in the first few minutes of use: you can enhance the reading experience by making the font larger or making more text appear on the page.

But don’t think that the bigger screen turned Paperwhite into a mess. The ebook reader remains a very compact device. You will probably only notice the larger dimensions if you place the new version alongside a previous generation model.

For the record, the pixel density of the screen remains at 300 ppi.

Kindle Paperwhite 2021 (right) versus previous generation model (image: Emerson Alecrim/Tecnoblog)
Kindle Paperwhite 2021 (right) versus previous generation model (image: Emerson Alecrim/Tecnoblog)

Brightness and temperature control

Amazon was careful to spice up the larger screen with more lighting features. The previous generation Kindle Paperwhite has five LEDs on the display; the new one brings 17.

According to the company, the maximum brightness was 10% more intense, which guarantees good screen viewing even when you’re using the device by the pool on a sunny day, for example.

Furthermore, the increased amount of LEDs optimizes light distribution. It is more difficult to find “shadow” points on the dashboard therefore (although it was already difficult to identify these areas in the previous model).

An equally or more interesting detail is the light temperature control, a new feature in Paperwhite. You can adjust the screen with different shades of amber. In theory, warmer tones — that is, “yellowish” — provide more visual comfort, especially at night.

Most users will likely use intermediate settings, but the new Kindle Paperwhite offers 24 levels of brightness and another 24 levels of temperature.

There is the option of defining a time range for the start and end of temperature adjustment and another that applies this setting automatically following sunrise and sunset. It makes sense: Warm tones are ideal at night because, theoretically at least, they are less disruptive to the wearer’s sleep.

Light Temperature Control on Kindle Paperwhite 2021 (Image: Emerson Alecrim/Tecnoblog)
Light temperature control at maximum level (image: Emerson Alecrim/Tecnoblog)

The software evolved

Right after being turned on for the first time, Kindle Paperwhite tested by Techblog showed a software update warning. A welcome update as it makes the interface a little cleaner and improves the device’s usability, albeit subtly.

For example, the splash screen now displays two buttons at the bottom. With them, you can quickly switch between your home screen and your book library.

Kindle Paperwhite 2021 Home Screen (Image: Emerson Alecrim/Tecnoblog)
Kindle Paperwhite 2021 Home Screen (Image: Emerson Alecrim/Tecnoblog)

Have more. While reading, if you quickly tap the top of the screen, you’ll see better-organized icons than in the previous interface for adjusting text, searching, bookmarks, and the like.

11th generation Kindle Paperwhite (image: Emerson Alecrim/Tecnoblog)
Kindle Paperwhite 11th generation — note the icons in the upper right corner (image: Emerson Alecrim/Tecnoblog)

The difference with this update is that if you touch the top of the screen and drag your finger down, you will quickly access the settings for brightness, temperature, airplane mode and, of course, night mode (dark).

Let it be clear that this update is not exclusive to the new Paperwhite. Earlier versions of this line, Kindle “normal” and Kindle Oasis also have access to it.

There are no advances in supported formats, however. Kindle’s system is still compliant with standards such as HTML, PDF, DOC, Mobi and, of course, AZW, which is typical of the line.

Brightness and light temperature controls (image: Emerson Alecrim/Tecnoblog)
Brightness and light temperature controls (image: Emerson Alecrim/Tecnoblog)

Performance and battery

According to Amazon, the Kindle Paperwhite 2021 can last up to ten weeks on a single full charge. This is another important addition: the previous generation, which already had good autonomy, could reach six weeks.

I wasn’t able to take the test, but what the tests done for this review suggest is that battery life remains a strong point of the line. I tested the new Paperwhite for three weeks with readings of at least an hour a day; in that period, i saw the battery charge drop from 39% to 22%.

The recharge time from 20% to 100% was just over 1h30min. At this point, it is worth noting that, finally, Kindle Paperwhite has a USB-C port and a cable in the same standard.

As the device is guaranteed autonomy, it is natural for us to pay more attention to its use. Here, too, there are advances: Amazon claims that the model is 20% faster in page turning compared to the previous generation.

It is a fact that performance has improved. In addition to page change, book opening, response time to on-screen commands, font adjustments and return to home page are faster. It is clear that the new Paperwhite suffers less to perform these and other tasks.

Kindle Paperwhite finally has USB-C port (image: Emerson Alecrim/Tecnoblog)
Kindle Paperwhite finally has USB-C port (image: Emerson Alecrim/Tecnoblog)

11th Gen Kindle Paperwhite: Is it Worth It?

What makes Paperwhite 2021 so interesting is the incorporation of features previously only available on Oasis, the most advanced model in the Kindle family.

It starts with the larger 6.8-inch screen, which approximates the Oasis’ 7-inch panel. Then comes the interesting light temperature adjustment function. Furthermore, in terms of performance, the new Paperwhite owes practically nothing to its more sophisticated brother.

It is also worth noting that the new generation of Kindle Paperwhite maintains established features, such as the night mode, which leaves the background black and the text in white, the IPX8 certification, which guarantees protection against water at depths of up to 2 m, and the 8 GB of storage, enough capacity for you to store thousands of books or documents.

Dark mode on the new Kindle Paperwhite (image: Emerson Alecrim/Tecnoblog)
Dark mode on the new Kindle Paperwhite (image: Emerson Alecrim/Tecnoblog)

These and other attributes are felt in the pocket: the official price of the 2021 version of Paperwhite, without considering discounts or promotions, was BRL 649 on the date of publication of this analysis. For comparison purposes, the previous generation cost R$399.

It’s a big difference, so I only recommend the new Paperwhite to anyone who reads a lot and is buying an ebook reader for the first time. Since this is a device that can last several years when taken care of, you won’t be wasting money if you pay full price for it.

The new Paperwhite is also interesting for anyone with an older Kindle. Mine, for example, is a unit purchased in 2014 that doesn’t support night mode, didn’t receive the current interface and has a battery that, despite still lasting a long time, doesn’t have the same autonomy as before.

This is a circumstance where switching to the latest model might be worth it. Now, if I had a previous generation Kindle Paperwhite, I would think twice about retiring it. Unless you insist on the bigger screen and the light temperature control, this version still does the job.

I couldn’t finish without saying that Amazon also launched in Brazil a version called Kindle Paperwhite Signature. It has an official price of BRL 849, but offers automatic brightness adjustment, wireless recharging and 32 GB of storage. This capability makes it the ideal model for anyone who subscribes to the Amazon Audible audiobook service, which unfortunately is not available in Brazil.

New Kindle Paperwhite keeps the back with a rubberized appearance (image: Emerson Alecrim/Tecnoblog)
New Kindle Paperwhite keeps the rear with a rubberized appearance (image: Emerson Alecrim/Tecnoblog)

Transparency note: the links above have an affiliate code. By clicking on them, prices do not change, but the vehicle can earn a commission from Amazon.

Technical specifications

  • Screen: 6.8-inch E-Ink with 300 ppi and 17 LEDs
  • Storage: 8GB; 32 GB in Signature version
  • Drums: autonomy of up to ten weeks
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi de 2,4 GHz ou 5 GHz, Bluetooth, porta USB-C
  • Supported formats: Kindle 8 (AZW3), Kindle (AZW), TXT, PDF, Unprotected Mobi, Native PRC, HTML, DOC, DOCX, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP via conversion, AAX (Audible Audio Format)
  • Weight: 205 g; 208 g in Signature version
  • Dimensions: 174 x 125 x 8,1 mm
  • Others: black color, screen temperature adjustment, IPX8 protection, automatic brightness adjustment in Signature version, Qi wireless charging also in Signature version

Leave a Comment