Review: Kindle Paperwhite 5 delivers Amazon’s best e-reader experience yet

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Last month, Amazon officially announced its new Kindle Paperwhite 5, delivering its latest e-reading experience. Now, ahead of the first round of pre-orders shipping tomorrow, we’re taking a hands-on look at Amazon’s latest e-reader to see just how much of a difference its new 6.8-inch screen and USB-C port make. Head below for all of the details.

Hands-on with the new Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 5

While it might be a bit of a stretch to say that Amazon is making reading more immersive with the new Kindle Paperwhite 5, all of the updates this time around are certainly focused on improving the experience. The most notable of these has to be the improved screen, which shaves off the previously thick bezels in favor of a much more streamlined build.

Now clocking in at 6.8 inches, the screen is a notable difference compared to the flat 6-inch panel used on the predecessor. The actual screen technology that drives the experience is getting some love from Amazon this time, too. Alongside being able to toggle between a just a light and dark mode, you can also adjust the color temperature of the backlight for cooler hues during the day and a warmer look at night.

That’s made possible by the inclusion of 17 LED backlights, which makes the Kindle Paperwhite 5 even brighter than its predecessor. So on top of being able to fit more book on a single page, text is going to be easier to read, making for overall more enjoyable reading during those longer sessions of diving into sagas like Dune.

A refined e-reading design

Alongside all of the changes that Amazon is making this time around for the new Kindle Paperwhite 5, there’s also quite a bit that’s sticking around. The overall design hasn’t changed all too much, with the same classic plastic exterior with an e-ink display at the center. Things are a bit slimmer this time around, though that’s offset by the added weight. You’re also still a 300ppi resolution for the display.

This is by no means a bad thing in my eyes. For all of the improvements that Amazon has actually made this time around, sticking with the same overall form factor and software is quite acceptable. Especially since so much of that was already nearing perfection with the previous-generation Kindle, let alone the tweaks made here on the Paperwhite 5.

Officially launching on October 27

Starting at $139.99 for the ad-supported model, or $159.99 for the standard E-reader, the new Kindle Paperwhite 5 will be officially launching on October 27. You can currently pre-order either version at Amazon.

9to5Toys’ Take

At some point or another here I’m going to have to confess that I’ve actually never owned a Kindle before, so I might as well get it off my chest now! So when Amazon reached out about sending over a review unit of its new Paperwhite, I was quite interested to see what the latest had to offer.

And after getting to spend the past weekend with the new e-reader, I have to say it’s quite the compelling package. In the same way that my new iPad mini 5 has become a go-to for general content consumption, I can finally see why the e-ink device is so popular as a dedicated reading companion.

I can’t really speak to just how much better the larger and more dynamic screen is on the Kindle Paperwhite 5 to the previous generation. I will say just how impressed I am with the device. The touchscreen is quite responsive for an e-ink panel and all of the adjustable display settings can’t be overstated. I even love how you can schedule the color temperature to change automatically.

Not to mention, Amazon has finally ditched microUSB in favor of USB-C! It may seem like a small change, and it honestly is one in the grand scheme of things. But I can definitely see this winning over a few of the holdouts who would have otherwise skipped the latest refresh.

Which is all to say that I am sure many of the more avid readers who are in the market for the latest e-reader from Amazon will likely be sold on the new release, too. All of the adjustments stack up to deliver a novel reading experience that may not be too different on paper than its predecessor, but one that sure feels like the latest and greatest.

I don’t necessarily think that most existing Kindle owners who have the previous-generation Paperwhite are going to want to upgrade anytime soon. But those rocking an even older model or who want to jump in for the first time are going to find this hard to beat for the price.

Now, if you don’t mind, I’ll be diving back into the sands of Arrakis to wrap up the first written installment of the Dune franchise.

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