Amazon Kindle Paperwhite Review (2018)

  • E-ink works as nice as ever
  • Device is compact and light
  • Lights allow dim environment reading
  • Battery potential is weeks at a single charge
  • Does what it says it's supposed to do
  • Amazon-centric software
  • Still not great for comics
  • Still using micro-USB, not USB-C

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The price of the Kindle Paperwhite 2018 is right on point for what it offers. That's just so long as you're not looking for something other than an e-ink display and Amazon's own UI instead of a more open OS. If you're only comparing e-readers, this might well be the best choice in the world on the market right this minute. Today we're reviewing the Kindle Paperwhite 2018, the newest version of Amazon's midrange (just right) e-reader device.

You've got three choices when it comes to Kindle devices right now – so long as you're buying a unit from the newest collection. The three include: Kindle, Kindle Paperwhite, and Kindle Oasis. The Kindle is the most basic device, starting at around $80. The Kindle Oasis is the most extravagant of the three, starting at around $250.

The so-called "All-new Kindle Paperwhite" or Kindle Paperwhite 2018 is the middle of the pack. It's the baby bear of the three bears. Dollars for features, this is the Kindle that's best matched to its price. The Kindle and Kindle Paperwhite both have a 6-inch display, but the Paperwhite is significantly sharper, waterproof, has at least double the data storage, and has built-in lights for dim reading environments.

The Kindle Paperwhite 2018 is the 4th-gen Paperwhite. The last one released was the 2015 Kindle Paperwhite. We did a full review of the Kindle Paperwhite 2015 that's pretty much everything you could ever need in a review of this device – especially since not a whole lot's changed between that version and the version released here in 2018.

The big differences come in the casing of the device. In 2015, the Kindle Paperwhite had an e-ink display sat on a plane lower than the bezel. The bezel was a piece of plastic that sat like a ring around the screen. Now the Kindle Paperwhite just has a single flat piece of display glass cover up front, making it a lot more like a traditional tablet.

There's nothing particularly remarkable about the hardware compared to the past edition – save that one detail. And the fact that the Kindle Paperwhite 2018 is now waterproof. Don't go dunking it in the ocean, but you can accidentally drop it in your bath and pull it back out without worrying about insta-death for your e-reader's contents and functionality.

Readability is about the same as it was with the past Kindle Paperwhite, which is to say it's pretty excellent. The pixels per inch on this e-ink display are more than enough to enjoy any text-heavy piece of literature. If we're taking about pieces of media not normally suited for a black/white off/on display environment, like otherwise color-filled comic books, this (as well as any other 1-color e-ink display) still leave something to be desired.

The size and the shape of the Kindle Paperwhite 2018 are just about perfect for its intended purpose. It won't quite fit in my pants pocket, but it's more than reasonable for any carry-on luggage on an airplane or as a non-obtrusive stow-away reader for break time at work.


Is it worth the cash? Yes, it certainly is. The Kindle Paperwhite 2018 isn't the most extravagant e-reader Amazon has to offer, and it's not the most basic. Instead, the Kindle Paperwhite 2018 is the perfect balance of cost vs value. If I were to pick one of the three, this would most certainly be the one I'd choose. You might also want to take a peek at the Kobo Forma if you prefer a non-Amazon device.

You can buy the Kindle Paperwhite 2018 from Amazon right about now for right around $129.99 USD. You might want to include a "Cover" of some sort – they'll inevitably attempt to recommend one of these, too, before you check out. I used the Water-safe Fabric Cover and it's worked perfectly well for the duration of this review.

Take a peek at the gift guide timeline below as well. We've got a whole lot of devices going on, here, and it's nearly time for all the gift-giving you can handle. It's that time of year, once again, and there is no escape.

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