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Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 3G review

Mon Nov 26 2012, 11:25

Tap to turn
When reading a book, you turn back and forth through pages by just tapping the screen. Tap the left of the screen anywhere within an inch from the left-hand edge to turn back a page, and tap anywhere on the rest of the screen to turn forwards. Tap the top of the screen to access the menu.

One point worth noting here is that for people used to the touchscreens on smartphones and tablets, you'll probably find yourself swiping rather than tapping, but thankfully, swiping works fine as well.

The page-turn on the touchscreen Kindle is as smooth and quick as with the previous edition, with text rendering in no more time than it takes to turn a page in a paper book.

Once you're reading, the Kindle devotes the full 6in screen to the text. Extra functions like the light settings are accessed by tapping the top of the screen, which brings up a bar along the top and extra information at the bottom of the screen.

Amazon has added to the previous Kindle Touch model in the Kindle Paperwhite with a new Home button and a lightbulb icon, along with the back button, a shopping trolley for the Amazon store, a search icon that brings up an on-screen keyboard, and a menu.

Underneath these icons, you get an 'Aa' icon, letting you choose between eight different font sizes.


Amazon also lets you choose between six fonts, up from three with the Kindle Touch model, as well as three line spacing and margin options. We played around with these and found that you can get the display to exactly your preferred layout, something not offered in the traditional book.

The Go To and X-Ray buttons have been moved to the top menu, while Amazon has added a Share button, letting you share up to 100 character messages with your Facebook and Twitter contacts directly from the Kindle Paperwhite.

For those wanting to keep track of the progress of their reading, Amazon has added some handy features accessed via the menu at the bottom of the screen. As well as telling you your book location, page number and percentage, it will now also tell you the time it will take you to finish that chapter and the book overall, based on your reading speed.

While we like all these features, we still wish Amazon would give the Kindle interface an overhaul to make it more user-friendly. Trying to find documents stored on the Kindle or remember how to access certain functions isn't always easy, and we've been a Kindle user for several years.


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