Amazon has quietly made its new Kindle Paperwhite ebook reader in the UK, after launching it in the US a month ago.

Amazon has quietly made its new Kindle Paperwhite ebook reader in the UK, after launching it in the US a month ago.

The Kindle Paperwhite is an interesting halfway house between the two existing Kindle technologies.

The 6” screen still uses e-ink technology for the same monochromatic ink-on-paper look, but it has been improved with better contrast, greater detail and faster page turns.

The key feature, however, is a new backlight that not only makes the screen look more black-and-white than light grey-on-dark-grey, but that also allows the Kindle Paperwhite to be read in less than ideal lighting conditions — including complete darkness.

Amazon has come up with a new backlight technology that illuminates the Kindle Paperwhite from the front rather than the back (as on an iPad, for example).

This purportedly reduces glare and makes the backlit screen much less tiring too look at for long periods — which is obviously important when it comes to reading an ebook.

As with previous e-ink Kindles, Amazon reckons claims an impressive battery life for the Kindle Paperwhite — it says a single charge should be enough for up to eight weeks’ use, based on half an hour of reading per day with Wi-Fi off and the backlight set to about halfway.

Reviews of the Kindle Paperwhite have been largely positive, but there have been complaints about uneven backlighting, leading Amazon to make a statement:

“Under certain lighting conditions, the illumination at the bottom of the screen from the built-in light is not perfectly even. These variations are normal and are located primarily in the margin where text is not present. The illumination is more even than that created by a book light or lighted cover.”

Amazon has published some examples of the screen in different lighting conditions and while there are clear dark areas with the screen is set to high brightness, these only affect the bottom of the screen and not the main reading area.

The Kindle Paperwhite has 2GB of storage and costs £109 for the Wi-Fi model and £169 for free, built-in 3G.

Anyone who’s about to place an order might do well to wait a week or two, though. Apple is rumoured to be announcing its long-rumoured iPad Mini with 7” screen in the next week or two…

Share with friends

Follow us on

Most recent motorhome reviews

The Practical Motorhome Mercedes-Benz Marco Polo 250d Sport Long review – 1 - The Mercedes-Benz Marco Polo 250d Sport Long is priced from £56,670 OTR, £63,990 as tested (© Phil Russell/Practical Motorhome)
The Practical Motorhome Chausson Welcome 711 Travel Line review – 1 - The new Chausson 711 is being sold in Welcome Travel Line spec only (© Peter Baber/Practical Motorhome)

Swift Rio 325

£52,180OTR

The Practical Motorhome Swift Rio 325 review – 1 - The 2018 Swift Rio 325 is just 5.99m long and has a licence-friendly MTPLM of 3500kg (© Phil Russell/Practical Motorhome)
The Practical Motorhome IH N-Class 630 RLS review – 1 - The IH N-Class 630 RLS is priced from £73,995 OTR for the 130bhp variant and from £76,490 OTR for the 180bhp version – we're testing the latter (© Gentleman Jack/Practical Motorhome)
The Practical Motorhome Marquis Majestic 196 review – 1 - Fitting six berths and six travel seats into a 3500kg motorhome is no mean feat – does it work? (© Phil Russell/Practical Motorhome)
The Practical Motorhome Swift Bessacarr 597 review – 1 - The ’van tested has an MTPLM of 3850kg, but there is a version with a 3500kg MTPLM (and a lower payload) – read more in our Swift Bessacarr 597 review (© Peter Baber/Practical Motorhome)