Kindle Paperwhite: First Impressions From Canada
January 14, 2014 | 10:25 am
By Joanna Cabot
I saw my first Kindle Paperwhite over the weekend! Here in Canada, land of the Kobo, Kindles are a rare sight even for older models. But thanks to my dual-citizen sister (who chose the Kindle because she plans to move back to the U.S.) I got my hands on one this weekend.
I liked it! Here were my thoughts.
Kindle Paperwhite Screen and Light
These looked good to me. I had been told it was much less blue-looking than the Kobo Glo (which I have) but I didn’t find it overwhelmingly different. It looked fine to me. Nothing special, but fine.
The Book-Reading Experience
Reading a book itself was smooth and beautiful. The page turns seemed quicker than they are on my Kobo, and the text was crisp and beautiful. There are fewer font choices, but I felt that the Kindle respected these font choices more. The Kobo will often over-ride my own font preferences if the publisher specifies a font in the book (which is a pet peeve of mine!) It seemed the Kindle always used the font I chose.
The Home Screen
Ugh, it was awful. Busy, busy, busy. There were icons and buttons and little tabs and windows and panels everywhere. Ick! The Kobo home screen offers a much more streamlined and minimalist look.
The Bonus Features
Loved them! I think the vocabulary builder is a great idea, and I have been reading some more challenging books lately where this would have been useful for me. I also like the Goodreads integration. On the other hand, Kobo has the stats and the Reading Life awards, which are super-fun…
So, my verdict? I liked it, but not enough to trade in what I have. I like that the Kobo uses the more open ePub format instead of a proprietary one (in fact, that was my sister’s chief complaint—she wants to read library books, and our local library network does not offer a Kindle option). And I like the less cluttered Kobo interface. I do think the Kindle has some nice features, and I appreciated the way the books always displayed with the font I selected. But the Kobo has some nice features too, and so it comes out pretty much a wash for me. ‘Some’ nice features and ‘enough nice features to make it worth an upgrade’ are not the same thing. My Kobo is fine for now!