The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 4 is the latest generation e-reader and it has a PDF rendering engine to read PDF files. Hardly any of the comics, ebooks or manga are available as a PDF file, but there are a small segment of users that have their own collection that they sideload on their devices. How does the new Paperwhite handle PDF’s?
PDF files are quite popular and Amazon has a system to handle these type of files. When a PDF file is sideloaded on the e-reader and loaded from the library section there are a number of notable features. A PDF file can be pinched and zoomed to isolate specific frames and there is a light and darkness slider bar to help with getting the most out of your file. This is useful if you have downloaded a scanlation file from the internet and the contrast might be off, you can optimize it on the Kindle. There is a small mini map on the top left corner with a screenshot of the document you are on. When you are zooming around, it helps with orientation.
When you long-press on a specific word on series of words, these can be looked up in the dictionary or a small note can be added. Amazon is one of the only companies to have this type of functionality for PDF files, and not just ebooks. This is useful for digital textbooks for school, or if you are learning another language. You can also get translations of specific words in this manner as well.
Overall, PDF support on the Kindle Paperwhite 4 is not as robust as the Oasis 2, primarily because the Paperwhite only has a six inch screen, so it is not indicative of properly rendering a PDF file. Still, the new Paperwhite does a better job at PDF support than previous models, such as the Paperwhite 3 and Paperwhite 2. These devices often had memory issues when loading big PDF files and were prone to crashing.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.