Amazon has just released the Kindle Paperwhite 5 today and Good e-Reader would like to provide you with our first impressions and what this e-reader brings to the tablet. This is the first modern Kindle to go beyond the standard six inch display and it is close to seven inches in size. The major selling points are the enhanced lighting system, providing the best front-lit and color temperature system in the world. Amazon has also been able to use a new form of CARTA 1200, to increase the page turn speed.
The Paperwhite 5 features a 6.8 inch E INK Carta 1200touchscreen display with a resolution of 1236 x 1648 and 300 PPI. The Kindle Paperwhite 4, had an excellent lighting system, with 5 LED lights, but the Paperwhite 5 has 17 white and amber LED lights, giving users the ability to get a candlelight effect. The screen is flush with the bezel, protected by a layer of glass. This is a mixed bag, since glass can reflect light, and if you are outdoors, you likely will experience screen glare.
Underneath the hood is a NXP/Freescale 1GHZ processor, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage. You will be able to connect it up to your MAC or PC via USB-C. It has WIFI only and there is no cellular option. It has Bluetooth, which can be used to connect a pair of wireless headphones or an external speaker to listen to Audible audiobooks. It is rated IPX8 to protect against accidental immersion in up to two meters of fresh water for up to 60 minutes, and up to 0.25 meters of seawater for up to 3 minutes. The battery will last around ten weeks, which is very solid for an e-reader. The dimensions are 124.6 x 174.2 x 8.1 mm and weighs 205g.
The Paperwhite 5 is very minimalist, compared to previous models. The back is jet black and has a piano black embossed logo for the Kindle. On the bottom of the unit is the USB-C port, power button and status indictor light. There is no home button or manual page turn buttons, there also isn’t any expandable storage via an SD card. Amazon also seems to be using different retail packaging with this generation, it is flimsy recycled cardboard and there is no protection of the Kindle, it just has a static proof bag. I can really see it getting damaged when delivery drivers just chuck in onto your porch. I am sure this has something to do with the company wanting to get carbon neutral.
When using the Kindle Paperwhite 5 for the first time. There are a number of new features. Alongside being able to toggle between a just a light and dark mode, you can also adjust the color temperature of the backlight for cooler hues during the day and a warmer look at night. This can be done via the slider bars when you hit the menu. There are dedicated options to do this automatically based on your time zone, but can also be done from a specific time duration. 8GB of storage will cut it for people who buy all of their books from Amazon, but if you have a large collection you sideload on every new e-reader you buy, it might not be enough for like 100 super large PDF files and like 3,000 books. If you are a casual reader, or buy from Amazon, everything is stored in the cloud, so it might not be a big issue for the vast majority of readers. Where you might feel the sting, is if you download audiobooks from Audible right on the Kindle. Audiobook files range from 100MB to 500MB, for the big ones. Aside from the hardware, the software is relatively the same as the past few generations of the Kindle. It has the new home screen, and you can’t go back to the old library view. Although, if are upgrading from like the Paperwhite 1 or 2, or even the DX or Kindle Basic, this PW5 will be a night and day difference.
We will be conducting a comprehensive hands on review next week, in the meantime, checkout our unboxing video. If you live in a market where the Kindle Paperwhite 5 is not available yet, you can buy it from the Good e-Reader Store.
Michael Kozlowski has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve 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. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.