The Kindle Paperwhite is Amazon’s first Kindle eReader with a front-lit E Ink display and a high resolution 758 x 1024 pixel display. The new display resolution makes text look sharper than on any previous models, and the light lets you read in the dark.

But not everyone is happy with some of the changes Amazon made when moving from last year’s Kindle Touch to this year’s Kindle Paperweight… and now Amazon has posted a page acknowledging some of those pages so that potential customers won’t be caught unaware.

Kindle Paperwhite uneven lighting

Amazon has posted a “We Want you to know” link in the product page for its $119 Kindle Paperwhite eReader. The link takes you to a new page where Amazon acknowledges three “design decisions.”

  1. There’s no audio or text-to-speech function. Removing the speakers helps keep the Kindle Paperwhite thinner and lighter.
  2. The Paperwhite has 2GB of storage while some earlier models had 4GB (This shouldn’t make a big difference since eBooks are tiny. You can store over 1000 in 2GB. Since there’s no support for audio files, the reduced storage probably won’t matter to most people.
  3. The front-lighting isn’t applied perfectly evenly. At the bottom of the screen it looks a littly funky.

That last one has caused many users to complain — not necessarily just because the light doesn’t shine evenly, but because all of Amazon’s promotional materials up until now had suggested that the screen would look equally bright in every area. It doesn’t.

At the bottom of the screen you’ll see some dark areas, which can be distracting. That’s also true if you use an old-school booklight. But if you were expecting the Kindle Paperwhite screen to look like a back-lit LCD display, you’ll be disappointed.

I’m holding onto the Kindle Touch I picked up last year, because I use the text-to-speech capabilities more often than I would have expected when I first bought it — and also because it still works perfectly well. I am tempted by the new model’s front-lit display, but I suspect if I hang onto my Kindle Touch for a while, something even better will be available by the time I’m ready to replace it.

via The Digital Reader

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3 replies on “Amazon acknowledges the Kindle Paperwhite’s shortcomings”

  1. I don’t mind the uneven lighting, though it could have been improved by moving the LEDs a bit further back less light but the gradient would be smoother.

    But really I can read this in the dark for hours and not notice or care about the uneven lighting. First couple of days you may notice it but you get used to it until its invisible.

  2. I’m still waiting on a color paper-like screen version. I also prefer some dedicated buttons but I am a QWERTY slider fan when it comes to smartphones so I’m biased.

  3. A friend of mine let me borrow the paperwhite so i could write up a review. Audio loss is a big deal if you used audio. The bottom of the screen does not have an even light. The memory is smaller (but large memory reveals a software problem that crashes the kindle if you used the larger memory).

    Overall, even with the problems, I still think it is the best kindle. But my big issues is the lack of buttons. I really don’t like the touch screen as the only method.

    Although part of that I have a floating waterproof case that was designed for the Kindle 2, but I have made work for the 3 and 4. So I won’t upgrade because I love reading while floating in the ocean during the summer and sitting in my hot tub during the winter.

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